Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Should've Lost It Earlier

I was too hung up on my virginity. I held onto it way too long.

That’s a trap we fall into in modern society — the myth of virginity. We’re told it’s precious and we should hold onto it, that we should only give it to someone special, and that those who are still virgins are more pure and wholesome than those who are not.

So… how was your first time?

If it was anything like mine it was… awkward.

I was a virgin till quite late — my late twenties — and it was with someone who wanted to show me what it was like. Did I care about that person? As a casual friend (at the time anyway), yes. As something more, no.

Losing my virginity wasn’t some earth-shattering experience. It wasn’t the greatest orgasm I’ve ever had. And it wasn’t something that I wish I hadn’t done. I’m glad I did it, despite all awkwardness.

If anything, losing my virginity took away the stigma attached to it — the fear that the world would collapse if I had sex. I grew up in a fairly liberal family, so the hangups over sex didn’t come from there. (In hindsight, I think I got it from my best friend growing up — a super-Christian, if there’s such a thing.)

I don’t think I should have lost my virginity before I was ready — but I think I was ready several years before I actually did it. There should be a level of emotional maturity going into the act of sex — but I’m sure half of the people reading this had their first sex encounter when they were nervous teenagers, doing it long before they were really ready for it. Each experience is unique and nobody is slutty or should be shamed for what they’ve done.

So, I had sex. It was long overdue and it was underwhelming. I had glimpses of what sex could be, with the right person, at the right time, and in the right place. It set me on a journey to find that right person, time, and place. It led me to some stupid decisions, yes, but it led me on some fun adventure.

This is probably preaching to the choir here. If you’re reading this, an erotic authors’ blog, then you’re probably in favor of a healthy relationship with sexuality. But I think we sometimes do ourselves a disservice when we combat the abstinence-only folks. I think we accidentally set up a dichotomy of either total abstinence or non-stop sex, when, in reality, healthy sexuality is likely to be somewhere between those two extremes. (And, of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with someone choosing to be abstinent — but choosing of their own volition, not because they were told to — or someone who loves sex and has it often.)

If we would grow up with a healthy relationship with sexuality — knowing that it can be fun and spontaneous, that we should do it with people we trust and care about, and being prepared with the knowledge and tools to do it safely — then I think we could be much better as a society. It sounds absurdly cheesy, but sex can make the world a better place by making us healthier and happier people.

Cameron D. James is a writer of gay erotica and M/M erotic romance; his latest release is The President And The Rentboy (co-written with Sandra Claire). He is also the publisher and co-founder of Deep Desires Press, a publisher of erotica and high-heat-level erotic romance. He lives in Canada, is always crushing on Starbucks baristas, and has two rescue cats. To learn more about Cameron, visit http://www.camerondjames.com.


  1. "I don’t think I should have lost my virginity before I was ready — but I think I was ready several years before I actually did it." this is me. I was also in my late 20s, a red-blooded cis-het gal but being friends with boys who took religion seriously meant that I never met anyone who was prepared to have sex with me when I was prepared to have sex with them. As a result I am in my mid 40s and my husband is the only person I have slept with and I am really not sure that is ideal...

  2. "It sounds absurdly cheesy, but sex can make the world a better place by making us healthier and happier people."

    Wise, not cheesy.

    I don't really get the focus on virginity, especially in romance. We had a discussion about this over at the ERWA Writers list recently. Someone commented that for het guys, taking a woman's virginity was a caveman throwback--like, YOU'RE the one who owns her, not anyone else.

    For women... well, there's all the crap about purity and such. Your post suggests that guys get that too (or only gay guys?), which is a bit of an eye-opener for me.

    For what it's worth, I gave away my virginity at the age of 15, to the hippie I mentioned in my Monday post. (I actually initiated the encounter, sneaking downstairs to the den where he was sleeping over.) I was deeply in love with him, and I think he loved me. Still, as you say, from a sexual perspective, the experience was underwhelming. And I was still very clueless about sex and sexual pleasure, for a long time afterward (giving lie to the myth that as soon as you lose your virginity, you are suddenly a mature sexual being).

    1. I agree -- the focus on virginity is a bit weird, as is the "excitement" of taking someone's virginity. Since my first experience was rather underwhelming, it left me feeling somewhat unsatisfied.

      There have been a couple instances where I've taken someone's virginity -- where I've been their first -- and if I know that's the case, I always try to make sure that I give them the most pleasure possible. The focus is on them, not on me. I want their first time to be more positive than mine. Do I achieve what I set out to do? I have no idea.

  3. Cameron, I don't think there is a right age to lose your virginity. I lost mine at 13, to the older brother of a friend. (I had a ridiculous teenage crush on him -- I mistook his sullen silence as an indication of something deep.) I began finding out how most boys/young men really feel about the girls they've fucked, and it was devastating. All I could do to try to avoid becoming a social outcast at school was to deny the rumor he was spreading. If I had waited until I was older, I would have had this experience later, but I doubt if I would have been better prepared for it. Virgins tend to be unprepared for sex and its aftermath.

  4. The whole virginity=purity thing seems silly. In a way it's saying that virginity=ignorance=purity, but seeing ignorance as a virtue is pretty narrow-minded. The idea is an ancient patriarchal one, with an added value of virginity supposedly being some sort of extra pleasure for the man "taking" it from the woman, but does anyone know whether fucking a virgin is really more fun? Apart, that is, from not worrying that you're not living up to the standard of any previous fucker.

    1. There are also a lot of younger folks who have very narrowly defined what "sex" and "virginity" mean. In the gay community, I know, some people only consider anal sex to be sex -- everything else is just "fooling around."

      On a forum I participate in for erotic authors, we had a discussion a short while ago about frottage -- which, in gay sex at least, means rubbing dicks together, perhaps until orgasm. So there's no anal or oral contact. Some people don't consider this sex because there's no anal or oral. For me, though, it is a sexual act in a sexual context, so it's sex.

  5. I love the wisdom in this post, Cameron, and I'm all for the balanced view you're taking. As you allude to, there's too much neurosis around virginity in our society right now, and that makes the experience of having sex for the first time way more fraught than it has to be. I like the vision you lay out for what healthy sexuality could look like. Thanks for the post!

    1. Hehe -- my day job is in a community resource centre. I have a basket of condoms on my desk and more in the bathroom (which is where we keep the safer sex literature). So I work in a very sex-positive and healthy-sexuality environment.


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