I don’t know if “Prude” quite describes it

::This ramble is inspired by the collective, LOUD gasp I got when I said “0” to my group of classmates who asked me what my “number” was. We’re open people, counselors. :) ::

To start this post, I have to bring something up that comes up more than I ever think it will, but whatever, when you’re the last of the Mohicans, it’s a novelty people enjoy.

Except I’m not a Mohican. (I’d marry Daniel Day-Lewis to make me one. Except that’s really like the opposite of what that title meant so….)

I’m a virgin. I’m a 26 year old woman and I’ve dated and in case you didn’t know, you don’t get to be a 26 year old woman with more exes than you would like to count, especially one who spent 5 years in undergrad only barely tended to by adults and stay a virgin by accident.

I’m a virgin because I’m not married. I believe in waiting. I think it’s best and the right decision for me.

And, of course, most of my friends from church feel the same way because my faith is the basis for this decision. (Because WHY THE HECK ELSE? I mean, sex sounds fun and nice and STI’s and unwanted pregnancies aside, I can’t think of one socio-cultural reason to wait. I wait because I believe it’s what’s most honoring to God.)

Now, I’m not going to get into the dynamics about how you can be a virgin and still be nowhere near pure, I’m just trying to say that, out in the world, being an intentional adult virgin is this mythical thing. Like a unicorn. Tom Cruise might as well have been chasing me in Legend.

BACK TO THE POINT.  So, being such a foreign concept to my non-church friends, they are always FLABBERGASTED about my attitudes toward sex. Because they thing virgin = prude. And I’m well educated about sexual health (thank you, UT DHFS Resident Assistant training program!), emotional health through sexual intimacy (thank you, counseling training and very, very open friends) and I think sex is this great thing meant to be enjoyed and, while not worshipped, revered.

I don’t think it’s dirty or gross.

And neither do my friends, who also wait.

It’s funny how, in my community, when someone gets engaged it’s suddenly salt -n-peppa time. (You know, Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby…) Like at a friend’s wedding last winter, where the bride and groom came to my table and talked to the guests there, mentioning where they were going for their honeymoon, or, as they called it, “Bone-Fest 2011.”

Yes. They said that. And no one blushed. Someone did fist-pump, though.

You know we even have books on sexual intimacy as a required part of the premarital counseling course at my church?

And lots of people I know, to protect their marriages from outside temptation and to just help their partners through this expression of love, have “never say no” ideas. Basically if one partner wants sex, the other partner serves them through that, putting the other’s needs before their own. (I can honestly only imagine the kind of love, trust, and intimacy required for two people to feel not only comfortable, but good about putting these clauses into their relationships and out there for the public to know.)

So I get that being a 26 year old virgin is weird from some standpoints. I get that waiting for marriage is considered odd, often antiquated, and snubbed as judge-y. But y’all, when the married couples I know drive around with bumper stickers that say “fight naked,” and reply “without clothes,” to “how do you best bring up a tough topic to your spouse?”….

I just don’t think PRUDE is the right word.

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