Dear Virgin 


Dear Virgin,
Hey. What’s up? I wanted to tell you a few things today, because whilst I don’t know for certain, it’s possible that you don’t know all these things already and I want to make sure that you do. I don’t know how much people talk about these days, and what people know or don’t, and I just wanted to get my two cents in. So.

Ok, look. First of all, sex is not some euphoric, life-affirming miracle act that will make you grin like a loon for hours on end, choirs of angels circling you. It can be, yeah – but sex is one of the broadest experiences I’ve found in this life and the range of emotions that can accompany sex is so baffling, so intense, so varied. It’s crazy to think every time will be a tiny ascent to heaven. There’s wonder. Lust. Love. Anger. Rage. Boredom. Confusion. Intimacy and vulnerability beyond anything else. Yes, it’s true that it can make you feel like the whole world has wrapped you in its arms and tickled you with light and joy. But when it’s not done right it can be many things: painful, upsetting, boring, hilarious, stupid, unappealing, embarrassing. Know that it will balance out.

I want you to know that losing your virginity is never going to some soundtracked romantic moment from a movie scene. Forget everything “The Notebook” told you. In fact, it will probably be a bit shit and a bit anticlimactic. That’s ok. Nobody has “the time I lost my virginity” in their Top Ten Shags, and if they do, they probably haven’t had ten shags. BUT that doesn’t mean you need to resign yourself to feeling shit about the whole thing; you should still be excited and happy. If you feel shit, disgusting, upset, worried or anxious just before, or even whilst, losing your virginity, then you should stop. Stopping during sex by the way, is totally, 100% fine. It’s not depicted in the movies that much, but in real life, it’s completely acceptable to just stop mid-session if you’re not feeling it, reason or no reason. Come back to it some other time if you fancy: no pressure.


The first thing to take into account is: have you been asked, and have you said yes? Only yes means yes. Try to avoid getting into a situation where you think “did I actually want that? I wish somebody had asked”. Ask yourself. It doesn’t matter who else does the asking; the other person, a voice in your head, a friend over text, anybody. All that matters is that you do the answering, truthfully, and that if the answer is not “yes”, you don’t do it. “I guess so” is not yes. “Maybe” is not yes. “We may as well at this point” is not yes. “….” is not yes. Ask yourself honestly; is it time? Is it now, is it this, is it you? And if it’s not, then that’s ok.

It’s ok to be a virgin when you’re 16. That is really not so old, no matter what the media would have you believe. It’s ok to be a virgin when you’re 18 – most people are. It’s ok to be a virgin when you’re 24. It’s ok to be a virgin when you’re 30. It’s actually ok to be a virgin full stop, regardless of age. Do not lose your virginity at the first chance because you think it is something you need to get over with before you’re branded a loser for life. If you do this, you will likely head to school or college or uni on Monday bearing the happy, sexed up news, and be greeted mostly with shock by your friends. You will be surprised that all of them are still virgins. You may even feel a bit weird that you’re not. The majority of people don’t give a stuff if you’re a virgin or not; why should they?


OK, let’s be frank. You have probably heard a lot about being “in the mood” and “ready” and nobody really defines what this vague, mysterious state actually is. It may have been hinted at, or briefly glossed over in one uncomfortable lesson at school. Basically, you should feel strongly and overwhelmingly like you want to kiss and be near the other person. Super-duper near: if they move closer to you and you feel a bit like your personal space has been invaded, then that’s NOT it. Sure, you might feel a few butterflies or a nervous tingle but you should predominantly feel like you REALLY want to do this. You should 100% feel strongly physically and emotionally attracted to them. Thinking “they’ll do” is not ok. Wondering things like “what kind of person is this?” is not ok. You deserve more.

Let’s get graphic: you will know if it’s the right person because you’ll feel wet and relaxed down there in the pants region (you know the relief when you’ve done a piss you were holding for ages? Yeah, it’s a little bit like that), and if you do not, either keep kissing and touching for a bit longer, or stop and think about it. Are you alright? Do not tell yourself “it’s normal for this to hurt”. Don’t tell yourself “well, this seems ok”. Don’t tell yourself “maybe I just don’t get wet”. These feelings are new, so you may not recognise them, but you should recognise when something feels a bit new and odd and when something feels wet and when something feels like pain. If it feels like horrific, excruciating pain, then stop. It shouldn’t.

Make sure the other person knows you’re a virgin. Do they know? Tell them you’re a virgin and explain the circumstance. Don’t try and muddle and bluff your way through. There’s no need: you should be able to celebrate and acknowledge and say goodbye to your virginity with the other person. Pretend, and you’re just injuring both parties. And lastly: USE PROTECTION. Condoms, the pill, the coil, the implant, whatever. Pulling out doesn’t count.


Virgin, the last thing you need to know is don’t worry. If it’s shit, don’t worry. If it’s awkward, don’t worry. If it didn’t work properly, don’t worry. If it feels like you just lost a tiny part of yourself, then please DON’T WORRY. You’re allowed to feel confused, or underwhelmed, but if you listened to everything I said back there you shouldn’t feel traumatised.

It will probably take a few more goes before it starts feeling totally normal. It will maybe take a few more people before you can get to know yourself. It might even take a few years to learn about what you like better. THAT IS FINE. You’re not meant to be an expert after doing something once, whatever the activity is. So don’t get hung up on how bad you think you are. That is not what you need to hear. You’ve got all the time in the world, virgin. You’ll be fine.


17 thoughts on “Dear Virgin 

  1. Jaina says:

    You’ve put this so so well. Wish young, and not so young, girls would read this. With all the crap that’s put in so-called womens magazines, the truth is washed over with shit that’s not real.


  2. winnie says:

    I so agree, some people are in such a hurry and think it’s the end of the world if they’re still a virgin. I’ve seen people from back in school who were in a real hurry to ‘grow up’ and their teenage years were well…a little shady but I just wished they had someone in their lives to tell them to slow down.


  3. Denise says:

    You are so right, only yes means yes! And it’s not like a movie with a romantic soundtrack, you are also right! But movies try to make it like going to paradise in the first moment – well, it can be too – so that the audience watches the movie :)


  4. Tore says:

    Fab post, there needs to be far less pressure and social value placed on virginity. I was lucky enough to have a great experience losing mine, and young girls need to know that while not common, it can be a positive time too instead of worrying about it being awkward! Being a virgin totally needs to be normalised and posts like this really do help.

    Tore |


  5. spicepicable me says:

    Amen to that. Wish someone has explained me this before I had my first time. I actually kicked the guy out of bed because I wasn’t feeling it and all of my friends said I was a lunatic. They might be right, but I knew it just didn’t feel right.


  6. Writing&Rambling (@sunshinesarahxo) says:

    I wish I had read something like this way back when it would have been so useful!! Thanks so much for this post it needs to go far and wide and everyone needs to read it!! You’ve hit the preverbal nail on the head with this post about all the feelings which come with growing up and finding your sexuality! I bet everyone has felt this way at one time or another but just got on and done it anyway just because! Well written Tape Parade, well written.


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