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A Virgin's Open Letter To Pressure

Updated on June 4, 2016

"The Look"

Pressure on the virgin to join the crowd comes in many different forms. As a guy, I know all to well the misconceptions aimed at older male virgins. I have seen that look in men's eyes when I made the confession. A squint of the eyes -- pursing of the lips -- it’s a look that goes beyond, "oh, you must be shy about girls." Rather, it’s an incredulous, skeptical expression, suggesting the virgin is really a closeted homosexual.

Many male virgins have felt the invisible finger pointed at them. And this "homosexual assumption" starts to hang over like a rain cloud. The "I need to fit in" pressure starts knocking louder and louder at your door. You fear being left out in the cold -- not being good enough.

Many older male virgins have felt that "queer" finger pointed at them, suggesting they know you better than you know yourself; maybe you’re still a virgin because you don’t like girls. Being from the south, losing your virginity is a rite of passage. It's how you become a man and move up the social ladder. If you're not in, you're out. And then shame becomes another form of pressure.

The 40 Year-Old Virgin

The “boys will be boys” myth is yet another component of the unspoken pressure virgins face in that tender space of pubescence and figuring themselves out. Sexual experience has become synonymous with self-identity and maturation. Spend a day watching music videos or coming-of-age movies, and the message is clear – you’re nobody till you have sex.

Do you remember the movie The 40 Year-Old Virgin? The central character (Andy) lives alone, collects action figures, and his social life involves watching reality TV with old people. One day his coworkers invite him to a game of poker. When the conversation turns to past sexual exploits, Andy admits he has no experience. Feeling sorry for him, his coworkers resolve to help Andy lose his virginity. There are two takeaways. One, virgins are pitiful. Two, don't be a forty year-old virgin.

Like Andy at the card table, many virgins feel like a wallflower at a party, watching everybody dance in the middle and live it up. I can't tell you how many awkward moments I've had when people around me start talking about their past sexual exploits. You either nod and smile blankly, go silent like a ghost, or make the confession. The "I need to fit in" pressure or a desire to be "normal" like everybody else can become unbearable.

And then there’s the pressure from the school of women who want men to be teachers in the bedroom. I’ve heard from a number of female virgins that they don’t expect the man to be a virgin. Forget values aligning or exploring together, they want a man who knows what he’s doing. This only adds to the unspoken pressure male virgins feel. It's enough to make you go crazy.

Then there are the cockeyed theories like "test drive a car before you buy it" and "become a man". A perfect stranger will look you directly in the face and tell you this. These spoken and unspoken pressures make it really hard to abstain and stay focused. There are many times a virgin feels like a plastic bag caught in the wind. Remember that scene in American Beauty?

A Survivor

The path of the virgin is rife with distractions, shouting out our name like street-side supporters at a marathon. I made the little big decision in high school that my wife would be my first. Now in my thirties, I've learned that virginity is not only about the absence of sex, but being a survivor.

If you’ve dated and maintained your virginity, you're a survivor. If you’ve been ridiculed and/or ostracized and maintained the V card, you're a survivor. If you’ve felt like the only person in the world still holding on, you're a survivor.

I Lost My Virginity

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I Lost My Virginity

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More Important Than Pressure

As a 30 something virgin, I’ve realized it’s more important to be an individual and cultivate my own garden. My life, my body is my own personal garden and I harvest the seeds I sow. This truth has helped me bridge the divide between perception and reality. I encourage you to figure out your own uniqueness – your own “I am-ness.” You were created for a reason and He wants to express himself through your individuality. Find the courage within to say to the crowd, "Stop. This is my life."

Pressure and distractions are inevitable. Such is life. But how do we deal with it? What truth can we hold on to? Intuition. The little voice within. It is a small voice that is so often neglected, overshadowed, and blotted out by pressure and distraction. Many of us are virgins because of the small voice within that is simply saying, "wait". It's navigating through peer pressure, perception, self-doubt, frustration, and shame that makes it very difficult to keep an ear on that inspired little voice.

If you are a virgin, shift your eyes from the world to your promise. You have cleared a major distraction in sex and are open to listen to the language of your heart. This is your superpower. Remember, just as instinct guides the animal, so can intuition guide us if we choose to let it.

See pressure as your number one hater. You know the quote, "haters gonna hate". People are free to be whoever they want to be. The reality is, however, that is the truth for their life. Now what is the truth for your life? You are the boss. It's not always easy, but it's okay to be different. You are standing out because you are not living life on somebody else's terms. Most importantly, you are true to yourself, answering the voice within.

© 2014 Oswalda Purcell

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