Losing my virginity was always something I was afraid of.
I thought I’d be losing my innocence, and the thing that made me special. I was scared it would be uncomfortable, or I wouldn’t enjoy it.
Because that’s what everyone tells you having sex for the first time is like.
So I waited. I waited 26 years.
I didn’t plan on waiting so long, but – for whatever reason – I didn’t have a boyfriend until then. Mostly because I was, again, afraid of the unknown.
And – despite lots of conflicting advice from magazines like Cosmo – I didn’t want the first time I had sex to be a drunken, meaningless event with someone I barely knew.
But the thing I was most fearful of about losing my virginity was missing it. And I knew that I could never get it back.
I thought I wouldn’t be the same person afterwards. And it’s true, I wasn’t. But not in a negative way.
I had built the idea of sex and my first time up so much in my head, that the actual event had no chance of coming close to my expectations.
To begin with, I felt a sense of sadness. I wasn’t pure anymore. And I couldn’t “give” myself to anyone, ever again. It sounds so fucked up when I read that back to myself now.
Looking back, I realise losing my virginity was something I was afraid of because of what I’d learned to believe about sex, and women.
I was taught that having lots of sex with lots of men made you a “slut,” and “good” girls always waited.
And I wanted to be good.
I didn’t want my parents to be ashamed of me, or have everyone gossiping about me at school. I didn’t want future guys to be turned off by my colourful sexual history. And I desperately did not want to feel like a slut.
So I did what a good girl does. I kept my legs closed, and stifled my sexual energy. I waited. And I waited some more.
I even flirted with the idea of saving myself until I got married. I can’t quite remember what made me change my mind, but I’m forever grateful I did.
Because three years on, I’m still discovering and exploring my sexuality. I’m still figuring out what turns me on, and what doesn’t. And lucky for me, I’m with a man who is patient and supportive of that. But what if I’d chosen someone to marry someone who wasn’t?
There’s a part of me that doesn’t believe it’s healthy to look back to the past and have regrets.
But the other part of me believes regret is healthy, because it stops us repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
That part of me wishes I hadn’t waited so long to have sex. Because really, what was I waiting for?
The perfect man? The perfect moment?
It took me a long time to realise that perfect doesn’t exist.
Waiting 26 years didn’t make my first time perfect. Because it never could be.
Instead, it left me lagging behind. Because the sexual experiences I was having in my mid to late twenties, most people had already had a decade earlier.
I used to be worried that losing my virginity would make me miss it for the rest of my life.
But the truth is, I don’t miss it. Not even a little bit.
No woman ever does.
Afterwards, I felt relief wash over me. It was as though I’d been holding my breath for the past decade, and was finally letting it go.
Sex no longer filled my mind the way it used to. And I was finally in on the secret that almost the entire world already knew.
I thought losing my virginity would feel like a loss. Because that’s what they try and teach us. That something is being taken from us. Something that we can never get back. Like losing your power.
But actually, losing my virginity helped me reclaim my power. The power I’d almost forgotten was there all along, inside me.
It helped me reconnect with my body, and learn to adore her on a whole new level than before.
And it helped me unleash the sexual energy I once fought to push away, and now I feel it rising and roaring through me every day.
It taught me the importance of not allowing fear to hold me back from living my fullest, most expansive life.
And it made me question everything I’ve learned to believe as a woman, from everyone in my life.
I don’t miss my virginity.
I’m betting you won’t, either.