We’ve all heard the term “virgin.” Whether you’ve heard it in the media, school, church, or from your friends, the term is everywhere today. But what exactly does it mean?
First, the concept of virginity is a social construct and has no real meaning past the social ones. Most of the time, the “loss of virginity” refers to the first time someone has penile-vaginal intercourse.
This is, of course, a very traditional and shallow definition, as some people may not be interested in anyone of the opposite sex. If this is the case, they may never have this type of sex but still count the first time they have any sexual intimacy with an individual of their preferred sex. So basically, in reality, definitions of virginity are a bit fuzzy, and it may mean any form of sexual intimacy for you, or it may mean specifically penile-vaginal intercourse.
Unfortunately, our society puts a lot of importance and significance on this little six-letter social construct. It comes with a lot of stigmas and underlying meanings. For example, people only remain virgins because they can’t find a romantic or sexual partner or that it is shameful to stay a virgin.
Other common stigmas are more gendered. For instance, traditionally, women are supposed to remain virgins until marriage — and if they don’t, they are sexually promiscuous. On the other hand, men are supposed to be more sexually active and even aggressive and dominating. This can be damaging to anyone who does not fit into these “traditional standards.”
Why Might You Want Support?
Let’s be honest. There are numerous reasons why you may look for support if you’re anxious about your first time having sex. Not only can we put tremendous pressure and value on our first sexual experience, but our society also places incredible importance on the concept of virginity (and losing it).
This is by no means an extensive list, but here are some reasons that you may have for wanting to get support regarding this topic.
As humans, we like to feel comforted and accepted by others. When we feel that we may be judged or not understood, we can become extremely nervous or anxious. If you feel worried about having sex for the first time, you may want to confide in a close family member, friend, or a trusted therapist.
Having another person to talk to, or even just someone to listen to your worries, can be incredibly helpful when you are nervous about something.
You Do Not Know What to Expect
Another reason you may be seeking support is if you don’t know what to expect from your first time. Maybe you have friends who have told you about their first time having sex, or you’ve seen TV shows and other media, and you aren’t sure what you should expect from your own first experience with sexual intimacy.
You Don’t Know What You Want
Maybe you aren’t sure you even want to have sex. This is completely okay. You may be asexual — which is a sexual orientation that is categorized by having little to no interest in sexual contact with other people. Like any other sexual orientation, asexuals exist on a spectrum ranging from sexual indifference to sexual repulsion.
Perhaps you are not sure where you fit on this spectrum. Maybe you are not on the asexual spectrum, but you are still not sure what you are looking for from your first sexual experience. Talking to a sex therapist can help you navigate these concepts and help you figure out what you want from your first sexual experience — and if you even want to have a first sexual experience in the first place.
You’re Worried About What Your Partner Might Think
Your partner may know that you have never had a previous sexual experience, or they may not know yet. It can be highly nerve-wracking to figure out how to tell them if they do not know. If you are unsure how to talk to your partner about your experiences with sex, you may benefit from some additional support. A therapist can help you find the right way to tell your partner where you feel comfortable doing so.
Maybe your partner knows that you have never had sex before, and you are worried about what they will think about the experience. So many of us worry about seeming “good” enough in bed to please our partners. If you are worried about what your partner might think, you may benefit from the support of a sex therapist.
You Do Not Feel Ready
Maybe you are simply not ready to have sex for the first time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Everyone is different, and just because you feel you should be ready to have sex does not mean you are ready.
If you feel uncomfortable or unsure how to communicate this to your partner, you may need some support. We can feel more confident and comfortable when we have someone in our corner. It can also help you to decide how you want to talk to your partner and what you can say to get your feelings across.
How Can Sex Therapy Help?
We have touched on how talking to a sex therapist can help you get through your anxieties and worries above. But what exactly can you expect from sex therapy? Realistically, sex therapy functions like many other types of therapy — you go to help understand yourself, your worries, and your desires better. However, the main difference between sex therapy and different types of therapy is that it focuses on your sexual worries and desires.
A sex therapist will help you to discover what you are looking for from your first sexual experience and how you can achieve that in a way that works for you and your partner.
Some things you will likely cover in sex therapy include:
- Debunking myths about virginity (and losing it)
- Addressing stigmas surrounding virginity
- Discussing your sexual orientation
- Coming up with techniques for talking with your partner
- Talking about issues with self-esteem, shame, and gender norms
- Helping prepare you for a healthy and fulfilling sex life
Tips for Talking to Your Partner
Every relationship will be different, and the best way for you and your partner to approach this new part of your relationship is to talk about it. Communication is everything in a relationship.
Some tips you can use to talk with your partner are:
- Give yourself time to figure out what you want from your first experience with sex.
- Create a safe space to talk with your partner.
- Be honest with your partner about your worries and desires.
- Talk to a therapist. A therapist can help you devise how to communicate your feelings and worries to your partner. Couples or sex therapy can also be an excellent way for you and your partner to address your thoughts together in a safe and non-judgmental space.
If you are having worries about your first time having sex, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our sex therapists at Love Heal Grow.