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Every so often, I get questions from readers regarding virginity and their decision to abstain from sexual activity. They are usually concerned about the negative effects of ‘waiting too long’. While we usually address sexual function and dysfunction – the ‘how to’ of sex – today, we’re going to address the opposite: NOT having sex.
One of the things that I make a point of stating is that “abstinence is a valid choice” and so is virginity. It’s unfortunate that sometimes the message is sent that virginity is somehow wrong or old fashioned; it isn’t.
As a sex therapist, I am naturally going to talk about sexual activity because that is when and how most sexual dysfunction manifests. This has sometimes been mistaken as advocacy for indiscriminate sex at the expense of virginity. That’s not true; I am a sex therapist, not a moral compass.
You must choose for yourself when and if to have sex so, for you who has chosen virginity, today’s article is for you. Virginity has several benefits and today, we’re going to look at some of them.
Peace of mind
One benefit of virginity is the complete assurance that you cannot contract a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI).
We usually hear about “safe sex” but in reality, it is not possible to have safe sex, because sex is never really 100 per cent “safe”. It is only possible to have “safer” sex. As a virgin, you do not have to worry about any of this; what that gives you is peace of mind where this is concerned.
Another benefit of virginity is that you do not have to deal with some of the ‘complications’ of sex, by which I mean that you do not have to worry about having slept with the wrong person/people, you do not have to worry about accusations of infidelity, you do not have to worry about hiding a relationship, or any of the myriad of things that some people have had to deal with, at one point or another.
Those who are sexually active may not consider this to be a big deal but that’s neither here nor there for you, because you simply do not have to worry about any of it, at all.
As a virgin, you can get on with living your life while worrying only about yourself. Sexual activity naturally intertwines you with another person. That can bring with it great joy but it can also bring with it the added responsibility to worry, care, take care of or be concerned with another person in a way that can be a distraction.
It can turn into an all-consuming experience, especially if your sense of boundaries is too fluid. It can also be an unnecessary distraction, especially for those of you who are students or who are trying to focus on certain things in your life.
Sex – a biological experience that also entangles your heart, mind, body and soul – can bring with it the impact of another’s heart, mind, body and soul. When you are a virgin, the only heart, mind, body and soul that heavily impacts you, is yours.
As a virgin, you will also be in a position to find other ways to enjoy your life in general as well as your dating life. If you’re dating, as a virgin, you end up having to think outside the ‘sex’ box for example, how can you be romantic, show affection or tenderness, show commitment, have fun and so much more, without having sex?
This might turn out to be a fun, interesting way to live and the good news is that, if you do change your mind, you will still have all the creativity you developed in this season to get you through the next seasons of your life.
Virginity is also not just a choice but a statement. It’s something you’re doing because you have made certain key decisions regarding who you are – or want to be – in and out of the bedroom.
Whether you have chosen virginity as statement of faith, personal values or societal beliefs, it is a choice you can be proud of because it is a “choice” and your ability to make this choice now need not interfere with your ability to choose differently, when/if the time comes.
Your ability to make such a critical – and perhaps unpopular – statement with your sexuality can be translated into the sorts of choices that you make in other areas of your life, and that is something to feel good about.
Speaking of different choices, I would like to encourage you to maintain a healthy view of sex and sexuality, despite your decision not to have sex.
Resist the common tendencies of equating sex with ideas that imply that it is dirty, impure or wrong. Take it from me; negative attitudes towards sex are not just unnecessary, they are also difficult to undo and wreak havoc on your sex life, when/if you do change your mind. Sex is not dirty, impure or wrong.
Sex is good, healthy, wholesome, beautiful and so much more, when it is done by free choice and free will, consensually. It is a biologically pre-installed for function (e.g. procreation), and fun (ie pleasure, connection). It is not an anomaly but a hard wired aspect of our bodies.
Virginity is not about right or wrong; it’s about timing or principle, for you. Maintaining positive, healthy and honest images of sex is more helpful to you now, as a virgin, and will continue to be helpful to you in the future, should you choose to change your mind e.g. for your marriage.
In addition, in the same way that sex is more than just what happens in the bedroom, virginity is about more than just the absence of sex. I encourage you to remember that you are a whole person and that the absence of sex in your life need not be your whole identity.
On that note, I would like to remind that your virginity is your choice, and you have every right to make it for as long as you deem fit; embrace it and own it for as long as you choose to. I wish you a happy, healthy non-sex life.
Maggie Gitu is a Marriage, Family & Sex Therapist. She can be reached at [email protected]
and via her Facebook page: Maggie Gitu
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke