This post is for the Virgin!Roar feminist blog carnival.
If I said I was a 26-year-old virgin, what responses might I tend to get? Pathetic, lonely, unattractive, repressed, super-religious, weird, or just hopelessly uncool. Maybe my fate is terrifying, unfathomable, or even worse than death. After high school, no one really asks "are you a virgin?" anymore. But if it stopped mattering, there wouldn't be all these negative stereotypes. Luckily, I have a handy excuse: I'm asexual! No sexual attraction to anyone! So it's totally okay for me to still be a virgin! Right, folks? Right, folks?
In my rush to neatly explain my virginity though, maybe I'm doing a disservice to all the other adult virgins out there. We shouldn't feel pressured to provide reasons in a quest to convince others that our choices are valid. It can be hard to own a status that some people may consider embarrassing, but then again, it will always be embarrassing unless people own up. Whether we were "too busy" or "career focused" or "waiting for the one", we just did not feel like having sex.
I wanted to answer the question "is virginity my choice?" but gave up in frustration. The usual reasons why people have sex--romantic love or sexual attraction--don't apply to me. There is no personally relevant reason for me to have sex, although this might relate to my chosen priorities as much as my asexuality. I want to avoid sexual pressure, I don't want to be the subject of someone's desire, and I don't want to engage in sex as a means to power or an expression of gender roles. You know those feminists that people tend to be scared of, who bandy around stuff like "heterosexual sex is oppressive?" Well, I think that any form of sex can be oppressive, or not, depending on the people and situation. Sex of any kind would feel oppressive to me personally, outside of a very narrow range of hypotheticals that I am unlikely to encounter. This doesn't mean I'm repressed. To me, the most "traditional" sex is also the most unappealing. Nor am I against anyone else having sex. As they say, do you.
If being a virgin was so awful, I could find a sexual partner. But virginity is not so bad, and despite what this post might convey, it's pretty much irrelevant to my personal identity. Having sex for the first time is not a major rite of passage in my life, which would be the factor giving virginity much of its meaning. I would guess that by our late 20's, most people who really wanted sex have found some way to have it. So virgins, as we get older and fewer in number, might get more content with their status rather than more frustrated. That's been my own experience, and it's the complete opposite of what the media portrays. At 2o, I was confused and distressed by my lack of sexual experience, but at 26, I know that for me, this is normal.