Let’s face it- society makes being a virgin seem tragic. No wonder so many girls rush to lose their virginity when they’re not really ready. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Meet Megan, a 21-year-old student who hasn’t had sex, and is totally fine about it.
I’ll go ahead and say it. I’m 21-years-old, and I’ve never had sex.
And no, I’m not a half-way-to-forty-year-old virgin because I’m purposefully abstaining from the old P in V. It just hasn’t happened for me.
Believe me, I like men. I first became aware of this in 1998, when, aged four and dancing to Top of the Pops in my living room, I caught my first glimpse of Boyzone.
After an intense and long-lasting crush on the Irish heartthrobs, I experienced various other infatuations with the opposite sex. The ones that stick in my mind are Orlando Bloom (2003) and Michael Owen (2000 to present.)
As I moved in to my teenage years, I had boys, and what I might do with them if my mum was out ASDA shopping, firmly on the brain. In my early teens I was shy with braces and a slight monobrow, so boys weren’t exactly fighting to play kiss chase with me. But by the time I was 15 (when the traintracks came off and I discovered tweezers), I was texting boys from school, going on cinema dates with them and snogging on the street after one too many WKDs.
But, unlike my friends who went from all that, to going out with one particular guy, and quickly becoming sexually active, I just didn’t. Not one pubescent boy asked me to be his girlfriend. So I stayed single and sexually clueless, listening to my friends’ bedroom stories with a mix of envy and mild horror.
Yes, horror, because at 15, I felt like a child. I couldn’t believe my friends were on the pill, while I was still being force-fed omega-3 oil by my mum.
So, I accepted that I was a ‘late bloomer’ and blundered through teenage life in a perpetual state of innocence. I learned to drive, got my first job, had my 18th birthday and passed my A-Levels, but one thing stayed the same, I was still a virgin.
As I rolled up to my Uni halls of residence in the passenger seat of my mum’s car, I could almost feel the glare of the neon, flashing sign above my head that screamed ‘I’M A VIRGIN.’
On our first night together, my new flat mates and I were sat on the cheap sofas of our garish blue living room, drinking concoctions with a 5:1 spirit to mixer ratio and singing badly to Shakira. That was the first time I heard the phrase I’d come to loathe more than any other: ‘Never have I ever.’
Until that night, I had no idea this drinking game existed. As my flat mates downed their Glen’s vodka in unison to statements like ‘Never have I ever had sex in a park’ and ‘Never have I ever used food in sex’, I quickly sussed what it was all about. A wave of panic swept over me when I clocked on that I would have to offer up a scenario. I went beetroot-red, and could feel my heart beating loud in my ears. I had nothing to say. For the first time, in front of nine expectant and heavily intoxicated almost-strangers, I felt ashamed to be a virgin.
Panicked and embarrassed, I said the only thing I had done that was remotely close to what the game required: ‘Never have I ever kissed more than one person in a night.’ (I had once got off with four boys in the space of a few hours on a night out a year or so earlier.)
Some of my flat mates drank, laughed and swapped their stories, and I was ecstatically relieved that no one mentioned how PG-13 my statement was. Not wanting to push my luck, I said I was going to re-apply my lip-gloss but that I’d be back. I escaped to my room and sat on the bed. As I wiped my still clammy hands on my duvet, I vowed to myself that I would ditch my virgin status as quickly as possible. I couldn’t stand to be the odd-one-out anymore.
I thought that with no parental supervision, a whole city’s worth of new boys, and a student loan to support the purchasing of vast amounts of peach schnapps, popping my cherry would be easy. I was wrong.
Despite my promise to myself, I just didn’t really feel ready to be intimate with anyone. This irritated me, so, before the end of first semester, I ignored my gut instinct and made my first real attempt at losing my virginity.
I was in a club, and across the dance floor spotted a guy I had met on a night out a few weeks earlier. We’d kissed and swapped numbers, and I thought he was fit, so I danced towards him and pretty soon we were quite offensively snogging in the midst of lots of thrashing freshers.
I’d found my unsuspecting target. I steered us towards the bar and bought us Sambuca. Once the shots had successfully killed any brain cells that had survived up to that point, I suggested to the guy that we should go home together.
Unsurprisingly, he obliged and we walked back to his flat where we proceeded to strip off and squeeze in to his single bed. This was the first time I had ever been naked with anyone, but I’d consumed enough alcohol to numb any apprehension I might have had. He put a finger inside me and I was actually having a pretty good time, then an ear-splitting siren sounded and he groaned “Fucking fire alarm.”
We stopped what we were doing, put our clothes back on and walked downstairs to the fire point. A group of his friends from across the courtyard shouted laddish remarks at us until the alarm stopped and we went back to his room.
The mood had been significantly dampened for me, and the Sambuca was wearing off. When he tried to steer my hand down his jeans, I told him that actually, I didn’t want to do that with someone I barely knew. I suggested we could go out for a drink some time then see how things go, but he told me that he’d just broken up with his girlfriend of four years and didn’t want anything serious.
I aborted my mission, and we lay side by side in bed, awkwardly avoiding each other’s touch. The next thing I remember is waking up with a stranger, feeling embarrassed, and sure that I wasn’t ready for one-night stands.
When I got home and thought about the night before, I was so relieved that the fire alarm had saved me from drunkenly losing my virginity to a guy who would never want to see me again. Mission have sex was still a go, but I knew my first time would have to be with someone who at least liked me enough to see me more than once.