What We Talk About When We Talk About Losing Our Virginity

Thought Catalog

I take issue with the term “lose your virginity.” I take issue with the verb, with the idea of loss. Having sex for the first time isn’t a loss, it’s a gain. You gain an experience you didn’t previously have. You gain an aspect to a relationship. You gain a connection with someone, no matter how fleeting it may be. Right down to the terminology we use to talk about it, the first time we have sex is framed as a predefined concept, as something that inherently is a certain way—and that we have to feel a certain way about it. Terming it a loss is only the beginning of the problem.

When I was 19 years old and a freshman in college, I was dating a guy who was completely wrong for me, and dating him was quintessential proof of the bad decision-making that often goes on during one’s…

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