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Thrive+

Is virginity still a thing? Why should you consider postponing sex for now?

What is a virgin, and what’s with the stigma surrounding this choice?

Hey, girl. Are you choosing to postpone sex for now? Ever feel like you have to hide that decision? Or maybe you’ve been sexually active, but now you’re thinking about waiting to protect your future and your health. Or maybe you were shocked to hear that a friend was choosing to delay sex in their relationship, and you’ve got questions… Wherever you’re coming from, you’ve found a safe space. I totally get it. So many women feel pressured to have sex before they’re ready. But actually, more and more women are seeing the benefits of postponing sex — and choosing to delay sexual activity. If you’ve got questions about choosing to wait on sex, I want to offer some thoughts that might help ease your mind.

First off, let’s talk about the concept of virginity. What is a virgin? Traditionally, it’s been defined as someone who has not had sexual intercourse. But what does that mean, exactly? Some people avoid vaginal sex, but have oral sex. Does that count? If you have other kinds of sexual contact with a partner, are you safe from health risks? All this to say that there are a lot of (misleading) ideas surrounding the idea of virginity.

For instance, a common myth is that the hymen (a thin membrane around or covering the opening of the vagina) shows whether or not you’ve had sex, but that’s not true.1 

There’s no way to tell by looking whether or not a woman has had sex.1 

You’re worthy.

One of the most harmful aspects of this outdated view is the association between virginity and self-worth. Society often places a lot of pressure on women to conform to certain standards. Maybe someone’s made you think that you have to have sex to be important. Or on the contrary, maybe someone’s made you feel ashamed or “dirty” for having sex in the past. But your value isn’t determined by your sexual experiences or lack thereof. 

What truly matters is how you feel about your choices and ensuring they align with your values and comfort levels. You have value, period. Whatever experiences you’ve had in the past, and whatever you’re going through right now. You matter.

When it comes to making sexual choices, what’s important is thinking about your physical and emotional health. There’s no need to rush or feel pressured into sex by society — or a partner. You have the right to make decisions that feel right for you, without pressure from other people. It’s your choice, and yours alone. If your partner puts stress on you to have sex, you should talk to him honestly. Tell him what feels right for you. It isn’t healthy or normal to feel uncomfortable or forced into sex. You’re worth the wait, if that’s what you decide to do.

Woman who’s not intimidated by the question, “What is a virgin?”

Are there actual benefits to postponing sex?

What is a virgin, you ask? A virgin typically means someone who has not yet had sex. But you always have the choice to postpone sex, even if you’ve already been sexually active. If you choose to delay sex until you’re in a committed, long-term, monogamous relationship, there are actual benefits. Those can be:

1. Reduced Risk of STDs

Waiting to have sex is the surest way to protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).2  That’s a super important aspect of maintaining your physical health. Any kind of sexual contact — vaginal, oral, or anal — can expose you to an STD.3 Some STDs can have painful and uncomfortable symptoms, while others might not show any symptoms at all. Whether there are symptoms or not, STDs have the potential to harm your health.2 If you’re concerned about getting an STD, postponing sex is a very smart way to avoid getting one. If you’re concerned that you might already have an STD, here at ThriVe+ we offer no-cost STD testing. You can make an appointment with us today.

2. Taking Charge of Your Future

Having sex can lead to getting pregnant. To take control of your future and your health, you can choose to postpone sex for now, until you’re ready. What is a virgin? Someone who is postponing sex as a confident decision about their future. If you’ve had sex and you’re worried you might be pregnant, come see us. You can get discreet and no-cost services (including a lab-quality pregnancy test, ultrasound, and STD screening).

3. Emotional Safety

Having sex within a committed relationship can create a safer emotional environment. Sex isn’t the only way to get to know someone – physical intimacy is not the same thing as emotional intimacy. Sometimes, couples will move too quickly with physical intimacy, causing the emotional intimacy to get left behind or put on the back burner. Introducing sex early in a relationship can often lead to regret because they realize that they don’t actually know each other.4 It’s important to remember that it’s never too late to set boundaries and switch the priorities in your relationship.  You and your partner can decide to prioritize spending time learning to respect and care for each other’s feelings. When you’re committed to each other, you can take time to learn more about each other. 

4. Stronger Relationship Foundations

Taking time to build a strong emotional connection with your partner has big benefits. Before adding a physical dimension, you can create a more robust and resilient relationship. What is a virgin in today’s society? Many couples choose to stay virgins until marriage because they recognize the value in building a foundation of trust, respect, friendship, and communication before adding in higher levels of physical intimacy. Statistically, couples are more likely to stay together when they’ve made a commitment and waited until marriage to have sex.5

5. Personal Readiness

Waiting allows you to ensure that you are truly ready for this step, both mentally and emotionally. Sex should have an overall positive impact on your relationship and personal well-being. If it has the opposite effect– causing stress, relationship tension, or harming your mental or physical health– then that’s probably a sign to put a pause on sex for the time being.  Making sure you are personally ready for that step in your relationship can lead to a more fulfilling and positive experience.

What does “what is a virgin” mean to you?

At ThriVe+, our focus is to make a non-judgmental atmosphere. You should feel empowered to make authentic choices about your sexual health. We offer no-cost STD testing and a supportive environment, which can be really helpful. Whether you’re sexually active now or considering becoming sexually active in the future, we’ve got your back.

Remember, your choices should be yours alone, made with your well-being in mind. Take your time, and don’t let anyone make you feel less than for following your own path. 

Sources:

Healthy • Safe • Strong

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