Do you know how difficult it is to be a sexually active virgin on this campus? Paradoxical, I know. But it’s true. I’m a girl who loves sexual acts, loves everything about sex, but simply refuses to have it. It was engineered into my brain that sex is reserved for your husband, and after years of religion thrusting itself into my head (pun intended), it’s become difficult to reverse the effects of this forceful belief, even if my own mind has changed.
As cliché as it is, everything was clearer once I got to college. There was just so much freedom and opportunity around me. I was finally able to express myself, and for the past few years, I’ve been able to prioritize my relationships and ultimately sort through my own values. Basically, I’ve been able to pick and choose what is important to me.
Drugs were never the big bad wolf for my parents, and neither was alcohol. It was never introduced to them in their country, and so they just assumed my siblings and I would never. Therefore, it wasn’t that difficult to cross those lines. My first sip of alcohol didn’t really feel wrong, and so it must not be. My first time with any drug didn’t make me feel like a horrible person, so I couldn’t be.
These were lines that I crossed, but felt comfortable with my decisions. I didn’t need to forgive myself or anything of the sort, I just felt, I feel, okay with it. Could my holy book just be outdated? I start to doubt everything I believe in, but then I remember that I am Pavlov’s dog, and to undo the effects of my anti-sex conditioning would be a cement wall, not a line. Sex was talked about time and time again: virginity, innocence, how it will all be worth it in the end and how I will be unmarriageable if I tainted my virtue. As badly as I want to cross that line, jump that wall, I’m not sure I physically can anymore.
Thoughts of sex have creeped up on me with increasing intensity the past few months. Does this mean I’m nearing the wall? How many more times can I bring a guy over and then stop them just before we’re to have sex? I’ve been called a tease and a hypocrite, but it really isn’t these insults that have made me want to have sex recently. It’s because I truly believe I am missing something now.
Every budding relationship I have seems to be shut down, on my doing, because I start to actually like the guy, and it makes me worried that he’s going to “expect” sex soon. And I don’t even blame the guy, sex is a huge part of a relationship, and I am a very sexual person. I mean, maybe my philosophy would be harmonious if I were a saint of a girl who didn’t expose myself to all of these situations that are conducive to sex, but the reality is, I’m not. I like to go out, I like to drink, I like to flirt, I’m promiscuous and I don’t think that makes me a bad person. I don’t think having sex would make me a bad person, and I’m starting to think it’s what I’ve been missing. It’s beginning to ruin some of my relationships, or halt ones that have barely begun.
But how do you untrain someone with such strong “beliefs”? How can I reverse the effects of my parents doing? What if I do it and all my years of waiting went to waste? These are questions I may figure out very soon, or at the time I put a ring on my left finger. But even then, will my mind suddenly be ready for sex? My body sure as hell is. I mean, when most of the anti-sex religious beliefs were written, women were getting married at 14-years-old. But now, with education and careers, I’m not planning on getting married until I’m 26 or so. That just seems unfair.
And even so, even if I wait, will it just “click” with my brain on my wedding night that this is the right time to do it? What if I have such a natural, strong aversion to it from all my years of waiting? Regardless of the path I take, I hope I figure it out soon. Because if not, I might explode — my mind or my insides. Either one.
Kitty Cat is a student at Cornell. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Guest Room appears periodically this semester.