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Virgin Shaming

July 27, 2019

When I was 18, this really horribly girl, who was (trying to phrase this as delicately as possible) not Gigi Hadid, told me that “at least she can get laid”. She said anyone who is a virgin is going to be terrible in bed and guys will just drop them, so I should rectify the situation by having sex with her gross friend in a bush, and then aim to sleep with as many people as possible.

virgin shaming

In my first year of university, a group of us were out at a nightclub and this guy randomly came up to me and kept trying to get with me. I wasn’t really interested in getting with people for the sake of it, so I declined. The other girls in my halls gave me a mouthful abuse afterwards for not getting with him.

When I went home for the holidays, a group of us went to a pub called Pavlov’s Dog where they did a cheap drinks deal on Mondays. My friend’s boyfriend took a weird interest in my love life, and kept asking me if I’d “seen a cock” at university. When I told him I wasn’t interested in doing anything like that until I was in a relationship, he gave me a hard time about it and I’d have to endlessly justify my stance.

A girl in my halls asked me how many guys I’d done stuff with. When I said none, she was horrified, and told me I need to “get some experience”. Another boy told me if I wasn’t experienced, a guy was just going to laugh at me.

I once went on a trip away with a long-term group of friends. I wasn’t bothered about meeting guys- I just wanted to spend time with the other girls. During pre-drinks, the conversation usually turned to sex, and during the trip I felt like people barely spoke to me. I got berated for my lack of promiscuity, while another girl had a one night stand, and was told she was “like a grown up now”, and accepted with open arms. Afterwards, the group fizzled out contact with me.

One time, a friend told me I just need to go out there and have sex, and the first time “doesn’t have to be special”, and sex isn’t a big deal.

One time, a guy tried to push me into doing stuff with him. When I said no, he told me he didn’t want to be with someone who’s “like a log”. He later told me he “wouldn’t commit to a woman he hasn’t slept with”, and I’d never find anyone else as 70% of guys think the same way as him. He said that “men like experienced women”, and he’d be put off if a woman was a virgin.

In polls online, people often say they wouldn’t date someone who is a virgin, but then also say that they shouldn’t be judged for how many people they have slept with.

Some people think it’s OK to stop seeing someone if they didn’t have sex with them fast enough because you have “different values”, yet think they shouldn’t be judged for having sex on a first date.

One time on Twitter, I said that for me personally, having sex with someone for the first time means something. I even expressed that I accept that other people may feel differently and that’s fine FOR THEM, however that didn’t stop me being viciously attacked by multiple accounts for 24 hours straight. No-one seemed bothered or rushed to defend me. People often share articles about how people shouldn’t be judged for sleeping around, and complained about how hard done by promiscuous women are.

Have you ever experienced virgin shaming? Let me know in the comments!

  • Reply
    EnglishRosiee
    July 29, 2019 at 9:09 am

    So, I’ve never experienced Virgin shaming to the extent you have but when I was younger, there were obviously a lot of questions being asked and everyone talking about their rampant sex lives. My solution to the problem was to tell a white lie which made people get off my case and then I went on living my life happily till it did come time to get rid of my V-card with no pressure from outside sources.

    Recently, I ‘dated’/encountered a guy that I thought could potentially be a virgin (that or he was terribly inexperienced). This made me question whether I would date someone who was a virgin and I’ve written about it on Rinse : rinsebeforeuse.com/2019/07/26/like-a-virgin-would-you-date-the-sexually-inexperienced/

    I think it is harder the older you get though, I felt enough pressure being a virgin in my teens, I can’t imagine how much worse it would be now.

    Perhaps the key to not being shamed is to keep quiet about it. Its not something you should have to do but I think if you are open about it, people are bound to be curious and ask questions. In any case, there is a difference with being nosey/inquisative/curious and shaming someone. And I don’t think we should really be shaming people because we were all virgins once!

    • Reply
      aliceeriley
      July 29, 2019 at 10:42 am

      That’s true- however in some cases that doesn’t always work, for example if other people are talking about sex/ getting with guys/ sleeping around and you just don’t want to join in you can get shamed or isolated for that. Virgin shaming doesn’t only apply to virgins.

      • Reply
        EnglishRosiee
        July 29, 2019 at 1:54 pm

        Yup! I guess after the drinks start flowing people lower the tone of the conversation a bit. But the art of deflection is also an important skill.

        As I’ve said so often before, there is this view (considering how much people talk about it) that everyone is having copious amounts of sex, when in fact studies have shown people actually aren’t.

        When I mentioned to a friend that I was pondering on whether or not I should date a guy that was potentially a virgin, she said it asking her if she’d date a virgin was as ridiculous as asking if she would date a WW2 survivor. But as it turns out I actually know a fair few virgins.

        I guess people a curious about anything that is slightly different from the norm. But I also think that guys have it much harder in this respect when it comes to girls.

        • Reply
          aliceeriley
          July 30, 2019 at 10:31 am

          Yeah I find guys tend to be more accepting in that regard.

  • Reply
    Chelsey-Ann Stuart
    July 29, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    This is so important! I didn’t have sex for so long (in comparison to my friends) because all of the stigma around being a virgin had ended up making me feel panicked and pressured about the act itself. I ended up overthinking everything, and ultimately losing my virginity to someone I didn’t really care about.

    • Reply
      aliceeriley
      July 29, 2019 at 1:28 pm

      That is so true- I think a lot of virgin shaming is also internal- and the anxiety around it can have the adverse affect of pushing people away. I thought you did care about him though?

      • Reply
        Chelsey-Ann Stuart
        July 29, 2019 at 3:01 pm

        Train guy? I mean I did care about him at the time, but I ignored a lot of red flags about him. I thought I had to get it over with him at the time, and in fairness he was very supportive in helping me through it, but now I wish I’d saved myself for someone I love.

        • Reply
          aliceeriley
          July 30, 2019 at 10:32 am

          That makes sense. I guess what’s done is done, and you can use the lessons you’ve learned to move forward.

  • Reply
    justnatonya
    July 29, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    Alice I feel you on so many levels!👏🏾💯 So I’m 31 and still a virgin. I’m choosing to wait until I’m married because I want to make sure I’m with the right person. In high school, people associated me as a non-virgin because I had thick thighs and big boobs. When they asked if I was a virgin and I replied, yes…the look of astonishment on their faces was unsettling. I felt judged.

    Once a guy cheated on my because I wouldn’t sleep with him. Another guy broke up with me right before prom because I wouldn’t get a hotel room with him.

    As you get older, you start to care less what other people think. Just keep staying true to yourself and focus on what’s best for you. It’s ok to not do what everyone else is doing being true to you will benefit so much more in the long haul❤️

    Natonya | https://justnatonya.wordpress.com/

    • Reply
      aliceeriley
      July 30, 2019 at 10:33 am

      That’s true, sometimes people think you’re can’t be a virgin because of XYZ. Sucks that you’ve had those experiences, hope you find someone great soon!

      • Reply
        justnatonya
        August 5, 2019 at 8:12 pm

        Thank you Alice, that was so sweet!

  • Reply
    Rums the Reader
    July 29, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    This is such an interesting and relatable post for a lot of people! While I haven’t been shamed for being a virgin, as it’s a religious choice for me and most people seem to respect that, it can be a topic of embarrassment or shame if people are not understanding. I think there’s also a lot of pressure for people to be super open, but as with anything it’s based on individual choice and I’m sorry you had to deal with so many rude and inappropriate comments regarding something that’s purely your decision. Hope all is well now and thanks for sharing your experience and being so transparent about it (:

    • Reply
      aliceeriley
      July 30, 2019 at 10:33 am

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    budgetbelles80
    July 29, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    I had some of those experiences but it was in middle school/high school. You can’t believe the nasty stuff those kids would say to me or about. I really feel bad for younger virgins growing up because the shaming is probably more relentless and harmful.

    • Reply
      aliceeriley
      July 30, 2019 at 10:34 am

      Yeah it’s crazy, that kind of thing happens in school where you’re still SO SO young.

  • Reply
    Susanne
    July 29, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    This is such an important topic to talk about. I also like that you point out the hypocrisy in our current culture. Sure, you shouldn’t judge people for sleeping around but yeah, you’ll get shamed if you don’t want or even like sex. Okay ….

    I am ace, so I don’t get/feel/understand the importance or interest of sex … at all … I often get that I won’t be able to have a decent relationship without getting it on or that people will drop me if I don’t sleep with them after X weeks. It’s annoying.

    • Reply
      aliceeriley
      July 30, 2019 at 10:35 am

      Yes so true. Ah interesting, maybe it’s worth dating within the asexual community?

  • Reply
    Corinne ❄️ (@WhatCorinneDid)
    July 29, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    I never experiences something like but wow… no so nice from friends yeah. Every one is free to develop their own relationship to sex, how to want it and what they want out of it. Nothing shameful about not wanting to have one night stands or meaningless sex your first time

    • Reply
      aliceeriley
      July 30, 2019 at 10:35 am

      So true!

  • Reply
    Sophie Wentworth
    July 29, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Such an interesting post. I think a major issue here is the amount of shame surrounding sex in general. I’d love to know if there’s a number that’s deemed acceptable by everyone/ most people. ‘Body count’ too low, shamed. Too high, also shamed. Not willing to talk about it? Shamed. Talk about it ‘too much’? Shamed. It’s awful that there’s such a stigma attached to it. Really enjoyed reading this and massively respect your decision to share your experiences like this x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    • Reply
      aliceeriley
      July 30, 2019 at 10:36 am

      That’s true- I guess whatever you do you will always be judged to some extent!

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