February 2, 2009

Q&A: Sexual Communication: Talking About Virginity With Others

A reader wonders if discussing one's virginity is socially acceptable or awkward. The answer - it depends.

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Question: Is it socially acceptable for me to talk to other people about the fact that I’m a virgin? Or is that awkward?

Many people are uncertain about how to talk to others about sex, including the fact that they have not yet had sex, and it’s good of you to seek out information about what such communication might feel like for others.

Awkwardness Factor

I suppose the awkwardness factor depends on what you mean by talking to other people about the fact that you’re a virgin, as well as on the comfort level of the people you are talking to.

For example, it might make people feel uncomfortable for you to talk about your virginity in a conversation that seemingly has nothing to do with either sex or virginity, like if the conversation were about school, basketball, shopping or the weather.

If, however, you were in a conversation with friends, family or someone you liked in a romantic or sexual way, and you were already talking about personal issues such as your values or choices related to relationships and sexuality, then it might be something to bring up.

Because many people do not have experience talking about sex and virginity, talking about these topics can indeed feel awkward at first. However, the awkwardness itself is not a reason to avoid these conversations.

With practice, and by making the choice to have these conversations with people you feel close to and trust with your feelings, conversations about sexuality often become increasingly more comfortable and easy-going. To make sure that the other person feels comfortable, you can ask him or her whether the conversations feels comfortable for them.

Talking About Sex

Learning to talk about sexuality is important for many reasons. If it is important to you to let a potential boyfriend or girlfriend know that you are a virgin, then doing so may help you to feel more comfortable as you begin to get to know each other, hang out or date.

If or when you decide to have sex, learning to talk about sexuality can help you to ask important questions of potential partners, such as questions about their values related to sexuality, their past sexual experiences or their history of having been tested for sexually transmissible infections.

Feeling comfortable with sexual communication can also make it easier to discuss your sexual likes and dislikes, your interests and your boundaries, so that more of your sexual experiences have the potential to feel pleasurable. Learning to discuss sexuality issues can also make it easier for you to talk to your healthcare provider about your sexual and reproductive health.

More On Sexual Communication

To learn more about sexual communication, check out The Guide to Getting It On and For Each Other: Sharing Sexual Intimacy.