Hands of Harvard: ‘Being a virgin, you can become a novelty’

‘I am put into this stereotyped box of super-Christian’

Hands of harvard

Disclaimer: The ideas presented below are true and unadulterated testimonies from people at Harvard. All information presented is based on their personal opinions and views. Their identities have been kept confidential and all information is anonymous. If you are a friend or loved one of the interviewee and are able to recognize their identity, please respect the confidentiality of these intimate posts. It is possible that some information presented will be challenging, controversial, or triggering. If you are going to participate in the comment section, please be mindful of the emotions of the interviewees who have so graciously opened up for this project.

“I guess in high school I would only hear about someone losing their virginity. By the time senior year came around most of my friends were still virgins. It seemed to be more common to be a virgin than not to be a virgin. But when I came to college all of my friends, who I had assumed were waiting, ended up having sex. I had always other-ized this idea, like everyone else was having sex and that was fine but my friends and I were always waiting for sex.

“And now I feel kind of weird being a virgin or saying that I am waiting for marriage. As soon as someone asks ‘Are you waiting for marriage?’ and I respond ‘Yes,’ then I am put into this stereotyped box of super-Christian, super-conservative, super prudish. When you are in a group of people who are sexually active and you are the person who is waiting to have sex, you become a novelty among the group.

“I was surprised when one of my friends – who I had wrongly assumed has had sexual interactions – told me that they are also waiting. All of a sudden my choice had been normalized and unconsciously reinforced by this other person and I thought ‘OK, maybe this can feel more normal than I thought.’

“I don’t necessarily fear general embarrassment from being someone who has not had sex. For me now there is less fear of the embarrassment overall but more of a fear that I will be too far behind the game and not know what is going on when something finally does happen. I have come to a change in my perspective because now I fear that I will wait to have sex with someone and they will be onboard with this decision but the sex will be very bad when it happens. I see sexual chemistry as essential to a healthy marriage and I don’t want to wait and realize I am not sexually compatible with this person.”