At one point in my life, in the not too distant past, I was very shameful of my status as a virgin. It wasn’t until people started telling me how to act, who to be, how to look and dress to change myself that I started to realize that I made other people uncomfortable. My virginity made them question themselves. For some women it made them think that I was a prude who would judge them for being sexually active. For some men it made them feel like I was challenging their masculinity for not being attracted to them, because I was not only a virgin – who desperately needed to fix this problem – but I was also fat and socially unattractive due to said fatness. How dare I not beg them to fuck me!
People think that being a virgin means that I am somehow opposed to sex, religious or that I am not sexually experienced in understanding my own body. Often times I notice that people censor their own conversations around me, not talking about sex or intimacy with me because they think that I cannot talk about it or do not understand.
It has also led people to question my sexual orientation, sometimes being called a lesbian by men who fall into the if I’m not attracted to them it is because I am not attracted to any man! I was even asked once by my father if I had any new ‘boyfriends or girlfriends’ in my life. Something that if you knew my father you would understand is a really abnormal question for him to ask and this wasn’t the first time that someone on his side of the family has asked questions. My aunts seem think it is their sole mission when they talk to me to find out if I am actually fucking anyone. When their search comes up empty it turns into a speech about how they don’t want me to end up like ‘so and so,’ or how much better of a person I would be if I did have a partner.
This is what happens when people find out you are a virgin. It doesn’t matter what else you do in your life, how full it is or how happy you are, the fact of the matter is that you are incomplete. You are automatically vulnerable to their pity or their shaming of you.
The point that changed for me where I stopped feeling shame about my virginity, and I started to own the fact that it is mine to do with it what I want, was when a male coworker told me that if I was ever desperate enough he would take care of my ‘problem.’ Offering himself to me in such a crude way made me realize how lucky I am to go into a sexual situation with life experience, knowledge that most people do not have when losing their virginity and privileged to not have it taken by force or without my consent.
While it does shape the way I approach dating or possible relationships it does not define my worth.
** It has taken me a long time to write this post, in some ways due to all of the amazing emphasis that people in the fat rights community have in showing successful relationships, but a lot of it is because of the shame I felt filling space as a stereotype. Often we spend so long disproving the stereotypes we forget that people, like myself, fall into them head first. I know now that being a fat virgin does not mean that something is wrong with me personally. Successfully dating or not we all deserve respect because we are all human.