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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I was a high school virgin....and I'm glad

So.....way personal today. I've been mulling over whether or not I should post this. I usually don't get quite so personal in such a public forum. But it keeps coming back up in my mind.

I was a virgin in high school. And college. As a matter of fact, I've had sex with one person in my life and that happens to be the person I am married to.

I made the decision when I was 13 that I would "save myself." Now, at the time, there were religious reasons for this decision. But I am glad that I made that decision for so many reasons beyond religion.

1. I never had to worry about pregnancy. I keep seeing all these girls in my hometown who are having babies. I don't think it's the end of the world. And I believe that these young women can, and often do, become wonderful mothers. And I am sure that they love their children. But I do not envy their position in life. The changes that come to your body and your life, your thought processes, your responsibilities....I cannot imagine dealing with that at such a young age.  Besides an actual pregnancy, I never even had the thought enter my mind. After having pregnancy scares as a married, employed adult, I don't think I would have dealt well with one as a dependent minor.

2. I never had to worry about STDs. 'Nough said.

3. I didn't have to "sneak around." Really? I have to worry about good grades, college applications, concerts, social activities, not becoming a total social pariah, my responsibilities at home AND I want to add to that keeping up with what lie I'm telling to what person and "shh, my parents will hear"? I don't think so.

4. Stress less. It seems like there is so much stress around sex. When will I be "ready?" Should it be with this guy or not? When is it time? 5 dates? 3 months? 90 days? Should I be on birth control? What do my friends think? Since I made an actual decision that the answer is always no, I never had to worry about that question. Am I ready or not? The answer is no. Should it be him? The answer is no. After prom? The answer is no.

Also, I didn't keep it a secret. That seems pretty weird, but it's true. I don't mean I walked around wearing a "VIRGIN" t-shirt or introduce myself with "Hi, I'm not having sex with you" but I wasn't ashamed of it. It's a perfectly acceptable life-choice; I even think it's a commendable one. If someone asked me, I would tell them. And I kind of had a reputation as a good-girl, so it wasn't like it was a surprise.

According to the Office of Adolescent Health, 1511 girls aged 15-18 in Arkansas had a baby. That's about 2.5% of the total population. 8% of high school students said they had sex before they were 13. 13!! At 13 I was still a little sad about giving up my Barbie dolls to my sisters.

I think the teenage years are an awkward time. You are choosing between childhood and adulthood, and not really fitting in in either place. I'm glad that I made the decision that I did. If I had it to do over again, I would absolutely choose the same thing. Virgin and proud.

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