”Sex is the one thing, more than any others, that makes you feel human.”
”Remember, your children can’t praise the Lord if they’ve got genitals in their mouths.”
-Nudist Colony of the Dead
I remember walking into my first college class, looking at my classmates, and thinking, “I’m probably the only virgin in this room.”
That was over 10 years ago and every time I walk into a new room filled with people, I still think the same thing.
Living in a small, religious town, I learned early on that the true “F” word was fornication. Sex before marriage was about the worst thing that could happen to you, besides being gay. That sentiment echoed through the church pews and school halls. But as I grew up, my friends realized other people’s genitals was about the best thing that could happen to you. Even the most devout got dicked eventually and their stringent sexual views began to relax.
Except for the gay thing. That was non-negotiable.
But it’s easy to change your mind with a hand down your pants. I never got that opportunity so I was able to hang onto my shame over sex for much longer than my peers. And the interesting part was I actually didn’t mind it that much. Although preachers and parents warned of the religious ramifications of sex, they also lauded the beauty of intercourse between two married people. And that was the message I chose to hold close.
I actually wanted to wait until marriage. I’ve always thought of myself as a romantic and the notion of me and my future wife saving ourselves for each other sounded pretty special. We’d be the first to have that intimate connection, to reach that milestone in pulsating unison. And so not having sex was not a big deal because, at the time, marriage was not on my mind, therefore sex was not either. But just because I’d made a no-copulation commitment to a stranger didn’t mean I wasn’t affected by sex.
I used to be a great listener and great friend. My classmates came to me for counseling. I heard all about their relationships and through their confessions, I learned that sex not only changed relationships but changed people. And it didn’t necessarily change anyone for better or worse. But it did feel like there was more at stake. Emotions were either heightened or deadened at the point of penetration. Some people could turn off their heads and hearts while others’ only grew heavier.
And just by growing up and living and being interested in people, I learned more about sex without actually ever experiencing it. It came pieced together from conversations, observations, and, thanks to the power of the Internet, research.
I learned that sex could be troublesome, even in married, committed relationships. Lack of ability or activity could put a strain on two people. And I started to see how important sexual chemistry was. I’d heard many people complain about a lack of a sex life and how it was leading toward a breakup or divorce. It was serious business, this whole sex thing. So how were you supposed to know if you were compatible unless you did the deed? Trying to figure it all out after marriage seemed like a gamble. I’m sure some virgin couples can make it work but is it worth the possibility of a sad sex life or even the separation of one flesh into two just because your kinks didn’t click?
Sex before marriage and sex in general just came down to practicality. Waiting didn’t seem practical. And heck, maybe just doing it with one person wasn’t even all that practical. Maybe multiple partners could help you really discover yourself and what you liked. It’s your body and you are allowed to feel pleasure to its fullest potential. I realized sex wasn’t some shameful act done in spite of God but a natural product of hormones and a very legitimate part of a relationship between two people who want to build a life together. Or at the very least, just two consenting adults who want to have a good time.
And I just didn’t see how that could be so bad.
I also realized religious people are not exempt from being hypocritical. If all sin is equal and being gay is a sin then so is that bleacher blowjob you gave at the 10th grade football game, Vanessa!
As I got older, my views on God changed. My standpoint on a higher power went from fire and brimstone to “bring me another beer from the fridge, would ya?” The further I got into the world and the more aware I was of what was going on, I figured God had bigger things to worry about than who was boning who. He wasn’t as strict and present as I had initially predicted. He was laid back. He was more of an observer than an interloper. Not that this new perception gave me a license to hump but I thought if I ever found myself in a serious relationship and ended up having sex, God wouldn’t strike me dead. He might not even notice.
With the religious aspect somewhat sorted out, I did feel freer to explore my sexuality. Most of my friends had. And I’d heard some great things. But I never did. Why?
I wish the Christian guilt was the only answer. It would be the easiest. But it’s slightly more complicated than God peeking in while I’m laying pipe.
The most obvious answer is because I have always struggled with my body and have been fat longer than I’ve been thin. I know larger people can have sex. And I know larger people can have great sex. But I’ve just never felt good-looking and my body has always been something I’ve been deathly ashamed of and something I’ve never allowed anyone to even see, much less touch. I know there are chubby chasers out there but they’ve never run into me. All my peers always got together with thin guys and although no one ever outright rejected me because of my extra pounds, it was something I observed and kept in the back of my mind.
Over the years, as my faith has floundered, so has my desire to desire and be desired. It’s kind of funny the way life and people can slowly erode your resolve. All my old convictions have cracked, one by one. The romantic in me has all but died and has allowed me even more sexual freedom. Maybe I don’t have to be in a relationship to get laid. Because, well, hell, no one wants to be in a relationship with me and that will not change. Maybe a Tinder hookup could be in order. But one night stands never appealed to me. So what about an old friend? Well, they are all married now.
I don’t necessarily want to just throw away my virginity just to get it over with and say I did it. But at the same time, my virginity isn’t as special as I once thought it was, not to me or anyone else. If anything, I think it would be a hindrance at my age. Who is going to want to take the time to show me what to do? Most people just want to have a good time and expect their partner to give that to them, not some flopping, uncoordinated pounding.
But despite the fear, there is a curiosity there. But it’s only a small curiosity I am not in a hurry to resolve. I do want to know what it’s like. And I think with practice, I might actually get pretty good at it. I think it would be empowering to give someone an orgasm. I’ve always been a people pleaser, after all.
One time, an Open Diary user left a note that said I was a tortured asexual genius. And it was quite the description. Tortured? For sure! Genius? How nice of you to say. Asexual? Nah….or….ah hah?
She’s not the only one who’s called me asexual. Although I think each instance was used casually and not as an actual description of my nonsexuality. But it really did get me to thinking. I wasn’t even sure what asexuality was. I assumed it was kind of a joke word for someone who didn’t have sex. But when I researched it, it’s actually someone who has no sexual attraction to either sex. And the more I read, the more I realized that I was fitting this description.
I don’t think I’m actually asexual. Well, not 100%. Just like with most sexuality, I think I fall on a spectrum. I’ve just never been a strongly sexual person to begin with. You always hear about teenage guys being possessed by their hormones, complete with spontaneous erections and wet dreams. That never happened to me when I was a teen. I never spent time in class fantasizing about fondling fleshy parts. I never even thought about any of the girls in my class that way. It felt dirty. Disrespectful. Again, my religion cock-blocked my sexual thoughts. But now that I’m thinking about it, God never got in the way of my Christian classmates getting felt up before fourth period.
Is it possible I had just used God as an excuse to stay far away from the females?
Could be. But even with my personal Jesus out of the picture, I’m still not up for getting down. I could have sex if I really wanted to. But it still comes down to me being grossed out by my own body. I’m not ashamed of my bits, just my belly. Any time I imagine myself with someone in a sexual way, I shudder. I would feel so much better about things if I didn’t have to take off my clothes. Is it socially acceptable to have sex with your shirt on? And also if the other person doesn’t touch you at all? I guess it would be difficult to stay away from my fat rolls while I’m rolling on top of someone, wouldn’t it?
And even if we got all Gerald’s Game so the other participant didn’t get too handsy, there would still be a lot of preparation and peppermints just to feel halfway decent about the experience. How’s my breath? How’s my balls? It all seems like a lot of work and I could probably just take care of it myself better than anyone else could.
We can’t forget to factor in depression. Low sex drive can be a symptom. And I’ve been frustrated for as long as I’ve been flaccid.
I’ve never had sex. Never come close. And despite all the factors that could have contributed to my accidental asexuality, like God and my big gut, the decision to have or not have sex has always ultimately been mine. And I’ve never been bitter about it. It’s just the way things have panned out. And it’s never been a big deal to me. I don’t think it ever will be. I think I will do it when I feel ready. And when I find the right person I can trust to guide me both physically and emotionally. And if I never find that person, then so be it. Because even if I do, I’m not sure that will spark any kind of desire for sex. Even now, imagining myself with someone, I don’t picture sex. I just picture closeness.
And really, I think the only reason I even contemplate sex is just to find out if I could finally connect with someone, with all of humanity, or perhaps even a higher power. Sex can be cosmic. You can tap into an energy that flows through all of us, through humans, animals, and insects alike. It’s procreation and pleasure. I like to think it might be a way to integrate yourself into that energy, to feel it and recognize it in others, to be grounded by it. We are all the same. We all fear and lust, cry and come, strive for love and understanding. It’s exciting. It’s intoxicating. It’s spiritual.
Funny how I abstained from sex to please God. And all that time I felt empty. Now I have to wonder if sex might be one way to feel God with certainty.
Until then, I don’t mind being the only virgin in the room, untouched but not unsullied.