Aunt Vadge: he put the tip in – am I still a virgin?

Virginity

Hi Aunt Vadge,

I have a question concerning my virginity. I (15) have been fingered by my boyfriend (16) and it has never been to a point where I orgasm but it does feel good.

Well one day, we were out together and we went into this spare room in his house and we were fooling around and we’re both pretty horny, and then he asked if I wanted to have sex. (Keep in mind we have talked about having sex, but we agreed that we will fool around but we keep our virginity until the right time.)

Well he asked if I was pretty horny and I wanted to, but I was scared, and I guess I just wanted to hold onto the the title of being a virgin. So I kept saying “I don’t know” every time he asked, but he ended up saying “I’ll just put the tip in” and he put the tip in and pulled out a few times and he stopped.

Does that make me not a virgin?

Yours,
Unsure

_________

Hi Unsure,

Thank you so much for your email. You have asked an excellent question that has a big answer.

What is virginity anyway?

Your virginity is a made-up, completely arbitrary idea that is loosely based around whether or not you have had ‘sex’. It used to mean you hadn’t had a penis inside of your vagina and had ‘sex’, but as you have now understood, there are so many ways of having ‘sex’ that don’t include penis-in-vagina action, making the idea of your virginity actually kinda silly past a certain point.

You could possibly – if you wanted – have anal sex, oral sex, masturbate and be fingered by a thousand men and women, and still not have technically lost your virginity. As we understand virginity, it is related to sexual inexperience above all else, but there is no real line that makes you a virgin or not a virgin.

The presence of the hymen used to be the measure of virginity – if your hymen was broken, you supposedly had had sex, except we now know that hymens are easily broken, and can break from riding your tricycle as a kid. It has no bearing whatsoever on your ‘virginity’ or sexual activity.

Why is virginity so highly prized?

As we have just learnt, virginity is an arbitrary concept. This means it is made up. Invented. Constructed. It doesn’t exist except in our own minds, since there are so many ways around it if you are creative or desperate.

Virginity has traditionally been used as a measure of ‘purity’ – to put it simply, in old ways of thinking, your virginity makes you more valuable as a man’s property since he can be sure that you are only having sex with him, and therefore the children you will bear are only going to be his.

He then does not have to worry that he is supporting – in his traditional role as the provider for the family – for someone else’s child.

Making a girl’s virginity her sole source of value to a man and society at large is demeaning and excludes women from being sexual creatures, which we most definitely are. Women didn’t invent the virginity rules; men did. Women love sex just as much as guys, and being ‘pure’ seems rather religious, and not something we should be using when talking about your teenage sexscapades in the spare room of your boyfriend’s parents’ house. We don’t live in the dark ages.

This exclusivity (which naturally has only ever applied to girls – nobody cares if a boy is a virgin or not) means that virginity was (and still is in certain cultures) highly prized as a way to keep offspring genetically ‘clean’ and try to prohibit women from sleeping around.

Old ideas that aren’t useful anymore

As you can see, these are old ideas that the modern western world no longer subscribes to – women can vote, have jobs, get divorces, be gay, decide not to have children, get drunk, wear miniskirts, and have sex, all without consequence, living lives completely independent of men and their penises if they so choose. High fives all round to our feminist brethren – you have a lot to thank them for.

Getting to the crux of it

The real question here is, are you ready to have sex? If the answer is yes, go for it. If not, wait a bit longer. No harm done either way. Being able to say you are a virgin doesn’t make you a better or worse person, and you don’t need your virginity to make you valuable.

You are already valuable as you are, sex, fingering, masturbating, penetration, sucking or licking of yours or anyone else’s private parts included. Nothing bad will happen to you if you are no longer a ‘virgin’, and you should feel proud of being independent in your informed choice.

Anyone who believes that you are worth less after having your boyfriend’s penis inside of you is on crack, so don’t give what others think a second thought. That idea is absolute crap.

Sexuality is a wonderful way to connect with another person, and there is no reason for you to halt sex based on this arbitrary concept unless you want to. If you don’t want to have sex, then don’t have sex. If you do want to have sex, go for it. The thing is, once you do it, you never, ever have to worry about being a virgin again, because once it’s gone, there ain’t no getting it back. Thank goodness.

More important problems

You also have more important questions to worry about, like birth control. Your boyfriend putting his penis inside of you, even ‘just the tip’, can end up with you getting pregnant at the tender age of 15. Don’t let it happen to you. I can assure you, once the tip goes in once, it’ll be going in more and more every time and you clinging on to your virginity becomes more confusing – and keeps you focusing on the wrong thing, which soon enough will be “oh my god am I pregnant?”.

Not getting pregnant should be right up there in your to-do list, so check out the birth control page, and plan what sort you would like to use.

How to solve the problem once and for all

If you want to ditch the ‘virginity’, since you are already halfway there, plan the occasion together, and really take it out in style – otherwise you just end up with a series of ‘just the tip’ until eventually you have to accept you just aren’t a virgin anymore – you might as well celebrate it!

When you feel ready, make it an experience worth remembering. Make a big deal out of it. Enjoy the crap out of it. Screw until your heart’s content.

Being a virgin is overrated anyway.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.