There are a million and six little ways to be close to someone without having sex. The only difference between all of the touches is the different levels of vulnerability. I think it’s the vulnerability that makes sex seem like such a big deal, such an end-all, to most people. Your virginity is your best-kept secret. Before you had that first physical experience with that person, everything about it was undisclosed. Nobody else knew how you like to be touched, or where ,or how gently. Nobody knew what sounds you make or the way your body curls on its own accord. Those are normally things that we keep a secret. We don’t talk about the very personal aspects of sexual behavior with our friends. The movements of our bodies are kept to ourselves. But when you share it, your body shares those secrets with the body of another. It’s the one thing that (under perfect circumstances) you get to give to one person, and then never again. It can be a glimpse into the rawest, barest part of you. Sharing it is like teaching somebody else the words of your favorite song and crossing your fingers that they understand why the lyrics mean so much.
But it doesn’t have to be an end-all. Sex doesn’t have to mean everything; it doesn’t even have to mean love. People have loveless sex all of the time, and that’s fine. But losing your virginity is the first time that someone appreciates you just for being there. We spend our whole lives worrying if we’re smart enough, or pretty enough, or if we wear the right clothes, or if we laugh too loudly. But all of the factors that you have to worry about don’t matter in the same way. It’s the first time that somebody shows love to your physical being. They show adoration to the plainest, most basic, you-est part of you. Sex is like somebody telling you that they simply appreciate that you exist and that you are there. It doesn’t have to be this huge big thing that we all freak out about. But it is important. Because sex doesn’t have to mean everything, but it certainly means something.
I know a lot of people who make this big fucking deal out of losing their virginities. They think that they have to wait until a certain time, or wait until they find the perfect person, or have it be in a certain, “sacred” place. People go to great lengths to make romantic meals, and to find the perfect mood music and to light a million candles and to wait until the moon is in exactly the right position. They’re afraid that they’ll be judged if they have sex at a certain age, or with a certain person or at a certain party. But some people know enough to just do it when it feels right to them. Because that’s the thing: there isn’t a universal law declaring the circumstances under which a virginity must be lost. You have to write your own laws depending on what seems right and what applies to you.