In this third part of our Virginity Series we launch The Virgin Files :: true accounts of our first sexual encounters. Our first time can be an incredibly confronting and terrifying experience. We're told to wait for "someone special", that our first time has to be important, that it's all a very big deal.
In PART ONE of our Virginity Series we discovered the average age for first timers is 17. We then discovered in PART TWO that even when there is the possibility of severe punishment, women are still having sex before marriage. And why not? Surely women should be able to do as they wish with their bodies?
Regardless of where you live or what religion or culture you're enmeshed in, there is still a great deal of shame and pressure around virginity and having sex. Take for example the fact that research has shown much of the sex education young children and teenagers are getting comes from mainstream porn which depicts an unrealistic idea of sex and how sexual partners should act.
This is an incredibly complex problem - how do we show not just the young but everyone, that yes, sex is an intimate act but it does not define a person, "losing your virginity" does not somehow make you a slut or unworthy or dirty. We decide to have our first sexual encounter for so many reasons - love, lust, pressure, shame, "just to get it over with" which was my reason.
The Virgin Files is an attempt to help open the discussion around our first time - by sharing our stories, let's create more awareness and show other women there is no need to feel ashamed. Let's talk about it - the good, the bad, the ugly, the everything. As you'll see from our submissions already - our first times can be messy, good, embarrassing, fun, painful, frustrating or sad.
I've been so overjoyed at the women who have already submitted their stories. They have been published on the Virgin Files page. At the bottom of this page you'll also find a form to submit your own story. You don't have to provide any identifying details, if you don't wish - we only ask for a first name and some have even used their middle name. I've used my first name - Jasmin - and you'll see mine in there too.