The first time I lost my Virginity I was 14. I had never really cared much for the concept of being a ‘virgin’. I think when my mother gave birth to me my clenched fist was raised in solidarity for the feminist comrades I was born to join. From an early age I had understood that the antiquated tradition of virginity protection often did far more harm than good. I hated, from an early age, that my value was connected to my innocence.
I never thought, however, that when I lost it I would miss it. I guess that the longing for my virginity came from the manner in which I lost it. It is a funny term ‘losing your virginity’, as though it is something that can simply drop out of your pocket as you stroll along a path to anywhere. Having had it taken from me, I wished that I could have been the one to give it away. Rape is not an easy way to lose something that the rest of the world cherishes, even if you do not cherish it yourself. What was worse is that having not come out of it with a pulverised face, but rather with leaves in my hair, only conveyed what quick worded tongues would whisper about me in the years to come: “Slut”.
I didn’t want to lose it that way. Do you think he could have misinterpreted my discomfort, the fact that I could not breathe, my age, my tears? I wonder if he has given it a second thought? I was told that when a person remembers the past, they are not remembering the event itself but rather the last time they remembered it. Truth is easily distorted in such a way. I wonder if when he thinks of that night he remembers the glory of his first time? Does her forget the quick shove of his hips in his urgency to get rid of what society made him feel ashamed of having- his virginity? Did he completely miss my quiet pleas and my desperate quietness in his urgency.
The worst part of losing my virginity for the first time was that because my face did not resemble the battlefield my friends would expect, my rape was deemed illegitimate. To them, I had taken a desperate path in trying to vie for my reputation. I do not think that my friends thought I had been so overwhelmed with sexual desire that I had lost it and regretted it later. The first time I had kissed someone had been a mere six months earlier. I think they thought I had just not known how to say no.
It was weird to watch these friends of mine forge stronger friendships with him over the years. Some of them “hooked up” with him in the time that followed. Another one even dated him. I wonder what he told her about his first time.
What everyone failed to recognise is that consent is not a matter of not saying ‘no’ but saying ‘yes’. In our sexually repressed society, I believe it is my duty to educate other girls this before they are peer pressured into sex. I once gave a lecture at my university trying to tell other female university students to make active choices about sex. What distressed me is that the worst bullying of all came from these conservative female students whose reacted strongly against what I had to say for fear that their virtue might be smudged merely by talking about sex.
It took me a long time to work through what happened to me and it was thanks to the kind hearts of some strong men that I was able to accept it and move on. The second time I lost my virginity, with consent, I ensured that I made an active choice to sleep with someone I trusted and that respected me enough to wait for me to say “Yes”.