Nervous laughing. Sweaty palms. Rapid heart rate. A fluttering feeling in your stomach. If you’re experiencing these symptoms under normal circumstances then I might recommend that you see a doctor. But if you’re experiencing them while getting naked with another person, well then congratulations my friend, because you’re probably about to get it on for the first time. That’s right we’re talking about sex, baby. More specifically, we’re talking about “virginity” (that socially-constructed not-real thing everyone seems to be obsessed with).
Oh, virginity, one of the many frivolous preoccupations on the teenage mind. Losing one’s V-card is a huge milestone in life, supposedly. It’s a rite of passage that we’re supposed to look back on and smile about (and maybe even cringe if it was awkward) and as a society, we are obsessed with it. There’s TV shows, movies, and books dedicated to the topic, all selling the image of the ideal “first time.” But what happens when the way you lose your virginity isn’t the way society says it’s supposed to happen? When it doesn’t look like it does on movies or television? Have you still lost your virginity, and is there really any one way to lose it?
Although the jury is still out on the concrete definition of virginity (probably because there isn’t one), for many heterosexuals, losing your virginity seems pretty straightforward: P in V penetration and Poof, you’re no longer a virgin. But for those of us over here in the LGBTQIA+ community, it’s not quite that simple. Now, there’s a lot of ways I could tackle this topic because there are oh so many problems with the way society has constructed the concept of virginity, but I’m going to stick to just talking about virginity and bisexuals.
I have to admit that previously it hadn’t really occurred to me that the mainstream definition of virginity is heterosexually exclusive. It wasn’t something I had ever thought about because I didn’t think that people needed to have their first sexual experience validated. Sex is sex is sex. Right? Well, I thought so, until one day when I was smacked right in the face by an ignorant statement straight from the depths of heteronormative hell. One of my straight friends and I were sitting in her apartment discussing sex and she, knowing that I’m bisexual, nonchalantly told me that if I were to have sex with a female before a male I would still be a virgin because I “hadn’t had penis yet.” I threw her a stupid look and ignored what she had said but I was both furious and hurt that she would dismiss what would be an intimate moment for me just because of the gender of the person I might share it with. But what was more troublesome to me was that when I tried to excuse her rudeness by chalking it up to ignorance and heteronormative influence, I still couldn’t get her words out of my head. I quickly realized that I was so bothered by what she said because part of me wondered if it was true. I felt both confused and ashamed. So I did what any rational human being would do in such a situation: I turned to Google.
After two hours of reading piles of articles and discussion forums, it turned out that I wasn’t alone. There were plenty of people out there asking questions about what virginity means in the LGBTQIA+ community. There were also lots of bisexuals wondering how to define their virginity and whether or not they had two virginities, one for males and one for females. It was comforting to know that other people were going through the same confusion as I was and were trying to seek out answers. What I figured out was even more comforting. I realized that the definition of my virginity isn’t contingent upon the gender I have sex with first and that I don’t need someone else to tell me the “correct” way to lose it in the first place. I certainly don’t owe it to anyone to prove the validity of my sexuality or my sexual experiences.
So if you’re also a fledgling bisexual scouring the internet for answers about your V-card, I’m going to save you some time and tell you that you don’t have to live up to the penetrative definition of sex to have your V-card taken, and you don’t have to lose two virginities to be a “real” bisexual. Just lose your virginity the way you want to. If you want to mark a special page in your diary each time you do your first no-pants-dance with a male and a female, then go ahead. If you don’t, that’s fine too. The one beautiful thing about virginity is that it’s yours to do with what you want.