Growing up in a stereotypical Roman Catholic family has had a strong influence on my perception and view of sex.
For those who are not familiar with Catholicism, it is practiced and taught that:
- One should be celibate, or save sex till marriage.
- Anything that purposefully prevents you from having a baby holds the same religious consequences as murder.
I was heavily raised with these ideas and practices, especially during the six years I attended catholic private school. Do you remember red ribbon week in elementary and middle school? We had that too, but middle schoolers (and maybe fifth graders) also had a couple days where we discussed the “evils” of contraceptives, sex before marriage, abortion, and stem cell research during our religion classes.
Although I was raised in such a manner, I do not consider myself to be super religious. I have my own thoughts, ideas, and morals that disagree with the church on specific topics and issues. However, the concept of being celibate was always placed on a pedestal – even after I transferred back into the public-school system for high school.
I remember entering high school, and thinking my peers were similar to me in terms of morals, and experiences. I was dead wrong. I was so appalled, and physically uncomfortable with the excessive profanity, lewd personalities, and carless conversations about drugs and sex. Basically, I was living 10 feet under a rock, compared to my classmates and friends.
Although I did not agree with the decisions of most of my peers, I did not push my ideologies onto them – that’s just being rude. To me, giving your virginity to your significant other was the best wedding present you could possibly give. Withholding myself from having sex with others before my significant other symbolized that I was patient, and willing to give my everything to them.
If you value your virginity, it does not mean you are a prude, or a stick in the mud. It’s your body, and your choice. If celibacy isn’t your thing, that’s totally fine; but, don’t bully or think bad of those who choose to be celibate.
I’m no longer celibate, but that doesn’t change my views at all. I chose to give it up to someone who I strongly feel is my significant other – like I could not go on through life without this person by my side. Thankfully, he was patient enough to wait until I was ready – spiritually, mentally, and physically.
Do I regret wanting to be celibate? No.
Do I regret my decision of not being celibate? No.
You should never feel ashamed of being a virgin, nor feel pressured to give it up. Although everyone may walk different paths, with different life experiences and expectations, it doesn’t change the possibility that virginity was once, or is, valued to the highest degree.