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Dec 28

Holiday Virgin?

Posted on Saturday, December 28, 2013 in Sexy Saturdays, UC Berkeley

Ms. Robin, Sex Goddess logoAre you a holiday virgin? My family came to visit for the holidays and my 20-year-old cousin informed me that she is a holiday virgin. I admit I had no idea what a holiday virgin was. My younger cousin put me up on game and told me a holiday virgin is someone who has not yet experienced being kissed on various holidays such as New Years, Valentine’s Day and under the mistletoe on Christmas. You can also earn the label of holiday virgin if you’ve never had a Valentine to share the day with or never had a special someone take you out to see the Christmas lights. I have mixed feelings about the concept of a “holiday virgin”. On one hand it’s sad and self-shaming. On the other hand it may be sex positive and empowering.  

Having never heard the expression, I wanted to know more about it to more accurately form my opinion. Apparently “holiday virgin” was added to Urban Dictionary in 2011 by a tumblr user. Additionally, several tumblr sites pop up during a google search for the phrase. Many tumblr users who use this phrase seem to use it similarly to the way my cousin used it. Others use it as a checklist of sorts; posting an image similar to image 1 and crossing off their holiday debuts – if you will – as they happen.

Image 1. Holiday virgin

Image 1. Holiday virgin

The sexologist in me sees things a little more complicated. On one hand, while I get that the phrase “holiday virgin” is supposed to be fun, the negative undertone is neither fun nor sexy to me.  I say this because the way in which my cousin said she was a holiday virgin didn’t leave me with a happy feeling in my gut – and not only because my cousin is a gorgeous, chocolate, young woman with a body that’d make Barbie mad. Tumblr posts supported my intuition that there are negative connotations and feelings associated with being a holiday virgin.  It makes me wonder if the young people who use it may be feeling some type of way about having “lost” their “virginity”.  

It amazes me in the worst way to know even in today’s society young people have so much internal shame of having sexual desire and expressing sexual agency to the point that even consensual safer sex experiences are not okay.  As a result, young people are now making up ridiculous phrases like being holiday virgins. In other words, the self-shame of losing  virginity is still so strong that young people seriously believe they can hold on to even a portion of the title of being a “virgin” by adding the word “holiday” in front of it. As if this new label somehow reclaims a little of the “virginity” they so-called lost. This is part of the reason the phrase “losing one’s virginity” is problematic.

On the other hand, it is not lost on me that the phrase “holiday virgin” is also being used similarly to how I use “sexual debuts” to describe different and varied first sexual experiences! When looking at the phrase through this lens it seems like a fun, descriptive label with sarcastic undertones. This is more in line with my sex positive perspective.

Speaking of sex positive – the idea of having a way to proudly distinguish your long-term, single and/or abstinent status during the holidays sounds rather cool and a little empowering even – just think of something else to call it. The word “virgin” is so loaded and is exclusive of non-penis-vagina sex.  That’s all I’ll say on that since I’ve spoken to this in the Sexy Saturdays article, The First Time.  I suggest using holiday debut. Best of luck with your next or initial holiday debut! Until next Saturday…

Keep it safe and sexy,

Ms. Robin, the Sex Goddess

Have a topic or question you’d like me to address in a future Sexy Saturdays article? Send it to me at RMills@sexucation.org.

Mar 9

The First Time…

Posted on Saturday, March 9, 2013 in Sexy Saturdays

Ms. Robin, Sex Goddess LogoThe first time I had consensual sexual intercourse I was a freshwoman in college; a week shy of my 18th birthday. My partner and I had gone camping with his family and a couple we were close to. I told him I was ready and wanted to have sex. Being that we had been together for 5 years and I was well known for not having sex, it took some convincing that I was serious. What happened next is none of your business…

Most people would say this was when I “lost my virginity.” However, this was not my initial sexual debut. My initial sexual debut happened a couple of years earlier when my partner convinced me to let them give me oral sex.  For purposes of this article, “sexual debut” is defined as a first sexual experience someone may have with another person(s).

While my first time was over a decade ago, the average age that young folks have their initial sexual intercourse debut is still around 17 years old in the US, for both males and females. Unfortunately, for young people of color and low-income folks the average age at sexual intercourse debut drops to around 12 years old. I have several thoughts as to why we see such a huge drop with these populations, but I’m not in the best mood and would go off on an institutionalized racism rant that I’m just not up for in this article. On a more positive note, the average age increases to about 19 when we look at young folks who go or plan to pursue college degrees.

I know some of you may be wondering why I just don’t use the phrase “losing one’s virginity.” The quick answer is that the phrase isimagesCA6V7339 heterosexist and not inclusive of non-heterosexual people or behaviors other than penis-vagina intercourse. However, “sexual debut” may be applied to a person’s initial debut into sex regardless of the type of sex or person’s sexual orientation.  It can refer to a person’s first time experiencing sex with a new partner, and/or the first time someone tries a new sexual behavior.  

The truth is most people – regardless of gender or orientation – go through some sort of sexual behavior progression, which means most of us have multiple debuts. Like me, many of us try oral or digital sex (AKA fingering) before vaginal or anal penetration with penises and/or phallic toys. Such a progression is often times based on what we think our peers may be engaging in. While our perceptions aren’t always accurate, research has shown conformity with peers and peer recognition to be among the most common reasons young people give for going through with various sexual debuts. Additional reasons young folks engage in sexual debuts include an increase in hormones as well as a desire for love and affection.

Depending on the reason for and type of debut a person may be considering, they may have specific concerns and expectations associated. I’m happy to provide information on common concerns and offer potential solutions next Sexy Saturday.

Keep it Safe and Sexy,

Ms. Robin, the Sex Goddess

Have a topic or question you’d like me to address in a future Sexy Saturdays article? Send it to me at RMills@sexucation.org.

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