Sapna Magazine Archives

The Archives 2004-2020

Opinion: I’m Not a Virgin and I Don’t Feel Bad About It

Photo Credit: static.guim.co.uk

As soon as I left home and started living in a dorm, I began to identify with the stereotypes associated with backlashing South Asian American kids suddenly trusted into the real world: I started drinking a lot, I started dating a lot, I started smoking a lot of weed, made out with lots of guys from all colors of the rainbow and started buying a lot cheap tight polyester dresses. I also got good grades from my very politically correct, too-expensive college, flew home when my mom asked, participated in religious events, and was–and still am–known as the innocent one in my Desi community.

Of everything I did, I never had sex, not right away. When everyone talked about sex, I proudly said that I was a virgin, as it made me feel close to a religion I respected and followed. Living in an era when everyone wants to be different, this fact made me unique among a crowd. It separated me. I almost took the notion as a note of pride, condescendingly.

That didn’t last long, of course. Soon, conversations about sex were becoming more frequent among my friends beyond just who did who, but more on an academic, feminist level like you’d expect your expensive East Coast liberal arts colleges to do. My opinions count, but not really because I had never done “it.” I was strongly attracted to the male body, and I teased men who looked at me hungrily. I am no size 0, or 4, or 6 (I am sometimes an 8, sometimes a ten actually) but have this supreme confidence about me that makes me say, fuck it. I knew that I got the guys, and I loved kissing, but I just didn’t have sex. But then television shows I watched during finals were making fun of me for not being part of that culture. For example, Robin from How I Met Your Mother was doing it all the time, and her friends just laughed about it. Instead, if Robin weren’t dating men (aka having sex with men), she would probably not have friends.

A friend over wine once told me that her high school teacher told her to just get it over with as soon as possible because then life really begins. While it was a side conversation in a crowded college bar, I never forgot it. I finally did have sex.

My first time was not one of those ideal, awesome moments either. I was studying abroad. I was tipsy, he was a drunken rich guy with an apartment who spoke English with a sexy accent, and he took my virginity. I don’t even remember his name. We weren’t even friends on Facebook afterward. My first time was terrible; it was painful, I bled a lot, and not hot to this guy who thought that I was definitely not a virgin after the way I acted the entire night.

I knew why I had sex: I wanted to get it over with. I didn’t want to be part of the Other group. Maybe it was indirect peer pressure from those around me. I also wanted it with someone whom I didn’t know well because I couldn’t bear the thought of my blood on someone else who may have actually loved me. Doing it for the first time with someone special never appealed to me.

I didn’t have sex after that for a year and a half. In fact, the next person I had sex with is my current serious boyfriend who is also Desi and Muslim and we will indeed probably get married. And we are continuing to have sex and it is wonderful.

Here is the thing- I know I am not the only Desi Muslim woman to be having premarital sex. I am also a follower of Islam and I am inspired by the religions moral codes and the way of life that it tries to instill in people. I defend Islam and the image of Muslims in the West all the time, whether that was within my international relations major, in writing, volunteering, and making it a personal motto. But maybe what I am writing is upsetting to some of the same Muslim women. I understand that, but I also want to state that Islam is not just about staying a virgin until you are married, not drinking, and dressing modestly. Rather, the idea of respecting your elders, giving to charity, not backbiting, or believing in a higher power is frankly much more important in my opinion than staying a virgin.

There is also more to me wanting to “Get it over with in regards to my virginity. I knew that anyone I eventually marry would not be a virgin himself. The rate of virgin Muslim Deshi men, both in the U.S., Europe, and across Asia and Africa is getting slimmer and slimmer every day. More attention is always given to the women’s purity rather than the men- this is a sad reality. Also, I didn’t want to marry a virgin in the first place, even when I was a virgin. In this day and age, that just seemed, well, odd. Marrying a late 20s virgin? Just did not seem very interesting or appropriate for a cosmopolitan, smart, and not bad looking woman like myself. Even my current boyfriend admitted that if I was a virgin, he would not have had sex with me so soon (maybe even ever). He is a great guy who is smart, considerate, kind and generous, and his sentiment does not make him a bad person either- it is just how it is in todays society and in our relationship with sex and sexuality.

So, if the person I was going to marry was not going to be a virgin, why should I be? That did not seem very fair and even a bit demeaning to the meaning of being an independent woman of our time, regardless of race, religion, and class.

Lucky for my parents, the man I will marry is of the same race and religion. Its just that we have sex too, which I think in todays society is perhaps even understood and quietly accepted (with a sigh and an eye roll, of course). I no longer feel guilty about it because I think that I am still connected to my religion in more important ways. I am having safe sex with hopefully the only man who will ever get to touch my body. However, I still chose to write this with a pen name, because what people think and what people say is still important to me and especially in the kind of community I am around. Still, in the title of this article, the “Muslim part can be replaced by any other major religion, and what I want to say does not just transcend to the Desi community.

I am also not advocating for women to just go and start losing their virginities. I admire the many Muslim women I meet who are adamant about maintaining their virginity. I just think that women like me, should not be looked at in a negative way, and there should be greater discussion regarding a taboo topic that affects more women than realized.

My parents will never know that I am not a virgin. My sister will not even know, because I think that at some point, you are old enough to make decisions for your own body. My brother will never know, and he will probably never tell me about when he has done it, if not already. My siblings and I will all probably marry South Asians, which in some ways are probably more important to many parents in the first place than whether he is a Muslim or not. Women like myself are protected by the rule of don’t ask don’t tell situation between the first generation versus the rest of us. Guilt makes this particularly sustainable. But I don’t want to feel guilty, and guilt does not get us anywhere.

— ZAIRA

13,263 thoughts on “Opinion: I’m Not a Virgin and I Don’t Feel Bad About It

  1. “Lucky for my parents, the man I will marry is of the same race and religion”. What I find interesting about the whole Desi love/sex/marriage/religion conversation is how racist and narrow minded this set continues to be.  Sorry, but your same race/religion mantra sounds like white ppl in the 40’s and 50’s when they denounced  their nice white daughters for marrying a ni**er (black man)!!!!
    Honestly, it does grate.  We can continue to talk about preserving a race, etc., but racism and ignorance is just that regardless of the reasons any of us use to justify it.  Desi women and men (just like other ethnic groups) have sex (before and during marriage) and get STD’s.  One can be monogamous and get cheated on by a spouse/mate and still be affected.

    Honestly, it makes me feel that if marrying your own kind is soooo vital, then stay in your home country or go back to it..so this is a no brainer.That sounds about as progressive and politically correct as your statement. 

  2. The only thing that I disagree with is the guilt part. Yes, a Muslim should feel guilty about having premarital sex, but not guilty because of letting down one’s family, society or culture. One should feel guilty because, it is clearly haram in Islam and considered a major sin. However, this is a private matter between a person and God and should not e exploited. This person was quite lucky in the sense that she found the right person within her community and religion to marry, who did not take issue with her not being a virgin. For most Muslim girls, losing virginity will drastically change ones life, but more importantly the options that she will have. We don’t live in perfect world, which is why most Muslim men care way too much about this issue than necessary.

  3. As a 21-year-old female Chinese American who hasn’t lost her virginity, I can relate to the guilt. Guilt for wanting to lose my virginity, guilt for wanting to “not be pure”. I think the most frustrating thing is having a lot more attention on our sexuality compared to sons. And I completely agree about the marriage part- why should I be a virgin if my husband isn’t? I guess one of my biggest frustrations is that people feel it’s their right to discuss our sexuality, when in reality, shouldn’t we be able to do what we want with our own bodies of it is reasonable and with someone we really love?

  4. whoah this weblog is wonderful i like reading your articles. Keep up the good paintings! You already know, many people are looking around for this information, you can help them greatly.

  5. Most often since i look for a blog Document realize that the vast majority of blog pages happen to be amateurish. Not so,We can honestly claim for which you writen is definitely great and then your webpage rock solid.

  6. Simply want to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your post is just great and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

  7. I’m partial to blogs and i actually respect your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and preserve checking for new information.

  8. fantastic post, very informative. I wonder why more of the ther experts in the field do not break it down like this. You should continue your writing. I am confident, you have a great readers’ base already!

  9. The post is absolutely great! Lots of great info and inspiration, both of which we all need! Also like to admire the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer! I will bookmark your website!

  10. Substantially, the post is really the best on this laudable topic. I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly watch forward to your future updates.Just saying thanx will not just be enough, for the wonderful lucidity in your writing.

  11. There most be a solution for this problem, some people think there will be now solutions, but i think there wil be one.

  12. Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

  13. The Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve has the third largest biodiversity in the world (over 5,500 flora and fauna species), exceeded only by the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Galapagos Archipelago in Ecuador.

  14. Simply want to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your post is just great and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

  15. This is valuable stuff.In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers developed their content they way you have, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  16. The Delta can be explored as part of a Danube River Cruise, or on day trips and boat excursions from Tulcea which has good hotels, restaurants specializing in fish dishes and the Museum of the Danube Delta.

  17. Spot on with this write-up, I actually assume this website needs far more consideration. I will in all probability be once more to learn rather more, thanks for that info.

  18. Your thing regarding creating will be practically nothing in short supply of awesome. This informative article is incredibly useful and contains offered myself a better solution to be able to my own issues. Which can be the specific purpose MY PARTNER AND I has been doing a search online. I am advocating this informative article with a good friend. I know they are going to get the write-up since beneficial as i would. Yet again many thanks.

  19. Aw, this was a very nice post. In idea I wish to put in writing like this moreover taking time and precise effort to make an excellent article! I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get something done.

  20. Great write-up, I am a big believer in placing comments on sites to inform the blog writers know that they’ve added something advantageous to the world wide web!

  21. Thank you, I have just been searching for information about this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered till now. But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure about the source?

  22. Your thing regarding creating will be practically nothing in short supply of awesome. This informative article is incredibly useful and contains offered myself a better solution to be able to my own issues. Which can be the specific purpose MY PARTNER AND I has been doing a search online. I am advocating this informative article with a good friend. I know they are going to get the write-up since beneficial as i would. Yet again many thanks.

  23. Steroid sipariş ederek kaslarınızın daha güçlü bir yapıya sahip olmasını ister misiniz? O halde yapmanız gereken oldukça basit! Size özel paketlerimizden bir tanesini satın almanız durumunda en kaliteli sonuçları elde etme imkanına sahip olabileceksiniz.