I have only had sex with my husband.
Is your chin on the floor? I know you don’t hear that very often, particularly from someone in their 40s. I didn’t stay a virgin for religious reasons, even though I was (and still am) a devout Catholic. And no, I am not holier than thou and I don’t think I’m better than you because I waited.
Early on, my religion influenced my decisions. But when I say early on, I am talking about high school, before I really had any sexual experience, not when I was in the real dating world as a young adult. I was 27 when I lost my virginity, which was unheard of among my friends.
I was always, “my friend, the virgin.” I am not sure why people felt the need to share that about me, since it wasn’t anyone’s business, but I didn’t really care. If someone wasn’t interested in dating me because I wasn’t going to sleep with them on the first night, that wasn’t the type of person who I was interested in anyway. The older I got, the more I realized that I wasn’t having sex because my virginity had become a big part of who I was, and I didn’t want to give that to just anyone.
I had one other serious boyfriend in my life before my husband, while I was in college. We had a very physical relationship and practically lived together. We slept in the same bed every night and fooled around, a lot, but we never went all the way. He was someone who loved me for who I was. He wasn’t pressuring me to do something that I didn’t want to do. That was the kind of person who I wanted in my life. For a million reasons, that relationship didn’t work out. But it did change my thoughts and expectations of how I wanted a man to treat me. I deserved to be respected for my choices, and I wouldn’t settle for anything less.
I met my husband at work. We went out for drinks a few times and I felt like things were moving in a direction that I was interested in. We went to dinner one night and I dropped the truth bomb on him. I explained who I was and how I intended to be until I was ready to get more serious. His reaction surprised me. He just smiled. It was different than I expected, and comforting. In that moment, I knew that there was something special about him.
Our relationship became more physical as the months passed. I was starting to realize that this was the person that I had been longing for. He respected my decisions and me and he loved me. It was a kind of love that I had never felt before. There was a future for us. I had waited for so long to share what I considered to be the most intimate and vulnerable part of myself; I knew in my heart that it was right. And when it happened, it was.
We had talked about it a lot, and there was only one stipulation that I had: I didn’t want to be drunk when I lost my virginity. We spent a lot of our time drinking, but I wanted this to be a sober moment, a time when I was completely in control of my facilities and my mind. There was no great pomp and circumstance. It wasn’t planned for our wedding night or anything like that. It was a regular Sunday morning. I don’t know what I was expecting it to be after waiting for so long. No, I wasn’t disappointed or guilty or any of the feelings that I expected to have. I was happy. Content. I felt that I had made the right decision.
People think that it is crazy that I have only slept with one person. They wonder how I know if I have a good sex life. The answer is, I don’t. But it is good enough for me. I actually prefer it this way. I always wonder how people feel when they are married, but know that it’s not the greatest sex of their lives. That they had better sex with someone else. I feel like that would bother me. But that is my personality; other people probably don’t care.
No, my husband was not a virgin when he met me. And no, I don’t know how many people he has slept with. I truly don’t want to know. There is zero curiosity. He chose me to be his last, and that is all that matters to me. Oh, and as much as I loved and trusted him, I did insist that he get tested before we even considered sex, because there were others and safety was and is important to me.
It’s been a long time since that first experience. We have been married 15 years and yes, I would do it all over again. I don’t regret one bit of my decision to wait or of him to be the one. Is this the right choice for everyone? Absolutely not! But I am not the only one out there who waited.
I know it’s a rarity, but I have to be honest, I have a daughter and I think I would encourage her to be open to the idea. I am not saying that I would force it or guilt her into following the same path, but I would encourage her to think about how big of a decision it is. And I would really hope that she would choose someone who respects her. That is what made all of the difference for me. A whole lot of respect, with a side of true love.