Growing up, sex was never talked about in my household. If my mom ever spoke of rape, she would say “the guy did something really bad to the girl”. My siblings and I never got the ‘birds and the bees’ talk from our parents. All that I know of sex came from school, friends, and porn. Yes, porn. After being molested at a very young age, porn became my safe haven. I’ll talk about that some other time though. Hell, I didn’t even know babies came out of vaginas till I got to high school. I didn’t have an older sister to confide in or ask questions and my best friend did not have any experience of her own. I also didn’t have the type of relationship with my older female cousins where we would discuss our virginities.
I grew up afraid of boys. But I also loved boys. I was absolutely boy crazy. But I was afraid of them. I was afraid when they got too close. I was afraid when they would lean in for a kiss. I was afraid of their touch. This fear stayed with me for most of my life. Even as a young woman in my 20’s, surrounded by sexually active friends, I was afraid of men. I didn’t date; I couldn’t. Not because I was a Muslim and wasn’t allowed to, but because I was so deathly afraid of the opposite sex that I couldn’t have a functioning relationship. I think it all stems from my earlier years of sexual abuse and from having such a strict upbringing, but I am still coming to terms with that.
I grew up afraid of boys.
I started seeing a therapist a few years ago, and she urged me to go out and have sex. She told me women who are sexually abused at a young age either turn out to be very promiscuous and sexually active or prude and scared of sex. She urged me to explore my sexuality. Not with a random stranger, but when I felt the time was right, and found someone I could trust. My therapist was a Muslim woman. I specifically chose a Muslim therapist because I wanted someone who understood my culture, religion and upbringing. Go out and have sex was the last thing I wanted to hear from her though. This ended up being one of the main reasons as to why I dissolved my relationship with this therapist.
Two years ago, I met a boy. He wasn’t my type. He was nothing I thought I liked. But I fell for him. This guy was different than others in the past. This was the first guy I wasn’t afraid of. In fact, I wanted him closer to me. I yearned for his touch when he didn’t give it to me. I’d never felt like that about anyone else before. Something about him made me want him more and more each time I thought about him or laid eyes on him. I wanted from him, everything I was always afraid of. A month and a half after meeting him, he took my virginity. We weren’t in a relationship. We were just hanging out here and there and getting to know each other. It wasn’t planned. It just happened. And in that moment of it happening, I was completely relaxed and excited that it was happening. I couldn’t believe it was finally happening. It didn’t hurt. I didn’t bleed. It didn’t feel like the worst or dirtiest thing in the world, the way I was brought up to believe it to be. In fact, it felt great, double-orgasms and all. I couldn’t wait to do it again. It felt better than I ever imagined it could. In fact, I felt like I was, in a way, becoming addicted to sex – like I had to keep doing it to make up for the last 20+ years. I wanted sex everyday. We did it everywhere. In my car, at work, at his job, at the park, at the beach, for breakfast, for lunch, at a restaurant, you name it… we did it.
It didn’t hurt. I didn’t bleed.
I always thought I’d be the girl who waited until marriage. I actually planned on it. You know, since I had good, strict parents and all. If I didn’t wait until marriage, I thought I would wait at least a year or two before having sex in a serious relationship. I was always making plans for losing my virginity. I thought I’d be wearing lingerie for my first time (which I was not and still have never worn). I thought I’d be in love when I lost it. But that’s not at all how it went down. I never thought I’d orgasm from intercourse, (because the world and Google make you think that it’s impossible) but I’m always the first to reach climax – as it should be! Nothing about losing my virginity turned out the way I planned or expected it to.
Before having sex, when I’d meet another Muslim girl and she was open about still being a virgin, I’d sigh in relief and think to myself, “Phew! I’m not the only one. Glad I waited and that she and I are in the same boat!” Then I’d meet another Muslim girl that wasn’t shy about not being a virgin, and I’d think to myself, “Hmm sex can’t be the worst thing a Muslim girl does in the world. She had pre-martial sex and she’s still alive. Maybe I should join that boat.”
Truth is, I hated being a virgin. A very tiny part of me was glad I was a virgin because I thought it was the right thing, and that it would make my future husband happy. But I never thought about what would make ME happy. I hated being a virgin, and I didn’t want a virgin future husband (sorry virgin fella’s out there). I wanted him to be experienced. And I wanted to have fun on my wedding night. I didn’t want to be in pain or to be lying in blood the way they tell you it will happen. Part of me always felt like I didn’t fit in with my girl and guy friends and that was partially sex related. Most of my friends were American and non-Muslim, so virginity wasn’t the biggest deal to them. Sometimes I felt like I’d get a free pass from God and he’d forgive me for having premarital sex, since I had been sexually abused. Other times I felt like I was getting back at my parents by having premarital sex, because they didn’t protect me enough.
Years later I now realize that my therapist was right. I needed to have sex. I needed that experience. Sex was missing from my life. The experience of sex was missing from my life. Intimacy was missing in my life. It felt like that certain building block was missing. I was ready for my first real relationship and having sex was a part of that. I am grateful that my first little rendezvous turned into a committed relationship. He didn’t judge me for having sex so early on with him. He didn’t hit it and bounce. He didn’t even know I was a virgin, until I told him a few weeks later. I felt embarrassed telling him about it, but I think it made him want me more. I am definitely glad I waited as long as I did. But I knew I was ready and I did it for myself. Not because my peers were doing it, and not because I was pressured by a guy to do it. I feel lucky that I ended up with such a passionate lover for my first time. I grew up thinking sex was just something you did for your husband… a favor, if you will.
Did I just get lucky my first time? Maybe. Will I regret this down the road if this man I lost my virginity to does not turn out to be my husband? Possibly. Will I pretend to be a virgin on my wedding night? Fuck no. I want nothing to do with a man who’s going to question my virginity or let my value be determined upon whether I’ve had sex or not. For now I am happy, healthy, content and sexually satisfied.