How to Handle Virginity

There are really only two people that your sexual history – or lack thereof – should matter to: you and your lover. And there is only one time when it should matter: when the relationship reaches a sexual level. 

"Virgin" is not your identity. It is not the defining adjective of who you are. It's understandable that when you are dating, and there is sexual tension often from the outset, that it can seem like a pretty important detail. 

This can make you feel compelled to share the fact that you're a virgin, or even use it as reasoning or justification for any relationship inexperience too, should you feel like you are self conscious or worried about making a mis-step as you get to know your new partner.

When you are a virgin, namely your late teens, it can feel like it's a fundamental characteristic that is vital to share. Remember this: it's not, particularly at the beginning.

If being a virgin is a reflection of your strong values or culture, then by all means, as you get to know your new partner while you are dating, share your culture and share your core values. But you don't need to go into specifics about your sexual history in the first few dates or the first few weeks – which is how long you say is your longest experience so far. If your relationship hasn't hit the bedroom, and you haven't felt it's necessary to talk about heading there just yet, then don't bring it up. You aren't being dishonest or betraying any trust by staying silent for the first few weeks. Give each of you a chance to get to know the whole and real person – after all, that's what dating is about!

Should you tell someone you are dating who is a prospective first lover that you are a virgin? Absolutely. While it's not your defining characteristic, it is an important aspect of who you are, plus and more importantly, you want to have built some intimacy together prior to becoming sexual – whether you're virgins or not – and confiding your sexual history to one another builds trust, honesty and intimacy. If you can't do that, you shouldn't be sleeping together (assuming you're looking for a relationship, which you are, and hopefully he is too).

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