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When Does A Lesbian Lose Her Virginity?

When you're queer, what "counts" as losing your virginity?
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Some women remember the exact moment that they lost their virginity. For some, it was magical. For others, humiliating. For still others, underwhelming or overwhelming or boring.

But for women who sleep with women…many of us aren’t even sure when we lost our virginity.

Everyone has a different opinion of cisgender lesbian sex, because it doesn’t involve penetration with a penis. So what counts as sex? Is it oral? Finger-to-genital touching? Your first orgasm? Do you have to be penetrated with something, even a finger, for it to “count”?

If you’re distressed about whether you’ve actually lost your virginity, don’t be. First, the concept of “virginity” changes based on whom you talk to, even when you’re talking about penis-in-vagina (PIV) sex.

Ancient Greeks thought that when a woman had a penis inserted into her for the first time, her throat would permanently grow bigger. Sometimes they determined virginity by the size of a woman’s throat.

More recently, the Kinsey Institute ran a study that showed that 18% of men over the age of sixty believe that PIV sex isn’t sex as long as the man wears a condom. Sex is for procreation, or it isn’t sex.

The same study found that “less than 25 percent of participants considered oral genital behavior to be having sex, more than 60 percent thought that the giver or receiver of oral sex was a sexual partner, and more than 97 percent considered a partner who had oral sex with someone else to be have been unfaithful.” So oral sex isn’t sex, but if you have oral sex then that person is a sexual partner, and oral sex is enough sex to be considered adultery. So it’s simultaneously sex and not sex?

So what does all of this mean? Basically, it means that the definition of sex and virginity are always changing. Always. Sex is whatever you believe it to be. And anyone who believes they have the definitive definition of sex is just kidding themselves.

The exact moment you lost your virginity is whatever moment you think it is. Maybe it’s the first time you went down on a girl. Maybe it’s the first time a girl touched you beneath your bra. Maybe it’s the first time you let your girlfriend use a dildo.

It’s completely up to you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Now, just make sure that you do it safely.

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J. Marie graduated from Duke University with a degree in International Relations and dreams of being a creative writer–dreams she’s now realizing as a musical theatre writer in NYC. She’s passionate about global black identities, black representation in media, and leather-bound notebooks. She also loves backpacking through a new country at a moment’s notice, and speaks Spanish, Swahili and Standard Arabic.

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