As a population immersed in hookup, body count and flat-out sex culture, most college students see sex as a big deal. But despite the hype around sex in college, part of the student population continues to hold fast to their virginity.
In the hypersexualized environment of UT, student virgins still face criticism for not having gotten laid. But while often stigmatized for such a personal decision, some students keep the v-card in their deck for reasons ranging from a busy schedule to a fear of sexually transmitted diseases.
Business freshman Nikhil Baliga said he isn’t waiting until marriage for sex, but he wants his first time to be special because it is something to be fondly remembered.
“It’s definitely an important part of someone’s life,” Baliga said. “Your first time is always special. That person is remembered. It’s like you’ll never forget who your high school prom date was. You’ll never forget who you had sex with for the first time.”
Nancy Daley, psychologist and educational psychology senior lecturer, said the sex-centered culture of college campuses makes it difficult for virgins to come to terms with their choice.
“It’s unfortunate that if you’re not sexually active, there (might be) something uncool about you (or) something wrong with you, in particular for males,” Daley said.
Baliga, like many students, said he does not want his sexual status to define him.
“Some people, myself included, may feel embarrassed of it because they don’t want to be looked down upon because of social norms,” Baliga said. “They don’t want to be thought of as like, ‘Oh, they can’t get it.’”
The taboo nature of virginity continues, but the reasoning behind its stigmatization remains unclear. Daley said there are many reasons for students to remain virgins throughout college. She said judgment from non-virgins is unwarranted.
“Some students are just busy,” Daley said. “Some don’t feel like dealing with any of the contraception methods. Others are very shy and introverted don’t really see a way to dive into that pool. People judge (virgins) because they’re anxious, they’re guilty, they’re immature. They want to judge before they get judged.”
While some students judge those who have yet to lose their virginity, others admire the presence of the v-card. Sociology senior Isabel Garcia said she is impressed by people who hold true to their values and don’t succumb to social pressure.
“(My friend) was wearing a ring of celibacy and my reaction (was), ‘Wait what? You’ve never had sex in college?’ But she went on to talk about her own beliefs,” Garcia said. “She was really passionate about waiting until marriage for sex. It’s really cool that she stuck onto her beliefs and didn’t let anyone else affect what she was thinking.”
Daley said the best way for virgins to find comfort rather than embarrassment in their sexuality is to acknowledge it and be confident in the choices they made, similar to the way Garcia’s friend did.
“Like any other aspect of sexuality, people starting to come out and own it and put it out there (will decrease the stigma). Students (should) say, ‘Judge me if you want to. I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me,’” Daley said.