“Only my close friends know that I’ve never had sex before, and, while they think I’m strange or crazy, or that I’m missing out, they also support my celibate lifestyle.
I didn’t grow up thinking that I would remain a virgin until I got married; it just turned out that way. Since my late teens I’ve dated numerous guys, both here in Singapore and when I lived in London as an international student, but I never met anyone who made me want to give up that part of myself so soon into the relationship.
The “everything-but” girl
I went to an all-girls’ school right up until I went to junior college, and my parents were very strict with me. When my classmate’s brother asked me on a movie date when I was 16, my parents agreed, albeit reluctantly, and insisted on meeting the guy beforehand. This guy liked me a lot but felt intimidated by my parents, so he never asked me out again.
In junior college, I dated a little. I had a few friends who were sexually active, but I was intent on being a ‘good girl’, mostly because I was afraid of falling pregnant at such a young age and disappointing my family, but also because I wanted to get an overseas degree and didn’t want anything to interfere with my studies. The few guys I went out with at 18 all tried to have sex with me but I always turned them down. After I graduated from junior college, I discovered that most guys knew me as the ‘everything-but’ girl – that is, I would do everything but have sex. This was only partly true. All I did was kiss and make out with guys, but I never indulged in heavy petting with my clothes off. I didn’t have oral sex, either. I think that frustrated the guys I went out with, which is why they talked about me that way.
When I moved to the UK to continue my education I dated quite a bit and actually had serious relationships with a couple of guys. From the start I made it clear to them that I didn’t want to rush into sex, and they respected my decision. Unfortunately, these relationships fizzled out before we could consummate them. Yes, even though I was in love with these guys and wanted to have sex with them, I was adamant about remaining a virgin until my wedding night, or at least until I was engaged. So it’s a shame that those two relationships didn’t make it to that stage.
Sex is a beautiful and sacred act
Initially, I didn’t want to be sexually active because I was afraid of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or having an unwanted pregnancy, but as I got older I realised how having meaningless sex can mess you up emotionally, and I didn’t want to have to deal with that. I have so many girlfriends who had sex with guys, believing that the act meant something, only to find out later that their dates or boyfriends were just using them. Having witnessed how such empty and superficial relationships affected my friends, I became even more resolved to not allow anyone to take advantage of me of that way.
My vow of celibacy has nothing to do with shame, guilt or religion. I’m not religious or even remotely spiritual. To me, sex is a beautiful and sacred act between two human beings who love each other and share a special emotional connection. I just find that too many people these days have sex for the wrong reasons – they might do it to hold on to a partner or to be accepted or to fit in with their friends – and I would hate to be one of those people. I promised myself that if and when I do finally have sex, it will be with a man who’s madly in love with me, who’s committed the rest of his life to me, and who’s determined to stick with me through thick and thin. I refuse to give up that part of myself for a man who’s only with me because he thinks he can get something out of me, or a man who isn’t serious about a future with me.
Temptation is always there
I still go on dates and have no shortage of admirers, but I’ve yet to meet a guy who ticks all the boxes for me. If I’ve been dating a guy for a while we’ll kiss, get naked, and engage in oral sex and mutual masturbation, but it never goes beyond that. Many guys lose interest or patience after a few months, especially when they know that I won’t give them what they want just yet. I don’t argue with them; if they want to leave I let them. It says more about them than it does about me.
I’ve been tempted on many occasions to have sex, though. I know what an orgasm feels like and I enjoy them, so it’s not like I’m missing anything. But I do wonder what it’s like to be intimate in that way with a man and to ‘invite’ him in, so to speak. I’m curious about how penetration feels, but I think I can wait. One night I was with a guy at his place, and the urge to have sex was strong. I wanted him really badly and almost gave in to him, but he knew that I was a virgin and told me that he didn’t want me doing something I’d regret. The rest of the night was awkward; I think he didn’t want to be the one who took my virginity from me. I never saw him again.
Whenever I get the urge to have sex I just masturbate. Despite being a virgin I am very much in touch with my body. I know what turns me on, I’m familiar with all my hotspots, and I enjoy giving myself pleasure. When I do eventually have sex, I’m pretty sure I would know what to do.
I don’t regret not having sex when I was younger. In fact, I’m proud of myself. Call me old-fashioned, call me a romantic, call me an idealist – yes, I am all those things and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’m hopeful about meeting a man who understands my reasons for wanting to wait until my wedding night and who’s patient enough to wait with me. Men like that are difficult to find, I know, so when I do meet him I’ll know that he’s the right one.”