Losing your virginity might be more about peer pressure than readiness

Photo credit: Diego Ramirez

Photo credit: Diego Ramirez

Growing up, we are all exposed to sexuality at a young age through sex ed classes, older siblings and even PG-13 movies.

What we learn depends on our individual experiences and those guiding us, especially when it comes to thinking about having sex for the first time.

Depending on our environment, we are all advised differently on when it’s best to lose our virginity. Some are told to never feel peer pressured, wait until you feel ready or, in some cases, wait until marriage.

However, in my opinion, you will never be fully ready to experience something as intimate and new as losing your virginity.

According to The Atlantic, the average American loses their virginity at age 17. Melinda Sanchez, a senior at Chico State, is not your average American as she felt ready at an earlier age. She chose not to disclose the age.

“Looking back I don’t regret having sex at a young age, although I do think that it is a bit young to be partaking in such activities,” Sanchez said. “But I do think I was ready, but only because I had thought long and hard about this decision and I was with someone that I trusted.”

Despite the national average, Sanchez felt that she was prepared to take this next step in her intimate life.

“I am very close with my mom and my sister so I had talked to them both about sex and my mom gave me a sex talk prior to losing my virginity,” she said. “My sister told me not to feel peer pressured because all of my friends were doing it and because my boyfriend wanted to and to make sure I did it when I felt the time was right.”

Loved ones play a significant role in our lives, especially when it comes to advice. This can be pivotal when it comes to shaping us to become the people we are now or influencing our decision making.

However, no matter how much advice we receive, I feel that nothing could possibly prepare us for this first experience and all the emotions that come with it.

Whether you lose your virginity to a significant other, a friend or someone you just met, no prep-talk can prepare you for all those feelings and sensations that will soon replace every thought you have.

What is not talked about is what comes next and if we are ready for that emotional roller coaster. How and with whom you first experienced sex determines greatly how you will move forward with your future sexual encounters. We are never taught that in sex-ed.

We may hear about all of our friends having sex for the first time and maybe start to think, “well if they are ready then I must be also.”

For something as intimate as sex, this decision lies solely on ourselves and should not be swayed by what those around us are doing.

Nicte Hernandez can be reached at [email protected] or @nicteh7 on Twitter.