On virginity with an asterisk.

When I was about 8 I was molested by a close relative who was in his teens. Nine years have passed and I have accepted the past abuse. I’m ready for sex. But before that, I wanted your opinion on something: How the fuck do I describe myself to those who ask about my history? Am I a never-been-touched virgin because I had a terrible if any grasp on what sex really is when I was 8? Do I not tell them because it’s none of their business? Am I whatever the hell I want to be?

First things first. Have you had treatment for your childhood trauma? If you haven’t, please do. Regardless of whether you’ve accepted the past abuse, therapy is essential. Actually, these kinds of questions are exactly the kind of thing you’d want to discuss in treatment. I promise it’ll help you figure shit out.

As for my opinion, you should feel free to consider yourself a virgin. What you experienced wasn’t sex. It was sexual abuse. The two aren’t the same. You should feel perfectly honest telling a guy you’ve never had sex — not that it’s his business to begin with.

It’s probably best that you don’t talk to guys about your molestation outside of therapy. It’s a topic that requires a high degree of emotional maturity to process, and it’s likely to get in the way of teenage relationships.

Again, regardless of whether you’ve had treatment in the past, I strongly recommend that you find a therapist who you can talk to as you become sexually active.

Good luck.


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