Recently, I had a conversation with some coworkers about Valentine's Day, dating, and relationships that turned into a talk about sex. In response to a question that I was asked about my romantic life, several of my colleagues turned in astonishment when I shared that I am saving sex for marriage. Responses and questions varied from "Wow that's amazing," to "Have you had a man before?," to, "Oh, that's because you've probably never been in love huh?" These are the common questions adult virgins tend to get, but for me, a plus size woman, it doesn't stop there. People assume my weight is the reason I haven't had sex, but let's make one thing clear: my virginity at age 28 is not because of me being plus size or my overall appearance.
Here's what I get asked, in addition to those other questions: "Have you tried slimming down? Maybe that will help get you laid." Or: "You know some men just can't handle thick women like you, so don't feel bad, girl." I've gotten eye-rolls, heard people whisper about me, and heard others say out loud that my virginity is because some men don't like plus size women. Over the years, I've experienced far too many friends and family members telling me that I'll only get more sexual experience once I lose weight and change my look, and that I shouldn't pity myself for my circumstances.
But hey — who said I feel bad for being a plus size virgin? And who said anyone has the right to tell me when I'm ready to have sex? I'm a grown adult making the conscious, thought-out decision to keep my virginity, and getting so many questions and looks from people about whether my size has something to do with it is tiring and unfair. Some people might think that waiting this long means there's something wrong with me, that I have an insecurity about who I am and what I look like, but that's just not the case. I'm confident in how I look, and I feel strong for making the decision I did.
Yet other people think I should feel ashamed about being a plus size woman or that my virginity isn't a choice. I'm here to tell them that being a plus size woman who loves herself doesn't mean I'm not able to be "desired" the same as anyone who looks differently than I do. Sadly, though, there is a unfair association of being a virgin and being a plus size woman that can't be denied. People assume that because you're big, you're undesirable in a romantic way.
And the media doesn't help. There's a mistaken idea in movies, TV, and general pop culture that plus size women aren't seen as sexy. The film industry rarely casts full-figured women in love interest roles, and in both movies and TV, you rarely see plus size women being considered the "hot" ones. When people don't see it plus size women being treated as sexy onscreen, they don't believe it can exist in reality, and so they come up with mistaken assumptions as to why a plus size woman like myself is still holding onto her virginity in her late 20s.
I chose to keep my virginity because of my spiritual beliefs — not because I don't look like Beyonce or Rihanna, and not because society thinks I don't get hollered at by men (trust me, there are no issues there). It's a gift that I want to give to the one person God has placed in this world for me. My choice is empowering to me, and while our culture might think there's something wrong with me for waiting this long, I don't care. I have my own reasons, and they're not because of my size or what others deem my desirability to men.