Growing up a kinky virgin

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“Uh, … back the fuck up. When did this become a whorehouse?”

Every few weeks, my friends would send me TikToks with this sound from Kevin Hart’s Netflix comedy special “Irresponsible.” I can’t say I’ve watched the show, but I would expect it to be comedic, considering, well, it’s a comedy, and it talks a lot about intimacy, ego and, best of all, sex.

Throughout high school, I was seen as the “innocent friend” of the group. While all my friends had already lost their virginities or had some sort of sexual encounter, it seemed as if sex was an enigma to me and that I would be a clueless, innocent virgin forever. So, of course, in the grand gesture of my friends now sending me those 15-second videos, the punchline is that I, the “innocent friend,” was a lot kinkier than I seemed.

Don’t get me wrong — college didn’t give me some sort of sexual awakening. I’ve always known that I was somewhat kinky. See, most people figure out what gets them off in bed through experience and physical intimacy with a partner. For me, all I had was the internet and my imagination. Discovering porn for the first time at the age of 10 opened me up to the vast world of sex. Slowly, I explored the different avenues of kink that came along with it, reading Wattpad stories, navigating Tumblr threads and exploring NSFW Twitter concepts. Picturing myself in the scenarios I saw and read, I often found myself daydreaming in wonder or wincing in fear. From this, I came to learn my likes and dislikes and understand my limits at a pretty young age, despite never actually doing anything.

Speaking of which, I hate the word “virgin.” Yes, there’s nothing wrong with the term itself, meaning someone who’s never had sexual intercourse. However, the six-letter word comes with many connotations. It exalts itself as a sign of respectable pureness but comes with a negative air of cluelessness and naivete. The title acts to invalidate any sexual desires or kinks a virgin may have, automatically assuming them to be “vanilla” (although there’s nothing wrong with that). To clarify, I’m not saying that my sexual tastes are super extreme; they’re definitely on the softer side compared to most of what’s out there in the world. But for someone to say that my kinks aren’t valid because I’ve never done anything before? That’s extremely unfair and frankly, really annoying.

In fact, I felt mild denigration when it came to talking about sex within my first relationship. Since coming to college, I’ve become a lot more open when talking about sex with my friends. We’ve shared our deep dark kinks, erotic fantasies and sexual endeavors. One thing we did was take the BDSM — bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism — Test, “a fun and educational test to determine what kind of kinkster you are.” Like all other online quizzes, it is by no means an accurate assessment, but it was fun to see what categories we fell into and a bonding experience among friends nonetheless.

After taking the test, I was curious and asked my then-boyfriend, now ex, what his results were, which later prompted a conversation about our interests. When I shared mine, he gave me a look of pleasant surprise. After all, with everything the world has made sex out to be, who wouldn’t be excited in hearing that their partner was a bit freaky? However, his eyes also hinted at his confusion, as if questioning, how do you know what you’re into if you’re still a virgin?

I’d say having your first time, as long as both sides are consensual, is generally a pleasurable experience. I enjoyed my first time — it was with someone I trusted and felt comfortable with at the time. It was just not the heaven on earth I anticipated. No heightened senses, no explosion of emotion, just normal sex. But even though my first time may not have been the pure ecstasy I wanted (I don’t think anyone’s first time is the absolute best), it confirmed what I held in my mind to be true: You can be a virgin and still have kinks. You can know what turns you on and gets you off without any experience. It wasn’t until I actually had my first time that I was reassured of this fact. I have kinks special to me; arguably, they make me have higher expectations when it comes to pleasure in sex, but they are still very much valid.

Granted, this applies to everyone — you don’t need someone to fuck you to figure out what you’re into. Self-exploration and self-experimentation are sufficient enough to help you understand what turns you on. Virginity is just a dumb label, and it shouldn’t hinder you from approaching the wild world of sex. Take agency of your own body and embrace your kinks — they are valid, whether you’re experienced or not, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Contact Annie Lin at [email protected].