I suspect I may have been the last of my circle of friends to lose my virginity — maybe next-to-last. Part of this was because I was a dweeb, which diminished the available opportunities, but part of it was also by choice. Even so, it happened sooner than I thought it would. I spent my high school and undergrad years figuring I would wait until marriage, but things happened faster than I expected with someone I thought I would marry until the week she dumped me. I’m not crying “seduced and abandoned” here — I was more than old enough to hang for murder, and I was big enough and strong enough to have protected any virtue I cared to defend. My only intoxicants were hormonal.
Do I regret all that? No, not exactly — I certainly haven’t agonized about it over the years. As I said, I sincerely thought the young woman was The One, and like most folks, I suppose I was doing the best I could at the time. And to borrow a line from Jerry Seinfeld, it’s not like I became “an orgy guy” thereafter — I’ve never owned a smoking jacket. Still, it was sooner than I expected, and while I can’t exactly say I’m ashamed (having almost certainly done things that weren’t done out of love in my life, which I suspect are far worse sins), I’m not proud of it either. Certainly, as the father of a bright, beautiful young woman (who reads this blog), I’m conflicted. Had I waited longer, I wouldn’t be conflicted. So there’s that.
So what prompted all of this? Well, one of my readers has taken the opportunity to post at her blog about the business of chastity and what it means in her life. Whether you agree or disagree, whether you could live up to it (as I once thought I could) or not (as I didn’t), her strength is admirable. It’s a gracious piece of writing, and you should read it. And the bright, beautiful young woman who reads this blog should go read that one as well, if only to remember that decision is there.