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To acquire wisdom, one must observe

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Ask SSIS

Welcome back to the SSIS column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email ssis@brandeis.edu or leave a question in the Google Form link on the Student Sexuality Information Service Facebook page. Any and all questions are welcome: there are no bad, stupid or weird questions! 

(Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community, and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind, or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!)

 

Am I the only virgin on this campus? 

 

Thank you for asking this question! This is something a lot of people wonder about. Virginity looks different from person to person, since everyone has different sexual interests, desires and experiences. People’s definitions of virginity vary based on their definitions of sex. For some people, sex strictly means penis-in-vagina penetration. For others, a penis or a vagina doesn’t need to be involved at all in sex. Some people also consider oral and manual stimulation with a partner to be sex. What’s important is how you feel about virginity, how you define it for yourself and how you are engaging in your own desires. 

It’s common to overestimate the amount of your peers that are having sex, yet according to surveys, one in three Brandeis undergrads are sexually active. So, if you haven’t engaged in any sexual activities before, you definitely aren’t alone. All sexual experiences and levels of sexual experience are valid.

It might also be helpful to reflect on how you define virginity currently. You could think about why you define it that way, and whether or not you are comfortable with that definition. What kinds of sexual acts would make you not a virgin? And what would it mean for you to not be a virgin anymore? Virginity can often feel like a heavy term, and it can carry a variety of emotions for different people. Because there is at once a lot of stigma around sex and a lot of pressure to engage in it, many people feel pushed to have sex to meet other people’s standards and expectations. What matters most is how you feel and what you want!

Another thing that might be helpful to consider is what your desires might be and whether they are being met. Some ways to explore this include masturbation, watching porn and reading erotica. Whatever your sexual experiences may be, is there anything you want to do, but have not yet? And if so, how would you like to go about experiencing it? Your sexual experiences and desires are your own. Whatever you would like to do and whatever pace you would like to go at is valid.

We hope this helps, and as always, SSIS members are happy to meet with you to talk through questions like this in our SCC office.

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