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Let's Wait

Let's Wait


Manhunt be damned! This Gen-Y college student is staying a virgin until he snags the right guy.

I'm 20-something. I'm a virgin. I'm gay. Each descriptor by itself is nothing unusual, but being 20-something, a virgin, and gay can certainly feel like an anomaly.

My decision to remain a virgin was not something forced on me by my family but something shaped by my experiences. In my high school (a small private academy in Santa Monica, Calif.), one by one my 14-year-old friends lost their virginity. At first I felt envy and wondered if I would also soon discard my v card.

My initial desire to lose my virginity was ultimately driven by an even greater desire to prove I wasn't gay. Once I accepted who I was and grew comfortable with my sexuality, my perception of sex evolved.

During the first two years of high school, I witnessed the lives of my post-virgin friends grow complicated. There were pregnancy scares, a roller coaster of emotions, dependency issues, and most pervasive of all, gossip. On top of all the other nonsexual drama of high school, every day was like an Afterschool Special.

By the end of sophomore year, I determined I would remain a virgin until I was in a committed relationship. That meant I wouldn't partake in anything requiring a condom. Being gay, I never pictured myself saving it for marriage, but I did know that I wanted to have sex with the person with whom I was going to spend my life. That meant not giving it up to fit in or because it was some sort of rite of passage.

I began to value my virginity. I stopped worrying if I would ever lose it and started to wonder why I ever wanted to get rid of it. My virginity was not hurting or inhibiting my life. It did result in some uneasy conversations when my straight girlfriends would ask about gay sex, or when a guy would try to take it too far, but those awkward moments have been worth the choice.

I now attend a small private university in San Diego where few students are openly gay, though there's plenty of gay sex. The environment is so repressive and conservative that many people feel the need to hide their sexual orientation, something I didn't think still happened at college campuses in Southern California. As a result, every so often I receive a sexually explicit e-mail, IM, or Facebook message from some guy who wants to continue playing it straight while hooking up with a guy on the side. Unfortunately for them, my vision of romance doesn't include a text message with a winking face.

Being in this environment -- where gay sex is treated as something dark, dirty, and unnatural -- has only made me value sex and my virginity more. I do not want to be a hookup or a one-night stand -- I want feelings deeper than the carnal.

It's actually become easier to wait; I like defying the stereotype of young + gay = promiscuous, and my virginity has become a valuable part of my identity.

There are plenty of other things to do that don't result in a blood exam. I go on dates, and I find myself in and out of relationships. I go to clubs and parties like anyone else -- I just never take anyone home with me. I live a very fulfilling life even without sex. I do look forward to that day when I am in a serious committed relationship, and hopefully that will include marriage.

Sometimes, whether at home in Los Angeles or at school in San Diego, I wonder if I am the only gay virgin in California; it can certainly feel that way. But I never let it bother me. Life is about the choices you make, and I made this one for no one but myself.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Christopher Mangum