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Davis, California

Friday, May 17, 2024

Column: College virgin?

As much as safe-sex promotion on campus helps stop unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STDs, it makes it way more difficult to stay abstinent in college. It almost makes me embarrassed to be a virgin.

But no matter how hard it is for me, guys seem to get the most social pressure. What with “bounce what you twerkin’ with” playing at the clubs and 10 free condoms available a day at the Love Lab, the temptation is all the more unbearable. So I found some good-looking college virgins to tell us what goes through their heads. (Names have been changed to protect their privacy. Also, this is not a judgment on people who don’t practice chastity — it’s an open dialogue for people who do).

First is Sam, a tall, dark and handsome biomedical engineering third-year. He says it’s difficult not to think about sex when he finds girls so attractive. But Sam is determined to wait for his future wife just as he hopes she’ll also wait for him.

Sam’s friends joke that they’ll throw him a party when he finally loses his virginity. But when he has serious struggles, he looks to famous virgins for hope such as Jordin Sparks, the Jonas Brothers, and Victoria’s Secret Model Adriana Lima, who didn’t have sex until she got married at 27.

And this isn’t just a heterosexual struggle. Take Ben, for example.

“People often have homophobic reactions when they hear about my ideals, counting it as just another reason why I’m not really a man,” says Ben, a fourth-year studying to become a social worker. “But even before realizing I was gay, I still had a strong understanding of why it’s important for me to save sex until marriage.”

The complex issue is tricky to discuss with both his Catholic community and his gay community.

“I can see why people may not understand. It’s not really common for young people to have these two identities and care for both.”

Ben enjoys going to gay-friendly venues in San Francisco, but doesn’t always like the atmosphere. “Sometimes I just want to go to the club to dance and make friends … but things just always got to get sexual, don’t they?”

Choosing to be a virgin also affects your partners. Take Alex, who, because of his high school sweetheart of five years, ended up pursuing the road of chastity.

Unlike Sam and Ben, Alex quite enjoyed previous escapades with past girlfriends. But Jessie has set a whole new standard for him. “She knows what she wants and sticks to it, and that inspires me to better myself.”

Females often respond with outbursts of “How cute!” when they hear about Alex and Jessie. Males may say incredulous things like “You haven’t gotten any in how many years?” and “You can’t tell me you’re not tapping that.”

But those comments don’t bother Alex. He points out that if you take the sex out of many college relationships, you’re usually left with bored, cranky people who don’t like each other as much as they thought they did.

Alex estimates that 75 percent of the time he spent with his last girlfriend was devoted to having sex while the rest was spent eating and watching TV.

Because he and Jessie never go all the way, they’re forced to be creative and find other ways to spend their time.

“Not going to lie though, I hate that she’s Catholic sometimes. I’m like, ‘Damn it, woman! Why must you stick to your values?’ But for real, if and when we do get married, I want to make it really special for her.”

Being abstinent is more common and beneficial than most people think. And it’s not that our school doesn’t support abstinence, it’s just not that noticeable because it’s overshadowed by messages that assume we’re already sexually active.

Even when we get emotionally involved with someone, we assume that it should lead to sex. But we could all really benefit from developing deeper relationships and friendships that don’t need to involve sex. It would certainly reduce some of the drama and stress in our lives.

JHUNEHL FORTALEZA is still in Vancouver with her sick uncle she wrote about last week. Send her some love at jtfortaleza@ucdavis.edu. 


  1. I really appreciate you writing about this. Waiting is a choice I made a long time ago for me. I know it may not be right or possible for everyone, but everyone’s choice about their bodies should be appreciated and accepted. Unfortunately I feel like those of us who choose to wait get ridiculed and criticized and made to feel embarrassed, for a choice which I think is thoughtful and at least a little commendable, if not simply equal to anyone else’s sexual choice.

    My partner and I have been together for quite a while, and, although it’s been hard, I think for us at least it has made us stronger, get to know each better, and really be more creative and fun.

    Bottom line: we should all be able to be proud of the choices we make for ourselves no matter what it’s about. (particularly for a choice that affects one person’s body and nobody else’s except our chosen partner who chooses us knowing this choice!)


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