This post is inspired by Ashley at Indigo’s Theory, who was in turn inspired by the prolific wunderkinder slam poet Tatyana Brown. The prompt was to write a letter to your virginity. Tatyana told me about it a while ago, but it never occurred to me to do it myself. Ashley’s letter got me thinking, though, so here you go. A letter to my virginity.
We were never that close. We treated each other more like vague concepts than real entities, and nowadays, I think that may have been the right choice. When did you leave, after all? The first time anyone’s body other than my own entered me? The first time I entered someone else? Perhaps because we didn’t spend much intentional time together, when you were gone, I barely noticed. Sure, there was small fanfare when I left some blood on my boyfriend’s body, but it was such a passing experience, we both kind of shrugged and moved on.
Adults in my life told me you were precious, and that, like a pet goldfish, you wouldn’t be around forever, but it was my responsibility to keep you alive and intact as long as I possibly could. Adults told me that when you left, I would feel empty inside, and that no one new would want me. They said that your absence would ruin whatever love I had with anyone unless there was a lifetime commitment attached.
But most adults are wrong most of the time. They weren’t talking about you specifically. They were stereotyping and profiling you, using their own experience of their own lost virginities to tell us how we had to be. They tried to make our relationship like everyone else’s, but we both knew better. I forgive them.
Since you’ve been gone, my life has been rich and full of love. My body became my own the day you left, and I’ve never let anyone else tell me what I could do with it. Virginity, I appreciate that you existed for me, and I appreciate that you left quietly without making much of a fuss. I think you and I both knew you were an albatross that made it easier for outside forces to tell me how to move through the world, and once you left, I could run faster to pursue my bliss, not worrying about preserving our tenuous relationship.
Thanks for being who you were, a quiet, patient force who never overstayed your welcome and never pretended I belonged to you.