Is Everybody Doing It?

So I was sitting at the lunch table in high school, enjoying a mean-looking tuna sandwich when my friend started talking about this guy’s sex life.

Let’s be brutally honest here. The problem with this Guy Who Shall Not Be Named (shortened to Guy) is that he’s not the most charming guy out there. And the girl he had sex with isn’t a refreshing “lily of the valley” either. I’ll put it this way: if those two were starring in a Baywatch episode, they’d be the whales.

not sexy, man


“How can someone like Guy get laid?” asked I. “He’s obnoxious, he’s gross, he farts all the freakin’ time. What, were they drunk or blind or both?”

“You’d be amazed at the number of people who aren’t virgins,” said my friend, and to be sadistic, he started naming a few.

I was flabbergasted. “Even them?”

“Well yeah,” he said, shrugging. “I mean, just look around you. I bet everyone in this cafeteria has gotten laid. And don’t act so scandalized. They’re not the freaks here. We are.

Freaks. When somebody calls you a freak, what do you think of? Someone weird, right? Someone who wears tacky clothes, has bad hair and bad BO, plays World of Warcraft 24/7, etc. They’re the outcasts, the losers, the weirdos, the abnormal ones.

So imagine someone going up to you and calling you a virgin. Would you consider it an insult? Would you think that you’re something weird and abnormal, a freak?

When did this all start? When did not having sex suddenly make you so . . . uncool?

In a CBSNews article studies reveal that nearly two-thirds of high school students have had sex; a quarter said that alcohol or drugs had influenced their decision to have sex. If you have to get drunk or stoned to have sex, does that mean you actually want the sex?

The answer is probably: “OF COURSE.” Because who doesn’t want to have sex, right?

But here’s the thing — just because you want sex doesn’t mean you have to have sex now, especially if you have to resort to booze and crack to “get some.”

Of course, teens aren’t the only one feeling the “need to breed ASAP.” Remember that one movie?


“Yeah, well, virgin’s not a dirty word. You know what’s a dirty word, is a******, and that’s what you guys are!”

Meet Andy, a 40-year-old virgin who has no car and wears granny sweaters to clubs. His definition of a “fulfilling life” consists of practicing his tuba, retouching his vast collection of action figures, playing Halo, and watching episodes of Survivor with his elderly neighbors. He is the exemplary nerd who “can’t get some,” and all of his friends make it their job – nay, their duty to find Andy “some a**.”

Sure, it’s true that not everything you see in movies is completely accurate. But for all you people who saw the movie, wouldn’t you say that much of the comedy stems from the fact that it sorta feels . . . well, right?

There’s this pressure to have sex,” said a guy friend of mine. “If you’re a virgin and you’re already in your 20’s, you’re failing.” As shown by the CBSNews survey, my friend belongs to one out of three teen boys that say they feel pressure to have sex. About one in four girls say that they feel the same.

So viewing the label “virgin” as a kind of stigma isn’t just a teenage mentality. The problem comes from the fact that people are getting pressured to do something they should enjoy. Teenagers are having sex, not because they feel that they’re ready to have sex, but because they want to fit in with the rest of their friends and peers.

Judith Steinhart, Senior Health Educator at Alice!, a Columbia University’s Health Education Program, speaks of how –

A lot of teens are having sex without pleasure. Having it is more important than feeling the pleasure that comes with it. Being able to tell their friends is sometimes more important than any pleasure that they would share with their intimate or sexual partner.

I’ve known people who wished they hadn’t caved into pressure to lose their virginity. And if they could take back that moment, they would. Sex isn’t just a physical thing, after all; it also affects you emotionally and mentally. Don’t underestimate the effects of sex, and don’t do “It,” just because you think everyone else is doing it.

And the truth of the matter is: according to the CDC, less than half of all high school students have had sex. Case in point: Not everyone is doing it. Not even close to everyone.

So fight peer pressure. Don’t have sex because you feel as if you have to “prove something”, or because “everyone’s doing it” (to quote your mom: If everybody jumped off a cliff, would you do that too?).

Oh yeah, remember Guy, that guy I was talking about earlier in this post? Losing his virginity didn’t make him cleaner, cuter, or less of a jerk than he already is.

For other information on sexual behaviors of teens, visit these links:

2 Responses to “Is Everybody Doing It?”

  1. Lucy Cotton

    When I had a boyfriend in my teens, I found myself tongue tied about my own likes and dislikes. Even in the intimacy of private goings on, I felt uncomfortable articulating ‘slow down’ or ‘go faster.’

    Eventually, I broke up with that boyfriend, in part because of that disconnect between what I wanted and what I said and what was happening.

    A few months back, borrowing a page from a self defense class I went to in college, I looked myself in the mirror and practiced saying, “I want to kiss you,” “I want you to touch me,” “I don’t want you to touch me,” “I want you to touch me [x place],” “I don’t want you to touch me [y place].”

    It was horribly, horribly uncomfortable, but the first step to articulating yourself is to know that you can string the words together and getting used to them. Everyone should be able to say no – it shouldn’t stick in your throat. And part of that is saying it alone, to yourself, so that you know that the words can come.

    (Now, personally, I also think you should be able to say yes. But that is less topical.)

    • Vanessa

      First off — let me just say thank you for speaking about your experience. It can’t be an easy thing to disclose something like that.

      I find it amazing of you for having the confidence to speak out — heck, for having the confidence to *practice* speaking out. Sometimes people shy away from standing up for themselves because it takes too much effort, or it’s too intimidating.

      You’re absolutely right about articulating yourself.

      And haha! I agree with you that you should also be able to say yes. It *is* your body and you are ultimately in charge of it. But your body’s also very important (something that people oftentimes forget), which is why you should give a decision careful consideration before committing to it — drugs, sex, alcohol, etc.

      Your input is invaluable. Thanks for reading! ^_^