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A Conversation on Losing Virginity

There is no correct age to lose your virginity. The age at which people lose their virginity is extremely personal and subjective. It also depends a lot on cultural values. For example, in the United States, the average age for someone to lose their virginity is 17 years old. In Malaysia, the average is 23 years old.

Another factor that can play into someone “losing their virginity” is their definition of sex. For most, a “virgin” is someone who has not had penis-in-vagina penetration. However, there are many people in the LGBTQIA+ community who will never have penis-in-vagina sex.

Ultimately, it is important to expand the definition of penetration, normalize sex and take the pressure off of young people to lose their virginity at a certain time. After all, each journey is unique and valid.

Transcript

Dr. Judy:

Opinions, we all have them, especially when it comes to love and sex. So what happens when two people get to share their opinions in an open and honest conversation? Maybe they learn something about the other person and maybe they learn something about themselves?

I'm Dr. Judy, and this is Well, In My Opinion. Today, we're asking the question, "What's the correct age to lose your virginity?"

Skyler:

I feel bad. Like it's weird. One of the things, we're like, I do know that I lost it too young.

Nicole:

Mm-Hmm.

Skyler:

OK. But I feel funny because I did it telling someone else that it's what to do. But then again, isn't that what life is like? Ex-cons get out of prison and go, "Don't kill people." So, you know, I'm going to say I'm just going to straight up say.. oh my God, I almost at the age that my daughter is, so I'm not gonna say that age that age, because then she's going to see this and go, "that's the age," and I'm going to be like, "no, I was kidding." She's like, you look pretty serious to me.

Nicole:

After 18.

Skyler:

I'm like, I'm not answering what I really think, I'm answering on how people are gonna react. I'd be a great president. I think it's probably like… it's got to be an even year, too, right? It's probably 16, dude. Let's just be real. You get your car. Dude now I just sound weird talking about people having sex at 16.

Nicole:

I think you would say for a boy… 16.

Skyler:

Don't call me sexist.

Nicole:

But a girl, he would say, "Over 25."

Skyler:

No.

Nicole:

Yeah.

Skyler:

No, because our 14 year old son, I'm worried about him turning us into grandparents way before I'm worried about [our daughter].

Nicole:

Yeah, but you're way more lenient on him.

Skyler:

That's not true.

Nicole:

You don't ask him where he's going and then spy on him and ask, you know…

Skyler:

Because he doesn't have some boy trying to get in his pants. I mean, maybe he does.

Nicole:

You don't know that.

Skyler:

18. It's 18. It really is 18. The more I think about the 18. I'm not going to lie to you, the girl that I lost to it, we were just naked and like [arms gesturing stiffly] just, you know, I guess, dry humping and just kept kind of going. And then eventually it's just like flopped in, you know what I mean?

Nicole:

Because you didn't know what you're doing. You don't even know that it went in the right hole.

Skyler:

And I had lied to her. She thought I had done it before. I talked a big game.

Nicole:

I think everybody lies. I for sure lied about already doing it and I didn't do it.

Skyler:

Really?

Nicole:

Yeah, because you want to feel like you already know.

Skyler:

I'm just surprised it went in there, because later in life, it's been hard to get in, sometimes, you know? I mean, that's just kind of went through it.

Nicole:

You got lucky.

Skyler:

It was like I had a hero sandwich in a banana. I just kept tossing it towards it. Eventually, you're going to get the sandwich, not the first time, but you're going to get in there one in 47 chance, you know. So as long as you thrust 47 times, you're going to have sex.

Dr. Judy:

The average age in the United States for someone to lose their virginity is 16.9 years old for men and 17.2 years old for women. The country where people wait the longest to lose their virginity is Malaysia with an average of 23 years old. The bottom line: There's no correct age to lose your virginity. It's whatever's right for you.

Tanya:

Honestly, I'll just give an age. I'll say the adult age at 18 to me is… it's comfortable, at least. I mean, you've had sexual feelings for probably a good five years by that point. And being able to really explore and kind of learn about it. But if you're, you know, mature enough to handle the consequences of sex and all that. But I think in terms of mentally mature, I think 18 is the best.

Hana:

It's interesting because I was pretty young when I lost my virginity. I was probably like, I think I was like 13 or 14. But I think it really just depends on the person. And just like how educated you are, and I feel like we need to be doing more to educate kids on sex. And I feel like a lot of the sex education that goes on it just like demonizes sex, and that's just going to make a kid want to do it more. So we need to really just be 100% open and transparent with what really goes on because people don't really realize, oh, don't just have unprotected sex, so you don't have a kid, whatever we pull out. You don't know about these STDs that these people have.

Tanya:

Even the emotional toll of exactly sex and just, you know, there are non-sexually transmitted diseases that will affect your physical body and your health as well.

Hana:

You get cancer from certain STDs.

Tanya:

Yeah. And sterilization happens, yeast infections, things of that nature. So it's like, if you can't talk about that and you can't get treated because you're minor, it's like, oh. It is about maturity, but sex comes with stuff.

Hana:

Yes.

Tanya:

It does. And you're better able to handle it when you're older and have more experience and you can really talk about your body, talk to your partner. Because what 13 or 14 year olds really having, you know, deep discussions about sex and not another 14 year old.

Hana:

You should be mature enough to be able to talk about your wants and your needs and your feelings.

Tanya:

Right, communicate it.

Hana:

Kids don't know how to do that. A lot of people don't know. Some adults don't even know how to do that, and it is super important before you have sex with anyone…

Tanya:

A lot of people don't know how to do that.

Hana:

You need to know how to communicate with them. So I don't think you should be having sex until you know how to effectively communicate with your partner.

Tanya:

Right. And I think, I mean, if you're a boy or girl, if you're a girl and you go to the gynecologist and you're embarrassed, you shouldn't be having sex.

Hana:

Exactly.

Tanya:

Boy, you go to the doctor and you're embarrassed by, you know, any kind of sexual situations or talk or your body and you don't know what's going on, you shouldn't be having sex at that point. So I think in terms of losing your virginity, you need to have the maturity to deal with what comes with being sexually active.

Hana:

Even though I lost my virginity at a young age, I definitely don't condone really, you know, doing that, that young. I just feel like it's just so much better when you're mature and you know what you want and you know what you deserve, most of all. Because you just get all messed up, and when you're young, you don't need to be worrying about these kinds of things. You should be, y'know, what cereal you're going to eat.

Tanya:

You know, you have sexual feelings, but it's like the social responsibility that that comes with the physical responsibility about your health, all those things require someone who's older and has more experience.And, you know, I come from a family of young mothers. My grandmother was a mother by 16 and I have aunts who are mothers as teens.

I have two best friends who were mothers by the time they graduated from high school. And I talk to them all, and they would rather have been older when they had their children. And it's just like, you know, just because you have sex doesn't mean you can really, I mean, you're forced now to deal with the consequences of it. So I think it's important to be mature when you lose your virginity. Definitely.

Hana:

Definitely. I agree.

Dr. Judy:

There's really no correct age to lose your virginity. But I think that it is such a rite of passage for most people that it probably does deserve a little bit of contemplation instead of it being an impulsive thing. Sometimes people feel like if they lose their virginity too late, it's embarrassing. But actually, I think it's really just about what makes you the most comfortable and what makes you feel like you're going to be the most emotionally stable after that event, especially if that relationship doesn't go anywhere, that it's just a sexual relationship. If it's just something casual, do you believe you can emotionally handle it? If you do, then it's OK, go for it.

I'm Dr. Judy, and this has been Well, In My Opinion.

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