The Big V: What’s A Good Filipina Girl To Do?

The Big V

Already a few minutes late, I rush into the classroom, plunk myself down on my assigned seat, breathe deeply a few times, turn to face my partner.

And I freeze.

Über hot bod – check.

Scruffy, cutely messed up hair – check.

Grey eyes, crinkly at the corners – check.

Nice, fresh, minty smell – check.

Halfway done through problem sets (already?!) – check.

Heart-stopping smile – check.

He’s one of those really adorable types that make you starry-eyed and dreamy. I felt like I’d been knocked over in my seat. Unfortunately, this usually means I grin shyly, heart thumping wildly in my chest, glance at him from the corner of my eyes, and CLAM UP COMPLETELY.

Now I don’t know how you go about it, but this has happened to me several times over the years, while I was in the Philippines and other countries – I meet a guy I’m supremely attracted to, and I do NOTHING. Many people have tried counseling me on the matter, some even going so far as to suggest that I just kiss him. There are many reasons I give myself: I might think that the guy’s too drop-dead gorgeous to fall for little ol’ me, who walks around in sneakers and eats too much peanut butter. Or I have no time to be playing footsie when I need to focus on other more important things in my life, like, oh, work or academics. Or he may not be the right person for me, and, really, girl, physical attraction is not the be-all-and-end-all of luuurve. Besides, he really should be the one coming after me, blah blah blah.

But the big V is definitely part of the equation.

Yes, you know which one I am talking about: virginity.

Because, in these situations, boy + girl = sex. Eventually. Hopefully. Exactly – that’s just the thing.

Maybe I’m scared of all the talk and looks I may get. Maybe my parents and family will disapprove. Maybe my reputation as a good, upstanding girl will be ruined. Maybe the ‘no-sex-before-marriage-or-you’ll-burn-in-hell’ thing looms in the horizon like an inevitable monster that’s going to swallow me whole!

Or maybe I just listened to Freestyle’s ‘So Slow’ song far too much throughout my high school days.

The fact of the matter is that, for me, sex for the first time is extremely daunting. It may hurt – or it may not – but that’s not the biggest worry. Losing virginity is the first height of physical intimacy with another person, the real deal when it comes to sharing physical experiences. When I think about it, there’s nothing quite like knowing that another person will be exploring the shapes and planes and softness of the body that only I have come to discover throughout puberty (nope, my parents’ changing my diapers don’t count). Exposing myself in this manner makes me extremely vulnerable, not only physically but emotionally. It’s a space reserved just for me, and to let another person into that space means they’re encroaching – and carving – paths in my innermost feelings and heart. But it doesn’t really end there – what if the relationship is extinguished like a puff of smoke? Will I be able to take it, knowing that there’s somebody walking around, obliviously carrying a little part of me? And, goodness, what about the next time?!

So, first times become like the lamp Aladdin had to get in that cave in the desert – only one who is worthy can enter. Or something like that, and, of course, sooner or later not just with three ‘wishes’.

Even though sex in bf-gf relationships is becoming more acceptable nowadays, I wonder if people still think about the first time they will have sex in this way. Is it good, bad, something I should just accept, or change?

To make matters worse, these myriad of thoughts run through my mind, and I overthink the whole thing. So much so that every time I open my mouth to talk to that cute guy, I freeze. And freeze some more – up until the bell rings and the opportunity walks away on worn-out Chucks, never looking back.