I am what some people may call tainted, impure, but of course I don’t think so. At the age of 16, I made an executive decision that I was “ready”.
“Ready” for what? You ask. Well basically two days after my 16th birthday, I lost my virginity. People can define virginity differently, and in my case, it means I had sex. It was the best decision I’ve ever made, and to this day, one year later, I never regretted the decision. (READ: Here’s why you’re still single)
My boyfriend stood by and supported me. He never pressured me to have sex with him. It was his first too, and so he was probably as nervous as I was. There he was, sitting next to me and holding me tightly saying: “Don’t worry, I’m going to wait with you for as long as you want, weeks, months, years, I don’t care. Being in a relationship doesn’t justify sex. I love you for who you are.”
But I’ve always felt heavy hearted when it came to that decision. For months on end my boyfriend and I discussed the notion of sex. Growing up in Indonesia, of course this was a difficult decision. Losing your virginity outside of marriage seems such an immoral and unforgivable act. And at the age of 16, it’s more than asking for trouble, I’m basically asking for public ridicule, if people found out. I was scared, terrified, petrified, pretty much every emotion that warranted emotional outburst. (READ: Heat of the moment and no condom? What to do)
I moved to Australia in the early stages of my teenage-hood, and so most of my “puberty” days took place there. But the traditional orthodox views that was upheld and drilled into my head still lingered on for years after. I was never a conservative, I didn’t align my self with a particular religion, and my parents were particularly liberal. I was lucky, in a sense, that I was able to explore myself with my parents’ approval. But that doesn’t mean that I got the approval of the rest of the community, friends or families. So I hid the fact that I’d lost my virginity, save for a few who knew.
I went back to Indonesia a couple of months after I had sex for the first time, and caught up with my best-friend whom I’ve been friends with for nearly 13 years. I thought, “Hey, she should know this. Something big just happened in my life.” So I told her.
Far from being impressed, she said: “Why did you do that? You know that if you do it from a young age you can get cancer right? That is morally wrong. You’re wrong! You’re tainted! No one would want you anymore. If you guys breakup you have no future! If you get pregnant no one would want you. No one will support you.”
I was shocked; this came out of the mouth of someone that I had practically grown up with, that I’d known since kindergarten, and her response was this. I begged her not to tell anyone, and of course she kept that promise, at the expense of our friendship.
A year later, and I’m still together with my boyfriend, I’m not pregnant (guys and girls, its important to learn about sex education!) and have never been so happy with my decision.
I love my country (Indonesia) a lot, but it needs to stop making sex a taboo subject. It’s okay to talk about it to people, and more importantly, if there is CONSENT between two individuals, it is not morally wrong. It does not make me any less of a human, or make me untrustworthy. I am as capable as any human being. I am not a criminal.
I understand that, of course, some people would want to wait until marriage, and that’s perfectly fine. It is up to each individual when they would like to have sex (or not!). What is wrong is when your opinion of when to have sex is forced on someone else. What is worst, is when you publicly ridicule one’s decision. It’s your body. It’s your decision.
I am 17, I am not tainted. – Rappler.com
This story was first published on Magdalene, a slanted guide to women and issues.
Ally Wardono is a journalism student and is interested in politics. She is busy studying during the day, and by night she plays the guitar with her mates around Melbourne. She hopes that one day she could go back to Indonesia and educate the people about the importance of equality.