Great advice— in response to an old post, but throwing this out there anyways because it is important!
My advice is that anybody who tells you how to define your own sexuality isn’t being an awesome friend. Having had sex before has nothing to do with whether or not your are asexual. The great thing about sexuality is that yours is your own to define- so don’t listen to what anybody else has to say about whether or not you fit into what their narrow definitions are.
The images from Swedish photographer David Magnusson’s new book, Purity, are beautiful, disturbing and tell a distinctly American story – a story wherein a girl’s virginity is held up as a moral ideal above all else, a story in which the most important characteristic of a young woman is whether or not she is sexually active. This narrative of good girls and bad girls, pure girls and dirty girls, is one that follows young women throughout their lives. Purity balls simply lay that dichotomy bare. In a clip from a Nightline Prime episode on these disconcerting events , a father tells his braces-clad daughter, “You are married to the Lord, and your father is your boyfriend.”
While it would be easy to dismiss purity balls as fringe – most American fathers don’t require their daughters to pledge their virginity in an elaborate ceremony – the paternalism and fear of female sexuality underlying the events are present throughout American culture. (I wrote about this phenomenon in my 2009 book, The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women.)
The idea of girls’ chastity as a mobilizing force in culture and politics may feel like a throwback, but it’s something that still tangibly impacts thousands upon thousands of modern women – even through policy.
If you need something answered, now is your chance!