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FIT SPEAKS A Virgin’s Rite of Passage by Fernanda DeSouza

Here’s the man I lost my virginity to. Or at least some of him. And I’ll admit that it didn’t happen all that long ago. Although my v-card could have been swiped in high school, I chose to wait because what the hell did my 16-year-old self know about sex? Plenty, but not enough to actually have it. My perception of sex, perhaps too romantic and old fashioned, was that it was an intimate moment shared with someone you loved (or thought you loved). I failed to mention that I was a virgin to this man. Instead, I let myself go and trusted my body, and his. “This is it,” I thought And just like that, after some huffing and puffing, it was over.

I was unsatisfied to discover that upon losing my virginity, nothing about me changed and I didn’t feel a connection I so longed for with this man. So why did I make such a big deal about it? For a long time, I was fed up with friends who teased me for being a virgin but others commended me for waiting so long. There was a growing gap between my childhood and adulthood and I used sex as a measurement. The longer I remained a virgin, the longer I took to blossom into adulthood. Because adulthood in my mind meant birth control and having my gynecologist on speed dial.

Beware Of the Dark Circles by Daniela Rios

Wait! Before you start making alien mind control protection caps out of aluminum foil (don’t pretend we all haven’t been scared by that alien movie “Signs”), let it be known that there are no aliens (besides maybe in our hallucinations) in this article. I’m not talking science fiction here, folks, I’m talking about our very own whacked-out sleeping schedules, the kind of schedules which are only called a “schedule” for lack of a better word -- now say it aloud: “schedule.” HA! Who are we fooling, right? It is a universal fact that college students don’t get enough sleep. We might have just found the reason why people wear sunglasses indoors and in the cloudiest of days, and I may or may not be sorry that this has ruined the mysterious vibe these club-master creatures give off. We know what you’re hiding under there: designer bags. I can almost hear the distant rustling of millions of dollars that makeup companies are rolling in, selling fancyshmancy eye creams to feed our constant efforts in covering the dark circles under our eyes (and this is not exclusive to girls.) Hiding these babies is no easy task, it can take layers upon layers before we reach a color that matches our normal skin tone. But if you’re like me, I just let them do their “thang.” I wear them like a glittering medal earned for all the nights I stayed up perfecting a project, learning a new trade, practicing my French, learning how to pronounce onomatopoeia, or (I admit) catching up on “Mad Men” (which I consider taking notes, being an AMC major and all). Even if I get called a raccoon once in a while for my natural look or asked about my “bar fight” last night, I will take the raccoon remark as a compliment because these mammals are

known for their intelligence and ability to adapt as well as their dark eyes. Studies have shown that their incredible memory allows them to remember the solution to tasks for up to three years! Humph, and they thought they were insulting me. The reason why “BEWARE OF THE DARK CIRCLES” could be read as a warning sign is because people who usually stay up all night (for the right reasons) are extremely hard workers. Just walk into the Feldman Center basement computer lab late at night to see who is getting ahead while their classmates are in the midst of entering their REM sleep or out partying on rooftops (if they’re hip).. Sitting down with friends I’ll hear things like “I shut my alarm clock off this morning while I was getting ready to go to school. Why? Oh yeah, because I didn’t sleep!” People who are guilty of staying up all night also tend to be very hard on themselves, striving for nothing but the best (in their eyes, at least.) These people are extremely dedicated to their work and that’s something I deeply admire. A very talented person I once met pulled all-nighters to redo projects from LAST SEMESTER, just for their own peace of mind, and here I was thinking I was insane in the membrane. I am in no shape to romanticize dark circles under our eyes caused by lack of sleep. If anything, getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for our success (I’m still trying to remember this.) I know we are all trying to live up to our own high standards, but please, for the love of raccoons everywhere, try and take it easy on yourself. Get out your four inch thick agenda and plan a date for just you and your bed, candles and wine optional.

I decided to take a long look in the mirror. The before picture: purity, innocence and chastity gushing from my pores. A sexually deprived young woman waiting to be deflowered. The after picture: triumphal acceptance into this “club” of humanity who were “doing it.” I shrugged and said, “Ok, now give me more.” I’m not going to sit here and discuss my sexual escapades or desires. But I will say that since losing my virginity, something within me did in fact change and I wasn’t privy to it at first. It took me a solid month to realize this veil of expectations and assumptions had lifted and whatI finally understood what sex about to me at that given moment. I wasn’t in love with him, I wasn’t oozing affection for him, it was simply just an act of sexual drive. A basic human need, nothing more. I enjoyed the experience for what it was and thought nothing more of it. What I gained from it the most was confidence. There, another human being had seen me unclothed, with all the flaws of my body bare, nothing to hide. And since then, I’ve come to accept my body for what it is. It took 22 years but I finally did and the feeling, of being comfortable in my skin, is euphoric. I’ve also taken more risk with men. Yes, I handed my number to the bartender that one drunken night, Star Wars themed, because after much Instagram stalking, realized he was a big Star Wars aficionado. “This is not a Jedi mind trick,” it said. I was even considerate enough to illustrate Darth Vader to add to the charm. Did he ever text? No. Does he give me free drinks every weekend and discuss comic books and Wookiees with me? Yes! In my mind, I still won. The man in the photograph and I are not, and never were, “together” (whatever that means these days). We remain friends and share artistic visions but despite knowing we will never be an entity, I cherish having shared that moment with him. In fact, I’m grateful because he’s helped me come to terms with my sexuality, my womanhood and let’s not be coy here, unleashed a sexual side of me I was completely unaware of. Plus, we have an adorable photobooth together! Looks like I’ve picked out my Halloween costume: Princess Leia in her risque slave clothes. Perky nipples galore!

February 2014: The Sex Issue  
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