When I wrote an article about women who waited until marriage to have sex for the very first time, a few readers posed questions that boiled down to one blind spot: What about men?
Virginity can be associated with all genders and sexes. Almost every time, however, such an idea falls squarely on females. It’s an unjust proposition, really. So, when the story was published in February, we at PhilSTAR L!FE decided to look for males on the same side of the spectrum when it comes to this construct. But in a society that tends to set masculinity side by side with the number of girls that guys have “scored” or slept with, the search turned out to be more difficult than we expected.
It took us over three months to find three Pinoys who are willing to talk about the same decision they have made for themselves. Curious about their reasons? Before reading on to find that out, it’s important to note that my stance on the topic remains: everyone—virgin or not—can do whatever they want to do with their body and still be regarded with equal worth, respect, and understanding.
For Jacky Garcia Alcoriza, 33, his conviction to keep his virginity until his wedding night stems from his personal experiences. He grew up with two siblings who started their own families at an early age—16 and 17 to be exact. “My kuya impregnated his ex-girlfriend when he was 17 but they eventually broke up because she migrated to the US,” he shared. “Naiwan sa amin yung bata for six or seven years.”
He continued on to recount some moments when he saw his mom getting “deeply hurt” and overwhelmed. “She kept crying and confiding to me because my father was not around since he was an OFW then. Ramdam na ramdam ko yung malalim na pain ng mother namin,” he said. “Kaya natanim sa isip ko na malaking responsibilidad ito. Dahil batang nag-asawa ang mga kapatid ko, they needed my parents to support them financially not only with their studies but also their child’s needs.”
What happened put forward a significant pact with himself: “I will enter a relationship only when I’m 100% ready for marriage and I will remain pure until then.” And that, he did. He’s now living a blissful life with his “first, last, and only girlfriend,” with whom he got married in 2015.
“It’s worth the wait, worth the sacrifice, and really worth fighting for,” he declared. “And by having been able to do so, I could say to my wife Gerlie, my one true love next to God, ‘I knew I loved you before I met you.’"
There’s also the concept of “self-preservation” for “the one,” which has been the case for 20-year-old Miles Vincent, who refused to share photographs of himself. “For me, magandang ibigay yung sarili sa babae kapag wala ka pang karanasan sa iba. Maganda sa paningin ng parents ng babae kapag yung lalaki, malinis humarap sa magulang ng babae,” he said. “For me, magandang malinis ang kalooban mo at hindi mo basta basta ibinibigay yung sarili mo kahit mapalalaki ka man or babae.”
“Minsan, may mga nami-meet ako na hindi makapaniwala na may mga lalaki pa pala na gaya ko,” he said. How is he dealing with temptation? “Nagfo-focus lang ako sa mga magandang pagkakaabahalan sa buhay,” he mused. “Basta hindi ako padalos-dalos sa mga desisyon ko kasi for me, hindi lang sex ang kasagutan sa mga bagay-bagay.”
The conservative Filipino culture has become a huge factor in 27-year-old Lorenzo Leo Fontanilla-Borella’s promise to wait for the right time. “I grew up with my mom imposing traditional moral values on me, so my views and opinions will always align with her teachings,” he explained. “For me, I can still be liberated in terms of humor, but that does not necessarily mean I will initiate it into actions.”
When asked how people react upon knowing his personal choice, Ley said, “Nagugulat sila at madalas hindi naniniwala. Pero okay lang kasi mas kilala ko ang sarili ko.”
There was even a time when his then colleagues joked about his virginity. “They all made fun of me when they knew, and I can still remember the way I responded: ‘Hindi naman sukatan ng pagkatao ang virginity. Pero for me, mas masarap ibigay at gawin ang mga unang bagay sa taong mahal mo pagkatapos ng kasal, kaysa kung kani-kaninong tao nalang, ‘di ba?’ Some of them rolled their eyes and walked away.”
Staying a virgin, to this day, has been one of the best decisions he has made in life. “I find validating emotions through sex unhealthy,” he said. “There are other ways you can solve your problems.. sometimes, all you need is one hand to solve them, if you know what I mean,” he said with a laugh.
Article thumbnails courtesy of the subjects