[About Cat Hartliebe]

In Dove, both of my main characters are virgins. They mention it and hold on to their virginity for the entire book. Which would be deemed strange for fantasy gay characters. At least the ones you see most often written.

Let’s get this out of the way. I’m not writing this as a fantasy I wish to watch or get involved in. Being gay is not a fetish and should never be deemed one. Don’t just read a story so you can imagine the two characters having sex. What is wrong with you? People are people. People’s interest or lack there of in others is their own business. I may be the writer and thus the god to the story, but I won’t treat my characters as some fetish induced dream.

Back to the real topic. Virginity. It’s a myth really. It’s a made up word by cruel people trying to classify someone in a way they wish to. What was created in myth and cruelty doesn’t have to stay that way.

Virginity has no scientific backing. There is no way to prove if you’re a virgin. It is really only a designation you can give yourself. No one else has such a right over you. Don’t believe anyone who tries to tell you otherwise. It’s not science. It’s not medically noticeable in any way. It can be part of your identity if and only if it’s important to be part of your identity. You do not have to use it if you do not want to.

Virginity means you never agreed and had sex with anyone. That’s it. It is part of your self identifiers if you wish to use it. It shouldn’t be a boast. It has nothing to do with sexual attraction. It doesn’t mean you aren’t looking. It says nothing about masturbation.

Virginity means you never had sex with a partner.

That leads you down the question of what constitutes as sex with a partner? “Sex” is far more complicated than you give it credit for. Most when they think sex the only type is the plain vanilla penetrative sex between a male and female. That’s definitely wrong. Truly if you can use the term sexual before the act and have it be redundant, it counts as sex. That doesn’t mean those are the only ways to have sex. It’s broad and complicated. Go seek out your own interests in what you want sex to mean. The above statement would be correct always. Some people have broader definitions than others, so communicate with your possible partners before doing anything.

Truly if you can use the term sexual before the act and have it be redundant, it counts as sex.

Partners… Who- or what- counts as a partner? For one, it has to be a who. Sex must contain consent freely given. All ‘whats’ are either non living (which puts you into the masturbation category) or living but not offering consent.

Which brings up consent. Absolutely important to understand consent before you get involved in sex. Because without consent, it’s not sex, it’s rape.


Consent must be Freely Given (coercion does not count; assumption does not count), Reversible (either partner can back out for any reason), Informed (every act must be accepted; don’t assume), Enthusiastic, and Specific. Although I’d probably not use such a bright word like Enthusiastic. Willing would suit better. But Planned Parenthood wanted an easy word to remember: FRIES. So if your partner is capable of consent and agrees to all of the above, then it’s sex. So simple. Realize that you don’t need a full conversation before the act to have acquired all of these things. When you are interested in sex with someone be up front about it. Learn a person’s non verbal clues as well as their vocal ones. Each person has clues saying yes and no. The big factor is DON’T ASSUME. Assumptions do not equal consent.

Rape is not sex. If drowning=/= swimming, then rape=/= sex. Yes, really.

Which means if you were raped, you did not lose your virginity. Your virginity must be something you accept giving up. It has nothing to do with the other person, or persons, involved. Your virginity is yours and only yours. If someone gets excited about taking it, you probably shouldn’t be having sex with them.

In the same frame of mind, you can be a virgin with certain acts. Perhaps you had oral but not anal. You can consider yourself an anal virgin.

Bringing up the fact you are a virgin indicates you aren’t experienced in sex. Meaning you can’t explain what previous partners have done to help you have more fun. All your experience is self induced which helps in a lot of ways (especially if there were toys involved), but is not the same as sex with a partner. The less experience you have, the less you’ve had to communicate about your desires. It should mean more questions not less.

That doesn’t mean virgins are automatically going in blind. Nor does it mean a non virgin isn’t going in blind. There are plenty of cases of someone who studied beforehand. You can study your body, and you can study through sex education courses (not porn; that is not study; that’s like calling the WWE real wrestling.) A non virgin could have agreed to have sex, but wasn’t given the ability how to communicate their interests. I would worry they fall closer to the raped category than they are willing to admit.

In Dove, their relationship seems different. Icarus has literally zero interest in sex. He’s asexual closing in on sex repulsed, although how repulsed is remained to be seen since that doesn’t happen during the story. Joe has some interest. He’s sexually attracted to Icarus, which helps to become a willing participator in sex, but he doesn’t feel comfortable jumping into such an act and wouldn’t wish to force Icarus when he doesn’t want it.

That doesn’t mean at some point in the future the two won’t do something in this field. They probably will. At some point, Joe’s interest will draw Icarus into the idea. This is why I say enthusiastic probably shouldn’t be the key word there. Icarus will probably never be enthusiastic. But he will be willing and open and accepting of the idea. There are many people who will never be enthusiastic about sex. That doesn’t mean they aren’t willing. Consent can still be given even if they aren’t overly excited for the act.

This has gotten longer than I thought it would. I hit all the points I wanted to make, so I can end here.

TL;DR Virginity isn’t science, it’s a self descriptor meaning you haven’t agreed and acted on the agreement for sex. Specifically sex. Rape doesn’t count. Masturbation doesn’t count. Always get consent or it’s not sex.

[About Cat Hartliebe]

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