Am I still a virgin?…

…My boyfriend and I tried having sex.  He put it in but I pushed him away after a few minutes.  I didn’t feel it all the way in.  It didn’t hurt me or give me any pleasure. I bled a little but my period had just stopped that day. Am I still a virgin?

Tough question! Virginity is hard to talk about—in part, because it’s so hard to define. Some people define “virginity loss” as having penile-vaginal intercourse for the first time; others include oral or anal sex in this definition, too. Those in same-sex relationships may be sexually active in other ways; what about them? At the end of the day, you’re the only one who can define when you are or aren’t a virgin, and how you feel about it.

At Teen Clinic, we try to talk about specific behaviors rather than concepts like virginity. From the situation you described, it sounds like you had penile-vaginal intercourse. This means it’s time to start a birth control method and make sure you’re preventing STIs. Even if  someone with a penis doesn’t ejaculate inside the vagina, pre-ejaculate may be present, so use a condom every time for the entire activity to prevent unintended pregnancies and infection.

If you’re not sure how you feel about your first experience, consider talking to a trusted adult. You’re welcome to make an appointment at Teen Clinic if you’re not sure where to go.  And keep in mind that not everyone’s first experience is pleasurable; sometimes it takes a little while for partners to discover what each likes and dislikes. The most important thing is to make sure you’re feeling safe and comfortable. Just because you’ve had vaginal intercourse once doesn’t mean you have to again, or that you have to on any given day, or that you have to with this partner. It’s your health. Communicate with your partner how you’re feeling, and don’t feel pressured into anything you’re not ready for. If you do feel ready for intercourse, be sure to take the steps that will keep you safe and healthy.

To learn more about preparing for vaginal intercourse, check out this question.