What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest posts is by Amanda. What I’d like you to know is that being a 24 year old virgin kind of feels like being stuck in a volcano of emotion, longing, and hopeful despair. I made a decision during the good ole “true love waits” days to save the big one for a lifelong commitment, but now I must confess that in recent years sexual purity has begun to feel lot more spinsterish. It doesn’t help that there are TV shows like TLC’s “The Virgin Diaries” out there, that show clips of couples awkwardly sucking each other’s faces during the wedding ceremony. Then there’s “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” which makes me start an inward countdown, because I don’t want to be 40 and still a virgin. Our culture has taken something like virginity and made it something that you actually NEED to lose to have a complete life experience. Don’t get me wrong, I know all of the reasons why sex is better in a committed relationship, but if you don’t mind, I’d like to share how a couple of things feel. It feels like I am under attack from all sides. I picture myself being chased down the hill by three massive boulders named judgment, biological clock, and chastity lectures. While these boulders are chasing me, I am trying to hold up the train on my metaphorical white dress, stop myself from tripping and falling off the side of the mountain, and keep my dress from getting grass stains. In short, purity is hard. It often feels like my friends who have had sex outside of marriage are trying to get a preemptive strike on all the judging. They feel like I might judge them because of their choices, so they judge me for my choices. What I want you to know is that I don’t judge you because you sleep with your boyfriend. You are vulnerable with him in a very deep way and you don’t need any judgment from me. I have reasons for the choice that I have made, but I’m not sitting here waiting to bash you with them. Yes, we can talk about your relationship honestly. The last thing I want is for you to feel like you need to hide what is actually happening in your life because you think I might judge you. Please don’t judge me preemptively. Please, try not to treat virgins like an extinct species. I’m telling you, we exist. Let’s let the judgment boulder roll right on past us. Then, there’s the issue of my eggs. I have dear married friends who do the monthly dance of “Oh God, I hope I am not pregnant” and/or “Oh God, please let me be pregnant.” I want you to know that I love you all. But, sometimes I envy the simple fact that you go home to a pair of arms that are attached to a man who loves you deeply. I understand that now feels like a terrible time to be pregnant, either that or you are upset that you haven’t gotten pregnant yet. But, I want you to know that sometimes I hold babies and feel that pang of longing the same way you do and then I give the babies back to their mommas and go home to the bed of my celibacy. Your eggs are doing the tango to the tune of “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps,” while mine might as well be frozen and saved for a time when they can actually be of use to me. YES, I want to tell you. I have a biological clock and it’s ticking too. Finally, I want you to know that the older I get the stronger my hormones scream at me that I need to just hurry up, meet someone and get laid. Yes, I know that sex before marriage is wrong. Yes, I agree that it is best saved for a committed relationship. But, lately a few of my dreams have had me praying a lot after I wake up. Then I go running, just for good measure. So, I want you to know that I am not looking for cliché phrases like, “Your husband will be so glad that you saved yourself for him.” I don’t need more chastity lectures. Please don’t tell me to pray more. Instead, please just encourage me honestly. Let me know that you know how hard it is to be lonely. Give me hugs, let me hold your babies, and keep introducing me to eligible single guys.