I want to stay a virgin until marriage, but my boyfriend and I have had “dry sex”. Does that mean I’ve broken my promise? Is it normal to do this?
People define “virginity” in many different ways. For some people, staying a “virgin until marriage” means not having sex until marriage. This can be for cultural, religious, or personal reasons. Some may define “sex” as penis-in-vagina sex, others may define “sex” as including vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
"Dry sex" or “dry humping” (rubbing against your partner with clothes on) can help define whether you consider yourself a virgin or not — it all depends on how you define sex and virginity. Because the truth is “virginity” is a made up concept by society, not a medical term.
It’s also good to keep in mind that basically any sexual activity that you and your partner want to do (meaning there’s consent) and that doesn’t hurt anyone is 100% normal. And bonus, sexual activities like dry humping come with no risk of unintended pregnancy or STIs.
So at the end of the day, what really matters is whether or not what you’re doing aligns with your personal values about sex and relationships. Do you feel good about your choices, without worrying about what others or the larger culture might think? If you’re not sure of the answer to this question, it can be helpful to talk it through with your partner, a trusted adult, or a supportive friend to help you figure it out.