Shailene Woodley: Girls lose their virginity after other girls pressure them

Shailene Woodley

Here’s a photo of Shailene Woodley at an AOL talk to promote White Bird in a Blizzard. She dressed down for the event, to say the least. Her hair, pulled back in a sweatband, is still very awkward. Shailene used to have long, luxurious locks. She cut it all off to play a cancer patient in The Fault in our Stars and because she wanted short hair too. Now it’s in that growing-out phase. I wonder if we’ll see her go the extension route.

Anyway. I’m very excited to watch Blizzard even though it’s gone straight to VOD. Not a good sign, but Eva Green is supposed to be magnificent as a hysterical woman who suddenly disappears. Her family discovers secrets, etc. It will be a nice drinking movie, I think. The director, Gregg Araki, directed the insane Doom Generation in the 1990s. Just let me point my browser in the right direction.

In the film, Shailene’s character is hell-bent upon losing her virginity. She sets her sights upon the neighborhood meathead — played by Shiloh Fernandez — and they have some spicy make-out scenes. The guy ends up being a great kisser, but not much else. (Ha!) Here are some assorted Shailene interview excerpts:

Shailene on losing her virginity onscreen: “I’ve lost my virginity four times onscreen — I’m a pro at it, apparently! One of the things I have been very keen on in doing those scenes is that they feel real because, I don’t know about you, but I do not personally think losing your virginity is a fun experience. It’s not glamorous — for some people, I think it is, but it wasn’t for a lot of people on this planet — so for me, it was a matter of, if we’re gonna do a scene that deals with that, it’s not gonna be, ‘Her back arches and she gasps in excitement.’ No, no, it’s gonna be messy and it’s gonna be real.”

The pressure of losing it: “I think a lot of people feel pressured into it — not by a man or a boy in particular, but because of comparing themselves to other girls in their school. So when they actually get the deed done, they don’t feel any sort of satisfaction because it wasn’t for themselves. It was for others in a way.”

The awkwardness of on-camera encounters: “It’s always an awkward situation when you have to pretend to be intimate with someone that you’re not actually intimate with … I think the awkwardness probably lends itself to these great virginity scenes.”

Shiloh Fernandez loved the sex scenes: “It was really just sort of fun for us to dive into this and just laugh at the whole silliness of not having anything sexual happen, and having to wear these pads on your private areas.”

On Blizzard: “You look at the house and its got the green lawn and no dust on the table, and it looks beautiful, but then you go inside and it’s completely broken and all in shambles. I think that’s how a lot of people live in this world.”

Gregg Araki on Shailene: “She’s not really interested in riding the YA train to fame. There’s something so natural about her acting, because she does understand a depth of humanity that most people don’t. … It’s just a joy to be around someone who represents what we do so purely.”

[From Hollywood Reporter & Page Six]

Do girls pressure other girls into losing their virginity? I don’t remember any of my high school pals doing so, but there’s an unspoken pressure. It’s easy to feel like you’re missing out on something when everyone else is raving about how great it feels … which I’m still convinced is a lie for most teenage girls. Dudes don’t know what they’re doing in high school. Teenagers tend to embellish how great a backseat experience was when it was really just disappointing and awkward. It’s true. Don’t lie to me, girl.

Here’s Shailene in a printed Dior dress for last week’s premiere. Hair.

Shailene Woodley

Photos courtesy of WENN

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57 Responses to “Shailene Woodley: Girls lose their virginity after other girls pressure them”

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  1. Jegede says:

    I can’t speak for the US, but I volunteer for inner city schools during all our half-terms, and this statement is very correct and very sad.

    Shocked @ what I heard/saw from the female 5th formers.

    • Charlie says:

      Maybe it was just my generation, but I never felt any pressure to lose or “keep” my virginity. I have friends who lost it when they were 15 and they weren’t shamed for it, and I also have friends who are still virgins in their early 20-is and they are not pressured to lose it. I can’t speak for guys, but among us girls, someone’s virginity wasn’t all that important.

      • Amanda says:

        Same here . I had a large group of friends in high school, and nobody pressured me to lose my virginity in high school. Then again, we weren’t part of the “popular group” so that might have something to do with it.

      • Jegede says:

        Fair enough.

        But what I saw weekly, was a large number of girls nervous, scared, and hugely unsure of the emotional consequences. of what would go down.

        But still put on a front when they were with the crew, and felt that they had to in order to “feel among”

      • Charlie says:

        Our school system is so different from the American one so I’m not sure we had a popular group. If we did, I sure wasn’t a part of it, but I had friends who were quite popular and I don’t think they felt pressure either.

        @Jegede, no I completely understand what you are saying, I just said that I was lucky to not feel that pressure when I was growing up.

    • kimbers says:

      I wanted to get it over with at 14 ( I know) and “wam bammed thank you sir” my boyfriend at the time then just stopped talking to him. I would do it again, bc after ripping off the bandage of virginity i never felt pressured to do anything by anyone. I didn’t have sex again until years later.

      • OriginalTessa says:

        High school relationships were so fleeting for me. I felt like there was a group of 20 kids passing around partners for 4 years. I dated three boys that were all really good friends with each other. Every single one of them wanted to have sex, but somewhere in my head I knew that if I did it, he was going to leave me eventually. I waited until college when I was in a serious loving relationship. So glad about that.

  2. Veronica says:

    There’s probably some truth to that statement, since women and especially men can be virgin shamed these days. What I disagree with is the suggestion that this is the primary incentive for most women. I think most women go after sex for the same reason men do – because humans like to f*ck.

  3. blue marie says:

    Meh, I was 17 and did it just to get it over with. It was awkward and zero fun but that was fine, I didn’t expect it to be anything great. The next time though.. that was a blast. I wasn’t pressured by anybody but myself I think..

    • Kitten says:

      I think this is more often the case really. I mean…most teenagers don’t expect it to be like a romance novel, right?

    • Leen says:

      Same. I just wanted to lose it to get it over with. It’s interesting because in my group of friends I was the first to lose it (and I was 17). So I never really felt pressured. I guess it just depends on people’s environment.

    • Pandy says:

      I was almost 19 and it was me pressuring myself to get it over with. I did feel that pressure in school but it wasn’t friends egging me on – I was last to get period, etc., and was always playing catch up. And of course it was a nothing first time. It was really nothing until my 20s with my first real love.

  4. Pri says:

    I think she shot The Fault in Our Stars a while back, so her hair would’ve grown longer. She probably likes to keep it short.

  5. Arya Martell says:

    Now that I have entered my 30s I fear I do not get the younger generation. So is it just my disconnect from youth these days or is Shailene crazier than a bag of cats?

    But I lost my viginity at 14 to my best guy friend. No pressure we just decided to try it abd that since we were friends we wouldn’t judge each other. We decided the first time is always the hardest and most uncomfortable but afterwards we realized we were in love and our relationship lasted until we were 19. I don’t remember ever pressuring my friends to have sex or them pressuring me. But I know one girlfriend I had felt left out if we talked about our boyfriends in front of her. She was content to wait until marriage due to her religious values and we respected her decision so we did not have conversations about sex or our love lives when we were with her.

  6. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I feel really lucky because my first lover was very sweet and we loved each other, so the experience was great emotionally, but no, sexually it was painful and sort of “that’s it?” No offense to the guy, but he just didn’t have a lot of experience, either. My first good lover was a very different story. More like ” ohhhh, THAT’S it!”

    • Wren says:

      I found losing my virginity very anti-climactic. Very much, “That’s it? Kinda sucked.” Especially since our culture has built this weird sort of cult around female virginity and made it such a Big Deal. Getting my first tattoo was more thrilling than losing my virginity.

      Among my friends, some people had sex and others didn’t. I don’t remember feeling pressure from anyone about it. The only driving force was my own hormones and curiosity. Of course my boyfriend was all for it but I was the one to bring it up first.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Yeah, I didn’t feel any pressure from other people, either. I wanted to have sex. But it was a letdown at first. Lol.

  7. OriginalTessa says:

    That’s not exactly what she said. She didn’t come out and say girls pressure other girls, but that girls feel pressured to fit in with the other girls that are doing it. It’s not the same thing.

  8. Dommy Dearest says:

    False. Lost mine because I wanted to get my ex back. No female had anything to do with it. It was my own stupidity. That said, why is Gonzo famous?

  9. Jaded says:

    I can see where she’s coming from. There is a lot of peer and societal pressure on young girls today to be sexual long before they’re ready. In my day (gawd I sound old….wait, I am) the pressure came from guys but the cattiness came from women who would rip you to shreds if they found out you were no longer a virgin. And yes, I was a holdout until I was 21 and in my first serious relationship. And yes, the first few times were like “is that all there is…?”.

    • Chris2 says:

      I’m an Old too… I don’t know anything firsthand about modern teens.
      I did it on my 16th birthday, with the boy I intended to love forever. It was certainly a case of ‘huh?’ at first (though we swiftly became rabid bunnies.)
      I guess 16 in the early 70s is like only about 13 now, but I really do wish I had not engaged in sex that soon……it skewed my feelings about the boy, (and made my heart easily breakable), and most of all it took up time better spent with my girlfriends, who were a brilliant bunch of dames I was lucky to know. They were much more precious than my Harry Styles-lookalike, if only I’d had some sense!

      • Jaded says:

        Well Chris2, I dearly hope you are still friends with some of those brilliant dames. I have a couple of dear friends from my teens that I still see on a regular basis. We’ve all been through the wars, relationship-wise, but that’s made us closer and man there’s nothing like the support of a good gal-pal when you’re suffering from badrelationshipitis. *Virtual Hug*

  10. RCIsee says:

    She seems like a fairly sensible and interesting actress. Her quote about Blizzard had some very truthful observations.

  11. JB says:

    I can relate to what she is saying. I got around that pressure by fabricating a mystery boy at a another school and telling everyone I had done it with him. Which, in retrospect, was probably super obvious and is way more embarrassing than being a virgin through high school would have been. In my defense, I had extra issues. Lack of parenting, poor self-esteem, etc etc. It’s much better now. 🙂

  12. Virgilia Coriolanus says:

    That’s the biggest reason why I never wanted to have sex in high school. What high school boy knows ANYTHING about sex other than his own d-ck?

  13. Birdie says:

    Yeah, I was the last one in my group of friends to lose my virginity and I was so glad when it finally happened. I was finally in that “club”. So stupid when I look back now. But back then, the pressure was REAL. (Not from my friends, but from myself)

  14. Taby says:

    Gregg Araki on Shailene: “She’s not really interested in riding the YA train to fame.”

    Was that directed at her contemporaries???

  15. murphy says:

    It wasn’t pressure like “OMG why aren’t you doing this, you should do this!” It was more comparative–if you did it–you could prove that you were desireable enough to have a partner–sounds pretty lame now but to a 17 year old girl who just wants to be part of the group, its pretty important.

    Man being a teenager SOCKED!!! Being 30 and boring is so much better.

    • Belle Epoch says:

      There was pressure in my school. Someone circulated a list (no Internet, LOL) with the names of all the girls in the class, and you were supposed to report how far you had gone. First base? Second? Third? ALL THE WAY?

      I lied. The truth was I hadn’t done much of anything, but that was humiliating!

  16. Blech says:

    Ugh this girl…watched her on Fallon and she made me stabby

  17. decorative item says:

    I lost mine because the guy I was with was young, horny and pushy. I let it happen because my best friend was already having sex and I guess I thought I should too. Although, I don’t think I ever sat around and thought about it much, it was just a given I suppose because I was a teenager and sex is all around you on TV, mags, billboards, friends etc. But, I also had no supervision and ran wild most of my life. I am the compleate opposite with my kids, (always watching ) because I know how easy it is to get into trouble.

  18. Hope says:

    She has a point here. I can kind of relate to what she said. When I was 17 my then best friend came up to me and asked if I’ve already done “it”. No, I replied. Afterwards she told me that I should not wait any longer because it’s great. About three days later when the opportunity came to me I just decided to do it! Looking back at it I made the wrong decision but strangely I felt I had to do it since my friend did it too. I mean, I knew the dude pretty well and we had a back am forth relationship for years but I clearly wasn’t ready for it mentally.

    • OriginalTessa says:

      Your friend probably wasn’t either, and that’s why she wanted you to do it. Teenagers all want to feel like they’re the same as everyone else. She needed you to not be a virgin too. It’s so messed up, but that’s how kids act.

  19. lunchcoma says:

    I despise her, but I don’t think the quote was that terrible. She didn’t say all girls lost their virginity for that reason, just that comparative pressure affects many young girls. I think that’s as true as it is for boys.

    So, she made it through a whole interview without saying anything terrible, a first for her! (That YA train comment was someone else’s, so I won’t blame her for it.)

  20. littlestar says:

    Yeah, I kinda have to agree with her on this. My best friend in junior high and high school lost her virginity at 16 and was constantly pressuring me to lose mine as well. It was a horrible feeling, mostly because I was shy/awkward/felt VERY down on myself about my appearance (BAD acne), and there was this pressure from someone who was supposedly my friend to have sex like it was the be all end all. Thank goodness I did not cave to the pressure, because I had enough sense then to realize I was no where near ready to have sex. I guess I was a bit of a late bloomer, because I didn’t lose mine til I was 23. Very glad I lost my “virginity” (which is mostly a societal construct anyway) on my own terms.

  21. Babalon says:

    what somebody please tell this chick to stop attempting to speak on behalf of her gender? Thanks.

    • anon33 says:


      I lost my virginity at 14 BECAUSE I WANTED TO. I got boobs at 8 and my period when I was 10, so I had been masturbating for at least four years by the time I had sex. I was a horny kid and remain a horny adult.

      Yes, we do exist, and no, I was never molested or anything as a kid. Just horny horny horny. lol

  22. Lina says:

    What a misleading title…

  23. Seapharris7 says:

    I remember going Prom dress shopping with all my girlfriends and the conversation turned to sex. That’s when I found out EVERYONE ELSE BUT ME had already had sex!

  24. Reece says:

    I think she has a point, is right about this. Although, I think everyone’s experience is slightly different. As the comments here show, sometimes it’s pressure from a specific person or it’s the general pressure to fit in to what at that age you think is the group you want to be part of.
    Other times, like me, you just want to get it over with. I wanted to get it over with so I could get to the “good” sex. I was lucky because my bf and I really cared about each other so after the first couple times and days in agony, (Seriously it effin HURT) we got to figure things out together.
    Now the idiotic choices I made after him are what cause me to question my sanity in my younger days.

  25. nikkisixx says:

    I lost mine at 14. I was having a lot of fun with my bf at the time, and it just happened. I don’t regret it because I cared about him, and he was a good lover (by 14 year old standards.) I also am glad it happened because I didn’t have sex again until college, and I didn’t have sex with someone I cared about until sophomore year of college with my bf at the time. I think girls feel pressure to lose their virginity once they get to college. Unfortunately college boys feel like they’re entitled to sex without putting any effort in. I’m not saying guys are necessarily required to take you on dates, but its come to a point where college boys think they can get away with disrespecting you, not getting to know you and not acting like men. I think I’ve learned that men are at least up front and honest about their intentions of just non-committal sex, and boys will lead you on, or not take responsibility for their actions. With that being said, many girls entering college feel pressure to lose it, and then lose it to a disrespectful arse who won’t even say hi to you in public. Some girls can handle it, and some girls become insecure.

  26. iagree says:

    This was the case at my school. It’s like everyone getting their period, the girls who didn’t get theirs yet, feel less than, and just want it to come already and be fully part of the group.

    Same goes with sex, there is pressure from other girls that you are a kid, or not sexy because you haven’t done it and they have. They cut you out of conversions when talking about what they’ve done with boys and give you looks like you don’t know anything, so you feel the pressure even though it’s not explicitly said.

  27. Wren33 says:

    Peer pressure is rarely like the ABC after school special version. It is more a subtle, internalized pressure to fit in with the “cool” group, and people doing what is perceived as adult things are seen as cool.

  28. Josefa says:

    I guess it depends on the age. A friend of mine is still a virgin at college, and she says sex conversations are very awkward for her. And we’re in college, duh, we talk about sex a lot. There’s a point where “he’s hot” and “he was a good kisser” just isn’t enough. Obviously there’s a pressure there, nobody likes feeling left out from the convo. On high school I’m not so sure, as not many girls had tried it, and losing your virginity earlier doesn’t make you cool or anything as it happens with guys. But, for once, I think Shailene is making sense here.

    I downloaded White Bird the other day. Eva’s fantastic and Shailene is very good. It’s an interesting, fast movie. It doesn’t have that pretentious “I’m so deep” vibe a lot of indie coming-of-age films have. The movie won’t change your life, but it’s good.

  29. Victoria says:

    I would like to thank tw-t of the month for letting me know why I lost my virginity.

  30. Hmm says:

    At least where I went to uni there was a lot of pressure to lose it. People were made to feel like there was something wrong with them if they hadn’t had sex yet. I do think it actually may have come more from the girls than the boys (and often oneself in comparison to others as she said). It was really sad

  31. Andrea says:

    I lost my virginity at almost 19 to my first bf ever in college. I didn’t have many friends in high school, so no pressure there. However, I remember girls talking about screwing multiple men in one week at age 14 during gym class and being horrified. I went to catholic school so a bunch of us were goody goodies. I don’t judge people, but I have heard what I consider young numbers. An old friends now ex-bf lost his virginity at 11 to a 14 year old babysitter and an old girl friend lost her virginity at 12, both are too young IMO. I got my period at 12 and masturbated a lot throughout high school but I am grateful I didn’t have anyone interested in me, I wouldn’t wanted to have ended up pregnant.

  32. Naddie says:

    There’s this pressure, specially if you’re in the popular group. In my case, they never said “get laid already” but if you didn’t talk about sex, they’d somehow bully you.

  33. happymama says:

    The pressure is simply the fact that society makes such an issue out of the first time a female experiences sex. Society puts too much meaning and pressure into it on top of highly unrealistic expectations. That is the issue. Making such a big thing out of a woman’s virtue and innocence based on the act of sex is not healthy for society. We are glamourizing the first time and also making a normal part of human existence into a source of shame and pressure all around. Women can’t win either way when we make a big issue out of the first sexual experience. The fact we think that a woman “loses” her innocence the first time she has sex points out the underlying fact that women “lose” when sex happens. It’s a very outdated and unreasonable way of relating a woman’s first sexual experience. The issue we should be focusing on is for a gals to be able and safe to have sex when they are physically, emotionally and mentally ready instead of making such a big deal over the first time and society’s expectations of what and when that will be.

  34. Lauraq says:

    I lost my virginity at 16 to my 20 year old boyfriend (also a virgin), because I just was tired of being a virgin. It was fine. He didn’t know what he was doing, but I did. I even managed to get off. Then afterwards I was like, “That was fun. I’m hungry. Got any food?” That was kind of the problem with sex with him though…we were together 11 months and the sex was always fine. Just fine.