TLDR; Losing your virginity does not change your morality. Having sex is healthy. Not having sex is fine too. Educate yourselves and stop dramatizing sexuality.
I knew what virginity was before I learned how people had sex. Afterall, what better teacher for elementary and high school students than pop culture?
Virginity was the thing Justin and Britney were saving until marriage (bless their heart).
The thing Jessica Simpson called “cool and sexy” in an interview with People Magazine circa 2000.
The thing Jordan Sparks was talking about when she said: “I don’t want to give away bits of my soul to lots of different guys—I want to give all of myself to the right man on the right night. And the right night is my wedding.”
The thing musicians proudly wore purity rings for circa 2007/2008, synonymous with Jonas Brothers and Selena Gomez.
The thing that made everyone obsessed with former New York Jets quarterback, Tim Tebow.
The thing mentioned alongside sexual morality over 92 times in Christianity’s Old and New Testament.
The ever-prevalent media has an obsession with pop stars and football players saving their virginity, but also has the habit of oversexualizing them and everything else with a vagina or penis. Virginity is this artificial seal of honor endowed by a vagina’s hymen, a holy land where no man has conquered. And if God forbid a woman’s hymen has been conquered by one or multiple men, there’s something called hymenoplasty that reconstructs the hymen to make a woman appear a virgin again—a generous gift for the man on their wedding night.
On the contrary, (almost) everyone is so down to lose their v-card in high school. Inexperience, depending on the nature of community, is frowned up. Weird right? America’s obsession with abstinence only provokes hormones.
This short dissertation paper (actually blog lol) will explore the obsession with virginity in (i) the media and (ii) religion. I will briefly touch upon my opinions on (iii) sex before marriage and (iv) sex on the first date, but possibly save a lengthy blog posts for (iii) and (iv) another time.
(i) Virginity As Seen On TV
It’s a very Westernized understanding that sex sells. Characters must be “shipped” to create a television hit. Teenagers/Young Adults will “ship” fiction characters so hard that Tumblr blogs are created with gifs dedicated to them, and fanfiction/erotica with too many adjectives for wet and tremble is written leading to publishing deals, causing bookworms and writers to internally scream on a global level. These shippers want to fight for the characters love, talk about it to their friends at school or in office cubicles, and make minute long Youtube videos telling their love story while a Coldplay song plays in the background (I did my research. These videos exist. I am only slightly traumatized).
What sells just as much as sex? Abstinence! In 2005 the first Twilight was published and released to cinema in 2008. Edward Cullen is also a hot 107 year-old vampire waiting until marriage, which is a perfect product for the hopeless romantic teenagers, people who have a fetish for vampires, and adult virgins--because if a vampire can wait 107 years for true love, you can too! By the way, I am in no way disrespecting Twilight. I read all four books at 17 and my then hormones did find something terribly provoking with having a virgin vampire and a werewolf fighting for my affection.
But as a woman, if a man proudly proclaimed he waited 107 years to have sex, I’d find that more terrifying than the thought of him drinking blood.
The point is, not having sex sells too--but in a sexual way. If you were a teen in the 2000’s, you’d remember the whole purity ring craze, and how eager pop stars were to save their virginity until marriage. Fans cheered them on while quietly hooking up in their rooms when their parents were at work during lunch period.
But let’s not forget, the purity-ring-fiasco was created by religious and helicopter adults, and the media bought into what sold at that time because there is a massive teen audience needing to be entertained.
Adding to the purity ring debacle, our beloved Disney mouse had no idea what to do with female sexuality outside it's television shows. Remember the 2008 “scandal” where Miley Cyrus had to apologize for being on the cover of Vanity Fair for posing with a big blanket? A Disney spokesperson told NY Times that a “situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15 year old in order to sell magazines,” but it really sounds like Disney doing damage control for the sake of outraged parents who no longer wanted their kids watching Hannah Montana, since talking to them about sexuality is a lot more difficult. NY Times trying to sell magazines by promoting sexuality, Disney trying to sell shows by promoting abstinence.
tldr; 2008 was a tug-of-war with Miley’s head in the middle.
Miley took back her apology in 2018 with the tweet reading: “IM NOT SORRY, Fuck YOU. #10yearsago”
My point: the media will always be the media. It's whole agenda is to sell you a product with celebrities and fiction characters attached to them. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with enjoying entertainment as long as there are realistic discussions outside of them.
We need to be unapologetic about our decisions to have sex or abstain from it—without having to prove who is more correct based on what is promoted to us. Sexuality and virginity belongs to you, and you only. Shipping characters are fine, but for the love of all that is mighty if you’re child or teenager has an obsession with unrealistic expectations based on a television show, talk to them.
(ii) Religious Obsession with Sexuality and Virginity
Similar to the last article posted, this is in no way an attack towards believers but more so the scriptures of Christianity.
Sexuality and virginity in both Old and New Testament is policed, demoralizing, and inhumane. Impurity is attached to sex before marriage, and marriage will supposedly make sex amazing, which I’m sure for some couples it can, but that statement alone is a generalization. Not all couples are sexually compatible, and that’s nearly impossible to determine if couples wait before marriage.
What’s even more contradictory is the Bible’s certainty that masturbation is a sin for both men and woman.
Don’t have sex before marriage.
Avoid all sexual urges.
Before I get attacked about masturbation, Exhibit A: " “If a man has an emission of semen, he shall bathe his whole body in water and be unclean until the evening. And every garment and every skin on which the semen comes shall be washed with water and be unclean until the evening. If a man lies with a woman and has an emission of semen, both of them shall bathe themselves in water and be unclean until the evening. " Leviticus 15:16-18
But radical Christians are human too. What happens when they slip up?
Shame, guilt, and fear. The feelings that are most detrimental to a person’s voice, individuality, the love they give to the world--which I’m sure no God wants for any of his humans.
New Testament: To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 1 Cornithians 7:8-9
Old Testament: But if the thing is true, that evidence of virginity was not found in the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done an outrageous thing in Israel by whoring in her father's house. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. “If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel. Deuteronomy 22:20-22
The good news is, despite the biblical standards for sex, more and more followers of religions are doing their own thing, taking the scripture with a grain of salt and picking apart what doesn’t agree to their lifestyle. But the scripture will always be there, and it is the foundation on which these organized religions follow.
Organized religion is so terrified of sexuality is because it gives humans independence--literal free will. Sexual education should be first and foremost a priority rather than the teachings of purity or sinful consequences of the devirginized. Repressing sexuality can lead to sexual anxiety or even terror during times of penetration, which I'm sure, adds to demoralization.
Don’t forget that in the United States, divorce rates are the highest in the southern, Bible Belt states (Alabama, Kentucky, Texas), and 93% of sex offenders describe themselves as religious.
Therefore, sexual morality and being religious are not linear. No one owns your sexuality, and no one can dictate when the time is right to have sex.
DISCRETION: I did absolutely zero research for (iii) and (iv). These are just my thoughts on the topic.
(iii) Please Have Sex Before Marriage
Waiting to have sex before marriage is a mistake.
(iv) Sex on the First Date Is Not a Relationship Killer. People Are Dramatic
I could expand on this but it was my first day of second residency and I think the title says enough on my thoughts.