Otherwise known as popping one’s cherry, better known as losing your virginity. In a perfect world I wouldn’t be talking about this because what is virginity? If you asked a million people you’d probably get a colorful spectrum of responses but they all usually agree on one thing: virginity is something you lose when you have sex.
It’s hard to recall the first time I was exposed to the idea of sex, let alone virginity. To my recollection I had the talk around 11, I don’t remember it being profound or particularly eye opening. By that age I was an aunt and knew my nephew wasn’t dropped off by some mystical bird. (By that age I was also exposed to the horrors of STD/I’s courtesy of my mother and a pictured book that should have never existed, I mean knowing what genital warts look like before a clitoris should be a criminal offense.) I digress, the point is sex is confusing, virginity even more so. So why do we care so much about virginity?
There’s no definitive answer but I have a theory. Society has an obsession with policing sexuality, particularly female sexuality.The idea of virginity plays into two ideas: boys should get rid of it asap and girls should guard it with their dear lives.
I have a perfect example of this dichotomy- a friend of mine, let’s call him Tim asked me if he could tell people we were hooking up so they wouldn’t call him gay (he actually is queer but that’s besides the point) I remember being offended and saying no because then I’d be a slut, wouldn’t I? Within a week of this request I was hanging out with two of my closest girlfriends who let it slip that they both lost their virginity. I was shocked that the information was dropped so nonchalantly like we were discussing ice cream flavors, not entering the world of
f*cking, I mean having sex. When I asked why no one told me they breached into the world of penetrative sex, they simply said I would judge them because I was still a virgin. And that offended me greatly but it wasn’t much of a lie, at that point I was still subscribing to the idea that virginity is a symbol of purity.
But that’s the biggest myth. If virginity is purity and having sex is impure, what is all the stuff in between? The making out and heavy petting, dry-ish handjobs and gag ridden blowjobs, anal, they’re all forms of sex, they just aren’t the right sex for the story we’ve been fed. And experiencing all of those things or just some of those things doesn’t invalidate your space as a sexual entity.
And there lies the problem, the idea of virginity frames the female sexual experience around male discovery and conquer of our bodies. It’s so easy to fall into the trap that we become sexual beings when men decide we’re worth screwing. This lens of thinking is flawed for a number of reasons, one being it doesn’t account for people who fall out of cisgendered, heteronormative ideals and also it doesn’t celebrate the best part of sex. AGENCY!
There’s nothing more erotic than acknowledging that you can decide what’s worth desiring, who’s worth desiring and what you will or won’t do about it. Sexual agency is saying “you’re cool and I like you enough to give you head but I’m not screwing you.” It’s listing out your expectations, desires and wishes without fear of judgement or rejection. I challenge everyone moving forward to examine what they know to be true about their sexual identity and what’s expected of them.
The original definition of a virgin was “a free, independent and autonomous untied women.” In the spirit of endorsing that idea, I plan on dying a virgin.
What does everyone think about virginity? Anyone care to share their expectations? Reply below!