While abstinence is a somewhat antiquated notion— our generation is the casual sex generation after all— there are still those who hoist virginity up on a pedestal. And then there are those of us left floundering in the middle of random-sex-all-day-everyday and abstinence, completely unsure how to feel.
Both sides of the virginity argument are strong and wrapped up in a whole lot of factors that I plan on shamelessly simplifying for the sake of this post. But the reality is that while there is something romantic about virginity, given all the turmoil surrounding it today, virginity is almost a burden to young adults in their twenties.
So let’s talk about this for a second.
A person who has not had sexual intercourse.
Not that I necessarily think it’s right, we’re going to define virginity as penis in vagina, penetration, the whole nine yards. Frankly, I find oral a lot more intimate, especially when one party is giving and the other is merely receiving, but who asked me.
When you simplify it and think logically (at least in my mind), losing your virginity should be a positive, healthy experience and much less of a big deal than many would have us believe. Screw candles, bubble baths, and Barry Manilow… that just makes a room feel like a giant scary porn pad. It should be a comfortable and special moment that is happening because it feels right— not because it’s planned.
Is having sex for the first time ever all that much different than having sex for the first time with a new partner? Both situations should be emotional and I think it is somewhat silly to make out your first time ever as a much bigger, more monumental deal than the first time with a new partner. Sharing yourself completely with another person: that is the intimacy. Every time with a new partner is a first experience of intimacy with that particular person— is it so different if its your very first first first first time? Why should each first time with a person be degraded? Once again, forgive the shitty metaphors, but that is like saying the first tooth you lost was way more exciting than the second or that your first child is way more special than your second.
Thus, virginity becomes this big scary, cosmic idea, which drives people to either hold off for way longer than they should, hoping for the perfect moment, and then just losing it in a car, drunk, behind a Dunkin Donuts. Or those who just want to be in the Non-Virgin club, only making them more inclined to just have sex to be done with it. Like it or not, there is a decided difference in the way people talk about sexual acts with virgins versus non-virgins. I once was talking to a friend about oral, and they tried to belittle my contributions to the conversation by saying “how would you know? You’ve never had sex”. Frankly, having sex is fun, but the experience is nothing you couldn’t have guessed from watching a porno in conjunction with a good imagination.
Most kids I know who went to college virgins, ended up losing it inebriated with a friendly hookup. Not that there is anything wrong with that at all… we’ve all been there and it can be a rollicking good time. But, is that really better than losing it to your high school sweetheart because society told you that you were too young to be in love or to be having sex (not that everyone is ready to have sex in high school—I sure wasn’t).
But I know loads of people who were actually truly and legitimately in love in high school, who kept waiting for something better. Something more real. Because in our society, the age of maturity keeps climbing higher and higher (hell, young adults can stay on their parents’ insurance until 26 and most don’t move out until well after college).
Beyond culture, religion also has a huge influence on people’s sexual endeavors. I think it is fairly common across religious boundaries for premarital counseling to be offered for young couples thinking about getting married. Yet these are the same religions who preach abstinence. Having sex is a necessary step for a couple thinking about getting married.
Compatability is about a number of factors, both physical and emotional. Yet how are you supposed to know if you are physically compatable if you’ve never had sex. Now I am neither advising nor advocating for casual sex, but if you’re in a trusted and committed relationship, why wouldn’t you want to share that with someone. If you are planning on spending the rest of your life with someone, you better make sure you’re physically compatable. Like it or not, marriage is a big deal. More so than sex. And if you are sexually frustrated in your marriage, it is not going to be a happy one point blank. Obviously there are other arrangements a la open marriage… but c’mon. Is that really a more religion friendly option than just having sex before you get married?