Monday, December 05, 2011

MEMO TO MEN: Virginity true or false

TO: Men all over the planet
FROM: Melissa
RE: Virginity myths
DATE: December 5, 2011
Boys, Madonna sang about it. Steve Carell poked fun at it. And there's an alcoholic drink named after it. And yet, I can almost guarantee you that everything you think you know about it is wrong. Completely wrong. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that nearly everything you've ever been told about The Big V is utterly and blatantly false. It's quite sad, really, those myths that tend to take on a life of their own after years of being recounted and recounted. But that's just what they are...myths. And, boys, if I'm sure of anything, it's that myths, like rules, are meant to be broken. So let's crack open this virgin myth nonsense, shall we, boys? I give you the Top 3 Myths About Virgins...

You think your virgin radar is spot-on
You think you've got the perfect description of a virgin in your head, don't you? After all, she (or he) is obviously easy to spot. So, who exactly is she, boys? The girl with the big glasses who you see on the train every morning and who has yet to look up from her book? Your prude of a co-worker? I'm sorry to disappoint, boys, but sometimes, virgin-spotting isn't like bird watching where you whip out your binoculars and can easily spot them from hundreds of feet away. It's just not that easy. And contrary to popular belief, we don't wear name tags, either.

We're choosing to be virgins for religious reasons
Of course, religion and virginity go hand-in-hand for some people, and I fully respect that. But, that doesn't apply to everyone. It certainly doesn't apply to me. In fact, religion never even factored into my choice. The lesson here, boys: Don't assume you know the reason someone's a virgin.

Women, after a certain age, are ashamed of being a virgin and need help
A woman in her early '30s wrote to Glamour over the summer, wondering if she was too old to be a virgin. I often wonder why that's something women would be ashamed of. Society tells us that if you haven't, umm, taken to the bedroom by a certain age, then there's something wrong with you. But not all women (and especially not this woman) feed into that, boys. Not every woman hide her head in shame at the mere uttering of the word virgin. Some women (especially this woman) are surprisingly comfortable and secure in who they are.
I know you probably think virgins are some crazy creatures, but I assure you that we aren't a species you should live in fear of. We're actually a lot like you, except for, well, the whole between-the-sheets shenanigans. In fact, you probably won't even be able to pick us out of a crowd.

So what do you think of virgins, boys? Are you intimidated? Confused? Don't care? I'd love to hear your thoughts... xoxo

[Photos via Le Love]


  1. On the topic of myths about virgins and virginity, here is another angle:

  2. Good post. I definitely think that women after a certain age are embarrassed to admit that they are virgins. Virginity isn't all it's cracked out to be.

  3. MAn I can relate to this! I was a virgin up until I met IC (my now husband). It wasn't because I was religious and I wasn't particularly embarrassed (although I was sometimes). I mostly was just waiting until I felt safe enough to do it.

  4. Great points, Melissa. I was a virgin until I was 24, just by the normal circumstances of my life - no special reason. I was never embarassed about it - the funny part was nobody ever believed me! Although to be honest, most people didn't ask, they just assumed.

    My boyfriend told me that during one of our early dates, he thought to himself "Wow, this girl doesn't even know how to kiss!" (Which I didn't!) But not in a mean way - in a "Wow my perceptions of this girl were so off. How cute that she is so nervous."

    Personally, I think being turned off by a woman's virginity is just as superficial as saying her hair is the wrong color or she doesn't like the same music. It's just PART of a person, not the definition of a person. And let's face it, I think when you really like somebody, very little can sway your opinion! To the guys who thought I was lame for my inexperience, they either were jerks or didn't really like me to begin with, so forget them.

    It always bothered me that "virgin" is a word but there's no word for people who aren't virgins (that I know of). Like "virgin" is some outside category of normal...

    Anyway, great post. :-)

  5. Deidre, i feel the same way! well said! xoxo

  6. Such a great post and very true...I think Deidre says it well too! Always love your open and honest posts, Melissa!

    Liesl :)

  7. Do you have any actual knowledge that men are suffering under the misconceptions you attribute to them? You know that everyone was, at one time, a virgin. I am not sure people/men find the concept as foreign as you seem to believe. Perhaps you are projecting your mystification at the other side?

  8. i actually think men would take a virgin any day over a more 'experienced' girl who has been 'around,' and excessively if you know what i mean. though this is for descriptive reasons that i will not even begin to go into.

  9. Just wanted to point out that there is no specific alcoholic drink named after virgins. A drink is given the prefix "virgin" if it is a drink that usually contains alcohol, but is made without it. For example, a "virgin pina colada" has no alcohol in it and is often given to children, while "pina coladas" do have alcohol in them :)

  10. I was a virgin when I married my husband (at age 28) and hardly anyone knew it. We even lived together before hand, sharing a bed & a bedroom...I just wasn't ready without the commitment of marriage (I am not religious, I just didn't feel emotionally ready until we sealed the deal.) Everyone (even my family) just assumed we had done it, especially after I chose an ivory dress (which complemented my skin tone better ;)'s not something I volunteer to people, especially since most people I know of mock "virgin brides"...I think people just assume if you aren't super-religious, you're doing it all the time.

  11. men should give respect to the woman/girl that waits for the right person, rather than having a drunken fling, or rushing because of feeling pressured....

    i think quite a lot do these days...

    although possibly assume that they are prudes? i hope not.

    something fun, when you assume, you make an ASS/ of U/ and ME.

    get it? :)

  12. Melissa, one of the "anons" is correct.....I know of no drink named after a virgin that contains alcohol......if there is one, can you please enlighten us??? I'm just calling you on your credability once again. Pop the top on a cold root beer, do your'll be ok! BTW, I do not, for one second, believe you are pro-virginity. Given the opportunity, if you were involved in a loving, committed, consensual, mature relationship, I believe you would re-think your position. It is one of the deepest ways to express love for one another and it's a natural progression to enhancing one's relationship, bringing into play all the senses one posesses. So perhaps you are talking about abstaining in a casual relationship???

  13. I'm worried the comments are getting dangerously close to implying that women who aren't virgins sleep around, get STI's or have sex because they're pressured/drunk. Which is as bad as saying that anyone past 20 who hasn't had sex yet is a prude/super religious/unattractive. Neither are fair and clearly neither are 100% accurate as evidenced by this discussion.

  14. I think it's sad that girls (maybe guys too) might feel pressure to lose their virgnity at a young age, like it's a badge of honor or something. In times past, like say Jane Austen's time, if you weren't a virgin before marriage, you were probably considered a total harlot/unmarry-able. Now if you remain a virgin until your 20's, or until marriage, for whatever reason, you're considered strange. It's just a reflection of the fact that our culture is somewhat sex-obsessed, I think.

  15. The problem that I have with the whole virgin/ non-virgin debate is that it is a social construct tide to a heterosexist values. The "wait until married" idea leaves very little room for people who will never get married, not because they don't want to, but because the law won't let them. What happens to gay and lesbian couples who, in many states and even more places around the world, aren't allowed to get married? I think that whenever we simplify things into do's and don't, for and against, we end up marginalizing people's whose experience lies outside of the "norm" (Major sarcastic quotes around norm.)

  16. While virgins can be virgins for any number of reasons, and can be anyone (and have been everyone at one time in their lives), in previous posts you have indicated that you are very uncomfortable about the idea of sex, and embarrassed by seeing anything overtly sexual (such as sex scenes in movies). This makes me wonder if you're 'waiting' because you're avoiding an aspect of life that makes you uncomfortable to think about, instead of for positive reasons.

  17. ^ Not saying that doesn't play a big part, but notice how she's also avoiding taking any real steps towards finding a partner? I think Melissa has a very hard time moving beyond her comfort zone, and sex is a major aspect of dating and love (whenever people decide to take that step) that frightens her. It seems like her 'waiting until marriage' stance is more about postponing sex indefinitely in a way that she hopes would not come under too much scrutiny in a dating relationship. JMO

  18. I think the whole point of 21st century feminism is that women make their own decisions about their lives and bodies for their own reasons and they're not judged for these decisions. I had sex for the first time when I was 21. By some people's standards this was way young, by others way old. I didn't wait for my soul mate, but I also didn't do it because I felt like society pressured me to. I have no regrets about the people I have slept with or the people I decided not to sleep with. I think we as women would be much healthier and happier if we stopped judging or criticizing each others' decisions and instead supported each other and celebrated the fact that these are our decisions to make. Thanks for addressing this topic Melissa, it's good to bring women the message that you can have meaningful relationships without sex, and that you can have meaningful relationships with sex. In either case you just need respect and maturity from both parties.

  19. i agree with the anon that said girls who aren't virgins aren't automatically having drunken flings, std's, etc. my comment was towards something very different. i agree that as a society we tend to label girls either as sluts or prudes with no in between when there IS a balance, and though both labels are subjective, they shouldn't be brought into the picture because what someone else does isn't our decision anyway.

  20. As for the drink, i was referring to a virgin daiquiri.

    And as far as me not being pro-virgin, I am 100 percent, completely pro-virgin. In fact, even if I were in a relationship right now, I wouldn't have sex until I was married.

  21. Because sex is something sacred and special and I want to share that only with the person I marry.


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