While I do pride myself on being a feminist, my views regarding certain issues might surprise some of you. For instance, the concept of virginity is something I've been discussing with several of my girlfriends lately and I find myself on a whole different page than some of them. We all have our own views on it, as should be expected, and different experiences in our lives that led us to reach those beliefs. Some grew up wanting to save it until their wedding day, others were waiting until they were at least three to four months into a steady relationship, and a select number are still waiting until it feels right for them. Mind you, there is no right answer to this, to each her own! However, there is still one overwhelming question I have based on the discussions I've had with my friends.
What does it mean to be a virgin in today's society, and why is there so much pressure put into this idea of whether a young woman is a prude or a slut?
It's just fascinating to me the amount of influence someone's sexual escapades have on their social standing. Not to go to much into it, but it's such a double standard for us that when a young woman sleeps around she's dubbed a slut and a guy sleeps around automatically makes him a stud. Yet, there is an equal amount of pressure slammed down upon both genders on whether or not they are in fact virgins.
The movie "40 Year Old Virgin" is about a man who has never had sex, and while it is an entertaining and humorous film, there is a great deal of truth to it. Men are expected to have done the dirty deed at least by their mid to late twenties (and that might be an exaggeration on my part, but please feel free to disagree). Then there's the movie "Easy A" which I referred to in my earlier blog regarding female empowerment in movies, but it touches on the idea of being a young virgin in today's society.
What really influenced me throughout this film was that the main character, played by Emma Stone, began to enjoy her peers viewing her as (for lack of a better word) a slut. While she, and the audience, clearly knows that she's never had sex, there is a great sense of power thrusted upon her when her reputation sky rockets. It is the power of seduction and consists of the pedestal we all put sex on.
The thing is that while "40 Year Old Virgin" and "Easy A" are completely different stories, their themes are pretty parallel with regards to the influence sex has upon someone's social standings. Being a virgin is what defined both these characters. And what defines many of us still.
My friends used to ask me after dates, "Are you still a virgin?" as if it determined so much about my character as to whether or not I chose to sleep with the guy I went out with. But isn't that always the thing though? I mean when I had sex for the first time I did in fact call a bunch of my friends to tell them my "exciting news" and looking back on it now that seems so ridiculous. I had been dubbed "virgin" for so long, I felt the need to wipe that slate clean and redefine myself for everyone else's sake.
Before I had been playing the character of the young woman who seemed to be experienced with her ways of the world, and had probably slept with a handful of guys, but in reality was just waiting for the real deal. And by real deal here I don't mean love by any means, but more for the fact that I was waiting until I was ready. Which is a very common idea among women I believe!
I've struggled with my idea of virginity a lot over the years, and probably due to the fact that I went to a Catholic school for twelve years, I wasn't sure how I felt about it when I distanced myself from structured religion. It's held such a pressure in my life. Weighed me down so many times and defined me for so long. It makes me sad, actually, that sex holds that type of power over us, how it determines how others view us, and the way society welcomes or rejects us.
Why does it have to be either the prude or the slut/stud? Why does it matter? Why does it have to mean everything? Why does being a virgin usually refer to a woman, yet we can't hold a concrete definition of what the word actually means?
Virgin equals never having sex, but what kind of sex? Many young women consider themselves to be "technical" virgins because while they've participated in pretty much every other human interaction you can imagine, they are in fact still virgins because they've never experience the "intercourse" aspect of sexual intercourse. I've also heard that virgin can mean someone who has never experienced an orgasm. So does that mean that even if they've had sex with another person, but never received any pleasure from doing so, they are still considered virgins?
Again I ask, is there a concrete definition of what being a virgin actually means?
Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines virgin as: "an absolutely chaste young woman".
Dictionary.com: 1. a person who has never had sexual intercourse. 2. an unmarried girl or woman. 7. an unfertilized insect. (Had to throw that in there.)
Virgin: n. Person who has not yet had sex. Largely believed to be mythological.
2. A person who has not yet engaged in sex because they are so socially crippled that whenever they are around the opposite sex they begin to hiss and fart uncontrollably.
Virginity: What women are proud to have and men are ashamed of.
-A big issue over a little tissue.
-The greatest gift a woman or man can give to someone. You can only lose your virginity once, if you take someone's virginity, you have taken something that they can never get back: it's irreplaceable. As this is the first time someone has sex, the presence of the hymen will make this the tightest fuck.
"virgin" is often used to refer to someone who has not yet had sexual intercourse, there is no single, clear definition of what virginity is. To most teens, virginity is a personal topic that can be embarrassing to talk about.
Yes, I know these aren't the most reliable sources (and let's face it, some are just entertaining to me) but it goes to show that there are many concepts of what being a virgin actually entails. There is no solid answer, and so I continue forward on my quest. A quest to search for understanding and the fascination I have with everyone else's fascination with having/not having sex.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that this whole thing is based off a new play I am writing regarding virginity and the obsession society has with it. So any thoughts, feedback, sources, quotes, statistics would be wonderful! Thank you in advance!