Wikipedia states virginity as, “the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse”. Going beyond google searches seems to make this definition much more complicated. Growing up we heard things like “Only if he cums”, “Only if her cherry pops”, “Anal doesn’t count,” and endless other descriptions. Interviewee from Losing Virginity Stories from the Huffington Post states, “It’s kind of a double-edged sword isn’t it? If you say you haven’t, you’re a prude. If you say you have, you’re a slut. It’s a trap.” Our society sends mixed messages about virginity and certain expectations are prevalent for both males and females.
A 25 year old women, interviewed in Losing Virginity Stories, stated, “I lost my virginity quite late, I was 24: way too old. I was dating a guy but the only thing he didn't know about me was that I was still a virgin. Every time we made out I made up a silly excuse not to have sex because I was afraid I'd bleed and reveal the embarrassing truth: that I was a virgin. I say "embarrassing" because I assumed being a virgin at that age was something wrong -- that I was unwanted, ugly, undesirable and therefore, unworthy as a woman, that all the times I had said no to sex because I didn't like the guy or didn't feel comfortable with it had made me a prude and that I probably didn't deserve the sex. I wanted to have sex with [my boyfriend] but at the same time I didn't, because I didn't want him to know my secret. So one day it just happened: we were having drinks, we went to bed and we did it. I didn't even bleed (maybe because I had already broken my hymen masturbating) but he didn't notice it was my first time. I was nervous, I wanted him to feel he was having sex with a "normal" girl (thanks, prejudice) so I didn't particularly enjoy it.”
The interviewee explains that she felt she was too old to be a virgin. At what age do you think that our society claims it to be too late to be a virgin? After college? Before college? At what age would you claim it to be too soon?
Another interesting point when analyzing the concept of virginity is to understand that the word itself is gendered. It comes from a Latin word that means young woman, and while the term can be referred to both, there always has been pressure for the woman to perform in some way (Vagianos 2013). The concept of virginity is heteronormative and leaves little room for people with a same sex orientation to identity with the term. Something that I found interesting was all the popular press articles I found never discussed virginity with same sex couples, and all the fun tips and truths were presented to straight women or men.
What do you all think about the concept of virginity in relationships? Do you hear about it being a deal breaker?
Do you feel that since Kalamazoo College is a sex positive campus it puts pressure on people to have sex for the first time?