Don’t have sex until you’re married: that pretty much sums up the sex education I received as a prepubescent girl. Meanwhile, the boys were being told that they could have sex and should have sex — just protect themselves with condoms. What happens when these two conflicting schools of thought collide in the real world of raging teenage hormones? Reconciling them is near impossible so someone is bound to lose; girls who give it up are labeled fast, easy or slutty, and guys who can’t get any are ridiculed and ostracized for not having enough game — all because of this asymmetric paradigm on sex.
In the article, 5 Reasons Why We Need to Ditch the Concept of Virginity for Good, Erin McKelle explains how this insidious paradigm crept into society. “Since women were (and sometimes still are) considered property, when they got married, they were passed on to their husbands from their fathers.… contraception was unattainable, so it was important for women to remain virgins for their husbands to ensure the purity of his bloodline. Basically, virginity served as the Medieval form of a paternity test.” The underlying concept still prevails in modern times: a woman’s virginity defines her worth to an extent, while a man’s virginity is completely worthless.
So it’s easy to see how when I lost my virginity, I never dared to tell a soul. “Even the linguistic aspects of the expression, ‘Losing one’s virginity,’ indicate that virginity is a commodity that should be protected. It implies that the addition of sex in one’s life is not a gain — it is a forfeiture of a valuable part of the self,” writes Christa Guild in her article, Losing Our Virginity. My friends surely wouldn’t have understood how curiosity and desire could have pushed me so far as to forfeit my precious gift to someone whom I didn’t love or even care for. Intense shame and guilt crushed me for several months following the act. In my mind, I was spoiled goods...
Excerpt from post originally published on Madame Noire.