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Is Virginity Special?

On days like this, I really wish I had chosen to study anthropology because I don’t know whether what we’re experiencing, SEX EVERYWHERE, is new, kind of new, raunchier, or simply out of the closet.

It can hardly be denied (or ignored) that sexual messages are everywhere.  The messages are so plentiful that many churches have felt the need to respond with their own messages (which generally encourage waiting for sex until marriage) although I’m not sure whether the church is playing offense or defense.

What am I talking about?  Actually, I’m not talking about the messages telling us, particularly women, that we should be sexy at every given opportunity.  Instead, I’m talking about what happens after you watch or hear so many messages with sexual content, even if they aren’t talking about sex using obvious language.

Does looking at very low cut shirts, “coochie cutter” shorts and listening to music about getting it in make sex, in general, less special?  Does it make virginity even less special?  There’s an old saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt”.  Is it true about sex and virginity?  We even did a show on it! 

While girls and women have always been encouraged to wait, even girls are sending messages that waiting no longer has any special value.  On a thread on girlsaskguys.com, a girl asks whether virginity is the most precious gift she could give to a guy.  Check out some of the responses:

•Why call it a gift? After you have sex, the guy does not somehow ‘gain’ your virginity. It’s gone, and nobody cares, because it never had any value to begin with. 

•Virginity is apart of nature; we’re all born virgins.  It’s not a gift or accomplishment.

•Ok, so I’ve never slept with a virgin, so I don’t exactly know what it’s like to be “given someone’s virginity” but its not that big a deal.

I believe part of the issue is that women who wait are thought to be “good girls” and less likely to have STDS  (We won’t even begin to discuss the DIFFERENT definitions “virgin” which could result in someone calling himself or herself a virgin while regularly participating in very sexual acts).  Further, I think women have always been considered more emotional than men; therefore, sex, particularly the first time, is likely to make her even more emotional and attached (We are also not going to discuss that some men secretly want the girl to be extremely attached and needy).  On the other hand, women are increasingly saying, “not so fast”.  Several women have sold their virginity in very non-traditional ways (the most traditional ways of selling your virginity include having sex with someone simply because you think you owe it to him or her because he or she paid for a date or several dates).   Further, whether you sell it or not, there are tons of people, including women, who say you shouldn’t wait.  Finally, there’s this idea that encouraging girls to explore their sexuality makes them realize that they are more than their vaginas.  What I mean is that there’s this idea that a woman is better if she is pure, and that she is damaged goods if she is not, and there are many folks out there who want to make sure nobody believes this idea.

My questions to you are:  1)  What is virginity?  Yes, define it.  2)  What does (or did it) it symbolize or represent to you?  3)  Did your image of yourself change after you had sex?

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