Virginity has been valued since ancient times. Virgins have been said to possess supernatural powers. They have been given a special religious role such as the Vestal Virgins in Ancient Rome. The Aztecs made sacrifices of virgins to the gods. And, of course, the virginity of Mary has always been an important article of the Christian faith.
Even in the 21st Century virginity is valued highly (albeit mostly in the developing word). In the Middle East, a woman who does not have an intact hymen on her wedding night may be killed for it, even if she lost it through rape or riding a camel. In prostitution, sex with a virgin is much more expensive than with a more experienced worker. Furthermore, due to the rise of STIs such as AIDS, virgins are becoming increasingly sought after for their purity. In some cultures it is believed that sex with a virgin will cure such diseases, increasing the value of virginity.
Given this ancient, superstitious obsession with virginity, I get a bit sceptical when Christians tell me that my virginity is sacred. Beliefs like that seem a bit too tribal for my liking, particularly when the virginity of women is valued over that of men. At school, I was given a warning that one day the love of my life may refuse to marry me if I’m not a virgin.
I have something to say. I AM NOT ANY LESS OF A HUMAN BEING BECAUSE I AM NOT A VIRGIN.
Any guy that refused to marry me because I’m not a virgin is obviously an ignorant dickhead, and I would not like to marry someone like that. In fact, being sexually active has enriched my life and my relationship with my boyfriend. It is not a bad thing at all. I’m not sure why a person’s first time is so often described negatively: losing your virginity, de-flowering, popping the cherry. Sex is just another life experience. Sometimes it turns out bad, sometimes it turns out wonderfully.
Sure, I think it is sad when people lose their virginity on a drunken, meaningless one night stand. The sex wouldn’t even be that good with the awkward, inexperience of a virgin and the lack of coordination that comes with alcohol. It might not even be remembered the next morning. While I don’t think virginity is overly important, sex isn’t something to thrown around like it’s nothing. It is an expression of love, and it has nothing to do with God.
I am thankful I lost my virginity to a boy I was (and still am) deeply in love with. A guy I could call my best friend. Who I wasn’t embarrassed to make a fool of myself in front of and who I didn’t feel the need to impress. It was a safe, fun, respectful experience. We weren’t married, but that does not make it any less special or valuable. I was 16, he was 17.
My boyfriend wasn’t a virgin and I was barely a virgin. This was not a big deal at all. What mattered was that we loved and respected each other, and were committed to each other. (Needless to say, he had been tested and we used contraception. SAFETY FIRST.) His past experiences and my past experiences made us who we are. They brought us together, and so there is no need for regret.
Virginity is totally overrated, thanks to Christianity. Lack of virginity should not get in the way of a relationship. Sex is an experience that can enrich or ruin your life. Be smart about it. Be critical about it. Don’t let the religious lies about the importance of “purity” stop you from having a wonderful, healthy sex life.