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Written by: Taylor Maness
‘When did you lose your virginity?’ is a question I want to ban from the english language. (yes I’m being dramatic, but I needed to get your attention) While it may seem like an innocent question on the surface, it’s actually deeply rooted in a history in patriarchy and archaic traditions. This idea that the first time you have sex is some life (and worth) changing event is completely man-made and was created as a tool to control people…specifically women.
I mean I don’t know about you but I grew up thinking that after I had sex for the first time I would completely change as a human being, and not in a good way. I assumed that somehow my ‘value’ as a human being would drop and people around me would somehow sense that I was impure. (gotta love religious trauma) But spoiler alert: that did not happen. After I had sex for the first time literally nothing changed. I was the exact same person I was the day before…I had just had sex. This event that I had built up in my head to be this massive life altering moment ended up being just a few minutes of ehhh sex (no offense to insert name here) That’s when I finally realized how harmful the concept of virginity truly is.
So let’s break down a few of the MANY reasons why virginity is a social construct that needs to go.
It’s Misogynistic As I said above, virginity was created to specifically control women and all people with vaginas. We are taught that virginity is an almost tangible thing that women own that is then taken away once we have sex. I mean it’s in the question itself ‘when did you LOSE your virginity?’ewww It’s viewed as a valuable comodity that dedicates how we are viewed by society. To put it simply: virginity=pure and non-virgin=impure. I mean there are still many countries where women can only marry if they are a virgin and can be discarded to the outskirts of society if not.
But this heavy burden only seems to be placed solely on young women, creating a dangerous power dynamic when it comes to sex and sexuality. It’s truly misogyny as its best (and by best I mean worst)
TW: sexual assault
It Puts Victims in Danger When we live in a society where women who have had sex are seen as impure and slut-shames women who are open about their sex lives, this fosters an environment of hostility towards women who have been victims of sexual assault. We hear this in the statements like ‘what was she wearing’ ‘was she flirting with him’ ‘have they had sex before’ among others. There’s a hatred that’s instilled in these questions that can only allude to the idea that women who have had sex somehow deserve any violence that comes to them. This is especially true for sex workers and other marginalized communities. (decriminalize sex work btw)
It ONLY Recognizes Penetrative Sex Many people think ‘losing your virginity’ means a penis has entered a vagina. This strangly rigid way of thinking completely invalidates ALL other forms of having sex (of which there are many!) and creates toxic rules around what sex is. Well I’m just going to go ahead and throw this out there: all forms of sex are valid! Oral, anal, fingering, with a toy, and the list goes on. Penis-in-vagina sex isn’t inherently superior and it certainly isn’t the only kind of sex that ‘counts’ (like why are we keeping score?) There are SO many ways to experience sexual pleasure and to only recognize one of them is repressive, restrictive, and weirdly militant. Not to mention it completely disragards and perpetuates negative steryotypes about the LGBTQIA+ community…so yeah, it sucks.
So now that you’ve read my rant it is my hope that we can all collectively roll our eyes at the gross societal concept of virginity
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