Virgins and Cults and Morals, Oh My!
By Kyle Welsh
Virginity, or the lack thereof, plays a big role in how we treat women.
From religious practices to traditional lifestyles, high value is placed on women who have never had sex.
In The Cult of Virginity Jessica Valenti talks about the “virginity mystery” – that is, the realization that there is no medical or social definition for what a virgin actually is.
Well, a virgin has never had sex, right?
Then how do you define sex?
As Valenti points out,
If it’s just heterosexual intercourse, then we’d have to come to the fairly ridiculous conclusion that all lesbians and gay men are virgins.
What counts as losing virginity?
There are countless sexual acts that don’t involve penetration or even pleasure for both (or all; no judgement here) parties involved.
How do you define something with such a broad range of options?
I’ve always considered it to be a personal choice; each person decides for themselves whether or not what they’ve done counts as sex.
You’ve given oral sex but don’t think it counts? Congratulations, you’re a virgin.
You’ve rubbed up against someone and had an orgasm and think it counts? Congratulations, you’ve lost your virginity.
It ain’t sex unless you orgasm
But I can get behind Valenti’s definition: “It isn’t sex unless you’ve had an orgasm.”
This definition is inclusive to non-heterosexuals, all genders, and places some responsibility on men to please their partners. Anyone who knows me knows that the one thing I hate more than anything is bad sex in which one person doesn’t get to achieve orgasm.
Can you blame me? It’s not just disrespectful and hurtful, it’s just plain rude.