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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Virginity and Pre-Marital Sex

I’ve started watching this hilarious Netflix show Jane the Virgin, a US drama/comedy full of crazy shit and a lot of infidelity. Basically this young virgin woman accidentally gets impregnated when the doctor inseminates her by mistake. The show's opening scene made me think ‘oh come on.’ It shows young Jane talking to her grandma, holding a white flower in her hand. Her grandma describes the flower as ‘pure’ and then gets Jane to crumple it up. Once the flower is crumpled up, it can’t get back to its original state. Jane’s mum sits watching, saying ‘this is so lame.’ I agree. It is lame.

Virginity is not a tangible thing. It’s not something you can 'lose' like a job or a car or a house. It’s not and should not be used as a measure of a person’s value, virtue, or as something to shame people for. Being a virgin is neither a good nor bad thing. If the mere concept of ‘virginity’ was not invented, no one would think anything of it. First time sex would just be like the first time you drive a car, or work, or go to school. A big step, a heavy emotional and physical experience, something that has a strong impact on you. But not a measure of self-worth or value. Sex does not 'change' who you are as a person. Acid does, or being molested, or going on a trip to Thailand to find yourself. Sex is just a normal part of human development and should not be seen as a 'sin' or 'dirty.'

Humans are animals. Our primary needs are to eat, sleep and mate. Sex is important one of the most important things about being human. In a pleasurable sense, a pro-creative sense, and an emotional sense of connecting with another human. To grow up where sex is seen as something to be ‘hushed’ behind closed doors and promoted as something that can lead to pregnancy and STDs without precautions is demoralising. Yes, pregnancy and STDs are part of understanding sexuality, but that's pretty much all I remember from sex ed. (They even showed us pictures of vaginas with gonorrhea; ew.)

But sex is not something that holds inherent value. Like eating or sleeping, it’s something we do because we’re biologically wired to do it. (Nothing really holds 'intrinsic' value, we just place value on things.) We mate to procreate. We have sex because chemical reactions in our brains cause us to become aroused, in turn leading us to pass on our genes and create offspring. Any connotations attached to sex are ones we have created. There’s nothing ‘special’ about it anymore than there’s anything special about love; love is just a chemical reaction happening in our brain that causes us to mate.

Sex is so important in a relationship. If you are in a relationship, you need to see if you’re sexually compatible. It cements an amazing connection and is a large part of being with someone you care for. If you wait until you’re married, you may discover you’re not sexually compatible with that person (e.g. when Charlotte marries Trey in Sex and the City). They may be into things you’re not comfortable with, or they may not be able to satisfy you they way you need to be and vice versa. Imagine you’re a guy and you marry a girl then discover she doesn’t want to give you head. Dude, you’re screwed. Better call a hooker.

Now, I MUST state that some people do place value on sex and what people do between their legs. As long as people don't impose their opinions on others by shaming people who engage in pre-marital sex or one night stands, I have no problem with that. I can see why some people may want to wait until they are married; they may view sex as a special, sacred thing they want to engage in with one person. And that is absolutely fine. Sex-positivity is about accepting all sexual choices as personal to everyone. Having a lot of casual sex, not having sex at all, waiting till marriage, only having sex when in relationships, etc. My worry is that when people value a woman's virginity as the most 'precious' thing about her, they are reducing her down to her body parts rather than looking at her as a whole person. But when you place value on something, you're placing value on it. The value is not within the actual thing. Money does not hold inherent value; we place value on money. I value books; some people don't. 
The person who really changed the way I thought about virginity was the YouTuber Laci Green. I don’t agree with everything she says on gender and feminism, but I like what she says about body positivity. (There was a time when I agreed with everything she said, but those times have passed). Female sexuality is still being recognised as an actual thing, along with the understanding of the female orgasm. Traditionally, women have always been used as instruments as pleasure for men; male property, something that the father’s family sells off to get dowry for. Nowadays thanks to the sexual revolution women can own their own sexualities and realise that sex is not just about pleasing the man (I think Sex and the City also contributed to this). Fuck, even in The Sopranos the men get laughed at if they go down on a woman, even if it’s their fricken wife.

In Islamic teachings, sex is pretty much the man doing whatever he wants to his wife. He can sleep with her even if she doesn’t want to. Sex is highly male-dominated in many major religions. If you wait until you marry someone you may discover that they don’t care about your needs and only care about their own. A man could force his wife into uncomfortable sexual acts, or a woman could use sex as a weapon and withhold it from him to get what she wants.
And of course, what if you get a divorce? You can wait till you’re married, have sex and maybe kids, then realise they’re not the one. People separate. It would almost feel anti-climatic, like all that waiting was for nothing. I’ve come to realise that having big expectations for things is never wise. First time sex is not great, and sadly is built up so much in our society. The person you end up marrying may not be your first sexual partner, or fifth or tenth, but they could be wonderful for you in and out of the bedroom.

I think sex is a personal choice, and waiting/not waiting to have sex does not make you a better or worse person. Guys, being a virgin does not make you less of a guy. Girls, being promiscuous does not make you a whore; that's slut-shaming. Some people are fine with casual sex and one night stands. Of course if you decide to wait until marriage then that’s your decision, just like everything else is. Self-respect is about standing up for yourself and making choices based on what you want, and loving yourself. I don't see what that has to do with sex. If you're having a lot of sex because you're using it in an addictive way or trying to fill an emotional void then yeah, that's not the best of ideas. But if it's cos you enjoy it, then coolio.


  1. Sarina, all I can say to that very insightful, eye opening totally true analogy & very intelligent mind set you just provided is WOW Holly shit shes absolutely right. Thank you for that awesome post


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