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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » this weird notion of virginity

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Author Topic: this weird notion of virginity
emsily0
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ok, so yesterday in my human sexuality class, the teacher was reading the question cards (you know, people ask questions anonymously and then the teacher answers them the next day)...and one of the questions was "if he had his penis in me for 2 seconds, am i still a virgin?"

Well, obviously, if she was using the conventional intercourse definition of virginity, then no. but what shocked my teacher was that people even still worry about technicalities like that. yet, obviously, we do. so, my question to you guys is this:

why does everyone continue to make this huge distinction between intercourse and other kinds of sex? why is virginity still such a big deal?

and, i even have part of a response for you guys. at my school, at least, we have an abstinence-based sex ed program for freshmen. i know, i know, much has been made of how that doesn't really work at all, etc. etc. yes, people are having more oral sex then ever before. but i think the program also really contributes to an twistedly anachronistic idea of sexual purity that perpetuated the virginity thing, and continues to reinforce the double standard for guys and girls and sex.

what do you guys think, though?

em

------------------
Love is a word that is constantly heard
Hate is a word that is not.
Love, I am told, is more precious than gold.
Love, I have read, is hot.
But hate is the verb that to me is superb,
And love but a drug on the mart.
Any kiddie in school can love like a fool,
But hating, my boy, is an art.
-Ogden Nash


Posts: 786 | From: Washington, DC | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pixie69
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I really don't like the term virginity anyways. It causes a heck of a lot of confusion. But if someone asks me if I'm a virgin I'll just say yes because I know what they're meaning and I think a lot of people would just brush off my thoughts so I don't mention them. No matter what question you ask, it will always come back to "well, depends, what's your definition of virginity?" What's the definition for a gay man, a lesbian woman, someone who was raped, someone who has had oral sex? When you think about it that way it's like "hey, the conventional thoughs on what virginity is and isn't won't do!" I think instead of saying "I'm a virgin" I'd rather say "I've never had penis-in-vagina sex, but I've given oral sex to someone" because then people really know what you're saying, not that it's any of their bussiness anyway Which doesn't really answer your question, but there's my thoughts on a platter anyway.

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Brittany
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Eclipse
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Some thoughts...
I think it takes a long time for concepts like virginity to fade or change, especially when they're in areas where there's not a whole lot of ready information available...like, well, sexuality. On a similar train of thought, it must be a lot easier for a lot of kids to say, "Hey, are you a virgin? Heh-heh" than to ask "So, what kinds of sex have you had?" Not that it's anyone's business, but it's always going to come up in conversation every now and then.

I've personally struggled with the distinction between tasb (tab-a-slot-b) sex and the entire rest of the realm of sexual experience. Anything can be sexual, arousing, pleasurable, intimate... and kissing can be sex, oral sex is sex, masturbation is sex. Being the liberal youth that I am, I've believed all of that for many, many years now. And you know what? I *still* sometimes catch myself referring to intercourse as "real sex." Not publically, of course, but in bed, as it were. That divide is pretty deeply ingrained. Perhaps I'll wean myself off that habit once I come up with a better term...

Now, there is at least one obvious important distinction between intercourse and the other kinds of sex... male/female intercourse has by far and away the best chances of leading to pregnancy. To be honest, I can see why that puts it in a class by itself. What could be more important than the potential creation of new life? I wish there was a concise term for intercourse that meant "maybechildsex" or something. It'd probably be stressful to think about that *too* much in bed, after the necessary precautions were taken care of, but it'd be a useful term to have!


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entropie
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I think that "losing" (hey, I know exactly where I put mine) your virginity is a huge landmark is peoples lives..
For a lot of people it's part of the transition into adulthood, emerging from adolesence, and taking on more responsibility. To other people, it's a peer pressure and social "responibility" to do it as part of the 'norm'.

It really sucks, quite honestly, because too many people place importance on what's been where, and what it all means. If you're told that 2 second penis/vaginal intercourse is losing your virginity, then you have something to tell people.. and when you have nothing to compare it to, it's hard to make a distinction between what does and doesn't classify as sex (in a traditionally teenage sense).

I personally consider the first step into sexual contact with another human as losing your virginity. It may only be the first step, but that's the plunge you're taking.

Don't know how much sense that made!

entropie

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exit seraphim
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lah. when i *lose* my virginity...i don't think it will be *lost*...i'd rather call it *sharing* or something...

i would say, *sharing my love* but you can do that in many different ways besides penis in vagina intercourse.

it's all political...and it's NO ONE"S BUSINESS ne way...so grr.

-justine

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have i been wrong?
have i been wise?
to shut my eyes and play along?


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emsily0
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exactly. losing your virginity is in our culture - in almost any culture, i think - a huge, huge deal. why does this persist? why are people still so worried about? why is there still sometimes a stigma attached when a girl is not a virgin?

obviously it's rationally no one's business, but to society, it is. i think that's really interesting.

em


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Lin
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I think it is just what losing your virginity equates to in certain cultures.

For alot of them, if you lose your virginity before you are married, you are a bad girl.

And I think that's why alot of girls are worried. No one I know likes to be thought of as a "bad girl".

I never thought my virginity was a big deal. The only reason I remember when I lost it is because it was Teacher's Day.


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Hanne
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You guys have such cool discussions. If any of you are interested in writing about virginity issues -- for publication, even (professional and everything) -- I am currently working on putting together a book on the subject and am happy to have contributions from women aged 15-35.

More info about the book and what I'm looking for is at http://www.hanne.net/anthology if you are interested in finding out more, or email me at hanne@hanne.net.

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Posts: 1538 | From: boston, ma, USA | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
emsily0
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wow, i didn't even know about that when i made the topic up, hanne...but what a cool idea for a book!

em

------------------
Love is a word that is constantly heard
Hate is a word that is not.
Love, I am told, is more precious than gold.
Love, I have read, is hot.
But hate is the verb that to me is superb,
And love but a drug on the mart.
Any kiddie in school can love like a fool,
But hating, my boy, is an art.
-Ogden Nash


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d1TzY8
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I TOTALLY agree with exit! I have never thought of it like that! I didn't lose my virginity, I shared it with the guy. Sounds better! haha

For me, losing (woops! sharing!!) my virginity was not a big deal. When I hear people like that, it just makes me wonder, but I then realize, that everyone reacts to everything differently...so I continue reading to myself in the corner..hehe


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