Friday, August 28, 2009

Sex and Virginity

Did the title get your attention? My guess is it did. Sex sells. It pulls us in, even if we don't want to admit it. Recently, as in yesterday, TH and I had a rousing discussion about sex and virginity. With TH's new job at a bank we carpool in and out of town, which gives us some time for such discussions. This particular one started because TH had gotten his haircut before picking me up to go home (he'd gotten done earlier than I had and found the time) and while at the barber Tyra's talk show came on the TV. The topic of the show: Virginity.

There's a lot of importance placed on virginity, but I no longer agree that it deserves such importance. What is our obsession with it - our, meaning Americans? It seems that if you're an American male over a certain age, to still possess one's "virginity" is an embarrassment. But at the same time, for an American female to "lose" hers before marriage is still something of an abomination.


(I'm speaking specifically about American's because that is my experience, and I have some vague idea that this topic is addressed differently in other parts of the wolrd)

What is it that changes in a male when he has sex for the first time? Is he more manly? Does the process of intercourse actually physically change him in some way? Not that I'm aware of. Emotionally it might - but is that only because we've placed such emphasis on it? And for the females - sure, you could argue there's a physical change, supposing she still had an intact hymen at the time of her first sexual encounter. But I've read that only 1/3 of females will still be in such a physical condition - for most the hymen either dissolves or is otherwise "broken" through normal physical activity. So, for those 2/3's that find themselves in that situation, what physical change does the act of intercourse involve?

I've given a lot of thought over the years to this subject. I used to be one of the girls that was going to "save herself for marriage" and held Virginity in the highest esteem. It was critically important to me that both myself AND my future husband WAIT for marriage to experience this mysterious act called sex. This conviction was based on a lot of naive notions. For instance, at the time, I still thought that sex would be a magical, earth-shattering, orchestra-in-the-background, life-altering activity. I'm not saying I haven't had magical moments or heard an orchestra playing in my sexual encounters since - it's been great - but that first time...was not quite like that. It was enjoyable sure, but it was our first time. There's a bit of mechanics involved and when you get down to it sex is just messy and kind of weird. I didn't expect the mess - that definitely wasn't part of the magic I'd imagined. (see, naive, right?) I also expected to feel different afterwards. I didn't especially. I felt closer to my boyfriend, but not especially different in any way.

So did I save myself for marriage? No, I did not. And I am glad I did not. I think that doing so puts way more importance on the act than it deserves. And more pressure on the individuals in that relationship, which can cause other problems. That being said, I do still feel it's important to be in a committed relationship with someone you trust (there are way too many infectious diseases out there to drop your pants for just anyone) and for both partners to be "ready". By "ready" I mean emotionally prepared and not feeling pressured or trying to make someone love them, or not leave them.

So back to Virginity. I have since come to the conclusion that virginity in males is a foolish idea. They're still MEN even if they haven't had sex. And a 12 year old boy having sex certainly doesn't make him a MAN. For women, however; the idea of virginity can still make sense. Just not in the way most Americans view it. It is my opinion that every woman remains a virgin until her body is altered by the process of pregnancy and childbirth. Up until then, she's for all practical purposes, the same as before her first sexual encounter. Pregnancy and childbirth, however, enact real physical change and therefore, it is these physical processes that, in my opinion, truly mark the end of a woman's "virginity".

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About this Blog

I have a journal. You know, the real kind...paper, bound in a book form...nice leather cover. And I do write in it...every few months. I like it, but somehow I find it hard to keep up regularly. I'm at a computer nearly all the time, so I find it easier to keep up on this blog. So, that's what this blog is for. To help me journal when I'm away from my journal. A place to collect my thoughts before I lose them to the chaos of my mind.

Or see my first post here. That's why I started this blog.