I Shouldn’t Need An Excuse To Be A Virgin – (Secular Editorial Defends Virginity – More Rare Than a Unicorn Sighting)
(Link): I SHOULDN’T NEED AN EXCUSE TO BE A VIRGIN, by Shae Collins, XO Jane Site
Feminists have worked tirelessly to make it okay for young women to embrace their sexuality; 22 seems a little late in the game. My few virgin friends and I are the weirdoes.
by Shae Collins
Mar 10, 2014
…I know 22 isn’t really that old. But in a country where the average age of virginity loss is 17, teens are having sex on popular TV shows (I’m sure in a few years, even characters on Disney Channel will be getting their freak on), and feminists have worked tirelessly to make it OK for young women to embrace their sexuality, 22 seems a little late in the game. My few virgin friends and I are the weirdoes.
Most people don’t understand it — not even my own mother, who is beginning to wonder if something is psychologically wrong with me.
…My status as a feminist heightens my shame of being a virgin. In the feminist realm, virginity is often associated with “the patriarchy.” It is evil half of a sexist binary that shames women. Virgins get little love and attention in feminist circles where so many women have fought for the right to be unabashedly sexual. Feminists have websites dedicated to kinks and sexual fantasies, we defend to all ends a woman’s right to have control over her body, and some of us are proud to call ourselves sluts.
Amongst my feminist colleagues and friends, sex feels like the norm. And since I’m not having any, I began to wonder what the hell was wrong with me. Why wasn’t I sexually liberated like everyone else? I was ashamed that I had not yet embraced my sexuality. So I tried to rush myself to be ready for sex.
… So I, like many girls with similarly strict upbringings, grew up associating sex with shame, unwanted pregnancy and STIs.
But pinning my “virginity problem” on my childhood didn’t answer my questions, nor did it make we want to go out and have sex.
..I have to constantly remind myself that there is nothing wrong with me or anybody else who isn’t having sex, whether it’s for spiritual reasons, trauma history or lack of interest. I had to realize that what is “appropriate” or normal sexuality for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it works for everyone.
Bottom line: I’m not ready. No need to come up with some lame excuse about my childhood when people ask why I’m still a virgin. No need to try to force myself into something I don’t want. And no need to try to be normal.
I’m a 22-year-old virgin, and I am cool with that.
—(end article excerpts)—
Interesting, the “anti slut shaming” site Jezebel carried a copy of that editorial (here). As some of the commentators in the Jezebel thread mentioned, for a site that is cool with being slutty, they often weave in Virgin and Celibate Shaming attitudes in their essays, which I’ve blogged about here on my blog several times before.
You cannot be consistent and claim you support all female sexual choices, such as being slutty or asexual, but then turn around and shame women who have chosen to be virgins until marriage, or for a life time.
Post by an XO Jane commentator (which I happen to agree with):
- by Candace Calafia • a day ago
Every single study out there says it is best for young females to wait until they are out of their teens to have sex. Yet, society, including feminists, keeps encouraging young women to have sex, putting pressure on them to start at an early age.
I have to wonder. Who benefits when girls start having sex at 14? Males and sexually promiscuous women, who will feel better about themselves if everybody’s having sex at that age, because they were.
I just watched that remake of Carrie (thank goodness it flopped). Sue (the good girl/lone survivor of Carrie’s massacre) changes.
In the 1976 version with Sissy Spacek, Sue (Amy Irving) is doing her homework with her boyfriend Tommy when she asks him to take Carrie to the prom. In the 2013 remake, Sue’s having sex with Tommy when she asks him to take Carrie to the prom.
I kept thinking of the contrast. They replaced Sue doing her homework (1976) with her having sex (2013). What’s the point of this? All it does is put pressure on young girls to have sex. As I said, I am glad it flopped.
Feminism has turned into a “sex-happy/obsessed” movement. That’s where the emphasis is–not on education or hard work. Feminists have embraced sex workers (Belle Knox) and Miley Cyrus and the rest of the ilk. No thanks, I will pass.
More posts by commentators at that page:
absolutelynot • 2 days ago
as one of those feminists… i’m jealous of you. at your age i thought i was a radikewl queer sex positive feminist and i had a lot of different kinds of sex with a LOT of different people, and i ended up getting an incurable STI..
try being positive about sex with herpes. lol.
looking back on it i’m disgusted at how trashy it was, and how easily pressured and spineless i was, and i wish i had ever had the kind of strength and grace you have to just say no. keep doing you. im glad there are women in the world like you.
Ashley Success • 2 days ago
THANK YOU!! i’m 26 and a virgin for one reason only….haven’t found a someone i trusted to have sex with and spend the rest of my life with. I guess im lucky never felt ashamed of being one.
It has never bothered me and until i find someone i trust/love to have sex with will continue to be a virgin until my wedding nite or whatever.
I think people shouldn’t act all surprised when people say they are virgins after 17 for good reasons…who wants kids unplanned or a disease that they can or cannot treat?
Before people downvote im NOT saying that people who have sex are sluts or whatever all im saying is u have a better chance of those things happening (which frightens the shit outa me) than not happening if you are not having sex at all.
SimplePseudonym • 2 days ago
I TOTALLY agree with you- and I do have sex. I feel the same way about how people respond to people who don’t drink alcohol- why must they EXPLAIN it to you?
Just keep doing you until you’re ready and want to do someone else. 🙂
anna • 2 days ago
Thank you for this article. These days, it seems you can’t admit you’re a virgin after 16 without someone feeling bad for you, or asking if it’s because of some kind of trauma, or if it’s a religious thing. If I don’t want to have sex, it’s no one’s business but mine. Just as it’s nobody’s business but yours if you want to sleep with someone (or multiple someones). And I’m saying this as a 28 year old asexual person who is probably going to be labeled a spinster very soon because I just don’t care about sex.
ChronicBitchface • 2 days ago
I was 23. I’m not particularly religious, and like you, just wasn’t ready. I had an on-again, off-again boyfriend through college– he was religious and didn’t want to have p in v sex, so we just fooled around, handjobs, etc. When we were “off-again”, I did date other guys, but it never got that far.
After I graduated and hit the real world, I dated the worst of the worst. We had been out drinking with friends and he was LIT. It wasn’t even enjoyable and really if I could go back in time and un-do it I would never have gotten involved with him in the first place.
I always said I wanted it to be with someone special or someone I loved, and he was neither of those.
We were together for a few months and he never made me come, not once, and he was very selfish in the bedroom (and, as it turns out, in the rest of his life too!). So basically what I’m saying is, you’ll get there. Don’t settle.
by XOXO • 2 days ago
People are so obsessed with what other people are doing or not doing. Remember the movie St. Elmo’s Fire? Alec was obsessed with Wendy’s virgin status and even offered himself as a gift. WTF?
22 isn’t that old really. If you’re not ready or not into it, then so be it. Never do something that’s not right for you, esp sexually. I thought the point of feminism was that we have choices on how we want to live our lives.
by Millie Hayes • 2 days ago
Sex-positivity should include women who opt not to have sex, and women who are waiting for the right relationship to have sex., along with those who choose to have sex whenever and with whomever. PERIOD.
by Dido • 2 days ago
Virgin-shaming seems to be the new “thing.”
In my high school, I was a complete freak for not having had multiple sexual partners by the time I was a senior.
It sounds pretty silly, but so often, people (especially women, it seems) get after virgins for being virgins. You’re not liberated, you’re falling into patriarchy, you think you’re better than women who’ve had sex.
Umm… no, actually, some ladies just aren’t ready to do it yet. Chill out and stop judging.
by jadedwine in reply to Cactus • 2 days ago
A relationship can absolutely be intimate and romantic without having a sexual element. A lot of people conflate romantic relationships and sexual relationships, but they are actually two separate things! They just overlap for a lot of people.
It is possible to have romantic desires without having sexual ones, and it’s possible to have sexual desires without having romantic ones. And, of course, it’s also possible to have neither or both.
by Cecily • 2 days ago
Whenever I tell people I’m a virgin they usually congratulate me LOL. I think it’s hard to live in a society where the only definition of sexual liberation is having sex as much as possible. It’s flawed logic for sure. People shouldn’t feel ashamed of whatever sexual path they choose in life.
In the end it’s your body, you have control over it. Also intimacy is so much more than physical. If you can’t connect with someone on an intellectual and spiritually whatever sexual attraction will fade.
Sex shouldn’t be the foundation of a relationship, but a byproduct. I say wait until your ready with the person you’re ready to be with.
by Caddy Compson • 2 days ago
Love you so much for this. 27 and I haven’t even kissed anyone, and I’m fine with that except when the people around me start acting like that makes me a freak.
In the feminist realm, virginity is often associated with “the patriarchy.” It is evil half of a sexist binary that shames women. Virgins get little love and attention in feminist circles where so many women have fought for the right to be unabashedly sexual.
This is why I don’t identify as sex positive. In trying to eradicate the stigma that is attached to women having sex, they’ve created pressure for women to have sex (before people start whining at me saying that: I know, I know, not all sex positive feminists have done this. But enough of them have that they’ve created a community in which sex is the expectation, instead of one where there are no expectations at all).
But my whole thing is: if you don’t have the ability to say no, you also don’t have the ability to say yes in any meaningful way.
I think of my younger friends who start to say, “Well, I might as well get it over with.” As though sex is something you must have eventually. Instead of considering that they never have to have it at all! I know that most people will have sex at some point, but just the idea that you don’t have to can be incredibly freeing and take a huge amount of pressure off. The realization that you can actually say no–a definitive no, a forever no– truly gives you the ability to say yes.
by Carolyn reply to Mung Beans • 2 days ago
I think this is what I’m going to end up doing. I’m 24, and I’m not really waiting for anything, but I have a niggling feeling that if I sleep with any old rando I might regret it.
Granted, that could just be my Jesus-laden childhood talking. It also doesn’t help that I’m not really into relationships, but I’m also not attracted to people on looks alone, so casual sex is out of the running.
Still, I’d rather be where I am than some of my friends who actively regret some of the people they’ve slept with.
I’m just really glad I never internalized the idea that it was something to get over with when I was young, because that’s a lot of regret to live with.
by Caddy Compson Mung Beans • 2 days ago
Sure. If you know you do want it and you’re just nervous, you can hold your breath and take the plunge. Heck, that’s probably what I’ll do if I ever have sex.
But I’ve just seen too many girls who view it not as something to actively want but something that just has to be done, like paying bills or something. Just a part of life. And that breaks my heart.
by troutpout • 2 days ago
No, you shouldn’t need an excuse to be a virgin. In an ideal world, everyone would have sex whenever they feel ready and not a moment sooner, and nobody would ever question their timing.
There are many more comments like that on the page if you would like to look.
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