An Open Letter to Male Virgins by Anna Broadway
I want to preface the editorial farther below by saying our culture, both Christian and secular, ridicules and shames FEMALE ADULT VIRGINS and FEMALE celibates too, not just MALE ones.
Once you have gotten to your late 20s as a woman and are still a virgin, you are looked at askew by society – both in and out of church.
I say this too because I see older male, usually Christian, virgins on other sites and blogs whining, crying, and boo-hooing at how tough they think male celibates have life! Oh please, as if you guys have it more difficult? You do not.
Women virgins over 25 / 30 years of of age get teased, left out, and treated like loser-freaks by Non-Christian and Christian culture, PLUS, we ladies get the added shame messages in church sermons and Christian propaganda on blogs and in books, that we are not fulfilling our “God given duty” or “Godly role” to make a baby!
We ladies get the shame, insults, and scorn double.
Men do not face anywhere NEAR the amount of pressure by Christian culture to breed and pop out kids.
Men never (or not as often as women) have to make excuses as to why they are not a daddy, but we women get asked that all the time in regards to parenting, why are we not mothers, don’t we like kids, when do you plan on having a kid, don’t you know you better hurry your bio clock is running out, etc. We ladies get the ‘baby’ questions constantly.
It is not only MALES who face discrimination and stereotypes for being virgins. We women virgins get lambasted for it as well. We female virgins are assumed to be frigid, weird, lesbian, have too much baggage, we must be obese and ugly, or neurotic.
By the way, while the young man himself in the recent news story is responsible for his actions – the 22 year old guy who shot up a bunch of people because he was frustrated at being a virgin and not getting dates – I can’t help but wonder if the Celibate- and Virgin- shaming I see on anti-sexual purity blogs, and the overall anti-virginity attitudes I see on blogs and Facebook groups only contribute to the problem.
Maybe if culture was more accepting of virginity and did not humiliate or shame people who never lose it, or who don’t lose their virginity until they are 25, 35, 55 years old, this guy would not have felt the need to go out and shoot a bunch of people.
But as I have been reporting on here the last couple or more years, Christians have jumped aboard the “virgin and celibate shame” train, too.
It is no longer only secular culture that mocks virginity and says staying sexually pure is impossible, it is every other preacher on TV or in church now, too.
Christians are now taking “pot shots” at the concept of sexual purity and virginity on their blogs, and saying nobody can be expected to stay a virgin their entire life, or past age 25.
Maybe if the church stood on a hill and screamed, “It’s okay to be a virgin and single your whole life, feel no shame,” you wouldn’t have 22 year old men thinking they are a loser-nothings for being a virgin… maybe that kid would have realized he was okay as he was, he would not have gotten worked up and angry and murdered several people as he did.
The Christian church should be presenting virginity as a perfectly fine, viable option for adults in our culture, to act as a counterpoint to our sex-saturated culture, but often, they do not.
Christians – the married ones, and the preachers – also shame older virgins for being virgins and for being single, and they never discuss singleness and celibacy. Preachers are always giving sermons on MARRIAGE and MARRIED SEX.
(Link): An Open Letter to Male Virgins by A. Broadway
- What do you tell the male virgin in a sexed-up 21st-century “bro culture”? Is there anything an older sister of sorts could say to encourage men frustrated by their unwanted celibacy? Here’s my attempt.
To the male virgins out there:
I suspect you feel a lot of shame about the term “virgin.” These days, it’s hard not to. Even among young adults, virgins are a clear minority; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one in 10 American men enters marriage a virgin; most start having sex in late high school. The numbers show women behave very similarly.
… Whatever our various reasons for ending up so, adult virgins must navigate a culture that regards sex as central to human fulfillment. But abstinence from this supposedly penultimate experience raises slightly different identity issues for men and women.
For women, men’s disinterest can seem like a knock on our beauty and desirability. Depending on where we find our value, that rejection can throw our own self-worth into question. But where women may blame unwanted abstinence on some lack in ourselves, men seem to read sexual inexperience as a fundamental failing, or even evidence of women’s universal aversion to or even contempt.
My long sexual drought brought me to ask two significant questions: What is true about my situation? (Am I worthless? Am I a failure?) and what can I do about it?
… Even if you doubt the Bible or God’s existence, how could our identity or fulfillment depend on sex? How could anything so fundamental to who we are depend on the consent and active involvement of another person?
That brings us to our response to unwanted abstinence. Some do very desperate things. People may augment their beauty, overspend, lie, pay for sex, or even rape. The more that we conflate identity with genital activity, the more destructively we may act.
But sex grasped through force, self-denial, or deceit falls grossly short of the intimate union God intended and I think most people ultimately want. It not only uses and damages others; it dehumanizes the one who grasps it. Demanding sex, whether overtly or implicitly, feeds your worst self, not your best.
I say all this because I want the men of my generation to flourish. A lot of you seem to be struggling, but I want you to succeed in life. I want you to use every resource and ability you’ve been entrusted with — to get the most out of your life and be all that you can for your community and the time in which you were born.
Hopefully that eventually includes a healthy, mutually satisfying sexual relationship. But you sell yourself criminally short if you would reduce your potential, your success and your identity to regularly leaving sperm with someone.
… Now assuming your future includes sex at some point — which, for most men, it does — you should take heart. I suspect that one of the greatest lies our culture tells its young men is that being a good lover takes lots of practice in bed. I’m sure practice doesn’t hurt, but the very root of the English word lover is the verb love: that action by which the God of the Bible defines himself, and by which Jesus said people would always recognize his followers. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” Jesus said.
(Link): Weak Argument Against Celibacy / Virginity / Sexual Purity by the Anti Sexual Purity Gestapo – Sexual Compatibility or Incompatibility – (ie, Taking Human Beings For Test Spins – Humans As Sexual Commodities) (Part 2)
(Link): Typical Erroneous Teaching About Adult Celibacy Rears Its Head Again: To Paraphrase Speaker at Ethics and Public Policy Center: Lifelong Celibacy is “heroic ethical standard that is not expected of heteros, so it should not be expected of homosexuals”
(Link): Long Editorial about Virginity at CT – Don’t Blame Evangelicals for the Cult of the Virgin – I Notice It’s the Fornicators Who Want to Ignore or Downplay the Bible’s Teaching that People Are To Stay Virgins Until Marriage