Virginity: Why It Doesn't Exist
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Virginity: Why It Doesn't Exist

there’s the myth of “popping one’s cherry.”

Virginity: Why It Doesn't Exist
National Kissing Day Website

For many young people, virginity is a hot topic. Boys are pressured to lose it as soon as possible, while girls are expected in many communities to stay “pure." But, what is virginity, exactly? Many define it as the first time someone has penetrative (or ‘P in V’) sex. But what if the individual is a lesbian? Does she remain a virgin her whole life? Should virginity even matter? There are so many questions surrounding this concept, and I don’t have an answer for them all.

Then there’s the myth of “popping one’s cherry.” There is, in fact, no physical way to tell whether someone has had penetrative sex or not. The hymen is more of a door frame to the vagina than an actual door—there’s nothing there to pop! The hymen (and the vagina itself) stretches to accommodate things coming in and out, and slowly returns to its original state afterwards. Sometimes they get torn, but this can happen for a number of reasons—unlubricated sex, sports, or even just day-to-day life.

To dispel the myth of virginity, we really have to explore what it means and what its purpose is. Historically, virginity was used as a way to control and commodify women—you couldn’t marry your daughter off unless she was a virgin. Today, though, virginity has become a way for society to shame both young women and men. If a young man goes a certain amount of time before having sex, he’s a “pussy” or a “loser.” If a woman loses her virginity too early, she’s a whore—too late, and she’s a prude. This double standard is only made worse by awful metaphors like “A key that opens many locks is a master key. A lock that opens to many keys is a terrible lock.” or “Once you have sex, you are like a chewed piece of gum. No one wants gum that someone else has chewed.” We’re human beings, not locks and keys or chewed pieces of gum.

Over time, and especially with the emergence of the LGBTQ community into the mainstream, the definition of virginity has become fuzzier and fuzzier. People have sex in so many ways that it’s impossible to boil it all down to something as simple as a penis in a vagina. So what exactly constitutes sex? That, I believe, is for each individual to decide for themselves. Your virginity or lack thereof does not define your worth in any way, shape, or form. If it’s important to you, more power to you! I respect that. But if it’s not something that especially matters to you, it really shouldn’t have to matter at all.

YouTube-based sex educator Laci Green made two great videos on this subject—one on the concept of virginity itself, and one on hymens. I would encourage you to watch them!

Of course, neither those videos nor this article are the end-all, be-all of this discussion. What does virginity mean to you? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you.

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