Feminism, Opinion

Virginity is A Sexist and Heteronormative Concept. Should We Let It Determine One’s Value?


In our society, it seems more acceptable for a man to sleep around with different partner than when a woman does the same thing. In that situation, virginity seems to hold a considerably heavier burden for women than it does for men. It’s often used to control women’s sexuality and determine their character, value, or morality. Why is a woman considered immoral, impure, and dirty because she has sex? Does penis/vagina have dirty making power and character destroyer that I’m unaware of? Newsflash; it doesn’t. You can be a virgin with terrible character. You can have all the sex you want with awesome character. Having sex or not having sex doesn’t determine your character as a human being.

As a woman, I was told that I had a responsibility to remain virgin and pure for my future husband. I understand the whole virgin and pure thing because pure is supposed to mean untouched. But does that mean you’re not pure if you’ve kissed someone? Because that’s ridiculous.

Virginity doesn’t define your level of pureness because it’s a totally made up thing that is used to make women feel like they’re dirty or bad for having sex. While on the other hand it’s entirely possible that my future husband wouldn’t remain pure for me. I wouldn’t know it either except he told me about it. There is no physical difference I can tell between a man who has lost his virginity and a man who hasn’t.

If a woman lost their virginity to someone who she wasn’t married to, she is considered as impure, dirty, or something along that line while men didn’t face the same cultural consequences if they weren’t virgins when they got married. This is what is called the sexual double standard. Should virginity be kept only by woman? The sexism of virginity is real here and yet we still spend our days holding to that concept.

According to the dictionary, virginity means “the state of never having had sexual intercourse”. That definition leads me to another question because sexual intercourse refers to penetrative sex or penis-in-vagina sex. It’s assumed that unless you’ve had a penis in your vagina, or put your penis into a vagina, then you haven’t really had sex. That definition of losing virginity can only apply primarily to heterosexual relationships. How about my LGBTQ friends? Are they considered as virgin for the rest of their lives just because they never had penis-in-vagina sex? This concept of virginity erases their sexual experiences by continuing to perpetuate the idea that the only real sex must be penetrative sex. Different people define sex differently. So this one definition we have about virginity doesn’t even work.

Another definition of virginity I’ve heard a lot is related to the integrity of the hymen of a woman. This definition is even worse and very gendered. What about a lesbian who tore her hymen after playing with sex toys? What about trans male and trans female? Well, a lot of people will say that to know a woman’s virginity can be done by checking a woman’s hymen is broken or not. Wow is it really as simple as THAT? I doubt that. A hymen can be broken without any kind of sexual intercourse. Many women don’t experience bleeding or pain during their first sexual act. Some women also were born without hymen. Not all hymens tear during penetrative sex. We all have been sold to this idea of torn membrane and blood on sheets as some kind of sign to determine woman’s virginity.

A broken hymen does not equal loss of virginity. And the loss of virginity does not equal loss of dignity and virtue. But that would be a different story if you’re a kind of person who choose to value someone based on their sex life rather than seeing someone entirely as a person that they are. In that case, virginity and their previous sex life must be a legit big deal for you. I do admit that sex life plays an important role in life but it’s not a tool to judge someone. I don’t want to miss out something amazing that someone offers just because I focus on their past decisions.  I’ve never been a person who sees someone, woman or man, who has had sex as a bad person who do bad things (as long as they’re not a rapist or sexual predator, of course). I see them as someone who have just shared the most intimate experience humans can have.

I still remember that time when my friend told me something related to her sex life and how she asked me first whether or not I’d hate her after knowing her story. I said I’d not, why should I? After that, I knew that she was afraid that people would judge her decisions. It kinda makes me sad how a grown up woman who is completely aware of the consequences of what she’s doing has to feel worry about the judgement she might receive from society, while man doesn’t have to feel worry about it. Damn you double standard in sex! If you want to see it from your religion point of view, it’s not fair either. Everybody makes sin everywhere everyday and why the hell they choose to use virginity and someone’s sex life as a weapon against someone, especially a woman? Why do you think that one sin is more forgivable than another? Why do you think that making out is more acceptable to be done than making love? Is it because making out seems more safe to do and less intimate? If it is, then why you’re still afraid if you get caught by your parents? In fact, making out to some people is just as intimate as making love.

I’ve ever asked some of my  female and male friends the same question related to virginity, that is “what if your partner has had sex before, would you still accept them?”. The answers I got was vary but hold the same point. They said they would accept their partner regardless of their past experience about sex. They would appreciate whatever their reasons behind that decisions. They’re not 100% pure so they’re in no position to judge someone who is not pure either. Yeah, something like that, more or less. Well, I’m saying this not because I want to -passive aggresive- manipulate and provoke people to see things the same way my friends and I do. Not at all.

Your virginity is nobody’s business but yours. It has nothing to do with your value. Treating people differently based on their past decisions would deeply hurt feelings because of the very personal nature of these decisions. Your decision should be yours alone, rather than your peers. Having sex should be a choice because you like someone and wants to have sex with them. If someone chooses to not have sex for their own personal reasons, that’s fine and we shouldn’t shame or judge them. If you want to wait to have sex until marriage make sure it’s because you want to. It’s your body. It belongs to you. Whatever your choice is, it does not make you any less of a human, or make you untrustworthy. You’re all as capable as any human being. 

p.s: I’m not trying to provoke anyone here to do anything. I’m just giving my perspective, as a woman, about virginity. Remember your decision should be yours alone. 😉 cheers!