You don’t hear much talk about virgins anymore since sex is so ubiquitous in our hyper-sexualized society. If everyone’s doing it, who the hell cares about virgins? I read somewhere that to find a virgin today is like stumbling across a historic artifact or a unicorn—they are that elusive.
It’s no surprise therefore, that a person’s virginity is considered so valuable. In 2008, pseudonymous Natalie Dylen offered her virginity for sale to the highest bidder. She received offers of up to $3.8 million dollars. In conservative Nations like Egypt, where premarital sex is forbidden due to religious beliefs and traditions, “selling virginity” to women (who practice sex before marriage) in the form of blood-squirting hymen, has become a lucrative business. And more recently, an Australian filmmaker is documenting auctioning off virgins and paying each virgin a hefty $20, 000. In our society where sex sells, virgins are very much like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They’re as valuable as the coins in the pot and just as mythical. Is this the case in the world of dating and relationships—does it matter if a woman’s a virgin or not?
In the past when premarital sex was still considered taboo in most places, including the most liberal countries, it was normal to remain a virgin for a long period of time. Nowadays, most 40-year-old virgins are the butt of every joke. Sad and ironic, but also very true. It is well known that no one likes a newbie when it comes to sex. In the bedroom, the more you know, the more attractive you are– you get bonus points for your sexual prowess. Given that knowledge between the sheets is what counts as valuable, compatibility on all levels (especially a physical level) can lead to a fulfilling relationship.
On the other hand, it’s almost every man’s fantasy taking a girl’s virginity. There’s some pride that comes from knowing you were her first. The act can be messy (there is a chance of bleeding), but some men like to know that no other man was there before him. Therefore the whole “purity” myth factors into it. This is probably one of the reasons why the more religious men prefer to marry women that are virgins. Also, based on the recent rise in vaginal rejuvenation surgery- where women “re-virginize” themselves, some would argue that these women undergo such procedures because “tighter vaginas” help increase the levels of excitement in their sex lives. Thus, from this angle, one can argue that sex with a virgin equals great sex.
It is worth noting, however, that when arguing the two sides of this question, there is the chance of reducing important issues into binary oppositions like the ‘slut/virgin’ or ‘good girl/ bad girl’ complex, where one side is given more salience than the other.
A woman’s sexuality should not matter. What should, is how our society encourages abstinence and promotes promiscuity. That is something that needs to change.