All Articles Tagged "virginity"
You know how you mother always told you first impressions tend to stick? She might have been right — even in ways she was certainly not referring to. According to new research, the tone set when you lose your virginity apparently stays the rest of your love life … forever.
University of Tennessee psychology doctoral student Matthew Schaffer and C. Veronica Smith, Ph.D., University of Mississippi assistant psychology professor, designed a study to observe the ways in which your virginity loss affects your future sex life. The study, published in the Journal of Sex and Martial Therapy, looks at whether or not there are consequences or benefits to how unpleasantly or happily you first had sex.
Check out the results of the study on YourTango.com.
Okay Bow Wow, you finally have a new job (one of the 106th & Park hosts) and some money coming and you still can’t shut up about who’s been in your bedroom?
Bow Wow was on tv/radio personality Sway’s “Sway in the Morning” show to discuss a variety of things and of course, his sex life came up. It started when he had to pull out a mystery question from a bag and answer it (there’s some video footage on The YBF). The question simply asked, “How old were you when you lost your virginity and how do you rate yourself?” Well, Bow just went right for it saying he was 16 when he lost his virginity to a girl he knew he “couldn’t pass up.” Sway, good interviewer he is (no shade there, Sway is awesome), pushed to find out if the person was a celebrity and Bow Wow said her initials were “EB.” Whomever was in the background immediately guessed it was magazine/video model Esther Baxter.
Boom pow, the crowd (those in the studio with him) goes wild – just as Bow Wow expected.
Only…Esther said it never happened. She took to Twitter to address it (and trust, these are the two tamer tweets because she went in on him):
So now there’s a battle of the denial tweets between the two of them. It’s actually very silly but these are both people who tend to like attention (Esther dated Joe Budden last year and it turned into a very public debacle, complete with accusations of domestic violence). The truth is anyone’s guess.
Oh and Bow Wow also discussed the women he would or would not sleep with or date (he shot down Karreuche, Lil Kim, Selena Gomez and Ciara.
Seriously, he does not shut up.
By Jill Filipovic
Americans love to tout the value of waiting until marriage to have sex. We teach abstinence-only education in schools across the country, and even comprehensive sex-ed programs often point out that “abstinence is best.” Pop stars from Britney Spears to Jessica Simpson, to the Jonas Brothers, to Miley Cyrus, to Justin Bieber routinely assert that they’re waiting ’til marriage – putting them into the Good Role Model category (at least, until someone leaks a sex tape). There’s a booming “purity industry”, complete with jewelry, elaborate events, books, t-shirts and DVDs.
Our state and federal tax dollars have long been spent promoting “chastity”. While conservative commentators are happy to assert that waiting until marriage is the best choice for everyone and people who don’t wait aren’t doing marriage “the right way”, sex-positive liberals hesitate to say that having sex before marriage is an equally valid – if not better – choice for nearly everyone.
So here it goes: having sex before marriage is the best choice for nearly everyone.
How do I know? Well, first of all, nearly everyone has sex before marriage – 95% of Americans don’t wait until their wedding night. And that’s a longstanding American value. Even among folks in my grandparents’ generation, nine out of ten of them had sex before they wed.
Of course, just because lots of people do a thing doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. But sex is. In terms of happiness, sex is better than money, and having sex once a week instead of once a month is the “happiness equivalent” of an extra $50,000 a year. People with active sex lives live longer. Sex releases stress, boosts immunities, helps you sleep and is heart-healthy.
Sex is good whether you’re married or not, and certainly folks who wait until marriage can have a lot of sex once they tie the knot. But waiting until marriage often means both early marriage and conservative views on marriage and gender – and people who marry early and/or hold traditional views on marriage and gender tend to have higher divorce rates and unhappier marriages. We know that, on the other hand, there are lots of benefits to marrying later and to gender-egalitarian marriages. Couples who both work outside the home and also share housework duties have more sex. Financially independent, college-educated women who marry later in life have extremely low divorce rates.
It turns out that feminist values – not “traditional” ones – lead to the most stable marriages. And feminist views plus later marriage typically equals premarital sex.
Most adult human beings naturally desire sex. And despite the rightwing emphasis on concepts like “purity”, having sex does not actually make you a dirty or “impure” person. On the contrary, sex is like most other pleasurable things in life – you can have sex in ways that are fulfilling, fun, good and generous, or you can have sex in ways that are harmful, bad and dangerous. Marriage is not, and has never been, a way to protect against the harmful, bad and dangerous potential of sex (just read the Bible if you want a few examples). Instead of fooling ourselves into thinking that waiting until marriage makes sex “good”, we should focus on how ethical, responsible sexual practices – taking precautions to protect the physical and mental health of yourself and your partner; having sex that is fully consensual and focused on mutual pleasure – are part of being an ethical, responsible human being.
Sexual morality isn’t about how long you wait. It’s about how you treat yourself and the people you’re with.
Sex, of course, isn’t all ponies and rainbows. The United States has one of the highest unintended pregnancy rates in the world. We have one of the highest abortion rates. We have one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections. But our problem with sex isn’t that we’re having it before marriage; it’s that we’ve cast it as shameful and dirty. And when our collective cultural consciousness says that sex is shameful and dirty, we don’t have the incentive – or the tools– to plan for sex, to see it as a positive responsibility and to make healthy sexual choices.
We’re obsessed with sex on television, in music and in advertisements, but we somehow lack the ability to talk about sex as a positive, moral, pleasure-affirming choice that, like any other adult decision, comes with a set of responsibilities. And when government money is going toward telling people to just wait until marriage, we are literally funding an idea that has never worked in all of human history, instead of supporting tried-and-true policies that could mitigate the harm of a sex-obsessed, but pleasure-starved, culture.
If waiting until marriage were simply an individual choice with no political consequences or backdrop – if it were as arbitrary a marker as waiting until the third date, waiting until you knew your partner’s middle name or waiting until she wore really awesome high heels – it wouldn’t be a problem. And personally, I don’t really care when you, as an individual, choose to have sex. As long as you feel ready and it’s consensual, I say you do you. But “waiting until marriage” as a cultural phenomenon – albeit one that isn’t actually happening for nearly everyone in the western world – has some nasty views about women and sex lurking behind it. Using “purity” as shorthand for “doesn’t have sex” by definition means that people, and mostly women, who have sex before marriage are impure, dirty or tainted. As Jessica Valenti says in her book The Purity Myth:
“While boys are taught that the things that make them men – good men – are universally accepted ethical ideals, women are led to believe that our moral compass lies somewhere between our legs.”
It’s all the more troubling when those beliefs are federally funded.
From a more practical standpoint, not everyone is going to get married, or even legally can get married. The instruction to wait forever to experience a fundamental human pleasure is pointless and cruel. And while the old adage tells women that men won’t buy the cow if they can get the milk for free, if I’m buying a cow, you can bet I’m going to make sure the milk is to my liking. But our cultural view of premarital sex as morally tainted makes it harder for couples to engage in real talks about their sexual needs and desires before marrying, the same way they would talk about their religious values, how many kids they want or whether the wedding cake will be chocolate or vanilla.
Sexually frustrated marriages are both miserable and common – the inboxes of advice columnists from Dan Savage to Dear Prudie are filled with letters from couples with mismatched sex drives and bad sex lives. We’d be a lot better-off if we recognized that sex is incredibly important to a lot of people, and, for most couples, sexual compatibility is necessary for a great marriage. You really can’t tell if you’re sexually compatible unless you have sex. The insistence that premarital sex is dirty or perverse makes it a whole lot harder to have necessary conversations. And a worldview that positions sex as shameful and bad also isn’t going to evaporate on your wedding night.
Purity peddlers construct a false universe where there are pure virgins who wait until marriage, and then there are slores who are going home with different men every night of the week. The truth is that most adults will have a great many important relationships in their lives – some of those relationships will be romantic, and some of those will be sexual. That’s a good thing: our relationships with other people, sexual or not, are how we grow, evolve and learn about ourselves. They’re how we figure out what love is, what we like physically and emotionally, and how to negotiate our own needs with someone else’s. Despite the claims of the wait-till-marriage camp, waiting to have sex won’t protect you from heartache, frustration or love lost. But a variety of fulfilling relationships, sexual and not, will make you a more well-rounded, compassionate and self-assured person.
My point isn’t that everyone should have sex before marriage – people should determine for themselves when they are ready to have sex. For the vast majority of people, that’s going to be before they’re married. Making that choice isn’t a moral failing. On the contrary, it’s often a great, healthy, overwhelmingly positive choice. Whenever you choose to have sex, the cultural message that waiting until marriage is the best choice is simply wrong. And it’s wrong for almost everyone.
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Artificial Hymen Kits Available For Those Who Literally Want To Feel Like A Virgin Touched For The Very First Time
While I can certainly see the need for something like this in foreign countries where a woman’s virginity is sometimes a matter of live or death, literally, I can’t say I support the idea of too many American women searching the Internet for fake hymens. Well, actually, thanks to HymenShop.com, ladies actually don’t have to search much at all because they’ve got artificial hymen kits already prepared for you for the low price of $29.95.
“Restore your virginity in five minutes with this new technologically advanced product,” the site reads. “Kiss your deep dark secret goodbye and marry in confidence.”
Marry in confidence built on a lie? Silly opportunists.
Hymen Shop prides itself on being an (extremely) low cost alternative to surgical procedures like hymen repair and hymen reconstruction, which are much more invasive, all for the sake of getting that old thing back. That old thing being the virginity the man you’re with thinks you never lost. According to the site, when you place the packaged membrane inside of you, it expands and gets tight, giving the illusion of an area that’s never been explored by a man, and once a woman is penetrated, a blood-like substance will ooze from the area so the man knows it’s real — except it isn’t.
Writer Leah Beckmann didn’t just take the Hymen Shop’s infomercial-like word for it, she put the product to the test in a hilarious article aptly titled, “Sex With a Fake Hymen” for NY Magazine’s The Cut. She wrote:
I open the first packet and take out what looks like a clear plastic Listerine strip folded into eighths. There is a gruesome amount of bright red liquid inside the folds. I “completely unfold the hymen,” as step No. 4 in the instructions indicates. Some dried-up flakes of red fall from the plastic. I don’t remember red dust at my original hymen-loss, but maybe every hymen-loss is a snowflake unto itself: a tiny and unique horror story floating in the wintertime of our innocence.
“Using an index finger, insert the artificial hymen into the vagina.” Before I can decipher whether the hymen should go in blood-side up or blood-side down— rolled up like a joint? crumpled into a ball?— the film dissolves in my hands. I am covered in bright red dye. I am down one hymen. There is red on every surface of the sink. CSI: New York will need the whole hour to solve this one.
I tear open the next packet, panicked that the clamminess of my hands will ruin my second fake hymen. Dissolve once, shame on me. Dissolve twice, and — oh God, what am I doing with my life?
First, we conclude, the “hymen” part of this device is besides the point. What’s to break? It dissolved instantly. But does that matter? I don’t know anyone who’s actually felt a hymen break mid-intercourse, and suspect that those utilizing the artificial hymen in earnest don’t, either. (Except for the fetish stars, maybe. But I doubt they mind illusion.) My e-mail buddy at Hymen Shop explains, “The first and foremost purpose of the artificial hymen kit is to provide the visual effect human being blood coming out of the vagina as a proof of virginity. The ‘breaking’ sensation in the intercourse is a second priority, and it’s an elusive one since it is very subjective with the individual man and the construct of the female hymen.”
As hilarious as the entire idea of this device is, what I find even funnier is the fact it comes in packs of 1 to 5 hymens. Just how many men are some of these women out here trying to trick into thinking they are virgins?
What do you think about this whole artificial hymen product?
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The last image a young woman wants to have when losing her virginity is a vision of her father. But for the hundreds of young girls who participate in purity balls each year, decisions about sexuality are heavily influenced by the protective presence of their fathers.
Recently, the popular National Geographic Channel show Taboo featured a segment on the episode “Teen Sex” about the practice of purity balls. A purity ball is a formal dance or ceremony attended by fathers and their daughters where the young women pledge their virginity to the protection of their fathers until they are married. The fathers then pledge to safe keep what they see as their young daughters’ “purity of mind, body and soul.” The practice is closely associated with evangelical Christian churches and originated by Randy Wilson in Colorado Springs in 1998. A field director for the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian organization, Wilson promotes purity balls across the country and his website boasts that they have been held in 48 states.
Before I get into how purity balls can easily take a left turn down a double-standard dead end, in their defense, purity balls send a lot of positive messages. I could never imagine being able to come to my father and have an honest, un-awkward conversation about sexuality and relationships. In fact, for most young American girls, their father’s reaction to them being sexually active is one of two extremes: Your crazy daddy chasing boys out your bedroom window with his sawed off Smith and Wesson not far off; or what is an even worse reality for many girls: Daddy not being there at all to care. The purity balls on this episode featured fathers taking a very active involvement in their daughter’s honor and well-being and treating them as the treasures that every little girl should feel like she is to the first man in her life that defines to her what a man should be for a woman. As one of the fathers on the episode stated, “The man sets the moral compass for the entire family.” Wilson goes even further emphasizing that purity balls are more about the fathers than they are the daughters. “The idea was to model what the relationship can be as a daughter grows from a child to an adult. You come in closer, become available to answer whatever questions she has,” Wilson offers to fathers struggling to find a place in the lives of their maturing daughters.
But even with the best intentions in the world, the whole purity ball ceremony is honestly kind of creepy when played out. The girls march to an altar in a procession of mini child brides alongside their fathers dressed in somber suits. The dads then descend on bended knee placing purity rings on their daughter’s left hands. The compliant girls adoringly gaze down in white dresses promising to remain abstinent until marriage. What was also slightly unnerving for me is how young the girls appeared to be. The youngest girls appeared to be all of 9 or 10 years old and I’m still not convinced that they are 100 percent sure of what they are actually signing up for. As they slow-dragged their feet in tune with their fathers, their expressions were vacant and apathetic, not passionate and empowered like young women convinced of their moral path. Some guidelines state that girls can be as young as four years old and as old as college age, but the majority of young girls who participate do so once they’ve entered puberty. At an age where young girls are debating the decision of tampon or pad, making a semi-permanent pledge about virginity could be seen as an unnecessary amount of pressure.
“Oh, you go to church? You know what they say about church girls…” is a phrase that I’ve come to despise over the years. Church girls have unfairly been given (and have sometimes earned) some of the worst reputations around town. “Hypocrite” “Holy Hoes” and “Frauds” are only the tip of the iceberg. What many fail to realize about church girls is just because many of us were born into the church does not mean that we were born saints. And just because we’ve been around long enough to learn how to quote scriptures or shout on cue does not mean we’re perfect. For many of us, church has become a way of life, almost like a part of our culture, something that we “do” as opposed to something that we are. From birth church wasn’t actually a choice for us, it was a rule. We had no choice, if our parents were churchgoers by default we were as well. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with this. I personally believe that children should be raised in church. However, I also believe that if you are doing something out of obligation, chances are your heart probably won’t be in it, which is why you have some girls who seem to suffer from bi polar disorder, they profess salvation on Sunday and profess everything else Monday through Saturday. I remember being one of those girls.
I was raised in church. I was taught right from wrong. I was told which lifestyles were pleasing to God and which were not. It was easy to do the right thing when I didn’t have much freedom. The challenge came around the time I was given more leeway from my parents. You know, when I was allowed to have a boyfriend, given my own car, started college and all of that good stuff. It was the time when I didn’t have my parents over my shoulder telling me right from wrong. I had always vowed to remain a virgin until marriage but as my new found freedom came rolling around, my virginity became a thing of the past. Yes, I was taught that sex was designed for procreation and enjoyment between married couples , but when it all came down to it, I had made a decision to do what I wanted to do. I remember when my mother came to me to tell me about these new abstinence classes that my church began implementing for teens and young adults. Outwardly I smiled, inwardly scowled at the thought of taking abstinence classes. Ironically, I prayed she didn’t try to make me sit through those classes. I was far gone. There I was sitting on the second pew of my church on Sunday’s and doing me the rest of the week, fitting into the typical church girl stereotype.
I remember when it hit me that I had made a terrible mistake. It didn’t happen as I was sitting in front of a preacher speaking damnation over my soul because I’d sinned against God. It didn’t happen at some revival or shut in. I was actually alone, driving to class. It was personal. I was genuinely sorry and not merely because someone told me that I should be. It was in that moment that I began to see God for who he truly was. I vowed that although I had made the mistake of giving someone my virginity who wasn’t my husband, I would remain abstinent until I was married. It wasn’t easy, it probably took me about six months from the time that I made this proclamation to actually begin living it, but it was possible. It took a conscious decision from me, myself, not anyone else. I remember when abstinence classes rolled around again. I had been abstinent for one whole year by then. No one had to even have to mention the classes to me. I was the first one signed up. When the classes came to an end and I was presented with my abstinence ring, it actually meant something to me and again, it was personal. On the ring was engraved “I’ll Wait.” Every time I glance down at it I am not only reminded of my commitment to God and my future husband, but also of God’s unchanging love. It wasn’t just something that I did because I had to do it. It was a conscious decision that I made, which made the ring mean so much more.
Church girls are just like anyone else looking to find their way. Yeah, we may have been raised around biblical teaching, but accepting Jesus and submitting to a life which would be found pleasing unto him has to be a personal decision, just as someone who was never raised around these teachings. There are some of us who get it ingrained in us very early and then there are some of us who may need to go out and experience “life” before we come back with genuinely repenting hearts. This is not to justify the lives of those that live like hell during the week and can preach the kingdom down on Sunday, just to tell the story from the point-of-view of a group of women who are often misunderstood. Christian doesn’t mean perfect, it just means that we are striving to be more like Christ.
Jazmine Denise is a New York City based Lifestyle & Relationship writer. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
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Does it matter to a woman if the man she is dating is a virgin? Do women prefer men with some sexual experience, or are they willing to teach inexperienced men about sex?
These questions can be of concern for a number of men who are trying to regain, sustain, or maintain a life of purity. There is a concern because some women may view men who are virgins or practicing abstinence in a less than masculine light because men are expected to be sexually aggressive. The women may view them as men who are afraid of physical intimacy, impotent, homosexual, or men who have something to hide. Remember all the buzz and suspicions about brothers on the down-low?
With the possibility of these thoughts lingering in a woman’s mind, a man’s ego and confidence may suffer. On the other hand, there are many women who may not be alarmed about dating men who are virgins or practicing abstinence. These women may view men who are virgins or abstinent as men who are sexually responsible, disciplined, and have established standards that are set apart from societies sexual standards for men. In these cases, a man’s ego and confidence is reassured. In a brief case study, a number of women were asked to list the pros and cons of dating men who are virgins and men who are abstaining. The results on the following pages gave many pause as to what how important or unimportant sex was in a relationship.
I’m a female in my mid-twenties and I was in a long distance relationship for about two and a half years with a guy I met in college. He actually worked there. It so happened that it did not last. Coming down to the end he told me he was sleeping with his 50- something year old therapist before me,during the relationship and after I ended it, because “he needed sex” and I wasn’t giving it to him. In addition he has had a “friend” who was pretty much “the straw that broke the camels back” in his last 5 year relationship with his then girlfriend. He still keeps this “friend” around because it’s “his friend” and she was “there for him” when that relationship broke down.
Needless to say, I was very inexperienced in this relationship and it was very hard to walk away from.
I really want to hate this guy-but I’ve never hated an ex. as I think it only damages me in the end.I simply remove contact. I need some assistance in finding closure with this one as the amount of anxiety caused should at least make it easy right?
The issues here are:
The issue with this “friend of his”–lets just call her X, still bothers me to today.
Why after all this drama, is it still bothering me to let this go?–He still emails from time to time, but my responses have dwindled. While I’m not here to play the victim, I’m finding it hard to understand how, why , HOW could all this have happened. Are people really so heartless? I find all this extremely hard to digest given that the older woman and his “friend” at one point were both emailing me in attempts to “defend” and inform me of their going on’s etc.
I also think the entire ordeal left a severe mark on my self-confidence and I need some advice as to how I can be assisted.
No wonder STD rates in the United States are out of control—people are starting out the gate raw.
Results of Durex’s annual Sexual Wellbeing global survey found that 6 out of 10 Americans didn’t use protection when they lost their virginity. That fact alone is bad, but when you compare it to other countries like Mexico and Colombia who had lower rates of unprotected sex at 49% and 47%, this looks really bad. Of the 60% who didn’t practice safe sex their first time, only half (49%) were confident their sexual partner was free of STIs.
One out of five of all those in a relationship admit they are unsure of their partner’s experience—I’m not sure if that also means they are unsure of their partner’s status, but I hope not. Only about 24% of the women who had admitted to having unprotected sex said it was a mistake and they regretted it. I think the rest just got lucky (twice).
Sounds like Durex may need to up their advertising. The data from the 29,000 respondents (taken across 36 different countries) doesn’t bid to too well for their market penetration—or America’s sexual health.
What do you think about these stats? Are you surprised by how many people don’t use protection their first time?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Virginity to me is like the safety seal on the inside of a pill bottle—once the seal is broken, you can never put it back. Sure, you can close the flap back over the top—or pay thousands of dollars for a hymenoplasty if it’s that deep for you—but that doesn’t change the fact that it was once opened.
Last night, TLC premiered the first show of its new series, Virgin Diaries. The tragic first kiss between Ryan and Shanna on their wedding day makes the other 59 minutes and 30 seconds of the show completely worthwhile, but putting that awkwardness aside, I was much more interested in Tamara, a 29-year-old “reclaimed virgin.” Tamara says she’s slept with all of her past boyfriends, which she thinks adds up to about seven men, but because she feels so different since she’s abstained from sex, she figures the next time she does (on her wedding day), “it will be like I never had sex before.” Her roommate Lisa, 30, who is an actual virgin in the medical sense of the word, has her doubts. She said on the show, “I don’t think it works quite like that.”
I don’t either Lisa. When I first heard Tamara say she was a reclaimed virgin, I thought she might’ve had sex once, possibly even with just one person, and decided to abstain, but seven men is a lot of sexual activity to undo in one verbal proclamation. Most people who are no longer sexually active say that they are abstinent or celibate—which traditionally meant more than just not having sexual relations but also not getting married. Tamara’s choice of the phrase reclaimed virgin has a hint of shame in it to me, as if she wants to literally reclaim the time when she was “sexually pure” so to speak. But is that really possible?
Sex is as much mental as it is physical. The physical part is something you really can’t reclaim unless, as I mentioned, you undergo hymen reconstruction, which, according to the Daily Mail, is on the rise in the UK, although the number of operations is still low. Doctors there say women are having the procedure in response to pressure from relatives or future husbands who say women should be virgins when they get married. That’s a pesky little double standard that, despite all of the other barriers women have knocked down, won’t seem to die. I suspect that is the same thinking that underlies Tamara’s choice to reclaim her virginity rather than say she is simply abstaining from sex until she walks down the aisle.
The emotions that come along with sex are pretty difficult to undo, whether it was love or simply lust, and it’s nearly impossible to not, at least subconsciously, compare past lovers. Reclaiming virginity doesn’t kill those memories. Many women look at abstinence as a period of preparation for new and better sexual experiences, rather than erasing ones of the past. It’s usually a decision to save your body for someone who is perhaps more worthy than others have been, or on the most basic level, to protect yourself from sexual diseases that our continually increasing in our community. You can reclaim all you want but that doesn’t omit what you know has transpired.
I think we all joke during a long sexual drought that it will feel like the first time all over again once we finally get back to rolling around in the hay, but feeling like the first time and actually being the first time are two completely different things. If Tamara can sleep better at night feeling as though she’s reclaimed her virginity then more power to her, but at the end of the day you can’t really ever undo what’s already been done. And when it comes to virginity, I’m not sure you really need to.
What do you think about reclaiming one’s virginity? Is it the same as abstaining or do women do this in response to male expectations of female sexuality? Do you think it’s possible to really be a reclaimed virgin?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.