The first Evie article I ever read was by Meghan Dillon, a piece on virginity shaming called “Virgin-Shaming Is The New Slut-Shaming, And It Needs To Stop,” and it resonated deeply with me.
From a young age myself, regardless of religious views or surrounding peer activities, the idea of sex outside of marriage seemed very foreign and strange to me. I had always viewed sex simply as being one of the perks of marriage, something very intimate and sacred. The older I grew, the more it dawned on me how casual sex had become, not just in the ways it had been commodified as I’ve discussed on Evie previously, but generally in life.
We live in a time of romantic ambivalence. We’re far less likely to meet people organically. Many of us are put off by commitment, settling down, and all the things that were once seen as an “end goal” rather than a “dead end.” Courtship has become useless for many.
With how easily sex is attained, it seems so feeble and redundant in the modern day – sex now is just a pleasurable transaction that people partake in casually. Obvious risks of pregnancy and sexual disease aside, the casual nature of sex has tarnished it for those who engage in such activities, along with those who don’t.
I’d like to say that we’re all individuals and we’re all free to make our own decisions, because we are, but we live in a world where the behaviors of others take their toll on all of us, and of course, the same goes for sexual behaviors. Many today are so desperate and blinded by sex that they will skim over the importance of making true, meaningful connections with people. The older I get, the more out of reach the kind of love I desire seems to become. Instant sexual gratification has become so normalized in society that I’m left to wonder why anyone would be willing to wait when what they want may be so much more easily attained from someone else. In a time like this, I can imagine I’m not the only person my age with the struggles of wanting to wait until marriage.
The Value of Marriage
Now, I’d love to feed you statistics on how “abstinent couples are less likely to divorce” but I also know that many of those couples would be abstaining for religious purposes and therefore would be less likely to divorce regardless, so I’ve chosen not to use these stats for this piece. Abstaining from sex before marriage in no way guarantees a long, happy marriage – nothing does, but there was an undeniable sweetness in my brain growing up at the idea of sex being kept between two people for both of their lives.
Abstaining from sex before marriage in no way guarantees a long, happy marriage – nothing does.
My eagerness to wait for marriage never originated from ideas of purity or shame, but rather the delicate and simple idea of only sharing something so intimate with one person for the rest of your life. Today we’re so impatient, eager to acquire what we want as soon as we possibly can – never reaping the benefits or value of waiting. My reluctance to have sex never spawned from ideas of purity, but if I want to write honestly, then I must admit I myself have fallen into the purity culture trap.
My Argument Is Flawed and I’m Probably Wrong about Sex
I’m going to be completely honest with you — virginity shaming has never been foreign to me, but I’m much more familiar with virginity praise. It’s something I’ve always had, even before writing for Evie. I had written fondly in other publications and online of my virginity, to the point where it was almost a “brand” and a prominent part of my personality.
While I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s an issue, something I have noticed with many of my own writings is that you can usually see the end coming for miles – especially if you even lightly follow me anywhere online. As I began progressing through this piece, I found myself becoming repetitive and splurging my usual lines on the toxicity of hookup culture — and don’t get me wrong, I still stand by that — but the more I continued to write it, the more I wondered whether I had just completely bewildered my brain with such a strong disdain for the casualization of sex that I had put myself off the idea of sex completely. This lead me to wonder – how much disdain and shame will I feel when the time actually comes? Have I just set myself backward?
Hookup culture and purity culture are just different sides of the same coin.
It would have been fairly straightforward and simple to sit here and write as I usually do that I struggled with virgin judgment through my teens and how “sucky“ that was, and I’d while never diminish anyone’s experiences with that either (because they’re completely valid), I wonder how much weight I’ve put on myself to avoid sex completely. Along the way of sticking up for those against hookup culture, I’ve unknowingly been plaguing my mind into a purity-absorbed brain of fear and self-judgment.
When left alone with this topic, I’m forced to ask myself what I’ve really been doing this for. I like to joke about my lonely virgin-teenhood, but as I enter the last year of my teens, I wonder whether my reluctance is a mix of both self-induced fear and self-sabotage. With over two years of sharing my experiences with others, I’ve branded virginity into myself, almost like one of those vegans who tells you that they’re a vegan in introductory conversations just for the sake of humblebragging. For that, I’d like to tell you that hookup culture and purity culture are just different sides of the same coin, and if I’m being honest with myself and with you, then I must admit to falling into the trap of one while hating on the other.
Wise Men Say Fools Rush In – and They’re Probably Right
While not wanting to be the person rushing into sex out of peer pressure, I also don’t want to be the person who rushes into something with as much permanence as marriage from self-pressure. That being said, I also don’t think I’m impulsive enough to marry someone too quickly simply for the sake of sex, especially since I’d only be contradicting myself further by further proving that society is so sex-absorbed that two people may rush into a marriage solely to do it.
But with those thoughts and doubts now poking their way into my brain, I’m back to square one: a teenage girl with odd and overly confused expectations of sex and no idea how to view it. So, here’s my final advice:
Your Value Is Not Defined or Diminished by Sex
I’ll forever stand by the view that sex is something sacred and should not be commodified, but I also don’t want to be the person who feels or makes someone else feel that by having it or not having it they lose or gain something from it. There are plenty of articles and speeches out there that tell women that “sex is their power,” and they’re “entitled to use it at their will.” I’ve never agreed with this view and I doubt I ever will, but I also don’t want to be the person who automatically takes the opposing view, falling into a trap of going from a simple “I’m a virgin and that’s okay” to “I’m a virgin and you’re not” – because that’s just toxic.
We live in a world that condemns women for not being virgins and insults them for staying virgins.
I would have loved to have filled this piece top to bottom with the struggles of being a virgin in a world so caught up with sex, but I’ve bashed on it so much – I don’t want to become bitter about it. I want to be able to support other women, because that’s what Evie Magazine is all about. We live in a world that condemns women for not being virgins and insults them for staying virgins – I don’t want to live through either of those things. I’ve always wanted to wait, and I support anyone who chooses to do the same – but while fighting against virginity shaming, I don’t want to manifest into a person who resorts to “slut shaming.” Because deep down, I don’t think anyone is defined by sex. I just want them to be careful and considerate with it.
I feel like my personal views and journey with sex (despite never actually having had it) have been long and grueling, and I can imagine many will also be in the same position, especially in their teens. It’s been a moral rollercoaster, one where I’ll be sure to contradict my own thoughts on it over and over again – and that’s okay.
I’d like to wait for marriage, and I’d like to encourage others my age to do the same. Sex is not something I’ll ever be able to take or view lightly. I think taking it lightly is how people end up getting hurt or acting recklessly, something I’ll never condone. But my fear and judgment towards such things have become undeniable, only further adding to the weight I put on myself – something I’m sure others have fallen victim to as well.
Regardless, you’re not defined by sex, virgin or not – so don’t be too hard on yourself.
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