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The non-tragedy of losing your virginity to someone you're not in love with

From time to time we republish our favorite posts. This originally ran in June 2009.. The National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez is all in a lather because of a Cosmo story about college-age virgins and the pressure around them to have sex. I don't know which is more annoying:

a) Cosmo's stop-the-presses story that there are still 20-somethings out there that are still virgins. I guess they haven't read this blog's comments lately.

or b) Ms. Lopez's dismay that so many young women are not waiting for their one true love, but instead throwing their self-esteem out the window and having sex with someone who they merely trust or feel comfortable with or maybe are even really attracted to:

Victoria Vikes, who at the ripe age of 23 is one of the older girls featured in the article, says, “Sometimes my virginity feels like a handicap. Dating is difficult enough without that hanging over my head. I might just settle for the next semi-decent guy who comes around.”

Andrea and Victoria are representative of the women profiled. Most of these gals aren’t even thinking the “l” or “m” words — love and marriage. They simply want to find a mate they will remember, or they will be “comfortable” with, or who will be “someone they trust.”

So Lopez wants these young women to be strong and hold out for the one Mr. Right, and to hit home this point she quotes another student named Hannah, about her abstinence program:

Best Friends is about teaching young girls how to be smart, successful and beautiful. Best Friends is about self-respect, self-control, responsibility, and love. It’s about respecting your body and not having sex at a young age. Best Friends is about being truthful and being yourself.”

There's just one problem with her role model: Hannah is in sixth grade. It's very good that Hanhah's NOT having sex, but by the time a woman reaches her twenties, can't she be trusted to do what she wants with her body? Sex is actually a pretty darn fun activity and while being madly, mutually in love with your partner is nice, it's by no means a requirement.

What's really the problem is being forced to behave a certain way because of outside pressure. Either by your friends and dates pressuring you to have sex – or by people like Ms Lopez and the whole abstinence movement shaming you into not having it.

Of course, as always, no one wringing their hands about the boys.