Do you know what’s really weird? Purity pledges.
I’m not saying that waiting to have sex until your married is weird, that’s totally normal. It’s a personal choice. What’s weird is the pledge that some girls still make to their fathers, to say they won’t have sex. No offence but is it really your Dads business? Why are you his property? Why does he want to be involved in your sex life? Ew. Doesn’t get much more patriarchal than that.
The saddest thing about it is the physicality that is attributed to virginity, when actually, it doesn’t really exist. That’s right folks, forget what you thought – virginity is just a myth. Virginity is simply the state of not having had sex, but its not a physical, tangible thing that many people think it is in women.
So much so, that I actually, until recently, thought I lost my virginity when I was twelve. In an unfortunate, tragic, and deeply Tegan-esque incident involving a hockey stick and two days in hospital, I was left with what many would call a ‘popped cherry’. I do believe it was an event that helped define who I am because of the sheer ridiculousness of it all, but it certainly wasn’t me losing my virginity. This ‘popped cherry’ term is one of the biggest factors in perpetuating the great virginity myth: we like to believe that the hymen is something that can be popped or broken, and once that’s done, there’s no going back.
This isn’t the case. The hymen isn’t a barrier, or a seal that’s broken as soon as you have sex. If it was, then how would we have periods? The blood wouldn’t be able to get out. The hymen is actually a coating that goes around the opening to the vagina, like an extra layer, if you will. It’s not even deep inside you.
Also, if you had to ‘tear your hymen’ to lose your virginity, that would mean people who have non-penetrative sex never lose their virginity, when really, if we were to define it, I guess it would just be the act of intimacy with another person. Yet again, the world has to revolve around penises. Because obviously you can’t have had sex unless there was a penis making you bleed.
When you have penetrative sex for the first time (or you’re careless during PE), the layer gets stretched, which is what causes it to bleed. This actually happens to a lot of young girls before having penetrative sex – from gymnastics and horse riding, for example. It’s pretty resilient, however, and as we know from previous articles, never stretches permanently or gets loose so help me Lord.
If ‘breaking’ your hymen was all it took to lose your virginity, then how did men do it? There’s no physical male equivalent to losing your virginity, which is probably why this whole thing was made up. Men are taught to actively seek sex, and women are taught to refrain from it, and this is just another example of how that idea is perpetuated, STILL. You can STILL see adverts on the web about ‘restoring your virginity’. Women are STILL forced to undergo painful and intrusive virginity tests that are completely false. Virginity is still used to determine a woman’s worth. And it doesn’t even EXIST.
And you know what? I didn’t know about any of this until I watched a CollegeHumor video. That’s right, a comedy video site was better at giving sex education than my own teachers. What does that tell you about sex ed?
It’s 2017, can this be the year we actually educate ourselves and others about women’s bodies? In the mean time, do your bit, spread the word, and don’t talk about virginity as if it’s an actual thing.