in praise of virginity and chastity


There was a time when virginity was the norm. In fact, losing one’s virginity at the time was a capital offence in some societies; punishable by death. Of course, there was a way to find out: the hymen. Though we’re now in the know that the hymen test isn’t very reliable, given that strenuous exercises and regular tampon usage could wear and tear it. Plus, pregnancy was one sure way of saying who’s had sex lately, given that contraception wasn’t very much around, with abortion being as feared as hell. Heard of ‘honour killing’? Even families were obliged to demand the life of a daughter who brings them ‘shame’ on the grounds of especially sexual misconduct. Annoyingly, even rape was a reason for honour killing. To say the least, virginity, at the time, was more of a duty than it was a thing of pride. And society even went as far as seeing to it by setting up institutions in this regard: female genital mutilation (FGM), chastity belt, virginity pledge, etc.

Little by little things started changing. And things really did change! With the invention, and further perfection of the various contraceptives, and some cures to prevalent STDs/STDs, sexual restraint began to wane, the line got blur and blurrier by the day until it disappeared. The intriguing part is that sexual indulgence became so prevalent that it became the norm, taking the stead of virginity as it were. As a result, professing virginity at a time like this is not just old-school but a thing of mockery. So, the 21st century virgin is jeered at, and even somewhat stigmatized.

The rationale for jeering at the 21st century virgin is not unfounded. Yes, it is for the same reason that sexual indulgence was frowned at when virginity was the norm; they basically switched sides. And so, the contemporary virgin may feel awkward, regrets her choice of virginity and is weighed down by the stress, and even depression, of how to survive at a time like this when the trend is sex.

The basic reason why the virgin is jeered at is anchored on the fact that he/she misses out on the purported many benefits of sex. The sexually active folks and their cronies say that sex is extremely valuable for the following reasons: good exercise; burns calories; relieves stress; improves health and general well-being; lowers blood pressure; reduces risk of genital cancers, especially the prostrate one; boosts self-esteem, etc. Of course, these benefits are true of sex, but… Can’t you already observe that those benefits of sex could be gotten elsewhere? Run a good race, for instance, and you wouldn’t need sex to complete the exercise part. And a healthy lifestyle counteracts most of those benefits.

Virginity does not say that one is never going to have sex; it says that one is waiting until when the time is ripe. And marriage is just that time. Of course, the sex people wouldn’t want to accept the fact that aside their “purported lack of experience” as a disadvantage of virginity, there are advantages to the virginity thing, too. If for no other reason, we especially know that there is no venereal disease that is airborne; they always happen with sex. Yes, back to the point: virginity is not no-sex forever (safe for religious people who take the vow of forever); it is wait until the time is ripe. And when the time is ripe, it is sex galore!

Mind you, I’m not talking about those who do virginity show; whose goal is to ensure the hymen is intact while exploring other sexual options, such as masturbation, oral sex, anal sex, etc. The very fact that we call them ‘technical virgins’ speaks volumes of them; it already says they’re not. Virginity is very much about the discipline, about the effort put into staying clean. That is where chastity comes in. And it is for the reason of chastity that ‘secondary virginity’ is possible. Secondary virginity designate those who’ve done sex before but are now resolved to keep clean henceforth. Yes, chastity is about the state of the mind. Call it sexual purity if you like, which cuts across thought, word and action.

Now, this is my point, so that I don’t get myself entangled in a much ado about virginity: we’re all born virgins, and aside for accidents such rape, we all get to choose to keep it or lose it. Whatever choice we’ve made, we should let others be with their own choice, too. I mean to say, especially, that we shouldn’t trouble virgins on account of their own choice.

Furthermore, a word for virgins out there: “Don’t peter out!” Sometime soon, we’ll talk about how you can get around this stigma.

Of course, I’ve written this irrespective of my own status. And the last time I checked, we’re all virgins until we’re caught. Lol!

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