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July 12, 2010 | by  | in Features |
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Does it take a cock to make it pop?

In February a 19-year old virgin from Northland put her virginity up for auction. She claimed it was to help pay for her university fees. In the end, after many bids, she sold it for $45,000. The story was reported in newspapers around the world. There was outrage, moral condemnation and copycat auctions.

But one question went unanswered… What exactly made her a virgin? Who was to know if she had or hadn’t? She seemed like a savvy girl. She had just made $45,000 for a one-night stand. Was she just taking us all for a ride? And who was the man willing to pay such a huge sum? Did he have a fetish for being the first?

As we near the end of 2010, virginity is still a subject of much obsession. We have a culture that likes ticking boxes. Male, female. Gay, straight. Virgin or not… But as blurred as sexuality is in our modern age, nothing is more obscure than virginity. Instead of throwing away the term, we have instead created a lot of footnotes.

Losing your virginity in the strict sense is to have intercourse with someone of the opposite sex. Countless poems, movies and books in western culture have been born from recognition that losing your virginity is one of our important milestones. Could there have been any plot line in American Pie if virginity didn’t matter? As teenagers, the marketing of virginity goes into overdrive. You find a nice guy and ask those two deal breaker questions: “watz ur star sign n r u a virgin?”

What we fail to realise in our sweet teenage years is that it is far from simple. How do you even prove such a thing? We can’t tell if a man is a true virgin. However, men have a delusion that they can pick a virgin. The hymen, it seems, is the medical trump card. The sad truth is the hymen is often broken long before sex—tampons, playing sport, medical exams. The hymen is the wild child who can’t be tamed. So why do some people still cite this as real proof?

An article in 2004 stated that after all the studies that have been conducted, it was confirmed that “A doctor cannot determine from a vaginal examination whether a women is a virgin or not”. The scary thing about this is in many countries examinations of this kind are carried out to determine if a woman is a virgin before she gets married. And these results are taken as unquestioned medical proof, meaning serious consequences for the women involved. How could I explain the only affair I had was with a tampon?

So if we cannot prove virginity physically, who then are the real virgins? How did Miss $45,000 prove her meat was fresh? Men seem to take a rather more causal definition of virginity. If it goes in it counts.

However, there is the growing trend among women of the ‘technical virgin’. Virginity is now everything but the act of entering through the vagina—so you can still be considered a virgin after a lot of oral and anal sex. Many extreme Christian schools in the States are dealing with the implications of this motto. The vagina was seen as the only hole that counted. They turned a blind eye to all ‘back door’ action. Without any proper sexual health education, pregnancies were on the rise (born-again), and rates of STIs went through the roof.

I went to a girl’s school with its own pregnancy problems. But virginity was always a good talking point. My technical virgin friend had discovered a problem. She referred to it as having been 99.9 per cent roasted. The boyfriend went in, but it was over after one push. She did not want this to be her story, the one she couldn’t forget. He may have counted it. But she was a lady with high hopes for herself and this was a job well below par. We decided for a full roast there needs to be at least three pumps. But then my lesbian friend pointed out, did she have to be a perpetual ‘virgin’? She is far more Magdalene than Mary, yet men all call her a virgin. She was told the only homosexuals who lose their virginity are gay men.

Virginity has always whipped out horrible clichés for women. If you lose it you are a slut, if you don’t you are a prude. But for me this was the final straw. She is not a virgin, plain and simple. So why do we have to hold onto this male mentality that it takes a cock to make it pop?

As I mused over my missing cherry, I asked my friend to recount his story. At 17 he stumbled down Queen Street and decided his moment had come. He walked into a brothel ready to become a man. The cash was laid down and clothes were lost. He said he wanted to get it out of the way, and what better way than to see the guru of virgin stealing. Sadly, alcohol and erections don’t always work together. And after some awkward limp inning and outing they got in a bath and just ended up talking about her kids.

He left feeling confused. Was he now a man? Finally he could just be one of the guys. Yet after all that hype he couldn’t shake off the disappointment. That was sex? Nobody can prepare you for what it is really like. Everyone has such different stories; we are never going to have a clear test. It is time to stop being judgmental. It is time to embrace virginity 2.0.

We can sell it, buy it, save it. Rebuild it, lie about it and become a born-again. The hype shouldn’t be in the what counts, instead it should be what you think counts. You get to choose when; you get to choose with whom. Where, and what to wear while it happens. People have really shitty stories about losing their virginity. It was awkward, painful, drunk, quick and average. Why should that be a memory you are not allowed to forget? Since physically we can’t determine a virgin, it has become a state of mind. Virginity will always be a grey area to define. But it doesn’t have to be for you.

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