Virginity has become a bit of a hot topic this week after 29-year-old American Olympic hurdler, Lolo Jones revealed to HBO’s Real Sports that she doesn’t want to have sex until marriage. The interview – in which she called her extended abstinence “harder than training for the Olympics” – has further fueled Jones’ social media stardom. Her Twitter (@lolojones) following has jumped by 40 per cent since May 20.
The question is why is virginity suddenly so popular? Should this kind of information be private or do we like to know the sexual history of not only celebrities and athletes, but also our friends? Do we admire people like Lolo coming forward and being so frank and honest about sex?
Society has an obsession with youth and beauty but we also have an obsession with virginity. Well this is what I witnessed when I read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald last week focusing on virginity’s unwitting casualties.
Luke Malone interviewed Sydney-based sex therapist Matty Silver who says:
“While saving oneself for marriage is a personal choice, she warns of an unexpected condition that can affect some women who are waiting for Mr Right – vaginismus”
Now I’m not a sex therapist, even if I like to sometimes pretend I am but even I think that’s a pretty big call. I read that comment as single ladies beware if you wait too long to have sex with a man or go past the 3 date bonking rule, your vagina will become out of order. You’ve been warned.
Not only will you not be able to have sex but you will develop psychological issues when it comes to talking about or having sex.
Vaginismus is of course not something to laugh about. It is thought to affect at least two per cent of Australian women. It is described as an involuntary contraction of the muscles surrounding the entrance to the vagina, it can make penetration either painful or impossible and cause much distress to the individual.
What I’m most concerned about is the tone of the article. It’s basically warning women who are waiting till their wedding night to have sex that they should be bonking everything in sight, otherwise they’ll not be able to have sex with their husbands.
What a load of shit. Sorry.
I was raised Catholic and went to church every Sunday until I was at least sixteen. Of course the Bible says that I should wait until marriage to lose my virginity but I chose not to. And I don’t regret this. But women who decide to wait until marriage should not be ridiculed or live in fear of developing vaginismus.
The article goes on to say:
“While a religious upbringing is a common thread found in many cases, it’s not the only link. Women subjected to sexual abuse can develop similar problems, as can individuals who have developed a fear of childbirth”
Towards the end of the article it is less controversial and explores the real issues related to the condition. Dr Jules Black, an internationally noted obstetrician and gynaecologist who specialises in sexual health says “there’s no problem with virginity in and of itself, as long as the individual is comfortable with her body. He suggests that women who have decided to wait until marriage try not to put so much pressure on themselves”
Okay. Thanks Doc. What about male virgins? Why are we always talking about a woman’s virginity and waiting until marriage?
Personally, I think articles like this which focus on a woman’s choice to have sex, not have sex or to wait to lose their virginity let us down. It’s a deeply personal decision and no woman should be made to feel as though waiting for the elusive “Mr Right” is going to lead her to have sexual health problems when in fact the opposite is true. STIs and STDs are on the rise and this is what we should be educating our society about.
What do you think is societies obsession with virginity? Do you think Lolo Jones was brave to come forward as a proud 29-year-old virgin or should people keep some things private?
This post originally appeared on The Punch and has been republished with full permission
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Rose Russo has written 56 posts.
Rose is a freelance writer, blogger and self confessed chocoholic who could quite easily live on a diet of turkish delight and English breakfast tea. She loves the fast paced nature of online media but sometimes feels like she’s the only member of Gen Y who still gets excited to pick up the newspaper on weekend mornings. If anyone has a Sportsgirl addiction cure please let her know [I may be on a first-name basis at my local store] She also writes a weekly column focusing on relationships, friendship and life stuff on her blog at The Budding Rose
Follow on twitter: @thebuddingrose