by Kara Mendez
If I got a dollar for the amount of times someone has said “are you virgin?” to me in the last 5 or 6 years, I would be able to buy myself the beautiful Ralph Lauren heels I stare at daily- and a bag to match. My society’s obsession with virginity seems bizarre considering that it’s 2014 and I can walk down Time Square and see a 60-something year old woman with stickers over her nipples carrying a guitar at 2pm. (If you’re not from America or the New York City area type in “Naked Cowgirl” into your favorite search engine) However, it seems that having your virginity gives you access to a secret club that instantly makes you a better person. Now, being an American who has never left the country or even the East Coast for that matter, I often wonder is it just America or are girls being de-humanized everywhere for having sex?
I lost my virginity at 16. This event had no major effect on my life. I woke up the next morning, went to school, probably ate a bagel, and nothing changed. The only difference was that I was now experiencing disappointing high school sex. However, the reaction from my peers wasn’t as laid back as my attitude towards what happened. It was as if I told them I was engaged to be married or I was moving to Kentucky to join a traveling circus; these reactions quickly transitioned into the word “slut”. It seemed that I was being punished doing a natural consensual act. Let’s fast forward 5 years. I’m now 20 years old- almost 21- and I had two additional sex partners. (Both of whom I was in a committed relationship with. Both of whom I had consensual relationships with.) Now instead of everyone being obsessed with the fact that I am having sex they are obsessed with how many people I’ve had sex with; as if the higher the number the lower my worth.
I’m sure I’m not the only woman who has experienced this. The world is obsessed with how many men a woman has slept with. Which ones of Taylor Swift’s song-inspiring lovers did she sleep with? The world almost exploded when we all found out Britney Spears lost her virginity to Justin Timberlake. No one seemed to care that JT wasn’t a virgin but all of a sudden Britney wasn’t a “good role model” for our young women. Yes, because teaching young girls that sex is a natural part of life and that women are allowed to enjoy their sex lives would be terrible. It’s 2014 and it seems that people are still very upset by the fact that women enjoy sex and that women have sexual desires the same way men do.
Now we can talk for hours about the difference between men and women. About how men are rewarding for scoring and women are talked about behind their backs. We can have long, intellectual conversations all about the double standards in modern society. However, what we really need to be talking about how women view other women. Why does one woman having sex make you so defensive that you have to call her names? Why are women so obsessed with other women having sex? Why are virgins considered more valuable than non-virgins? Why are we so concerned with the magic number of how many sex partners we have? (I know so many women embarrassed to tell their OBGYN their number during annual visits.) If we are having safe, consensual sex with off age partners then why it considered a crime against ourselves?
Photo credit: https://flic.kr/p/9LhxVD