The word itself is forbidden. There is rarely any discussion around it, specifically in Pakistan. The lack of discussion about it has created a lot of misconceptions. Of course, it makes people uncomfortable. They can barely talk about breast cancer and feel ashamed when mosques are illuminated for awareness. Then how do you expect them to talk about a concept as private as virginity? So let’s talk about all these misconceptions around the concept of “virginity” and what it really means.
I understand that you might be rolling your eyes but give this a chance. You can choose whichever definition makes you comfortable, after you’ve considered this. Alright?
Prehistorically, the idea of virginity has been tied to the woman
And virgins have been referred to as pure, unless of course they enter into the bond of marriage. Being a virgin then and even now is important for marriage, at least in this part of the world. Hence, our definition of virginity is the lack of sexual intercourse or in other words, an intact hymen.
However, in reality, according to science, there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to defining virginity
This is so because each individual has different definitions of sex. Hence, the definition of virginity changes with that.
There are people who have not had penetrative intercourse, but they have indulged in other forms of non-traditional intercourse. And according to some of them they are not virgins. So you see, virginity is defined not necessarily just be a penis rupturing the woman’s hymen.
Then there are people of different sexual orientations, particularly the LGBTQ. They might not have penetrative intercourse at all. But that does not mean that they are not virgins, at least according to them.
The idea of intercourse that people generally adhere to is that the act is consensual vaginal penetration between partners
However, someone who has been raped or pressured into other forms of sex may or may not choose to define that as having lost their virginity.
Some people like to believe that virginity is lost when the hymen is broken. Others believe that happens when anything is inserted into the woman’s vagina. Well, this ranges from tampons or an internal exam at the gynecologist.
For some people, virginity or the loss of it is not something tangible. It is they who decide when they are no more virgins. It cannot be “taken” or “lost”, because it not a chocolate bar. For them a pleasurable experience is the loss of virginity
And then there’s the whole debate on what a man’s virginity is and when is it lost.
The bottom line is that the definition of virginity is complicated
It is a social construct to keep check and balances and to make sure human beings have a code of sexual conduct so they don’t just become hedonists. You may choose to adhere to a religion-based definition of virginity or you may choose to base it on various other factors but what’s wrong is shaming others for not conforming to your idea of “virginity”.
Unfortunately, because we place so much emphasis just on a woman’s virginity as a society, these women are subjected to violence based on it. And virginity tests are carried out to shame women when there is no conclusive evidence as to what virginity really means for both men and women.
So please, don’t try to explain virginity with the lollipop and ants or some similar childish examples, be adults and don’t be shy to discuss it with your partners
Some people don’t even care what “virginity” means or think it matters. Stressing about whether you’re a virgin is way less important than how you feel about your sexual experiences.
Cover image via: scoopwhoop.com