My Virginity is Not A Challenge.

Happy MONDAY Joonies, I keep it #FRESH as Hell, thanks to DIPLO:

Ironically, I’m extremely uncomfortable getting detailed/personal– but its not fair that Farrah spills all the personal shit, and Saaghi gets away with sarcasm & embarassing stories.

I don’t know how many of you reading are virgins, half-virgins, or far from it. But in both the Persian & American culture, its kind of a big deal where you stand in regards to the BIG V.

As girls, we don’t know what to do with it–lose it? Keep it? Save it? Share it?

As guys, they just want to get it over with, and never look back. The longer a guy is a virgin, the more of a repressed creep he becomes.

How many ‘my first time’ stories have you heard from a dude? Not many, it’s not a rite of passage for them. It’s an expectation. But for girls, its a decision…

or is it?

I was a virgin for a long time. In every way, I mean. Health class was the only place I’d seen a picture of a guy’s package, and I was just plain scared to go anywhere, with anyone.

Banana!

To be real–I didn’t have much of a choice the first half of high school when people got started experimenting. I was pretty awkward looking thanks to my friend Puberty: inflated nose, chipmunk cheeks, and lots of pudge.

But I remember my junior year when some of the swelling had died and some guys began to approach me, and I really didn’t even know what to do with myself. I preferred ignoring the species of man and their penises– rather than try to figure out the hype-wave my friends were riding. Getting eaten out at 16 was probably #9483838 on my to-do list, while its was #2 on my best friend’s. I wasn’t very sexual, I didn’t feel attractive, and any 16 year old dude trying to tell me otherwise to get in my pants, could just leave.

Overall, I had a huge sense of pride, a fear of rejection, and a low sex drive. Put them all together, and you get a virgin.

My house was also not a sex-friendly environment, as I don’t think many Middle Eastern households are. My parents were not affectionate in front me, to the point that I thought maybe French Kissing was only for the French. I still cannot sit through a sex scene or even a mild onscreen kiss with my parents- it’s super awkward.

image

My mom attempted to give me the sex talk when I was 17, but it was fairly one-sided. Kind of like a Shakespearean Monologue:

You are a virgin, and men respect that. If you give it up before marriage, he will not respect you, and who’s to say he won’t leave you? Then no man will want you.”

Oh sh!t, so my virginity is like a guarantor? Or like good credit when I’m trying to get a loan?

…Interesting.

Then I gathered the courage to ask my mom about oral sex (dumb move): “Mom, then whats oral sex?”

“Only Prostitutes do that”

…Wow.

So I graduated high school thinking going down on a guy was prostitution and my virginity was my credit score.

image

I remained an innocent observer, being asexual while my friends began to lose their virginities. That was pretty interesting. I saw the whole process–

“the decision making”– should I do it Saaghi? Do you think its too soon? 

“the deed” : “It hurt”  or “It didnt hurt as much I thought it would, it was only like 2 minutes”

the after math”: This was always the worst to deal with– there was regret, there was happiness, crying, oversharing.

& I remember thinking that if my friends knew what I knew, that going under a man was as bad as bowing to Satan– why were they still willing to do it? Especially with teenaged wiggers?

I’m not going to lie, I kind of felt like I had the moral high ground compared to them– especially after all their relationships went sour. I really believed that if I was a virgin, my man would love me more, respect me more, and stick around. 

Then as the story usually goes: I met someone. and I liked him a lot, and it was tingly in all sorts of places. I finally found someone and I really didn’t want him to leave.

So I applied my mom’s mentality– keep your credit, keep your man.

Surprise Surprise! It didn’t work. After a year of falling very hard, and keeping my sexual hormones at bay, one night at a beach bonfire–he told me “You’re the kind of girl I’d marry, and I’m not about that right now, I just want to have sex”. Um so if we have sex, I get to keep you?  I was torn between hating him, and wanting him to be the one– so I lost it... and I did what normally over-dramatic heartbroken teenagers do,

I stripped, and went skinny dipping in the Pacific Ocean.

The experience was a curveball. He didn’t stay, even though I had what I thought was worth staying for. So I got naked and really re-evaluated what I was about right now . At the end of the day, if it’s my decision, why was I leaving it at the mercy of people around me?

If being a virgin is the respectable thing to do, why does it feel so degrading?

Joonies, it wasn’t just that guy. It was all of them:

I remember one guy I dated told me how he ‘thought it was a good thing‘ that I was a virgin, but his praise made me feel like absolute shit.

Another guy said, “I like a challenge” when I told him I was a virgin….UM, excuse me?

My virginity is not a challenge. & Who the f#ck are you to praise me for it?

All those guys who praised my ‘virgin’ status had the disgusting, chauvinist tendency to look at me and my body as a land that needed to be conquered. They wanted to be Christopher Columbus- first in the New World.  But I am not a Trophy for their efforts.

Any guy who  prefers a virgin, I would rather castrate.

Now, If you make the decision to stay a virgin until marriage, that is your call- but can you honestly say- you’re doing it for you, and not for the community, your family, or the ‘respect’ of your partner?

Because I hate to break it to you girls, your virginity is worth absolutely nothing. If you treasure it, you’ll only wake up one morning to find yourself broke. No marriage contract/relationship can guarantee respect, so don’t put your virginity down as collateral. Try treasuring something that can’t be touched, torn, or broken.

It’s respect for yourself that is valuable and that should not be invested in your hymen.

Now, clearly, I did have sex at some point. But that story is a little extreme, and unconventional– this post has gotten long enough already. We’ll save that for next time.

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Like A Virgin,

SAAGHI  ساقی

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Comments

  1. I loved this piece sooooooo much. Although, God damn, my mom never said any of that shit. We make sex jokes and talk about everything from strap ons and dildos….to khob midooni hamechi dige!! But at the same time she does expect me to maintain my virginity and the main reason I don’t want to lose it is because of my parents feelings. I don’t give two shits about guys expectations regarding it. Its a huge turn off when a guys criteria for a wife is that she’s a virgin. HUGE TURN OFF.
    And I agree, virginity really is worth nothing. I understand if people want to limit their sexual AND emotional partners because, lets face it, the more people you’re involved with the more likely those experiences will have a huge impact (and not necessarily a good one) on future relationships that actually are important. And I understand that that is the reason my parents want me to not engage in relationships until I’ve reached a point where i’m looking for somebody that I want to spend my life with and to not just mess around (or be messed around with). But that hymen in itself doesn’t mean anything.
    What’s frustrating is that everything is so sexually charged and studies show that people are maturing sexually at younger ages now. So that sexual desire and need comes way before the age that we become mature enough to look for life long partners. So this cultural notion of virginity might have made sense years ago but is now a nuissance and can be a dangerous burden. How do we address this issue? How do we make close-minded people understand that this desire for sex isn’t necessarily out of pure lust but really our bodies wanting to maintain good health? This is a very sticky issue and I don’t think throwing our hands in the air and saying “Fuck what everyone thinks” solves anything.

    • Jamileh says:

      i dont know what world you live in but my parents dont expect a girl to be a virgin….we’re not living in some dahati village in the 1920s……but of course, the virginity thing is ONLY applied to chicks….as usual

      • This is a reality for a lot of people. I never spoke on behalf of the majority, I’m only referring to my own situation and others that I know of. And actually, in the cases I’ve seen its applied to both men and women.

    • Sara,

      I completely agree that people are maturing sexually way too early, and that is definitely the impact and pressure of the media. However, its not about saying ‘eff everyone’ its about not being scared of the judgment’– because the more people do that, the less it becomes judged. If you believe in what you’re doing, and you stand by it with conviction (a.k.a having premarital sex), the less it can be tainted and torn down by others.

      And its interesting to hear you have such an open relationship with your mother, definitely rare! :)

      Glad you enjoyed the piece!

      xx
      Saaghi

  2. was*

  3. Jamileh says:

    its ALWAYS applied to women. this is a dirty islamic thing.

    • Yes it is applied to women. ‘Dirty Islamic’? I’m not sure. There are plenty of other religions that require “purity” from their women.

      A chastity belt was not an Islamic thing.

      xx
      Saaghi

  4. Anon (Female) says:

    I loved this article. Now bear in mind that I am neither a persian nor a muslim, nor am I personally religiously inclined at all Although I do come from a middle eastern (christian) family, and I’d like to expunge the notion that not having sex for a LONG time (not nessecarily until marriage, but that can be applied too) is just an idea in the Islamic community. Trust me, it is everywhere in the Middle East- and it rears it’s ugly,close-minded head more as a regional, cultural tradition and rather than a simple religious preference. I think the “should I or shouldn’t I” is an age old debate for females and very spicy in and of itself: and I love how this article examined everything from one’s OWN desire to seek pleasure (sex drive/consent=two of the most important reasons) to the external influences that shape our descision further: family, friends, and siociety.

    I don’t know if you mentioned diseases though– this is one of the sneakiest and most hidden (literal pun, lolz) ideas of them all. If in the siociety we alreadly live in are guys as pussy about the prospects of laying a virgin as bible/-thumping girls are about having or even talking about sex in the first place… how is anyone possibly going to know where their prospectic partner has been? (Btw Jake, before we do it I’m just gonna need you to take a blood test, I’m finna make sure u ain’t filthy.) I think this is one of the most convincing and difficult issues for me to asses personally. It’s probably the biggest issue for all rational girls who don’t want to screw every guy alive. Now, going back to the other culture for a sec, what my parents say has no bearing on my choice to have sex, nvm them! It’s like the age old story goes, the more they try to lock you up in your room, the more likely you are to sneak out of the window and do whatever the eff you want anyway. It’s an ironic psychological outcome, but it’s there and in all of us nonetheless. My mom shares almost the same beleifs as you when talking about sex other than the standard missionary position: except for instead of oral sex, her fixation is more on anal sex. Lmfao. She thinks it’s pretty much the offical seal of being a streetwalker. It’s the funniest thing ever to hear: “U SERIOUZ? UR PAPA ASKED ME ONE TIME AND I WAS LIKE… LEALLY?! R U CRAZY?! GET THE HECK OUT OF HERE!”

    Comedy aside, I firmly this is a personal descision above ALL ELSE. Always, for ladies who might be reading my little essay right now who actually ponder some logical, non relgious aspects of being a virign: NEVER listen to anyone else or follow them. On the same side of the coin, don’t just go “UGH, FINE” to silence the pressure a guy or your friends may be giving you (I actually like how the author found a loophole from being branded by the idea of giving into pressure, haha!) . What I love about this article so much is that you took it into your own hands– you made a choice based off your own personal concerns. Like Sara mentioned above, her parents are open to talking about sex and respect her– it’s a postive enviornment and therefore she is more likely to respect what they want: interesting how that works huh? According to her own individual circumstances, the respect she has for her parent’s opinon IS a concern. I have male friends who do it and suprisingly enough–one who doesn’t (he’s middle eastern also imo). I’m thinking to myself now this is VERY interesting… a guy who doesn’t want sexytime huh? Time to do a lil’ investigation. After getting down to the roots of why he doesn’t want too–they are very harsh and judgemental, not just on himself, but of course, the girl. Let’s make the strong assumption that if he wants to stay a virgin, Inversely, he wants to find a girl a who is a virgin to marry (Lmfao, what normal, straight guy wants to be stripped of his masculinity at the possiblilty of having sex with an experienced girl who would then be laughing at him in her head (or outloud if she’s a real B ;) His reason is not like the one you stated about men wanting to have a sense of dominance over thier “precious, little untouched treasure (Dood, we’re females not egyptian temples, as you very well stated. Sick idea but so true for some creepers) but actually, the opposite. He wants to wait it out because he “respects” himself and respects her. Sounds sweet enough right?

    But after challenging his opinon a little further with what I beleive are some VERY convincing arguments for why pre-marital sex can work in a persons favor, and if not be even better than waiting and then being trapped in a marriage where your partner’s sex drive doesn’t match up to yours (aka biological/psychological misery), through persistant badgering I got him to fess up the real goods. And I quote: “The last thing I want is to be used up and thrown away like a cheap peice of garbage. When I have sex, it’s going to have meaning.” Haha, if you resist your urge to laugh at the extremity of this notion for a moment, I can see quite plainly that his attitude is extremley self-depricating and harmful: he’s belittling himself by inferring that if he has sex before marriage he’s almost guaranteed to be worthless. Inversely, if he is to learn a possible partner or (friend) had sex how would he think of them? Most likeley in the terms that he will think lower of them as a person in general, is better than them for waiting, and that they are almost pathetic for not saving themselves because they are going to regret it later.

    Lmfao, how are judgements like this healthy? They can damage most (if not all) close relationships in life if people were to find out you think this way about yourself or them. almost nobody wants to have friends with that type of self-image, and nobody wants to be ripped apart and judged by the people closest to them. So far, a good portion of the arguments for the people who are dead-set in advocating virginity for themselves and (most annoyingly) for others, are looking pretty weak. All in all, this article is a practical look at the average life of a teenage girl who lives under a certain stigma, and how she overcomes those pressures on HER OWN terms, and for that it’s fabulous. It reproves to me over and over again what I alreadly know: that siociety, family, and friends should have no impact on your descion to have sex whatsoever UNLESS you willingly want them to. This kind of thing is always between you and your partner, case closed. Unless you want it to be, your sex life nobody else’s beezewax (so kindly get all up outta my honeycomb, thx.) More power to you for takin’ a stand you were confident in, Saaghi!

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