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"You're A Virgin? I Really Respect You For That."

As you get older, more and more of your peers have sex. I’m currently 19 and know plenty of people who haven’t had sex. But because of the media's stereotypical portrayal of young people as raging sex addicts, many people my age exaggerate about their sexual experience either to impress others or just to appear as if they're "keeping up".

But honestly, I don't want to rant about people my age and sex. Frankly, I don't care whether or not you have or haven’t had sex. I lost my virginity in February during a one night stand. I was 18. I know the social repercussions of being a virgin (a ‘late bloomer’) as well as the repercussions of being a slut. What I want to rant about is society's reaction to people who are still virgins after an acceptable age (usually over the age of 18). There has been one reaction that has particularly driven me crazy, and it usually goes like this:

Girl: I’m a virgin.

Guy: Really? You know I really respect you for respecting yourself like that.

WHAT!?!?!? So you wouldn’t respect her if she had sex? Or if she had sex with loads of guys? But how many is too many? Not to mention the implication here that if you do have sex you're not respecting yourself, which is beyond the realms of nonsensical to me. Sex --a biological necessity, a natural impulse --should have no relation to self-respect, and yet it does in this culture.

Just because a girl has had sex doesn’t mean she disrespects herself. People also need to realize that virginity does not equal purity. Sex is a personal thing, as are the reasons why people do and do not have it. It doesn't mean a single thing (like having or not having self-respect) for everybody.

I think often times guys (and sometimes even other girls) think they are complimenting girls by saying they respect them because they haven't had sex when in fact they are slut shaming them and it needs to stop.



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More articles by Tag: Activism and advocacy, Sexuality, Sexism, Identity
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Carmen M
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