Revirginisation? Get out of it.
‘Do your homework not your girlfriend’, advises the True Love Waits movement, the USA’s biggest group of celibates. I’ve heard people talk about being desperate for sex – but why is True Love Waits so desperate for other people not to be?
The True Love Waits movement is promoting a new type of non-sexual being – the secondary virgin, or ‘revirginised’ individual. Revirginisation is a promise to celibacy, through which non-virgins can vow not to sleep with anyone again, until they are married – thus ‘re-wrapping their gift of sexuality’.
Though ‘revirginisation’ is a term best known to those of a God-bothering nature, and is most chic in the US Bible belt, the notion that not having sex is better than having sex is permeating classrooms and clinics across the pond as well.
‘In America, chastity is the fastest growing youth movement’, reports the Observer (1). But I wonder in which direction the youth are keen to move. Virginity for many is something all too difficult to get rid of – anticipation of the ‘first time’ eclipsing all else.
Becoming a secondary virgin could conceivably benefit the likes of John Leslie and Ulrika Jonsson, as a last resort. But for normal people, saving your virginity for your life partner seems a little futile. After all, you can only give it once. What do you do on all the subsequent nights of your relationship? And what exactly does true love wait for? I thought true love was enjoyed, no matter what the sexual history of those involved. What about old-fashioned fun in the meantime?
The True Loves Waits movement, and similar mouth-open legs-shut types, seem to have a fixation with sex comparable only to that of an adolescent boy. Whether you’re thinking about doing or not doing, you’re still thinking about ‘it’. To most people, who (or what) you do or don’t have sex with is not the sole component of you as a person (or non-person). What people decide to get up to behind closed doors and under the sheets (or on top of the kitchen table) is unlikely to make a mark, or even a stain, on the world.
Anyway, there is no such thing as a born-again virgin. You can’t just take your virginity back to the shop for a refund, like a pair of shoes – even if it did give you blisters. And the idea that someone would want to is a little sad. The phrase ‘a healthy attitude towards sex’ is often bandied around in discussions over how to educate young people, but isn’t part of a healthy attitude towards sex realising that it isn’t the only thing in the world?
Concern over virginity – when you should or shouldn’t, and who, what, when, where, why – seems to be spreading like the fear of a sexually transmitted disease the morning after a freshers’ ball.
I’m sure that even the God who apparently grants the revirginised their secondary virgin status would forbid a world in which paranoid adults spend the first nights of their honeymoon obsessively unrolling condoms over bananas, and inflicting major injuries on bellybuttons in the dark.
spiked-issue: Love and sex
(1) Just say no, Rebecca Fowler, Observer, 27 October 2002
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