Friday, November 5, 2010

Where did I put that...

"I lost my virginity."  I think that is one of the strangest expressions we have in America. 

"How was your day Bill?"
"Not too good.  First I left my wallet on the bus, then my keys fell out of my pocket, and I lost my virginity somewhere."

What does that mean?  Usually if you lose something it can be found again.  I'm quite certain that my virginity is never coming back to me.  I think a more apt statement would be: I gave my virginity to so-and-so, or, my virginity was stolen.  One way or the other, it's not like you're implying that it was some accidental thing and if you look hard enough you might be able to find it in the couch with your loose change.

I'm not really sure what got me thinking about it, maybe my human sexuality class, maybe a post on a forum I frequent, maybe both and some other things, but something got me thinking about the phrase and what it might mean about our society.  It made me wonder if how we view sex lay somewhere inside phrase.  It's almost like we're trying to not blame anyone for something.  I do think the phrase hints at virginity being precious, because we wouldn't "lose" something we weren't trying to hold on to.  Something in there seems to denote shame if we have it no longer, with the possible hope of getting it back.  Like, when you tell your parents you "lost" the keys to the house.  Somehow that sounds better than, "I was throwing the keys to the house around wildly and have no idea where they landed."  One way or the other, it seems like us no longer having it is something we don't want to be entirely accountable for; we want it to be an accident so that it being gone isn't so shameful.

I'd like to pose a new paradigm.  Let's keep the idea that virginity is a sacred, precious thing that we want to hold on to.  I think this is a good starting point.  Now, instead of viewing its loss as shameful, let's shift its loss to not being a loss, but rather a gift to be given to someone we care deeply for.  "I had my virginity, but then I found my wife, and wanted to give it to her, because I knew she'd take care of it."  Doesn't that sound better?  It does to me anyway.

Maybe I'm wrong though.  Maybe "losing" it makes the most sense, and that's why we use it.  I just don't see the logic.  Either way, it will almost surely stay the way it is, so I'll just have to get used to it.  That doesn't mean I have to like it though. :)


  1. "I had my virginity, but then I found my wife, and wanted to give it to her, because I knew she'd take care of it." this is better, but you'll need to condense it for it to catch on

  2. It may not be catchy, but I think it would be more true. I'll think of a better phrase...