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Link to the Reddit post:

Special Thanks to B.F. for the research assistance. Here's a list of the sources:
Treharne, E. (1200). Title (B.1.4.16): Ælfric, Homilies of Ælfric: Dominica VII Post Pentecosten. Retrieved 18 August 2019, from
Lewis Ph.D, C., & Short LL.D, C. (1879). Greek and Roman Materials, Virgo. Retrieved 20 August 2019, from
Virgin dictionary definition | virgin defined. (2019). Retrieved 23 August 2019, from
virgin | Origin and meaning of virgin by Online Etymology Dictionary. (2019). Retrieved 24 August 2019, from
Catechism of the Catholic Church - Christ's Faithful - Hierarchy, Laity, Consecrated Life. Retrieved 23 August 2019, from
The Southern Version of Cursor Mundi, Vol. V. (2000). Retrieved 24 August 2019, from
Blank, H. (2008). Virgin: The Untouched History. (pp. 9-) New York: Bloomsbury Publishing.
Caballero-Navas, C. (2004). The book of women's love and Jewish Medieval medical literature on women. London: Kegan Paul.
Lemay, H., & Albertus., M. (1992). Women's Secrets: A Translation of Pseudo-Albertus Magnus's De Secretis Mulierum with Commentaries (SUNY Series in Medieval Studies) (1st ed., pp. 128-129). New York: State University of New York Press.
Valenti, J. (2009). The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti (pp. 17-18). New York, New York: Seale Press.
Clark-Flory, T. (2016). The virginity fetish. Retrieved 14 August 2019, from
Harris, J. (2018). Statement on "I Kissed Dating Goodbye." Retrieved 19 August 2019, from
Farrer, J., Suo, G., Tsuchiya, H., & Sun, Z. (2012). Re-Embedding Sexual Meanings: A Qualitative Comparison of the Premarital Sexual Scripts of Chinese and Japanese Young Adults. Sexuality & Culture, 16(3), 263–286.
Yimin, H. (2017). Why Is China Still Obsessed With Virginity?. Retrieved 28 August 2019, from
Fearnow, B. (2018). Young adults today are pushing back their first sexual experiences from "fear of intimacy." Retrieved 17 August 2019, from
Huang, H. (2017). Cherry Picking: Virginity Loss Definitions Among Gay and Straight Cisgender Men. Journal Of Homosexuality, 65(6), 727-740. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2017.1364110
Bernard, M AKA Riese (2015). When Did You Do It For The First Time and How Many People Have You Done It With, Huh?. Retrieved 25 August 2019, from
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I've been working on a virginity episode for months.  What is virginity?  What did the concept come from?  Should we still prescribe to it?  And then, I saw this reddit post.  You can pause and read the whole thing, but here's a summary.  A young woman and a young man who are very much in love and have not had sex with each other or anyone else are about to get married.  Days before the wedding, the man says that it's a family tradition for the father of the groom to "check the virginity of the bride the night before the wedding."  Open her legs in a small ceremony type thing so that his dad, his brothers, and his uncle can make sure she's still "pure".

Let's talk.  Virginity is a state of inexperience, specifically one's sexual inexperience.  The difference between it and its synonyms chastity and purity is that virginity is viewed as a possession.  The way we use it in language is similar to how we talk about the contents of this box.  I'm saving my virginity.  I'm not ready to lose my virginity.  I want to give my virginity to someone special.  He took my virginity.  I took his.  

The book Deuteronomy 22 says that if a man rapes a virgin, or seizes her, as it said in children's bibles, he shall pay her father 50 silver shekels, $14.  People buy virginity.  People auction it off and sell virginity for millions of dollars.  Not just those who human traffic, but those who haven't had sex.  Natalie Dylan, looking to pay for grad school, received over 10,000 bids for her virginity.  Virginity is "bought" and virginity is "sold".  It's "inspected" and "checked".  Virginity exams have been reported in 17 countries.  Purveyors want to know the quality of virginity.  If what's in the box is damaged.  If her body conforms to the examiner's beliefs about what a virgin body looks like, then she's clear, eligible for marriage, school, employment, etc.  If not, she risks rejection and violence.  

This is what leads to restoring virginity.  Virginity repair or restoration surgery.  (sigh)  So why are we so obsessed?  Huang Yimin asked this of China in his article, "Why is China Still Obsessed with Virginity?"  His interviewee, Feng Yuan, explains "Lineage was crucial, and there were no DNA tests to prove paternity, so marrying a virgin was one way for men to safeguard their genetic lines.  This blood is thicker than water notion was etched in the Chinese mindset and it still influences some peoples' views today."  Some people all around the world!

'Virgin' is thought to come from 'vireo', green or fresh or flourishing.  That's nice.  It changed meanings when a religious figure named Mary gave birth to a boy named Jesus, even though she was a virgin.  Her being a virgin wasn't just green.  It was virtuous.  So now, for billions of people who identify as Christian, there's a moral standard that goes God way up there, Jesus, God's baby mama the Virgin Mary, the 35+ men who wrote the Bible, men in general, women who are virgins, and women who are non-virgins.  I know what's up.  I've read the Bible.  I planned to be a virgin until my wedding day, because my pussy is a present and I want to give it to the man of my dreams.  

That last part was facetious, but at one time, it was what I believed and it's something that a lot of you have asked me about.  Many of you attach value to sexual inexperience and worry that something will compromise that value.  Can I lose my virginity if I use a tampon?  If I get a pelvic exam, will I still be a virgin?  Anal sex instead of vaginal means I keep my virginity, right?  How do I know if I'm a virgin or someone else is a virgin?  I don't want to spend my life with anyone else, but having his father check my virginity is very important to him, what do I do?  

According to theologians of the middle ages, the signs of an intact virginity are shame, modesty, fear, faultless gait, and speech.  How you walk and talk.  Watch for these signs, but know some women are tricky.  They can act chaste.  In this case, feed her ground up lilies.  If she immediately urinates, she's not a virgin.  She's corrupt.  I'm St. Albert the Great.  I know.  Virgin urine is clear and sparkling.  Corrupted women have a muddy urine because of the rupture of certain skin in the vagina and the bladder which is broken.

What?!  Whaaaa!  What, you don't like that?  You, woman, are definitely corrupt.  Thinking like this goes on for pages in the (?~4:11), Women's Secrets.  If the breasts point downward, she's not a virgin, because at the moment of impregnation, the menses, her period, move upward toward the breasts and that added weight causes them to sag.  Pfff.  What!  Have sex with her and you'll know she's a virgin if it's difficult to enter the vagina, well, she was a virgin.  If insertion causes a sore on your penis, she's corrupt.  If the satire isn't clear here, this is all bullshit.

Theologians like St. Albert(?~4:41) believed that nature intends for all offspring to be male and that if someone is menstruating and they look into a mirror, there will be a red line.  I prefer science.  In the book Virgin: The Untouched History, Hanne Blank writes, "By any material reckoning, virginity does not exist.  It can't be weighed on a scale, sniffed out like a truffle or a smuggled bundle of cocaine, retrieved from lost and found, or photographed for posterity."  In 2017, Olsen & Garcia (?~5:05) systematically reviewed 17 separate studies on virginity testing of over 4,000 patients total and they found that the "inspection of the hymen cannot give conclusive evidence of vaginal penetration or any other sexual history."  Plus, as Blank reiterates, "Virginity reflects no known biological imperative and grants no demonstrable evolutionary advantage, not has being able to recognize it in others been shown to increase anyone's chances of reproduction or survival."

So why do we still use the word 'virginity'?  We can be less harmful and more creative while still acknowledging the state of never having had sexual intercourse.  We could say instead, I'm waiting to have sex.  I'm not ready to have sex.  I want my first time to  be with someone special.  They were the person I first had sex with, and for virgin, just say it like it is.  Like a virgin, ooh, touched for the very first time.  Simply becomes, like I haven't had sex, when your heart beats next to mine.

Stay curious!

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I can't.  My voice is already dead.  When I haven't had sex and your heart, okay.  Nope.  Stay curious!