It’s hard to ignore, and if you’re a virgin, it’s hard not to feel like an outsider.”John*, now 24, first had sex when he was 19.
“In many ways, I embodied a caricature of what Western society would call an alpha male, and I think this created some cognitive dissonance,” the former college quarterback recalls.
“There’s a sort of admiration for the idea of virginity up until marriage — all of the ‘true love waits’ stuff,” says Melissa Sanchez, a core faculty member of the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
“On the other hand, there’s a way in which the virgin is almost a queer figure, [in that] virgins really aren’t exactly [believed to be] heterosexual yet because they haven’t had sex.
“Even in the age of #Me Too and consent awareness, it’s pretty much impossible to find content that presents virginity or celibacy as a ‘normal’ option.
If you look at a phone, a television, a billboard, whatever, you’re bombarded with media that puts sex front and center.
“If I was in a room, especially in college with a group of sorority girls who I was just starting to get to know, I would for sure dodge the conversation,” Alice remembers.
“I was be having sex,” says the 34-year-old, who ultimately first had sex with a man he met on Craigslist at 18.“There’s always a lot of pressure around sex, whether it’s having it or not having it,” says Emily Morse, doctor of human sexuality and host of Sirius XM’s It’s also important to note that being a “virgin” has different societal ramifications for straight men than it does for straight women.In other words, the fact that Colton Underwood made headlines for being a virgin was no coincidence — he was going against a norm that says men are supposed to get high fives for losing their virginity as soon as humanly possible, while women are supposed to sit around with their legs crossed tightly until they find The One. Conversely, when I talked to a few heterosexual male friends, their responses all echoed that of 27-year-old Alex*, who said, “I would be curious about what her reasoning was, but if I liked her, I probably wouldn’t really care.” about virginity.“As a teen, I only had Marissa from ‘The OC,’ when she had that quick stint with Olivia Wilde’s character.The relationship was totally fetishized through the patriarchal male gaze, but I didn’t understand that at the time.”abstaining from anything that would be considered sex,” is planning to remain a virgin until marriage.Before meeting him, many people she dated took her sexuality as a sort of challenge or a condition that they could “fix.” “I remember watching an episode of ‘House’ that had an asexual couple, but the doctor insisted it was impossible,” she says.