Friday, April 8, 2011

Virginity versus Purity

An old post by Naijalines (Back door virgins) which I chanced upon recently got me thinking about an issue which interests me greatly... 

Especially in the light of a conversation I overheard recently where a girl was telling her friend how she was a virgin and got a phone call with her friend at the other end, asking which lubricant was best for anal sex. I don't know if she was advertising the sound quality of her phone that day, because the whole bus heard.

In high school, I wrote a piece about how many mothers were giving their daughters reason to believe the only reason they cared what they did with their sexualities was because they were afraid they'd contract HIV/AIDS or get pregnant and bring disgrace to the family. It's a sad truth in many homes and my problem was that I felt if that was really the issue, you might as well throw some condoms at your daughter when she turns ten or eleven and tell her to be careful. It was devaluing a mother's interest in her daughter's reproductive health to what society would think of the mother should her daughter get pregnant or HIV/AIDS.

In the issue at hand (Virginity versus Purity), my concern is that the idea of virginity is reduced to the technicality of having some sort of barrier (be it a hymen or unusual tightness) to bear witness to a purity which is often not there. 

At a Campus event, two years ago, a speaker ventured that the first kiss of any couple should be at the Altar. You should have seen the looks on our faces! It was like 'If that was the criteria, then we've all failed' And it was a Christian gathering. There is supposed to be 'Not even a hint' of sexual immorality amongst us and yet, it appeared impossible and ludicrous to us, in our day and age to expect that from us.

Another seminar I went to had the speaker asking us to guess the most asked question he got whenever he spoke to students about sex. You guessed right, 'How far is too far' was the question. The question although very valid exposed our hearts. We all wanted to know how much we could do and still be in God's good books. But then he asked us to think about the reason behind our boundaries...

This is what bugs me about the whole virginity issue. The only boundary appears to be a hymen... and I am not here to cast any stone because if this was the case of the Adulterous woman, I'd be one of the first to put her stone down and run home.

But seriously, when someone who has had anal sex, oral sex, boob sex, and many other types of sex you cannot begin to imagine acts holier than someone who has had penetrative V sex because she still has her hymen intact, it really bugs me. What's the point, really? 

The most valuable lesson on this issue I learnt, was from a guy who had managed with the help of God, to complete university an unkissed virgin. When I expressed surprise and admiration, he asked, aren't the lips part of virginity? To him, it was all about devotion to God and his future wife...

The question shouldn't be one of a hymen ('virginity') but one of purity of mind, heart and body, if indeed you are abstaining for religious reasons. And for husbands and families who demand blood on the wedding night and don't really care about the rest, seriously? I can have anal sex with a horse and you wouldn't care, so long as I produce blood on my wedding night? really?

If we're abstaining, let's be pure. If we are being responsible, let's go all out and get tested regularly and use protection at all times. If we're on the fence and playing the two sides, let's recognize our situation as such and stop acting holier than thou. 

Besides, if a hymen equaled holiness, it would soon be redundant, because didn't some plastic surgeon figure out how to recreate one? It's only a matter of time before we have 'virginity' for sale. Purity on the other hand, will never be for sale...



  1. So true Oye....Virginity is indeed a state of mind.

  2. ..........I'm talking to Uncle Albert about you. like it or not.

  3. interesting read. so what if u've kissed a guy u're engaged to, is that wrong too? since u know u'll marry him in a coupla weeks/ u think we shld wait till the altar before we even kiss our fiance's?

  4. This is so timely; I'm planning to give a talk in my former secondary school about the mistake we all make in thinking of virginity, and not purity, as our goal. Thank you so much for writing this so well! Now I know where to begin.. :)

  5. @ Doreen... Yup! Purity goes way beyond the physical
    @ Teddy: Thanks, dear.
    @ Kitkat: Hmm... The important thing is to focus on purity and God's standards and not just dos and don'ts.
    @Timlou: Glad I could help. We thank God. I hope they get the message. That is a perfect time for them to make these decisions and draw those boundaries.