First, in 1998, before the term blogging existed, a website was created to collect anonymous first time tales: they got 40,000 and started working on a play based on the best stories. Last spring, there was The Virginity Project, created by Londoner Kate Monro: an ongoing web collection of thoughtful stories about first times from Brits and others abroad. Then that first project finally made it to off-Broadway last summer: the ongoing play My First Time was described by Newsday as "80-minutes of titilation." Now, there's another virginity project in the works, unsurprisingly called The Virgin Project: a forthcoming collection of comics based on real-life tales about cashing in the V-card. (Cool idea but the illustrations are sub-par, no?)

This new project, highlighted in slideshow form on MSNBC, reminded us to check back in with the first "Virginity Project," and lo and behold we found a post this very day linking to an advice column we did called "How to deflower a nice young man in 14 steps." But not before finding another related story on MSNBC by Brian Alexander about born-again virginity making a comeback. Finally, all this virginity talk reminded us how we've never figured out why virginity is still defined strictly in terms of penile penetration (as we admitted to Slate last fall). It's one big circle of (sex) life. 

After the jump, a list of the crazy ideas mentioned in the born-again virginity story that really piss us off:

But first, it should be said that anyone who had a bad first time (for instance, if they were raped, or emotionally abused, or pressured) certainly has the right to reclaim their virginity as a psychic tool of empowerment. Now, onto the crazy shit:

  • Spiritual efforts to reclaim virginity emerged back in the early 1990s and now, prompted by abstinence-only school courses taught to thousands of girls nationwide, and by religious teachers, there are reports of more and more young women like Watts attempting a sexual do-over. This whole reclaiming virginity thing is an exclusively female phenomenon, which just goes to show you how far we still have go to escape the man-stud/woman-slut bias. And don't even get us started on how abstinence-only education will do more to fuck up your relationship with sex than walking in on your parents doing it. 
  • "Have you already unwrapped the priceless gift of virginity and given it away?" asks the Web site for the Pregnancy Resource Center of Northeast Ohio, where Watts began working part-time after she reclaimed her virginity. "Do you now feel like 'second-hand goods' and no longer worthy to be cherished? Do you ever wish you could re-wrap it and give it only to your future husband or wife? Guess what...? You can decide today to commit to abstinence, wrapping a brand-new gift of virginity to present to your husband or wife on your wedding night." Losing your virginity, no matter how you lost it, does not make you second-hand goods, unworthy of being cherished. And organizations that prey on young women's insecurities and promote such myths should be shamed into shutting down. 
  • Pope John Paul II declared that believing parents should "devote special attention and care to education in virginity or celibacy as the supreme form of that self-giving that constitutes the very meaning of human sexuality." So the best form of human sexuality among married couples is cutting yourselves off from that sexuality? Huh? Wha? For most religions, isn't that the benefit of being faithfully married: you get to do it with your spouse and God is totally cool with that?
  • "Right now is the start of my busy time," [Red Alinsod, a doctor who surgically replaces hymens,] says, "because in spring, or during summer vacation, the women go overseas and get married and they have to be all repaired by the time of their arranged weddings in the lands of their birth."...Alinsod's typical patient may have been born and raised in the United States, but with significant family in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, India, the Middle East. Without evidence a new bride is a virgin, she risks being rejected, or, worse, the victim of an "honor killing." Never mind that her yoga classes or tampon usage may have accidentally removed that evidence. What is wrong with this world?! 
  • Once in awhile, [Dr.] Baker says, she'll get a patient who just wants to give a present to her husband. "One patient of mine gave it to her husband as an anniversary gift," says Baker. "She was not a virgin when they got married so we re-attached her hymen to reproduce that experience." How about a nice tie for a present? Or maybe a blow job? We're sure he'd appreciate that just as much. But if you must, just get on a Kegel kick and forget the surgery--messing with your labes with scalpels and whatnot could ruin sex for you, not improve it. 
Italicized text above excerpted from the MSNBC story, Born-again virgins claim to rewrite the past.


gina said:

gross. why not just wrap up your hymen in a bow and hand it over to him?!

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