What Is Virginity?


In June 2013 I appeared on Insight, Australia's leading forum for debate and powerful first person stories on SBS. The topic was 'Virginity' and the room was full of people from all walks of life; people who were 'saving' their virginity, people who hid the fact they were no longer a virgin, people who paid to 'get rid' of their virginity with sex-workers, the list goes on.

Virginity, when discussed, can be talked about for hours, with the big question being, 'What is virginity?' In western culture virginity is traditionally 'lost' when a penis enters a vagina during intercourse.

But what does virginity mean to people who want to have first-time sex with someone of the same-sex? Some people believe there are two virginity's to 'lose'; one being when you engage in sex with someone of the opposite sex and then with someone of the same-sex.  

As a sex-positive educator I like to pose the question; What if we 'gave' our virginity, rather than 'lost' it? Just changing our language around the topic can empower us as sexual beings.

I believe there needs to be more education and opportunity for discussion of virginity with young people in Australia.  This would give youth a chance to talk about what virginity and sex means for them, giving them the opportunity to open their minds and create new possibilities for themselves as sexually empowered beings.

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