One Floozy’s experience of ‘losing virginity’ and figuring out what it really means.
I lost my virginity at 16… or so I thought. I never really questioned the concept of ‘virginity’ until last October when Taylor Swift dropped her last album, ‘Midnights’. I identified with one particular song a little too closely. And, to be honest, after questioning it, I was more confused than ever.
Dr. Pamela Young, Professor Emerita of Religion at Queen’s University, whose main expertise focuses on Christianity and the Social Construction of Sexuality, told Floozy that virginity is a socially constructed idea used as a means of social control, mostly of those who identify as women.
“It is a patriarchal and heterosexist construct that relies on notions of purity and goodness to control the actions of particular people, mostly the actions of young women.”
Google the word ‘virginity’ and this is what you will find:
- Synonyms: chastity, maidenhood, honour.
- Antonyms: disgrace, corruption, evil.
My questioning of the concept of ‘virginity ’started with the song, ‘Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve’, which is basically about Taylor Swift regretting dating this particular older man when she was 19. If you are a Swiftie, you will know exactly who she’s talking about.
The reason I identified with this song is because I was secretly in a situationship with a boy five years older than me – when I was 15. It turned out he also had a girlfriend – hence why he kept me a secret, and not because he was committing a literal crime. But that’s a story for another day.
And let’s just say we did stuff. Sexual stuff. I am now 21 but something I will always remember him saying to me is: “I can’t take your virginity. I wouldn’t forgive myself for that.” Oh really? Really.
So, he could do all kinds of sexual stuff to me but the moment he introduced his penis into my vagina, THAT’S when he would not forgive himself.
That’s crossing the line.
That’s where he would have “taken my virginity”.
And I just went with it, I never even questioned it. I was so blind, I even thought he was being such a thoughtful gentleman… Embarrassing! For him, I mean… Or actually for both of us. What was I even thinking?
Then came my first official boyfriend. We were both 16 when we both ‘lost our virginities’ together. It wasn’t exactly the romanticised version I had always had in my head with roses and candles, but, hey, at least I had sex for the first time with my age appropriate and official boyfriend. Or, again, so I thought.
Jumping back to October 2022, when I listened to ‘Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve’ by Taylor Swift for the first time. There was this particular lyric that stood out, a lyric that felt a little too personal to me.
“Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first”.
I don’t think of my first boyfriend when I listen to this song, and especially not when I hear those lyrics. I think of him. I think of the guy who “didn’t wanna take my virginity because he would feel horrible for doing so.”
Because, to me, he definitely took my girlhood. And I also want it back.
Girlhood is a synonym of maidenhood, simultaneously a synonym of virginity.
Now I am starting to think that he might have actually taken my virginity, and he should definitely never forgive himself for that. I certainly won’t.
Dr Young raised a last question to reflect on: “We need to ask ourselves why having or not having sex really has been such a central preoccupation of many (not all) societies, cultures and religions.
What is at stake? As I said, I think it’s primarily social control.”