The Latin word for virgin—that would be virgo— refers to a young girl, a maiden or an in-tact woman.
At different times in different places the term has been used metaphorically to refer to sexually inexperienced boys and to people who are doing something for the first time.
Nowadays, the genders have been bent and both boys and girls are considered to be “virgins” until they have engaged in their first act of carnal intercourse.
To me, the notion of male virgins is peculiar, almost an oxymoron. In politically correct circles men are required to share pregnancy, if only in word. Men today commonly announce their wives’ pregnancies by saying: “We’re pregnant.”
If you were once a virgin, it makes sense that you would, after losing your virginity, become pregnant.
Of course, we all awaiting the moment when these pregnant male ex-virgins start showing.
In some ways this is not new. Some primitive peoples practice couvade, a sympathetic pregnancy where a man, for example, might suffer labor pains while his wife gives birth painlessly.
As though to test these radical new ideas in the marketplace, two virgins, one male and one female, have recently auctioned off their virginity to the highest bidder.
The one, a comely young Brazilian woman named Catarina Migliorini sold hers to a Japanese man for $780,000. Her male counterpart Alex Stepanov received a comparative pittance for his: $3,000.
If you wish to explore the question in more depth, the Huffington Post offers a mildly NSFW slide show of some of Migliorini’smarketing materials.
For reasons that do not defy understanding, there are no slide shows of young Stepanov.
Migliorini has promised to donate most of the proceeds to charity. Some have expressed skepticism.
These events bring us back to the hoary discipline that I have previously called hymenomics.
When we last examined the value of an intact hymen, we were studying the case of an American feminist, a woman’s study major fresh out of college, who had tried to auction off her virginity. She received bids as high as $3,400,000.
The event was going to take place at a Nevada brothel, but, alas, the deal was never consummated.
Young women are taught, as a matter of indoctrination that their virginity has the same value as a man’s. This implies that it has little to no value, and that the hymen is merely a vestigial piece of flesh.
Young women who are encouraged to have sex like men are told to dispose of their virginity-- what used to be called their maidenhead-- as soon as they can. They are led to believe that it is a burden, even a stigma, a sign that they they are not liberated.
For all intents and purposes young women are told to give it away for free. Of course, giving it away for free cheapens it, and cheapens feminine sexuality.
It also, necessarily, lowers a woman’s self-esteem. A woman who does not know that being a woman is not the same as being a man will suffer a lack of self-esteem, a loss of self-worth, to say nothing of diminished self-respect.
Once a young woman has learned that her virginity is worthless, the notion of exchanging it for four years of college and a new house does not seem quite so vulgar.
The feminist mindset has created conditions where selling virginity for money becomes an affirming gesture.
The free market has not quite affirmed gender equality. By declaring a woman’s virginity to be 250 times more valuable than a man’s it is affirming the fundamental difference between the sexes.
The market is also telling us that an inexperienced woman is wildly attractive to a man, but that an inexperienced man is not very appealing to a woman.
To examine the question more closely we must note that a man’s claim to be a virgin is always subject to some doubt. How can you tell whether a man has or has not ever engaged in an act of coitus?
With a woman, a man can know to a near certainty that she is a virgin. If her hymen is intact the probabilities are extremely high that she has never been deflowered.
Yes, we all know that modern medicine has devised ways to restore the physical aspect of virginity. And we know that a woman whose hymen is not intact might be as virginal as the driven snow.
Still and all, a woman’s value, her sense of her self-worth, her pride will be directly linked to the value she places on her virginity and her sexual favors.
A man’s self-esteem is more closely connected to his success in the world of work.
If a woman gives her virginity and her intimacy away for free, she is not only saying that they are not worth very much. She is also asserting that she is not worth very much.
She may feel proud of herself and she may feel empowered by her ability to dupe herself into thinking that she is having sex like a man, but, as Susan Walsh notes today at Hooking Up Smart, hers will a false pride and a false sense of empowerment.
But, not to worry, there's a pill for that.