Virgin debate misses the spot

2010-03-05 14:58

SEX and sexuality are an important part of a woman’s beauty routine. The “purer” the woman, the more beautiful she is according to Lebo, a beauty therapist who was speaking on a woman’s ­lifestyle show called Karibu on DStv’s Africa Magic.

Lebo started her monologue by asking, “How does virginity make you beautiful?” But before she answered her own question, she gave a “big ups to all the women who are virgins”.

On to virginity and physical beauty: “You can see their titties are still standing upright,” she enthused about the young girls who are poster girls of virginity and physical attraction.

My heart went out to all the virgins whose breasts have been ravaged by excessive dieting.

Then I thought of Susan Boyle. The unprepossessing spinster-turned-pop sensation overnight has never been kissed, let alone had sex. At 47, her titties are no longer upright.

I thought about young girls who lost their virginity to rape that was followed by the natural further sprouting of their bodies. And what about virgins who have chubby bodies like mine?

Personally, the best chest I ­ever saw belonged to a 40-something-year-old prostitute.

Lebo also pointed out there is a link between the hymen and wisdom. “Wise ones allow their husbands to be the first man to lay in their beds,” she said.

Yes, of course wise Lebo. After all, it is only bad women who ­insist that a man, including husband, is not the head, chief whip, Lord and master of their lives, especially their bodies.

Thinking of the fact that women remain the ones with a greater risk of being infected with HIV, I wondered if Lebo would get around to engaging instead of judging. Virginity is good. Preserving it is even better for me as the chief cousin of teenagers growing up into head- ­turning knockouts. One of these young ones is sixteen. She has monthly tests “celebrating the decision to wait”.

I liked that she “chooses” to get tested. And will “decide” when she wants to start being sexually active.

“It doesn’t have to be when I’m a wife,” she says, adding that she is giving herself time to grow and start having sex when she has the power to negotiate the terms of her sexual health. Which Lebo’s monologue missed.

Sex has become something like handing our lives over to our partners’ libido, and the ­docile moral stance does not challenge the sexism that insists women’s bodies belong to men.

Instead, Karibu passed judgment; declaring virgins “good women” with the “secret to keeping a home” because their “husbands would not be fighting with things and spirits”.

The good girls were encouraged to stand firm – their reward would be having husbands that would respect and value them. Their in-laws would also be ­assured that the woman ­“belongs” to their family.

Her friends, who apparently mock her inexperience, will come to envy her “glow”.

It’s apparently only virgins who get the so-called glow that is the true essence of beauty.

My life has virgins aplenty.

We the deflowered are not ­envious. Rather, we are protective and keep preaching choice and power over reproductive health. The religious and cultural approach to sex and sexuality is dangerous for ignoring sex in the times of HIV and Aids.

It also misses one important factor. Sex is primal. The urge to have it comes to even virgins.

And some good girls decide to follow that instinct with boyfriends than continue waiting for husbands. So shouldn’t we encourage young women to make empowered decisions than continue turning sex into a bad deed unless it’s done by husband and wife?


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