July 25, 2013

On Consistency and the Forbidden Fruit

I am a virgin. Somehow this very personal detail has become a hot topic of discussion in the last couple of years. I have been repeatedly put in situations where I had to explain that I am a virgin and, for the time being, I don’t think I will ever be having sex outside marriage.

It all started out with a date. It was sometime in September 2011 when a nice, younger guy asked me out for coffee. He was full of life; it had been years since I was last asked out on a date; I needed life and he offered loads of it. He was a breath of fresh air … of hope. Yet, the guy was direct; he was in for a fling: good company and sex.

Before him I was used to the fact that men will always want sex but they tended to play lovers to get to it. Before him, none of my men doubted the “virgin” part. The “virgin” part was taken for granted. They all wanted sex, yet sex had always been off the table because duh! “I am a virgin”.

This guy was the 1st one to offer a strictly sexual relationship, no emotions attached. And I had to decide whether I was in or out.

And that was when my virginity started to be the topic to discuss.

In this part of the world girls are expected to be virgins as long as they are not married. Yet it is the 21st century, different levels of intimacy had become discreetly accepted. It all depends on your social level. The more you are exposed to “western culture” the more likely the circles you play are open-minded regarding sex. I am saying more likely because exposure doesn’t really grant open-mindedness in our society.
Sex is a taboo in this part of the world. People have been trying to break this taboo yet they have been failing … royally!

Needless to say that relationship failed, it never got started in the 1st place. He wanted sex; I couldn’t give him sex so it faded to a “you are someone that I used to know” type of thing.

He was the 1st but he wasn’t the last to suggest a sexual non-emotional relationship. As that relationship faded I met another guy. Someone that I deeply liked and I dare to say that I deeply loved. That guy was clear too. Marriage for him was off the table, but sex was the most important item on it.

That guy didn’t offer a fling-ship. He didn’t even offer a relationship. He offered nothing and that was somehow everything (Yeah! I am that pathetically in love with him). In his own words, our relationship has different aspects and one of them is sex. According to him sex is a pleasure that should be given and received within the context of exchanging pleasure only, nothing more.

Again my virginity became an issue. Yet, and because I am desperately in love with that guy I started to entertain the idea of sex. The pressure of love and other things got me to the point of thinking why won’t I have sex with him. Why would I want us to be married? After all, and religious reasons aside, marriage is nothing but an exclusive long-term relationship or at least it is what is supposed to be or how I think it is supposed to be. So if I can have the “long-term” and “exclusive” parts, again religion aside, maybe sex will be ok.

I didn’t really voice my ideas to the guy; we moved past the sex aspect of the relationship and kept the other aspects. To be more specific he moved past the sex aspect, apparently he either lost interest or maybe lost hope that I might one day come around what he once described as my obsolete idea about sex.

His move left me with more questions that were even doubled by the appearance of someone who showers me with too much “I love you’s” yet definitely believes that love isn’t love unless it is “consummated”.

Different men, different age groups, different backgrounds, different experiences and different settings yet all had one thing in common. They all wanted sex with a virgin whom they couldn’t really get why she is hanging on to her virginity that much.

Such offers usually leave me both flattered and offended.

Different super interesting men believe I am sexually attractive, this is flattering! The fact that I can’t see why they would get that much interested in me, along the fact that none of them ever offered a “decent relationship” is deeply offending.

Stuck between feeling flattered and offended my moral system gets shaken too deep to the point of clearly showing an inconsistency. Apparently there is a huge gap between what I believe is right, what I say I think is right and the right I actually do.

Is sex wrong?

Yes, No … Maybe! I don’t know.

I really don’t know. I believe it shouldn’t be wrong. Sex is natural. Desire shouldn’t be a sin. But things don’t seem to work in such simple ways in the complicated world we live in.

In this part of the world, the 1st challenge that faces the “righteousness” of sex is religion. Sex is a sin that will get you safe and sound to hellfire. If you are a “believer” guilt will be the dominant feeling associated with whatever “sex” you decide to have outside what religion said it should be.

The 2nd challenge that faces the righteousness of sex is social customs.  Sex is a social sin that will get you safe and sound to the “doomed group”.
Well, it depends mainly on your gender in this part of the world. The rule is, men are accepted to do lots of the social sins. They are men. Our society is seemed to be tailored to “protect” the virtue of women. I am not sure why but probably because men have no virtue to protect after all!

Anyhow, regardless that the society is more flexible accepting men who commit social sins you will still be labeled if you engaged in any form of sexual relationship outside wedlock. And unlike the religious reasons where you can work out a way with your God, the society doesn’t really forgive. And most importantly they won’t easily forget.

In this part of the world, where the individuals are more open-minded than the societies they live in, double measures become the norm. Consistency is really rare. People are used to doing what they don’t believe in, they preach what they can’t/ won’t do and more importantly judge others for doing what they secretly do.  
Sex and religion are two major fronts where you can touch the double lives and double measures epidemic spreading among almost everyone you know.

Religion for instance is supposed to be a relationship between you and the God you chose to worship. The details of such relationship are supposed to be personal. But somehow, whether or not you are a believer in God is a basic concern of the society. Everyone would want you to worship a certain God in a certain way. If you chose not to, you will have to pay a certain social cost, a cost that will depend on how grave the society thinks your sin is.

So people end up pretending. They pretend to be religious. They pretend to be socially right. They do whatever makes them “socially acceptable” while maintaining the things the society can’t really stomach a secret.

People stretch the boundaries of their personal freedoms while not having to confront the society.

One of those stretches is what the infamous HH once termed as “Virgin Sex”.

According to HH, and later all the generous men who offered me sexual relationships, I can enjoy a sexual relationship without really losing my virginity. For them, and perhaps for the society, a girl is a virgin as long as she didn’t engage in a penetrative vaginal intercourse.

So, many men and women in this part of the world agreed to engage in all forms of sexual activities outside wedlock as long as there isn’t vaginal penetration.

They pretend that the sex they have isn’t really sex as long as they don’t get caught.

The interesting part is that all those actively engaging in stretching their own personal boundaries are actively engaging in limiting others personal decisions by being part of the tight society measures.

A man who is open to having “virgin sex” with the girl he loves isn’t as open to the idea if the person involved is his sister. The same man who would pressure the girl he likes to jump from base one to three will advise his best friend to cut off the man she likes for doing the same with her.

A man who says that virginity isn’t really a factor to judge a girl will make a pass at every non virgin he knows.

It is duality and inconsistency everywhere.

And because of all the duality and inconsistency I can’t have sex out of wedlock. Not because I believe it is wrong. On the contrary, I believe it is my right and it is everyone’s right to live their life the way they want. I believe that it is my right to fall in love and to have sex and not to worry about social consequences.

I am at a point of my life where I open to compromise lots of the things I thought can’t be compromised. I am turning 34 in few weeks, and although marriage was never a goal of my life yet loneliness wasn’t one of those goals either.

I am open to considering relationships that are not the “happily ever after” type.

And there is two ways to do this. Either I confront the society with my decision and bear with the consequences or play by the duality rules like many are doing.

I don’t have enough courage to live my life the way I think I should be living it. Yet, I have lots of self respect not to let myself fall in the dual life/ double measures trap.

So, until a further notice I am keeping my virginity.