Virgin, virgin, virgin. It’s a loaded word. One of those words that probably triggers an emotional response or a memory. To be fair, it’s a word that probably makes most of us uncomfortable… the way it’s slung around like a four letter explicative or swept under the rug with other “shameful” secrets.
This morning at 4 a.m. while browsing through the normal variety of Facebook updates and antics, my eye came to rest on the status of a friend who was sharing how much she and her husband had enjoyed TLC’s new show The Virgin Diaries. I’m intrigued by anything relating to women’s issues and/or sexuality but it didn’t take long before reviews and clips of this new show had me shaking my head. Just watch the clip below. I’ll give you about 60 seconds before you’re joining me in this head shaking routine.
First, a few facts I’d like to set straight before we proceed any further.
Fact: I have an emotional/memory reaction to the word virgin too. At some point in high school, I made the deliberate decision to wait until I said “I do” to have sex. Naturally some mocking and general backlash ensued. Particularly stinging was the time a close friend saw my arms happily wrapped around a pile of books in the hallway and chided, “God Lauren, do you have to look like such a virgin?”
Fact: This virgin’s honeymoon and continuing experiences were/are anything BUT tame. Every time I see something that caricatures virgins as dopey and clueless, my stomach churns a little. You may have subliminally bought into the lies yourself. What lies? That virgin = boring. That virgin = timid or unexciting or lame. The word was originally used to describe something fresh, completely unspoiled and pure. A perfect glass of cool lemonade on summer’s hottest day. Somehow we’ve made it a slur. An insult. A label to be avoided at all costs. That kiss on the promo bit was painful to watch but the awkwardness of one couple, or a handful of individuals (depending on how many the show follows) can’t define a people group. I know wild virgins. Virgins tattooed up and down. Virgins who have no inhibitions dancing in public or enjoying a good craft beer. We’re not all the mousey, bird kissers you’d take us for.
Fact: I’m willing to accept that this is where I might lose you. That’s okay. Stick around anyway? I believe in a virginity that’s way more than skin deep. Call it soul virginity (or something better if you can come up with it). Even though my husband and I share an exciting, sometimes frustrating, often deeply comforting sex life, I’ve openly shared with those who ask that I don’t feel that different from before my sex life existed. Why? Because I didn’t LOSE anything. There was only gain. Only stepping into things exactly the way they were supposed to be.
Our souls were made for mingling – our bodies the tools, the conductors of this life affirming electricity. Touch, talk, taste… sex is the ultimate connection for any two such beings. Plugged right into the power grid, such connections change us. They bond the soul even as the body may shuffle away unsatisfied. Soul virginity is the reason I believe in second chances. It’s the grace of a loving creator to restore spiritually what can’t be undone physically because it’s from the soul that laughter and weeping and jealousy and delight are experienced. Life in its most vibrant colors.
I’d love to know how that word makes you feel.