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Young Men and Virginity

05/20/10

Permalink 12:32:19 pm, by amilnal
Categories: Culture, Commentary

Young Men and Virginity

As a youngster growing up in the midst of womanizers, I got some bad ideas that clashed with my rather ‘proper upbringing’1. One of those many bad ideas was focused on the concept of 'Virginity'. The surroundings in which I interacted expressed explicitly and repeatedly that the concept of 'virginity' didn't really exist for a man. Virginity medically for a girl or woman had a long, clinical and technical definition, whereas men – in the same field – did not even have a good sentence. It was plainly expressed, from all angles, that it is mainly a woman's worry and a woman's joy. I understood, from at least a general perspective, that no one cared about boys or young men virginities...not even women.

Being a virgin at sixteen, seventeen was a no no in the prime of my puberty; whether you were a girl or a boy. For the seventeen year old boys that went to an all boy school, it was a sin. For girls, there are a bevy of beautiful reasons – and whatever the combination - it was never usually frowned upon…generally. Virginity by the age of eighteen (on a growing boy) was like a bad body odor or like halitosis - in that it made you think twice before approaching or back up all together after getting a whiff of it. You got branded as a nerd, a bait (i.e. someone with little to no peer respect), shady (i.e. weird/questionable), “un-cool”, and most importantly... inexperienced.

When you’re a teenager, your most important tools are ‘experience’ and ‘the pretense of experience’. With it, you’re perceived as a woman or a man – when literally, you are really still a child. Without it – you’re like an emotional or hormone drunk, living on welfare [driven by your appetite with barely enough to satisfy your grave]. Or you’re a guided missile with more than one guide. As a young man, it was necessary to at least convey the cloak of sexual experience to any girl you wished to court. I have rarely heard a virgin girl express her desire for a virgin male. No matter which school you were from, the same rule applied... if you were to be seen as an all round senior, you had to have done the horizontal Soca...I mean dance.

Unfortunately for me, I was tainted by my school at an early age (as most boys are) with the notion of experience being a necessity which meant that sex and virginity were hot topics by the time I was fourteen/fifteen. By that age I had grasped a simple concept – 'virginity is bad...sex is good'; but not for the pleasures which could be derived. I foolishly gave little thought to the social warnings of STIs (which were called STDs back then) or the possibility of pregnancy, but instead favored the act for all the ratings I could garnish. It was considered a badge, a stripe, a feather in the proverbial hat; it was ‘believed’ to be liberating confidence.

At fifteen, it was somewhat the norm to tell tales about your sexual experience. In fact, at that age, many men develop their storytelling abilities. You heard embellished stories that were fictionalized, brightened, adjusted, animated, colored or all. I heard both horror stories and funny stories, about which pill made you yawn or how much of the brush you should use, to just needing only one spray to make you a 'stud' (If you are lost, don’t worry, so was I). In the end the bravado of it all and other factors kept me away from sex until later.

‘Later’ was really until seventeen when too many opportunites just kept passing me by (but let us pause for sec…) Women are groomed by everyone, including poor representations of men, that a woman's virginity is not something to be taken lightly. This is grounded not only biology, but within social norms and our psyche. If we were all logical thinkers, we would all agree that the possibility of pregnancy (which is not only physically demanding but life altering) should place greater enormity on the concept for a woman.

From a strictly ego driven perspective, across the passage of time, the patriarchal world has seen it fit to advocate that honor, fertility, virtue, cures and other ill conceived outcomes can be attained from the virginity of a woman, or in many cases, a girl’s virginity. Women were not expected to have the same experiences or the same mind set as men – it became disposal versus retention, pleasure versus pain and grading versus degrading with it being only fit for the gander.

In an article titled ‘*Virginity around the world – A Brief Article – Statistical Data Included*’ by Marie Claire, the journey of gaining sexual experience was described as important mainly for men, to the point where mothers – around the world – made it their duty to have their sons ‘experienced’. Mothers in India made sure that their sons got the experience even if it meant older aunts, cousins or even your older brother’s wives had to get it out of the way. As told to me by Richard Anderson

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Reasons why I love my Jamaican Mom

1. My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait till we get home."

2. My Mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You going get a ass'n when we get home!"

3. My Mother taught me to MEET A CHALLENGE.
"What di backside yu thinkin'? Answer me when me talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"

4. My Mother taught me CONSEQUENCES.
"If yu run cross de road an' cyar lick yu dung, a goin' kill yu wid lick."

5. My Mother taught me THE VALUE OF EDUCATION.
"If yu no go a school, yu a go tun tief or walk an' pick up bottle."

6. My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If yu tun over yu eye lid an fly pitch pan it, it a go stay so fi evva."

7. My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD.
"Is not one time monkey goin' wan' wife"

8. My Mother taught me ESP.
"Yu tink a don't know what yu up to nuh?"

9. My Mother taught me HUMOR.
"If yu don' eat food, breeze goin' blow yu 'way."

10. My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT.
"Come an' tek yu beatin' like man."

11. My Mother taught me about SEX.
"Yu tink say yu drop from sky?"

12. My Mother taught me about GENETICS.
"Yu jus' like yu faada."

13. My Mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Yu tink mi come from "Back A Wall?"

14. My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE.
"When yu get to be as ol' as me, yu wi understan'."

15. And my all time favorite... JUSTICE.
"One day wen yu have pickney, a hope dem treat yu same way."

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