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The Gimme Series

Gimme Virgins

“Virginity” is defined as the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse, however, since sex means different things to different people, the loss of one’s virginity is subjective.


FILM & TELEVISION


As a child, everything I knew about sex I learned from movies. I was a visual learner, fascinated by human experience and any subject matter that was seemingly taboo to talk about in public. This led me to become a huge perv. Was film and TV the best messenger for my sexual education? Probably not. But I highly doubt I would have absorbed information as much through any other medium.

VIRGIN originally meant not married, not belonging to a man – a woman who was ‘one-in-herself’. A free woman.


FICTION


There is nothing like a sexy read. It’s like porn except longer, and there’s no sudden disgust upon finishing. Books are like spells, spinning their magic inside us long after we’ve turned the last page, and these books are no exception. They all carry an energy that is rooted in a primal curiosity that is both sexy and tender. And ladies, Armie Hammer narrating Call Me By Your Name…I’ve never been so turned on by an audiobook in my life.

Call Me By Your Name (audiobook)
by André Aciman, narrated by Armie Hammer
Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan
The Virgin Suicides
by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Paris Review interviews Jeffrey Eugenides on The Virgin Suicides

According to the CDC, the average American loses their virginity at 17, but studies show that young people are waiting longer to have sex than previous generations.


FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO DIED VIRGINS


Supposedly. I’m lookin’ at you, Elizabeth I.

Andy Warhol
Nikola Tesla
Lewis Carroll
Elizabeth I

In 2017, an 18-year-old Romanian girl auctioned off her virginity through a German-based escort service. The winning bid? €2.3 million.


SHORT STORY


An exceptional short story is like a mental skeleton key—that shit will unlock doors you didn’t even know you had. Emotions you once felt. Memories you forgot you lived. I selected these stories because they all capture that feeling of tumbling down a rabbit hole. Slowly creeping. Somewhat scared but still moving forward. I could argue the same for losing one’s virginity.

Virgins” by Danielle Evans (The Paris Review, Issue 182, 2007)

Good Girl” by Sam Stover (Crazyhorse, Issue 96, 2019)

Keith” by Ron Carlson (The Hotel Eden, 1997)

School Bus” by Jan Saenz (Last Exit, Issue 1, 2019)

Engagement rings were originally a form of “virginity insurance” in the event that the groom left the bride-to-be “damaged” and unmarried. 


POETRY


“When I took your virginity, I did it carelessly, like a dog left alone in a butcher shop. I taught you the way adults love (quick, dry, no eye contact.) A year later, in the back of your car, you showed me what you had learned, what kind of man I had trained you to be.”

Sierra DeMulder, The Bones Below
Virgin: Poems
by Analicia Sotelo
“Do You Speak Virgin” by Analicia Sotelo

“He that hangs himself is a virgin: virginity murders itself, and should be buried in highways, out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese, consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most inhibited sin in the canon. Keep it not; you cannot choose but lose by’t! Out with’t! within the year it will make itself two, which is a goodly increase, and the principal itself not much the worse. Away with ’t!”

William Shakespeare, All’s Well That Ends Well

Some cultures still practice virginity tests—a procedure where two fingers are inserted into the female vagina to “check” if the hymen is still intact. In 2011, a group of female political activists in Egypt were arrested and subjected to virginity tests. Why? Army officials claimed the women had to be tested so they couldn’t accuse soldiers of raping them while in custody.


THEATRE


As my good friend Garth Algar once said, “If you’re gonna spew, spew into this.” Spring Awakening is THE musical for anyone wanting to delve into a seriously hormonal, sexually-charged, explosive yet haunting theatre experience.

Spring Awakening, music by Duncan Sheik, book & lyrics by Steven Sater

Only 24 states mandate sex education in public schools, with 9 states requiring programs to be medically accurate. In addition, only 9 states require some type of discussion on consent.


MUSIC


I’m jealous of anyone who claims they lost their virginity while a song was playing. The thought of it is so campy and sweet, and I always think, “What lasted longer—the song or the sex?” Lots of songs explore sex, but it was hard finding songs that were explicitly about losing virginity. “White Houses” is fabulous in its transparency. And FYI, Roberta Flack sings a haunting rendition of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” that had me metaphorically crying in a dark corner with a bucket of ice cream, sobbing, wailing, “No. No, he won’t, baaaahhhhhhhhh.”

“White Houses”
Vanessa Carlton
“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”
The Shirelles
“December, 1963
(Oh, What a Night)”
The Four Seasons
“Strawberry Wine”
Deana Carter

In ancient Rome, “Vestal Virgins” were priestesses who committed to 30 years of celibacy before the age of puberty (6-10 years old). Since their chastity was believed to have a direct bearing on the state of Rome, violating one’s oath resulted in death. However, since Vestal blood was considered sacred, they could not be killed directly. They were buried alive in an underground vault that contained a couch, a lamp, and a table with little food.


ART


It would have taken a whole separate post to showcase all the Virgin Mary artwork I wanted to post, and frankly, my keyboard is not equipped to handle all the drool that would be seeping from my mouth just sifting through image after image of GORGEOUS religious paintings. Perhaps there is a “Gimme Girls Named Mary” post in my future.

Kurt Cobain & Courtney Love (2006) by David LaChapelle
Miley Cyrus, age 15 (2008)
by Annie Leibovitz
(My favorite photographic portrait of all time)
Lucca Madonna (1437)
by Jan van Eyck
(Notice the apple in Jesus’ hand)
Artist David Huggins claims he lost his virginity at 17 to a female extraterrestrial named Crescent. He has made several graphic paintings that detail the experience.

In a recent study, the most common sexual regret among females was losing virginity to the wrong person. For men, it was being too shy to make a move on a perspective sexual partner.


EDUCATION


It would be hard to sleep at night if I didn’t at least ATTEMPT to educate prowling virgins that might be reading this post, so with that in mind, I took the time to track down the most likable, least lame condom tutorial I could find on YouTube. I might even start following this guy. He is adorable.


See you next time.

4 Comments

  • Drew
    August 20, 2020 at 11:02 am

    THIS. I didn’t get any kind of useful sexual education. I think maybe 7th grade we had sex ed taught my completely un-relatable science teacher? I only vaguely remember the video of the woman giving birth, but was that shown for the shock value? “If you have unprotected sex this COULD BE you!” Like you, discussions of anything sex related in our house was taboo…not forbidden but
    awkward AF. Like most teens I knew we learned all things (good/bad) on the Internet, TV, movies. Did I mention I was a theatre kid? Oh to be young again, but not really! Great post. Keep it up friend!

  • Kate Landers
    August 20, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    Awesome job, Jan. Excited to read more of your new blog series!

  • jansaenz
    August 20, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    Thanks sweet Kate!I’m excited–I already have a bunch of topics in my head I’m ready to dive into. 🙂

  • jansaenz
    August 20, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    Oh that 7th grade video. Seriously, it was like ONE period of sex talk, and NOTHING stayed with me. No information, no advice. I closed my eyes during the birthing video. I don’t know what the solution to bad sex education is but I have a feeling it has something to do with comedy. Like how defensive driving courses used to be offered at The Laff Spot and they were taught by a comedian–did you ever have to take one of those?? They were fun! And informative! I seriously think schools should hire comedians to teach sex ed!

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