From A Liberal Virgin: Stop Devaluing My Virginity

Originally published in Magdalene.

I had a rather early sexual awakening.

I was about seven years old and still a churchgoer. I didn’t remember why I decided to stimulate myself, but I did; it felt good. Nobody told me exactly what sex or clitoris were, but somehow my little self could deduce that a boy’s wee-wee belongs inside a girl’s hoo-ha.

Sex was as mysterious as the occasional glimpses of love scenes on TV. Nobody told me anything, so my little self would make up sexual fantasies that, come to think of it, was exceptionally kinky.

Fast-forward to my senior high school year. I was then well-acquainted with the internet already. I had female friends whom I can talk to about sex. Sex was finally demystified; faith secularized. Kinky fantasies had toned down for good. I learned other variations of penetrators and penetratees. In fact, things have come full circle and I made myself a chastity vow.

I didn’t do it in a classic Christian schoolgirl, purity-ring-wearing way the American shows portrayed and fetishized. I didn’t do it for any religious reasons. I just am, very simply, repulsed by the thought of irresponsible sex, i.e. having sex without an awareness of the risks of STIs and access to birth control and health facilities.

On top of that, I don’t want abortion, so I have to make sure I’m prepared for unwanted pregnancies too – slim chance or not. All these concerns led me to my Sumpah Palapa. No humping until I own my first house. Only clitoral stuff at best and – uh – only with the right partners.

With all those limitations, long story short, I remain a virgin. Considering the current economic situation, I will probably be one for a long time. I’m fine with that – it’s my choice anyway. A conscious, well thought-out choice, which is why I don’t appreciate the way conservatives supremacists are taking out my agency of it.

Our choice/their rules

Conservative supremacists dictates a woman’s value based on her virginity. Right now I’m a goodwoman, but my goodness marginalizes other women who choose differently. Sexually active women are called sluts, infidels, liberals, anything. Our choices are judged, our reasons dismissed.

Once my procreation “shelf life” is coming to an end, my virginity will not stay a virtue. It will turn into a liability. Conservative supremacists will make me beg for men. Stop being picky, they’d say.Don’t you want kids? You old hag, no wonder nobody wants you. Soon, the sexually active women will be the one with the upper hand. Either way, no woman wins.

It’s ridiculous how they decide to outlaw premarital sex “for the sake of women”. I am a woman; this is not done for my sake. On the contrary, it cheapens my choice. By the time premarital sex is outlawed, mine isn’t a choice anymore. It’s a default.

To the conservative supremacists, I’m merely complying with their standards. Sexually active women are merely rebelling. Our reasons are worthless. Imagine that: a society that values an organ over its citizens’ individuality. I am their hymen, soon to be their womb. Whenever I make a different choice, then I don’t know my place. As if my only organs are the reproductive ones; as if I have no brains; as if my organs are theirs.

They dare label fellow women badly just because these women don’t comply. They dare claim me into their territory just because my hymen is intact. Guess what, suckers, virgins can be liberal too.

One thing that conservative supremacists fail to understand when they decide to shove their standards on everyone’s face is the concept of discipline. Faith, whether Abrahamic or not, teaches discipline. Discipline is not blind obedience. Discipline is consciously choosing what is good, not what is indulgent.

Discipline stems from understanding, not fear. Discipline is self-trained, and force only reduces its worth. Discipline brings you a happy, healthy life regardless of heaven or hell. Authoritarianism, on the other hand, takes away the happiness without guaranteeing the existence of afterlife. My chastity vow is my discipline, and this whole ordeal reduces it to a rule.

I am a virgin not because that’s what God told me to do (God didn’t), not because I’m saving it for a man, definitely not because I’m a prude. I am doing it for myself. For the love of God, I just can’t bear to have my youth muddled by something that will happen eventually anyway. Sex is absolute and effortless; property ownership does not. I might be a virgin, but that is not all I am. I am also my own person.

Conservative supremacists, now if you’d stop devaluing the gift I gave myself, I’d like my choice to stay mine and valued, thank you.

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