How I became a Perpetual Virgin. Part 7

(Note: This is the last chapter in a series of posts that began in November 2011. Click here to read the previous chapters.)

Like everyone else I was raised on the notion that one day I would marry and have kids. I always assumed that sex, like death, was an inevitable conclusion. To never even try it would be against nature. So my knee-jerk reaction to this website that advocated that people should remain Virgins all their lives as a way to achieve “eternal youth, longevity, and a closer connection with God” was to run from it. “These people are nuts,” I thought as I shut down my computer. “The webmaster and everyone who posted comments agreeing with his crazy ideas saying that they were Virgins for life too were completely nuts.”

Yet no matter how much I tried to dismiss this site and its message, I kept coming back. And what kept me coming back were the people, adult Virgins like me, who posted there. Their experiences were so similar to mine — and for once I felt like I had a connection to someone. It was so reassuring it was to hear that I was not the only person going through what I was going through as an adult Virgin. And back in 2001 this was the only website that took Virginity seriously and affirmed it as something positive and acceptable for adults. I figured, why throw out the baby with the bath water? Yes, the site was a little off the wall to preach that people should purposely stay Virgins all their lives, but I decided to ignore that part. Instead, I’d just focus on the off-topic comments that people posted about saving yourself for marriage.

But something inside me started to change. The more I thought about my Virginity the more I realized how much it actually meant to me. Whenever I thought about having to give it up (even in the context of marriage) I would become extremely depressed. I realized how much my virginity truly enriched my life. It gave me freedom, clarity, and an optimism that other people didn’t have. I also realized that the feelings I had when I was going through that phase of wanting to lose my Virginity to the first guy that came along were coming more out of a desire to fit in and be normal than a genuine desire for sex. Furthermore, I realized that whatever feelings that I had about getting married and starting a family I had because I had been conditioned to think that it was inevitable and what I should want. It had nothing to do with what I subconsciously wanted for myself. But now I knew without a doubt that what I truly wanted was to remain a Virgin, always. And for the first time I realized that I could pursue another path other than the one society held up. I decided to take the road less traveled. I would choose to remain a Virgin for life. I would become a Perpetual Virgin.

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So that’s how I came to be a Perpetual Virgin. And though I am ending my story here, my life being the person that I truly am was only beginning. Over the next 12 years I would continue to grow spiritually and mentally to embrace this path that God’s grace has permitted me to follow. And if there’s one thing I want all the reluctant virgins and virgin-in-waiting to take away from my story it’s that any Virgin can be a Perpetual Virgin. I was once just like you.

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The new “Virginity’s Voice” looks back at the top Virgin-related stories of 2012.

I would like to start by saying “Happy New Year” … and welcome to the new and improved Virginity’s Voice!

This day has been a long time coming. As you may or may not know, this site had been under construction for what had seemed like forever. Life often gets in the way of what you really want to do. But now Virginity’s Voice is back and ringing in 2013 with a new attitude! Some of the changes include a new look, an updated about page, a glossary of Virgin-related terms… and now you can keep up with Virginity’s Voice on Facebook! If you are not yet a follower of this blog I sincerely hope that you will become one because it will only continue to grow, evolve, and get better and better!

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Now, before I move on with the business of 2013, I would like to take a brief look back at some of the Virgin-related events of 2012. A lot has happened during the past several months that this site was under construction that I have been dying to comment on. So if you’ll indulge me for a while — here’s my belated list of the top 3 Virgin-related stories of 2012.

#3

Robert Pattinson gives his Virginity and gets screwed

The betrayal of “good old-fashioned lover boy” Robert Pattinson by Kristen Steward was one of the biggest Hollywood scandals of 2012.

Before Robert Pattinson got together with Twilight co-star Kristen Steward, rumors and speculation swirled about the gorgeous young actor’s sexual identity — was he a Virgin or not? Pattinson was like the human version of Edward Cullen, the character he portrayed in the film: a 107-year-old vampire who had never lost his Virginity, and had “old school” attitudes when it came to romance. Pattinson never came straight out and admitted that he was a Virgin. Real Virgins usually don’t go around advertising their Virginity, especially if they are over 18, and especially if they are movie stars. However, Pattinson did drop subtle hints about his Virgin identity from time to time. In an early Irish cinema interview with Paul Byrne when he was asked to comment about the message of abstinence in Twilight and about Edward Cullen saving himself for the right woman, Pattinson said “I completely believe in that.”

And for whatever it’s worth, being the “professional” Virgin that I am… I could tell that Pattinson was a Virgin. Don’t ask how if you don’t already know. It just takes an experienced one to know one.

Being the highly passionate being that we Virgins are, Pattinson fell hard for Steward and their onscreen relationship carried over into real life and soon became serious…. at least for Pattinson. “Friends of Robert have told us that this was the woman that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with,” stated Us Weekly magazine.

On July 21, 2012, Pattinson had addressed rumors that the two had already secretly married in an interview for Blackbook Magazine: “No one ever knows what is true or what isn’t … It’s not. At least, not yet. But it is true that Kristen has always done something to me that others haven’t.” Pattinson said.

A few days later, US Weekly broke the news of an affair between Steward, 22, and her 41-year-old Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders, a married father of two. The magazine had published a cover photo of Steward kissing Sanders, prompting swift public apologies from both.

“I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I’ve caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob,” Steward said in a statement.

At the time, Pattinson had reportedly just bought a $5 million home in Los Angeles and was planning to propose to Stewart within weeks. He was not only blindsided and totally “devastated” by news of the affair — he was reportedly “horrified” by Steward’s public apology. Shortly afterward, moving trucks were spotted outside the home the two had shared, and Pattinson had fled to who knows where.

No one need wonder anymore if Pattinson is a Virgin. Steward definitely screwed him figuratively and literally. There are some in the Virgin community who say that getting romantically involved with a non-virgin is suicide and that Pattinson brought it all on himself. Who can really say? Meanwhile, it was reported in November that Pattinson had taken Steward back and photos had emerged of the couple together in public. Then it was reported in December that they had got into a huge fight over the Christmas holiday and had broken up again. Then a few days ago they reportedly got back together again and celebrated New Year’s Eve together. Whatever. The damage has been done.

But that’s OK, Virgins. We still have Elijah Wood.

#2

Hollywood salutes Virginity in Snow White and the Huntsman

Virginal Snow White (Kristen Steward) charms a pure white stag in a scene from “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

Note: “Spoiler Alert!”

Ironically, the sex scandal involving Kristen Steward cheating on Robert Pattinson with her director Rupert Sanders brings me to my #2 Virgin-related story of 2012. The film Snow White and the Huntsman starring Kristen Steward and directed by Rupert Sanders was a watershed event for the positive portrayal of Virgins on the silver screen.

Released on June 1, 2012, SWATH takes the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale and gives it a radical new vibe with a Snow White who is not only the “fairest” but the most courageous of them all. She doesn’t just sit around singing “someday my prince will come.” This is a strong and independent Snow White who frees herself from the tower where she was imprisoned, learns from the huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) how to fight, and returns to the castle wearing a suit of armor and leading an army of her people to vanquish the evil queen (Charlize Theron). She is a cross between The Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc: an icon and warrior whose power comes from her purity, especially her purity of heart.

SWATH is the first major Hollywood film I’ve seen in which the Virginity of a character in a leading role is accepted, respected, and fully recognized. Usually, whenever Virgins appeared in films they were there for the audience to laugh at. (Example: Steve Carell as “The 40-year-old virgin”)  Or — if they were heroic figures who were supposed to be taken seriously — their Virginity was downplayed and not talked about. (Example: Tobey Maguire as “Spider-Man”) SWATH is unique in that it features a serious heroic character whose Virginity is not only front and center, but a key element of the story. The words “Virgin” and “Virginity” are never used, but the film practically bends over backwards to make it clear that Snow White is Virginal. Her purity is mentioned frequently. Animals instinctively sense it and connect to her.  She is approached by a pure white unicorn-like creature in one scene and her innocence calms a raging troll in another. It is her innocence and purity, not her physical appearance, which makes her beautiful and a threat to the evil queen.

This is not your typical Hollywood film that caters to a pop culture audience. There’s one very striking scene when Snow White is shown locked inside the prison tower kneeling and praying “The Lord’s Prayer”. In another surprising twist at the end, Snow White doesn’t marry the prince (Sam Claflin) — or the huntsman, the man she truly loved, whose kiss woke her from eternal sleep — but remains single and rules the kingdom perhaps as a “Virgin Queen” like Elizabeth I, devoting herself to her subjects.

The only issue that I have with this film is its star. Why they chose Kristen Steward to play Snow White is one of the greatest mysteries ever. I don’t think she was at all right for the part (I would have like to have seen it played by an actual Virgin) and her acting was mediocre. Even so, SWATH is a thrill to watch, and I give special credit to the writers (Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, and Hossein Amini) and the producers (Laurie Boccaccio, Gloria S. Borders, Sarah Bradshaw, Helen Hayden, Sam Mercer, Palak Patel, and Joe Roth) for bringing this marvelous film with its positive and affirmative image of Virgins to life.

One can only wonder as we move into 2013 if the times could finally be “a-changing” in Hollywood. As Virgins become more visible in society, could SWATH be the start of a trend for them also becoming more visible as serious characters in films? Let’s hope.

#1

Cabaret icon Pam Shaw goes public about being a Virgin at 70

PAM SHAW, 70 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN

Pam Shaw, a Virgin at 70

70-year-old Cabaret singer Pam Shaw, star of the London and Las Vegas stage for over 43 years, revealed that she was a Virgin to UK newspaper The Sun on May 9, 2012. She explained that she did not believe in sex before marriage and that she never questioned the fact that she would remain a Virgin for as long as she was single.

This photo shows a flyer for her show as a cabaret star.
Photo Credit: Huffington Post

Pam Shaw who resides in Wigan, England and goes by the stage name “The Sexational Pam” has had a long illustrious career on the stage, in television, and on radio. In the 1960’s she was a popular Las Vegas performer and did a show with “It’s not unusual” singer Tom Jones, one of the most popular vocalists to emerge from the British Invasion, during a week-long stint at Bolton Casino. She also rubbed shoulders with male sex symbols like James Bond actor Roger Moore and opened shows for comic Ken Dodd and crooner Englebert Humperdinck.

She said that men often made false assumptions about her sex life, or lack thereof, because of her looks and career in the entertainment industry.

“Men saw the outfits I wore on stage and thought I would be easy. But I’ve never really been intimate with a man, just a bit of kissing. I had a sexy stage name and dressed sexy but that was all for my career,” she said. “There has never been time for me to get a man. I worked so much that sometimes I’d only have an hour’s sleep each night. I wouldn’t entertain the idea of sex outside marriage — and marriage meant giving up on my dreams.”

Personally, I find Pam’s story to be an inspiration. Virgins like me have few older role models who have lived such a successful and exciting life.

Unfortunately, society and the media being what it is, Pam’s story was twisted and sensationalized. Her picture was splattered across every newspaper, blog, and social media outlet in Britain and the US portraying her as a “weirdo” or a pathetic figure desperate to “lose it.”

Some of the headlines included: “THE 70-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN! SO TRAGIC!!!” 

“70-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN SAYS SHE’S READY TO HAVE SEX!!!”  

And “70-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN LOOKING TO GET LAID!!!” 

I read a number of different articles on this story and nowhere did I see Pam quoted as saying that she was “looking to get laid.” What she actually said was — “I feel I am ready to give marriage a go and maybe go to bed with a man. You are never too old for anything.”

“My standards are still very high, though,” she said. “I’m hoping to bag a tall, dark and handsome millionaire.”

My feeling as a Perpetual Virgin is that if she stayed a Virgin for this long she might as well keep going. But if marriage to “a tall, dark and handsome millionaire” is what she really wants, I think she should go for it.

I applaud you Pam for keeping your flame burning for this long.

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And that’s my pick of the top Virgin-related stories of 2012. May 2013 be fantastic!

How I came to be a Perpetual Virgin. part 6

Someone once said “Everybody is afraid of dying until it hits you! After that you don’t give it a second thought.” That quote popped into my mind as I was thinking about what to write for this post and it’s ironic how much it sums up my own experience of being absolutely terrified of becoming a 30-year-old Virgin. Like so many others, I had brought into everything bad that society said about adult Virginity — that adult Virgins are abnormal, freaks, losers, and failures as women. I had been so brainwashed by this garbage that I had, in fact, looked upon turning 30 as a sort of death, because 30 was the “final deadline.”

According to society, you should lose their Virginity before your 18th birthday because you are considered an adult at that age, and no respectable adult should be a Virgin. And though it’s “disappointing” if you don’t make this first deadline, it’s OK, there’s still time. The second deadline comes at age 25. If you still haven’t had sex by then, society says, you definitely have issues, but there’s still hope because you’re not over the hill yet. But once you hit that third and final deadline, the big 3-0, and you still haven’t lost it — you are officially condemned to social oblivion. Three strikes, you’re out!

Fortunately for me being “out” had it’s benefits. Once the unthinkable had happened — I greeted my 30thbirthday still as pure as a newborn babe — all the fear and anxiety I’d experienced over the prospect of getting stuck with an “expired” V-card vanished. By the time I turned 31 and the “final deadline” had faded into the rear view mirror, all the things that society said about Virginity and sex didn’t matter so much anymore. Everything started to look brighter and clearer, and for the first time in a long time I felt a sense of peace because I was no longer at war with myself. I was no longer fighting the Chaste woman who I was meant to be, and I was no longer trying to destroy the Virginity that was so much a part of me.

Now that I had accepted the fact that I was different, I suddenly felt extremely lonely and isolated. I felt alienated from everyone else around me because I was the only adult Virgin I knew. I wondered if there were any other people like me. I decided to find out, and there was no better place to start than online.

The first significant pro-Virgin website I found was one whose title page declared that Virginity and Celibacy was “a way to longevity and a healthy life.” FINALLY! In an anti-Virgin world where everything was all about sex, I had finally found something that I could relate to. I was so thrilled to have found such a site that devoured its pages without even stopping to comprehend what I was actually reading — like a starving man shoveling heaps of food in his mouth without taking the time to taste it. But the highlight of it all was viewing the website’s guestbook and the tons of comments left by Virgins, many of them my age or older. What a relief it was to finally know that I was not the only one, and that I was not so odd after all. And there were male Virgins, too. More of them than I would have expected there to be. In fact, the males seemed to outnumber the females, not that I had any complains.

My excitement came to a screeching halt, however, when I became aware from closely reading the various messages that this site was about LIFELONG CHASTITY, and advocated staying a Virgin for your ENTIRE life. No sex. No marriage. EVER! Somehow I had missed that part coming in. I couldn’t believe it! As far as I knew, Perpetual Virginity was the stuff of myths and legends. I had never heard of people who chose to permanently remain Virgins in real life; I didn’t even know it was possible, let alone an option. At that time, I was still technically practicing abstinence until marriage. I had always planned on getting married and having sex eventually, because I assumed that marriage and sex, like death and taxes, were inevitable. No matter how much I enjoyed being a Virgin I understood that one day it had to end, because “you can’t stay a Virgin all your life!” or so I had been told. Going through life without ever having sex was unnatural, so I believed. It wasn’t normal and it wasn’t right.

I continued to scroll down through the various messages in the guest book where people spoke about how committing to lifelong Virginity brought them a greater sense of purpose, made them feel closer to God, brought them eternal happiness, and so on. “These people are a bunch of flakes!” I thought. “I search for other Virgins and this is what I find??? This website is nutty and I won’t waste anymore of my time with it!” I exited out and shut down the computer.

 Continued…

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How I came to be a Perpetual Virgin. part 5

I entered a three-year period of self-pity and self loathing over my virginity, and I experienced a growing sense of panic the closer I came to my 30th birthday. Losing my virginity seemed easy enough. I knew that all I had to do was put on some skimpy outfit, walk down to the nearest bar, and pick up any guy that was interested. No relationship would be necessary because I was in a hurry. A one-night stand would do just fine. All I wanted was to have sex, fast, before I was 30, so I could join the human race. The problem with this plan is that it never even made it out of the thought stage. My mind tried hard to sell it, but my heart wouldn’t buy it. I don’t know how other women do it — but there was no way I could have ever gone through with it.

Inevitably, my 30th birthday came. I went around in a haze for much of that year not knowing quite what to make of things. But after I realized that the sky had not fallen in, the sun still rose everyday, and the seasons still changed… I gradually began to come back to my senses. I was a 30-year-old virgin. I would just have to accept it. I would also have to accept that I was different. I was not like other women, and I was not what society defined as a “woman.” Society defined womanhood as something you would see in a commercial for Victoria Secret. Being a woman, society said, meant being sexy and free with your body. It meant having sex with numerous men — and the more sexually experienced a woman was the more womanly, mature, and strong she was supposed to be. And it’s not just the media that communicates this message. In the everyday world of women you are expected to be sexy to get a man and to get all the sex you can out of him… and if you play your cards right in bed, you can get money, a wedding ring, or both. If you are not doing this you are not a real woman. This, in so many words, is what mothers tell their daughters, it’s what girlfriends tell their girlfriends, it’s what just about any woman will tell another woman.

Knowing that I could not meet these expectations and that people would not look upon me as a “real woman” really hurt. It made me feel small, inadequate, and inferior. On the other hand, accepting who I was very liberating. I finally felt at peace because it was such a relief to let go of those expectations, and there was no longer that pressure to try to live up to something that I could never live up to. I no longer had to try to be something that I was not, could never be, and really didn’t want to be.

I realized that during that period of anxiety about turning 30 and still being a Virgin, I had been at a crossroads. Everyone comes to a crossroads in life where they must choose the path they want to follow and the type of person they want to be. My choice had been between staying a Virgin or becoming promiscuous. I had chosen to stay a Virgin. Yet deep down I still felt that it was time to move on… but to what? I knew that promiscuity was not an option, but I also knew that I couldn’t go back to being a “virgin-in-waiting”. I had mentally and emotionally outgrown the “true-love-waits” scene and the whole idea of pre-marital abstinence. But, even though I was no longer waiting for my prince to come — I would continue to wander aimlessly down the road of abstinence until marriage, for whatever it was worth at that point, because it seemed to be the only viable option for remaining a Virgin.

Continued…

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