Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women

The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women


Is it normal to feel sad after losing your virginity?
The United States is obsessed with virginity — from the media to schools to government agencies. In The Purity Myth, Jessica Valenti argues that the country’s intense focus on chastity is damaging to young women. Through in-depth cultural and social analysis, Valenti reveals that powerful messaging on both extremes — ranging from abstinence-only curriculum to “Girls Gone Wild” infomercials — place a young woman’s worth entirely on her sexuality. Morals are therefore linked purely to sexual be…

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10 most mentioned books on TwoChromosomes that will make you more knowledgable. rank no. 16

Is it normal to feel sad after losing your virginity?(r/AskWomen)

I guess it’s “normal” in the sense that there have been other people who have felt this way but I don’t think that it’s “normal” in the sense that I don’t think viewing your ‘virginity’ as a thing that you ‘lost’ which makes you less than is a healthy way to think about it.

Virginity is a bullshit concept to begin with. Placing importance on it only sets people up to feel less than for engaging in something perfectly normal and healthy and natural. Having sex when you feel ready is as positive a thing as not having sex when you don’t feel ready.

Edit: a day later and i’m still so angry that you have to unlearn 21 years of worth of internalized slut shaming and I feel like maybe I didnt say enough. I grew up Christian and, as a teen, went to all these talks and heard all these speakers talk about how women are either a lamborghini (something prized because having one is rare) or a ford (a car that’s heavily advertised, everyone owns, and no one is impressed by) and how we should protect our “treasure” and how disrespectful it is to our future husbands to have sex with anyone but them. These speakers would talk about how we should pity women who felt the need to engage in sex and how holding onto our purity was really something to be proud of. And, shocker, none of that was ever aimed at the dudes in the crowd. (For reference, I’m only 23 so this shit didn’t happen that long ago.) Though my parents never fed me any of that kind of shit/we’re as sex positive as they could be with a teen who didn’t want to talk to their parents about sex and I thank the universe every day that I escaped those years without buying into that stuff. I’m not saying you were militant about it or that you were trying to wait until marriage, but you obviously bought into some of that and those ideas can be really hard to escape- and they’re hurting you. It’s really really toxic for those ideas to be perpetuated. They lead to so much judgement and shaming and pain and confusion that can be completely done without. I remember feeling liberated when I had sex for the first time- glad to do away with a label that I felt like people were putting so much unnecessary importance on.

I highly suggest you read The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession With Virginity Is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti. And maybe from there, some other sex-positive writing.


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Jessica Valenti

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First Trade Paper Edition

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Seal Press

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The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women

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Is it normal to feel sad after losing your virginity?

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