One of the most common questions we get from gURL readers is the following: “Am I still a virgin if I did X?” Sounds pretty straightforward, right? It’s not that simple! In the 90s, the Monica Lewinsky scandal turned the definition of sex into a matter of heated public debate, and as it turned out, there was a lot of disagreement. Was President Clinton lying when he said he’d never had “sexual relations” with her or did he just have a really strict definition of what counts as sex? I personally think he was just covering his ass, but who knows? Given the public opinion data, it looks like there’s no consensus in America about what “sex” really means.
In 2010, the Kinsey Institute conducted the first survey that used a nationally representative sample to determine what Americans mean by having “had sex.” The survey found that there was no national consensus on most sexual acts. While nearly all respondents considered vaginal intercourse to be sex, significant majorities also placed anal sex (81%), oral sex (71% if giving, 73% when receiving), and manual sex (50%) in this category. Further, while 95 percent of respondents categorized penile-vaginal intercourse as sex, that percentage declines by six percent in scenarios where the male does not ejaculate.
So if no one can agree on what counts as sex, what does that mean for the idea of virginity? Well, for starters, gURLs should probably stop stressing out about what “counts” and what doesn’t. It’s your body and your sexuality, and what really matters is whether you feel good about what you’re doing. Whether or not someone else thinks you’re having sex isn’t how you should be making your decisions.
Still, there are a lot of gURLs who believe “saving” their virginity is important, even though they want to hook up before marriage. The idea of “technical virginity” has become more and more popular. But did you know that this concept has been around since the early 1900s?
Tune in next week to learn about its history and find out how it’s important to your sex life today!
In the meantime, send me your q’s to firstname.lastname@example.org and make your comments below!
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