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Rethinking Virginity Conference at Harvard University

Is Virginity the Same For Everyone?

This week Harvard University held the Rethinking Virginity conference, and panelists explored many facets of this nuanced term we toss about so easily — virginity. It included the science behind it, cultural views throughout history, and its controversies.

But maybe the biggest mystery is what is virginity, exactly? Does being a virgin mean only abstaining from traditional, hetero intercourse? Can you be a same-sex "virgin" if you've only had sex with the other gender? Do oral and anal "count"? What many of the speakers and attendees seemed to take away was that it has a different meaning for everyone. But what do you think?

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nelson-sai nelson-sai 7 years
your are open minded person
nelson-sai nelson-sai 7 years
your are open minded person
joriss joriss 7 years
read all of the comments above me, and you`ll know the answer.:)
Venus1 Venus1 7 years
I think you are spot on Betty. "Personally, I see virginity as a religious concept. I'm not a religious person, so I never lost my virginity. You can't lose what you never had." I upset someone when I said this before but I will say it again, I did not lose anything. I gained womanhood. It was to my benefit.
Venus1 Venus1 7 years
I think you are spot on Betty. "Personally, I see virginity as a religious concept. I'm not a religious person, so I never lost my virginity. You can't lose what you never had."I upset someone when I said this before but I will say it again, I did not lose anything. I gained womanhood. It was to my benefit.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
nevaeh "For me it's when a sexual intercourse results in the breaking of your hymen...(if you're a woman). If you're a man, well, it's when you manage to penetrate the other person sexually and ejaculate." Are you saying... during sex if SHE doesn't cum she's NOT a virgin, but if HE doesn't cum he IS still a virgin? If so... that's quite a sexist view to take. Virginity is very subjective... it's *your* virginity so *you* decide when it's lost. A girls whose hymen was ripped during rape can consider her self a virgin, someone who has experienced anal/oral can consider his/herself a virgin, hell I'm sure there are sexually active gays out there who still consider themselves to be virgins. Personally, I see virginity as a religious concept. I'm not a religious person, so I never lost my virginity. You can't lose what you never had.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
nevaeh "For me it's when a sexual intercourse results in the breaking of your hymen...(if you're a woman). If you're a man, well, it's when you manage to penetrate the other person sexually and ejaculate." Are you saying... during sex if SHE doesn't cum she's NOT a virgin, but if HE doesn't cum he IS still a virgin? If so... that's quite a sexist view to take.Virginity is very subjective... it's *your* virginity so *you* decide when it's lost. A girls whose hymen was ripped during rape can consider her self a virgin, someone who has experienced anal/oral can consider his/herself a virgin, hell I'm sure there are sexually active gays out there who still consider themselves to be virgins.Personally, I see virginity as a religious concept. I'm not a religious person, so I never lost my virginity. You can't lose what you never had.
Venus1 Venus1 7 years
Maybe I was being a little too flippant before. I felt proud the first time I had penetrative sex (I had enjoyed a reasonable amount of oral in previous months and the next step was my suggestion). I certainly did not feel that I had lost anything or that I was different as a result. Although pleased to be "active" I never thought it was a big deal because it was the first time, hence the reason why I asked why does anybody care.
Venus1 Venus1 7 years
Maybe I was being a little too flippant before. I felt proud the first time I had penetrative sex (I had enjoyed a reasonable amount of oral in previous months and the next step was my suggestion). I certainly did not feel that I had lost anything or that I was different as a result. Although pleased to be "active" I never thought it was a big deal because it was the first time, hence the reason why I asked why does anybody care.
juicebox07 juicebox07 7 years
Virginity is subjective. It can mean whatever the individual believes it means. I personally think of virginity as not having had intercourse. As for oral sex, I consider that foreplay/sexual activity and not intercourse, so I don't count that towards losing virginity.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 7 years
nevaeh: I disagree with anon and skigurl because I think their definitions exclude gays. I wasn't disagreeing with you.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
genesis: I don't know with whom you disagree with? Venus: I don't know why I care, I just happen to read and answer the post :) Killing time, I guess. Hehe.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
genesis: I don't know with whom you disagree with?Venus: I don't know why I care, I just happen to read and answer the post :) Killing time, I guess. Hehe.
Venus1 Venus1 7 years
But why does anyone care?
Venus1 Venus1 7 years
But why does anyone care?
Yesi-Jukebox Yesi-Jukebox 7 years
I agree with tlsgirl, and as everyone has proven with their comments..it is different for everyone.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 7 years
I think it is when you are naked and having any sexual activity. You can have oral, anal sex and lose your virginity in my book. Why if I had my hymen broken while riding a bike? I'm a not a virgin? To me sex is any form of sexual behavior between two people.
spanishgirl69 spanishgirl69 7 years
well technically speaking a woman is considered a virgin if her hymen is intact(although some women dont have one), so if you have anal or oral sex you would still be a virgin scientifically. If it comes down to religious beliefs...well God considers any sexual act that is not natural lascivious so it would be a sin. But im not sure if it would be fornication.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
I suppose you could be a vaginal virgin, oral virgin, anal virgin, no? There's a first for everything.
SusanTeufel SusanTeufel 7 years
I think the mindset of having sex in whatever way is applicable to your orientation works for virginity breaking. Oral sex doesn't really count, imo. I hope that makes sense.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I think it's different for homosexuals than it is for heterosexuals, for pretty much the same reason written by genesisrocks. As for hetero sex, I don't count oral sex, but I'd definitely count anal sex.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 7 years
I disagree. I think it's different for homosexuals than it is for heterosexuals. That or there's a lot of gay virgins running around.
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