I was so embarrassed about being one of the great untouched that during my Freshman year, I made up a story about having gotten laid during Spring Break just to feel like I was one of the “normal” people.that much in hopes that I might hit that metaphorical home run.And just as traditional masculinity is a fragile thing, any minor deviation from the Virginity Narrative throws the whole thing into disarray. And there will be plenty of people eager to reinforce the narrative, to mock us, and tell us that this deviation from the narrative calls our masculinity into question.The story that we’re supposed to lose our virginity by X milestone doesn’t take into consideration that navigating relationships – romantic, sexual or platonic – can be difficult, stressful, even . Just as the gender police are eager to punish people who don’t live up to the traditional definitions of manhood.The earlier you lose it, the better off you are (no matter how unhealthy that act may actually be), but you should be trying by high school.According to the Standard Narrative, the ideal time is at some suitably momentous occasion: the “big game”, at prom… If you can’t manage it in high school, then you wants to be there because here there be dragons.
The Standard Virginity Loss Narrative tells us that men are supposed to lose their virginity by a certain age – sometimes by age 18, sometimes by 21.When you’re focused on your identity as Virgin with a capital V, it can feel like everybody else is at a party that you’ve been left out of, even as it’s going on all around you. Prom goes from just a dance to THE BIGGEST NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE, a night when you’re supposed to confess your love and slip away to lose your virginity.We get convinced that college is a nonstop whirlwind of parties and fucking thanks to the “Girls Gone Wild” videos, every college movie since and pearl-clutching moral panic pieces about “hook-up culture”.The fear of being “outed” as a virgin becomes a self-perpetuating cycle.They so fear rejection for being virgins that they can’t bring themselves to approach women.On Monday, I talked a little about the toxic culture surrounding masculinity and how it hurts men.