For a woman, a whole lot. Okay, let me confess right out that I belong to the old-school generation, which holds very strongly to the view that a lady should remain a virgin until the wedding night. The same view, a large extent applies to young male adults.
Adolescents, either male or female, who restrain themselves while dating are actually wise. It is a show of responsibility, a demonstration of the fear of God and an indication that the adolescent involved was well brought up. Really, in the past, virginity was held in high esteem and celebrated.
It was a worthy cause to show responsibility and stay away from rascality, especially as the Good Book clearly recorded the injunction of the Lord God against pre-marital sex. It carried the expectation that adolescents would wait until after marriage.
What shows the importance and sacredness attached to virginity is the advice that a mother begins to drum into the ears of a girl once she has reached puberty. The mother would call the girl aside and say: “Now that you have reached puberty, you are no longer a little girl. You should not let a man touch you. If a man touches you, you will become pregnant.”
In the mother’s context, ‘touch’ means sexual intercourse, but young girls understood that mean to the simple act of a man stretching hand to hold the young lady’s hand. However, it is to be noted that first time sexual intercourse is not the only way young girls can lose virginity, that is having the hymen broken or stretched open, which might cause some pain or bleeding. The hymen can also be stretched open by certain mechanical activities such as riding a bike, doing sports, or putting something in vagina (like a tampon, finger, or sex toy). Once the hymen is stretched open, it can’t grow back.
Most men who are lucky to marry virgins as wives are proud and boastful of such women. They don’t find it difficult to publicly declare, “I married a virgin.”
Now that being a virgin has been placed on a pedestal, the question that follows is this: sustaining one’s virginity until after marriage does it guarantee chaste conduct post-wedding day?
Good conduct in marriage is a trait that is ingrained in a person, and it is such commendable good character helps the person hold onto virginity until marriage. By the same token, promiscuity is a character trait that can make the person involved not put much value on virginity and therefore yield to the urge to seek fun without waiting until after wedding.
Take the case of Paul – a handsome, cute and elegant virgin but he was quite lazy and di not exhibit the energetic attitudes associated with most undergraduates. He never took his studies serious, did not regularly attend lectures and showed unsteady behavior, which made most girls rebuff his love advances. The only thing that he had going for him was his handsomeness. One of the girls, Henrietta, was almost falling in love with him when her friends cautioned her and she retraced her footsteps. They made jest of his sluggish and lazy mien. They reminded her thus, “With Paul’s level of laziness, do you think he can drive you to the moon and back in the cold room? He is a lazy boy who would not change his disposition, belief and thoughts. He has shown what he will be in the near future. He is still a virgin. In fact, if he eventually marries, his family will suffer when he loses his job because he is not the type that can hustle. He does not have the spirit of a family man who knows his responsibility.”
For a woman whose antecedents and trademark include insolence, pathological lying and criminality, her virginity might not save her after she has lost it because it would have become a past sense even though the reminiscence would last forever. If she is the type that tears a whole family into shreds when she is aggravated, will her virginity be cherished and appreciated at this point again? A respected woman who married as a virgin might experience better sexual intercourse in an extra-marital affair and thereby discover the true rendition of the music, especially when she is vacuum cleaned by an expert in the field. After that first excellent memorable intercourse, it is very possible that the former virgin would begin to enjoy the treasure that she had kept hidden for years. It could become so enthralled that she would become promiscuous, the type of married woman that the Igbo describe as “ono-na-di acho di” which literarily means a lady looking for a husband while already married and in her husband’s home.
Would an adult male virgin be accepted in a marriage proposal when he has closed shop over the years from the enticement of seductive ladies, only to be reduced by temperament? Some are as bad as destroying their properties in their homes. Then, what is the worth of his virginity? Does it make sense that he is married, but his home is in shambles because he cannot look inwards and address pending issues? While coming from the point of an age long pure man, if there is no peace and harmony in the home, is the virginity worth its while? What about men and women who after losing their virginity become fanatics that sleep and wake up in the church, but have no focus or direction in life? What about women who marry as virgins yet cannot be in total control of their homes.
Who says virgins are saints in terms of character? Can someone celebrate a virgin who is a failure in life, whether male of female? A student who constantly fails his or her examination while a virgin, who should be blamed? Students who profess virginity but are pimps, thieves and people of questionable character are they worth all the trouble? Is any one proud of a virgin who is un-teacheable, but depends only on their limited knowledge?
In this day and age when moral decadence is making young people become sexually-active much earlier than used to be the case, virginity is still treasured and not a sin to remain a virgin until the appropriate time. However, being a virgin is not a licence to misbehave in other ways such as deriding other girls who may have lost their virginity as a result misguided peer pressure. Loss of virginity could also result from rape or traumatic physical injury.
Men and women must learn to be responsible virgins. Be a leader and a worthy ambassador. One cannot keep to such rule only to destroy it with attitude.