MTV’s Virgin Territory has caused quite a stir in social media circles due to the main theme of the show: sexual status, virginity. The network has tackled a subject that people ridicule in this new century. As if hosting shows such as 16 and pregnant, Teen Mom, Skins, etc. didn’t have enough sexual innuendo to them, this show about actual virgins has given people an inside look on the lives of virgins.
Initially, when the first promos came out, I wasn’t attracted to the show. I thought it another excuse for MTV to air sex and teens on TV, but when it did catch my attention, two weeks after it premiered, I was hooked.
Where before a person’s virginity, primarily a woman’s virginity, was considered sacred and could make or break a family’s reputation, the 21st century has turned the word upside down and marked it as something to be ashamed or embarrassed about.
Movies and shows like The 40-year-old Virgin, The Real World and Awkward. start off on the subject of being a virgin and then losing it. “Virgin Territory” is similar, except it follows people of various ages either trying to desperately lose their virginity or trying to keep it until a special moment, say marriage.
It’s an interesting concept in retrospect. What turns me off is having someone follow you with cameras as you meet a guy, flirt with a guy, take him to your room and then turning the lights off. Then again, that’s every reality show on TV right now.
The prospect of seeing two people meet and then go through the predictable moments that lead to a hook-up have become so normal in our society that the topic of virginity is looked over. No one thinks anyone else is a virgin anymore. If you’re 20 and have never slept with someone, the common thought process is that there must be something wrong with you. Reality check: there’s something wrong with being comfortable or used to seeing people be intimate on TV.
Whereas before, in the 19th century and early 20th century, virginity was seen as being sacred and important enough to ruin or make a family’s reputation, people now see virginity as a hindrance, maybe something shameful. Why? When did the world change so much that more and more people are trying to get rid of the V-Card so early in life?
Think about it.
If a woman in 1900 was no longer a virgin, she would be viewed as a whore, a prostitute. A women’s virginity was integral to the good reputation and social standing of an entire family and it could affect future potential matches of other women in the household. Virginity gave you leverage over everyone else, in some ways.
What does it say about our society, our culture, that some of us choose to give away that leverage before we even know what it means to have it?
It’s an interesting concept: Our loss of innocence comes with the passage of time.
Do we really think about who we want to give our virginity to? Do we needlessly worry about our sexual status as much as Virgin Territory seems to suggest? Or do we hold onto it until the time comes where we feel ready to let go of the final shreds of childhood?