VIRGIN TERRITORY

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?

Dealing with impending adulthood

As a 20-year-old college sophomore (I don’t use nouns because, like Britney Spears in the movie Crossroads, I am not a girl, not yet a woman) I’ve had a year to get accustomed to situations that come with being an adult. Without parental help. Through the last year, I’ve realized something grievously important: How does it make sense to let young people between the ages of 18 and 22 make life changing decisions about their future careers when they haven’t even lived a quarter of a century?

When I realized this problem, I also realized that I was the only one capable of letting society know that it could shove all of its expectations of getting a job by the time I’m 22 out the window. While I do hope to be offered a job by the time I graduate from my four year institution, I also don’t want to feel pressured into entering the workforce solely because it is something that is expected of me. I want to experience life first. Isn’t that what LIFE is about? LIVING?

I’ve had moments where I feel unhappy just thinking about how my time as a carefree student is ending. Does entering the world of adults mean I can’t plan to visit places like New Orleans with my friends? Does it mean I can’t wait impatiently for Bonnaroo or Coachella anymore? I still have dreams I want to accomplish. I don’t want to slowly leave them behind just because a 9 to 5 job is demanding my full attention?

The real problem about adulthood is that people eventually settle. Which is incredibly frustrating when you think about how your approaching that moment in your life where all you are worried about is a paycheck you can survive on. #thestruggleisreal

While it doesn’t make sense to ask someone in their early 20s what they want to do for the rest of their lives (because they haven’t lived life to the fullest yet), it’s great to be in our 20s because these are the only years were we can be completely self-centered.

Think about it. Once we get married and have kids, we can’t necessarily decide to pack up and take a road trip with friends. We have to see if we have money, time in our schedules, call a babysitter, see if it’s cool with the hubby, etc, etc. It’s almost impossible to have some down time for ourselves, period. So, be completely selfish while you can. Do whatever you want. Live life how you’ve always dreamed your 20s would be. Don’t settle until the majority of your dreams and goals have been accomplished, because once you stop and settle down, you’ll have less opportunity to see those dreams through.