Secondary Virginity...What's that?

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By Leslie Cerpa

Did you know you can have more than one sexual debut? For many people, their sexual debut, or “first” sexual experience was an experience that they perhaps did not enjoy, weren’t ready for, and/or might feel as though the person they had sex with for the first time was not the adequate “one” for them. Many of these people wish to reclaim, or take back, that part of them and choose to become “second-generation virgins.”

Let’s start with virginity! What exactly is that?

The definition of virginity is very fluid. “Virgin” originated from the Greek word “Virgo” or maiden. It represented women or goddesses who were strong and independent, resistant to the temptations of Dionysus, Greek god of seduction and pleasure. Later in time, virginity became a heterosexual term used to describe women who had not had penetrative sex. The honor of a woman and her family relied on her keeping chastity until marriage. Virginity tests, checking to see if a woman’s hymen (a thin layer of skin located in the entrance of the vagina) was still unbroken, were common.

Today, “virginity” extends to people of all sexualities and gender identities. Not all women are born with hymens. In fact, they easily break with normal physical activity. Virginity is extended to any kind of sexual action, not just penetration. And even penetration does not necessarily have to involve a penis. So, if you ask different people what “virginity” means, you will most likely get a multitude of different answers and opinions. That’s because “virginity” has transformed into a relative term, up to personal interpretation.

So, why reclaim virginity?

After a “first” sexual encounter, many people may choose to abstain from sex in order to reevaluate their beliefs and values about sex. They may want to be more prepared and emotionally and physically ready to engage in sex again. Others may feel as though something was “taken” from them after their “first” time. Perhaps they were pressured or raped; in which case reclaiming their virginity empowers them so that when they are ready to have sex, it’s a special debut for them. Remember, even if you've had sex before, only YOU and you alone get to decide when you are ready to have sex again.

Once a person chooses to reclaim their virginity, it’s important they communicate with their partner their feelings about what they’re comfortable with doing and not doing. Secondary virginity is more than just a physical state; it’s a powerful frame of mind.