As sensitive as this topic is, both in the secular and religious circles, there are 3 virginity myths swimming in the ocean of opinions out there which we would do well to dispel here and now.
I know I am not in any position to tell anyone what to believe and propagate or not but some of these beliefs have a way of clouding our sense of judgement.
Virginity myth 1: Girls should preserve their virginity until marriage.
I am 101% for this and that is not unexpected for somebody who walked this particular talk and was fortunate enough to be
unbelievably equally yoked in that regard. (Yeah, indulge me while I blow this rusty and traditional trumpet a little)
Now permit me to insert 1 or 2 tales by moonlight here.
Sometimes in the very old *Yoruba past, history has it that new brides were put through an all important test to determine whether the ‘seals’ on their ‘private goods’ have been tampered with.
Okay, I mean this test is to find out whether the bride had slept with a man before.
That test was usually carried out on the marriage night.
The specimen employed in determining the final verdict was reportedly a clean, white cloth / bed-sheet which was always expected to be crimson with the stamp of chastity.
With drums rolling in the moonlight, the new couple were usually ushered into the laboratory a la bedroom with friends and families cheering them on .
Anyone found with an all-clean sheet was subjected to ridicule, humiliated, ostracized and the marriage sometimes annulled.
Shame of all shames!
Maybe there were no hymen-tearing sports / activities back in those days.
Also, in the old **Igbo past, newly wedded brides were put to a similar test. The result of which was usually determined by the freshness and fullness of kegs of palm-wine which the family of the groom were compelled to bring as gifts in appreciation for being gifted a good wife or otherwise.
Woe betide the bride whose husband’s family brings half-empty gourds of palm wine!
For emphasis, only the brides were tested, the grooms could apparently do no wrong. And if they did any wrong, they were men so it did not matter. This is however not about the unfairness and inequality that still persists today.
Even now, I run the picture through my head and imagine the physical, emotional and psychological burdens on new brides back then.
These days, in a bid to outdo ourselves, we still emphasize and beat a sense of moral and spiritual rightness ONLY in our girls.
We continue to teach ONLY our girls to aspire to coming out of the conjugal laboratory with the crimson colored sheet on the wedding night, a worthy badge of honor.
Mind you, both bride and groom are almost always a product of the same society that chooses to raise them differently.
This may seem ludicrous, considering that it is a patriarchal society we live in, but by the virtue of our selective teachings, won’t we end up shooting ourselves in the foot with our own rusty gun by allowing ‘our’ half-tutored male kids mentally roam unfettered while exposing our well-tutored girls to the risk of being un-virgined?
For example, a family with an all-boys’ brood that fails to instill a sense of moral and spiritual rightness in their male offsprings leave the ‘tutored’ female at risk of being stampeded.
I strongly believe that if virginity is to be upheld, boys and girls must be taught to aspire to it and abstain from pre-marital sex.
Virginity Myth 2: Girls who have already lost their virginity are not marry-able and are promiscuous.
As much as I belong to the ‘no premarital sex camp’, the myth up there is an ignorant assumption in some equally ignorant quarters and this has led some young (‘experienced’) men to make searching for virgin brides their life mission such that some disvirgined-virgin-aspirees would give anything to repair their hymens.
Or how else would one explain the incursion of ‘super-natural’ products reputed to be able to restore long-lost virginities in today’s market?!
There is a lot of virginity frauds going on so that prospective grooms would find a seemingly intact hymen which is perceived to be a pointer to holy / good-girlism and an indicator of a happily ever after life.
Height of absurdity pointing at misplaced priorities.
Virginity Myth 3: Virgins are not good in bed / Non-virgins know all the rules in the bed-game etcetera etcetera
This might be one myth too many but do stay with me awhile, let me squeeze in one more story here.
I learned to draw after I got married and I also picked up writing shortly after and even though I may not write or draw so well now but those ‘talents’ were apparently innate, lying un-utilized until they were stirred up.
See, it is the same thing with sex.
Writing or drawing is an art which can be learned with the right dosage of knowledge mixed with passion and patience.
The fact that somebody was once a non-writer / artist does not imply s/he can never be a good artist / writer.
Same as there are hundreds of somebodies s working and walking around who learned to write or draw early in life but are yet to attain enough exposure, perfection, excellence, etc.
We all need to start from a virgin point (and that is no virginity myth). Same as Chuwechuwe, Emecheta, Achebe, etc
Whatever is yet to be learned can be learned at the appropriate time, the tiger(ess) can be unleashed and whatever was learned can be unlearned.
To generalize on account of one non-virgin who turned promiscuous or a virgin who became an inadequate lover smirks of ignorance.
Girl and boys alike should be taught right, prayed for and allowed to choose the right path…hopefully.
Marriage is indeed honorable and the bed un-defiled.
Every party is responsible for upholding the bed’s sanctity, every child must therefore be taught the values of remaining chaste until marriage.