In the last article: "The myth of the virginity - from a medical perspective", I tried to debunk the myth that penetrative sex can have any changing effect on the body, and that this sexual interaction can change your status from "virgin" to sexually active.
Queer = virgin forever?
This article was written by Anne-Mette/@femme_lioness who is a doctor, sexual counselor and queer activist - also co-founder of Normkritiske Læger (norm critical doctors).
For many, many years in the cis-heteronormative world, sex has been defined as penetrative sex between a penis and a vagina. According to the myth of the virginity this type of sex between a cis-man and cis-woman is the only type of sex you can have as "your first time", after which a persons status changes from "virgin" to something else.
But, this view of sex and sexuality means that many people will never be considered sexually active, if their sexual activity does not include a normative sense of penetrative sex.
It also means that a lot of queer teenagers will have sexual interactions that don't match their wishes and preferences for their sexual activity, and at the same time it neglects the type of sex many queer people have.
I can personally sign off on that. At a relatively young age I had some sexual experiences/"played sex" with a couple of girlfriends. These were "games" we participated in with lots of desire, and resulted in us having, due to a lack of words, "the good", which I now recognize as orgasms. For a time, we played this game quite often.
But, this was not something we considered sex. Both because we were quite young and our "playing" therefore also had the characteristics
of play, but also because we were taught that sex only works and looks one way. So these experiences were not valid in a heteronormative sense of sex and virgin/non-virgin. But the penetrative, heterosexual intercourse I had years later had the power to change my status from "virgin" to sexually active, even though the experience was uncomfortable from my perspective, giving me no sexual pleasure and only lasting a few minutes. Even though sex doesn't have to be absolutely amazing the first time you have it with another person, and doesn't have to end in orgasms, it's paradoxical that the most enjoyable sexual interactions I had early on has no value according to the heteronormative view of sex, compared to the short, pleasureless intercourse, that holds value in this view.
That's why it's outdated to view only one kind of sex as valid or "real" sex, and the idea of a virginity is, besides being a myth, a very normative one.
What is sex?
Encoded in the myth of the virginity and the idea that penetrative sex can change a persons status, is a certain idea about what "real" sex is. Here, sex follows a heteronormative script where the penetration is the "real" sex, and everything else is just something leading up to the real thing. This means that oral sex, finger sex, sex with sex toys or any other kind of sex, is often referred to as foreplay.
But, oralsex is sex. Also if it's not followed by penetrative sex between a penis and a vagina. And penetrative sex doesn't need to only involve a penis and a vagina, it can be anal sex, with sex toys or fingers. Sex doesn't have to be limited to the interactions between two people - it can be between more people or by yourself/masturbation.
If we ditch the idea that cis-heteronormative penetrative intercourse is the only thing we count as sex, the idea of the virginity will also wither away. Because in a world where masturbation is sex, and finger sex is sex, and oral sex is sex, and anal sex is sex, when will this supposed virginity disappear? Is it when a child rubs their genitals against a pillow in kindergarden? Is it when you're playing doctor with your friends in school? Is it when another person touches you for the first time? Is it when you experience an orgasm?
Instead of viewing your sexual life as something beginning at some penetrative act, we should view sexuality as something we're born with, and continually grow and develop our entire lives.
What is Normkritiske Læger (norm critical doctors)?
Normkritiske Læger (@normkritiskelaeger) is an association of doctors and other health professionals working against discrimination in healthcare guided by a zero tolerance policy against sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia and ableism in the healthcare system.
You can read another article from Normkritiske Læger right here, about the myth of the virginity - from a medical perspective.