Last week’s episode of Supernatural featured 22 year old virgins being collected for some sort of demon sacrifice. The show took the time to poke fun at people at that age who still hadn’t lost it at this day and age. Hey, sometimes life doesn’t work out quite the way as planned for some folks. Or maybe it does.
Anyway, there are way too many virgins in modern romance novels. I’m sick of browsing through that section and the amount of times the word ‘virgin’ tends to come up. Virginal meek martyr complex for all the girls, playboy arrogant martyr complex for the guys. It’s enough to make me gag.
Regency novels can get away with it because 1) it was hard for women to be by themselves without a chaperon, 2) not being a virgin could void a marriage contract, 2a) women had next to no rights at this time (they couldn’t own their own money or property), 2b) divorce was messier and more taboo back then, 2c) society was more family based and it would be dishonor on the family involved.
That’s not what’s going on today. Women have equal rights to men, they’re independent and they’re not wrapped up in saving themselves for just one guy. There are still people who don’t lose it until they’re married, but for a majority of the population that isn’t true. So why are there so many virgins still running around in print? Maybe it’s the ones who don’t get laid that write (kind of like how drinking to escape problems creates problems, thus more drinking)? Nope, I’ve read some of the author bios and a majority of them are mothers and wives. What gives?
Not to hate on virgins, but they are horrible at sex. Sex scenes with virgins are awful because the manwhore they’ve decided to give it up to has to be gentle. Virgins are also a pain in the ass because they don’t know what they want sexually yet miraculously know how to get every position right on the first try. Also, for some reason virgins are extra fertile? Right…
Making the modern heroine a virgin is frustrating because it makes the character stupidly naive and non-assertive, a strategic disadvantage for the guy to take advantage of. Why is it so wrong for women to have a sexual history and experience? Women can be just as experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to what they want out of love and sex. Well, only the publishers can answer that one.
Mary Wollstonecraft hated romance novels because she felt that it made women think that having someone taking care of them, and that was back in the 1700s. It would be expecting too much that the virgin/whore complex could fade even after the sexual revolution.
And with that I leave another book recommendation, Miranda Neville’s The Dangerous Viscount, a Regency novel where the hero is the virgin and the heroine has to show him the ropes. The other book is Twice Tempted by a Rogue by Tessa Dare, where the widow didn’t live chastely ever after when her husband died, wasn’t afraid to proposition the hero for sex sans relationship, and was a truly independent character.