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#34867 - 01/14/03 02:09 AM re: virginity
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
I'm working with a young man (16) who was sexually assaulted when he was 12. He told me tonight that while he chooses not to have sexual intercourse with his female friends because he wants to remain a virgin for a while longer, he has considered himself not to be a virgin because of the anal penetration he experienced when he was assaulted.

I talked to him about choice (what he is doing now in terms of sexual intercourse with age mates) versus the forced, involuntary abuse he suffered four years ago. Part of him accepts this and part does not. I asked him if it would be ok to post this dilemma on the discussion forum and he said it would be. I will print out any responses and give them to him when I see him next in two weeks.

Thanks for your input.

Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#34868 - 01/14/03 02:34 AM Re: re: virginity
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Well, I sure would not consider what happened to me, anal sex as anything other than violent abuse, and as a man it sure did not take away virginity.

Lots of people speak to teens today and tell them that secondary virginity is good too. In other words, for kids who have had sex and now want to wait for marriage or committment they can consider themselves virgins of a secondary kind. Makes sense to me.

But if the only sex a person has has been betrayal and violence, that is not sex. Sex is a beautiful gift that expresses great love and draws people together. Violence is violence, it harms, is an expression of ppower gone mad and it sure does not draw people together.

Congratulations to the young Lad--an inspiration.


If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

#34869 - 01/14/03 02:50 AM Re: re: virginity
andrew-almost52 Offline

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 243
Loc: canada
Ken, there is absolutely, unequivocably no question that the young man in question IS A VIRGIN, in every sense of the word. To have sex or make love requires informed consent. A twelve year old cannot give that consent. To have been assaulted has nothing to do with making love, quite the opposite. He is obviously a clever and wise young man to have made the decision to abstain from sexual relationships until he is older. Good for him. Peace, Andrew

#34870 - 01/14/03 05:30 AM Re: re: virginity
Wuamei Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Ken in my work with young people & families, even currently, I've had occasion to talk with people about this very thing.

I quite agree with Bob & Andrew. I've never used that term, but the concept of secondary virginity is something I believe in & have shared with others in counseling & teaching.

The more I think about it, the very idea that sexual intercourse alone (even for a woman, for that matter) takes away virginity is a mockery of the sexual experience. Sexual intimacy (read that "in-to-me-see") is not merely a physical act but also an emotional, psychological, spiritual experience. It cannot be reduced to mere physical intercourse.

Especially when that intercourse is forced, which in fact defies the definition of the word intercourse.

I would consider a raped woman who had been a virgin to still be one. A man would be no different.

IMNSHO your young friend has every right & reason to consider himself a virgin. And he is wise to choose to remain a virgin, especially as he is working thru this.

Had I done so I would have saved myself and my family of creation a great deal of pain.


"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

#34871 - 01/14/03 06:21 PM Re: re: virginity
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I believe virginity is in the mind , not the body.

And if the abuse was forced - as it can only be on a child - then the boys mental virginity is intact.
Although he will have terrible doubts if he responded as most of us did and became aroused or even took part in the abuse.
But that is a natural and unstopable bodily reaction, not an act of joining in.

On a slightly different note I knew a girl many, many years ago who was very highly sexed and very religious. And determined to walk the Isle a virgin.
But she would give oral sex and have anal sex with abandon, but nothing entered her vagina at all.
And she was totally cool with this 'idea' of virginity, it suited her needs.
I guess it was ok in her mind as well, she had just adjusted societies norms on virginity to suit her needs.

It's a frame of mind.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#34872 - 01/14/03 07:00 PM Re: re: virginity
michaelb Offline

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 211
Loc: cincinnati, ohio
I used to consider myself a virgin and actually took a certain amount of pride in the fact that i did not rush out and have sex with anybody, because i questioned my sexuality and i so fear intimacy with anybody....i'm so afraid memories/feelings will consume me and i'll have to destroy/kill my partner and myself after dreams have confirmed and reinforced those fears...i guess what i consider myself at this point is a freak of nature..........

but, i'm 45....i have wasted my life in fear....tell your client not to use virginity as a crutch for not facing his problems...but tell him to take all the time he needs to have sex....when it is truly right and comfortable for him i guess it will happen....he has taken such a brave and strong step by talking to you about his problems/feelings.....i only wish i would have had that courage at his age.....i envy his strength so much......michael

#34873 - 01/14/03 07:53 PM Re: re: virginity
hdan Offline

Registered: 01/06/03
Posts: 43
Loc: Texas

I agree with the other comments on this page. To me virginity cannot be stolen but must be given up willingly. While this may not be easy with graphic pictures of abuse in one's mind or dreams, I believe it is an action of the free will and cannot be forcefully taken away.

I had not heard of the concept of secondary virginity, but I like that concept as well. Kind of leaves room for mistakes that one makes.


#34874 - 01/14/03 07:56 PM Re: re: virginity
hdan Offline

Registered: 01/06/03
Posts: 43
Loc: Texas

I understand the feeling of having wasted your life in fear. I feel like I have wasted my emotional life or that it has been stolen from me. But I am told and will someday understand that it is better to start living without fear or with a healthy emotional life even at the age of 45 or 35 (for me) than never to experience a free life.


#34875 - 01/15/03 01:48 AM Re: re: virginity
MrDon Offline

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
I was raped at age 5 and then several times after that. It has taken me a long time to begin to work through all of these things and fully embrace what has happened to me.

For a long time I thought that my innocence, my very innermost part of my body, my virginity and my soul had been taken away from me. At the time, I could not be convinced differently because I felt as if I had been robbed.

As time went and I began to heal by taking back the power of what happened to me, I started to realize that they never actually got to take that away from me. It was still mine and it was not something I was capable of giving away at that point in my life. I was too young to even know what that was about. I know now that it is something I kept with me through out my life and it is only something that I gave away when I chose to. I see it as something sacred and more than just a physical act or a physical thing.

He doesn't have to rush through all of this. In time, he will be able to sort it all out, but it does take time. It takes patience as well and acceptance of one's self. By learning that the abuse was not his fault and it is not what was done to him, rather it was what was done TO him, he will be able to heal through these issues as well.


In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!

#34876 - 01/15/03 02:10 AM Re: re: virginity
Wifey1 Offline

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
Dear young man,
I am the wife of a survivor and a survivor myself. My own hubby2 considered himself to be a virgin until he had consensual sex with another. For my own self I was incested and molested almost daily from the time I was about 9 until even after I was married the first time. My years of being molested / incested there wasnt what would be considered "penetration" until I was 18 - at that time my main abuser told me "your old enough now". He raped me with pentration that time. I still considered myself a virgin because I did not agree nor want that contact.
Thinking over the years of sexual behavior, and I have been married now to my 2nd hubby 15 yrs -- only recently through our working on our abuse issues have I thought about this -- truly both of us were in fact still virgins until we both had sexual contact that has been "equal and consensual loving contact".
Yes, technically we were not virgins we have children together -- but it is a matter of mind set. In my opinion only --
You can choose, I hope you understand that YOU are the most important in your decision in how you feel about YOU.
Best of Luck to you -- you're valuable and have great potential. Keep up your good work!
May Peace fill you ~ Wifey1

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