There are many men that have passed through my life but none hurt more than the last. He was caring and sensitive; he held my hands and always remembered to ask how my day went. I thought he was a god-send, I thought he understood when I explained. One day I visited him at his friend’s place, as usual. We watched football on TV and I cooked for him. Soon all his friends left… alone, we kissed, we touched. I took his clothes off, and he did mine. Then it was time for me to relieve him but he stopped me. He said he wanted it the normal way. I was confused, we had done this several times before, there was no other way. In a flash of limbs I was on my back fighting him off. He told me to relax as he fought to hold me down. I panicked, and at the tearing sound of underwear fabric he stopped. He asked how I could continue starving him. I was sad. He told me that he must enter somewhere. I silently turned around and bit my lip to keep from crying out, he never saw my tears. After that day he never called me; nor I him.
My name is Ella, I am 25 and I am a Virgin. I am sure that caught your attention. Some of you may have scoffed at the word, and some of you would think this was a lie. But really there are still some of us ‘untouched’ in Nigeria. For those that feel pity for me, it is not from lack of opportunity or a physical deformity and neither was I abused as a child. I am not a religious zealot either. I just didn’t feel the need to think about it and IT. It’s funny how I have to explain why I am what I am. It’s almost as if I made myself a virgin instead of been born this way.
I used to have a dream that I would be first touched by my husband and he would boast even to our grandchildren that I was untainted when I came to him. Growing up I read prose from home and abroad that glorified virgins. They spoke of virgins being worshiped as goddesses, virgins being honoured by all, virgins being the definition of purity. Was it not our very own forefathers that celebrated our coming to womanhood with festivals? And weren’t 7 day-long celebrations held for the girl that was found to be a virgin on her wedding night? Wasn’t a girl returned in disgrace and made an outcast if she was found to have lost it knowingly or by accident. But now its despised, hated, feared and a myth altogether. The world has definitely changed; it’s like I missed the signing of an amendment rebranding virgins as social outcasts.
I cannot even utter the phrase ‘I am a Virgin’ for fear of taunts and mockery. When I was in school a friend of mine found out I was a virgin, she arranged for a guy-friend of hers to dis-virgin me and teach me ‘skills’ because “you’ll need it in the near future,” Men repeat the same reasons like memorized lyrics: You are not experienced enough. / I don’t want to take you to hospital when I am done, before your family say I killed you./ Hahaha, you can’t be serious!/ Were you a lesbian, did you just switch over?/ How old are you again?/That’s what you say now then tomorrow we’ll hear you are pregnant for your boyfriend./ Was your last boyfriend gay? Can I blame them? Maybe I should look at the commercialization of IT? All forms of media that bombard everyone with IT? Phrases like ‘IT sells’ that give the idea that IT can get you anything in life? Even religious bodies no longer advice against IT as much as they used to. How can they when some pastors are sleeping with their congregation and choir-masters with choristers? Custom, religion and just plain ethics accepted the state of virginity to be special but now it’s like there’s no space for virgins anymore.
I am still a virgin but I am tired. It seems keeping myself for my husband is now childish. And wanting someone special to be my first is now a fairytale. I feel like a myth in the modern world. The only solution there seems to be is to ‘just get it over with’. A popular Musician in the USA was asked if she was a virgin and her answer was “Oh No-No-No! I have already gotten that over with. Am a proud empowered woman,” I now want to shed the deadweight that used to be gold.