Friday, 30 May 2014

Male Virginity is Good

Another rant about the latest Psycho Single, this time targeting columnists or sub-editors who call him "the virgin killer." What is up with that? If you think it is weird or funny that the unmarried USCSB killer was a virgin, then you are part of the cultural forces that shaped him.

I call all men who kill women because they are that bitter about being Single "Psycho Single", as a reminder to readers that bitterness is the Single's worst enemy and can ultimately drive him or her to do evil things.(It is the worst enemy of the childless, too.) But to bolster the USCSB killer's idea that virginity was weird and shameful by calling him "the virgin killer" is just disgusting. Way to inspire a few more men to commit suicide or even murder there, media.

Am I going completely around the bend or is the USA not still a largely Christian country? I spent five years in theology school, and as far as I can recall, Christian men and women are BOTH called to virginity before marriage. This is to say, to chastity in continence. Some moral theologians object to men being called virgins at all. It should be the NORM for every single man who has never married to not have had sex with someone else. This is Christian doctrine, and this is how it should be. So why is there a culture, even in countries dominated by Christians, that thinks it hilarious when men have NOT had sex at increasingly younger ages? And why is it allowed such a high place at the media table?

The poorer you are, the less well brought up, the more likely you are to freely lose your virginity at a young age. I believe this is the same for boys as for girls, in part because the carefully brought up, wealthier girls around them are more likely to say "No" and in part because such boys will be discouraged from asking at all. I didn't experience any pressure to put out until I was 18, and that was only because I was dating a non-virgin from the Middle East who thought all Western girls put out. After that I was blissfully free of such crap, as I spent the rest of my youthful social life with male feminists (long story), romantics and devout Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican boys who were most probably virgins themselves. I would be very surprised if they weren't. Fornication is a very big and scary sin--at least it was to MY crowd. When young Catholics describe to me today how easy, and how ego-boosting, it would be to take some girl home from a bar, I am overwhelmed with horror. But what about your immortal souls? And what about your future wives?

There's a very sweet scene in the Mel Gibson film Gallipoli (aka Why Australians Don't Worship Winston Churchill) in which a randy gang of soldiers go off to a brothel while their devoutly Christian pal demands "What will you say to your wives on your wedding nights?" They think this is hilarious and naturally [plot spoiler] he is killed, although that's a lot better than being captured and homosexually raped by the Turks, as tended to happen. Men rape men to show total dominance--the real root of fear of homosexuality, by the way.

I bring up this ugly fact about raped POWs because it reminds me that many of men's sexual problems have little to do with women and everything to do with other men. If your boyfriend is angry because you had sex when you were 20 with a college boyfriend but now practice chastity, it's not really because of you but because of that guy. Men are in constant competition with other guys, and the idea at being bested by some other guy, in love and sex, especially concerning the women they want, drives some men up the wall. This why least said, soonest mended, but also why such men need to be told "Our relationship is between you and ME and is not about other men, capisce? You carry on your masculine battle of all against all on your own time."

This seems to have been very true of Psycho Single, who thought that beautiful women were material possessions to show off in front of other guys. He was hierarchical about it, too. He thought blondes were more valuable, and he seems to have seen only "beautiful" women, whatever beautiful meant to him. Although he was a mixed race American in a Hollywood family, he seems to have felt inferior to tall, blonde men and superior to any other man of colour. He is outraged when his "ugly" roommate beds girls (although he takes some pleasure in his valuation of said girls as "ugly") and he just about goes insane when a black acquaintance brags that he lost his virginity with a white, blonde girl.

Psycho Single was a slave to the idea that virginity is disgraceful, which is why he turned out as he did. It is really too bad that nobody (as far as we know) made the argument that male virginity is GOOD. Male virginity shows moral strength. (After all, any man could lose his by going to the local brothel with $100 in his pocket. Duh.) It could be a sign of freedom from being a slave to one's own animal nature. It could suggest that the man privileges the intellect over the passions. It could also be a sign of having chosen to socialize only with principled women unlikely to seduce him. It could be a sign of commitment to some higher principle, like commitment to God. It could be a sign of respect for women so deep that he refuses to use any of them sexually or to unite himself with one without a permanent contract. It could be solidarity with the ancient tradition of virgin warriors; even today some coaches believe that celibacy improves athletic ability. Possibly an old coaches' tale, dating back to Samson and Delilah, or even Babylonian Enkidu, but I mention it anyway. Recall the coach in Rocky: "Women weaken legs!" If given a hard time by human baboons in the locker room, virgin men could shout, "Women weaken legs!" That might appease the misogynist impulses of the human baboon's heart.

At any rate, we have got to get rid of this idea that male virginity is any kind of giggle-worthy disgrace. It goes hand in hand with the disgusting idea that women are citadels to be conquered, either to feel good or to impress other men.


Sheila said...

It appears this disgusting fellow was as racist as he was sexist. Ew.

Even women get giggled at sometimes for being virgins. I have often reflected on the way women can't win. If you put out, you're a slut. If you don't put out, you're the ice queen and terribly repressed. If you get married young, you're throwing yourself away. If you don't, TICK TOCK! If you have kids, how will you ever achieve anything? If you don't, you must be some kind of unmotherly monster! Etc.

Men, on the other hand, absolutely can win .... but the rules are very strict. There's a specific set of things a man is Supposed to Do, and if he doesn't do them, he must be less of a man. He has to sleep around. He has to be tough. He has to not cry. He has to put career first. Etc.

I really don't know which is worse!

I do think, though, that there is a flip side to men treating women as conquests. It's women treating men as something they "have to have," as in, "it's is so terrible that I don't have a boyfriend!" No one means it that way, but it seems this is treating men like a possession, a proof of adulthood or of status. Just like the girls who didn't sleep with Psycho Single were not collectively choosing to deny him something, the guys who don't date any given girl are not passing judgment on *her.* They are making their own choices about what they want to do, and very few of their reasons have anything to do with her!

Not having a boyfriend or girlfriend isn't a judgment on YOU. It's just that none of the people you've met so far have been the right person for you. If you make it about your own self-worth, aren't you saying then that the main purpose of a boyfriend would be a trophy to prove you're worth something?

Seraphic said...

I agree. I thought it very important to have boyfriends, and the more guys who had unrequited crushes on me, the better. I rather awfully broke up with guys when I got bored. Really, I was Not Nice, but I honestly didn't know that. One great thing about being married to someone I love and admire is not caring if I look pretty to any other guy. If all other guys think I look like an amiable toad, then that is fine. Indeed, a good thing, as long as they have friendly feelings for toads and don't feel compelled to squash them, etc.

Julia said...

"When young Catholics describe to me today how easy, and how ego-boosting, it would be to take some girl home from a bar, I am overwhelmed with horror."

WHAT THE WHAAAAAAT?????? These Catholic guys you know who say this - are they speaking purely hypothetically, as in 'It would be easy for one to achieve this' or are they passive-aggressively whining about the demands of chastity? If the latter, I am NOT IMPRESSED.

Great post. Contempt for male virginity is firmly entrenched in our culture and that is deplorable.

"One great thing about being married to someone I love and admire is not caring if I look pretty to any other guy."

Although I am under-25 and never-married, I find that I'm less and less concerned about what men think of my appearance. I'm over caring. It's too emotionally draining. It's not that I don't make an effort, it's just that I just don't really that much about being attractive to men anymore. I don't mean to suggest that that's because of virtue. It's more that I have more interesting things to worry about; more productive ways to spend my emotional energy. I'd rather just do what I want (within the bounds of moral law).

I think I might be too Seraphically Single. If my whole life pans out with no dates, no marriage, no babies, I'm okay with that. Perhaps my tune will have changed in a decade, but it honestly wouldn't surprise me if I never get married. I'd be more surprised if I were married at 35 than if I weren't.

Seraphic said...

Hypothetically. I would be amazed if any Catholic man I knew told me he picked up women in bars. First of all, men seem not to like telling women stuff like that although occasionally they will if it's not them but their pal. Second of all, I might blog about it. I probably wouldn't, but you never know. So I am unlikely to hear true confessions.

As for not caring what men think when you're under 25, surely that depends on the men? Although I don't care if men think I am pretty or not, I do have to watch my clothes or I will be teased by male pals from church. I wore a super-short skirt ONCE and it was reported to B.A. by the rest of his choir. That s just so EDINBURGH.

Seraphic said...

YAY to being Seraphically Single! Just looking your best and getting on with your life is a very good policy.

Cojuanco said...


America is largely nominally Christian, especially if you go further away from certain areas like the South. In many cases it means they are baptized and attend church every month or so. It's been that way since at least the Fifties, where for many Protestants religion was less on the belief of doctrine and more of an affirmation that one was not a Communist. Catholics were the exception until the Seventies.

Julia said...

Well, like I said, I still make an effort, and I'm aware of my audience (so no short skirts etc.), but I dress well for my own sense of dignity and not in the hopes that I'll be attractive to men, the vast majority of whom I'm not attracted to anyway (for various reasons).

The whole dating rat-race sounds like a bit of nightmare, so I'm not disappointed if I don't join that rat-race. If a man ever asks me out again, I'll probably say yes, but I don't think I'm likely to ever do anything 'active' to find a spouse, such as join a dating site. The more I think about it, the more 'boyfriend-girlfriend relationships' seem to me to be just a really minor part of life.

Nate said...

Going out on a limb here that I may have to cut from under me to my utter ruin, but I've noticed the following: In informal social situations such as the proverbial bar, it is assumed that if a guy "chats up" a girl, he is trying to sleep with her. This is perpetuated by such shows as How I Met Your Mother. This assumption results in a couple things. One is that girls expect that if a guy tries to talk to one of them, then it's for ignoble purposes. The other is that guys who aren't looking for an "easy win" (nor want to appear so) will feel uncomfortable approaching girls in this situation in case it is seen as an advance (either desired or undesired.)

As a guy who has been in these situations, I would like to feel comfortable meeting a new girl just to enjoy her company. And although there is an outlash against the idea that girls should take "unwanted attention" as a compliment, especially in the wake of the latest Psycho Single, I should hope that if a guy thought you looked like a pleasant person and wanted to talk with you, it should be taken as a compliment, and not just as a play to get in bed.

Seraphic said...

I entirely agree with you, Nate. It's terrible that so many people get their expectations and cues from dumb sitcoms. The good news is that not everyond has a television.

All I can recommend is that guys keep on striking up casual conversations with women in social situations. "Would you like the milk for your tea? What did you think of the homily?... I agree. I think most homilies are pretty lame these days. Have you read "Sinner in the Hand of an Angry God?" Scared the stuffing out of me." Etc.

Sheila said...

If it comes to that, it is VERY easy for women to let themselves get picked up from a bar. We just don't mention this, because it would be crass and everyone knows we wouldn't do that!

Aquinas' Goose said...

The sooner America stops being dubbed a "Christian" nation the better things will be for all Christians (including the Christians over here). There's currently a bumper sticker going around ( )which does a pretty decent job of showing what "Christianity" means to some American Christians (the other would probably look like something like this (usually beside some kind of pagan sticker, but not always)
And if you want so great camp fire tales of terror, read Anglican journals from the pre-Revolution Age. All of a sudden the Prosperity Gospel makes a whole lot of sense when you read what was passing for church norms in America (especially the rural South).

If you teach at a state funded school and allow your Christianity to influence your teaching, you could easily loose your job. If you want a job in a religious studies department you have to be willing to practice "practical atheism." I may not be able to get a job (assuming I go beyond ABD) because my MAR is from a seminary (never mind that it's fully accredited, never mind that it is fairly prestigious) because, as someone who went to a seminary, I do not "know" how to study religion.* But then, I'm a young curmudgeon and going through a critical time and may just be feeling overly despondent about the whole thing given what I see on university campus. (And some of the things my 10-year-olds have told me in CCD class make me want to cry, too).

"Virgin Killer" sounds like what you call someone who was yet to about to commit his first murder. I'm with you Seraphic, that's a horrible name and the whole obsession with 'sexual experience' is this country truly needs an overhaul, for the good of men and women.

*If I can be smug, when my committee member told me all this I did get a bit miffed and informed her of what my Hebrew instructor wanted and she, a Yale graduate, was blown away because of the sheer amount of work and research I had to do for a mere translation course. Ha! Try and tell me I don't "know how to study religion" at a seminary when other colleges do not require good research and philological backgrounds! *mwahahahaha!*

Seraphic said...

I have never tried, but I imagine it's the same strategy as being chatted up by men at parties.

I occurs to me that it would be helpful for Single women to read Psycho Single's manifesto. After all, he is writing from the point of view of someone hoping to be approached, which used to be the point of view of women. And thus women reading it can see how ridiculous it is to blame all young men everywhere for not choosing them.

Julia said...

I tried to read Psycho Single's autobiography, but I got bored with all the whingeing and whining and self-pity. One of my brothers read it and described it to me and my sister, but maybe I'll give it another go. If only PS had religious faith or even just an ambition not related to being attractive to women. You know, like, 'Hey! I want to be a screenwriter/engineer/stage mechanic!' I suspect, though, that he might have seen a career as 'below him' since he was descended from the 'British aristocracy' and his dad was rich.

Stellamaris said...

Hmm. Nate, I would say it very much depends on the guy. I can't quantify or qualify it (which makes this remark pretty unhelpful I suppose), but some know how to strike up a conversation with strange women without setting off any alarms. Others just do. However, I've noticed my instinct in this regard has been rarely wrong in the past few years, so perhaps you shouldn't worry about women misinterpreting you.
Meanwhile, I've noticed that some men seem to take ordinary kindness or politeness as a signal that a woman may be romantically interested, which doesn't exactly encourage me to help the quiet, shy, lonely-looking guy in groups where I am comfortable, because I know what will happen.
Seraphic, I kind of wonder if he really never attracted anybody. i mean, it sounds like he did his very best to make himself an unpleasant person, but I still wonder. Usually girls who sob, "No one wants to go out with me!", mean "No one I want to go out with wants to go out with me!" I know I have. Perhaps Psycho Single's obsession with white blonde supermodel types made him overlook the cute plump brunette who found his ethnic looks exotic and attractive.

Seraphic said...

Julia, the sad thing is that his mother told him he was a good writer and encouraged him to write. Unfortunately, he immediately conceived a plan to write a fantasy story that would be turned into a movie and make him millions of dollars. When he found out how rare this is, and how long it can take to earn money through writing he just gave up. He didn't think he would be able to land a hot girl at 40 even with money...

Okay, I have to stop thinking about Psycho Single now.

Julia said...

"Okay, I have to stop thinking about Psycho Single now."

Tell me about it. I thought I'd read the rest of his autobiography. Nope. Can't do it. I feel like vomiting. It's completely sick. Evil.

"Perhaps Psycho Single's obsession with white blonde supermodel types made him overlook the cute plump brunette who found his ethnic looks exotic and attractive."

Stellamaris, I think that's possible. I also think that Psycho Single's wicked mind and poisonous beliefs would have been sensed by women, who would have stayed well away.