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Okay, So, What Happened To *This* Chick's Promise Ring?

Howardsterntard I mean, seriously? Does it really matter whether Jordin Sparks was just trying to zing Russell Brand when she suggested, on the VMA broadcast, that people who don't cherish their virginity are, you know, sluts, when meanwhile there's a girl somewhere in Texas who is letting Howard Stern auction off her virginity on his radio show?

Because doesn't that just render the whole question moot? If virginity is something that can command a good price at auction in the current North American market, then doesn't that demonstrate, incontrovertibly, that the placing of value upon virginity - whether by promise ring/purity ring/classy nipple piercing or by bride-price or by whatever the fack else marks the hallowed virgin as worthy of jewellry and/or cash monies - just corrupts the very point of virginity, or, at least, the institution of virginity as understood by most organized religions, the Republican party, Sarah Palin and my parents circa 1989? By which I mean, what's the point of being all possessive and precious about one's status as one who has not yet partaken of the sex if that possessiveness is largely for purpose of making someone else get all greedy for it? I mean, doesn't that just defeat the whole spirit of the idea that sex is not something to be dickered over (no pun intended)?

This is all coming out wrong.

What I mean to say is, doesn't being all holier-than-thou and insisting that oh hai virginity is preshus do not give it away that milk shouldn't come free hold on to that preshus preshus thing blah blah blah and that if you don't value your maidenhood you don't value yourself blah blah blah just lend itself to a twisted kind of virginity-market-complex that actually sort of commodifies the state of being sexually immature such that it becomes something that demands bidding and competition on the open market? You know, like in the form of profitable (pecuniarily or otherwise) marital arrangements? Or monies sent to Howard Stern to pay for your college education? And isn't that, you know, a bit icky?

I'm not slamming virginity, not at all. Virginity is a good thing, to the extent that it is the condition of sexual being that is most appropriate for human beings who are not physically, mentally or emotionally ready for sexual relations with others. But that doesn't mean that it needs to be fetishized, and especially not (time to bust out Marx's Das Kapital) commodity fetishized. Which is what I fear happens when we get all prissy about virginity and insist that it is something that has a value in itself. Virginity doesn't have value in itself, or as (as post-Kantians would say) an end-in-itself. An individual's comfort with him or herself as a sexual being - whatever that means - has value. Virginity is only a means - and only a very partial means, one stepping stone among a great many - to that end. Neither Jordin Sparks nor Howard Stern nor that tragic auction woman seem to understand that.

(As the auctionee puts it: "We live in a capitalist society. Why shouldn't I be allowed to capitalize on my virginity?" Indeed, fair maiden. INDEED. Once upon a time you would have commanded a higher dowry; now, why not just get tuition? Because, you know, those promise rings don't pawn for much. JORDIN SPARKS R U LISTENING?)

What I want to teach my daughter and my son about sex is this: it's wonderful, it's amazing, it's something that is worth waiting for until you're ready, it is something that is better if you wait until you are ready for it, it is something that you really should enjoy and you'll enjoy it most if you partake of it on your own terms, sincerely understood, and that means, in part, deciding for yourself when you are ready. I will, of course, wish fervently - and silently - that they put this off as long as possible while they're young - my belief being that you can't really set your own terms around something like sex until you've attained a certain measure of maturity that involves, at a minimum, being able to recognize that most of the people that you see on TV prattling on about the Jonas Bros are morons and not to be listened to. But I do not want them to get the idea from anyone that their sexuality is anything that has a 'worth' to anyone but themselves, and then only on terms that they themselves set. It is theirs, and only theirs, and to the extent that anyone else participates in that sexuality it will only and ever be - I hope - as a sharer and not a purchaser or lessor or no money down pay no interest borrower.

Which means, roughly distilled, the following things: a) I hate Howard Stern, b) I hate MTV, c) there ain't gonna be no purity rings being polished in my house, and d) I am very possibly a communist.

Make of that what you will.



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