Theresa Shecter and the gals at Trixie Films are making a documentary called “How to Lose Your Virginity” — it’s goal is “to undo centuries of myths and contradictions around virginity, and to encourage an honest conversation with people navigating the confusing process of deciding when and why to become sexual.” Its subjects include a rock violinist, an Ivy League blogger, an Ohio engineer, a porn producer — all subverting the virginity narrative.
We recently ran a post on EMandLO.com about television shows with hot sex scenes, but if we’re being honest, the stuff that really floats our boats is the hilarious, cringe-worthy stuff that just seems a lot more realistic — after all, sex is often awkward, full of miscommunication, with some head bonking and disappointment, maybe tears. Which is why we loved, loved, LOVED last night’s episode of New Girl on Fox. We’ll admit, we were pretty eh about the pilot — it was close, but no cigar. So we never scheduled a second date with the show. But a friend encouraged us to give it another chance last night and we are so glad we did — because we can’t remember the last time we laughed so hard, especially not from of a television show (we’re talking tears and stomach pain). Not to get your hopes up, but it’s one of the best sex scenes we’ve ever seen on TV* — it should win an Emmy. We liked it so much, we went online so we could watch the earlier “penis” episode (officially titled “Naked”), which also did not disappoint. Oh, if only the same could be said for sex.
We first heard from Kate Monro a few years ago from across the pond when her Virginity Project was just a fledgeling little baby blog. Today, that blog, which collects and publishes first time tales of all sorts from all over the world, is shortlisted for the UK Cosmoplitan Blog Awards 2011. She’s also got a book out now based on the blog, ”First Times: True Tales of Virginity Lost and Found,” and this month her blog/book is being turned into a play at the…
Our friends, Em & Nora (who we like to call “Em & No”), recently launched a site for grown-ups about young adult literature called LoveYALit.com*, since (according to the New York Times) more and more people 18-and-over are enjoying books originally intended for the 18-and-under set. Of course, books about teens, the most hormonal among us, often deal with issues of first romantic relationships and sexual awakenings — and reading them as adults can emotionally transport us back to our own teenage years, when those things were really new and exciting, dramatic and traumatic. So we asked Em & Nora to give us a sampling of the good, the bad and the complicated of YA love and sex. First, the good (then tune in over the next two Thursdays for the bad and the complicated):
Proponents of abstinence-only education may not approve, but there are several literary examples of young adults having empowering, exciting, safe sex as well as healthy, loving relationships with their bodies and their partners.
Forever… by Judy Blume (1975) — The Blume classic of a girl who discovers her sexuality and — get this — finds it pleasurable! Afterwards, there are no disturbing or negative consequences; she’s not punished in any way. She simply comes to the mature realization that high school relationships aren’t forever. Amazingly (and unfortunately), there is nothing else like this in YA lit.
Browsing the dating site YouandMeArePure.com left us temporarily speechless, and then clutching for the right words to express our… awe? The top five things that boggled our minds:
For grammar nerds who are bothered by the site’s name, the very first sentence at the top of the entire site helpfully explains, “YouAndMeArePure is NOT a sentence just in case you are checking for grammar. It is rather the name of our website. The name was carefully crafted from the beginning to express that we value both, people entering in relationships and virginity.” Okay then, that totally clears things up for us. Thanks!
Eve Waltermaurer, a professor of sociology at SUNY New Paltz, is producer and director of FIRST, a documentary about women’s sexual first times. The film features ten women, ages 16 to 89, spilling the beans in their own bedrooms (complete with teddy bear and framed prom photo, in one case). We chatted with Eve about all things cherry-poppin’…
EM & LO: How do you define virginity or losing your virginity? It’s a term we’ve often struggled with ourselves — for example, traditionally people think of intercourse, but that obviously excludes the gay community. Was that something you dealt with when making this film?
EVE WALTERMAURER: Luckily we did not have to define virginity – we left that to each woman to decide for herself. I myself wonder if the first failed attempt Jon B. had with me counts or not. We are interested in this idea of when the loss of virginity occurs particularly for a woman who has never been with a male. Clearly these women, over time look back and do not think of themselves as virgins. But is there a single point in time where they see the shift happening? All of our gay women began with men but we are still looking to explore this idea more.