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Thread: Why virgins? (answered)

  1. #1
    Heart of a Warrior Danielle42's Avatar
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    Default Why virgins? (answered)

    I've always wondered about this in romance novels: Why are the female leads almost always virgins, regardless of their age, era, etc.? Don't get me wrong - I am not saying that women should take their bodies or sexuality lightly. But I also find it a bit odd that in the 21st century women readers and writers seem to, well, "fetishize" the hymen, women's purity, virginity. Seems like an acceptance, an endorsement, even of the age-old idea that a women of experience (or even one of curiousity) is somehow "damaged goods" - less desirable than one who is "pure".

    What does it mean in the Higlander novels? Why does the women's virginity play such an important part? What does it mean for their characters, the storyline? etc

    Please, no flames from others about whether one way of living/being is better than the other. I believe that women have every right to decide if, when, where, and with whom they share their bodies - or don't - so please don't assume this is an attack on or judgement of anyone. Just wondering about this and would love to understand it from a romance writer's point of view.
    Danielle



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  2. #191
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    Well...at least one party needs to have had some experience, or it can go horribly awry.
    Plus, virgin boys tend to be overly eager and fumble around a fair bit.

    This is not to say I have anything against virginity. In fact, the first time I had sex, my partner was also a virgin and it was fun discovering things together. But it wasn't great, and it wasn't satisfying.

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    I just read Karen's answer to this question, and related to double standards for man, I don't think this is the case in these novels, I think it's more about all women wanting to be THE ONE more special than all the others... it's just the same with bad boys turning good for one special woman... it so rarely happens in the reality but is really nice to fantasize about it and envision yourself like the heroine from the book who stood out from all the others and was the only one able to win his heart... in novels, man's heart (love) is often the equivalent to woman's virginity: she is the first one he ever loved, and he is the first one to enjoy her body....

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    Maniac Darling Drusilla's Avatar
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    I was 21 my first time and I didn't enjoy it. At all. It was awkward and fumbling and even though he was experienced, we didn't have the same tastes physically. I wouldn't want the first time intensity ever again and the next day it was awkward to be around this person and we actually broke up. I had wanted it to be special, but instead it was just weird and annoying.

    I've noticed that the way I think about things has changed though. I'm thinking more about finding just the right person, someone I can meld with on more than just an emotional level. I'm also focusing more on what I want in life rather than just what should happen in a story book. Holding on to the first time is a personal choice, but I'm glad I didn't wait until marriage. Being married to someone I couldn't enjoy myself with would be a nightmare and it's very rare that you'll meet someone who knows all those tricks and wants a virgin.

    I'd really like to see a heroine who's had some adventures in the bedroom before finding the perfect man. Not someone who was casual about the act, but someone who wasn't distracted by the fantasy and had more time to focus and learn the person.

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    I was JUST thinking about this the other day. I don't read romances much, so the Highlander ones are unique in my reading experience. Honestly, I get a little frustrated with all the virginity. I can't relate, not having been one myself for 20 years (I was 16). I don't place value on virginity, don't equate it to "purity," and I do think sex for the sake of sex is fine (though IME, it's better when it means more than that). I like my experienced males in books, but I don't have a double standard because I have no issues with the women being experienced too.

  6. #195
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    Hey I just found this topic & I gotta say like thevikingsgirl, I too find the virgins to be a bit much, esp when they are all virginal and letting some guy (with a sexy accent and enormous sword (as in is that what the kids are calling it) do everything but the final act which is interrupted at every climatic turn. The heroine then has randy conversations in her own head about his body parts. REALLY SERIOUSLY?

    These heroines are not kids they are usually are through a master's and gee they have never been attracted to anyone enough to do more that maybe deep kiss. Once and YUCK then gave up on it. Well until they meet the uber hawt time-traveler with the largest sword in all the land.

    Sex is a natural thing, whatever is okay with me as long as someone has respect for their partner and respectful of anyone else it could affect as in don't be the queen of the 3-somes, when you live in a small town and have kids. (Yeah I knew someone like former business acquaintance who regaled my office with her tales) No she didn't get it when I said "Your parents must be so proud". They also lived in the same small town.

    Besides wouldn't it be sad to die having only tasted vanilla ice-cream, I mean what about Rocky road, or fudge ripple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beckster68 View Post
    Hey I just found this topic & I gotta say like thevikingsgirl, I too find the virgins to be a bit much, esp when they are all virginal and letting some guy (with a sexy accent and enormous sword (as in is that what the kids are calling it) do everything but the final act which is interrupted at every climatic turn. The heroine then has randy conversations in her own head about his body parts. REALLY SERIOUSLY?

    These heroines are not kids they are usually are through a master's and gee they have never been attracted to anyone enough to do more that maybe deep kiss. Once and YUCK then gave up on it. Well until they meet the uber hawt time-traveler with the largest sword in all the land.

    Sex is a natural thing, whatever is okay with me as long as someone has respect for their partner and respectful of anyone else it could affect as in don't be the queen of the 3-somes, when you live in a small town and have kids. (Yeah I knew someone like former business acquaintance who regaled my office with her tales) No she didn't get it when I said "Your parents must be so proud". They also lived in the same small town.

    Besides wouldn't it be sad to die having only tasted vanilla ice-cream, I mean what about Rocky road, or fudge ripple.
    :

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    ok...my two cents worth...the females in my mind should be virgins....or I like it better that way. And the men experienced. Can you imagine Drustan or...dare I mention it....JZB not knowing what to do when it came down to it....NOOOOOOOO . Don't we all live out in some way that we are the Mac lying on a bed of black satin and there we are in all of our glory ready to be covered by Barrons and then he stumbles and fumbles and slobbers when he kisses.... Nope....I think you have the right idea Karen and I say...if it ain't broke...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndiamond View Post
    ok...my two cents worth...the females in my mind should be virgins....or I like it better that way. And the men experienced. Can you imagine Drustan or...dare I mention it....JZB not knowing what to do when it came down to it....NOOOOOOOO . Don't we all live out in some way that we are the Mac lying on a bed of black satin and there we are in all of our glory ready to be covered by Barrons and then he stumbles and fumbles and slobbers when he kisses.... Nope....I think you have the right idea Karen and I say...if it ain't broke...
    Ditto for me to

  10. #199
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    As others have mentioned, Jamie in Outlander was a virgin on his wedding night and that wedding night scene (and subsequent scenes) were extremely hot. He was a devout Catholic and also saw the love his parents had and didn't want to settle for less.

    I do like that the Highlander mates were virgins. I've only been with two men (the first I'd rather forget about) and the 2nd is my husband. I wish I'd waited for him. These women had reasons for being virgins (as already mentioned) because they were focused on career/education or in poor Gabby's case, she saw fairies which made her boyfriends think she was nuts. lol Also, once you've seen a fairy, it's prob hard to go to a normal dude. LOL Once you go fairy, you'll never go with a Larry.

    As far as Fever goes, do we know if Mac is a virgin before Barrons or being pri-ya? I got the vibe that she wasn't a virgin, but possibly had only been with one other guy and only in context of a committed relationship. Basically, she seems like someone who doesn't take sex lightly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karen Marie View Post
    First, Claudia made some excellent points and when I first began writing romance, the readership very much preferred inexperienced heroines.

    Second, sex matters. BlueCoyote, I grew up in a podunk town, too, with less than desirable choices, crammed full of small-town gossips. There was no way I was getting naked physically or emtionally there. Also, I had a mother who said "what did he do to deserve intimacy from you? is he that special?" and I love her for the lesson, the confidence that when I did choose to have sex, it would be special.

    In a world where "sex is just sex", where every time I flip TV channels and see more than I really wanted to see while eating dinner or hanging out with my young nieces, I recall Neitzsche's call for a drastic re-evaluation of values, and figure I can do my part by not devaluing the relationships I choose to write about with multiple, casual partners. I think the human race is in trouble. I think male and female roles have become so hard to define and carve out in modern society that men and women are having an increasingly hard time making a real, lasting connection with each other. The biological imperatives that shaped our genders are no longer imperative. So who are we, and what matters? There are so many people out there, so many choices at the sex buffet, and I see so many people choosing to gorge unthinkingly while popping antidepressants and wondering why they can't find somebody to love. My advice? Try not sleeping with them on the first date. Grr...

    There I am, before coffee again and uncensored....LOL.

    Do they have to be virgins? No. But sex will always matter to my heroines. I'm working on the heros. Ironically, the readership seems to prefer their men with a great deal of experience. Is this a double standard we enforce on them? That a man who's a virgin isn't...quite...a desirable man?

    Discuss?
    I just reread your post Karen from looooooooooong ago.
    I hope I responded before now because I love your beliefs and convictions on this particular subject. BRAVO...I agree on all points

    I do prefer men with experience and women with little to none....and I realize its a double standard but its just what I prefer. I dont care for heroines to run fast and loose

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