Here’s why I think the society should not obsess over a woman’s virginity.

Here’s an article from TOI that I think encourages sexist fallacies. “Great things about being a virgin woman“. (Thanks for the link A and Remya)

The article tells women to “just remember that there are many advantages of being a virgin. It is one of the most special gifts god has given you.

Here’s why I think the society, men and women, should not obsess over woman’s virginity (and sex life). Rambling thoughts, might edit and add links later.

An obsession with women’s virginity makes it look like we are okay with double standards and hypocrisy. (Also, since everybody loses their virginity only after sexual experience, and only some are expected to preserve it we don’t think of questioning the need to preserve inexperience.)

This obsession starts connecting a woman’s morals with her sex life. It indicates that women who do not refuse to have intercourse until they are married are somehow not nice people. We know this is not true. A woman’s sex life is just a part of her life and personality – focusing on it makes it seem like her ‘body’ is more important than herself. It’s disrespectful to women, for a society to value her body parts more than her life – I think it is at the root of a lot of other evils and controls on women’s life.

It also prevents women (and indirectly men) from experiencing sex – obsession with virginity makes sex look like something women do for men, like something women give and men take. (“So now, save your virginity. Don’t give it away on a platter.”)

It encourages sexual crimes. One, by making a serious crime become more about a woman’s ‘lost virginity’ and secondly, by making it shameful for women to even talk about this ‘great loss’. Some Indians see it as so shameful that they kill the victims. The shame has now become a habit and the same mindset also affects how we deal with Child Sexual Abuse.

Since the obsession involves only 50% of the populace, it has also resulted in millions of children and women being trafficked and kept in inhuman conditions – because Patriarchy believes that the 50% for whom the virginity is being preserved have their ‘needs’.

When we see sex as something men want and women provide, then we see our Police and rapists (and many other people) believing that women, who are not criminals, sex workers or just bad people, cannot want sex. And once it is established that all good women hate sex, then it becomes easier to silence rape victims by conveying they ‘asked for it’.

It prevents women (and society and law makers) from seeing sex as an activity where women are equal participants. Often just their participation (and anything that leads to it) is seen as condemnable.

This also affects how widows, divorcees and rape victims are seen – as ‘used goods’. This obsession also leads to young women being killed if they are suspected of not being virgins.

Please think about it, how does virginity benefit women?

Maybe it assured a father (before the DNA testing days) that the first child he had with a virgin most probably did carry his genes – but isn’t there more to a man-woman relationship, doesn’t it indicate lack of trust and a lack of respect for the mother?

Maybe it also assured their partners that any sexually transmitted diseases they have, have been passed on by their other non-virgin partners. It also made it easier for their partners to pretend the woman was frigid.

Maybe it meant that many women never knew their bodies could not just produce babies and please their husbands, they could also be used for their own pleasure.

How is lack of knowledge and experience a ‘virtue’?

Now when women are marrying later than ever before, I wonder if it makes sense to wait to have sex until they are married. Who does it really benefit and why?

The article claims, “…there are many advantages of being a virgin. It is one of the most special gifts god has given you.”

Is Virginity a gift from god? Who is this gift meant for? Does this gift from god make women lead better lives?

Obsession with virginity affects children too. We worship mothers who have husbands (it is assumed that they were virgins till they were married), and condemn mothers who don’t – their children (boys or girls) are ostracized.

The articles lists these benefits for virgin women.

“No pregnancy fears:” – Readily available information about contraception would be a more practical option, though in some cultures married couples are advised abstinence to prevent pregnancy.

“No STDs:” Doesn’t this apply to men and women both? Today in India many married women and their children have AIDS. These women were virgins when they married and their non virgin (and not necessarily faithful) husbands passed on the virus to them. Some countries in Africa and other countries that obsess with women’s ‘purity’ face similar problems. If virginity was not such an issue, all these other related issues would not be brushed under the carpet and serious discussion would be possible.

“No emotional trauma of a relationship: Sometimes there is nothing left in a relationship after sex. Love is not all about sex so there are many things a couple can do without sex in a relationship. Remember, a sexual disappointment can make you feel hurt, lonely and angry.”

I would have thought knowledge and experience should help in such cases. And emotional trauma in a relationship is possible with or without sex, unless one of the partners insists on seeing virginity as a ‘gift from god’.

And does this imply that it is okay if there is no ‘relationship after sex’ for married couples?

Agree with there are many things that couple can do in a relationship – but didn’t understand why sex shouldn’t be one of those things, if both the partners want it and no coercion or emotional blackmail is used?

“Your man will feel so proud and happy: It’s a fact; most men still prefer a virgin woman. No guys want to think about his girl having sex with other guys. Even though virgin women are not sexually experienced, men still love them and feel more sexually excited. He will respect your innocence, and also there won’t be any arguments on your past relationships.”

Sexist generalizations. So a woman should stay a virgin to make a man ‘sexually excited’? (Such non-virgin intentions are innocent?) Also consider – what would make a man prefer a virgin? Fear of being compared to her other partners? What about the woman having similar concerns?

“You are pure as an angel: Virgins are probably one of the sanest people on earth. Most virgin women have morals and respect themselves. Also they take relationship and marriage very seriously.”

This made me wonder if this article intended to provoke reactions like this post.

Or, Poe’s Law?  (Thanks Natasha S 🙂 )

So do you think women and the society benefit from women ‘preserving their virginity’? How?

What do you think would change if such controls were not there?

Related Posts:

Why exactly do we disapprove of Live-in relationships and Premarital sex?
Driven by tradition, Kanjarbhat elders force Virginity tests.
Shameless – By: Priya Alika Elias, Ultra Violet, Indian Feminists Unplugged.
Great Things About Being A Dimwit – Women’s Web, Aparna
We like our virgins – Amit Sharma

128 thoughts on “Here’s why I think the society should not obsess over a woman’s virginity.

  1. Well I agree with ‘no STDs’ and ‘no pregnancy fears’. Pregnancy can be aborted but many STDs are dangerous and can sometimes slip through tests. But the rest of the stuff is the author talking out of his/her a**.

    ‘You are pure as an angel’: this is too much. 😀 Consider the fact that in Christianity and Islam (and I don’t know where else), angels are depicted as male forms, so women can be as impure as they want I say! Let the men try to remain ‘angelic’ and play their harps while they sit at home.

    Women are every bit as sexual as men are – it’s the social conditioning that hinders the expression of desires. Maybe that’s why it’s said that a feminist is good in bed! 😉


      • IHM, I have worked in the obstetrics department of a Government Hospital – Most women there found out that they had been infected with HIV at the time of their 1st trimester blood tests.
        All of them was married.
        Even though there was no way to prove it, I would bet any amount that the majority had acquired it from their husbands, and not an extra-marital partner.

        I can only imagine how shattering it must be when a newly wed first time mother has to face up to the news that her precious husband has given her more than just a baby.


        • Pre-marital abstinence can count as protection from STDs only if both men and women abstain.Also, the typical Indian attitude towards sex was probably cute back in the day but our sheer head-in-the-sand attitude has fanned the flames of AIDS all over the nation.
          Where as in western countries HIV is seen mostly in polygamous individuals with alternative lifestyles, and drug users, we in India need to face up to the strange statistics of HIV infections occurring mostly in married men and women!


        • I am not surprised at all. 80% of all women infected by AIDS in India were found to be married women in the first surveys done almost a decade back. It was found that the husbands were infecting their wives. If I remember correctly this was mentioned in a TIME magazine news article about spread of HIV in India.

          Of all infected women, only 1% were sex workers. So much for virginity.


        • My experience with HIV  patients is similar. 99% of positive women were virgin till marriage. Only one was an unfortunate unmarried child whose father had died of the disease.
          The most difficult problem I face is convincing the positive husbands who come secretly to my clinic to bring the wives. Many go on having unprotected sexual contact with unsuspecting wives. 
          During early days of ART ( anti retro viral treatment)  I have seen several. women becoming widows as 
          medicines were costly and  men start treatment late. 
          Husbands  keep their hiv status a secret till very late Later as Govt started supplying free ART  same women could be saved. Many  of them are working and  looking after their famiilies  Some are working as  counsellors for HIV patients. 


        • An Indian wife is supposed to accept anything her husband gives her with love and gratitude, even the HIV virus.

          A woman infected by her husband should shower him with love and devotion, conduct many poojas, and fast for five days and five nights.

          Even the mighty AIDS virus is no match against a devoted Indian wife.

          Did not Savitri bring Satyavan back to life? Then what chance does the a puny AIDS virus stand against a “pativrata nari”?


      • @IHM: I guess one of the reasons why men should remain virgins can also be STDs. The couple should get fully tested before going all the way, whether it’s a marriage or relationship. It might be offensive to ask the partner but it’s definitely necessary.


    • STIs are a threat but that is why safe sexual behavior by the girl/woman and boy/man needs to be promoted. People should be encouraged to use condoms. I hope female condoms will be the next big thing in India!


    • I would argue the other way round about STD’s. If we were not harping so much about virginity, a lot of men would not feel the need to satisfy their sexual hunger somewhere else from where they would pick up the STD. There would be lots more ‘healthy’ relationships but I would agree on the pregnancy part though. Or maybe when you are not married, you will be careful about it:P


      • Well that’s my point too-
        In societies where ‘virginity’ is upheld as a concept for both men and women (like in some American churches) the protection-against-STD argument makes some sense. NOT in India!

        it’s a waste telling Indian girls to be virgins until marriage. Their virginity is not going to protect them from their husbands sexual past.


  2. You are pure as an angel: Virgins are probably one of the sanest people on earth. Most virgin women have morals and respect themselves. Also they take relationship and marriage very seriously.
    IHM – Am I allowed to use the word bullshit on your blog, because this is precisely what I wanted to say on reading this !


  3. //“Your man will feel so proud and happy: It’s a fact; most men still prefer a virgin woman. No guys want to think about his girl having sex with other guys. Even though virgin women are not sexually experienced, men still love them and feel more sexually excited. He will respect your innocence, and also there won’t be any arguments on your past relationships.”//

    And isn’t life for a woman all about keeping men proud and happy and sexually excited?! *sarcasm*


    • Yeah right and us girls, we all like to think about our boyfriends and husbands having sex with other women. And tauba tauba if a my boyfriend or husband remains “innocent”, how will I respect him? :/
      Seriously this person’s arguments are just pathetic.


  4. TOI has really gone to the dogs (no offence to dogs, just a phrase). It think this article doesn’t warrant a polite rebuttal from you. This is by far was the WORST article I have EVER come across.
    You think we could do something and hold TOI answerable for publishing such articles repeatedly? I would like to be part of anything that protests such a demeaning image of women being portrayed by such actions of TOI.


    • That’s the problem: TOI wants the reader to think this is a fact-based “article” when in reality it’s a bigoted, reactionary, misogynistic opinion piece. Shame on TOI! What woman-hater is the editor there??


  5. Its astonishing. Women ‘s virginity is important for parents of 30 something single daughters… i mean come on…. in the mileu that i come from.. if the girl has boyfriend and has been going around with him and for some reason it doesn’t work out the first thing is aspersion on her sexuality and virginity even though she may not have slept with him.
    parents also keep warning their daughters… ‘ don’t do something to lose respect’ yep all those broad minded well educated parents..these same nice parents only teach their sons not to get a girl pregnant..not worried by their sexuality !
    I am 30 + i am still a virgin… simply becoz of lack of good sexual partner and a relationship ,fear of AIDS and STDs and just too much tension…sex is not worth all the that tension after it !


    • parents also keep warning their daughters… ‘ don’t do something to lose respect’ yep all those broad minded well educated parents..these same nice parents only teach their sons not to get a girl pregnant..not worried by their sexuality !

      I don’t think all these broad minded well educated parents will ask their sons to go ahead and have sex with every girl they see before marriage. I don’t parents will be happy if they know their son getting involved in such immoral activity.
      A virgin expecting another virgin as partner is nothing wrong.


  6. and as an aside, TOI is being irresponsible- their writers seem to write half-baked and malformed and total sensation creators .. ..TOI please don’t even attempt to write on social issues. We don’t need more perpetrators to spread this kind of nonsense on gullible, superstitious religious 80% Indian population. We have a lot of this nonsense already seeped into ‘culture’, religious doctrines and ‘saas bahu television’


  7. I had friends who were very doubtful when I asked then if they would be ok with a non-virgin wife? These were the very same guys who would not think twice before jumping in bed with a random woman before marriage.
    I feel really tired when I read such articles. Someone with a brain of the size of a peanut wrote this.
    There are no advantages of being a virgin, man or woman. I really do not understand how any sentence with “advantage” and “virgin” used together can make sense to anyone.
    You attain adulthood, you have certain organs of pleasure, you use them as you wish. It’s not a dinosaur skeleton which needs preservation.


  8. The author seems to belong to same category as the one who commentes on my article on how killing girl child is actually a evolution of nature on how to control population.

    Someone should ask the author did he find out if how wife was a virgin. And will he allow others to find out about the ladies in his house.

    I think mentality has gone for a six. I wonder is this where we are heading in India shining… Gee what sort of world are we making for future generation….

    What about sportswomen who lose theirs because of sports and not because of sex…

    Such absurd theories aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh….


    • We have double standards Bikram, a woman can be killed for doing something that is seen as normal for other people.
      Women are punished for having babies outside marriage basically because it shows they had sex outside marriage, (nobody comments upon the fact that there is a father also involved)
      On one hand we worship mothers on the other we forget that mothers who are not married to the father are also mothers.


  9. IHM, I love your analysis of the many insidious ways in which the emphasis placed on virginity can restrict women’s control of their own bodies and their own sexuality. In this country, women engaging in premarital sex, hell even enjoying post marital sex, is seen as a terrible thing; but no one ever stops to question why this is so, and what could be the consequences of such an attitude.
    As for the article, what can I say? It’s quite ridiculous really, but seems to reflect existing societal attitudes.


  10. I remember an old quote about virginity.
    “A major issue over a minor tissue”

    Another thought.
    If virginity is such a great thing, why only for women?
    For men, why is being a “Brahmacharya” not being encouraged with the same fervour?
    Double standards!

    Here is a favourite anecdote of mine.
    Cut to 1972-73
    Place : The conservative campus of Roorkee University where I was doing my Masters in Structural engineering.
    Background: all sorts of debates and discussions, seminars , awareness programmes etc on what exactly causes cancer (smoking?, tobacco chewing? and a large list)

    An uninhibited girl student, went around in a Tee – shirt that displayed the message “Virginity causes cancer”. She was probably pooh poohing the irrational fears that were being implanted in the minds of the public and also taking the opportunity to have some harmless fun.

    I remember the campus was divided into two groups
    1) Those who were shocked and scandalized (the majority)
    2) Those who were tickled pink

    I was a fence sitter!
    The girl was of course severely reprimanded and threatened with expulsion from the women’s hostel and her parents were summoned and lectured to by the warden. The issue was soon forgotton. I wonder where that girl is now. She must be a silver haired grandmother today.



  11. TOI, they really do enrage me. Where did they get all this nonsense!
    I don’t see any advantages of a woman being a virgin even for the man concerned. All this stress of being a virgin puts unnecessary pressure on women to preserve their virginity and in addition makes sexual pleasure seem like a male luxury. “Your man will be so proud and happy” and what about my poor little soul’s happiness.
    I just came back from a long vacation in Madagascar and curiously there people don’t care about a women’s virginity but about her fertility. Traditionally men leave women they are married to, if the first child is a girl, but a woman with a girl child is still more eligible for marriage again, than a woman with no child.
    Whether it is virginity or fertility it is only the woman who is concerned and the girl child seems universally unwanted!
    Good to be back in cyber world and good to read you IHM! You are kicking ass as efficiently as ever! (not that I doubted it!! 😀 )


  12. I agree with the premise of this article. Virginity always seemed to me like a false virtue, comparable to the false virtue created around innocence (~ immaturity) in some cultures. Personally, I have never seen any connection between character and virginity in a woman (or a man, for that matter). It is just a kind of fixation that has been given divine connotations, as a form of social control on people’s lives.

    A part of it could also be that a lot of inexperienced Indian men fear women’s sexuality, because they have been taught by their peers and ‘elders’ that a woman’s sexuality is destructible if left uncontrolled. That’d rather have an asexual woman, because she is ‘less threatening’ to their (~lack of) masculinity.


  13. A friend (male) posted this article on his facebook wall with the comment .. “TOI let paper” . Couldn’t be said better.
    Very nice analysis IHM, I would recommend all guys to read this.


  14. I think it is the patriarchal fear that if a woman is in control of her own sexuality, she will not be submissive. By the way, I think that responsible sex is good. With all the awesome birth control methods modern day science has given us, virginity is as outdated as the dinosaur, and should be left to go extinct


  15. Pingback: Driven by tradition, Kanjarbhat elders force Virginity tests. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  16. I have sometimes wondered if this emphasis on viginity isn’t meant to make women look forward to being married. If marriage is to be the only way to satiate what is a very natural urge, it becomes an attractive proposition. Sexual longing, together with unrealistic expectations stemming from inexperience, might well make women more eager to get married. It’s a bait the society sets up, and virginity makes it easier to make the women walk into the trap.


  17. Bravo!! marvellous blog on women’s issues.
    I’m a nerdish, middle-of-road type in science for 35 years, but lately have been advocating that sexual liberation (esp from judgement) is needed before economic freedom because educated girls are still controlled by all these expectations of self image – indoctrinated, however, unconsciously from childhood.
    Problem: So at what stage does one need to get into women’s minds to ‘liberate them’? Seems it goes right down to childhood. So how do we proceed and what can we do in schools, after school edu to raise consciousness, even among young girls/boys?
    Scientist (retd)


  18. Ah, the Toiletpaper of India, is there no end to your baseness?

    I found the outraged comments more amusing than the article. One commenter said, “Cancelling my subscription, I hope you all die.”

    Another wrote, “Bhootkalin Bharat ke dharowar hai aap.” 🙂


  19. Okay – the article is so blah that i thought I’ll do a bit of research on the author himself – Biben Laikhuram. Who is this person, I thought, who actually sat in front of a computer, and typed out not one, not two, but several, several sentences of such stupendous drivel? He’s a young buck; and once again, I suspect all his ‘womanly’ knowledge has come from eastman colour hindi movies where the heroine says to thunder claps ‘Mai maa bannewaali hun’.

    That this boy claims to be an English literature graduate pains me no end – he’s learnt to read and write English, but has never allowed literature, the best teacher, to errrr…penetrate his virgin mind. His resume says he writes on ‘sex and lifestyle’ and here is another of his ‘insights’ into women – …where he claims ‘women don’t bathe everyday’ and ‘women eat a hell lot’ and so on.

    Coming to the issue of virginity, I agree to all your points IHM. The fact that women can even think about sex sends everyone into a righteous rage. Women’s sexual independence has been supressed for centuries by religion (or rather by men representing religion/god), and this continues even today in many societies including ours. I blogged about the fact that we are a nation obsessed with sex – “We are either busy preventing normal adults from having sex, or we are busy pressurising normal adults to have sex – all depending on the marital status.”

    Yes, sex has to be decoupled with morality – IMO as long as a society is ‘religious’ this is not possible; because all religions view sex as an immoral act, and not as another emotional function. Hence the emphasis on celibacy, virginity, ‘prevention of temptation’ by not allowing women priests in churches, monk orders,temples, mosques and so on – BECAUSE sex is considered as a sin. And boy are we religious.


    • Here’s another one of his “literary masterpieces”.

      I think the Times of India has given this young man a national platform over which to broadcast his mediocrity and misogyny.

      Perhaps all that fear and dislike of women stems from sexual frustration and fear of the “Other”?

      Many men seem to desire women and dislike them at the same time. I have always felt that insecure men feel compelled to denigate women to bolster their self esteem and manhood.


  20. The thought that came to my mind after reading this so called article was “what a joke!” People write such trash, it gets published, it gets reaction. Crap which doesn’t deserve to be discussed, it shud only be laughed at.


  21. I was reading this in the newspaper today it sounded purely pathetic ! A woman’s sex life has is just a part of her and would be stupid to judge a women on that . And that pure as an angel line literally made me wanna puke ! Its time for us we get out of this mentality and look at things in a broader way


  22. One definition of Virgin in the Merriam Webster dictionary:

    4 a : a person who has not had sexual intercourse
    b : a person who is inexperienced in a usually specified sphere of activity

    Virgin is a gender insensitive word that’s been used only for women too often.

    We have a virgin writer here, IHM. The inexperience must be preserved?


  23. Omg seriously! Is TOI really as liberal as it claims to be?
    Virginity is a vague concept based on perceptions and myths, chiefly concerning female sexuality. There is no one physical trait that indicates virginity or sexual activity. Such misconceptions and myths have caused far too much harm for far too long. Why is it that if a woman expresses or lives out her desires in the same way as a man, in many situations she risks getting a bad reputation? Anyone who believes that a woman’s worth lies in her sexual behavior is according to me a totally screwed up that person. And for one thing not having sex until you marry isn’t a magical key to a “healthy” and pleasurable sex life.
    Each person has to make his or her own choices, and both having sex before marriage and abstinence until marriage are perfectly valid choices. So is being asexual. We need to educate and empower young people by providing comprehensive sexuality education instead of dishing out such nonsense.


  24. hmmm Young, stupid and a Writer… and Toi sinking lower . i wonder how much lower can it get?

    Virginity is the obsessions of a majority of parents, Mine are highly educated and supposedly open minded ,yet the first question my mom asked me when i told them about my then friend whom i wanted to marry was ‘ I hope you didn’t do any thng bad’ ?? Bad , really sex is bad and somehow miraculously after marriage it turns good??/

    They don’t want you to have sex with your boyfriend whom you know for a long time, love , are comfortable with and hope to marry but yet they are quite willing to arrange your marriage with a total stranger whom you know nothing about, have not spoken 100 words together and yet they expect you to do it with him about 12 hrs after the wedding!!!!! boggles the mind ..and what jars my brain is young men and women – supposedly educated, right thinking, all-knowing , with abandunt buddhi adn dhimaag future of our country willingly go along with this bullshit….ugggh


  25. This article seriously tops all the crappy articles you have linked on the blog so far! Though I am past that threshold where I do not fume on reading TOI articles, I do wish we do something to stop these articles from being published. How about a signature campaign against TOI for the plethora of such articles that get published time and again?
    I am sure TOI will be finding a huge audience that happily laps up this gyan, but I doubt that same audience reads and understand the points made on the blog.


  26. Virginity is given more than its fair share of importance in India. From, mothers who strictly tell their daughters how important it is to go on your nupital bed as a virgin… to TOI who now thinks its their moral responsibility to educate the women of India on the importance of this great virtue.

    If you are responsible and you know how to prevent unwanted pregnancies and STDs then by all means, as an adult, you should be allowed to conduct your private life as you please. Such restrictions will only create unnecessary expectations in the minds of the male and as IHM says… this leads to more that enough societal menaces.

    If these controls were not there, I think women would have been more aware and not under the paws of their husbands to please them. They would be able to decide what is important to them and have a say in their own life.


  27. TOI should publish an addendum to this “deep” article : ” Great things about being an imbecile”. And in that list they can say :
    1. You will find employment at TOI.
    2. Once employed at TOI, you will be surrounded by like-minded people, since everyone around you will also be an imbecile – could anyone ask for more ?
    3. TOI will ensure that your brain remains as is, since you will no longer be required to use it – whoopee!


    • Read this:

      The article carries a visual of a woman smiling, sitting on a potty, panty stretched between her legs.

      The comments are even more appalling. Here’s one:

      “True they survive on deo’s for a week at times! Even noticed that some of them hate to change their underwear for a week or so, yuck!”

      “Look how happy is woman sitting on toilet seat. From the photo accompanying this article we can also conclude that women smile at inappropriate time”

      Indiatimes — the gateway to unfettered misogyny. 😦


      • The writer has some weird, twisted reality of his own – severely misogynistic. The article is ridiculous and treats women like some kind of object or animal or plaything – talks of women like he was talking of his pet cat or hamster.


  28. I can’t say this for sure but I feel that sex is a form of addiction. Like alcohol, cigarettes, etc.

    As with other forms of addiction, people always seem to want more, are never satisfied with what they get and find it difficult to stay away from it too.

    This is irrespective of gender/marital status. Let me know your views on the same.

    Destination Infinity
    PS: Will this comment break the record for maximum thumbs-down (which I guess is also held by me) in this site? 🙂


      • Well, I am talking about both married and unmarried normal people (sorry for deviating from this topic). But then, as you said, the same can be applied for many more things in life – Like money, fame, etc. Also life itself?

        Destination Infinity


    • What you’re describing is sex addiction, a well known clinical condition in the Western world. It has to be treated through professional counseling. Normal people aren’t addicted to sex. One of the recently publicized cases was David Duchovny (of X-files fame).

      And the ‘addiction’ that you are describing is not the disorder that is seen in alcohol or tobacco addiction. When a person experiences unbearable physical/mental symptoms in the absence of that substance/experience, that is called addiction. Just ‘wanting’ sex is not being addicted to it, that’s normal. But putting your safety and health in danger to get it is a real addiction.

      (In my opinion, sex addiction is a load of bulls***, and people involved just need a good shake. It’s one of the conditions where I feel little sympathy for those involved.)


    • ‘Sex addiction’ is not recognised in classical psychology or any organised scientific disciplines. It is just a pop-psychology term used to shame people with an above-average sex drive or perhaps, lower sexual inhibitions. Something like using the word ‘slut’ to shame a woman who enjoys sex. Total bunkum.


    • sex addiction is now officially recognised as a personality disorder by psychology; and yes, people often get into therapy. I am not sure about the physiological aspects though; as in if there is something biologicaly skewed that would make one an addict. I suspect it is more of social factors – extreme repression, substance abuse etc; and sex addiction is often accompanied by other personality disorder symptoms.

      I don’t think there are any research-backed statistics that give a male/female ratio. You could have more men as addicts simply because in many social settings, they have more opportunity to have sex; that does not conclusively prove that women are not prone to such addictions.

      Yes, as with other addictions, the patient seeks out all opportunities to indulge in the activity, and yes, it has nothing to do with marital status. something becomes an ‘addiction’ when one craves for it over and over again, so much so the day-today routine is completely neglected in search of indulgence. When I say day-to-day routine it literally means that – at the point of neglecting even personal hygiene, food – the patient’s entire energy is focused on satiating the craving.

      to that extent, someone’s focus on money, fame etc can at best be an obsession and not an addiction as defined by psychology.

      but…I am not sure about the context of your comment; and the reason why you got so many thumbs down 🙂 did i miss something?


  29. Truckloads of terrible crap. I’ve discontinued reading TOI ever since it became a page3 paper. But they still have quite a number of readership. So according to this amazing revelation, only women need to protect theirs and not men? Why is that? And what if its accidentally lost? Women are all over the place, doing field work, computers, building, talking, playing, planning, running here and there to get things done. They are bound to lose it sometime. What then? Are they not pure enough even though they haven’t had sex? And what about pleasing the self huh? Is that sex or not? Or may be we’ll have to wait for the sequel to this gem, saying how un-moral and dirty it is please oneself. For men, oh how will they control it, it’ll affect their health? OR it’ll come out anyway. Gimme an effing break.
    I think the society fears the strength of women. We can see the changes, now that she’s getting out of the house and making her own world. What will happen if all these religious and moral bull shit is not there to control her? She’ll obviously become out of control and then all this Patriarchical shit will come tumbling down.
    This still doesn’t mean that one should go around having sex with every other person of the opposite sex. But if they really want to, it’s their wish. They must be the bosses of their bodies. If you don’t like it stay away from it.


  30. It looks like the trap of author is successful.Here are some of the other articles of the author

    The author very well know human psychology..Words like Sex,sexual positions,virginity, masturbate,orgasm ,gay,lesbian etc attract humans like crazies.Majority of people out of curiousity read what is written in the article.If the article they found appropriate to their thinking they will praise it and share it links with others.The one who found these articles offensive will also share link ,in other words a win win situation for writer


  31. For all his ‘knowledge’ about women, the author failed to mention one thing (or maybe he just doesn’t know?)…sexual activity is not the only way for a woman to loose her ‘virginity’. It can occur through an accident or injury, heavy gymnastics, improperly done medical examinations and such like. Some women aren’t even born technical virgins! So what happens when such a woman marries a man who wants a ‘chaste’ wife and how do we measure such a woman’s ‘chastity’?!


    • whats all this with losing virginity by playing? so many are saying it. sorry for my ignorance but i thought u lose virginity after having sex? i asked my friends bt they dnt know


      • Hi N,
        I think what Ada means is the presence of a hymen. Presence of the hymen is said to be the test of virginity and it tears when one has intercourse for the first time. However, the hymen can also tear when you engage in sports such a bicycling, gymnastics etc. Also, some women are born without a hymen. So going by the technical definition of virginity, you can lose your virginity by playing.


  32. IHM, the post remains incomplete without discussing how are women supposed to remain virgins if men are not ? Virginity is one of the last pillars of an ancient culture we try to uphold. People who claim there is so much to India and its culture should try and understand what is it about the culture that makes all those peace seeking foreigners come to India. Virginity isnt it.

    While saving your virginity for a meaningful relationship is a good thing, that relationship need not be marriage or need not lead upto marriage. People meet, they fall in love, the story doesnt always end happily ever after.

    We live in an age when the idea of marriage itself is being questioned. Women are finally breaking their shackles and actually getting noticed. The article was a vain attempt at protecting our pseudo culture but was surprising from a paper like the TOI.


  33. The reason why patriarchal society has a sick obsession over the virginity of women is very simple.

    A woman without any sexual experiences does not have well-defined preferences and specific expectations in this sphere. A poor lover can go without worrying about being attractive enough and his partner is made to believe that this is the best she could get. In other words, a man is perceived as the only party deserving satisfaction from sex.

    A woman as a commodity has always the highest value when “new”. It’s like buying a car straight from the factory vs. a second-hand purchase. Men in patriarchal societies are proud of their posessions. Especially when no one else can have them.

    Sexually experienced woman is dangerous in two ways – first of all, she develops knowledge on issues which men prefer to benefit from. Second, she will carefully evaluate her potential lover’s qualities before granting “exclusive access”. Finally, she is no longer a trophy, no fearful clueless girl and has no problems with rejecting partners who do not stand up to her standards in bed and outside it.


  34. This article somehow reminded me of the old joke : “How would you know if Olive Oil is a virgin and how can it be extra?” I think the female virginity concept is as ridiculous as well. Isn’t it interesting that morality seems to be something very closely linked to the status of affairs between one’s legs? Would make that morality terribly suspect too.


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  36. @ EM
    While Indian obsession for virginity is over-the-top, the average heterosexual male’s desire for virginity is far more complex. An American Manosphere activist, Ferdinand Bardamu explains this here. His language is pretty harsh, in a classic American style MRA lingo, but he makes a few good points against the usual “men don’t want to be compared” argument.


  37. I had a bad breakup with my boyfriend a couple of years ago and refused to get married to anyone because I wanted to take my own time. However, the great-Indian-relatives wouldn’t let me be (I’m nearing my 30s)! One of my aunts, who is a qualifed doctor, called me up and started counselling me on marriage and why I must get married ‘at the right time.’ When I resisted several times, she asked me if “(my ex) ‘spoiled’ me!” I often wonder what is the role of education in the lives of such people.


  38. It’s an obsession with controlling female sexuality. Notice how when someone spouts the “benefits” of virginity, it’s always obvious they are really only talking about the women.

    Being a virgin just means not having had sex. There’s any number of things you may never have done, yet few of them are considered to magically make you into a “purer” more moral person.

    Are you a better person in any way if you have never jumped in a parachute ? If you’ve never spoken french ? If you’ve never visited Africa ? If you have yet to experience the wonder that is windsurfing ? If you’ve never danced ? If you’ve never whistled ? If you’ve never tasted potato-dumplings ?

    There’s this thinking, even if people seldom put it so clearly, that women are *property*. They belong to their parents, then when they get older, the bride gets “given away” to the husband. Her sexuality included. It’s for the benefit of family and husband. She isn’t allowed to use her own body for purposes of her own. If she sleeps with her boyfriend for no other reason than simply wanting to do that, then she is depraving a future husband of his property. Her body and her sexuality, you see, does not really belong to her.

    It’s nonsense ! Women, like all people, belong to themselves. Aslong as their actions do not harm others, they are perfectly moral and perfectly pure. Indeed two people loving eachother and being nice to eachother is among the best life has to offer.


  39. Pingback: 13 things Indian Misogynists believe about men’s mothers and sisters. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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  41. “You are pure as an angel: Virgins are probably one of the sanest people on earth. Most virgin women have morals and respect themselves. Also they take relationship and marriage very seriously.”
    Makes me think – All those women who have lost their virginity to their husbands have now become insane and immoral and have lost all respect for themselves 😛 … Probably the strongest argument against marriage for women


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  45. All are hypocrites here (in this comments) who are basically guilty of loosing their virginity and hence commenting to reduce that guilt… And people who question the education levels of people who question their virginity status – what was your education level when u slept like a *** ? What was your education level when u were selecting the wrong partner ???

    Well I am pretty young – 27 years – and was talking the same way as many others here… I was telling people – “I dont really wanna marry a virgin” and all the shit… That is until I got to develop feelings for a girl… The moment I realized the girl is not a virgin – my respect on her came crashing down… I then reinvented myself and realized that it is something inborn in EVERY MALE… I am sorry Ms.Feminists – thats pure biology…

    I challenge men who commented adversely on preserving virginity – Would you marry a non-virgin girl (Not talking about widow / innocent divorcee – but a girl who willingly indulged in consensual premarital sex) without considering her past ? Or would you willingly accept your daughter-in-law / son-in-law who is a “slut” in your eyes ?

    Having consensual premarital sex is an act MOST SELFISH in itself… You just care about pleasing ONE ORGAN in your body and for that you are going to throw away your parents hopes and probably going to hide this to your future spouse… If you really love someone so much that you are ready to have sex – then why not marry them first and then have sex ? What prevents you from doing it ? Deep within YOU WANT JUST SEX and nothing more… Now what is your education level ?

    How is that after having sex several times a person suddenly appears bad that you should leave him ? If you leave him, is it love in the first place ? Would you not struggle until you are alive to change that person from going on the bad track ? If you are not willing to do that WHERE THE HELL IS LOVE ?

    I had analyzed pretty deep- what exactly runs in a girls mind – who had sex before wedding..When these girls told “I Love You” to the other guys it just meant “I am in Lust” – nothing more… For if she had loved him, she would do whatever it takes to get him irrespective of the objections from her family… You dissect her mind and you will find out this – “I have had great sex with this guy – I am thankful for the great sex he gave.. Now it is time to move on and find a guy who will “Provide” me social security and respect in society..” – You are the guy who are going to provide her all the money, social security, children etc… while you dont get to enjoy her youth, beauty and her complete self… The same thing applies for “slutty” guys too…

    A virgin should and must drop any such proposals from a non-virgin at any cost… No it is not a question of Inability, inefficiency, insecurity, jealousy or ego – that you should run away from a non-virgin… It is a question of values and ethics… It is a question of adherence to culture that nurtured you.. It is a question of respect that he/she chose to throw away… If they have not respected their body enough to preserve themselves what is the need for us to respect them ?

    A non-virgin person cannot love like a virgin… A virgin’s love is PURE AND UNADULTERATED… And hence Virginity is associated with purity… Having sexual relationships before marriage does make you impure and highly immoral…

    Consider this .. There is a new born kid and he grows up recognizing his mom/dad. Suddenly this kid is introduced to a new set of parents – will the kid really love the new parents the way he loved his mom/dad ? This is same in case of love… These selfish sect of people who have sex before (no control on their senses) will think only about themselves… Few of them say they slept because they loved and trusted the partner – this is what happens… They cannot love the next with all their heart atleast as much as they did with the first one… What is the point ? Just for pleasing one organ of your body you chose to ditch love ? Are your priorities not skewed ? Who needs more education then ?

    And with guys who “dont mind” marrying non-virgin girls… You guys are the best hypocrites… If you really dont mind marrying such girls it probably means you want to have affairs outside marriage or probably blinded because she is physically attractive… remember – soon after a delivering a kid – Indian girls have the tendency to bloat… Her hair will start falling sooner than you expect… Her skin may develop wrinkles fast… And her attractive parts are going to sag… Now tell me – if she becomes this – would you accept her that way without thinking about her past? Would you accept her without hesitation ? Would you accept her without you getting upset about the fact that other guys enjoyed her body, youth and beauty for FREE and you are expected to maintain her in spite of her becoming unattractive ? Could you ? And even if you could, tell me would you be comfortable telling your kid that his/her mom had someone else inside her ? It is not just about the sex alone… It is about everything – the sharing of emotions, the conversations, the freshness and the youthfulness…She has given it all to someone else – Can you live with these ? If you can, then hands down – you can very well marry a non-virgin girl… But when you say you dont mind all these – are you not lying ? I expect ccertain standards in a girl I wish to cherish the whole of my life – and the primary standard is she being a virgin…. AND I AM PROUD TO SAY I AM A VIRGIN AND NEED ONLY A VIRGIN ..

    Having said this – Virginity is equally important for both guys and girls… I dunno how girls think and hence I put it all from a guys perspective… But if you yourself had sex before and you want to marry a virgin – then that is awfully bad… You have no right to demand a virgin when you are not one… But if you are – then by all means DEMAND and GO ONLY for a virgin… You wont regret later…

    Everybody are good in sex – and a virgin would be as great as a non-virgin after the first few times of sex… Virgin may be better than non-virgin in the bed cuz there are no emotional baggages from the past… A virgin would have a cleaner conscience and healthy emotions – a prerequisite for great sex… Sex is not a rocket science and a virgin can excel in that with a little practice..


    • Stupidity, misogynism at best! Wrong interpretation of relating “Sex” to “Educational Level”. It’s not. Calling sexual needs as “lust” shows you’ve no understanding of evolutionary perspectives of human life, not to talk of the role of gender sensitivities. The real truth is “sex” is a baser instinct. It can manifest itself in a variety of ways – and this also explains why some people prefer homosexuality rather than heterosexuality. “Virginity of women” and associated connotations are simple plain practice of domination by a patriarchal society making it a reason to restrict a woman’s physical mobility, and controlling her emotions by not letting her attach to (emotionally, and then physically) to someone. Argument is misguided. Sociological perspectives are ignored. Such segregation is good or bad? I don’t know. But seeing the rising incidences of Rape, and Sexual Assaults on Women (Read Justic Verma Report 2013), it is clear this approach is not working. The question is how much time it will take before Indian “(un)Civilised” society hammers home the point that should an approach which has evidently been a historic fail, must continue?
      The answer is very clear – Sex Education be encouraged which helps a great deal to undo the idea of women becoming objects of “sexual and anatomical” curiosity. Give freedom to girls and boys to make their own decisions. Let them have control of their lives. Externalising guilt and internalising helplessness won’t help the society.

      True the metaphor – “A big issue over a minor tissue”


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  54. I would like to add a vital point to your post. The fact that men, by virtue of their promiscuity, are giving women STDs, is not only because they are sexually active, but also because, most women are not. Hence, men need to take recourse to sex workers, who are, in India, sometimes not in a position to take care of their health and ensure protection for themselves against STDs. The sad part is that women are looked upon as property still, and virginity is like the price tag.


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  66. virginity should be a choice and not enforced to society and please no double standards.if you want a virgin girl you should be a virgin too. This double standard gives a reason for all the bad things.If a man before marrying sleeps with 10 girls he should not even think of a virgin wife.
    Virginity is preffered in all religions as it created men and women with no emotional baggage who easiely bonded each other. Patriarchy corrupted it.only on women with no restriction on women.
    If the bride is a sati savitri she desreves a brahmchari.


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  71. Why a women who calls herself mordern and liberal enough to engage in pre- marital sex goes for a traditional concept like arrange marriage and then expect that she should not be questioned about her virginity….??
    Isn’t this hippocracy????

    Whether such ” mordern ” girl like it or not…. A virgin girl would always be preferred over non- virgin girl for marriage and life long love….


    • Why a women who calls herself mordern and liberal enough to engage in pre- marital sex goes for a traditional concept like arrange marriage and then expect that she should not be questioned about her virginity….??
      Isn’t this hippocracy????

      IHM : Do men experience similar questioning in ‘traditional’ concepts?

      Whether such ” mordern ” girl like it or not…. A virgin girl would always be preferred over non- virgin girl for marriage and life long love….

      IHM: Why do you think are sexually inexperienced women preferred?


  72. Pingback: An email: “Even after marriage, he shows absolutely zero interest in me. It’s been SEVEN years.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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