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Charles Nwaolisa: Price for Virginity… in Dollars

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Growing up, I had this notion that virginity was a virtue and one that should be guarded at all costs. Guys were told to be careful (no one really cares about the virginity of a man). Little girls, on the other hand, were advised by parents and guardians to keep their legs closed and remain a virgin till the wedding night. “Your future husband will respect you more if you are a virgin on your wedding night” was and continues to be the most used line in the Stay-A-Virgin-Till-Marriage syllabus taught by elders.
Virginity used to be a virtue. Virgins were regarded as special and treated as such. Parents took pride in telling prospective suitors the virginity of their young girls. Men were very proud of their “untouched” wife and told anyone that cared to listen.

Mothers were proud to display their “I was a virgin till I got married” placard whenever advising teenagers on sex. Bride prices for these virgin brides were padded to include ‘virginity fees’. A virgin bride was treated with respect and accorded royalty status. Respect accruable from remaining a virgin until marriage was more than for a girl who graduated with a first class in Medicine and found the cure for AIDS.

Virginity was priceless.

Priceless until sexual decadence crept in and eroded our moral values. Porn is readily available on the internet. Sugar daddies are becoming fashionable. Prostitution is slowly becoming a formal business transaction (money for sex). Homosexuality has become socially and legally acceptable in many countries in the world.

Virginity, like the last child of the family, has finally been caught up in the new-generation-menace. Girls are no longer proud of being virgins. It’s become a thing of ridicule and shame. In the words of a friend, Cynthia, “Everyone thinks I am sexually active because of how I dress and act. You are one of a few people that know that I am a virgin. Please keep it that way. No one should know”. She was more afraid of people realizing she’s a virgin than she was of death. Shocking.

Virginity formerly priceless now had a price.

Sometime in 2012, one Catarina Migliorini caused a morality storm online by putting her virginity on sale. The 20-year-old Brazilian woman auctioned off her virginity which fetched as much as $780,000.

To make matters worse, earlier this year, another virgin, an 18-year-old model sold her virginity at an auction for 2.3 million euros ($3.5 million).
Virginity is now up for sale.

One might think ‘virginity for sale’ was a Western world phenomenon but that school of thought would end up wrong if tested in African waters.

Spending time in one of the Southern states in Nigeria, I was informed that sleeping with a virgin would put a dent in my pockets.

“What do you mean by sleeping with a virgin would put a dent in my pocket”, I inquired.

“Sleeping with a virgin girl is sort of a business in Urhobo land. Once the virgin girl tells her parents that you are the one that deflowered her, you would be made to pay between N10,000 ($28) and N50,000 ($140) depending on your financial stature for her virginity”, he said.

I found it hard to believe so I conducted my own research on the subject topic. After informally interviewing about 5 mothers and 10 girls, my finding on the sale of virginity was more baffling than I had expected.
All the girls informed me of how much the boys/men that deflowered them had to pay and the mothers insisted on collecting the ‘virginity’ price. It was not negotiable.

A mother proudly telling me that she had told her four daughters that any man that took their virginity must pay N100,000 ($280) for their virginity was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Virginity was up for sale even in Africa.

Then as if planned, I was shown a scripture in the Bible which more or less approved the act. Deuteronomy 22:16-17 reads, “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to anyone and has sex with her, he must pay the customary bride price and marry her. But if her father refuses to let him marry her, the man must still pay him an amount equal to the bride price of a virgin”. The Bible approved a bride price for virgins?

So where do we go from here?

Is religion in support of a price for female virginity?

Is it okay for society to dictate the sexuality of a woman and not that of a man?

Do virgins derive more respect from prospective suitors than non-virgins?

Who stands for those innocent ones that lost their virginity without their will?

Is it better for a girl to get paid for her virginity or lose it to just any heartbreaking scumbag?

Why is female virginity controlled and male virginity not even given a mention?

Should virginity be rewarded in the community to encourage absolute sexual abstinence?

Do we really owe anyone the explanation of how and what we do with our virginity?

I hope I get definite answers to these questions, but I’m not holding my breath in expectation.

Photo Credit: Olena Yakobchuk | Dreamstime

Charles Nwolisa is a Relationship Advisor and Writer whose self-styled 'lomour' articles infuses humour into love write-ups making relationship talks not as depressing and soul searching as writers make it look. Join in his adventure by ffl on IG: @bae.logic or visiting www.TheBAElogic.com.

28 Comments

  1. Nahum

    November 5, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Charles, how’s about you mind your business? Women do not owe you any answers for anything pertaining to our bodies. You HAVE to have better things to occupy your thoughts than a woman’s virginity. What is with you African men and policing women’s bodies? Una no get work??? This is why we can’t be great!! Our so called men are busy sticking their noses up our hoo haa instead of being great

    • Nito

      November 5, 2017 at 10:56 pm

      Relax nahum, its just an article and a question. Don’t twist it into something else.
      While at it please can you answer this simple question below.
      Why is female virginity controlled and male virginity not even given a mention?

    • June

      November 6, 2017 at 12:22 am

      So @ Nahum , this is all that you could get from this article ? Sad much! This is a brillant piece. Open your mind and join the conversation !

    • Charles Nwolisa

      November 7, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Hi Nahum, Women do not owe me or anybody any explanation pertaining to their bodies. That’s you answering the 2nd question on my list of questions. So thanks.
      I really wonder why Africans “police” a woman’s body and sexuality. In Chimamanda Adichie’s words, “In Africa,…..we police girls, we praise girls for virginity, but we don’t praise boys for virginity, and it’s always made me wonder how exactly this is supposed to work out because…I mean, the loss of virginity is usually a process that involve a boy and a girl”.
      She made a good point and one I was looking forward to broach by writing the article. Why the hell does not one care if I am a virgin or not but are bothered about that of a girl?
      So my dear, we are on the same page. Relax. Let me enjoy my moment on Bella Naija..lol

  2. tara

    November 5, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Another article by a man talking about the “virtue” of a woman. If you are so concerned about the virginity of women then teach men to keep their penis’ wrapped up. Then everyone can remain ‘pure”

    • Arat

      November 6, 2017 at 11:24 am

      Its clear you didn’t read this article.

    • Charles Nwolisa

      November 7, 2017 at 6:35 pm

      Hi Tara (I love your name, really do), Seeing a man seek for a virgin’s hand in marriage after using other people’s daughters to play ludo is a very sad sight. Amadioha is warming up for such men. So my dear, I am actually fighting for girls’ right by writing the piece. Why can’t men be more concerned about their sexuality and leave a woman’s body alone? Let’s all be virgins and let everyone mind their gender business (if any such term exists). Thanks for the comment Tara (lovely name).

  3. Grace

    November 5, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    When I heard of the girl that auctioned her virginity, I felt cheated. Someone made millions of Euros for something I did because of love. I really felt like collecting my virginity back and auctioning it.

    You’d be surprised that there are a lot of virgins and decent people, they are just not loud.

    • Cynical

      November 6, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      @ Grace, are you ok…… Lol ??. But you made me think o..,.. All that money…,…. but na,if I had to do it again, I’ll still do it for love,there’s no price on that.

    • Charles Nwolisa

      November 7, 2017 at 6:43 pm

      Hi Grace, I sent this article to a few friends for scrutiny before posting on Bella Naija and one of them said what you just said verbatim..lol. She even added that she might have a shop in Lekki with the money she could have made. I couldn’t stop laughing. So Grace, maybe they (Nigerian men) would have priced your own for one gala and La Casera or a movie ticket in Silverbird Cinemas. not millions of Euros. Just be happy you had a virginity to lose, some of your mates died virgins. Who virginity epp self?
      Thanks for the comment.

  4. Mohammad

    November 5, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Which kain stupid article be dis? My friend goan find beta work.

    • Engoz

      November 6, 2017 at 1:36 am

      It’s like BN is on a mission to kill brain cells. A grown ass man is preoccupied with virginity in 2017??? In a world where teenagers are talking about artificial intelligence? Jesus freaking Christ!!!

      So the author wants to tell me he needs a degree in rocket science to figure out that the fraudulent one sided pseudo morality of patriarchal cultures is the reason for all the questions he’s throwing to the public?

    • Charles Nwolisa

      November 7, 2017 at 6:45 pm

      Bros Mohammad, I no for mind submit CV o. Writing about virginity no dey pay…lol
      Thanks for the comment bro.

    • Charles Nwolisa

      November 7, 2017 at 6:53 pm

      @Engoz. Bros bros. “Pseudo morality of patriarchal cultures”?? The grammar is too big for my comprehension, literally had to Google it to understand your point (still don’t understand) but please I am not preoccupied with virginity in 2017 bro..lol. I am just stunned that people still are about it in 2017. Attack them when you see them. Please let me drink water and drop cup.
      Thanks for the comment bro. Comment na comment.

  5. Ross

    November 5, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    I think your problem stems from the illusion a lot of Africans live under; namely, that Africans are morally more upright than ‘Westerners’. If you didn’t have this wrong notion to start with, you won’t be so surprised.

    • Charles Nwolisa

      November 7, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Ross, I think Africans are more morally upright than “Westerners” if not for anything but the fact that we still reject same sex marriage to say the least. It doesn’t make us better than them in anyway but this is definitely not the platform to have that discourse. The article has nothing to do with African or Western values but the “attention” of both to female virginity. I am surprised and so should you. Thanks for the comment Rick sorry Ross.

  6. OJ

    November 5, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Somebody sell virginity for 2.3m euros, is crude oil deposit down for exploration or what?

    • Charles Nwolisa

      November 7, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      Bros OJ, in Omawumi’s voice “if you ask me, na who I go ask?”
      Wonders they say shall never end.
      Thanks for the comment bro

  7. Onetallgirl

    November 6, 2017 at 1:39 am

    This is a very interesting article! Charles, I’m no expert, but I will try to answer your questions:
    1. It is not okay for society to dictate the sexuality of women. Sexuality depends on the woman not society or family. Frankly, its nobody’s business when it comes to a women’s sexuality and I dont understand why society cares so much.
    2. I can’t speak for all religions but I can speak for the Catholic Church, since I’ve been a member for over 20 years, the catholic church is NOT in support of a price for female virginity, there is no mention of the price of female virginity anywhere in Catholic teaching.
    3. Although I am a virgin, I don’t think virgins should be more respected than non-virgins. God created everyone equally. Everyone deserves the small amount of respect whether they are rich or poor, tall or short, black or white, virgin or not a virgin.
    4. For those who are innocent and were deflowered against their will, they should have to support of family and friends as well as society to speak up for and support them.
    5. It is not okay for a women to sell her virginity or lose it to a scumbag.
    6. I don’t understand why female virginity is controlled so much and not man. Sorry Charles can’t answer that one.
    7. I dont think rewarding virginity in the community would encourage absolute sexual abstience. People are going to sex if and when they want to, whether you like it or not.
    8. You dont owe anyone a DAMN explanation about your virginity, it’s your own DAMN business!
    ?

    • Charles |Nwolisa

      November 7, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      Hi Onetallgirl, I hope this your name is a true expression of your height. First of all, I would like to appreciate the time you took to answer the questions I asked. You are the real MVP. Thanks.
      My reply to them:
      1. I agree with you but if you say so then you should be all in support of same sex marriage because it’s their life not ours or that of the society. Very touchy subject my dear.
      2. Makes sense. Never heard such too in my own church doctrines.
      3. Totally agree.
      4. Totally agree.
      5. Totally agree.
      6. I think because the female body is “valuable”. People pay for it. People auction it. People trade it for money. People use it for bill boards. People use it to sell porn. People use it to promote their music videos. Turn on your TV for ten minutes and I doubt you would’t see one. Who cares about a man’s body? Even men don’t. Anything of value has a prize. Maybe that’s why. Are they right? Hell no. Does it happen? Hell yes.
      7. I stand to be corrected but I think it might. Many people have devalued virginity (doesn’t matter anymore) that’s why many teenagers really don’t care anymore. A girl once told me that she’s finding dating hard because no one wants to date a virgin like her. Another said she’s even ashamed of telling people she is a virgin. Just imagine (let’s just imagine) that both were given an award for remaining virgins, you think they won’t be proud? I stand corrected.
      8. Gbam. Totally agree.

      Thanks again for the comment. Really appreciated.

  8. AceOfSpades

    November 6, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Charles should have known better than bring this topic here. If it was men auctioning virginity for 3.2m or whatever, women will still fight that there’s so much importance attached to male virginity while no one mentions the female virginity. So it’s a lose lose situation if a man talks about female virginity.

    At the end of the day, is it your virginity? Why are you concerned with someone selling it or not?

    • Charles |Nwolisa

      November 7, 2017 at 7:25 pm

      Hi AceofSpades, the whole point of bringing the topic to this platform instead of simply putting it up on my blog was to get a wider audience to join in the discourse. But so far, only one person has answered the questions the topic brought up. Is it my virginity? Of course not but I will have a daughter(s) one day and I want to be able to tell her that her virginity should not be society determined. Can I really say that with a fact? I very much doubt that.
      Thanks for the comment bro.

  9. Dear Engoz

    November 6, 2017 at 9:50 am

    @Engoz its his preoccupation, not yours. Next time you want to cuss, please do keep that name out of it. Thank you.

    • Engoz

      November 6, 2017 at 11:32 am

      His ‘preoccupation’….presented on a public forum begging for a discussion. If you guys don’t want your ‘preoccupations’ dissected, kindly keep it to yourself. If you don’t see anything wrong with a grown ass man preoccupied with the genital status of people in 2017, then I also question your mental state. The educational state in Nigeria must have finally gone to the dogs. Also Jesus is for everyone. Use your own Jesus as you like. Thank you!

  10. steph

    November 6, 2017 at 10:12 am

    your article is very interesting and its unfortunate the women of today are throwing away all their moral values. however the passage of the bible you quoted does not address this, please check again

    • Charles |Nwolisa

      November 7, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Hi Steph, I agree with you. You really know your Bible.
      Thanks for the comment bro.

  11. Enn

    November 6, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    About the bible verse that seemingly approves of putting a price on Virginity.
    All things in the Bible are fact(they actually happened) doesn’t mean you are meant to follow everything that everyone did. The bible documented both the good and the bad stuff that happened. It’s up to you to be truly open to the interpretation of the the spirit and use ur discretion to know what applies to where/what.
    That’s the old testament, I’m not saying it’s not valid but Jesus came to teach us to depart from the old ways of religion which had a lot of wrong notions & hypocrisy(New Testament).
    Be honest with yourself and stop using bible verses out of context, it doesn’t help anyone at all.

    • Charles |Nwolisa

      November 7, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      Hi Enn, All you said is the truth. I threw that in to help show the religious side of things. I totally agree with you and in being honest with myself, that passage wasn’t entirely used out of context, if you read it well. It is just as old and outdated as using “an eye for an eye”. I am sure you get what I mean. Thanks for the comment.

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