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Cisi Eze: The Virginity Fraud

Cisi Eze

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We have heard of how we (women) are encouraged to tighten our vaginas via steaming. From the requirements (ingredients) and procedure, it would seem as though we have to cook our private parts. Asides this, we hear constant sex widens the vagina. People who say this easily forget the path they came from. Several amusing claims revolve around this body part. The most salient, so far, is the idea of virginity.

What makes one a virgin? Virginity is “the state of never having had sexual intercourse.”

This brings us to the definition of sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is “sexual contact between individuals involving penetration, especially the insertion of a man’s erect penis into a woman’s vagina, typically culminating in orgasm and the ejaculation of semen.”

Most people say the presence of the hymen indicates virginity. Nevertheless, hymen varies in size, and consistency from one girl to another, just as the male sex organs differs in size from man to man.  The hymen is a thin membrane that surrounds the opening to the vagina. (You might want to read up the different types of hymens.)

These definitions are very problematic, as sex is only valid when a penis penetrates a vagina. A sizable number of women claim they do not have orgasms via penetrative sex. Penetrative sex is useless to them. They are biologically programmed that way. Oral sex does it for them, pun unintended. Do we invalidate their orgasms and experiences because it happens in the absence of a man’s erect penis?

I have more questions:

If we agree that sexual intercourse is only valid in the presence of a penis and vagina, why do we get angry with people who engage in same-sex sexual relations? It inhibits procreation, some would say. But how about couples who use birth control?

Penetration also takes place when a woman masturbates with a sex toy. What if she tears her hymen while masturbating? Would we consider her a “virgin” even though she tore her hymen and had an orgasm all by herself?

What happens if her hymen gets torn when a man pleasures her with his fingers, not his penis? Would we still call her a virgin? We can say she had a sexual experience with a man. It is a sexual experience because her sex organ is involved.

Some women have torn their hymens through activities such as sports and dancing. Do we say they are no longer virgins due to the absence of a hymen?

To keep their hymens, some women decide to enjoy orgasms via manual sex (hand job), oral sex, and anal sex with their partners. Should we consider them virgins, even after they have experienced the joys of sex?

Would these women go for oral and anal sex if they were born with an absent hymen?

Not all women were born with hymens. Would we call these women virgins, even when they have not had sex?

Some women’s hymens return to normal after childbirth. Would we call them virgins because they have hymens, even when we know they are very sexual?

By what figment of imagination can we profess that the hymen was created to block the passage of the male sexual organ when it seeks to penetrate through the external genital organs of the female into the vagina, during the period prior to marriage? – Nawal El Saadawi, “The Hidden Face of Eve.”

Is virginity a yardstick of morality? If it is a moral code, why does it apply to only one group of people? Moral codes should apply to everyone without discrimination. Else, where is the morality if it is not just?

There are many questions and when you consider it, virginity is but a concept created to stifle women’s sexuality. The moment we erase the insistence on female virginity, we would have a large population of women who are willing to have sex before marriage. Women would not have to protect the useless tissue that lies betwixt our thighs. Who knows, women would not imagine sex is something that has to be given, and men would not see sex as something to be taken. Sex would start being seen as what it truly is – an intercourse, an exchange.

To heighten women’s sexual dependence on men, society invented the trifecta of slut-shaming, virginity, and circumcision. Why is society scared of sexually independent women? Without these three – slut-shaming, virginity, and circumcision, women would be able to have sex with men who are not their husbands. Coupled with financial independence, women would be able to raise children without having husbands. Inadvertently, children would trace their origins through their mothers. Is society scared of a matriarchy? When you spin a narrative over a long period, it embroideries itself into the collective psyche of a group of people. Time and consistency can turn a lie into truth. This is the case with the issue of virginity. Virginity is a fraud.

P.S. Some people believe nature gave women hymens as a way of proving virginity. “The anatomical and biological constitution of human beings, whether men or women, can have no relation to moral values. Moral values are a product of social systems (…) imposed by the ruling class with the aim of serving certain economic and political interests. (…) The biological characteristics of the body are aimed at fulfilling certain physiological functions related to the protection and maintenance of life.” – Nawal El Saadawi

Photo Credit: © Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime.com

Cisi Eze is a Lagos-based freelance journalist, writer, comic artist, and graphics designer. She feels strongly about LGBT+ rights, feminism, gender issues, and mental health, and this is expressed through her works on Bella Naija and her blog – Shades of Cisi. Aside these, she has works on Western Post NG, Kalahari Review, Holaafrica, Mounting the Moon, Gender IT, Outcast Magazine, Rustin Times, 14: An Anthology of Queer Art Volume 1 and 2, and Sweet Deluge (Issue 2). Her first book, published by Tamarind Hill Press, UK, is titled “Of Women, Edges, and Parks”.Cisi’s art challenges existing societal norms.

34 Comments

  1. Into

    March 22, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    “There are many questions and when you consider it, virginity is but a concept created to stifle women’s sexuality”.

    Wrong, it’s a natural concept of life between men can also be virgins

    virgin
    ˈvəːdʒɪn/Submit
    noun
    1.
    a person who has never had sexual intercourse.

    I was one for a long time(before marriage) and I am a man.

    Also learn to stick to the subject you raised as this write up in all over the place. I think you raised some valid points too.

    • Bossn

      March 23, 2018 at 9:38 am

      We have heard of how we (women) are encouraged to tighten our vaginas via steaming. Who encourages women to do this? This is too generic with no evidence to back it up.

  2. zzzzzzzzzzz

    March 22, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    What is wrong with being a virgin? Virginty is not one sided as there are men who are virgins and would want to remain one until marriage. Unfortunately it is the woman who is always at the receiving end when people decide to be sexually independent and carefree e.g. unwanted pregancy, STDs. So why not better abstain and save yourself a whole lot of problem and trouble because honestly you are not missing out on anything. I would say that being a virgin till you get married is the best option for anyone single, it may be hard but not impossible. Please ladies protect that tissue between your legs as it is more valuable than when it is thrown around.
    I believe that the family is the most important, whichever way you look at it a child needs a father and a mother and it is very important a child is raised in a loving home. I have read countless stories of homosexual men who though were not abused when young, were unknowingly longing for fatherly love which they could not get as children, in the arms of men who cannot give it to them. Or is it the documentary I watched of a lady who was looking for her father around the country just because her mother chose to be sexually independent and doesn’t know who her father is amongst the countless number of sexual partners she had. Or is it the number of people who come from Europe to Nigeria to search for fathers who sired them and took off afterwards?

  3. Olu

    March 22, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    You may preach this till thy kingdom com, it wont change a thing with some. Just like religion, culture, tradition, tribalism, it is called mental bondage to keep us in check.

    The mind is a very powerful thing.
    Be in full control of your mind and you are truly free.
    The best thing I have accomplished as a husband is to get my wife to the point where she no longer feels it is a sin when she cant make to church for a Sunday service.

    Learn to free your mind.

    • Ija

      March 22, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Free your mind in this context is not idea. If you subscribe to a religion, you need to follow its rules but if not then you are not bound by any rules. Even in society there are rules and law by which people live by.

    • Seriously

      March 23, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      [email protected] a sin when she cant make it to church. Like you said, its mental bondage and its a choice. Things folks consider sin baffles me. The same folks out there looking down on others, treating others unfairly based on status, beauty, money, show no compassion, considerstion, selfish and pride but feel guilty for not going to church every sunday and idolizing some pastor.
      Africans free yourself from fake christianity and do the real thing. The interesting thing is, so many men are virgins or practice celibacy. Men just don’t announce it and discuss it like women do. Unfortunately, most women choose to focus and follow promiscuous men. Ask men who exposed them to their first early sexual experience, its mostly a girl their age or older women. Teenage girls are usually more aware than boys at that age. Women have a choice to insist a guy wears condom or be on birth control if they are sexually active and dont want to deal with the consequences. The irony of that isa man says hes not having sex women will be the first to talk crap. Hes gay, boring, square and accuse him of sleeping with other women. Hes inexperienced not affectionate enough. Ive seen women make it a mission to seduce him until he succumbs to their tricks.
      I’m a woman but tired of the victim, bondage stories women sell of themselves. No group has perpetuated and contradicted themselves than women. Most women are full of BS anyway.
      My first bf didnt believe i was a virgin bcos there wasnt much overflow of blood(like you see in nollywood movies) and struggle but i know my truth so i dont care.

  4. Deleke

    March 22, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    The DW had chronic vaginismus when we got married and we didn’t do the deed for a few months after trying. So we sorted it out medically and her hymen was removed. So does this mean I did not meet my wife for house?

    • Californiabawlar

      March 22, 2018 at 4:20 pm

      You met her at the Doctor’s.

    • Deleke

      March 22, 2018 at 4:28 pm

      Lol….Corny

    • Californiabawlar

      March 23, 2018 at 3:36 am

      Your behind is corny for asking about where you found your wife’s hymen ?

  5. Gbryte

    March 22, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Moral values are a product of social systems (…) imposed by the ruling class with the aim of serving certain economic and political interests. Yes this is true but it’s half true. Moral value have so great advantages. For the house of freedom is build with boundaries.
    I tried to be objective and avoid certain bias or schemas while reading this. Tried to comprehend the frame of mind of the writer. I however rembered, that ones own perspective can be validating a labyrinth of blind spots to others. Your truth, my truth, are all subsets or outliers to God’s. I believe if men and women think beyond themselves they will grow in love enough to discover themselves. Where love, true love is lacking, we will always precipitate a dissaster. I tried to be coded.

    • Deleke

      March 22, 2018 at 3:40 pm

      So what do your thoughts mean?

    • mz_danielz

      March 22, 2018 at 5:59 pm

      Oyinbo Kpo gaaaan.

      Uncle, please hexplain to some of hus is simple henglish.

    • mz_danielz

      March 22, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      in, not is. Your grammar discombobulated me

  6. Anon.

    March 22, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Father, forgive me for reading this.

  7. B

    March 22, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Of course we are all free to live as we choose.

    However, In the eyes of God, (whose opinion is the only one which counts), moral codes are made for everyone – man and woman alike.

    What I do know is living a moral life, both for men and women has more advantanges than disadvantages.

    Many of the problems in our world today are caused by ammoral behaviour and we’re reaping the consequences of our sins.

  8. A beautiful lady in Canada

    March 22, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Most people today are virgins because they want to be, myself inclusive. Take away family, societal expectations and religion, I would still be a virgin until marriage. I do not believe in letting different and many energies to permanently reside in my soul and psyche.

    Stop coming up with these shambles so you could turn the world into a sexually perverse society that your chopping from behind friends have already achieved.

  9. slice

    March 22, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    I think youight be missing the fact that some women do want to be virgins till marriage. It’s not about a man and sometimes it’s even about God. It’s just their preference. They don’t want one dick two dick threee dick

  10. slice

    March 22, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    No virginity is not fraud. Some people quietly stay virgins till marriage cause that’s what they want. Virginity is not always to make you dependent on the man, sometimes parents push it to make the man dependent on you cause they believe if you give him without a ring, then he might run after….which, well , does happen

  11. jankara

    March 22, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    morality is stylishly beginning to be what people mock …even though I’m not a virgin i see that does who choose it are mocked or asked what is wrong…end time things

  12. Anonymous

    March 22, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Ex-girlfriend had not experienced sexual intercourse but had given BJ to 5 guys and rubbed naked against their JT to achieve orgasm. Having an intact hymen is overrated. Vriginity and sexual purity are not thesame.

    • slice

      March 22, 2018 at 9:26 pm

      What’s your point. Virginity to her is not giving up the ultimate cookie. Abi u vex say she no gree u make am 6

    • Jummy

      March 22, 2018 at 9:49 pm

      Wow! When I was a virgin anything outside of French kissing and occasional smooching ABOVE the waist and was off limits!

    • Jummy

      March 22, 2018 at 9:52 pm

      Slice his point is that virginity is also a state of mind which i strongly agree with.

    • smh

      March 23, 2018 at 3:02 pm

      THANK YOU!!!!!!! The ones that do this are the most mad and mentally unstable ones because they genuinely believe theyre “keeping it for their husband” and theyre being good christians. GOD IS NOT A FOOL. YOU CANNOT MOCK HIM

  13. Lol

    March 22, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    There’s nothing that beats evidence based trial and error until something better comes along. Morality is essentially a framework devised for smoother running of society.
    Even in LGBT or humanist kongdoms, they still lay claim on morality and their whole precept of existence is based on justice and tolerance.
    Anal sex oral sex vaginal sex are all sex. Sticking something into the anus full of bacteria and digested meat is unhealthy and risks tears and anal incontinence. Higher rates of stis and painful usually unless dilators and poppers are used. Male circumcision reduces infection and used to cure difficulties with abnormally tight foreskin.
    Virginity or deprivation of oneself from sexual intercourse is extremely hard in today’s modern world when we are physically ready for physiology from age 16 but society dictates we wait till 25 or even 30s.
    There is something admirable about self discipline irrespective of religion. In a country like Nigeria, would cure us of ills such as greed, obesity and sloth amongst others. Kudos to the virgins.

  14. Anon

    March 22, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Madam u just wrote rubbish. No head no tail

  15. passingby

    March 22, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    You feel offended with slut shaming but you got no problem shaming virginity? which level? At least if you are looking for societal Change offer a better alternative not anarchy. who needs Complex Gonorrhea and the resurgence of ancient syphilis ,Fatherless children? Which kind yeye fowl society be that. All this free mindedness na madness oh!
    Whats wrong with man met girl fall in love have intimacy in a secure relationship. Mz Eze pick up a book read about the age of the hippie/ free love/ flower power , It didn’t stand the test of time for many reasons.
    Ive got no problem slut shaming, man or woman. if you walk around with a tight Hymen giving hand/blow jobs, like candy shame on you too. Damn!!! people just need to behaviour.

  16. Jummy

    March 22, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    Oh Cisi, not again. Sigh.
    Virginity is not a “social construct”, because it’s a factual and natural state in which women AND men have never had sexual intercourse.

    I do agree with some points you made though. Women have always been on the wrong end of this issue, when in fact the bible does implore both men and women to be sexually pure till marriage and keep the marriage bed undefiled. Even Jesus was against this double standard when the woman who was caught in adultery was about to be stoned. Where was the man in all the hulla baloo?

    I also agree that the presence or absence of a hymen does not constitute virginity. There are women who are born without it or lose it through other means. That does not invalidate their virginity.

    About the homosexual and birth control argument, you also do have a point there. Which is why the Catholic church is against both. The Catholic church has been looking more appealing to me lately but I’m not sure I agree on their stance concerning birth control.

    Furthermore, for you to promote single motherhood like it’ll create the utopia you want Nigeria (the world) to be shows you know NOTHING about human psychology and behaviour. Research has shown time and time again that children who grow up in HEALTHY 2-parent households grow up to become well-rounded adults. In the US, the more children you have out of wedlock the poorer you are and more likely to depend on welfare for support. Children are better raised within the confines of marriage. In fact, i daresay that the the bedrock of society lies in the creation of healthy and well-functioning families. I also have friends who didn’t grow up with a father. One in particular is so messed up that it has affected her self esteem and taste in men, and she’s nearing 30.

    And yes yes I know that Nigerian marriages will/may be used to defeat this argument, but I will have you know that the situation in Nigerian marriages does not invalidate the value and necessary of marriages. Rather it shows the significant flaws in our culture and upbringing of men and women that later seeps into marriages. In essence, reform the people/culture and we will have better marriages.

    Lastly, while I am very much aware that the world is more stifle with when it comes to sexual purity, I will never in any form promote “sexual freedom” perverse lewdness, or promiscuity of any kind. Instead, I will advocate that the same yardstick used to measure women’s sexual purity shoukd be used on men as well. At the end of the day, the bible promotes sexual purity for both sexes.

    I actually look forward to reading from you. You allow me to see and reflect on how drastically my views have changed. A year ago I would have voiced the same opinions as you without batting an eyelid. It’s marvellous the ways God changes you once you let him in. Just amazing.

  17. Sisi

    March 22, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    Your bias is showing from the outset. Virginity isn’t applicable to women only. Plenty of valid statements and I agree that virginity in modern times is on the whole used as ‘to stifle women’s sexuality.’ Like someone else said virginity doesn’t equal purity, righteousness, morals, holy. As a Christian, I think Jesus captured this best – if you even think about something sleeping with someone you’ve already done it’ lust begins in the heart. As an aside someone choosing to abstain from sex can be for many reasons – protective about who they share themselves with, mental health and attachment issues, religious reasons, focusing on developing themselves (sex can be a distraction), fear of STIs/pregnancy etc. We all need to get over what other people are choosing to do with their genitals quite frankly.

  18. Jamiu

    March 23, 2018 at 12:46 am

    Letting out virginity outside marriage is a great sign of moral decadence in today’s society

  19. Jamiu

    March 23, 2018 at 12:51 am

    Every society member should contribute their quota in building a STI’S free society

  20. anonymous

    March 23, 2018 at 3:54 am

    Cisi! Plagiarism is a criminal offence! The video on this topic is on youtube. It is a research carried out by two female medical students. See the way she wrote like she created the content?

    • slice

      March 23, 2018 at 10:36 am

      I don’t believe that. These are thoughts in many minds. Just cause they made a video, doesn’t mean this is plagii. I thought you’re about to the words they used wree copied

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