Let's Talk About Virginity

by Kadeen Griffiths

As a girl who went to Catholic school my entire life, I'm more than familiar with abstinence only education. Thankfully, no one in my school ever got pregnant or caught something due to misinformation, but my schools all strongly believed in the principle that the best way to avoid getting pregnant was to never have sex. That's just a fact, but teaching that didn't produce as many virgins as they probably hoped for — and produced more virgins than everyone probably realizes. MTV's summer reality show Virgin Territory is going to give voice to some of those virgins, 15 of them to be exact, and the dialogue this has the potential to open is a lot more effective than abstinence only education.

The trailer follows some of those people as they declare, with varying degrees of pride or shame, that they're still virgins. It would be exaggerating to say that we live in a society where no one expects you to leave your teens with your virginity intact, but these 15 adults are all beyond the point where it would be "normal" to still be a virgin. Some of them are waiting until marriage. Some of them want to lose it as soon as possible. Some of them just missed their opportunity in school. Regardless, all of them are still hanging on to their v-cards and the trailer makes it seem like the elephant in the room.

Growing up, we're all quickly acclimated to a hypersexualized society. Celebrities pose barely dressed on magazine covers and media geared toward teens usually feature a lot of steamy make out scenes and that fade to black when the clothes start coming off. Usually, when virginity is featured in the media, it's a burden that someone is eager to unload or it's a punchline. Look at The 40 Year Old Virgin or the upcoming CW show Jane the Virgin for the ways that someone's virginity can be used for comedy.

Virgin Territory looks like it has every intention of taking a more nuanced look at the concept of virginity. Sure, there are some people who are eager to lose it and, sure, they might be walking punchlines or incomprehensible creatures to some — but none of them are alone. If ever there was a show to make you feel normal for being a virgin, to laugh with you instead of at you, to make you think about your reasons and open a dialogue for how and why those reasons are valid, Virgin Territory might just be it.

MTV might be the network that brought us Jersey Shore, but it's also the network that brought us True Life. Virgin Territory is a reality show closer to the latter than the former and that's pretty exciting. Check out the trailer below.