Ugly, Awkward Virgins Deserve Sympathy, Not Ridicule

Spencer Wharton

I’m gonna be blunt: We’ve got to stop virgin-shaming.

There’s an unfortunate trend in our society to scorn virgins. If word gets out that you made it to voting age without ever touching another person’s genitals, you’re practically guaranteed a certain amount of derision. “Virgin” is tossed around like a slur, as if there’s something inherently shameful about having never placed your naked junk in close proximity to someone else’s body.

We’re isolating and mocking a poor, misunderstood subset of our community, and that’s not okay. Virgins are people, too––people who deserve our pity, not our scorn.

It’s not like anyone’s a virgin by choice. Nobody in their right mind would pass up on the rich and rewarding experience of sex––especially sex at college. That would mean opting out of the intricate, sensual and erotic dance of sharing a magical first kiss in a sweaty frat basement, awkwardly fumbling around in the dark on a tiny dorm bed, and ultimately sharing your body and sexuality with a selfish partner interested only in their own pleasure. What’s more, it would also be branding yourself a total prudish loser in the eyes of your peers. Who would do that to themselves?

No, virgins aren’t sexless dweebs by choice; rather, they’re forced into their “involuntary celibacy” by forces beyond their control. For many virgins at Whitman, it’s because they weren’t granted the genetic gift of stunning good looks that the rest of us inherited. Instead, they’re genetically predisposed to be unattractive––ranging from “homely” to “plain-looking”––which is a well-studied predictor for celibacy. The evidence is stark: People are either attractive or they’re not, and those who aren’t have very little chance of ever getting some, especially when they’re competing with normal beautiful people.

They’ve also been screwed––figuratively, not literally––because of a vicious asocial spiral. It’s nearly impossible to remain sexless if you’ve got a winning personality, so for many of these poor involuntary celibates, their lifelong dry spell was at first merely due to a minor flaw in their character. But involuntary celibacy means being informally barred from most social events, and without any friends, virgins’ minor social flaws become full-fledged social inability.

Is anyone surprised? Never having known the sensation of another’s intimate touch, many virgins find it difficult to engage with anyone socially and instead redirect their energies to work, confining themselves to their rooms, their study lounges or the library. After all, how are you supposed to go to a sexual fantasy party if you don’t even know what sex is?

None of this is their fault, and yet we continue to hurl the word “virgin” like an insult, completely insensitive to the way it hurts the ugly, socially stunted involuntary celibates around us. They deserve a world where they aren’t slandered or unfairly ridiculed.

So let’s quit shaming people for things entirely out of their control. It’s the twenty-first century; we should all be able to accept that we live in a diverse society. Just because most of us are bumpin’ uglies at least once a week doesn’t change the fact that there are other poor sods who will never, ever get laid.

What’s more, all of us who have even a modicum of sex appeal owe a favor to the poor sexless virgins. Rather than mocking them, we should be trying to help them. Drag that socially inept dormmate out of their virgin cave and take them to a party. Introduce them to attractive people that they’d never have a chance with without your help, and see if you can’t use your charms to set them up. They’ll thank you for it later.

After all, virgins want sex just as much as normal people.