In Search for Sexual Innocence

Since I wrote this post, people have been bombarding me with questions and quoting Hugo Schwyzer recent really good and convincing post titled “Love is never about wanting to be first.” The point of the post is that searching for sexual innocence in a partner is wrong and constitutes evidence of weird ideological hangups. Hugo is right, that’s what it is. Except when it’s a genuine sexual preference one has. Just like there are people who are into BDSM, polyamory or any seemingly unconventional sexual behavior, there are people who are genuinely into having sex with sexually unsophisticated partners. It doesn’t mean that they are into dominating the partner or serving as their teacher outside of the bedroom. That’s simply who they are sexually.

So how do you know if you are talking to somebody who is simply into sex with innocent partners for no ideological reason as opposed to a Fundamentalist freak who uses sex to serve an unhealthy sexual agenda? Like genuine polyamorous or BDSM folks, such a person will never lecture you about the number of partners you have had or try to show you the error of your ways whose only “defect ” is being different from their ways.

38 thoughts on “In Search for Sexual Innocence”

  1. Do you perhaps have any idea where one could find a person with such a sexual preference ?

    I mean I could hardy image that there is some kind of virgin-lover forum on the internet… Actually, I can imagine that, but I am too afraid to google it, because you never know what you might discover.

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  2. *Do you perhaps have any idea where one could find a person with such a sexual preference ?*

    What on the earth for? Unfortunately, many men worry because of lack / not enough (whatever that means) experience. Personally, I wouldn’t mind that at all in a man and think many other women wouldn’t either. It’s a normal thing, not some special niche like BDSM.

    99.99% of virgin-loving men are sexists, who had numerous women themselves or would hope to. So, my first desire after hearing “I love virgins” would be to run. Fast.

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  3. I don’t know RE women searching for male virgins, but there are *plenty* men like that, most of them not the kind of people I would want to drink a coffee with, let alone something more.

    I am against (at least, in my life) going for niches. Niche means “I differ from most people in important for me way”. F.e. people in hard BDSM, gays and lesbians, etc. It also means restricting (in ideal) your partners to others in this niche. I don’t see why lack of sexual experience (from either side) should be given this place of importance in my brain. There are numerous deal-breakers for me, really important things in the long run, in marriage. Why concentrate on something unsignificant instead?

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  4. A good example for you, Tim, is : imagine you’re a red head and ask whether you should search for the love of your life in a forum of red hair fetishists. Why? May be your love is indifferent to red hair, but will love *you*. Will this red-head fetishist love you, a person, or your hair? Many men see women as symbols of status and/or sexual objects, but women can do it too.

    Of course, in our societies red hair is treated differently from lack of experience, mainly for sexist reasons. In the sexual realm I don’t want to be objectificated, f.e. be sought after because he loves virgins and thinks I am one (Clarissa, don’t tell me objectification is great, we use diff. definitions). I wouldn’t advise going to special sites, there are some truly weird people there with all kinds of hang ups. Finding a “genuine sexual preference ” is like finding a needle in a haystack.

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    1. I think people are misunderstanding my point. All I’m saying is that there are couples where one partner has a lot of sexual experience and one doesn’t and as long as it’s the genuine sexual preference for both of them, they will be very happy. There is this general belief that I keep encountering that only people with similar amounts of sexual experience can be happy together and it’s just simply not true.

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  5. “Why concentrate on something unsignificant instead?”

    Exactly ! Why would someone do that ? That is what i wanted to know 😉

    I mean if these people do exist and their preference for this is genuine then what drives them ? I mean are they simple fetishists or what ?

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      1. I believe there are as many women who have this preference as there are men. It is true, though that manybwomen dont even stop to consider what their own preference is because the best way for women to find peer approval is still through a relationship.

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        1. I am still confused. First you title your post “In search…” which implies preference. Then you claim that all you were trying to say is that people with different amounts of sexual experience can be happy together. And prefer it this way. (but it sounds as preference for a particular person, and after the choice was made based on other criteria, not innocence per se) And then you go back to talking about preferences, and women not knowing what preferences they have because of cultural pressures. But cultural pressure to be in a relationship tells nothing about relative levels of experience of the relationship partners…

          By the way particular preference/fetish for innocence seems to be highly impractical – one has to look for a new partner after the previous one gains some experience…

          And finally – how can one be sure that any particular preference is not culturally determined? Or based on some childhood trauma, or maybe not trauma but positive experience, subconsciously? Would anybody be able to develop preference for innocence (or the opposite) if it were a total non-issue in the society/culture?

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          1. *But cultural pressure to be in a relationship tells nothing about relative levels of experience of the relationship partners… *

            There are cultural pressures for women to be “pure” and for men – “experienced”. Many men want relatively unexperienced women because of it.

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            1. In which culture?? In Western countries it hasnt been this way for a very long time except in ultrafundamentalist groups. Women who havent lost their virginity by the age of 18 go out of their minds with worry that everybody will find out and not want them.

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              1. Contradicting demands aren’t new, if we talk about entire society (not fundamentalists). It’s a kind of tightrope walking for women: may be not a virgin, but a few partners, when each man judges differently and has social support to judge in the 1st place, unlike a woman. I can’t say “You were with 7 women already? What a slut!”, but he can (I mean, from society’s pov). You are too optimistic. Even that Hugo writes so much on the topic and people are interested in the discussion shows it’s still relevant. And always talking about *men* dealing with their jealousy and fears, I am yet to read on such a woman, let alone on her getting support from a large number of people 😦

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              2. El: you can absolutely say whatever you feel like to a guy. Such conversations usually take place in privacy, so i dont think society will participate much.

                If you want to hear abou an ultra jealous woman, look no further. You are talking to her. 🙂 Calderons characters are nothing compared to me. Othello is but a little boy. I dont look for any support, though, because my insanity and I are very happy together. 🙂

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              3. Society participates already before the conversation starts. Many women worry because of “the number” question, this hypothetical man wouldn’t think to worry. If I tell it to a man, he will say “you, insane”, his friends will support him and everybody deem me a strange person. However, if I am told this, many people will be totally behind (him), understanding (of him) and judging (me). It influences behavior, influences everybody’s (both genders’) feelings and what is considered “natural, expected behavior”.

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          2. I have a small baby in the house so how dare anybody criticize me for writing confusing posts and comments! Kidding. 🙂

            What I am trying to say is that it is so prestigious for women to be in a relationship that often it doesnt even occur to them to consider whether the partner is what they need sexually. All of these stories about men trying to cajole their unwilling partners into sex several months or years into a relationship are a result of this.

            It is true of course that sexual preference arises as a result of how ones sexuality develops early in life. Im not talking about that, though.

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            1. –=-It is true of course that sexual preference arises as a result of how ones sexuality develops early in life. Im not talking about that, though.

              But you are essentially speaking of two different kinds of sexual preferences: one ideologically loaded (usually with something patriarchal) and another “genuine”. The question is – are there any fully “genuine” i.e. culturally non-loaded preferences, and even if there are – can one reasonably distinguish between two types?

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              1. What i call a yenuine sexual preference brings sexual fulfilment. When people choose a partner to gain prestige, there is no fulfillment ultimately.

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              2. Suppose someone experiences sexual fulfillment humiliating women. According to your definition above, this is a “genuine preference”. And in the same time most people would agree that said person has internalized quite a bit of some misogynist patriarchal ideology. Any comment?

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  6. El, I know. I meant that the pressure to be in a relationship per se does not imply any particular level of sexual experience. These are different social pressures. And although there is indeed pressure for men to be experienced – is there any pressure for women to prefer experienced men? I mean more experienced than average? It is somehow hard to imagine women simultaneously overall deep into traditional cultural stereotypes but preferring more experienced men…

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  7. I meant “more experienced than average”. Aren’t “traditional” women suspicious of those more experienced men? Consider them untrustworthy relationship/marriage material?

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    1. I honestly have no idea. I have spent a lot of time with a circle if extremely traditional female friends. This was never discussed. The many and varied ways of getting out of havibg sex with the love of your life were discussed instead.

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      1. If anything, what you say agrees with what I say. If one is interested in ways to avoid sex, why would one be more interested in sexually experienced partner? As far as I understand such people, there are no prestige issues involved either… never heard of a woman being openly proud of her partner’s extensive experience…

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        1. May be not proud, but there are “boys will be boys” attitudes, and “men are different in desire for sex”, and “sowing wild oats”, and pressure on women to save a family by forgiving an infidelity, and many fundamentalists caring about daughters’ “purity” while sons are free, and …

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          1. Exactly, El, all those traditional attitudes towards men are of “inevitable or lesser evil” variety, very far from being proud of such men or seeking them as partners.

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            1. But I am yet to see a woman *ashamed* of his experience, while many men do have such thoughts: “I married her after she was with the entire town” kind.

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          2. Everything you list is a purview of deeply religious folks. Regular people have traveled a long way from there since then. Sowing the oats is done by people irrespective of gender. So is acepting infidelity.

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  8. V :

    I never heard of a woman being openly proud of her partner’s extensive experience…

    Actually, me neither. I know several men who are though. Huh. That’s curious. And i never even thought of it before you mentioned it.

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  9. el :

    Society participates already before the conversation starts. Many women worry because of “the number” question, this hypothetical man wouldn’t think to worry. If I tell it to a man, he will say “you, insane”, his friends will support him and everybody deem me a strange person. However, if I am told this, many people will be totally behind (him), understanding (of him) and judging (me). It influences behavior, influences everybody’s (both genders’) feelings and what is considered “natural, expected behavior”.

    All i can say here is that a woman in the western societ who worries that she has had too many partners has issues that are very non sexual in nature. I said it before but it bears repeating: a sexually experienced liberated woman in tis society is worth her weight in gold. Even if she weighs quite a lot, like some of us do. :-))))))

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  10. I have known a few people who told me that they wanted an inexperienced partner to avoid STD infections. Some of each sex. The people who said this to me were all virgins at the time, so far as I know.

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  11. Honestly, I have only encountered the “she has been with many people but still chose me, so I must rock” kind of attitude. It must be true that we all find what we are looking for in life. 🙂

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  12. If (and in my experience it’s a bloody big if) you managed to find a virginity fetishist who wasn’t also a misogynist/misandrist, the one real problem I can see with with it as a fetish in practise is that in a relationship, surely the fetishist is going to end up unsatisfied long term. However virginal their partner was to start with, they are going to become less so, and less satisfying to the fetishist.
    I guess maybe it needs subdividing again? People who want their partner to be a virgin initially and people who only want virgins as sex partners.
    I think the first category are not necessarily fetishists although they may or may not be misogynist/misandrist; I think maybe preferences and deal-breakers are not fetish indicators, but things without which sex cannot occur are. But then again, a hetero man might say that his partners have to be women, and that’s a mandatory element for him, and yet we treat that as a preference, not a fetish.
    H’mm. I will have to think about it.

    As to how you tell the difference… well, I guess questioning them about what they like about it, and perhaps why they feel that way if you are worried – I have not so far encountered many misogynists/misandrists who are particularly good at going stealth. 😀

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    1. That was what I thought, too. If your “sexual preference” is for inexperienced people then you are going to have to change partners a lot.

      Inexperienced to avoid STD … hmmm … it so doesn’t make sense. Means you don’t trust anyone to tell you whether they’ve got something and you don’t trust tests. And that you forget that the first time they step out on you, they may catch something, uh-oh! So, I don’t believe people who give that reason for virginity fetishism.

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      1. I think the ‘innocence to avoid STD’s’ attitude was caused by the rabid abstinence propaganda that pervaded everywhere when I was a teenager. The last decade or so have seen it spread from the Bible belt to more and more places. If you scare people enough, they will develop strang attitudes.

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