Virginity

On January 15, 2011 up-and-coming porn star Nicki Blue is going to lose her virginity live and on camera for your pleasure.

But what does virginity really mean?

Even in our modern world, women are being murdered because of their perceived “lack” of virginity. In the US, purity balls are hosted where a girl’s father (or another male guardian or patriarch) is named the protector of her virtue/virginity until the day she marries when that control is passed on to her husband. Women are judged negatively for having “too many” sexual partners regardless of health, consent, or desire. A woman’s worth, value, and integrity can’t not be measured by her vagina.

Before I go any further, I want to add that we are allowed to make our own choices about our bodies. This is not about whether or not someone “should” do something in private or not. I am not here to judge fantasies or desires. It takes a lot of chutzpah to organize something like this and I hope that the evening of January 15th is everything that Ms. Blue wants it to be. I can also speak to the respect I have for the 3 main male performers who will be participating. There is a lot of excitement and energy that surrounds sharing a first with someone whether that is the first time you engage in bondage, S&M, use a sex toy, eat at a new restaurant, travel to a new country, hike on an unexplored trail, etc. Hell, the internet is exciting because it exposes us to all kinds of new data. New information and experiences are deeply compelling. I have no issues with a declaration of independence and bodily autonomy. I do not take issue with Ms. Blue’s fantasy and desire to have vaginal sex for the first time on camera. I do not take issue with the fact that it can be incredibly hot and sexy to watch someone have vaginal sex for the first time. I do sincerely hope that it is a rewarding experience for everyone because I am a big cheerleader for all forms of consensual activity whether or not I enjoy them myself. My life has been dedicated to fighting for that very thing.

I do have issues with press releases that perpetuate dangerous myths.

“Prior to the event, a trained expert will insert Kink.com’s official hymen-cam to validate that Blue’s hymen is still in place and that she is a true virgin. Once her hymen is confirmed, the evening will proceed, the company said.”

  • Myth #1: A woman’s “virginity” can be determined by the presence of absence of a hymen.

Contrary to popular belief, the vagina is not “sealed for freshness” with an iron hymen. It isn’t brittle, it does have openings, and the vaginal corona looks and feels different for each woman. For those of you unfamiliar with the term “vaginal corona” please allow me to back up. The term “hymen” is not actually a biologically sound term because it implies a solid piece of tissue that ruptures or breaks upon penetration. This is not the case. A “corona” is much more accurate for the mucous tissue just inside the vagina. Some women do have thicker and stronger coronas that may require medical intervention to help reduce pain in penetration whether that is for sex or for menstruation. Some women have very small, thin, and nearly transparent tissues that never causes them any pain or problems. Like every other part of our body, it is unique to us. The presence or absence of a “hymen” does not indicate virginity. To learn more, check out this helpful information here.

First time penetration may be painful for some women. Sometimes it is because she may be nervous and tense which certainly won’t help make penetration any more comfortable. Our bodies aren’t always as intuitive as perhaps they should be. It takes some time and practice to know when your body is ready to accept something inside of it. Many women, regardless of their number of partners, still appreciate having their vagina warmed up with lots of foreplay and the gradual introduction of foreign objects starting small (like a single finger or small toy) and gradually working their way up in size as they feel comfortable. Additionally, most women will not bleed the first time they have intercourse. The presence of blood indicates that it is definitely time to check in with your partner (whether it is their first or thousandth time having sex) and slow things down a bit.

  • Myth #2: A woman’s “virginity” is defined by whether or not a penis has entered her vagina.

We put a lot of weight into penis-in-vagina sex but there are unlimited ways to have sex. Oral sex is a sexual activity. Anal sex is a sexual activity. Dry humping is a sexual activity. For some people, hair washing is a sexual activity. What about BDSM play? Is it sex if no one has an orgasm? Is it sex if there isn’t an erection? There are a lot of ways that we fuck and a penis has never been the bottom line. If there is any website that has demonstrated that, it is Kink.Com where sometimes people have orgasms from caning, whipping, or bondage. There are lesbian gang bangs. There are times when merely watching something is enough to bring you over the edge. Websites dedicated to alternative sex are a reminder that there are no set rules about what sex really is or can be.

Reiterating the notion that virginity is defined by whether or not a penis has entered a vagina has dangerous implications because it is so very closely related to the idea that virginity will keep you safe from sexually transmitted infections or the emotions that can arise from engaging in sex. The language that we use around sex has real world implications and yes, semantics do count especially when people’s lives are literally on the line.

  • Myth #3: “Virgins” are better for sex because they’re tighter.

The vagina is an amazing part of the body. It is important to distinguish between the muscles of the pelvic floor and the vagina itself. Much like the penis, the vagina has a flaccid and an aroused state. When the brain starts to feel aroused it sends messages down to the vagina encouraging it to open, lengthen, lubricate, and widen. It will actually lengthen by several inches and there will be an increased blood flow to the area which will also increase its sensitivity. The idea that “men are from Mars and women are from Venus” is silly when you take into account that we posses very homologous genital tissues. An unaroused vagina is incredibly tight, so much so that it can hold a tiny tampon in place without falling to the ground. “Tight” though it may be, it isn’t actually prepared to accommodate the rigors of penetrative sex. This process has absolutely nothing to do with “virginity.”

Image courtesy of WikiCommons. Unaroused vulva on the left, aroused vulva on the right.

The vagina is surrounded by the muscles of the pelvic floor. These muscles do have a lot of power in regards to our sexual functioning and ability to regulate our bladder and bowels. Exercising the pubococcygeus (also known as the PC muscle) will help “tighten” the vagina and give women more control over their pelvic floor muscles in general. The added benefit? The vagina will still swell, expand, and widen to comfortably (and pleasurably!) accommodate penetration and the orgasmic contractions may become more intense. These exercises are known as  kegels and  male bodied people can reap their benefits as well.

In other words, sex with a virgin can be a totally hot turn-on or fantasy but it has far less to do with muscle tightness than most people believe.

I find the marketing and publicity around this shoot to be the issue at hand. To decide that you want to engage in any particular sex act for the first time in a way that you will find really enjoyable is sex positive. There is no inherent exploitation involved in filming it and for some of us that just adds to the experience. When I read, “We strive each and every day to bring the best possible content to our customers and sacrificing Nikki’s innocence is in perfect alignment with what our fans expect and deserve,” I feel that the sex positive message is lost. That same sentence also reminds us that commercial value is of a much higher importance than sex positivity. For most porn sites that comes as no surprise. The only reason that a lot of people are speaking up about this has to do with the expressed mission statement to, “…demystify and celebrate alternative sexualities by providing the most ethical and authentic kinky adult entertainment.” In this case, sexuality is not being demystified; it is being further obscured. It does not celebrate alternative sexualities because it so very deeply phallocentric and heteronormative.

Again, I cannot say it enough: I support Nicki Blue in what she wants to do. It is 100% her choice to make and no one has the right to say that she should or shouldn’t do go forward with her plan. I do not think poorly of any of the other performers on the set, either, because it is an honor to have someone request your presence at their first time doing anything. A request like that indicates trust and comfort and it is an honor when someone entrusts you to be a part of something that you’ve never done before. I am not worried about Nicki Blue. I know that she is in very good and capable hands on set. It’s the rest of us that I’m worried about when the packaging of the shoot includes blatant misinformation.

Kink.Com has the right to say whatever they want about their content.  I am experiencing disappointment by their unwillingness to rise to the occasion. A press release is, by its very nature, designed to spark interest and by that standard is was inordinately effective. Buzz words were selected with deliberation and it is true that if you want to sell a product, the press release may not be the best place to do so. However, when I look at the pride flags waving in the wind from the rooftop of the armory I have to wonder if they match the words in those press releases.  They are in possession of numerous outlets to dispel dangerous and sex negative mythology and they have done so numerous times in the past. It isn’t too late for Kink.Com to address these issues head on and I hope that they will. Kink.Com has influenced and inspired so many people over the years and I do hope that they remember their ability to affect real change even when it doesn’t directly increase the profit margin.

55 Comments

Filed under BDSM theory, behind the scenes, community, feminisms, Uncategorized

55 responses to “Virginity

  1. Totally agree, well put Maggie. I have to say that when I read the press releases for this event I became uneasy because it was worded like so much of the “hetero” main stream porn out there. Kink.com has risen above the average porn, and I think the way this was marketed was in standard porn wording.

    I like that Ms. Blue has publicly spoken about the fact that she does oral and anal sex, and is only a vaginal virgin. But the way this event is publicized disempowers all of the previous sex work that she has done, as well as any other sex performer who does not have penis in vagina sex.

    I am interested in seeing the reaction to this event more than the actual event itself.

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  3. *applause* Fantastic, well-argued, comprehensive takedown. I cheered your comment on the original LJ post last night and this is even better. This conversation is particularly fascinating to me as I’ve always admired Kink.com and felt that they seemed to be more ethical than other studios, but hadn’t really got stuck in to researching what yourself and other feminist performers thought of them. This is such a refreshing, reassuring balance of respect for their work and criticism of the sloppy, sexist language in that press release. Exactly the sort of critique which porn studios should expect from feminist viewers. Bravo!

    And yes – I’m also reassured to hear that Nicky Blue isn’t a first-time performer and is making her own choices. I wouldn’t have assumed that from the press release so it’s good to hear another perspective.

  4. Your last three paragraphs are spot-on. I have a sudden urge to print them out and plaster them on the walls of Kink, Inc.’s armory.

    And, for everyone who insists on calling them “Kink.com,” I beseech you to begin to use the more apt phrasing I used in the previous sentence: Kink, INCORPORATED. Values, shmalues. Welcome to capitalism, where even our lauded sex-positivity is (disgustingly) not merely up for sale, it is up for selling out.

  5. bishtraining

    Nice post Maggie. Most sensible thing I’ve read about this. I agree with you that essentially this is a problem with language and promotion rather than what is actually going to happen (eurgh, hymen cam).

    I think that porn producers should think more about the language they use in describing and advertising their work. There is a fine line between bawdy sexy language and oppressive unpleasant language. I think that ‘mainstream porn’ is usually more guilty of this than kink porn: but I appreciate that this may be subjective.

    Also the issue of porn ethics shouldn’t just be down to the producers but also the consumers too. Consumers of porn could be more critical but also actually pay for stuff they think is ethical. If more people paid for porn maybe producers wouldn’t have to advertise in such lurid ways.

  6. Pingback: Wednesday Nibbles: Losing Virginity Live For Porn, SF Giants, Gay Intern Saved Giffords, Guy Kawasaki | SlutCash

  7. Dave

    I’m a part time member of Kink.com’s various websites – I’m proud to say that when I received the update via newsletter I was disgusted.

    I remember when Peter Acworth’s first website was filmed on a dodgy webcam like the rest, but it was awesome and it grew – I watched in awe as he absorbed Insex’s talent and direction from a safe headland, and to be honest I was proud to see Kink buy the armoury and make a community statement. I once hoped to see the armoury in the same way we visit great monuments around the world.

    But with this campaign they have jumped the shark. This is just totally against everything that I beleive, and what I have learned about kink (not the website, my way of life) I am happy to agree that anyone’s kink is not everyone’s kink, but the sheer incorrectness and lack of tact in this marketing campaign is abhorrent.

    Every kink they have exampled has been dealt with tactfully, Everything Butt, Pissing, and various other attempts at serious fetish sites. This campaign has no tact. Not only has it been presented badly but to me it casts a shadow on the whole site family.

    It’s an Upper Floor exclusive, and as the Upper Floor is often toted as Peter’s personal project I think he has gained an unwanted association with the trashy likes of Max Hardcore’s marketing monkey.

    It just doesn’t fit – almost like they let they left a bunch of students at the helm while they all went to lunch.

    But if they didn’t, then get ready to watch someone in a motorcycle jacket water ski jump over a shark.

    Can’t subscribe anymore – it turns me off.

  8. When my partner (and other male friends) told me they couldn’t tell the difference between the vagina of a woman who has had 1-3 kids and no kids, I was surprised (and glad to hear it!)

    Happy sex trails to Nicki. May she get as much pleasure vaginally as she does anally and orally. Not to mention mentally.

  9. ps: I posted this on my wall and someone pointed out the typo – 2010 should be 2011 in first sentence.

  10. Pingback: Virginity (via Missmaggiemayhem's Blog) | Spread Information

  11. Alexa

    I just had to chime in that I 100% agree! I say this as someone who was as close to a “virgin” as I think one can reasonably expect these days– no oral, no anal, no sexual activity with another person period. But I don’t even think I ever had a hymen, and I had been penetrating myself with tampons, my fingers, vibrators, and (ahem) other objects when in want of the latter, since I was at least 13. I was (and am) a frequent masturbator who enjoys multiple orgasms.

    So when, at 22, I finally decided I had found the right person and I want him to boldly go where no man had gone before, I was surprised but thrilled at his response when I told him I was a virgin: “That doesn’t mean much. What matters is what’s in your head.” And what was in my head was apparently more than enough, because he told me afterwards that if he hadn’t known ahead of time, he would never have figured me for a “virgin”.

    Switching to a more serious note, the other problem with the concept of virginity is where it leaves women whose first experience of a penis entering their vagina was in the course of a rape. This is doubly problematic when it comes to the legal and societal protections for rape survivors. (I remember once hearing some anti-choice legislator say that he felt the only possibly valid situation for a woman to get an abortion is that if she were really religious and really dedicated to staying a virgin until marriage, but she was raped and got pregnant. I wanted to throw things for about a week after I heard that.)

  12. anonymous coward

    Thank you for articulating my issues with this shoot so beautifully. I’m so disappointed in Kink.com; they were an island of queer-, sex- and BDSM-positivity in a sea of, well, crap.

  13. Pingback: Virginity, sexuality, and women’s choice | pippin geeks out (over again)

  14. icontendu

    ditto to everything everyone else said. kudos for articulating so well and calling kink.com out on their huge misstep, even though you’ve personally been involved with them.

  15. What really bothers me is the disingenuous copy about “sacrificing Nicki’s innocence.” Really? I somehow have trouble viewing an experienced porn star as “innocent” simply because she has yet to have vaginal intercourse.

    I also wonder if the press release is a move by a site that thinks they can get away with anything because their audience views them as “progressive”, and thus they can and should be judged differently when they publish content (copy) that plays with damaging rhetoric about women’s sexuality.

    I think you do a great job tackling what’s problematic about this kind of rhetoric around virginity, where our ideas about what virginity means are often unfounded and harmful. I also think it’s important to talk about some of the social implications of the privileging of virginity loss over every other sexual experience women have, because I think it reinforces archaic notions about what women’s sexuality means, and what importance it plays in her identity (such as notions of “innocence”). I write about this in my latest blog, and it’s nice to see the other (biological) side of my argument against “yay deflowering!” positions.

  16. Thanks for publicizing the knowledge about how vaginae work. I’m a complete virgin when it comes to partnered activity but I’ve done a lot of exploring on my own. I was very surprised that after n-th time I’ve penetrated myself with a quite big glass dildo I’ve found out why the first thrust has been a bit uncomfortable all those years. I’ve got very thick remnants of my hymen at the top of my opening! To see them I had to bear down when aroused. They survived 6 years of dildo action and they’ll bother me till I get them separated.

  17. Dr. G. Hurd

    Excellent, biologically correct information.

  18. I really appreciate your thoughtful analysis!

  19. Pingback: Love Bites: Clarisse Thorn | Time Out Chicago » » Porn, value of virginity and setting bad standards

  20. You make a lot of excellent points here. I wrote a followup in case you’re interested.

    http://lovebites.blogs.chicago.timeout.com/2011/01/12/porn-virginity-standards/

  21. Pingback: Divatology » Blog Archive » Like A Virgin.

  22. CSR - T

    Great statement on a very controversial topic. I agree with everything mentioned, and I hope people take a look at this article to gain a better understanding.

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  24. *applause* says the stuff I tried to say about it at my blog, only better.

  25. Alexander Rice

    When I first saw this I was oddly uncomfortable, but couldn’t really explain why — after all, compared to a lot of things that kink.com do it seems fairly tame in many respects.

    I think that if they had talked about how the kink.com crew was honoured to receive the trust and esteem that obviously goes behind Nikki’s decision then the whole thing could have been really hot. As it was the focus on the physical aspects, the reality-show style cock roulette and so on really just made it tawdry and mainstream. Chuck in some rhetoric from her about “true” virgins and I’m just not very interested anymore.

    If they re-think some of this stuff it could be their Apollo 13 moment, otherwise I think that there are going to be a lot of people who no longer trust kink.com

    And Maggie, thanks for a well reasoned piece that distills my nebulous sense of unease into actual arguments.

  26. Dear Maggie,

    I appreciate your thoughtful response to what I admit was a misguided marketing effort on our part. You are entirely right that the way we framed our fulfillment of Nicki’s fantasy was not in line with our values as a company and our commitment to demystify and celebrate alternative sexualities, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by our mishandling of the topic. We’ve taken your feedback to heart revisited our entire marketing effort around this event.

    When Nicki approached us several months ago with her fantasy of losing her virginity on camera in front of a live online audience, we were very honored and gave a lot of thought to whether this kind of event really fit within our mission. As you know, Nicki is not new to sex – she has explored her sexually via anal and oral play many times in the past – and after many discussions with her in which she explained what virginity meant to her personally and how central her hymen is to that fantasy, we felt that we could help her live out this desire in a way that would be exciting and pleasurable for everyone involved: Nicki, her co-stars and our members.

    I regret how the press release was worded. It did not convey our gratitude that Nicki feels that Kink is the place where she can best live out a fantasy she’s had for many years – to break her hymen during her first vaginal sex experience in front of thousands of fans – and I thank you for pointing that out.

    Like you, I truly hope this will be a rewarding experience for Nicki. In fact, I think she would benefit tremendously from having supportive individuals like you in the audience. If you are amenable, I would like to personally invite you to attend the event on Saturday to participate what I hope will be an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.

    Best wishes,
    Peter Acworth
    CEO, Kink.com

    • Joy

      Maggie, I always appreciate your thoughts and your blog. Thank you for this post. Peter, I’ve written many an email to many a company/ corporation about oppressive or misguided marketing campaign (the most recent being Dunkin Hines’ racist “hip hop” cupcake commercial) and I really appreciate the response you posted here and the way you’ve made changes in the advertising. It’s not typical and it’s this willingness to be self-reflective and the transparency of your ethical standards that keep me a paying costumer.

  27. You make some excellent point, however I’m kind of surprise at everyone treating this at face value. I strongly doubt this her actual first PIV intercourse. Under normal circumstance it wouldn’t matters as all porn is ultimately selling a fantasy but I think it I good starting point for me to state my opinion that I think it more then just the marketing that wrong here. I think at its core the whole shoot was formed on a bed of bad intentions.

    My assumption here, with all the talk of “hymen cam” and such, is that Nikki’s simply has a rather visible vaginal corona, one that one could pass off as a “virginal hymen” , and that will photography well on that “hymen cam” they have planed; kink.com knows and that it is all one big promotional stunt. Which only makes the misinformation even worse.

    Taken at face value this event is a perfectibility acceptable living out of fantasy on camera marred by bad marketing. However, under my set of assumption the whole thing from it inception, before marketing ever even got wind of it, is a deplorable attempt to use misconceptions about the vaginal corona and virginity to drive profits.

    Call me a cynical bastard but I don’t think anyone involved was ever acting in good faith here.

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  30. Maggie, this is brilliantly written and argued. Why have I only just found your blog? You’re wonderful.

    I am thankful and relived to see Peter’s response to your post – so rarely do you see company’s owning their mistakes and correcting them. And by the way, it’s great that you bring up the notion of different ways of “losing our virginity”. For many of us, the breaking of the hymen is not necessarily the rite of passage (if you will) that it’s made out to be. I consider my own rite of passage to have been an entirely different moment to the breaking of my hymen. And anyway, the whole hymen-tearing thing simply goes back to a time when wives were treated as possessions – the bloody sheets waved out of the windows in Elizabethan England, proved that the wife now belonged to the husband, of course. What a sad thing to perpetuate – and I refuse to do so. Thank you, thank you.

    • Melanie

      I just want to point out that the using of a bloody sheet to prove virginity continues to day in many countries throughout the world. Woman continue to be killed for the crime of not bleeding on their wedding night. These archaic practices continue today and lead to honor killings, acid attacks and female genital mutilation.

  31. P.S. But that’s not to say I disapprove of Nikki’s decision – just simply that this is only one way of looking at virginity. I just remember that there are other ways of doing so! That’s what I mean by “not perpetuating” if you see what I mean.

  32. Elizabeth

    Let me get this straight – we all agree that Kink.com has been the vanguard for the creation of quality, ethical fetish based content for years, with unparalleled treatment of models (I know because I am one and Maggie knows it too), and a great deal of respect for their audience – but because of the way they worded a single press release, which drew from the models own words, they are to be totally excoriated.

    This entire article and the Greek chorus humming long with it smacks of something cynical and desperate and even personally motivated. I applaud Kink.com for giving a young lady what she wants and would suggest we all consider this from her point of view. Nicki subscribes to a belief that deserves the same respect and tolerance all of you no doubt expect in regards to your own sexual kinks and beliefs. The fact that Kink.com is going out of their way to work with Nicki and the larger community to make this happen in a way that both meets her personal desires as well as promotes kinkiness in general reflects my own positive experience with Kink.com. Far from deserving so much outright criticism, Kink.com deserves some credit for this.

  33. Alex

    ‘Hymengate’ is how it’s been described.

    “This entire article and the Greek chorus humming long with it smacks of something cynical and desperate and even personally motivated.”

    I’ve not gotten that impression at all from anything Maggie’s stated here or anywhere else. Even kink.com employees have been bothered by how this has been handled. If we cannot sanely articulate problems we have with companies who in some ways exercise responsibility, who is left to check them when they do not?

    I in no way judge Nicki for her decision, but agree completely with Maggie that the scheme around it is deeply distasteful.

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  37. Serenity

    I find this really sad that this girl is promoting losing her virginity for the world to gawk at. Even sadder for the individuals who will be watching. One step to child pornography, regardless of her age, if you ask me. The people who watch that should really reassess themselves and wonder why they feel no shame or disgust at the perverts they are.

    • I find this really sad that this girl is promoting losing her virginity for the world to gawk at. Even sadder for the individuals who will be watching.

      Why? Is there something wrong with having penile sex? Or watching said sex? If so, does your partner close their eyes when you engage in penetrative sex? Also, please detail what’s wrong with either action.

      One step to child pornography, regardless of her age, if you ask me.

      The problem with child pornography is that children cannot consent. Ms. Blue can obviously consent, so how are the two scenarios analogous?

      The people who watch that should really reassess themselves and wonder why they feel no shame or disgust at the perverts they are.

      Or perhaps you should reassess your values and consider the following:

      a. Why you’re here reading about what other consenting adults are doing, in light of your deep negative emotions.
      b. Why you think that consensual acts between adults should come with shame or disgust attached.
      c. How any act between consenting adults could be ‘perverted’ (i.e. morally wrong).

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  42. The discussion leaves me with very mixed feelings. While I understand why some might take issue with Kink.com’s press release, I must say that some of the reactions to it have been too shrill and self-righteous for my taste.

    Here is my view: there are several viable definitions of virginity (most of us will have known this already!). You could define it as the first time when someone has penis-in-vagina sex, or perhaps as the first time of “intense” sexual contact of any kind (including anal or oral sex, or perhaps BDSM play), or you could define it as something totally mental, like the first time you really felt “with” someone during sex. I think that, in a sexually liberated and pluralistic society, which definition of virginity you subscribe to and which one you apply to your own experiences should be strictly a matter of personal choice.

    Now, it seems that Nicki Blue subscribes to the penis-in-vagina definition of virginity and that the Kink.com press release drew from her own words. We should respect that. It’s her body and her “virginity”. How she views it is up to her. We have no right to impose our definition of virginity on her just as she would not have a right to impose hers on us.

    The criticism of Kink.com’s press release, of course, stems from how it supposedly implies that penis-in-vagina virginity is the only viable definition of virginity. Does it really do that, though? I don’t think it does. You could interpret it that way if you take “true virgin” to mean “virgin in the only true sense of the word”. However, I simply read it as “true virgin according to the definition we are concerned with here in our scenario”.

    I mean, given that the whole point of the scenario is Nicki Blue’s first vaginal sex, it is obvious why they would frame “true virgin” like this and why they would make such a fuss about the hymen, with the “hymen cam” and all that. It’s showbusiness. Personally, I view it as silly rather than offensive. I do not view it as a statement, directed towards all women, claiming that penis-in-vagina virginity is the only true form of virginity or that a woman is only a “true virgin” if her hymen is intact.

    As for “myth #3 , “‘virgins’ are better for sex because they’re tighter”, I don’t see that in the press release at all. So I don’t know why it was brought up?

    You can disagree with me and claim that at least myths #1 and #2 are implied by the wording of the press release. However, the problem I see with that is as follows: if we make the acceptability of porn dependent on subjective interpretations like that, on its alleged “implications”, we open a can of worms that will make life very difficult for us kinksters. Could it not be claimed that BDSM videos depicting corporal punishment imply that corporal punishment is an acceptable form of correction in schools or prisons, that violence is an acceptable method of solving personal conflicts, that (if we are watching an F/M video) men are meant to rule over women, et cetera? That, therefore, such videos should not be made because they send out culturally harmful messages? I don’t agree with this interpretation of BDSM videos at all, but logically speaking, it is no less viable than the interpretation that the Kink.com press release implies that penis-in-vagina virginity is the only form of virginity.

    It has been pointed out that a press release is a different medium than the porn videos themselves, that it is an “out of character” document and should therefore not use the same kind of language that one might use within the context of the sexual fantasy. I’m not sure I agree with this line of criticism, either. Are producers forbidden from using the language of sexual fantasy in a press release that advertises a porn video? Also, in this case, the whole point of the video is that it is based in reality in the sense that Nicki Blue, the performer, has never had vaginal sex before. So you can’t fully separate the sexual fantasy aspect from the reality of the performers.

    For me, whether porn is ethical or not depends entirely on the circumstances of the production of the content. Did all the performers give their full and informed consent? Was attention being paid to protecting their health and safety? Was the payment fair? And so on. It does not depend on the interpretation of the content by the viewers, on what “cultural implications” they see there.

    The biggest problem I have with your post is your claim that the press release is “dangerous” and that “lives are literally on the line”. There really is no quantifiable evidence for that. Sure, you can make a theoretical connection between the Kink.com press release and so-called “honour killings”. Just as you can make a theoretical connection between so-called “violent porn” and the rape and murder of women, as anti-porn activists do. But it has never been demonstrated that porn encourages violent actions. And if we take the position that it does, on the basis of mere assumption, then again, we open a can of worms that will come to bite us kinksters very badly.

    The sad truth is that, while “honour killings” can be about the matter of vaginal virginity, many are not. In repressive societies, girls have been killed over merely talking to boys, befriending boys, wearing clothes their family didn’t like or listening to music their family didn’t like. It could be almost anything. So I view Kink.com’s press release as rather insignificant in the scheme of things when that subject is concerned.

    In any case, even though I do not agree with much of what you write in this post, it was very thought-provoking and I thank you for it. I look forward to reading more on this blog, which I only discovered a couple of days ago because of this discussion.

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  44. I was tweeting away on twitter trying to find something to cure my boredom – and BOOM – someone I follow tweeted this post. Now, I am not quite as bored. Thanks for posting nice material. – Frisbee

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  49. Virginity is for gods/goddesses; NoVirginity is for WO/Men.

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