21 March 2006

Last American Virgin

My lifelong friend C has posed some very interesting thoughts to consider recently.
She emailed me not too long ago, asking me to break out my yearbook and answer some questions that had arisen regarding different people and pictures.
It was fun to leaf through and laugh, mostly, at how things had changed. Friends have moved on, some friends have stayed. What we once thought of as lifelong love has way moved on and what was important then surely isn't important now.
(Also, enough time has passed that our generation now qualifies for a dress-up day during Homecoming or Halloween. That is a shock to the psyche.)

But I digress. This so isn't my point.

We talked about past relationships and conquests, for lack of a better word.
We grew up in the excess of the eighties, pre-AIDS. There was a lot of focus on sex at the time. Sex was becoming more prominent in television and music. It was the age when music ratings first became a topic of discussion, for good reason.
There was Prince, need I say more, and the Brat Pack movies, which focused a lot on sex.

However, C and I were abnormal at the time, it seems, as we held onto our virginity until we were 18-ish while our other friends had experienced much more than us., much sooner than us.
It’s not to say that we were unattractive. We weren’t. It’s not to say that we didn’t date much. We did. Both of us tended to gravitate toward older guys. We weren’t religious. But we still didn’t give it up until later in our senior year. Our circle of friends was a mixed group. Some of us had sex with each other. Some of us were virgins. It wasn’t like we did what our friends were doing.

At the time, neither of us could see the point of having sex for the sake of having sex. Neither could we understand our friends who were heartbroken when they slept with random guys whom never called again. Perhaps we were more mature than most, but that’s hard to believe.

So, a couple of things to ponder:
Was our high school experience with sex a cultural thing? Was it because it was the 80’s?
Was it because we attended a small, dare I say, redneck school?
Was it because it was more acceptable at the time? Or perhaps less acceptable, thus more importance placed up on it?

Maybe it was because of all of the above.
We did go to a small school, our class graduated probably just under 200. I did hear the statement "Well, there’s nothing else to do here." We didn’t have sex ed classes, per se. Condoms were more for decorating cars and blowing balloons than for actual use.
I guess, maybe, there was a degree of coolness if we knew the couples stayed together. Conversely, there was definitely a degree of sluttiness of the girls who were with random guys.

I remember watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High and not quite understanding it. Now I know it’s because I didn’t give it up at an early age. It wasn’t part of my reality yet. Now I totally see the point of the movie. It’s more of a grown-up movie than a teen movie, really. Watch it again, if you get the chance, you’ll see what I’m saying.
I also watched "Can’t Hardly Wait" the other day. (there was nothing else on. It caught my attention because it has all the new actors before they were stars.)
Anyway, it’s a story about how after high school, every thing changes. Again, like Fast Times, it is a story for grown-ups more so than teens. It shows couples breaking up; it shows people discovering each other beyond image. It shows the cool kid that he is not so cool. It should be required viewing for exiting high school seniors, not that they’ll get it.

Another conclusion we came to is that losing our virginity was a momentous time but it wasn’t all wine and roses like the media would have girls believe. I don’t think we are the abnormal either.
For the most part, I think there is a lot of backseat, prom night drunkenness, parent’s basements, episodes. Surely, there are the stories where it was right time and the right place and the right person. But mostly, I think it wasn’t for most people. Maybe I’m wrong.

And, as I write this, this is SO not a conversation that would have ever occurred while I was in high school. While sex was prominent, we didn’t actually talk about it unless it was gossip (and then it was in generalities) or sharing with your best friend.
I’m sure part of the reason this is being discussed now is because we don’t have to look at each other while we’re "talking" about it. (:-D hahaha.

So, again, I have no point. I just found the whole thing interesting. This is just one of the topics that I have found my viewpoint changing with age.

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