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But Ian’s biggest problem is that he’s about to start college as a virgin!

October 15, 2008

That, folks, is a line from the imdb.com summary of Sex Drive, opening Friday. A line which is just ridiculous because everyone knows you can’t graduate high school unless your cherry’s been popped; hell, you can’t go to Prom unless you’ve been to third base, forget about a diploma. Oh, the horror, the horror of starting college without having been laid!

I have nothing against movies about losing one’s virginity; it is, after all, supposed to be a momentous event in a person’s life, and I’ve seen plenty of movies that handle it well, comedy and drama alike. What pisses me off is the current stereotype perpetuated by Judd Apatow and his ape-man cronies that being a virgin, particularly past the age of eighteen, is wrong. Not just wrong – unfathomable.

I blame the target audience of ignorant teenage boys – and men who act like ignorant teenage boys. A rousing game of ‘mock the virgin’ is hardly new, but the last decade seems to have taken the stigma to a whole new, depraved level.

Putting aside the rampant homophobia in movies like The 40 Year Old Virgin, why is it a good thing to make films that pressure kids into having sex? They send the message that virginity is abnormal after sixteen, and you have to get rid of it as soon as possible, like an unwanted fruitcake at Christmas or a burst appendix. If you don’t, you’ll be mocked and ridiculed, and you’ll never graduate, or get into college, or succeed at anything.

I don’t believe that abstinence or celibacy is The Answer, and I don’t think that sex is ‘evil,’ I just think it’s irresponsible, not to mention insulting, to promote the idea of sex being some kind of universal ‘cure-all.’ There are actually people in the world, including people in Los Angeles, for whom sex will never be the answer, and not because of ‘some religious thing’ or a ‘prude thing,’ but because the concept is just unappealing. The term is asexual.

We’re in the minority, sure, so I hardly expect mainstream Hollywood to cater to our point of view when sex clearly sells, but no one’s thought to represent us even in the indies. We’ll see movies about frustrated virgins and teenage pregnancies until we choke on them, but no one will tell the story of those who don’t want to have sex.

I wish it didn’t feel like my responsibility to fix that.

*

This afternoon, on my lunch break, I saw a bunch of people dressed as crash-test dummies standing on the corner of Melrose and Gardner, ostensibly to promote Crash. I only wish I’d had the chance to take a picture. Oh, Los Angeles.

Quote of the Day:

“Yeah, well, virgin’s not a dirty word. You know what’s a dirty word, is asshole, and that’s what you guys are. You know, I may not have had sex, but I could fuck you up.”

– Steve Carell as Andy Stitzer, talking to himself in The Forty Year Old Virgin

Link of the Day: Reddit.com – a whole new source of probably untrue things including a story about a grad student auctioning off what most people supposedly can’t wait to give away. Good story fodder.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2008 8:16 pm

    Hey! I’m here from AVEN. For what it’s worth, I think “The 40-Year Old Virgin” was probably the only “losing your virginity” movie that I ever really liked. To my eyes, it was the oversexed friends that seemed stupid, not the virgin character. Sure, he was dorky, but everyone in the movie was, and he was portrayed as the most likeable. I think the Apatow juggernaut definitely went downhill from there.
    If this genre of movie was seen as fiction, that’d be fine. But it isn’t. I agree that it’s a damaging message, since there are plenty of real-life kids who think not losing your virginity by a certain age is the end of the world.

  2. November 13, 2008 8:38 am

    Jane, I’m actually really glad I found this post. To be honest, I’d never really understood what the term asexual means, and I’m really glad I found my way to those boards because some of it – some if it just exactly what I’ve never known how to properly put into words. It’s the internet, I don’t want to get too personal, but I just wanted to thank you.

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