The virgin holds a mythical place in our culture. Virginity is a prize, something to cherish, protect, and/or conquer. In Virgin: The Untouched History, Hanne Blank notes, “Virginity is as distinctively human a notion as philanthropy. We invented it. We developed it. We disseminated the idea throughout our cultures, religions, legal systems, bodies of art, and works of scientific knowledge.” Nowhere does this human notion flourish more than in literature.
From the New Testament of the Bible to Jane Austen’s chaste women and the sultry sexuality of Nabokov’s Lolita, we have seen writers grapple with the subject of virginity as it pertains to being unbroken, unclaimed, and unexplored. Even vampires get in on the act with the Twilight trilogy, placing Bella’s virginity at the sacrosanct center of the narrative. Or, put another way, you know virginity is a big deal when a vampire breaks a bed frame as he breaks […]
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