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TV Is Obsessed With Virgins Right Now

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There's something in the air. Or the water. Or the ether. Or wherever something would have to be to somehow influence the TV landscape for a hot minute. One theme/plot point is popping up all over television right now, and that theme is virginity. Virgins! They're everywhere.

Sunday night brought us two divergent tales of virginity: The devastatingly sexy and apparently sexually gifted Jon Snow on Game of Thrones broke his vow of celibacy with beautiful snow lady Ygritte, while dweeby and anxious Ginsberg on Mad Men openly confessed to his date that he'd never had sex. (And given his demeanor, it didn't seem like that was about to change any time soon.) Yesterday afternoon, Yahoo announced it was launching a web series called "Losing Your Virginity with John Stamos," wherein celebrities will tell the stories of their first times. Last night's New Girl traced how each of the characters lost his or her virginity, from Cece's wild night with Mick Jagger to Winston's magical night with a woman who turned out to be a prostitute. And last night's Awkward had Jake and Tamara losing their virginities to one another. In a few weeks, virginity
is a minor plot point on an episode of The Big C, too. So much deflowering!


And so much, well, good deflowering, for lack of a better term. For some people — characters and real people alike! — virginity is a huge, huge deal, and they want their first time to be with someone they love love love who loves them back. For others, it's just not as significant: a rite of passage, sure, but not the be-all and end-all. For some it's more of a nuisance, and for some it's an incredibly fraught proposition, one that's more anxiety-inducing than anything else in their lives up to that point. And we're actually seeing that range of experience on TV right now, which defies pretty much everything I know about TV's sexual politics, which tends to punish women for demonstrating sexual agency and ridicule men who demonstrate anything other than total sexual prowess.

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