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The fear of being “outed” as a virgin becomes a self-perpetuating cycle.
They continue to get older, becoming even of titanic proportions that casts a shadow over everything they do and who they are. So let’s talk a little about the problems with the way we think about male virginity… Stories of blowjobs being traded as casually as handshakes in high-school, and the hang-wringing over college hook-up culture make the world sound like a never-ending bacchanal for those who are lucky enough to take part. Similarly, college isn’t the hotbed of casual sex that we think it is; students tend to regularly overestimate just how much their fellow classmates are hooking up rather drastically. The first is that we’ve been handed a shared narrative via pop-culture that directly affects how we our lives are supposed to be.
One of the reasons why men tend to freak out about the idea of being a virgin – especially being a virgin past college – is that we’ve grown up in the shadow of a cultural narrative that we believe to be law.
The Standard Virginity Loss Narrative tells us that men are supposed to lose their virginity by a certain age – sometimes by age 18, sometimes by 21.
The earlier you lose it, the better off you are (no matter how unhealthy that act may actually be), but you should be trying by high school.
According to the Standard Narrative, the ideal time is at some suitably momentous occasion: the “big game”, at prom… If you can’t manage it in high school, then you wants to be there because here there be dragons.
They talk about feeling broken or unworthy, that they’ve missed some sort of open time frame where they could lose their virginity and now they’re (metaphorically) screwed.