Monologues challenge perceptions of virginity

By Mia Ingui
Managing Assistant

“We’re going to talk about virginity today!”

Warm, enthusiastic and completely candid, Kayla Termyna, vice executive chair of Women In Learning and Leadership (WILL) and a senior deaf education and women’s, gender and sexality studies (WGS) double major, opened the College’s third annual Virginity Monologues with a bang.

Students share personal stories at the Virginity Monologues. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)
Students share personal stories at the Virginity Monologues. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)

The Virginity Monologues are just one part of WILL’s Redefining Sex Week, which strives to entertain and educate students at the College about sexuality and gender identity.

The monologues were held in the Library Auditorium on Wednesday, Nov. 16, with not a spare seat in sight. Redefining Sex Week is WILL’s biggest event of the year and the Virginity Monologues have become a crowd favorite.

“The Virginity Monologues have picked up a lot of audience attention,” Termyna said. “The bigger space now makes the event feel much more real.”

The event featured four speakers who openly shared their stories of virginity, whether it be losing it, reclaiming it or simply defining it. Then, the discussion was opened to the audience, who were invited to share their own stories.

Termyna initiated the event with a slideshow on virginity. The first slide contained the dictionary.com definition of virginity as “the state of being pure, fresh or unused.” The audience murmured and groaned. Is that really how virginity should be defined? Tremyna thinks not.

“Virginity does not have a consistent definition,” Termyna said. “So where does it come from? It comes from men because they think their penises are important. Sorry, men.”

Termyna took a seat in the black chair center stage and spoke candidly to those in the crowded auditorium.

“I entered college and my environment totally changed,” Termyna said. “Everyone was more (sexually) experienced than I was as I entered this mating ground of TCNJ. But then I realized that since puberty, I made my virginity the most interesting thing about myself. I was defining my worth, self-esteem and values around this thing that wasn’t really that interesting.”

Since then, Termyna has learned that there is no concrete definition of “virginity.”

“The concept of virginity is a social one,” Termyna said. “We created it without defining it, and we can’t really explain how it works. Virginity cannot and does not exist because it exists in too many ways. So maybe virginity wasn’t meant to be a definition, but a dialogue.”

Next to take the stage was Brianna Dioses, a senior early childhood urban education and WGS double major.

“I grew up with this notion that sex is something to be a little afraid of, and then I got to college, and I’m a WGS major, and I’m like, ‘Oh no… we’re going to talk about it,’” Dioses said.

Dioses went on to describe the first time she had sex.

“I lost my virginity for the first time on Saturday,” Dioses said. “By the way, when you have two virgins who don’t know what they’re doing, it’s really a hot mess.”

One audience member called out and asked if she felt any different having now lost her virginity. Dioses answered with a resounding “no.”

Sophomore psychology major Gigi Garrity spoke next.

“’I’m going to talk about how I lost my virginity,” Garrity said. “It was on my 17th birthday. I was naked and I was crying.”

Garrity said her boyfriend of the time coerced her into performing sexual acts and threatened to end their relationship if she didn’t do them. Garrity stressed to the audience the importance of comfort and communication between partners.  

Laura dismantles the 'broken toy' analogy she was taught in seventh grade. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)
Laura dismantles the ‘broken toy’ analogy she was taught in seventh grade. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)

“I was doing something I didn’t want to do because I loved him, and my discomfort would make him happy,” Garrity said. “Figure yourself out. Look in a mirror. Do things that you want, and don’t sacrifice your comfort for someone else. I’d say fuck ’em, but don’t.”

Last up was senior psychology and WGS double major Olivia Laura.

Laura told the audience about her seventh-grade science teacher, who provided a misguided example of what it means to lose your virginity.

“My teacher used the ‘broken toy’ analogy,” Laura said. “He said to us, ‘Everyone is like a toy in a box on a shelf. On your wedding day, you present yourself to your spouse. If you have sex before your wedding day, it’s like someone took you out of your box, played with you and broke you.’”

While Laura said some of her peers may have taken the message to heart, she certainly did not.

“First of all, I am not a fucking object. I am a person,” Laura said. “I’m also not a gift for anyone. I am my own person and I am not broken.”

Laura ended her monologue with a mantra, which the audience repeated back to her.

“I am a person, not an object. I am whole, not broken. I know what’s best for me. I am who I am, and no one can take that away.”