After reading a scene in which the heroine was a surprise virgin (Surprise! Virgin!) I tweeted about how tired I was of the Surprise Virgin afterglow conversations.
Picture it. The hero figures out the heroine is a virgin because he encounters some resistance (which, don't even get me started) and she flinches and of course he Is Very Alarmed and tries to stop but she tells him not to so it's ok for him to get on with it.
Then after they've crested and reached peaks of joy and done the dance as old as time, he says something about how if he'd known she was a virgin, he'd have done it all differently, been more gentle or something.
First, why would you not bring your A game the first time you sleep with a woman you have major lust pants for? If you groin is on fire and it's not because of Gold Bond, why would you not do your very best scrumpin? What is this “I'd have been more gentle and sensitive” crap?
Second, he knew she was a virgin as soon as he encountered her gasp upon his plunge (and can we stop with the “to the hilt” nonsense? I get it, he could… go… all… the … way. But enough with the hilt). He had plenty of time to gentle it up but no, he was overcome with lust, and pounded away like a poundy thing, and it's her fault for not telling him she was a virgin before he plunged his hilt.
So I vented about it on Twitter, and this began a very rapid discussion, which I believe sets up a list of requests for future virgin sex scene cliche avoiding.
First, the OMG U WERE VIRGIN DAMN MY HARDON scenes have to go. Enough with the 'You were a virgin? I'd have done it differently….” Why? This is why:
And then there was this response:
Yes. Yes it should
The ubiquity of this type of scene begs a few more questions. For one thing, what WOULD he have done differently? Brought flowers and some wine to her hymen?
And how does he know? Sometimes he feels it. COME ON.
Do we need to go over the location of the hymen again?
What does the differently mean? Seriously. Why would virgins want something that was more of a performance than a genuine physical expression? It's not like virgins get interpretive dance sex… do they!?
Yes. That too. How is it that sex is something HE does until she begs for it and then it's ok to pop her cherry in retrospect? ARGH. How is it that both people are consenting adults but he's the one what's “doing” things, and would therefore “do” them differently?
Are virgins never on top?
Then there's the reverse:
I don't think that's ok, either, but at least some difference is progress, right?
There are other scenes we are tired of, too. Kate Johnson brought up another corollary to the OMG U WERE VIRGIN? cliche scene:
YES. How is it that there are all these virginal heroines running around and everyone knows, remarks on said virgin status, and it's common knowledge among so many? WTF?
Even if I did know about someone being a virgin I can't think of any circumstance in which I'd bring it up. It's not like it's first-thing-in-the-elevator conversation each morning: “So, how's your hymen today? Still there?”
And speaking of virgins, they have their own collection of cliche scenes, including this one:
Yeah, I'm over that cliche, too. Enough of the virgin Havisham who is going to dine on the memory of her deflowering until she's old, dusty and decrepit. For never shall she meet another wang interested in her moldy wedding cake.
So, to sum up, Virginity Cliches are tiresome. I'd be happy to not read any of these again.
Oh – and this one, too:
Remember, people. Chaste is only two letters away from “chafe.”