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Virgin-Shaming

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"I brought you here to bed my son, not throw him a tea party. [...] My son is 26 years old and he ain't yet a man. Twenty-six. And since he can't find a willin' woman himself..."
Magistrate Higgins to Inara Serra, "Jaynestown", Firefly

Virginity seen as shameful, immature, and something a character needs to get over as soon as possible.

Due to a Double Standard, this trope more commonly applies to males than females. Virginity is seen as something silly that men need to get past as soon as possible, while it is often shown as desirable in women. This trope is not gender-restricted, however. Female characters are shamed in this way occasionally, especially in high school settings.

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Contrast Slut-Shaming, where characters (usually female) are derided for promiscuity rather than virginity. See also Unexpected Virgin if a character's virginity elicits surprise. For the "logical" extreme of this trope, see Eunuchs Are Evil. Closely related to Sex as Rite-of-Passage.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Hot Gimmick: Ryoki, who is extremely ashamed that he still is.
  • Full Metal Panic!: Sousuke. Despite being through many horrible wars, being a military man, and being at the age where he should be going through puberty, Sousuke has as much understanding about sex as a 5 year old. It's pretty safe to assume he's a virgin when he thinks that condoms are for storing water, "kissing" is a synonym for CPR, and "flirting" is trapping girls in cages and holding them captive at gunpoint. Seriously, you don't get chaster than him. As a matter of fact, Kurz even mocks him for it, insulting him by calling him a "gutless virgin." Being raised in the Afghan mujahideen may have had something to do with it.
  • Fruits Basket: Tohru's class puts on a performance of Cinderella. Kyo plays the prince and is extremely mopey and uninterested in the ball being held. During the performance, Arisa (who is playing his "best friend") tells him to cheer up and "it's no wonder you're still a virgin". Kyo freaks out at this and yells at her not to say stuff like that.
  • Baccano!: Claire, despite being a virgin himself, does put some stock in this trope. Upon discovering that Firo's been living with a woman for over a year and hasn't gotten even as far as first base, he starts doubting that Firo's even human. The 2002 books show that Firo manages to remain a virgin into his nineties, much to the amusement of the rest of the Martillo family.
  • In Mad Bull 34, weak-willed rookie cop Eddie Daizaburo is pretty embarrassed about the fact that he's a virgin - especially considering the fact that his partner, "Sleepy" John Estes, is a Dirty Cop running a prostitution racket and a well known lothario. Sleepy tries to get a bunch of his girls to show Eddie a good time, but he's not having it because it's just not what he's looking for. Thereafter, Sleepy occasionally broaches the subject to annoy Eddie.
  • Discussed in TSF Monogatari, where Takumi comments that, since he's been turned into a girl, her virginity is now an asset as opposed to a stigma...which she loses not ten minutes later.
  • In Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Koumei started teasing Alibaba about this before realizing he's right, Alibaba never touched a woman, let alone have a girlfriend. Kouen found this hilarious.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Kaneki and Hide are introduced having a conversation in which it is made blatantly obvious neither one of them has ever been on so much as a date with a girl, with Kaneki's first date being the event that kicks off the entire plot. Similarly, Amon is a Chaste Hero that rejects the advances of his female partner, but is portrayed as a paragon of masculinity. Besides settled-down family men, the only male character in the series confirmed to be sexually active is Nishiki, who is actually mocked over his sex life and is in general a Butt-Monkey.
  • Gunsmith Cats: In both the Manga and Anime OVA, May Hopkins always teases and shames Rally Vincent about being a virgin, because of how obsessed she is with guns instead of traditional female interest and how she doesn't seem to notice when men are attracted to her. Hopkins, on the other hand, has lots of sex and is proud of it.
  • Mamori in Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid often gets mocked for her name being spelled with the same kanji as "virgin".

    Comic Books 
  • Subverted in the original X-Force, with eventual lovers Rictor and Shatterstar. After being groped in a club, Shatterstar flees in terror and later admits that he has no experience whatsoever. Attempting to comfort him, Rictor states that it's nothing to be ashamed of and admits that he's still a virgin — his Ladies' Man attitude is all an act.
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    Fan Works 
  • Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: The homophobe does this to Italy in addition to mocking his mannerisms.
    "Twisted homos making me want to puke. Kill yourself, disgusting virgin fag."
  • The Child of Love: When Asuka tries to seduce Shinji.
    Asuka: Don't tell me you're not a man. Or is it that you don't [want] to be a man?
  • CRME: A subversion occurs. Emerald mocks Mercury for being a virgin, but she states that there isn't anything wrong with virginity. She just knows that those insults would annoy him since he has such a big ego and "ladies-man" demeanor. It's also to get back at him for annoying her over the past few weeks that he's been on the team. Even after they hook up, she taunts him for his lack of experience since she can tell he has never had sex before then.
  • A Different Lesson: Subverted with Tai Lung. He is indeed initially mocked (by Mantis and Monkey) for being a virgin, but this does not lessen his badass nature one bit. Eventually he does lose his virginity...but this has no bearing on his fighting ability, since he in fact loses a major battle right after doing so. And when he does finally defeat the Big Bad later, it's as part of a team, and again his virginity or lack thereof isn't brought up nor does it have anything to do with his victory. So even when he ultimately does have sex, the attitude behind this trope still gets subverted.
  • Evangelion 303: In episode 3 Asuka questions Shinji about his sex life and mocks him for being a virgin. It turns out she was projecting: later Shinji finds out that she is also a virgin and she feels ashamed about it.
  • Myrmidons: Sheri Walford's old service buddy Lisa Makbar jokingly calls her "bitch" for saving herself for the right guy; Sheri calls Lisa "slut" for, well, not. Amanda Nung similarly tries a few times to get Sheri laid. She finally sleeps with Warrant Officer Abaddon on her nineteenth birthday in part three.

    Film 
  • Luke in 2:37 teases his friend for being a virgin. It's clearly a sore spot for his friend.
  • All the guys are desperate to lose their virginity in American Pie, but Jim is the only one who explicitly meets the "pathetic and maladjusted" definition of the trope. Eventually they decide to forget about the pledge to lose their virginity, deciding to avert this trope and be comfortable with themselves, and have sex when they're ready. Then they all get laid anyway, making it something of a Broken Aesop.
  • Discussed in Chronicle. Steve hears that Matt has gone a long time without sex and Andrew is a virgin. His response? "Then how are you guys so cool?"
  • In The Graduate, it could be interpreted that Ben, the protagonist, is a virgin before he sleeps with Mrs. Robinson. At the very least, he sleeps with Mrs Robinson because she challenges him on his inexperience. He acts so horribly awkward she outright asks him, and he unsuccessfully tries to deny it, so she basically dares him to prove himself. "Just because you happen to be inadequate in one way..." To his...credit?...Dustin Hoffman, 30 years old at the time, does a great job of playing a nervous, shy virgin.
  • Grease: Rare female example. Sandy gets this a lot over the story, especially from Rizzo. There's even a whole song dedicated to it, called "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee." This eventually leads to her deciding to Be a Whore to Get Your Man.
  • In Heavy Traffic Rosalyn laughs at Michael because he's rumored to be a virgin.
  • Hocus Pocus:
    • A candle with a black flame is prophesied to resurrect a trio of witches if a virgin were to light it. Initially one would suspect that the little girl in the witch's costume would light it. But no, it was the main, male character Max who lit the candle. The cursed-as-an-immortal-cat Binx spelled this fact out in case the viewers forgot the virgin clause, as did the little girl.
    • Lampshaded in the conversation with the cop on the motorcycle. "I'll get it tattooed on my forehead, all right!?"
    • All of this joking and other general obsession about Max's lack of a sex life is made just a mite squicky, since he's only fifteen, at the very oldest!
      The Nostalgia Chick: After all, what are you doing if you're still in high school and still a virgin?
  • Valentin Bulgakov from The Last Station gets teased for being a virgin, even though the ideology he has dedicated his life to commands a celibate life-style.
  • In Porky's, the main character's mission is to have sex — even by hiring a prostitute. The film derives its humor by frustrating every attempt until the end.
  • At the end of Weekend at Bernie's II, Richard's life is saved from poisoning by a potion made with the blood of a virgin. That virgin just happened to be Larry. He teased Larry about it at the very end.
    Richard: Oh, and thanks for keeping yourself a virgin for me.
    Larry: Great. That's great. Just twist the knife a little deeper, why don't you.
  • In The 40-Year-Old Virgin, after Andy inadvertently ousts himself as a virgin, his "friends" and coworkers go out of their way to remind him how they think it's so weird for him never have had sex at his age.
  • Brian fears this treatment in The Breakfast Club after Bender jokingly calls him a cherry. This leads to a massive misunderstanding with Claire, forcing Brian to confirm that he is, in fact, a virgin. It's subverted when Claire says "it's okay for a guy to be a virgin", but it's brought up again later when the whole group hounds her until she admits that she is also one, hinting that even she thinks there's a double-standard at work.

    Literature 
  • In the web-novel Domina, Derek and Adam are specifically noted to be virgins (well, we only find out about this after Adam sleeps with Lily). Derek doesn't seem to find it important, but Adam is embarrassed.
  • Deconstructed in Youth in Sexual Ecstasy: The protagonist, at first, justifies this trope and his lifestyle by saying that men should acquire experience and dexterity in order to satisfy their future partners and that only a fool would want to arrive as a virgin to marriage, then he gets rebutted by the sex therapist of the story who says that most of his male patients who suffer from sex problems during their marriage had very active sex lives in their youth, and as consequence the experiences accumulated and they de-sensitiviced and mechanized the act, when, according to him, sex is not about technique and experience-- it's about feeling.
  • In Richard Wright's famous autobiography Black Boy, he recalls a co-worker who had a bad case of gonorrhea, and actually acts proud of it because it's proof he's had sex, and is therefore a real man. Richard doubts he's as proud of it as he acts, however, when he sees him urinate one day, with his teeth clenched, tears streaming out of his eyes and with a hand on the beam above him to keep from falling over in agony.
  • Trapped on Draconica: Justified here. According to Leondian law, no one can take part in combat unless they have at least one child. Being a virgin means being a non-combatant which means being deadweight. In short, being a virgin is festering spearhead in Kalak's self-confidence. He gets over it shortly after meeting Daniar.
  • Lord Straff Venture in Mistborn: The Original Trilogy definitely subscribed to this view, and forced his son and heir, Elend Venture, to sleep with a whore when Elend was 13. This is one of the first signs of how completely screwed-up Straff is. He had his reasons, though the more progeny, the bigger chance for a magic-empowered Allomancer among them.
  • Downplayed in The Dresden Files: White Night. The young and talented Carlos Ramirez, who behaves like a self-styled Casanova, is identified as a virgin by sex vampire Lara Raith. Harry spends the entire climactic fight scene teasing him about it.
  • Played with in Jumper. At the start of their relationship Davy is a virgin but Millie isn't, and he invokes this on himself after he has a premature ejaculation their first time together. She tells him not to worry about it, and he's soon able to impress her (turned out all that reading in the library to hide from his abusive father was good for something).
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: It's stated that, in stark contrast to female virgins, no one wants male virgins at all (young boys excluded). Some experience is preferred.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Young Ones, episode "Time," includes a long fight occasioned by Vyvyan mocking Rick's virginity. Another episode of the same show, "Nasty", shows the whole cast reluctant to confess virginity in the face of a vampire who drinks virgin blood.
    Rick: What, me? Rick? A virgin? Ha, ha, ha! Just try telling that to some of the foxy chicks who owe me favours!
    Neil: Well if Rick's not a virgin, then I'm not either!
  • Referenced, and somewhat lampshaded, in the first episode of the first series of Skins.
    Tony: It's embarrassing.
    Sid: It's common and quite normal for someone of sixteen—
    Tony: —No. It's embarrassing, Sid.
    Sid: ...shit.
  • Deconstructed in an episode of Family Matters in which Steve reveals Eddie's virginity to an entire men's locker room, inadvertently causing all the guys to make fun of Eddie. Later on in the episode, Eddie stands up to them with a speech about how real men value women as human beings and not as conquests.
  • Smallville: For the first several seasons Clark was the epitome of the innocent male virgin, to the point that it'd become somewhat of an in-joke amongst fans, who coined the term "Supervirgin." In one episode, a witch who needs the hair of two virgins for a spell successfully uses Clark's, just in case there was any doubt. Subverted in that it was later revealed Clark was worried that in the throes of passion, he would lose control of his powers and harm his partner. When he lost his powers in the beginning of season 5, he had sex with Lana the very next episode.
  • Constantly used for humor on Married... with Children. Al Bundy was the Big Man on Campus in high school not only because he was a football hero, but because he made it with every hot girl in his class...at least before he got married and his life went down the crapper. His son Bud has the opposite problem, constantly trying (and failing) to score with women, something for which the rest of his family teases him mercilessly.
  • Atia on Rome is very determined her son becomes a man. Which she emphasises with this comment:
    Atia: You will penetrate someone today or I shall burn your wretched books in the yard.
    • Somewhat Truth in Television and less about sex for sex's sake than ticking off the boxes for things a Proper Roman Male needs to be known to do to BE a man—Octavian was at/approaching legal age, he needed to demonstrate it. (Also, note that the point is less sexual intercourse than penetration—man or woman, so long as Octavian is on top, it would "count". For Romans, male sexuality was not about the gender of the partner/target but very much about who was on top.)
  • In an episode of Quantum Leap the boy Sam is there to rescue (as his mother) is teased by his so-called friends for being a virgin, despite one of the friends secretly being a virgin himself.
  • In the Firefly episode "Jaynestown", a local magistrate hires Inara to sleep with his 26-year-old-virgin son, supposedly in order to "make him a man." After they have sex, the son is disappointed that he doesn't feel fundamentally different. He asks, "Aren't I supposed to be a man now?" She answers, "A man is just a boy who is old enough to ask that question. Our time together is a symbol; it means something to your father. But it doesn't make you a man. You do that yourself." The event that makes the son become a man in his own eyes is when he defies his father by helping the crew of Serenity escape.
  • General Hospital. After Jagger dumped Brenda for Karen, Brenda took great pleasure in taunting Karen about the fact that she was a virgin and not ready to have sex, suggesting that it was only a matter of time before Jagger dumped Karen to come back to her. She had a serious Heel Realization months later upon learning that Karen's sexual fears stemmed from having been molested as a child.
  • In the second season of Galavant, a potion to save Galavant's life requires a gray hair from the beard of a middle-aged virgin. King Richard initially insists that such a thing would be impossible to find, before relenting and admitting that he's a virgin (despite being fifty, a king, and married).
  • Jackass: Ehren McGhehey reportedly was a virgin, which made him the Butt-Monkey of the gang.
  • In an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when Carlton plays poker with Will and his friends they reminisce about their first times, when Carlton reveals he's a virgin, Jazz keeps making fun of him.
  • Charmed (2018): Zigzagged in the third episode. There's some jokes at Cam's expense, but it's because he's an incel, not a virgin. Macy also finds her own virginity a bit pathetic, but her sisters reassure her it's nothing to be ashamed of, which makes this show a perfect example of the Double Standard that often accompanies this trope.
  • Subverted and partially deconstructed on Legends of Tomorrow. When John Constantine needed a virgin for a spell, they used the nebbish Butt-Monkey Gary. At first it seems like another joke at Gary's expense, but it turns out Gary isn't sexually inexperienced, he's gay and the spell was based on a heteronormative definition of sex.
  • Burnistoun: The Doberman was heavily bullied and forced to hump a pole as a teen due to being a virgin. As an adult superhero, he's still very sensitive about it.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • After Rhett Titus had shown the ability to get almost any woman he wanted and spent many a day in Ring of Honor claiming to have slept with a denying Daizee Haze, she and Delirious eventually made him admit he was a virgin, though the truth of that is also suspect.
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    Video Games 
  • The objective of Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards is for the title character to lose his virginity. If he can't do it by next morning, he'll kill himself. And hey, to emphasize the challenge, prostitutes don't count (though he won't kill himself if he has sex with a prostitute).
  • Played straight in Xenogears. A naive Fei-Fong Wong is teased about sex by a the village prostitute at the beginning of the game. By the climax of the game Fei-Fong Wong and Elly begin a sexual relationship.
  • In Team Fortress 2, one of the Spy's domination lines to the Scout is an insult to his possible manliness.
    Spy: Here lies Scout. He ran fast and died a virgin.

     Visual Novels 
  • Fran pokes fun at 18-year old Erik from Missing Stars for being a virgin.

    Web Comics 
  • Inverted in General Protection Fault, Nick, despite never having been on a date until his mid to late 20s, chooses to abstain from sex with Ki until marriage. Then again, when they are married, they seem to have sex almost constantly on their honeymoon. Hey, they had to wait long enough, what would you do in their place?
  • In Loserz, where two protagonists are virgins and are portrayed as, well, "Loserz." At least, until Eric gets laid, but Ben has no such luck.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: The comic starts with Allison about to have sex with her boyfriend. She later admits that he's kind of a jerk, and she only started dating him so that she could get rid of her virginity as fast as possible. She's also Ambiguously Gay, which throws some Armored Closet Gay in there as well.
  • Gary of Ménage à 3 spends the early part of the comic's long run as a virgin with serious related self-esteem problems and the subject of pity from other characters who know, despite their (rather ham-fisted) attempts to help him. Then he (a) turns out to be a natural oral sex master, and later (b) gets laid. The joke is, he remains... Gary. A hopeless geek with negligible social skills. He just goes from having no sex to being sexually exploited (though he doesn't seem to object to that much). His virginity is a symptom of his hopelessness, not its cause.

    Web Original 
  • A meme brewing the *chans inverts this: if a man reaches age thirty without having known the touch of a woman, he becomes a wizard.
  • Referenced in The Nostalgia Chick and The Nostalgia Critic in their review of Hocus Pocus, where they wonder why the characters feel like it's so weird for a fifteen year old boy to be called out on as being a virgin.
  • The "Virgin Vs. Chad" meme, where the contemptible "virgin" is contrasted with the over-the-top "Chad".
  • YouTube personality DrNerdLove comments about it in his video "The Virginity Paradox" regarding male virginity.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!: In the James Bond movie parody "Tearjerker":
    Francine: Oh my god, you really ARE a virgin!
    Stan: What... isn't that good?
    Francine: No. It's awful.
    • In the episode The 42-Year-Old Virgin every one shames Stan for lying about killing anyone, comparing it to someone not losing their virginity.
  • Diane from BoJack Horseman experienced both this and Slut-Shaming at the same time when she was called a "virgin slut" in high school. Even back then, she wasn't afraid to point out the Logic Bomb.
  • Rev. Putty in Moral Orel, who's in his forties and balding and still a virgin, much to his ire. Especially since, thanks to a Stalker with a Test Tube, he discovers he has an adult daughter while still a virgin. He finally loses it to some prostitutes Orel inadvertently picks up for him to 'save', and is noticeably more relaxed after that.


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