@MissCalifornia: Great post. “Saving oneself” became fashionable during the 1800s… primarily due to societal issues of the time… this is WHY they are called Victorian Values (and have roots in the “Puritan movement” 200 years earlier… which in itself was rooted in the role of the Church in Britian)
And so these Victorian Values, were passed onto “the colonies” and worldwide. To the point where today, many just assume that what we’ve seemed to know forever (now over 150 years) is the way things always have been… be that in society / or the church.
Nothing could be further from the truth… in reality, prior to the Victorian Period and outside of the reach of the Church of England (and the churches that sprung forth from that here in North America)… life was very different
As well, there have ALWAYS been those who grew up with these Victorian / Puritan Values (view of the world) who have found the whole thing “difficult to live up to” (be that back in the 1800s or now in the 21st Century).
So ya, there has always been a whole lot of sex going on between young lovers, just that it wasn’t something that was spoken about (another hold off from the Victorian era… Social Etiquette, and what does and doesn’t count as “social conversation”… and SEX is certainly a taboo subject).
There were of course various times in history during this 150 year span, when of course sexuality with the youth of the time moved more into the forefront… where it was pretty well known that young folks were having sex… but again it was a hush-hush topic. The most prominent of which were the 1920s (flapper years) and the 1940s (WWII and people going off to war)
And in both cases, the apparent surge in sexuality seem to have been caused by changes in the role of women, and the availability of better birth control.
It wasn’t truly until the 1960s tho sexuality and youth became front and centre (The Sexual Revolution) with the availability of The Pill, the most effective form of birth control to date
Since then the sexual revolution has each decade moved forward with new challenges / and old guard ideas following.
I myself, being over 50… the primary focus of the 1970s, was the idea that women could go out and “sow their oats” before marriage… and NOT BE JUDGED / labeled for it (slut)… in the same way that society had accepted men doing this for several decades by that point in time.
Having come thru the sexual revolution myself, I am a BIG proponent of getting the truth about sexuality out to women…
Because sadly a lot of what people believe today to be “based in the church” just isn’t true… a great deal of it is merely leftovers from Social Norms that were set down by the men in power… be they in the Catholic Church / Church of England or those of the Victorian Era (be that Government or the Upper Classes)… and these views were written down, and now sadly by many are the accepted truths.
Which quite honestly, is WHY I am no longer a big fan of organized religion (churches)… because a lot of what Congregations are told as absolute truths set down by God / Bible are actually just “social norms” that were man-made in any particular period of history.
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EDIT TO ADD – And yes, I’ve come to realize that there are indeed many people in my own family (lol, those same folks who were so adament about my own sexuality when I was growing up as a teen / young woman) in reality had sex themselves before marriage. This is certainly true for my own Parents, who were in their 20s in the 1940s.
What I have come to realize as I myself have had children and raised them, that I too passed along some of these same values… but more than anything, it was because I was a loving Parent and didn’t want to see my children emotionally hurt or in a compromised situation at a young age (sexually exploited).
When all is said and done, I don’t think virginity really matters that much. It is certainly best when given up to someone you love at an age when you are mature enough to handle the situation… but 10, 20, 30, 40 or more years down the road, looking back it really isn’t that big a deal… it is just another milestone in one’s life development like learning to walk, talk, ride a bike etc.
And this is certainly more apparent, when you get older and discover, that life isn’t perfect. Life deals you cards that you have no control over. Take my elderly father… I know for a fact that altho at one time he may have thought that he’d have a devoted sex life to one women is whole life, in reality things didn’t work out that way for him. My Parents divorced, he dated and got engaged, that person died, and he dated and married again. So I’m guessing that even he has had a minimum of 3 Lovers in his life. Not from “straying” but rather from the fact that he is a man who needs love in his life, just as we all do. Interestingly, after my own Divorce and thru my subsequent dating period, and being with Mr TTR, he has never flinched once at my sexuality… and I attribute this to the fact that I have grown up (so he doesn’t worry about me the same as when I was a teen / younger woman)… but so has he. His views on sexuality have changed, BECAUSE of the cards that life dealt him.