Culture

In Case You Missed It: Virgins

virgin diaries

Yeah, I’m ashamed of me too for that title. But let’s move past that, shall we? One of the week’s more interesting viral items comes courtesy of TLC, which for reasons I can’t quite grasp is still The Learning Channel. I guess learning that I’m terrified of pageant moms and couples who don’t know how to stop reproducing is learning, at any rate. Their latest and greatest reality show concoction is a ditty called Virgin Diaries, an upcoming one-hour special. I’ll let TLC explain:

“Virgin Diaries takes you inside the lives of adult virgins who reveal the challenges, truths, and anticipations of losing their virginity.”

Following three stories (a 35-year-old who just never did the deed, a group of roommates who’re waiting for their husbands and a couple who’d not kissed until the day of their ceremony), Virgin Diaries aims to cast a positive light on the much-maligned cause of adult abstinence and tell the stories of people going against the grain. The only problem is, this is TLC, so we get this promo, which has set the clucking masses abuzz.

At this point, I’m torn between two reactions. For one, yeah, I laughed. Independent of context, this is pretty fucking funny, just because kissing is a motion that requires at least a modicum of finesse that this poor man is clearly lacking. Plus, the idea that dude didn’t even take the time to practice on a pillow or orange is surprising. This is the YouTube age, where you can learn pretty much anything with a simple Google search.

That said, I have trouble being as snarky as I’m inclined to be, because beneath the comedy of people literally sucking face is a pretty sweet sentiment. Fewer and fewer people have the willpower to stay celibate until married, to the point where those who do are treated more or less like lepers. And yeah, I laughed and scoffed at the Jonas Brothers too, but the whole idea that not having sex is immediately equated with religious fundamentalism is ridiculous. Some people really just don’t want more than one person, and I say God bless ’em. They’ll never have to deal with all the uncomfortable self-awareness and inadvertent sounds and fingers placed where they’ve not been requested that comes with “freely” living out your 20s.

There’s also the matter of whether there’s a level of condescension on the part of TLC for making that kiss the leading focus of their promos. My estimate is “yes,” considering the other stories aren’t getting the same limelight as the somewhat ridiculous one, but then they all signed off to be on a reality show. Regardless of personal ideology, I think there’s something kind of fascinating about a time in which Virgin Diaries is a show; let’s remember that at one time, women couldn’t even be announced as pregnant in public. That we’re talking about people finally getting laid is…progress, I guess?

Feel free to discuss in the comments below. What say you on all of this? Is this exploitation? Does the very photo attached to the article make it part of the problem?