February 7, 2024

SEX ON THURSDAY | Cornell Virgins State of the Union

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My fellow sexless individuals: the state of our very being is in peril.

Once upon a time, I thought the majority of girls at Cornell were like me — virgins. After all, I’d say most of my friends are similar to me, both in personality and in sexual experience. Cornell men, however, I don’t have much intel on, since I try to associate with them as little as possible. Despite my limited knowledge of the typical Cornell man, I assumed that the Cornell student body, regardless of gender identity, was comprised mostly of sexless individuals.

Strangely, this is a topic I think about fairly often. I walk up Ho Plaza and wonder if the random group of girls passing me is also waiting for some sign from above to lose their V-card. I look around at parties and wonder if any other groups, besides me and my friends, are composed of virgins by choice (or, maybe by lack thereof).

One night last semester, my curiosity for concrete answers took over. In search of the truth, I took to the platform where, surely, no one would lie: Sidechat.

I made a poll, begging the question, “Are you a virgin? Entirely for science.”

254 users responded. The people want answers, too!

Respondents picked one of three answers: “Yes,” “No,” or “A Secret Third Thing.”

Only eighteen users (7 percent of respondents) chose the third option, which was probably what I found the most surprising about these poll results. It’s nice to know that most Cornell students take research seriously.

Despite my attempt to make the poll humorous, the results were anything but. I expected to find that a majority of the student body, like me, remained virgins. However, 158 respondents (62 percent) indicated that they had lost their virginity. Therefore, if we consider my Sidechat population as a representative sample of the student body, the majority of students have had sex before. 

Not only was I surprised by the result, but I also felt a little (a lot) sick to my stomach.

Though I have a good amount of company over on Team Virgin (31 percent of respondents), the results of this poll shattered my perception of sex on campus. I assumed that we were all in this together! Either my people betrayed me, or they were never my people at all.

I also think this stuff doesn’t matter more to me than to others. I get a strange feeling when people find out I’m still a virgin and act all shocked. I get an even stranger feeling when men find it weird or unexpected. If, as many people claim, virginity truly is just a social construct, why does it matter either way?

Though it might not be a majority, if 31 percent of the student body is part of the intact hymen crew (and whatever equivalent there is for the dick-wielders), we are a prominent group on campus. Cornell apparently has more virgins than athletes! Theoretically, no one should be surprised if any given student hasn’t had sex before. Why is it the norm to not be a virgin? Why does society so desperately want to expand on that 62 percent?

Perhaps a better question to ask the student body would pertain to overall sexual activity. Then again, how is being sexually active defined? I know that whenever I go to the doctor and they ask that question, I tell them, “Well, I’m not having sex, but…?”

That being said, I’m sure a good amount of Cornell’s student body is regularly having penetrative sex, and thoroughly enjoying themselves. Though I was surprised by the totally reliable statistics I gathered at first, I’m happy for every last one of the non-virgin respondents. Hell, I live vicariously through them. 

My fellow Cornell virgins: We must acknowledge and coexist with those individuals on this campus with fruitful sex lives. They are our classmates, our peers, our friends. They also make up the majority of our student body, so chances are that if you too walk up Ho Plaza and wonder if the random group of girls passing you is also waiting for some sign from above to lose their V-card … they’re not. 

But just like you, they probably also enjoy grabbing a drunken slice at Ned’s and hate all the construction in Olin. While the state of virginity on campus hangs in the balance, some things are more important in uniting us, like eating and complaining.

To my peers, virgin or not, I send my regards. May this semester be one of good sex or no sex at all!

Virginia Snatch is a student at Cornell University. Her fortnightly Column The Slip ‘N Slide discusses the art of sex, passion and everything in between.

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