Virginity refers to the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse
Sexual intercourse
Sexual intercourse, also known as copulation or coitus, commonly refers to the act in which a male's penis enters a female's vagina for the purposes of sexual pleasure or reproduction. The entities may be of opposite sexes, or they may be hermaphroditic, as is the case with snails...

. There are cultural and religious traditions which place special value and significance on this state, especially in the case of unmarried females, associated with notions of personal purity, honor and worth. Like chastity
Chastity refers to the sexual behavior of a man or woman acceptable to the moral standards and guidelines of a culture, civilization, or religion....

, the concept of virginity has traditionally involved sexual abstinence
Sexual abstinence
Sexual abstinence is the practice of refraining from some or all aspects of sexual activity for medical, psychological, legal, social, philosophical or religious reasons.Common reasons for practicing sexual abstinence include:*poor health - medical celibacy...

 before marriage, and then to engage in sexual acts only with the marriage partner.

Unlike the term premarital sex
Premarital sex
Premarital sex is sexual activity, including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex, practiced by persons who are unmarried. Although it has always been practiced, in the West it has increased in prevalence since the mid-1950s...

, which can refer to more than one occasion of sexual activity and can be judgment neutral, the concept of virginity usually involves moral or religious issues and can have consequences in terms of social status and in interpersonal relationship
Interpersonal relationship
An interpersonal relationship is an association between two or more people that may range from fleeting to enduring. This association may be based on limerence, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the...


I always thought of losing my virginity as a career move.

Madonna, quoted in Madonna Unauthorized, epilogue, Christopher Andersen (1991)

It is regarded as normal to consecrate virginity in general and to lust for its destruction in particular.

Karl Kraus, Beim Wort genommen (1955)

‘No, no; for my virginity,When I lose that,’ says Rose, ‘I’ll die’:‘Behind the elms last night,’ cried Dick,‘Rose, were you not extremely sick?’

Matthew Prior, A True Maid

Some say no evil thing that walks by night,In fog or fire, by lake or moorish fen,Blue meagre hag, or stubborn unlaid ghostThat breaks his magic chains at curfew time,No goblin, or swart fairy of the mine,Hath hurtful power o’er true virginity.

John Milton, Comus, l. 432-437

Virginity is now a mere preamble or waiting room to be got out of as soon as possible; it is without significance. Old age is similarly a waiting room, where you go after life’s over and wait for cancer or a stroke. The years before and after the menstrual years are vestigial: the only meaningful condition left to women is that of fruitfulness.

Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Space Crone,” The Co-Evolution Quarterly (Summer 1976)

Virginity is the ideal of those who want to deflower.

Karl Kraus, Beim Wort genommen (1955)

Which people desire to lose what they possess? A sick man his fever, a tormented husband his wife, a gambler his debts, and a girl—her virginity.

Franz Grillparzer, Notebooks and Diaries (1808-1810)

Your old virginity is like one of our French withered pears: it looks ill, it eats drily.

William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well, act 1, sc. 1 (1623)

It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue.

Voltaire, Notebooks (c.1735-c.1750)