What does that even mean? I took a human sexuality class last semester and the professor posted a really good question. What does it mean to have sex?
Does it mean to have actual intercourse? Ok let's break it down by throwing out some scenarios. Before I do that let me put down a disclaimer that physical contact between men and women is generally a big no-no in Islam, let alone dating or even coming close to premarital relations. At the same time our reality in the US is that so many young Muslims are doing it anyway, regardless of its prohibitions in Islam.
With that said, let's look at the following three scenarios.
- Couple A want to remain 'virgins' so they decide to dry hump (keeping their clothes on)
- Couple B decide to engage in oral sex especially so the girl keeps her hymen in tact
- Individual C is frustrated so masturbates to release tension
What's in common with all three?
The possibility of reaching orgasm for one.
So let's suppose 1, 2, and 3 all reach climax. What does that mean? They're all sexual experiences but does that mean they've lost their 'virginity'?
I feel like this is a topic that Muslims need to speak up about. It's prevalent in our communities and it's time we talk about it! A lot of times for Muslim women, virginity equates to keeping one's hymen intact. A lot of girls who become sexual active actually go and get get their hymen sewed so their future husbands don't suspect anything. Does that mean she has suddenly been given back her virginity?
So what does it really mean to have sex or lose your virginity.
God says in the Qur'an "But let them who find not [the means for] marriage, abstain from sexual relations until Allah enriches them from His bounty..." [24:33]
From my understanding, the Arabic here leaves leeway to the meaning of sexual relations which connotes all types of sexual relations with a person who is not your spouse. That includes touching, kissing, hugging, etc. The wisdom behind this is that these types of sensual actions all lead up to sex.
I think that these types of relations are on a continuum and virginity deals with all of them. I mean honestly there are so many ways to be sexual active other than intercourse.
I guess that next question is, what do Muslims that engage in these behaviors thinking they're still 'virgin' do?