Below is a conversation I had last week with a 19 year-old cousin of mine who told me he was seeing a girl for whom he had special feelings.
— Are you happy? I asked.
— Very happy, he said.
— Do you love her?
— Yes, I love her very much.
— Does she love you too?
— Yes. At least, that’s what she told me, but I believe her. I know when it’s real and when it’s not.
— Do you have sex with her as well?
— No, I don’t… It’s too early yet.
— Alright. So it’s a platonic love affair between you and this girl.
— What is “platonic”?
— Platonic is when you love someone deeply but refrain from any physical or sexual act. Which is funny because Plato, who gave his name to this, was a notorious homo.
— OK, OK, well no, we are not platonic then, we have our own thing…
— Your own thing, cuzzie?
— What does that mean?
— It’s like when it’s not platonic but still something happens.
— Something happens… Like what?
— Like kissing, flirting… caressing…
— Yes, this kind of things, you know.
— OK, so you don’t make love to her.
— No, it’s too early yet.
— When will it not be too early, cuzzie, do you know?
— I don’t know. This is the way things are. I don’t know. I just love her and I don’t want to push her.
— OK. You seem not to be wanting more as well.
— Well, I would like to do more, but it’s not possible for now.
— I see, so you are temporarily satisfied.
— I’m OK with that, yes.
— Do you make love to yourself, then?
— Oh… Erm, well… yes, kind of.
— Kind of…?
— Well, it’s normal, isn’t it?
— I understand. And do you intend to keep making love to yourself until she accepts?
— I don’t know, I really don’t know, it’s too early…
— Nevermind, it’s OK. But, since you’re at it, you know you can make love to yourself with her, right?
— Yes, she once suggested the idea.
— And do you like this idea?
— Well, if she’s OK with it, yes, sure.
— Perfect, enjoy yourselves.
— You are a virgin, right, cuzzie?
— Yes, I am.
— Let me ask you this question, cuzzie: If you make love to yourself, does that still make you a virgin?
— I don’t know… Yeah, I guess.
— If you deflower yourself, is this considered “defloration” to you?
— What do you mean by “defloration”?
— I mean losing your virginity. When you satisfy yourself alone, is that still virginity to you?
— Well, yes, since I haven’t slept with any woman yet.
— I thought you would say that.
— Is this a bad thing?
— Bad? What is bad?
— Virginity, is it bad?
— Not at all! Quite the opposite, cuzzie. Virginity is a very good thing… when it’s pure.
— I mean, when it’s love for your parents, for your religion, love for God, as Rachel – a friend of mine – would say; this level of love.
— I see.
— But you can’t love God and your parents – if that’s the real reason behind it –, and love sex at the same time.
— What do you mean?
— Well, first you love God and your parents, and then you meet a special someone. Then, you love him. Then, you marry him. Then, you do what you have been waiting for. Only then, you are able to love God, your parents, and sex, all at once. This is pure to me. Otherwise, you do the filthiest things and you claim sainthood; this is lying to God and to yourself.
— How was it with the girl you lost your virginity to?
— I didn’t lose my virginity to a girl, cuzzie. I lost my virginity to myself!
— To yourself…
— I lost it when I first “made love to myself,” cuzzie. When I was a teenager who had just discovered a new pleasure.
— So this means that I am not…
— … It doesn’t matter, cuzzie. Keep doing what you are convinced of. Hold on to your beliefs, stay strong, and be a good person. The most important now is to work hard and do well at university. We’ll resume this conversation in a few years.
Below is a documentary (in French) aired on TV5 about sexuality in Lebanon.
Please note that the video is available online until March 21, 2012.
Le sexe autour du monde: le cas du Liban. (left-click to open in new tab)
Related post: “Lebanon’s Sexual Virgins,” December 31, 2011.