Recommended Read – The Purity Myth

My lovely humans, if you were intrigued by the notion that virginity is in fact a heteronormative social construct, then this is a book for YOU!

The Purity Myth – Jessica Valenti

I first read this a couple of years ago, and it turned my way of thinking upside down.

Before reading this, I was of the opinion that sex for cisgender heterosexuals was defined by PIV (penis in vagina penetration).


❗Trigger Warning for abusive relationships/sexual assault.

The drawbridge was up. Do not pass go. Do not collect £200.

At the time I ordered this book, I was suffering with PTSD and secondary vaginismus that was a result of an abusive relationship.

I didn’t have any form of sex for TWO YEARS. For me, that a was a very long time. Before I started to feel the aftershocks of six years of abuse, I was COMPULSIVELY sexual.

I was RECKLESS. I used sex as a bandage to cover the things that I just wasn’t ready to see yet. I didn’t care or think ahead about who would be my next fling, so long as I didn’t have more than a three week break between sexcapades.

And then suddenly, I couldn’t do that anymore. PTSD kicked in, and I did NOT want to be touched, by anyone.

When I was finally ready to try sex again after two years of abstinence, my vagina literally shut me down. The drawbridge was up. Do not pass go. Do not collect £200.


Now, I am a research NERD.

There was something about my body that wasn’t working as it had been before, and I HAD to know why.

I honestly don’t know how many books about sex that I read over those few months, but DAMN I learned soooo much!

And this is one of the books that helped me take a different view on my past behaviours. I could look back and see that I was completely shattered, and I had no idea what I was doing, just that I was desperately trying not to remember bad things.

And my behaviour was NOT shameful. I learned to drop that level of judgement I had of myself, and to completely reframe the way I viewed sex.

Before reading this book and other sex-focused books and blogs, I didn’t consider that intimate touching, oral sex, any form of non penetrative intimacy, was actually SEX.

It just hadn’t occurred to me, ever. So, if you’re looking at educating yourself on sex, culture, sex positivity, the obsession with virginity and sexual purity, abstinence focused sex ed…

ANY of these things, this is a great place to start.