Priya and Dhiraj have been living together for almost two years. And three months before their December wedding, they've decided to abstain from sex. "Of course we've been doing it all this while. But we wanted to keep it special for our big day, so Dhiraj suggested we abstain till then," reveals Priya. "There's nothing that's going to change in our relationship after we're married. So I thought this would be a special something," explains Dhiraj.
Popularly known as 'revirginisation', this trend has its roots somewhere in the US where more and more couples are attempting to be born-again virgins. "Couples, who have already engaged in hanky-panky, abstain from sex for a period of weeks or even months before their marriage. People who opt for periods of secondary virginity — something more and more couples are doing — find that they restore self-worth and regain feelings of control, and that's empowering. The key is avoiding temptation," explains People magazine.
"The problem these days is that there is a constant jaded feeling about everything we do," says Santosh Desai, CEO, Futurebrands. "We've all been there, done that. The tingle of that first feeling has disappeared. As a result, there is the perennial desire to revisit or redo that initial feeling. The desire for innocence leads to a process of engineered innocence — which is where the concept of revirginisation comes from," he adds. How long is long enough to pronounce a person revirginised? Chatrooms and online discussion boards are buzzing with opinions on that. "What are the rules of revirginisation? How long does one have to go without sex before you may as well be a born-again virgin? What are the guidelines for devirginisation (the second time around?)," asks one online entry. "For me, revirginisation implies a loss of skill, and an re-ignorance of what feels good, what doesn't and so forth.
If it means how long do you go without sex before you become obsessed with it and start wondering about every person you meet, and see on the street... I'd say about a month," says a netizen who goes by the handle of Stagewalker. It's all in the mind, claims another netizen called Soundvessel: "If you feel virginal again, then you are. If, when you're with someone again, and it feels like a new first time, then it is. No measure of decision or time or anything in your direct control will be involved in this. Sure, time plays a role, but so does the nature of the relationships."
Sociologist Shiv Viswanathan believes the concept is hogwash. "You cannot return to paradise, only reinvent it. This is more like a game, only it's not playful. And the fakery of it scares me. This is a new kind of virtuality that doesn't really restore the original. The idea is not very convincing and not very poetic either."