Monday, August 08, 2005


Hey you wanking under the covers, watch out! It’s not just your mom who’s going to find out, King Goodwill Zwelethini is coming to get you.

In an attempt to be even-handed about the virginity testing ban recently passed in South Africa, the Zulu monarch says he is going to conduct virginity testing amongst boys too. While I'm against the whole notion of virginity testing at all, fair’s fair. For every girl that loses her virginity there’s a boy involved (or more commonly a man) but how exactly does one determine whether a boy is a virgin or not? In girls there’s the useful hymen and you’ve either got one or you don’t but I don’t think there’s any way to tell whether a boy is having full sex, playing around, or just beating the meat under the blanket.

Not so says Reggie Khumalo of Isivivane Sama Siko, a body promoting African traditional cultures - "Young boys also have a hymen - white lacy skin on the foreskin. If the foreskin on the penis slips away easily, it means the hymen is gone. If the foreskin is sore and hard to move, then it means he is still a virgin". Dark knees are another dead giveaway and there’s a also a vein on the penis that appears and disappears, so young men are advised to keep a diagrammatic record of what veins they have before the good King pays a visit.

Are you a virgin?

When I was a virgin back in the Dark Ages it was a well-known fact that you could lose your virginity through a couple of strenuous games of netball, no wonder competition for the first team was so hot at the high school in the industrial town where I grew up. Tampons could also cause rupture of the delicate hymen, and it’s no coincidence that young girls are enormously fond of horse riding.

How to tell if a girl was a virgin was easy, that brown-knee thing has been around for ages, everyone knew those who tasted the delights of carnal knowledge had the brown carpet-burn between femur and tibia. Oral sex was only invented in 1974, and before that, anything you did with your mouth fell in the category of heavy petting which made it sound like what the Standard 8’s of Pofadderspruit High got up to on their yearly school visits to the zoo.

And what’s the big hairy deal about virginity in this day and age anyway? Britney Spears scotched that one when she used the resurgence of the virginity cult to attract the mid-life-crisis male demographic and wrecked a good gig by appearing knocked up and in flip flops in public. What’s she going to do now? Let’s face it she might still have the box it came in but once the cherry’s gone, it’s gone forever.

Not exactly thanks to modern science, there are operations to restore your hymen, this from Belgium.

Immaculate deception

The fact that your hymen can be restored despite the fact that you’ve had sex, proves beyond a doubt that virginity is a state of mind not a piece of flesh. Since raping young girls is one of this country’s less savoury national sports, if a girl is raped can she be responsible for not being a virgin? Whose body is it anyway? According to Jacob Zuma, a girl’s virginity is a “family treasure”, which answers that one quite neatly.

As for the good king himself, this is a man who reportedly made a 17 year old pregnant, which seems to suggest that he and his followers have a less than healthy interest in what goes on between a young girl’s legs. Funny how those squawking loudest about traditional values drive in the non-traditional Beemers to their non-traditional townhouses with non-traditional solid gold tap fittings in their non-traditional indoor plumbed bathrooms all financed by the long suffering South African taxpayer.

Should a young girl or boy have to submit themselves to an intimate physical examination at a tender and vulnerable age? My feeling is no, but what do I know? Some of the virgins themselves pranced topless through Durban this week in support of the age old practice, which puts a whole new interesting wrinkle to the traditional South African toyi-toyi.

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