Hanging Onto Your Virginity is the Same as Hanging Onto a Mint Beanie Baby?

Hanging Onto Your Virginity is the Same as Hanging Onto a Mint Beanie Baby? October 10, 2018

While poking around at Ladies Against Feminism I wandered back into the blog Loving Life at Home by Jennifer and a post by her daughter titled “Virginity: It It Really Worth Saving?”.  Her daughter decided the best analogy to describe her decision to wait for marriage to have sex is comparing her virginity to holding onto a Beanie Baby. A mint Beanie Baby with it’s original tags in a box, untouched for years.

That’s just sad. It’s nothing like that. That poor Beanie Baby is unloved, uncherished, sad, lonely and useless. I would hope that a human being is none of those things, virginity or not!

Oh, I remember the craze well. I also remember my pastor speaking out against it, calling it a cult, something that no good Christian should indulge in. One of my friends had collected them all and after our pastor declaring them demonic she gave hers away to African children on a mission trip. I still remember the joy those kids exhibited after being given a small plush toy. I would not have dreamed it was a blessing, but it was to those kids in the bush.

But it still does not represent virginity well.

I hope she waits for a man who loves her, if that’s what she wants. But, sweet girl, saving your virginity for marriage is very different than keeping your Beanie Baby sealed in a package no matter what your parents have told you.

A child cannot possibly promise to that which they do not understand.

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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping ithe plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. You can read more about the author here.

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  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    Maybe if she didn’t sit at home waiting for the doorbell to ring? I mean, the guy most certainly isn’t going to declare his undying love upon discovering that she’s got a mint condition, NIB, still with its tags beanie baby at home she’s been saving for ‘the one’, but at least if she left the house and went on a date or twenty with a guy or a few different guys she’d have a greater chance at finding someone to spend the rest of her life with!

    A date for dinner, going to the movies or a museum…none of those necessarily involve sex with the individual that one goes out on the date with at the end! But they do give people the chance to learn about each other and to see if a relationship between them is worth pursuing.

    Maybe it would be good to quit with the whole ‘everyone else was just letting anyone at all play with their beanie babies and then pass them around’ stuff, also. Humans aren’t akin to a candy bar or a toy, nor a stick of gum. Stop comparing them to such things and you might just start to see them as real people who aren’t any different than the cloistered daughters at home other than they’ve spent some time out in the real world where sex and virginity isn’t some obsession that overrides all reason and blocks out the possibility of thinking/talking about any other subject.

  • Saraquill

    Beanie Babies, as far as I know, have long since passed their heyday as high value collectibles. It’s a bad analogy all around.

  • Combinatorial_Implosion

    Actually, I think that a mint condition Beanie Baby is a good metaphor for virginity, but not in ways which will make the folks at “Loving Life at Home” happy. First off, like a mint condition Beanie Baby, one’s virginity has no real inherent value, what you’ve got with a mint condition Beanie Baby is a plush toy that’s in really good condition, not inherently very valuable. This leads to the next point, that the only reason one might think this Beanie Baby is worth a fortune is that there are some other people who consider it to be valuable, these provide the preconditions for a speculative bubble, not an infrequent occurrence in the world of collectibles (to give you an infamous example, one of the first speculative bubbles involved tulip bulbs, what is the value of a tulip bulb today? To answer my own question, a little search engine work indicates a price of about $1 a bulb). The speculative bubble that Beanie Babies experienced collapsed in 1999, just before the much larger scale “Irrational Exuberance” was to come to its own sad end. This leads me to my final point, that the girls who took their Beanie Babies out of their “clear cubic prisons” and actually played with them were the ones who were acting sensibly, playing with them is arguably what you *should* do with a plush toy. It is those who decided to keep their toys pristine who, IMO, were the ones behaving irrationally, especially after the bubble burst and the days of people paying fortunes for plush toys are past. To bring this back to virginity, like the plush toy bubble, the “market” of guys that insist on a “virgin bride” has collapsed and the opportunity cost, to use a little econ-speak, of missing out on all that good sex outweighs easily outweighs such concerns.

  • Anri

    What I’m drawing from the article is that the writer seems unable to value something unless someone else places a value on it for her. If she honestly feels that way about her sexuality, I can only feel terribly sorry for her.

  • Tawreos

    This has to be the unhealthiest view or virginity and sex I have seen from these people in quite a while. People are not toys to be played with, nor are they collectibles to be viewed until traded or sold. She treats her virginity like it is the greatest gift she will ever be able to give to someone instead of viewing her whole person as a gift. Virginity is a “gift” that can only be given once and only to one person while a whole person that is kind, caring and intelligent is a gift to everyone they meet. This is one type of thinking that they need to get rid of and soon.

  • Raging Bee

    Yeah, as another commenter already said below, virginity is EXACTLY like a mint-condition toy/collectible: its value is 100% extrinsic, its value is determined entirely by others, and that determination is subject to change by others, without notice at any time, for any or no reason, and the bearer of the toy/investment has absolutely no ability to predict how its value will fluctuate from one hour to the next, and no control over the process. All the bearer can do is hold onto her toy/investment, and get no value or use out of it, until what appears (rightly or not) to be the “right” moment to cash in for that “fortune” that’s been so vaguely promised the whole time — at which point whatever value her toy/investment had would vanish forever, and nothing like it would ever come back to her again.

  • wendy

    “omg my beanie baby is worth 10x what i paid for it 25 years ago eleventy!!”

    but what has inflation done to the value of your money in those 25 years? do the math and you’ll find that the value is about the same. this goes for a lot of antiques.

  • Atheisticus

    You’re dealing with a culture that only values women for their intact hymen, and further believes you should only date someone you intend to marry (after sufficient vetting to insure that he has the same values as your father). Daughters as a commodity.

  • kilda

    surprisingly, it’s a pretty good analogy. Since Beanie Babies failed to become super valuable like everyone thought they would, a mint condition Beanie Baby from 25 years ago is not worth anything much, and saving it in its package for decades instead of enjoying it like you were meant to was a waste. Since virginity is not actually inherently valuable, preserving it “untouched” for years instead of enjoying your sexuality was a waste. The idea that someone is going to show up who has been looking for your Beanie Baby/your virginity his whole life, and feels it is what will make his life complete is a silly fantasy. Yep, the analogy seems about right to me!

  • Jen (*.*)

    Her last sentence is so sad. I’ve read too many stories like this. They did everything “right” but in the end the promised reward never materialized.

  • Anthrotheist

    What an odd analogy. I do like torturing metaphors though, so let’s take this further.

    First of all, this assumes that literally half the population of humans on Earth were given a mint-condition-in-box Beanie Baby at birth (which defies it being rare enough to have value as a collectible). Then, that toy was set on a shelf in the child’s room, high enough that the kid couldn’t even really see it, and couldn’t get to it unless they really tried; but sadly, not so high that an adult couldn’t wander in, take it down, and play with it while she still had no power to protect it. Then, as the child gets older and she can finally see the toy and reach it if she wants, she discovers that she has almost no other toys in her room, and that none of them are anywhere near as interesting as her Beanie Baby. Worse, all of her friends are talking about their Beanie Babies now, and how they had already opened theirs up and, in spite of their initial uncertainty, now loved playing with it. So she looks online and tries to figure out how valuable her Beanie Baby may be in the future, only to find that most people do not care one bit, and the people who do care are a bit creepy and very controlling. She realizes that only some adults, mostly men, expect her to keep her Beanie Baby in its box until they tell her its ok to open.

    Also, I can think of no better metaphor for alienating human sexuality than to literally compare it to a toy separated from its human owner and encased in plastic.

  • Raging Bee

    The same is true of the concept of virginity, so it’s a GREAT analogy all around.

  • AFo

    I threw up in my mouth a little as I got to the end. She’s so brainwashed that she’s literally hoping to be collected like a rare object.

  • texassa

    Why stop at virginity? Why not teach these girls that they shouldn’t even speak to a man before marriage, that way they’re saving themselves even more for marriage. If not having sex with a man makes you more valuable, then logic would follow that not having any contact at all with a man would do the same.

  • Martin Penwald

    she’s literally hoping to be collected like a rare object.

    Emphasis would be particularly relevant, here, don’t you think?

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Actually I would say there is something to be said for the notion that it would be a special thing if the first person you have sex with is the person you intend to spend the rest of your life with, and thinking of this as a “gift” treasured for the occasion isn’t an inherently poor analogy in itself.
    Where this gets really horrible though, in my view, is the wish-fulfilment endgame she pictures. What does the man she is wishing for say? “She’s the one, the rare and unique treasure he’s been searching for all his life.” Not “I’m” the one, “she’s” the one: her fantasy man (the man of her dreams she is actually hoping for!) doesn’t care for her at all, only her virginity, and his affection for her is a purchased affection with her virginity as a bride price. I hope she never finds a man like that, because he would be a truly hellish husband.
    There is nothing good in the concept of marriage, and married love, she has been given. She thinks of her sex as a commodity to purchase a husband, and love as a transaction. She cannot conceive of being loved for herself, only for her virginity, and herself sees a lover as a prize to be acquired rather than a person to whom she can give love. Whether she “finds her man” or not, I fear she is doomed to disappointment.

  • persephone

    They do do that. No talking to boys unless they’ve been vetted by Dad. Can’t date, unless it’s with a view to marriage, so, again, Dad is vetting, and they can’t talk or be physically near each other without a chaperone. Look at the Botkin sisters. They’re well past the usual evangelical sell by date, but they’re still at home, worshipping Dad, and hoping some man will be willing to show up and propose at their front door. They’re never getting married unless Dad drops dead.

    The purity balls. The promise rings. The daddy worship. The home schooling. It’s precisely putting them in a box to be seen but not touched.

  • persephone

    As a woman, she’s not really a full-fledged human to the fundies. She’s had this drilled into her from her earliest years. Her only place in life will be with a husband.

  • persephone

    Someone named PopTudor just literally copied most of your comment below.

  • persephone

    There’s an actress who is in her late 30s, but is still a virgin. She’s waiting for marriage. I find it incredibly sad that when she finally marries she will learn just how little it has meant to hold onto her virginity. Also, I have to think that many a man would be hesitant to become involved with a woman who is so focused on this.

  • Tawreos

    Copy bot is copying. Flag and move on. =)

  • Tawreos

    Copybots are stupid. I flag them, label them and move on. Thank you for the heads up. =)

  • therealcie

    This is a terrible allegory. Let’s see what I can do with this mess. If I were hired to edit this piece, I would have a serious headache right now.
    Losing my virginity sucked. I gave into coercion, and I wish that I’d had the self-esteem to wait until I was with someone who actually gave a flying damn about me instead of some jackwagon who was thinking with his schwanz. But that was some 35 years ago, so, nothing much to be done about it now.
    My son was little when Beanie Babies were a big thing. We collected a bunch of them. They still have their tags, and we still have all of them.
    Nope, I’ve got nothing. There is no way that I can make Beanie Babies work as an allegory for losing your virginity.
    Anyway, I think of Beanie Babies as adorable, innocent, cuddly creatures.
    Virginity isn’t a creature, and I don’t think it’s particularly adorable or cuddly.

  • therealcie

    Those purity balls are hella creepy.

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    Well yeah, but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s never going to meet someone if she never leaves the darn house!

    And there are a couple of daughters (that number is a minimum, I’m sure there are plenty more whose dad’s simply don’t have as high a profile on the internet quiverful circuit or on TLC/some other channel that does reality shows) who don’t look like they’re ever going to get married which they’ve been told they must train and prepare for their entire lives and wait patiently until their father is approached by suitable men…They just wait and wait, daughters at home, posting on their blogs about God’s plan that young women get married and have babies and be keepers of the home, helpmeets…I can only imagine how terrible they must feel and how awful it is to not be able to say anything about it for fear that they might drive off a potential suitor. The truth is that the girls I’m thinking of in particular have a father who preaches such a way of living for young women but he wants his own daughters to be in his home and paying attention to him – he doesn’t want to find them husbands, they’re providing him the same things as a wife would but without the sexual stuff. They’re merely props that he can use to illustrate the kind of lifestyle he has this weird fixation with and works to sell it to other people. At this point they’ve passed the age range at which the culture they are part of expects young women to get married, they’re watching the years tick by and the chances of having a family of their own getting less and less likely. They’re basically prisoners to their father’s ego, watching others have the stuff they were told that they must put all their efforts into preparing themselves for, nothing to do but wait…and wait…and wait.

  • Ruthitchka

    The Beanie Baby analogy is the stuff of those girlish fantasies I bought into when I was a teenager. My religion, my culture, and my mother all stressed the importance of my virginity and reputation. (We weren’t part of Quiverfull, just part of American culture and American Xtianity.) I was a virgin when I got married, but married a criticizing, verbally abusive man. I had received the same sort of treatment from my (now deceased) father and married someone very much like him. I had two beautiful sons and am now divorced after 36 years of marriage. At age 59, I know it is probably okay to have an adult love relationship with a kind man without benefit of marriage, but I don’t think I could actually go through with it due to all the virginity poison my religion, culture, and family put into my head.

    My virginity at the time of my marriage certainly didn’t guarantee a fantastic sex life or a happy marriage. Bad went to worse and to worse, until I fled.

    I am not sure I want to even date, anyway, and since I am already paying alimony to Mr. Ex, I am not sure I want to get married again, ever! Yikes!

    I wish we would give our girl children that who they are as a person is the most important thing of all, and that the man they marry should be one who loves and respects them regardless of prior relationships, etc.

  • SAO

    As an analogy, I’d say it means use your sexuality, go for it. Have fun! Because the kids who played with their beanie babies had fun, whereas the one who left it in a box had no fun and only values it for what she can get for it.

  • Sad.

  • Almost a chimp

    There are very few things as sad as an un-played with toy, and I speak as one who has been in and around the antiques and collectibles trade from age 14.

  • Atheisticus

    Kind of like Grant Wood’s painting American Gothic of the Farmer protecting his daughter’s honor until she passes her freshness date? I’m sorry to liken a human to a bakery product; but, I’m guessing that this crowd is intelligent enough to understand the inherent imperfections of analogy, and not take the literalist stand of the Xtians.

  • MadScientist1023

    It’s really sad to see such child-like magical thinking in a 25 year old woman. Keeping her “beanie baby in its packaging” this long probably means she’s never been in a serious adult relationship. Given today’s norms about sex and cohabitation before marriage, she’s probably limiting herself to a very small pool of “collectors” who share her religious views.
    Maybe at some point she’ll realize that a market can peak and that collectables don’t increase in value forever.

  • heleninedinburgh

    Fuck yes. What’s the point of them supposed to be anyway?

  • heleninedinburgh

    I’ve got a beanie baby of a kiwi, I use it as a fetch toy for my chihuahua and put it in the washing machine when it gets too dirty.

    I hate to think of the way Jennifer would interpret that.

  • Jezebel’sOlderSister

    If I knew at 18 what i know now — I would have been a lot more open to the outside world.

  • Jezebel’sOlderSister

    Some of us did get it. 😉

  • ShaLaLa

    Wait… so she was told as a child that as long as she kept her little beanie baby locked tight in its original packaging, pristine and untouched by human hands, someday when she was older it would be a valuable collector’s item that she could sell for a fortune. Then she grew up and learned that that wasn’t true, and not only would she not be able to sell her beanie baby for the fortune she was promised, but she didn’t even get to enjoy it all those years when she was growing up.

    And taking that as a metaphor for virginity is somehow supposed to mean that people *shouldn’t* take their sexuality out of the box and enjoy it while they can?

  • Adrian

    And fat lotta good such a “gift” does: “here, you get to make me bleed a bit and experience some discomfort, and… I guess you get the satisfaction of knowing that I don’t have the experience to tell if you suck at that sex thing?” How pathetically insecure must a guy be to take pleasure or pride from that? Speaking as a guy, a roll in the hay with a woman who knows what she’s doing and how to enjoy herself sounds like a much better gift for all parties involved. Hell, even the damn beanie baby would be a better gift, at least that would be something I could regift to one of my nieces (or nephews, for that matter)

  • lady_black

    Virginity is overrated, and not much of a gift in any case. Experience is a gift.

  • lady_black

    LOL. There was an episode of Night Gallery called Rare Object.