Perhaps most poignant, most in the throes of the myth, is the hunky blonde in the process of transitioning from man to woman. She wonders, “What do you do when you’re a 50-year-old virgin?” She’s more attracted to women than men and thinks it’s possible to lose her virginity to a woman but says if that first time isn’t with a man, “It won’t live up to my expectations.”
Ah, those expectations. Shechter certainly examines them every which way with curiosity and compassion. There’s the question of virginity for straight, queer, female, male, still unpenetrated by male organ, or saving yourself for marriage while Skyping your loved one as you masturbate. Brave new world of romance meets old-fashioned property rights and Madonna/whore dichotomy.
Shechter’s history of sex and power doesn’t go back to Lilith but it does go back to Eve. Shechter sees her as the first woman to be shamed. It’s “like God had posted her naked picture all over the celestial internet. The woman who wants to know… is the slut.” And her counterpart, the Virgin Mary, is the “virgin rock star worshipped the world over.” Next step is the multi-million-dollar virginity porn biz and the woman director/producer behind Barely Legal films. On location, Schechter discovers the porn director’s own teen loss-of-virginity trauma.
And of course inquiring minds want to know about Shechter, who lost her virginity at the age of 23 back in 1985. Best of all, she met her future husband while she was making “How to Lose Your Virginity.” The film includes their Jewish wedding under an outdoor chuppa, groom in yarmulke, bride eschewing white for a green and black gown with red flower. They do break the glass – but no mention of what this symbolizes.
And the film appears to be falling on fertile ground in Israel. “How to Lose Your Virginity” recently aired on Israeli television and was screened in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa.
View the trailer here.
“How to Lose Your Virginity” (2013) and Shechter’s earlier movie, “I Was a Teenage Feminist“ (2005) are both available from Women Make Movies.