Welcome Aboard Virgin Air



I was seducible.

She seduced me.

End of story…sort of.

She was a cute, long-haired blonde nurse from Alberta, a couple of  years older than myself, and for some unexplicable and unexplainable reason, she wanted ME. So, on that icily frigid Yellowknife-arctic evening there was very little romanticism or long, languid looks involved. Love didn’t play a part for either of us. Lust held the key this night. We were young and friendly and fun. It was dark and chilly in her bedroom when our limbs and externals and internals mingled and tingled together.

In my later teens, I’d been close to the final destination on a number of earlier journeys with other sweet travelers, but never quite finished the trip- by choice. I was now 20 years old and decided the time had come for the train to finally enter the station.

What made me think about this stuff is that I’m currently reading Richard Branson’s autobiography “Losing My Virginity” and his stories of starting the VIRGIN business empire. He’s one bold and flamboyant dude, that Branson. But here and now, we’re talking about a different Virgin version.

Every life and every lifetime is filled with firsts…first tooth, first walk, first grade, first kiss, first job. Firsts can be scary, exhilarating, illuminating, freeing, intimidating, terrifying. I’m choosing to dive into one of the FIRSTS on most of our taboo lists when it comes to sharing with others.


Virginity box

To be more accurate here, we’re talking about the loss of virginity.

The language we use around this is full of negative context and confusion. For many – especially men I guess – virginity loss is more like a gain. And in another bizarre twist we talk about women as being deflowered, defiled, impureWords from a different century. Having crossed the Rubicon makes you a Non-virgin. It’s all loaded in a way that is so generally negative that I find annoying and distasteful. In a world that celebrates BDSM stories like Fifty Shades of Grey, this just doesn’t cut it .

I propose we coin some new terminology on the Virginal vanguard.  How about some bright new positive terms for non-virgins like Bloomer (a pregnant female could be called a “Baby Bloomer“) or Coiticulated, or Post-Nooker or Carnalist or Intercourvet?

I haven’t heard or read any statistics, so I’m only guessing, but it seems pretty clear to me that 90+ % of us will experience this “loss” at some point in our lives. Virginity is one of those areas that is tied in with much of what explains us. The adjectives that describe our personalities can often also define or describe the time and nature of our first sexual intercourse…timid, bold, distant, careless, cautious, energetic, enthusiastic, patient, polite, considerate, cold, adventurous, sensitive.


Now I’m describing the heterosexual experience here…I don’t know if the term virginity even applies to gay/lesbian relationships. I’d appreciate any guidance you might offer on this front for people like me who are ignorant. Just one more qualification here…I’m a naive old fellow and I tend to think of sex as an equal, reciprocal, and consensual adventure. I can’t conceive of a violent or forced event and won’t address this in this blog. It makes me feel too sick to think about.

Anyway, loss of virginity is all tied up in a maelstrom of religion and social mores and pregnancy and love and alcohol and hormones and insecurities and elation and pain and drugstore condoms and the meaning of relationships and experimentation and modesty. The circle of meaning and importance is HUGE and so most of us agonize or at least contemplate deeply what, where, when and with whom this first will occur.

My early years were bounded within an ideology of family and social mores that dictated marriage prior to consummation. So even though I lost my belief in a god and a heaven just as I was entering my teen years, the belief that intercourse was something we save until marriage was deeply ingrained. Anything less would bring about great guilt, shame, and regret. And probably pregnancy and gonorrhoea to boot. Sex was a pool filled with circling piranhas.

Bunny and pope

There was huge discord between what I was being told in my home, school, and church, and what the movies, TV, books and Playboy were laying out for my hormonal schoolboy absorption. Sex was liberating and fun and blissful in those arenas. Who do I believe and who is right was the fulcrum on which I balanced precariously. The devil had begun to sink his horns into me and I was horny.

But human decency suggested that anything beyond self-stimulation (blindness be damned!) necessitated taking into account the physical and emotional needs of my potential partner…this tango was not an easy dance.

And it shouldn’t be, but not for reasons of religion or moral righteousness. Sex at its best is fun and it’s fantastic and a hundred other orgasmic adjectives. But we’re all complex beings with needs and desires and an assortment of very heavy baggage. Having intercourse has many different meanings (even within the same person), loaded meanings that can change depending on the time of our lives, the time of day, who we’re contemplating doing it with. Paramount, for me, was respect and knowledge of what sex meant to me AND to my lover-to-be. For years, I struggled hard with carrying virginity into marriage until one day… I didn’t. Sometimes, just waiting brings a clear answer in its own time.

 I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.”

………………………………………….— Mae West

My days spent in the Arctic as a young person threw me into a foreign milieu with lots of attractive, confident, young ladies and attitudes towards sex that I’d never encountered before. This was happening at the same time that I was jettisoning my own internal voices and shackles of religion and guilt.

My virginity wasn’t a holy grail to place on the altar of life to observe and protect at all costs. Sex, whether solely for recreation or serious intent, was one more additional benefit to a full life. It always has risks – swimming and driving have risks too but at the appropriate time we take precautions and dive (or drive) in. Sex doesn’t have to be ALL or NONE, but I was finally released from the NEVER.

Life spent in the teeth-chattering cold and long nights of the north made me sometimes question the wisdom of my decision to take my first professional job in the Arctic. I realized that virginity wasn’t a Boy Scout badge I needed anymore on that frosty Yellowknife night.


This was one way to stay warm in the Arctic…


…this was another…



Psychotherapist Ernest van den Haag : “I am reminded of a colleague who reiterated “all my homosexual patients are quite sick” – to which I finally replied “so are all my heterosexual patients.” 

Say it loud, I'm straight and I'm proud

My motto in the ’70’s

Years and years ago in the mid-70’s, I was a college student and was also working part time at a well-known burger joint that employed a rhyming-named clown pitching the deliciously greasy product!

I was ambling through the local mall one day when I bumped into Brian, one of my burger-making co-workers. I really enjoyed working with Brian, he was a good guy with strong manly looks, and a great – somewhat Monty Python’ish-style – sense of humour.

I saw that he had a logo design on his T-shirt that I didn’t recognize, and so I asked him what it was about. He didn’t hesitate a second—

-Oh, THIS? This is the symbol for the Gay Association of Hamilton.


Anderson Cooper Gay?  In the 70’s I would have been surprised — NOT now!

I swallowed just a wee bit of vomit in my mouth as I took in what he just told me! I’m sure my face turned a dozen shades of red as I tried in a panic-filled moment to try to respond. Until this moment in my life, homosexuals were something that I considered a weird, fringe element that was occupied by a teensy  tiny portion of the population. The few homosexuals that I figured existed were easily recognizable by their flamboyant and ultra-feminized behaviour. LESBIANISM?…well, it just didn’t exist at all in those days!!

At high school, my male friends and I made a 4-year career of ridiculing the GAY-faggoty ones who may or may not have been truly gay. I don’t think any of us really contemplated what damage we might be doing to a fragile person dealing with what had to be an extremely difficult and traumatic time of life. For us real boys it was just good fun and a diversion from our monumental lack of success with real girls!

Brian changed my view of gay-ness forever that day when he told me about his role as President of the local chapter. Brian was a funny, masculine, smart, with-it guy… AND he was gay!  He was even the DJ at the dances put on by the group. After I got over the shock I felt when Brian “came out” to me, I never looked at or thought of homosexuals as separate – better or worse– than heterosexuals again.

But that’s just background to what I really want to discuss here.

Previously “straight” men and women are coming out to the closet in startling- to me–  numbers. The whole arena gets muddled by those who consider themselves as bi-sexual and those who come out as truly homosexual. In Canada, studies indicate that less than 5% of the population identify themselves as either homosexual or bi-sexual. Only 1 in 20?? I gotta tell you here…I’m a bi-skeptic!!

In my small sphere of contact, I’m encountering a substantial number of women, who, after marrying/partnering and having children with a male lover, decide to leave the heterosexual relationship to join in a sapphic (ie. female-female) partnering later in life. NHL hockey teams are not the only ones making big trades in the off-season…women are exercising their options and switching teams in large numbers.

Three times married actress Meredith Birney with her later-in-life partner Nancy Locke

I get the idea that homosexuality isn’t a choice…I buy into this concept. But a new reality of those who jump later in life is different, isn’t it? Is sexuality a fluid or fixed thing?

This confuses the hell out of me as I try to understand just what’s going on:

  •  Is this a person who has hidden the truth from their partner and family over years and possibly decades before making the fateful leap?
  • Is it a recent discovery and acceptance by the affected individual of their true orientation?
  •  Is it a rejection of what heterosexual relationships are about, and a statement of the profound disappointment of men as partners?

My spidey-sense tells me that there’s probably a germ of truth in each of the scenarios I’ve described above. Like so many areas of study, the more we know, the more we realize we don’t know and understand. I suspect our knowledge and ideas about sexual orientation are still in their infancy .

Do YOU get it? I think I’m going to track down my old friend Brian and have him explain all of this to me!

Can somebody help me understand this?