Reviewed by Nicole und Simone

 

Louise Harwood

Six Reasons to Stay Virgin

2003

 

à Summary

à Characters

à Our Opinion

à Some thoughts about virginity

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These are Emily’s six reasons to stay a virgin. She discusses them with her friends during a skiing holiday in France:

           

            1.    “I want to do it with someone I love, who loves me.”

            2.    “Because 99 % of our friends exaggerate.”

            3.    “Because most of the time, it’s a bit disappointing.”

4.    “I like the anticipation. I wonder what’s wrong with waiting, why we think we have  to have everything so fast. Fast tans, fast food, fast sex…”

            5.    “I can only lose it once, I want to get it right.”

            6.    “Because if it happens with the right man, it’s surely as good as it gets.”

 

Will she be true to her principles? – This is what happens to her in the story:

 

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Summary:

 

Emily, a 25 year old girl, lives like her friends in London. However, there is one special difference between Emily and her friends: Emily is still a deliberate virgin. Her elder brother Arthur, who lives in Cornwell, supports her in her life and is also a good friend of hers.

 

One day Emily is out shopping when she has to run away from a wasp in the changing room of a clothes store. She directly runs – only wearing her underwear – into the arms of Sam Finch. Sam is a good friend of her eternal heart throb Oliver’s, who has been living in the States for six years. Sam normally lives near Arthur in Cornwell, where he runs a rose cultivation called “Trevissey” with his father. He is only in London in this clothes store in order to buy a present for his sister. While he is talking to Emily after this “wasp-incident”, he lets her know that Oliver has returned from the States without his girlfriend Nessa.

 

A few days later, Emily goes to see Arthur in Cornwell to become acquainted with his new girlfriend Jennifer and because she wants to build up a new existence and open a little shop there. Working in a little shop of her own is her big dream. Arthur knows Sam and thinks he would be the right guy for his sister. So he invites Sam to dinner together with Emily and Jennifer. At this dinner, Emily and Sam get on quite well with each other; that’s why they make a date at Trevissey for the next day.

 

Back to London, Emily often thinks of Sam. He is fixed in her mind. In the same week, Emily’s friends Holly and Caitlin arrange a date to set up Emily with Oliver, but this date isn’t very successful: Oliver starts flirting with Caitlin and he even tries to kiss her; and Leon, Caitlin’s boyfriend, has an eye on Emily. Although the first plan has failed, they have a second one: Caitlin and Holly organise a skiing trip to Holly’s chalet in Magine, France, and they invite Sam too. Compared to the last date, things have changed quite a bit: Now, Oliver is interested in Emily but only because he is aware of Sam’s feelings for her. Emily is torn between them – her first love was Oliver. But her old feelings turn sour on her. When they return to the chalet, Sam has already gone home thinking he has finally lost Emily to Oliver.

 

Six weeks after returning from Magine, Emily moves to Cornwell where she leases a shop. The day of the opening is also her birthday. All her girls from London come to see her and to celebrate. Also Sam comes to the big party. She hasn’t met him since the skiing trip. He brings her beautiful roses and at a special moment, when nobody is around, they confess their love to each other. In the evening they go to Trevissey where they spend a wonderful, romantic night.

 

If you want to know whether Emily is still  a virgin the morning after, you have to read the book…

 

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Characters:

 

Emily

 

is the main character in the story and lives in London. Emily is still a deliberate virgin, that’s why everyone wants to look after her and fix her up with a boyfriend. She is a bit shy but has a great sense of humour and is really good looking. Emily’s eternal heart throb is Oliver.

 

 

Oliver

 

has been in the USA with his girlfriend Nessa, but now he returns without her. He is very charming, handsome and knows how to treat women. In his opinion a women is only interesting if she either has already a boyfriend or shows him the cold shoulder.

 

 

Sam

 

is the competitor of Oliver because he has been in love with Emily since they were children. But he never had a chance because he has never shown his feelings to anybody. In his childhood he was a very good friend of Oliver’s, now they have lost touch.

Sam lives with his father in Cornwell and runs a rose cultivation called Trevissey.

 

 

Arthur

 

is Emily’s elder brother and lives in Cornwell, too. He supports his sister in every situation. His new girlfriend Jennifer is a bit special but after a while Emily and her become good friends.

 

 

Holly

 

is a good friend of Emily’s and lives in London as well, where she owns a big house. She doesn’t have to worry about money. She has also a chalet in Magine, France. She cares about Emily and wants to fix her up.

 

 

Caitlin

 

is a friend of Emily’s and lives in London, too. She loves men and life. Therefore she can’t understand Emily’s attitude about staying a virgin. That is why they are not the best of friends at the beginning of the story. But things change and a good friendship between Emily and her begins to develop.

Her boyfriend is Leon, who enjoys the holiday in Magine too

 

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Our opinion

 

The thing which has kept us interested is the conflict of the two attitudes of Caitlin and Emily. On the one hand we can understand Emily’s way of looking at things, but on the other Caitlin’s way of life, her style and what she does are also understandable for us.

 

Sometimes there is not enough action and reading gets a bit boring – but you always want to know what happens with Emily in the end, if she either loses her virginity or falls in love with Sam – or both.

 

The book is written in a language that is easy to read and understand. We recommend it to someone who likes his reading to provide light entertainment. It’s suitable for lazy deck-chair holidays.

 

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Some thoughts about virginity

 

The main topic of our book is virginity, that’s why we want to write something about this theme as well.

 

For some girls virginity is like a big treasure which they keep with a lot of honour and pride. They can’t understand women who are enjoying their sex life and show their sexuality. In their eyes, most men are only interested in the body of a girl. Because of this, they often don’t realise when they have found the right guy. In some cases, girls want to wait with having sex till after the wedding. If religious reasons are behind this attitude, we think waiting is absolutely okay. But we can’t agree with girls who think the paper which husband and wife sign with their names is a promise or a guarantee for having a good partner, a good, eternal relationship, good sex and getting on well together (for example in bed). After ten years of marriage, you can realize that your partner isn’t or wasn’t Mr Right and you have to get a divorce. And maybe you can’t get along with your partner in bed because you don’t share the same likings or because you are disappointed and reality is completely different from what you have imagined. Even though sex isn’t the only foundation of a relationship, it is important! Not only for the fun factor: Sleeping with someone has also the meaning of sharing emotions and feelings, being near to your partner and also sharing experiences, getting to know you and your partner better or in a different way. We think, you can do without sex until after the wedding if you really want it and  if you have a tolerant partner. But nevertheless, who wants to buy a pig in a poke?!

 

For other girls, virginity is like a present which they want to make to a special man. For them the feelings are very important, because only the guy who really loves them is it worth getting such a rare present. Love is a strong feeling and very important for sex. If there is love between both partners, the first step has been made. And maybe you can enjoy sex more relaxed (especially when you are losing your virginity) if you know about the true feelings of your partner. In our opinion love is necessary for sex, not only for the “first time”; love makes sex in a way “better”, because sex is much more than a physical act.

 

It’s sad that a lot of people listen to friends and their sex-adventures; not half of them are true! No virgin is a bad person because he/she hasn’t had sex! So nobody should be under pressure because of the talk of such sex-experienced friends! Losing one’s virginity only to be “in” is a huge mistake! Take your time and wait until you are ready for it!

 

For the last group of girls, sex is something very difficult and they are afraid of making mistakes. That’s why they want to wait with losing their virginity until they die! Even though the first time is special, you mustn’t be afraid of it. Nearly every person has some doubts about it! And believe us, it is worth this little risk :-)! You can’t make any mistakes if you trust your feelings and your instinct.

 

We have both the same opinion about the “first time”: There is not a right age or right location for having sex. If you can trust your partner, discuss your fears and wishes in sex with him or her, if you are sure of your feelings and there are no more questions about contraception, you will feel when it’s the right moment for sleeping with each other. The “right moment” is a different one for everybody!

 

If you have a healthy, good relation to yourself and your body, you will enjoy your life with or without sex.

 

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