A "technical virgin" is a person who has never had genital-genital sex but who has engaged in one or more sexually satisfying acts with one or more other people.
Yes, this is Truth in Television. Via Loophole Abuse and Exact Words, people from conservative settings (cultural or familial) can maintain their virginity, while still engaging in "harmless exploration" or sexual bonding, by simply doing everything but penis-in-vagina intercourse. This of course can lead to some Wall Banger-worthy decisions, such as engaging in some what-what in the butt in an attempt to retain one's purity. This can be justified in settings where a character needs to retain their Virgin Power, but not really anywhere else, and people who claim to be technical virgins are often looked down upon as hypocrites.
Note that in many patriarchal societies, both on earth and on paper, a woman who has been raped is "technically not a virgin" and suffers the related disadvantages. Such societies may vary in their stand on whether non-coital incidents which rupture the hymen relieve a woman of technical virginity.
No real life examples, please; This is All The Tropes, not Tropes After Dark.
- In the porn manga Bondage Fairies, perpetually innocent victim Pfil still has Virgin Power despite (a) being in a lesbian relationship and (b) having been repeatedly raped by (and occasionally had consensual sex with) various small mammals and insects. Apparently a girl is still a virgin until one has had genital-genital sex with a male of one's own species.
- The main character of Ghost Talker's Daydream. She's a professional dominatrix, and at least one customer has given her oral. After an alcohol-fueled night she can't fully remember, she reassures a friend that "the membrane is still there. I checked."
- Koe de Oshigoto!: One of the eroge scenarios Nagatoshi wrote (shown in chapter 26) had this as a theme, due to an industry standard about Miko generally being virgins, but Hadzuki shed a bit of light that makes the premise suspect... Anyway, this trope's the reason that new H-game is going to be all about anal sex.
- As a child, Guts from Berserk had the terrible experience of being anally raped by one of his adoptive father's mercenary soldiers and has never had a sex life because of the trauma. Then he meets his future Love Interest Casca and makes love to her when they finally admit their feelings to one another, the experience being Guts's first time having genital-genital sex (and it being Casca's first time as well).
- Delatriz Betancourt from the 2009 Dominic Fortune mini:
Dominic: Last time we were on the verge of getting frisky... you told me you were a virgin.
- In the "Brief Lives" arc of The Sandman, one character mentions a cultural religious ceremony involving sex that wasn't considered to affect a woman's virginity—IIRC, she said something like "if you lost your cherry on the goddess' altar, you still got to keep your cherry."
- She wasn't referring to a ceremony, but to the practice of a love goddess's clergy including sacred prostitutes, who would not be considered "spoiled goods" after losing their virginity in service of the goddess. The love goddess and the character who mentions this are one and the same.
- Quite a few Lemons involving Celibate Heroines invoke this trope.
- Brought up in a MSTing where one of the riffers protested that he had every right to be upset because he was being forced to watch a bad Slash Fic in which he was "losing his virginity". The ensuing incredibly awkward silence was broken by another riffer saying "Dude. You have TEN KIDS." First guy protested that he'd meant "in my ... with the ... oh, you know!"
- Quite a lot of bad yaoi fanfiction makes the dubious claim that "gay virginity" is separate from "straight virginity", and thus it is okay to call a gay guy a virgin if he's only ever had sex with women before, because his gay virginity is intact.
- From the View Askewniverse:
- There is a long discussion in Chasing Amy over what constitutes 'virginity' and whether an active lesbian who has never had intercourse with a man should be considered a 'virgin'.
- In Clerks, Veronica chastises Dante for having slept with about twelve girls, while she had only been with three guys. However, soon afterwards she reveals she performed oral sex on thirty-seven different guys. Apparently, she considered it just "fooling around".
- Although they're hardly virgins, this is a line from one of the Band Aids from Almost Famous:
"We. Are not. Groupies. Penny Lane was the first one to say... "No more Sex." No more exploiting our bodies and our hearts. "
- In Mean Girls, Regina says of her boyfriend, who's just broken up with her, "I gave him everything. I was half a virgin when I met him!" Whatever that means.
- In Clueless, Dionne's virginity "went from technical to non-existent."
- A deleted line in Saved has Asian Airhead Veronica pray, "Forgive me for using anal sex to preserve my virginity."
- In What's New, Pussycat?, Paula Prentiss's neurotic character owns up to being a 'semi-virgin', explaining "Here [in Paris] I'm a virgin; in America I'm not" without further elaboration.
- The Silken-Swift, a short story by Theodore Sturgeon, portrays a unicorn who is not only silken-swift but also gloriously fair in this regard.
- In Stephen King's The Stand, Harold Lauder and Nadine Cross are "technical virgins," having done everything but vaginal intercourse. Nadine actually ponders this at one point, wondering at the kind of man (she's promised to the Big Bad) who wouldn't consider oral or anal sex to be defilement. Of course, Flagg only wants an heir.
- In one of the later The Dresden Files books, Dresden agrees to take Molly Carpenter (who has started developing magic) as an apprentice, and asks if she is sexually active. She replies that she is "technically" a virgin, and has "explored most of the bases". Dresden tells her that there is to be no more "exploring" (and that she is not to start any "solo expeditions") until she develops better mental discipline.
- This is partly because Molly tries to clumsily seduce Harry at one point, despite Harry knowing her since she was eight. Harry is no less vulnerable to Squick than the reader.
- One Harry Turtledove story features a character nicknamed "Honeymouth". He's a foul-mouthed mercenary who rides a unicorn into battle...and keeps it in front of the brothels afterward.
- Piers Anthony's On a Pale Horse included a woman who both admitted to having bribed a demon with sexual favors and offered herself as a Virgin Sacrifice, with the cultist magically determining that she was qualified for it.
- The trope is applied a little differently in this case - the demon never took physical form and the sex was a purely mental defilement - and the sacrifice was being fed to a dragon, which only cared about the purely physical.
- The Older Than Print Trope Maker here is Boccaccio's Decameron, or, more precisely, the very first novella of the book. One of the reasons why Ser Ciappelletto is hailed as a saint after he his death is his reputation of lifelong chastity. In reality, the reason why he never slept with women is... that he was into men.
- Another old variant, only four lines long: A True Maid.
- Hilary, the daughter on the sitcom The War at Home referred to herself as this in one of the show's fourth-wall segments, adding that villagers probably wouldn't be sacrificing her to any volcanoes.
- In one episode of Lexx, a virus causes everyone aboard to change genitalia. The resulting hormone imbalance causes Stan and Xev to yield to temptation. When the Lexx's immune system generates a cure, changing everyone back, Kai (who was not affected, being dead) explains that "technically", because their genitalia were in a state of flux, Xev is still a virgin. But Stan isn't.
- Subverted. An episode of the The Drew Carey Show featured a man who claimed to be the devil (and might well have been, judging by his skill at pool) wanting to take Kate for his bride. Except he thinks she'll be a virgin bride. When Drew and his friends reveal Kate is not a virgin, the Devil insists that there's some wiggle room, and whispers a question in Kate's ear.
Kate: ...yeah, but just once.
- In Season 4 of Supernatural, Dean, fresh out of Hell, concludes that because all the scars he's accumulated over the years have healed, so, too, has his virginity.
Dean: I have been re-hymenated!
- The Season 6 episode "Like a Virgin" involves humanoid Dragons who snatch up virgin girls so they can use one as a Virgin Sacrifice to summon... something about the "Mother of All". One of the leads was found in a hospital and not taken away because her standard for what "counts" is a bit different than what the dragons had in mind...
- An episode of Las Vegas has Mike get interested in a woman who, it turns out, had taken an "adult abstinence pledge". He thinks it over, and decides that he's fine dating her even if they don't have sex. When he goes to visit her, it turns out that she's been "breaking her oath" left and right, but considers herself a virgin every time she re-takes her oath.
- In one episode ("And Then There Was Shawn") of Boy Meets World (as part of a discussion of the Sex Equals Death trope), Shawn reveals that he is one of these, noting "I'll get as sick as you can possibly get without actually dying".
- Debatable if Annie in Community is one. Based on her only sexual encounter occurring while A) being high on Adderall, B) having never seen her boyfriend's (or any man's) penis, and C) her boyfriend crying throughout the act (Britta theorizes he was gay), leading some fans to (wishfully) think sex never actually occurred.
Shirley: "Annie, being a virgin in this day and age is something to be proud of. You're like a unicorn!"
- Discussed in How I Met Your Mother, in the episode "First Time In New York", where Lily says she only went "halfway" with her high school boyfriend. Some debate sparks over whether or not Lily lost her virginity to Marshall, and they eventually conclude that Lily was a Technical Virgin.
- In Downton Abbey, when Kemal Pamuk seduces Mary, he promises her she'll still be a virgin for her husband. God only knows exactly what happens before he keels over and dies in her bed.
- Shoshanna on Girls. She manages to get to third base with the guy before killing the moment.
- Each of The Inbetweeners in different ways. Will got Charlotte into bed and only stumbled at the last hurdle when he didn't know what he was doing. Simon received two (unfinished) handjobs in different episodes and was all set to have sex with Tara had it not been for Jay's "Tactical Wank" advice. Jay once received a handjob "outside the trousers" in the first series finale (though this could be Blatant Lies as he originally said it was a blowjob) and a blowjob in The Movie. Neil has fingered several girls (possibly including Charlotte) and by the end of the third series has had sex. Though, thanks to the movie's ending, it's likely that this has been remedied for all four of the lads.
- Lissa on Awkward has taken a vow of chastity but is perfectly willing to give her boyfriend hand jobs and even offer him anal sex.
- Luka in Monster Girl Quest. While the monsters will suck, fondle and do pretty much anything to him, he can never actually have penetrative intercourse with any of them without getting a game over. Even the few canonical sex scenes Luka gets are non-penetrative. He eventually loses his virginity with Alice near the end of chapter 2- ironically discovering at the same time that Alice was also a Technical Virgin until then.
- In The Order of the Stick, after Roy's ressurection, Celia points out that since the body is brand new, he is technically a virgin. Or, rather, was since she says that after just having had sex with him (a matter of hours after his resurrection), although she's pretty much joking anyway.
- Jamie of Girls with Slingshots insists that she's a virgin, even though she's "slept with like eight thousand people" (what, precisely, she does instead of coitus isn't specified). These strips detail it.
- Ginny from Darwin Carmichael Is Going to Hell is a huge draw down at the off-leash unicorn park. The unicorns make somewhat obscene comments between themselves about exactly how pure she is. For whatever supernatural metric the unicorns use to rate her, being an active lesbian doesn't apparently count.
- Mentioned in Filthy Lies: "Joseph just needed good aim on his money shot."
- Oglaf: "Blowjobs don't count." Neither does anal.
- In the Ciem Webcomic Series, Candi's (seldom-used) Aura Vision power makes it impossible for others to lie to her about their sexual history, as their eyes will reveal darker and darker auras the more experience someone has. But unlike some Marlquaanites, she doesn't have the multi-color package. Therefore, only vaginal sex will trigger her aura senses.
- The plot revolves around her failed attempt to move on from Donte; and how she got him back after Denny's death, while coming to terms with her Hero's Journey.
- She remains a technical virgin right up until she meets Denny. But she and Donte "came really close." Don "the Psycho" Mendoza attempts to rape her twice. But he didn't get deep enough in her to do any damage before she fought him off.
- The book averts this mess, or subverts it. Candi's hymen is ruptured the first time she's raped by Don. She fights back and gets rid of him before he can ejaculate inside her. Wayne "the Vampire" Norfine also attempts to rape her; but also doesn't get very far before she fights him off. Denny gets her pregnant almost immediately, but then dies. After her Pity Sex with Jack "the Jackrabbit," she rescues Donte. And since she's "been ruined" at that point, he gives up on trying to protect her "integrity." He offers her a full week to "sort out her differences" with Jack, and Jack agrees after that week to leave Candi alone. Donte, returning from chemo, forgives Candi for everything and takes her back. They end up Happily Married.
- The now-defunct website TechnicalVirgin.com used to host a series of PSAs spoofing abstinence-only Sexual Education by endorsing anal sex and vibrator use to prevent pregnancy. The site was taken down when the actor voicing the public service messages, Melanie Martinez, auditioned as host of The Good Night Show (2005) a PBS Kids Sprout programme. Melanie lost her job as a host on Sprout over the videos – an act of censorship which ultimately did substantial reputational damage to the main PBS organization.
Dressmaker: Here's the skinny. We dressmakers have a very strict code, so I need to know, do you deserve to wear virginal white? Because if you don't, you'll have to wear an off-white, what we call a hussy white. So which will it be, WHITE-white?
- The Family Guy episode about religious abstinence makes it clear that sex is not okay. Which some of the more sexual but faithful population solves by sticking the stick into the ear. Yes, the ear.
Tom Tucker: "Prompting the new slogan: 'Once you go black, you go deaf'"
- The basic premise of "The Most Offensive Song Ever" from South Park. "You can suck all the dick you want / And still be a virgin, Mary."
- Sprout was a joint venture with Comcast; PBS no longer holds a stake, as Comcast (which now owns NBC/Universal) bought out its partners and rebranded the network as "Universal Kids".