MTV often is talked about among the adult crowd as “trash TV” for teens and young adults. Their newest docu-series TV show called: ‘Virgin Territory’ which premiers this Wednesday July 16th, 2014 has the potential to be helpful and offer a shift into a more positive category through the lens upon which adults view MTV. The premise is that 15 young adults; males and females, share their sexual stories and are followed through part of their journey. Specifically the participants include those who are choosing abstinence until marriage, others who wish to engage in sexual intercourse but want it to be with someone special; not a one night stand, and then yet additional stories . . .
In my work with 19 and 20 something year old virgins, they often feel alone on their journey. For often their friends are not virgins so they feel like there’s no one to connect with emotionally who will understand their thoughts and feelings. To have a show that shares the struggles, challenges, thoughts and feelings of young adults on their journey of finding someone special and longing to connect with that person sexually, evaluating whether to have sexual intercourse or not, wanting to remain abstinent, the desire for intercourse, the fear of intercourse . . . . these are just but some of what young adults who are virgins struggle with. To have a show that addresses these very topics has the real potential to be a program that is relate-able for young adults. Even those young adults who are not virgins may find the stories of the participants of this program relate-able, for deciding whom to have intercourse with vs. whom not to, when and why – remains an ongoing consideration for the young adult population even after they are no longer a virgin.
Many may have a raised eyebrow about the show’s concept, partly due to some of MTV’s past show decisions. Also sex as a topic is taboo for many. As a Psychotherapist who has worked directly with the producer on this show and is familiar with the show’s premise, concept, and what the producers communicated they are hoping to accomplish, I will share that I am hopeful that this show can be as helpful as it set out to be. I cannot predict the outcome as to what the show ultimately displays nor provides, but what I can say is based upon my understanding of their intent, I am hopeful and optimistic that their very intent translates to television offering relate-able stories for the viewers. I am hopeful young adults will feel less embarrassed and alone about their virginity and their emotional journey as it relates to this very topic through hearing others’ real stories. It is daring for MTV to produce such a concept that has the potential to positively touch the lives of others.
I look forward to seeing how the show ultimately is pieced together, and what ends up being presented on air. For what is interesting about reality television that we all realize is that only certain scenes are shown. As the viewer we shall soon discover if what is shown offers the opportunity for the young adult population to experience that being a virgin is not weird nor uncool and is normal and healthy, just as longing to connect sexually and choosing to connect with another is also just as cool, healthy and normal. For if indeed the young adult public gets but one message, this message, wouldn’t that be of therapeutic value?
If you wish to learn more about ‘Virgin Territory’ the TV show, check out the Virgin Territory website.