Last week, actress and comedian Yvonne Orji gave an interview in which she spoke candidly about her sex life (or lack thereof) — and as a result has been privy to a slew of insults and disbelieving comments online.
Orji plays the sexually liberated character Molly on Insecure, but in her day-to-day life she lives a different reality, choosing to abstain from sex until marriage due to her religion.
“Before any of [the fame] happened, I sat down with myself and with God and thought, When I make it, how do you want me to represent you while I’m here?” she remembered to People. “It was like, Okay, I know why I’m here. It’s to make you proud.”
Her decision may not be common in today’s society, but it is perfectly okay; after all, sexual liberation is all about the freedom to choose when and how and if to have sex.
Of course, that didn’t stop trolls from judging her for taking ownership over her body.
Being a virgin at 33 not because you're asexual, or have an issue attracting partners, but because of religion is sad. Not sorry. https://t.co/xxVFXS90sR
— conz (@radicalhearts) August 23, 2017
For every word of criticism there has also been support, as Orji’s fans applaud her not for her sexual decisions, but for speaking out about them in a public, open way. Many users are also pointing out the double bind women face when both being too promiscuous and too virginal becomes problematic in society’s eyes.
Orji has spoken out about her virginity before in a TED talk earlier this year, titled “The Wait is Sexy,” in which she recounts how she desperately wanted to get married and lose her virginity at 18, before realizing that wasn’t the right choice for her at all.
In the end, what is most notable is not Orji’s decision to abstain, but her decision to talk about it openly in interviews (and speeches) despite the knowledge that she will likely be judged.
“How will they ever…understand if I don’t talk about it?” she continued. “I can inform your curiosity, as opposed to everyone being in the dark and just sort of creating their own narrative about it.”
In the end, it’s her body and she can do whatever she’d like with it — regardless of others’ opinions.