How to Lose Your Virginity

A film by Therese Shechter

US | 2013 | 66 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 131114


Female virginity. The US government has spent 1.5 billion dollars promoting it. It has fetched $750,000 at auction. There is no official medical definition for it. And 50 years after the sexual revolution, it continues to define young women’s morality and self-worth.

This hilarious, eye-opening, occasionally alarming documentary uses the filmmaker’s own path out of virginity to explore its continuing value in our otherwise hypersexualized society. Layering vérité interviews and vintage sex-ed films with candid self-reflection and wry narration, Shechter reveals myths, dogmas and misconceptions behind this "precious gift." Sex educators, porn producers, abstinence advocates, and outspoken teens share their own stories of having - or not having - sex.

In a culture where "Be sexy, but don’t have sex" is the overwhelming message to young women, the film goes through the looking glass to understand a milestone almost everyone thinks about but no one actually understands.


"In spite of the fascinating and telling historical context, the true triumph of HOW TO LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY is in how relatable it is."


"...ambitious but successful film...HOW TO LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY is very well done…approaches the difficult subject with warmth and humor. I recommend it for anyone who desires a serious, grown-up, critical overview of the issue of sex and virginity in contemporary America."

Jack David Eller Anthropology Review

"Entertaining and thought-provoking, this is recommended."

Video Librarian

“Having demonstrated the ability to craft an engaging and entertaining film [I Was A Teenage Feminist] and to effectively incorporate her own story without losing sight of the broader issues, Shechter seems like the perfect filmmaker to tackle the complexities around virginity. It’s a topic that far too many people are obsessed about – probably for all the wrong reasons – so the film is sure to stimulate interest and provoke heated debate."

Basil Tsoikos All Things Documentary

"If you, like me, are an avid fan of Shechter’s 2005 film I Was a Teenage Feminist - a spirited exploration of the trials and tribulations of contemporary feminism - then you too may enjoy her personal and thoughtful approach to her current documentary-in-progress."

Ms. Magazine

"Shechter covers all of her bases, and leaves no sexual stone unturned...Her ability to teach, dismantle, expose and explore is remarkable."

Leigh Kolb Bitch Flicks

"Virginity is a powerful and malleable concept, as evidenced by the teenagers in Therese Shechter’s smart, funny and provoking documentary."

The Huffington Post

"Shechter gets us talking about our V-cards (whether we’ve cashed them in or whether we’re holding on tight) and creates an important documentary in the process."

Bust Magazine

“Therese Shechter thinks about sex a lot. A lot…her work actually tackles one of the last taboos in our culture’s discussion of sex – the deliberate decision not to participate in it."



Therese Shechter

Therese Shechter is an award-winning filmmaker and the founder of feminist production company Trixie Films. Her work fuses humor, activism, and personal storytelling to disrupt all that is sacred about womanhood.

She is a Canada Council for the Arts grantee for her new documentary "My So-Called Selfish Life.” which premieres in 2021. The film examines what it means to say no to motherhood in a society that assumes all women want children.

It is the third part of a trilogy which includes her films How To Lose Your Virginity (2013) and I Was A Teenage Feminist (2007). Her documentaries have screened from Rio de Janeiro to Istanbul to Seoul, and her work is in the collections of over 300 universities, non-profits, and libraries.

Therese's work has been covered by Salon, The Atlantic, Vice, The Chicago Tribune, Elle, The Guardian, Bitch, Q, The Globe and Mail and The Jakarta Globe, among others. (08/21)


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