Sex-Obsessed MTV Embraces 'Virgin Territory'

Alec Melger is a 21-year-old gay man who loves "talking about sex ... I'm not having it, though."

He's on a new MTV series called Virgin Territory, but another MTV show may have played a role in his evolving view on sex.

Speaking to Breitbart News and assembled reporters at the biannual Television Critics Association Press Tour, going on now at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, Melger said, "I started watching MTV when I was in, I want to say, like, third grade."

Then he watched season one of Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Gauntlet, recalling, "The first episode I ever watched was when ... Abram, Veronica and Rachel had a threesome in the bathtub. So, I watched that as a fourth-grader, and I was like, 'That's cool.'"

Premiering Wednesday at 11 p.m. EST, Virgin Territory follows 15 young adults who--at least when the show begins--are still virgins. Each hour profiles four of them as they either do or don't "swipe their V-card," as MTV delicately puts it on the show blog.

Also on the press conference panel were 22-year-old Dominique Sullivan, who's still a virgin; 23-year-old Lisa Youngerman, who's seen in the show preparing for her big wedding night; MTV programming president Susanne Daniels; and Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

While Daniels--who took over from David Janollari at MTV in November 2012-didn't apologize for the notion that the 9-year-old Melger was able to watch what was essentially blurred-out soft-core porn on MTV, she did say, "I actually feel a great sense of responsibility, if you want to know the truth, and I always have. That's why I've become good friends with Sarah."

Virgin Territory caused the TCA panel to take on a more serious tone than one would have any reason to expect from the Jersey Shore network. Both of the poised, articulate women cited their Christian faith as a reason for their abstinence, but Sullivan, a child of divorce, also talked about what she saw happening to family members who chose to have sex very young.

"I didn't want to continue that pattern," she said. "I didn't want to get pregnant at young age."

According to Brown, while adult virgins remain a sexual minority, they're one that's growing -- and it's not always for theological reasons. 

"It looks like virginity," she said, "or waiting at least, in the early 20s seems to be pretty stable right now. But there is a new sense of caution, honesty about risks.

"HIV/AIDS and STDs have also caught people's attention. I don't know if it's conservatism; I think of it as prudence. This show showcases what careful thinking and prudence can look like." 

Fortunately for Sullivan, her family supports her choice, saying "They're extremely proud of me for holding onto this decision until I'm married to (not) have sex." 

Melger said, "I never ever got a sex talk with my family ... But ever since they found out, they're supporting my decision. Even though I want to lose it on the show, it's based out of my responsibility and my right."

Brown added, "In the survey we did, we found that well over 70 percent of young adults admire their peers who have chosen to wait. It's not considered lame. It's not considered deviant."

Youngerman--who admitted it was "a hard thing to abstain from sex" during the four years she dated her now-husband--was asked about not coming off as a saying, as one reporter put it, "I'm Christian, and everybody who has sex before marriage is bad or evil." 

Smiling, Youngerman replied, "If someone doesn't have the same belief as me, I have no right to hold them to that standard. ... But if someone else doesn't have that same belief -- it's almost like telling a baby that they can't touch something because it's Mommy's special thing.

"They don't understand. They don't know it. That's just not what they know."


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