CULTURE

The Twirgins

The Rogers twins were virgins by vocation.

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Jason and Joshua Rogers were influencers before the time of influencers, and they’ve continued to inspire as the world (andthe word) has evolved.

Their current claim to fame is their daily TwinT show, where “no topic or conversation is off limits.” They discuss relationships, race, sex, and parenting with hot takes, verbal listicles, and acted- out skits and conversations. All of this in perfect synchronicity,finishing each others’ sentences and carrying each others’ quips.

In the early 2000s, before Facebook Live existed as a motivational platform, the pair’s notoriety was in youth abstinence education. They were virgins as a vocation. They spoke in classrooms and auditoriums telling their testimonies of abstaining from sex in Jacksonville and across the state.

“We started with Project SOS, which was an abstinence organization,” said Joshua Rogers, “Their message was APE: Abstinence Protects Everyone. Go APE! Go crazy, go abstinent.”

Go APE was trademarked by Project SOS in the year 2000. The local organization provided in-class education on social and emotional life skills for success using a curriculum that “captures teenagers’ attention and curiosity through classroom demonstration, powerful personal stories, impactful videos, classroom discussions and workbook activities,” according to the Project SOS website. It has since merged with the Boys and Girls Club of America.

The Rogers initially engaged kids with rhymes and verses - a bit that they still open up their TwinT show with. Their approach to abstinence education was unique. While many speakers watered down the subject, suggesting abstinence as the moral default and not saying much more about it, Jason and Joshua hit on the hard topics and the nuance of the matter.

DLVFU, pronounced “duh-vu,” is what they went by at thetime. It stands for “Don’t Let the Virgin Fool You” and exemplifiedthe way that they broke the mold of being virgins at the time.

“There’s this stigma when you hear the word virgin,” said Jason Rogers, “The nerd with glasses, that whole depiction, and it’s like, I’m a virgin and I don’t wear suspenders. I can actually dress really nice! And it would shock you if I told you I was a virgin, you would never know.”

From there, they moved on to tour with It’s Great to Wait, a state-funded abstinence-only until marriage campaign that featured speakers in schools in Florida. The Rogers twins shared their engaging testimonies informed with their personal experiences.

Although they did talk about unwanted pregnancies and STDs as consequences of premarital sex, the basis of their message was mental and pragmatic: sex “muddies the water.” It raises emotionsand causes young people to miss red flags in their partners.

Both Jason and Joshua saw marriage as a goal - without the attachment that physical intimacy raises, they were able to makewise choices. “The only thing that you miss when you don’t have sex is conversation,” said Joshua Rogers, “[During courtship,] the conversation wasn’t always sex. We had other things to focus on. My goal was to focus on once we got married how we were going to raise our kids, what we were gonna do with our career.”

Our culture is and was saturated with explicit sexual messages to which the youth is particularly receptive of. While this is empowering to some, there is certainly room in the conversation for teaching abstinence to young people. There’s a question of whether unreserved sexuality is emotionally and culturally sustainable, and the dialogue can be opened up by normal people making healthy choices without a basis in moral judgment or religion.

Towards the end of the decade, studies came out proving abstinence-only education to be ineffective and many of these programs lost state and federal funding. Public opinion shifted in favor of comprehensive sex education.

Around the same time, the twins got married after a few years of courtship and their content shifted along with cultural and personal changes.

“We got married so the virgin thing had to go out the window,” said Jason Rogers, “We started leaning more towards identity, the message went from abstinence to identity.”

Since 2009, they’ve been public figures with thousands of fans and viewers online. They film their half-hour live shows in theircar every weekday, starting every episode with a beat and some raps before discussing taboo topics. Find them on their Facebook page DUHVU or on Instagram under the handle @duhvu.

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