Let’s Assume I’m a Virgin

Being a 23 year old man and still a virgin seems to require an explanation.

I don’t know if it’s my confidence. I don’t know if it’s that people generally consider me attractive. But people simply assume that I’m not a virgin. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a 23 year old dude. You know what, forget the age. I think it’s just because I’m a dude.

You’re probably reading this and are amazed yourself. So, here’s a backstory. I was a Christian practicing celibacy and any girlfriend I had was also a celibate Christian. Well, except one. She suffered from a sexual pain disorder which turned her vagina into Gandalf from Lord of the Rings screaming, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”, and my penis into Balrog falling into the abyss as Gandalf destroys the bridge. One might infer that, judging the size of Balrog and comparing that to my penis might be me suggesting that I am also making a comparison in size. Well, this is not the forum for that. I have a Twitter account where you can get all the giant, mammoth-y, fiery whip-wielding details. But I digress.

We live in a society where to be virgin and male is strange and people (men, especially) wonder if there’s something wrong with you, forgetting that it could simply be a matter of choice. Unfortunately, once you bring that up people wonder why the hell would you choose to not have sex? Even if you have had sex before, and then later made the choice to be celibate, people think that you’re a moron. “Have your testicles descended? Yes? Time to have sex, son. Shut up. We’re going to the strip club, but first I have to stop at the bank.”

It seems that the onus falls on the promiscuous friend(s) to get the virgin friend some tail. And while I appreciate it guys, I really do, the truth is, I really don’t.

I’m not Christian anymore, but I still think there’s a point in waiting. There’s a discipline involved. There’s something to look forward to. And I think I might have grown out of that stage where you want to have sex with every hot girl you see. I don’t want to have sexual partners that characterize a certain era, because I just don’t want to be that close to you and then we endure the awkward stage of post-breakup. Awkwardness will ensue, but it’d be even more awkward, I imagine. I can only imagine, since I am a virgin.

Assuming an identity is the same as prejudice. It’s just that “prejudice” carries a certain heavy connotation, when in reality it simply means you pre-judged. You took me at face value. You judged the book by its cover. You saw a guy and assumed that he’s like all the others.

I will say this though. When men just assume that you’re not a virgin, it’s A LOT better than when they find out that you’re a virgin. And some girls, when you tell them that you are celibate, they revere you, but you probably won’t get to have sex with them.

You know what? Don’t tell anybody!

 

Read more: I Thought You Were Like a Ken Doll, By Daniel Jones

Image credit: Foxtongue/Flickr

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About Jason Henry

Jason Henry is a young person who earnestly seeks the path which leads him to say, "TGIM: Thank God it's Monday." Feel obliged to contact him @alchemisjah and buy his book on emotional healing here

Comments


  1. Unfortunately, once you bring that up people wonder why the hell would you choose to not have sex?

    Isn’t it just lovely how they skip right to presuming that you must not be having sex only because you have made the choice to not have sex, regardless of the actual circumstances?


    I will say this though. When men just assume that you’re not a virgin, it’s A LOT better than when they find out that you’re a virgin. And some girls, when you tell them that you are celibate, they revere you, but you probably won’t get to have sex with them.

    Now that is interesting. In my own experience its been that guys just assume I wasn’t a virgin and if it came out that I was they would make a few jokes then let it go, while women on the other hand go into the “what’s wrong with you?”, “are you gay?”, “you’re lying”, “you are so not a virgin.”

    • Jason Henry says:

      Sorry dude, complete opposite when it comes to girls for me. It’s fascinating to them it seems. Some don’t believe me at first, but it usually ends up with a “good for you” type reply.

      • Lucky you dude. And that’s what it comes down to. Luck in regards to what types of women one comes across.

        Up until about 3 months ago I would have asked where you were crossing paths with such girls.

        • Jason Henry says:

          Yeah I am pretty fortunate ’cause I know there are girls out there who’d probably put me on PBS or TLC and just throw questions at me for an hour while murmuring among themselves that something must be wrong with me haha

    • @Danny…

      “……..while women on the other hand go into the “what’s wrong with you?”, “are you gay?”, “you’re lying”, “you are so not a virgin.”

      Yes, that was my experience as well. My first sexual experience was at age 21 while in college. After being celibate for many years (5) preceding meeting my now ex wife, I was celibate. My ex wife asked me many of these questions. Of course little did I know I was signing up for a mostly sexless.
      marriage.

      My advice to you is to: AVOID women with a lot of sexual partners. I know it is damn near impossible to know their “number”. However, it is important that you seek a woman with very limited sexual experience. Otherwise, you are destined for serious issues. Trust me.

      • Sorry. Advice is for Jason Henry.

        • Jason Henry says:

          I’m sort of on your wavelength there with regards to number of partners. It’s a bit intimidating when I think about me being with someone who’s had a decent amount of experience. But I don’t want to fall into the trap of insecurity. And if she belittles me (or whatever issues arise), just leave right? That’s easy enough.

      • Now come on Jules. I certainly can see why your dealings with such women would sour your view of women but I don’t think we can make a blanket judgment that women with high numbers are bad news in this regard can we?


        However, it is important that you seek a woman with very limited sexual experience.

        I’d say it’s important to seek women that don’t act like such jerks (yeah I want to say another word because frankly it would be fitting but if I do all the folks that don’t mind calling guys dicks will get up in arms about misogyny and what not) about a guy’s past sex life.

        But to be clear I take it you mean to say that your ex wife had a high number of sexual partners and she then gave you the cold shoulder because of your low number? That’s messed up.

        • Yes, I stand by what I wrote.

          Also, most women just do not care about a guys sexual history. Only we men really care about it. Social conditioning I suppose? I don’t know. Many women will marry a man even if she knew he had been with a 1000 women.

          A woman with a high number of partners is likely to have already done a lot of casual sex and various sex acts. So, when she gets this virgin, who is inexperienced, I find it hard to believe she will have much sexual enthusiasm.

          People want to argue that it does not matter. But it does matter.

          Yes, my view is my ex wife had already done all the sex she wanted with others. So, when she met Mr. Nice, it was an after thought. Also, only bad boys want sex. Right? Women for whatever reason seems to be more generous with sex with everyone except for their husbands.

          Marriage is a lousy deal sexually for most men. It absolutely stinks! Even Jesus could not convince me otherwise.

          • I am an unabashed slut who’s had a lot of sexual partners – but fewer, interestingly, now that I practice polyamory. I think my attentions are more focused. Anyway, I think it would be a real mistake to count out sexually experienced women as potential good partners for a man who’s a virgin. Worried she’ll get bored with you, or find your “lack of skill” doesn’t fulfill her desires? TELL HER. The ability to have honest communication, especially when it’s about something difficult or scary, is more important to good sex than any permutation of penis-in-vagina maneuvers.

            For my part, celibacy doesn’t bother me or turn me off. Celibacy for religious reasons, or with the specific goal of waiting until marriage, is abhorrent to my value system. I actually find the idea of being someone’s sexual teacher or guide to be really, really hot. If a guy is a virgin and wants to have sex with me, but doesn’t allow me to act in that guiding capacity, that would be a pretty big problem. If relinquishing that aspect of control is out of the question for his first sexual experience, and it’s with a very experienced woman – major dealbreaker. If she, the experienced partner, isn’t WILLING to assume that control to make it a safe, low-pressure experience for the guy, she is lacking in empathy and needs to pull her head out of her ass.

            • I haven’t noticed any correlation between libido and number of partners–it’s waxed and waned based on very different factors. And the more partners I’ve had, the more interested I am in monogamy. I’ve had two periods in my life where I slept around. One was towards the end of college and getting caught up in hook-up culture for a little bit. The other was rebounding after a sad breakup. With both, it was somewhat exciting at first, but I quickly found it unsatisfying (more quickly the second time).

              As I’ve mentioned in another thread, the main factors of the few times I was sexually disinterested were not being made to feel attractive by my man and bad birth control. I’m higher libido now than I’ve ever been and I’d never want to enter into a sexless marriage. I understand that certain factors might come up (illness, stress, the fighting that comes along with living with someone, changing bodies and self-esteem, etc), but that’s when you need to communicate and try.

              I, and I’m sure many women out there, value the connection and effort far more than any experience or lack thereof. Even if it’s weird the first couple of times, if we’re in a relationship, we have plenty of time to get it right and experiment. And if things get stale, we work to figure it out. I’d much more likely get bored with you if you didn’t try or you were cruel/judgmental of me than I would if you simply weren’t inexperienced. The only thing that would worry me about virgins might be that they would expect too MUCH. Since all they would know about sex comes from many years of watching porn, they might expect it to be perfect, when in real life sex can be messy, funny, poorly lit, and a million other things. Still awesome, just not ‘perfect’ all of the time or with as much at your fingertips variety.

              And you’re completely wrong, Jules, about the having done sex acts thing then not wanting to do them again. That makes no sense to me. Unless you did something and it felt terrible. But would you even want to do something with a woman you love that makes her feel terrible? Most men like their women enjoying sex. “Well, I tried sex and now I’m done. Seeya.” No, no one thinks like this. “Well I tried a beautiful piece of filet mignon and now I never want it again. I only wanted it once and in one situation.” Really?

  2. AnonymousDog says:

    It’s interesting that you feel it necessary to provide a ‘backstory’ involving religious and medical reasons why you are still a virgin. Not doubting its truth, but it seems as if you find it necessary to separate yourself from guys who just never found anyone with whom they felt a mutual sexual attraction.

    “Yeah, yeah, I had a girlfriend, but she had these issues, see…..”

    • Jason Henry says:

      Definitely not defending anything. Just telling my story.

    • I’m gonna have to back Jason up here. I don’t understand how there can be critiques as to why he provided a backstory. He’s simply saying (and I paraphrase): “I’m a virgin. Here’s why. This is the feedback I’ve gotten in my personal experience. Why is there so much scandal behind male virginity (by choice)?”

      Thanks for sharing this, Jason.

      • Jason Henry says:

        No problem, Kaleb. Thanks for the support.

      • AnonymousDog says:

        He could have simply said “I’m a virgin. By choice.”. But his backstory suggests that it was really because of circumstances outside his control. My point is that there is also a lot of prejudice against guys who just never found anyone. The medical and religious reasons Jason quotes sort of suggest that his own situation should somehow be viewed differently from that of guys who just never had a girlfriend at all. Is being a virgin by choice somehow superior to being a virgin by chance?

  3. “And I think I might have grown out of that stage where you want to have sex with every hot girl you see.” – this stops at a certain age? Really?

    “There’s something to look forward to.” – indeed there is. You realize that you only live for so long and your sex rank, no matter how badass you are, probably starts to decline in your mid-50s?

    You only have so long to sleep with amazing women. I’m with one now and nothing, nothing compares to the pleasure of going home to another session of world-rocking sex.

    What exactly are you waiting for? Marriage? Don’t be a fool, that’s gambling with the biggest decision of your life.

    • Jason Henry says:

      Yes, really, I don’t want to have sex with every hot girl I see (anymore) and it stems (in part) from the fact that I may not even like em. And I mean that I may not like them as a person. I don’t want to spend time with people I don’t like, and something that intimate would just make it worse.
      But no, I’m not necessarily waiting for marriage.

    • @CmE I think your response adds to the argument he’s making here:

      “We live in a society where to be virgin and male is strange and people (men, especially) wonder if there’s something wrong with you, forgetting that it could simply be a matter of choice.”

      It’s that simple, “a matter of choice.” Anyone trying to push their experience with male sexuality on someone who has explicitly stated they have chosen celibacy to deter them away from that choice seems fit under what this article is addressing.

      • I understand, but it’s hardly an informed choice. I mean, he doesn’t actually know what he’s missing out on, though I respect the choice if sleeping with sexy awesome women is something that just doesn’t appeal for whatever reason.

        • Jason Henry says:

          That’s definitely the issue I’m facing: choosing to wait til ??? to do it without knowing it experientially. Which is probably why you might see “sexy woman” and infer “awesome” whereas i definitely can’t infer that by looks or the one adjective of sexy. I’m wise to the halo effect.

          • Actually, I see “sexy” and see “sexy”, and then go over and find out if they’re an awesome person as well. Obviously neither is any good without the other. Sleeping with entitlement princess b**ches doesn’t appeal to me either.

  4. @CmE

    “..Marriage? Don’t be a fool, that’s gambling with the biggest decision of your life.”

    It is not a gamble. There is a high degree of certainty that the sex is going to be lackluster, at best.

    Real talk!

    • I meant that if you marry someone without having had sex with them it is a gamble as to whether or not their libido matches yours, and it is completely unknowable as to whether or not you are into one another. I never said it was a gamble with good odds, which is perhaps what you are getting at.

      • @CmE agreed! You don’t know what you’d be missing out on unless you test the waters. There’s some saying, “Why buy a car without the test drive,” that comes to mind here.

      • Jason Henry says:

        Yeah… which is why I’m not wild about the idea of waiting until marriage. But yeah that’s a good point. And it definitely wont be a romantic night if both partners are virgins.

        • @Jason

          It would definitely be a goofy, short-lived experience. But you know what–that’s a great story for two people who are accomplishing a goal they’ve set for themselves. It wouldn’t be my decision, but kudos to the celibates.

          I’m all about celibacy–it’s not something I subscribe to nor is it something that affects my life directly. The line I tend to draw with most of the “saving it til marriage” crowd is when people start preaching “your body is a temple,” “have some self-respect,” etc. Garbage.

      • @CmE…

        There is asymmetric information even if you have sex before marriage. Women know better what their real intentions are with respect to sex in a marriage.

        Only after marriage does this come out. Look, nearly one third of marriages are sexless in America. The other two thirds are probably just “average” with a small percentage “above average.”

        Time and time again I hear and read where women state their husbands cannot give them good sex. OK. Fine. But, did not she know this BEFORE they got married? If she did, and I am convinced most women know, then what was the point of getting married?

        Most women steadfastly refuse to acknowledge ANY responsibility in sexless marriage. The attitude towards the husbands is nearly always dismissive.

        JMO.

        • It’s pretty obvious you’ve been burned. Sorry to hear that.

          You have a lot of “Most” comments in here, so I’m gonna throw a few more back atcha.

          Most women do not go into marriage with an agenda or an intention to create a sexless marriage. Most women do want sex, but desire, ability and enthusiasm can wax and wane over time, on both partners’ ends.
          A lot of the time, a sexless marriage is a symptom of other problems in the relationship that aren’t directly about sex but do influence sex drives and intimacy.
          Most women who complain about their husband’s performance in bed aren’t complaining because it’s always been that way, but because there’s been a change (the whole waxing and waning thing) and they are no longer satisfied. Maybe sometimes there’s a particular issue that’s always been there (“he’s never gotten me off by hand,” for example), but I’ve personally never heard a woman – an actual woman, not a fictional character – say “ever since before we were married he has never been able to please me sexually at all.” Never ever ever.

          As to “Most women steadfastly refuse to acknowledge ANY responsibility in sexless marriage. The attitude towards the husbands is nearly always dismissive.” I can only assume you’ve talked to every wife in every sexless marriage to arrive at a “nearly always” conclusion. Personally, I think that most women in sexless marriages are concerned and even feel guilty about the sexlessness, even if they don’t express it. Most women don’t actively WANT to be “frigid.” I’ll grant you that some women, when the marriage becomes sexless, just accept it instead of addressing it – but like I said, that’s often a symptom of other problems in the marriage (especially re: communication), not because the woman prefers the marriage sexless.

          I’m willing to hear you out on your logic, if you’re able to present it a little more clearly, without massive assumptions and generalizations. It’s not that hard to avoid absolute words like Most and Always and Never – just substitute Some and Often and Rarely.

          • Expanding – sometimes a sexless marriage CAN be because of a true mismatch of libidos. Sometimes a marriage can start out with both partners being compatible, but age, medication, stress, depression, etc. can affect the compatibility over time. In my experience, it’s rare for a couple to be having great sex right up until they get married, then the wife turns off the faucet completely and BAM sexless marriage. In my experience, sexless marriages happen over time, not instantaneously.

            I was the low-libido partner for a long time. It only went on as long as it did because I was in denial (which you might interpret as “steadfastly refusing any responsibility”). I KNEW I was the problem, I just didn’t believe I could do anything about it. Occasionally I would accuse my partner of behaving in a way that turned me off, but for the most part, I accepted that it was me – I just didn’t think there was anything I could do about it. My refrain was “This is just how I am, it has nothing to do with you, just deal with it.” The “Just Deal with It” part was not very generous, I’ll grant you that.

            As it turned out, my low biological desire was mostly because of the birth control I was on; when I switched to another method, a non-hormonal one, my desire rapidly came back from the dead. I knew birth control could have this affect, I just didn’t believe that it was at the root of my problem at the time, I thought there must be something else – something fundamentally wrong with me. I was also very reluctant to switch methods at the time because the method I used was otherwise very convenient and effective, so I dismissed the birth control idea.

            So basically what I’m saying is, It’s just not fair to take the problem of your sexless marriage and the reasons behind it, and extrapolate that to all, or even most, women. Who knows what was up with your ex-wife. I’m not going to try to figure it out. But you seem to have this idea that because your marriage turned out the way it did, most other marriages happen that way. In any other context, that logic just would not fly. “My third-grade teacher humiliated me in front of the class all year, so I believe most third-grade teachers are sadists who get off on embarrassing kids.”

            JMO.

  5. @KKZ..

    OK. I will plead guilty to over generalizing.

    My view stems from speaking to lots of married men as well as reading the scientific research. While I will not use “most” I would venture to say many many married men are unsatisfied with their sex lives. Just look at the Kennebunk scandal. In this this case, the majority of the men are married. The accused prostitute wrote in some of her online posting that these men we coming to her because they were not getting much sex with their wives.

    It just seems to me that a lot of women just want to ignore the fact that the majority of the time THEY (women) are the problem. Men are the drivers of porn. Men are the driver of prostitution. There is a reason for this. Men have greater desires for sex, period I believe.

    I just get particularly annoyed when a lot of women just dismiss their husband’s sexuality. To me, this happens lot. I just do not know what the issue is with sex and marriage. But, in my book they just do not mix. As a man, I have found it to be more satisfying being a lover to a woman than being a husband sexually. Hence, i will keep it that way.

    • And I apologize for flying off the handle a little bit yesterday, I was in an unusually testy mood and obviously was rubbed the wrong way by the tone of your comments.

      When it comes down to it, I think it’s hard to *measure* desire in a way that would really let us compare the levels between the genders. I think the fact that most men have more testosterone than most women makes them more expressive of desire, because testosterone is not a passive hormone, it demands action (go have sex, go look at p0rn, go jack off…NOW!). So that might make it seem like they have more desire, but I’m not sure there’s a way to KNOW this for certain. I also think biological and cultural factors influence how men and women each express desire – regardless of the level of a desire a woman has, in the USA at least she’s been pressure to keep it under wraps, although I don’t think this alone is responsible for most sexless marriages.

      And age, medications etc. do make a difference – while I have heard some of the same stories that you have, the frustrated husband and the unapologetically frigid wife, I’ve also heard of men in their 40s/50s who experience a sharp drop in their desire (associated with a drop in testosterone production), while in the meantime pre-menopause has kicked their wives’ libidos into high gear. Maybe at one point they were more or less even, but as I said, desire is not a constant, it waxes and wanes.

      But I would agree that there are probably a lot of sexually incompatible couples out there who just don’t know how to address the problem and so it festers, and they cast blame on one another. During my low-libido period I did accuse my husband of behaving in ways that turned me off, even though that wasn’t the root of the problem. I think sometimes what happens is, only one person in the relationship sees a problem with the frequency/quality of sex while the other person doesn’t feel it’s a problem at all, so when the dissatisfied party complains, the satisfied party is confused and may become defensive. That’s what I mean by incompatibility and not having the tools to handle it.

      • Hello KKZ:
        I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts. They are cheerful, well-written, and fair-minded, even if I might disagree with a point you were making at the time.
        “…it’s rare for a couple to be having great sex right up until they get married, then the wife turns off the faucet completely and BAM sexless marriage.”
        I know I’m not all men, and this is anecdotal, but this was my experience. We had very good sex, and we had that sex with satisfying frequency.
        We got married, and it was- BAM. If I tried to talk about issues of intimacy or communication, she’d get pissed. When I suggested counseling (she had a degree in Psych.), she made excuses or became angry.
        When I shared with her my sexual frustration, and that my committment to her excluded my seeking sexual relief/intimacy with anyone else. I mean shared, not attack, not whine- shared. Her suggestion was me to go jack off in the bathroom.
        We ended up having sex 7 times during our marriage (fortunately, #6 produced my son), and no sex the last 18 months.
        It’s a terrible feeling- to know your partner is indifferent or hostile to your sexual needs. Because as you prob. know, for many men sex is intimacy.
        This experience changed me, as a sexual being. I lost the playful, carefree side of myself as a lover.
        I still love women, respect women, and want intimacy with them, both physical and emotional. I can say I don’t trust women the way I did before my marriage. And sex, sex feels more like a no-man’s land, instead of the romp in the park it used to be. When it comes to sexual relationships, I stick my toe in the water the water first, versus the cannonball leap into the pool.
        That may be a little sad, but that is my reality.

    • As a pro-Domme, almost my entire client base is men in their 40s and 50s who are in sexless marriages, are pissed off at their wives, harbor incredibly deep, powerful resentment, and feel like they’ve been shut down and told that their sexuality and their kinks/fetishes are repulsive. That’s just an observation, not analysis.

      If my partner’s and my libidos are mis-matched, it’s okay for him find a lover who can meet the needs that I’m unable or unwilling to meet. The same goes for me. Not without working through jealousy, insecurity and fear. Non-monogamy is not a magic pill that makes everything easier. It’s really hard at times. But making one person responsible for all your sexual needs is most of the time, in my opinion, a recipe for heartbreak and disaster.

  6. Thus, our shelves wind up filled with stuffs that we like, but that we don’t own time designed for.

  7. “You know what? Don’t tell anybody!”

    I would hope that you would at least tell your partner/potential partner. I completely respect your decision to remain celibate, but I think she’d have a right to know. I do think it’s worth it to wait for sex with someone you’re truly into, but understand that it can be frustrating physically and emotionally for many people. It would be good if she knew what she was getting into and why. Other people don’t have to know, but if you’re serious about someone or planning to date her for a while, it’s a different story. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Jason Henry says:

      No i’d tell her. If I didn’t I can only imagine the hilarity that would ensue. Would make for a decent rom-com plot.

    • I don’t know about that.

      Whether someone’s number is 1 or 1000 I’m not too sure about the other person having some sort of right to know. Now if the other person asked then I think they deserve an honest answer (which might be what you mean) but beyond that I don’t think they owe anything.

      • Danny–I meant let her know that he’s planning on not having sex until engagement/marriage, not necessarily that he’s a virgin (although if he wants to mention that as a reason, that would make a lot of sense). I guess I read that comment differently. I read “don’t tell anyone you’re celibate” rather than “don’t tell anyone you’re a virgin.” I think you would owe it to tell me that we’d be waiting to have sex or I’d be confused, feel rejected, and hurt. Nothing wrong with waiting, at all. I just would like to know. Obviously he doesn’t owe it to tell me if he’s a virgin or has had 100 partners. But if we’re about to enter a long term relationship and there won’t be sex for a long time–I’d like to be prepared.

  8. HA. Man you young guys think you have it all figured out. 23 years old and you are just so mature you’ve grown out of the “stage” where you want to have sex with every hot chick you see. I used to think I had it all figured out at 23 also. I didn’t. Back then even with all the problems I had attracting women (and with being a virgin) I had a couple of girls who liked me enough to either offer to make out with me or even give me a bj. I turned them down mostly due to the standards I had of “they weren’t pretty enough or were a little overweight.” What a mistake.

    Now I’m 36 and married to a very caring and understanding wife, and I _still_ want to have sex with every hot girl I see every time I see one. It doesn’t mean I love my wife an less, it just means that I still want to have sex with attractive women. In addition I think about those girls from college at least once a week not only am I filled with regret for not hooking up with them, but also for thinking they weren’t that attractive. Total and absolute failure on my part. Trust me, when you are in your 30s you’ll look back on your 20s and wonder why you were wasting your time doing what you are doing now, which is nothing.

    Don’t mistake not wanting to have sex with every hot girl you see as some proof of maturity, it’s not. I don’t know what it is. In fact I can respect your celibacy to an extent if it’s a religious choice. At least then I’d know it was your spiritual beliefs that you were staying a virgin for. However when I read the line that said “something to look forward to”, it made me wonder if you had been talking to my mom, or were in fact my mom as that was her line to me as a kid. “Sex is something to look forward to on your wedding night”. UGH. That’s was just horrible, awful, and wrong advice.

    Your other quote that disturbs me is this:
    “I don’t want to have sexual partners that characterize a certain era, because I just don’t want to be that close to you and then we endure the awkward stage of post-breakup. Awkwardness will ensue, but it’d be even more awkward, I imagine. I can only imagine, since I am a virgin.”

    This basically tells me you are scared to take a relationship to a serious level because you are afraid of something bad happening. Yes, something bad _might_ happen. That’s how relationships work. People break up, feelings are hurt, and suddenly the person you felt closest to in the world no longer wants to see or speak to you. That’s just how it is. After a while you get over it, move on, and find someone else. There’s not just one person out there for everyone like some romantic fairy tale. The majority of people have to break hearts and have their hearts broken to find a relationship that can last.

    • Jason Henry says:

      A number of people have commented on that line about me not wanting to be with every hot girl I see, which led me to reconsider my stance on it. I remain the same, here’s why. If I’m not attracted to you, I really don’t see how a sexual experience is going to be enjoyed. Additionally, if i dont even like you as a person, forget it. That is the point I was trying to make. As a teen, if you were hot that’s that, but that doesn’t make for a good relationship, no matter how enduring or fleeting. If you suck as a person, I don’t want to have anything to do with you.

      With regards to me being afraid to take a relationship to a serious level, I understand your inference. But the fact is, a serious relationship is the one where I would have sex, no problem. I just got out of one actually. Wanted to have sex, she was Christian and wanted to wait, I was fine with that. But it ended because I’m not Christian. I’m afraid to get hurt again? Absolutely! But I’d try again.

      I will say this though. There are times when I do think I have it figured out. You’re right about that. But you guys and girls really give me some new perspectives to ponder. I appreciate it.

      • My hope for you, and for everyone, is that you don’t find yourself older and wishing you hadn’t wasted your 20s because of some ideals you thought were high minded and mature, only to find that after all they didn’t matter all that much. Best of luck to you Jason.

  9. I’ve been working on a virginity documentary for several years and have been crowd-sourcing first person stories from all over the world for our blog. Among those stories are many by older virgin men who talk about the shame and anxiety of being sexually inexperienced. The connection between those feelings and our stereotypical expectations of ‘masculinity’ can’t be ignored.

    But there are other factors that also come up as clear issues: Asexuality, a general disinterest in sex; Aspergers, a social interaction issue; and the odd penchant for referring to women ‘females’ in their stories, as if women were a totally different species only to be referred in clinical terms.

    Many guys claim that their virginity is the turn-off to women they meet as potential sexual partners, but I haven’t come across too many women for whom that’s a deal-breaker. It may be more likely that women are actually responding to underlying issues – a lack of interest, a lack of confidence, or a basic hostility to ‘females’.

    You can read First Person stories here: http://www.virginitymovie.com/category/first-person/

    • @Therese

      Referring to women as “females” is odd? What is the preferred word? Broads? Gals? Hoes? Girls?
      I’m guessing these older men had a mother who taught them the “always respect women” garbage (put them on a pedestal!). Like Andy said in “The 40 Year Old Virgin”, “I respect women so much I stay away from them”. Women probably do feel like different species to them. But to begrudge them calling women “females”? This sounds like another case of no matter what these guys do they can’t win with women. “OMG he said females, he must be weird and creepy!”

      Let me say in my case I lied to the first girl I had sex with and told her I had previous had sex before. After we had been dating for a few months she mentioned that had I been a virgin she never would have had sex with me because it would have been too “weird”. Virginity was a huge concern with the second girl I had sex with as well. She said she’d never have sex with a virgin because there would be too much pressure. I can also say that my wife has never had sex with a virgin. I think it is definitely a turn-off to a woman.

      • I’d say that like with most other sexual things, it’s highly individual. Some women may feel pressured that they have to make a guy’s first time really memorable. Some women may not be interested in sex with a virgin because they prefer someone with more experience. Some women may be surprised or nervous, but willing to help a guy through his first time compassionately. And some women, though I’d say it’s probably quite rare, do specifically and actively seek out virgin men. (See also: Panda Threesome.) I personally think I would skew towards wanting to compassionately help him through it, and maybe might get a little kick out of being his first.

      • I do think it’s odd to call a woman a ‘female.’ Why not just call her a woman? It’s like me saying ‘I went out with this male’ or ‘I got a phone call from a male.’

        Semantics aside, I’m really sorry you personally got such a bad reaction re:virginity from the women you went out with. Your instinct not to tell the first woman seems like it was a good one; sexual experience isn’t something we automatically have to share.

        But I do think sweeping generalizations get us into trouble and create bad feelings where there should be trust. I’ve heard so many times that guys think that if a woman has had more than a few sexual partners, she’s a slut– and I know that’s not true either.

        • QuantumInc says:

          Children with Asperger’s are sometimes referred to as “Little Professors” due to an overall tendency to use very technical although obscure terminology. For example: I have Asperger’s syndrome and I just typed “terminology” in place of “words”. It’s just slightly more precise language in the denotative sense; however it does ignore the connotation of such words. People with Asperger’s and Autism generally have a tough time understanding and connecting with others. The syndrome directly affects one’s ability to read non-verbal communication, thus dating and flirting are often nearly impossible. Most people diagnosed with Asperger’s or Autism are male but there are plenty of females with with Asperger’s and they have an equal level of frustration. Though the dating world presents females with different challenges.

          • You make a good point, QuantumInc. I do hear from a lot of guys with Aspergers and for them dating and flirting is clearly a huge challenge, and makes it excruciating to form intimate relationships. It may also explain the use of the word ‘female’ when talking about a woman. That kind of precise terminology makes sense for someone with Aspergers.

        • FWIW, not all women are females and not all females are women. (Where “female” means being female-assigned-at-birth.) I get the language specificity thing, but cisgendered women are not the only women.

          • I’ll admit that use of the word ‘females’ makes me uncomfortable. It’s not that I would call the guy a creep or anything, but I would just instinctively be weirded out. It’s so…technical and medical. And that’s not very sexy. I would never think you’re a bad person for using it, but it would make me think you have a very disconnected relationship with women (unless we’re using it as a pet name or teasingly). I’d still try and understand, and good point about the Aspergers. You just have to be understanding and patient at that point.

            • Yes, seeing ‘female’ used in romantic fiction always takes me out of the story a little while I blink and feel a slight disconnect. I wonder if there’s an element in it of not wanting to write ‘girl’, which can come off as patronising or demeaning, but also being alarmed that ‘woman’ comes across as too solid, mature or old-fashioned in denoting a character whose vibrant and youthful sexuality is a dominant trait – especially if the writer is a teen or young adult themselves. The word ‘woman’ seems associated more with the middle-aged than the young.

              ‘Female’ also makes me think of the Ferengi race from Star Trek, which only ruins my immersion further.

              ‘These hyoo-mons let their fee-males wear CLOTHING!’

          • I’m a trans woman, meaning I’m female. I don’t care one bit what my gametes are or have been producing at any point in time. My brain physiology is female, and its all that matters.

    • Many guys claim that their virginity is the turn-off to women they meet as potential sexual partners, but I haven’t come across too many women for whom that’s a deal-breaker. It may be more likely that women are actually responding to underlying issues – a lack of interest, a lack of confidence, or a basic hostility to ‘females’.
      Because women don’t lie or something? (Sorry for sounding a bit antagonistic but its too often I see men’s experiences reduced to claims and beliefs based on not knowing too many women that can corroborate them).

      Obviously there are women out there that respond to underlying issues but at the same time I do believe that due to the gender expectations that comes to sex (where male virginity is treated like a curse that must be dispelled and female virginity is a treasure that must be guarded) there are a good number of women that actually do get turned off by guys that don’t have a lot of sexual experience.

      Sexual experience is treated like a measurement of proper masculinity. If he doesn’t have a lot of sexual experiences (with women, heteronomitivity of course) then it’s taken as a sign that something is wrong with him.

      I’m all for avoiding sweeping generalizations but I think there are enough guys out there with such experiences that they should carry at least some weight.

      • Danny is exactly right and probably addressed this in a gentler way than I would have. I think most men know from experience that women frequently say one thing but then actually do another. I’m guessing these women that you interview have convinced themselves that’s how they feel about virgins, but have no doubt done something totally different in real life.

        Something I repeatedly see in the GMP comments are men giving their experiences about women and dating, and women jumping in to cite some reason why what the men have actually _experienced_ isn’t valid.

        • Jimbo & Danny – I really wasn’t trying to deny the experience of the guys writing in about this. Clearly, it’s a very real and unpleasant thing to go through.

          I think the trap is to approach every potential situation with the certainty that you’ll get hurt. If someone has made up their mind that every woman will reject them for their inexperience, then why bother ever trying? You can see where that road leads, and although the guys that write in to us are a self-selecting group, for them that road is well-traveled.

          To broaden it past sexual experience, we can sometimes end up in intimate situations where the attitudes of our partners have left us feeling totally shitty. But there are other people out there, and like other commenters have said, everyone is different and wants different things.


          • I really wasn’t trying to deny the experience of the guys writing in about this. Clearly, it’s a very real and unpleasant thing to go through.

            Oh I’m sure you weren’t.


            I think the trap is to approach every potential situation with the certainty that you’ll get hurt. If someone has made up their mind that every woman will reject them for their inexperience, then why bother ever trying? You can see where that road leads, and although the guys that write in to us are a self-selecting group, for them that road is well-traveled.

            I agree. One shouldn’t go into a situation presuming the worst. However recognizing that the worst has actuallly happened shouldn’t call for people chiming in to imply that said worst wasn’t happening as often as it was.

      • I think the line of thought is that if other women were not attracted to you, there must be something wrong i’m not seeing.

      • Jonathan G says:

        Sexual experience is treated like a measurement of proper masculinity. If he doesn’t have a lot of sexual experiences (with women, heteronomitivity of course) then it’s taken as a sign that something is wrong with him.

        Agreed, and to expand on that point:

        OKCupid.com used to have a really unique feature, for a dating site: discussion forums. People used them to get suggestions on profiles, to try to organize in-person meetups, to vent, or just to chat. As you would expect, topics along the lines of “Do men/women like this?” or “Why do women/men do that?” came up frequently. The older-virgin thing came up often and I saw that lots of women said that they would not date and/or didn’t want to sleep with an older male virgin — again and again in just those words — because if he hasn’t had sex by now, “there must be something wrong with him.”

        Heck, plenty of women on the OKCupid forums said the same about marriage. They didn’t want anything to do with a guy in his 30’s, or older, who had never been married. “If he hasn’t been married at least once by now, there must be something wrong with him.”

        And why wouldn’t they think that way? I believe, from everything I have observed or otherwise learned about people, that one of the primary things that makes a man attractive to women is social proof. (And I believe it’s universal enough that I feel comfortable omitting the modifier “many” or “most” in front of “women”.) I’m surprised this concept didn’t come up in the What Makes a Man Attractive? discussion, because plenty of discussion threads hinged on different instances of social proof.

        A famous man is attractive to many women because he’s famous. (Our culture values celebrity.) A hilariously funny man is attractive to many women because he gets a lot of attention from others. (They seem to value him.) A rich man is attractive to many women because he demonstrates his societal value through the money people give him. Louis C.K. (a favorite example here on TGMP) has all three going for him. An outgoing man with a lot of friends is attractive to most women. (The friends value him.) A man with power is attractive to many women. (The society values him.) A man who notoriously rejects money, power and fame, but gains esteem within a sub-culture by doing so, is attractive to some women. (The people whose opinions she values seem to value him.) Any one of these particular qualities or circumstances may or may not appeal to an individual woman depending on her personality, but I’ll wager that she values at least some form of social proof, even if it’s just an introduction to a guy who’s a friend-of-a-friend.

        So why shouldn’t a man’s sexual experience also fall under the rubric of social proof? If lots of other women were willing to boink him in the past, he must be plenty boinkable. And if nobody was willing to boink him, well, maybe there’s something wrong with him?

      • could it just be that women are worried that a man with no sexual experience won’t know what to do in bed, and as s result the sex won’t be good for her, and that she’ll have to teach him how to fo everything (which is a turn off?) I know that sounds shallow, but most people have somewhat shallow criteria when it comes to picking sexual partners.

        • While it could be simply a worry that he won’t know what to do in bed or a social standing thing, I think it’s a bit more complicated than that, at least for me. Here’s why I might worry:

          1) Hasn’t sowed his wild oats. Hasn’t ‘gotten it out of his system.’ Because he hasn’t experienced anything else, might think that the grass is always greener elsewhere. Might get resentful in later years for not experimenting. Gets overly excited by female attention and is willing to do anything for it, including hurt and humiliate me.

          2) Thinks porn or romantic comedies are real sex. Gets sex education from porn or mainstream media and doesn’t understand that what looks good on camera doesn’t always feel good in bed. Assumes that all sex is well lit, super athletic, super loud, super perfect–or involves candles, roses, lasting forever, grand gestures, orgasms every time, and again, super perfect. Sometimes we just want to get it in, feel good as hell, and pass out. Not all the time, but sometimes. Not all sex has to be a production–whether that’s a porn production or a romantic comedy production.

          3) Possibly very low libido. Having a sex life is important to me. I don’t want to end up with someone who will routinely deny me. I don’t want someone who needs sex literally all the time and if I’m not available for it every minute will cheat, get resentful, and start watching a bunch of 18 year olds—but I’d like to know that we’d have regular sex. It’s frustrating to go too long without sex when you’re in a relationship.

          4) Will judge me for my sexual past or won’t take me seriously because of it. What I did that semester of college or after rebounding after a heartbreak doesn’t define me. Most people get that, but with someone who hasn’t gone through it, I’d worry a little. It doesn’t make me any less willing to do stuff with you or make me compare you to anyone else. Our relationship is us. Today is today.

          The being inexperienced in bed thing is easily fixed. Just have a lot of sex and communicate your needs. As for the social proof, not all women care about that. I wasn’t popular in high school. It wasn’t that I was a bad person, dumb, or ugly—there was just something about me that didn’t quite work in the popular crowds. Maybe *some* women need social proof, but there are plenty who don’t. I don’t care what your number is. It could be 0, it could be 100. I just care who you are now and where you are now. Sure I might worry for a second about certain things, different things, with a 0 or 100 (see above for 0)—but if you’re honest with me, it’s not a problem. Thanks for listening.

          • #1 seems particularly valid to me, especially considering Jimbo’s response above. I’ve had no sexual experiences with anyone, so I can’t know for SURE, but I consider myself a pretty vanilla person. I would want someone to have figured out vanilla is what he wants by the time he gets to me, just so I don’t feel guilty about not catering to his kinks (which he is entirely entitled to, as well as a woman who caters to them). I’m totally fine not sowing my wild oats, but I accept that most men have a higher sex drive, so I’d want him to, you know, frolic around and get his kicks, because I’m all for people figuring themselves out and seeing other people to see what they DON’T like.

            Saying that, if I liked someone enough and he told me wasn’t sexually experienced and was okay with that . . . *shrug* Whatevs, dude. As long as you can waste a considerable amount of time watching cat videos on YouTube with me, we’re gold.

        • The problem is in the midst of women being all sexually liberated and shit that shallowness gets a free pass. “Oh it’s not shallow that she doesn’t want to lead him by the hand she’s just exercising her choice.”

  10. Rebecca Schreiner says:

    Hopefully, relationships grow out of maturity and discipline. What about arranged marriages where the divorce rate is lower. Some are trapped but I’ve seen a lot that work. My parents, for example

  11. I have immense respect for you and all who choose to be celibate. Considering the “christian” population, it shouldn’t be a surprise to be among virgins. But having a personal rather than religious based abstinence, that demonstrates a strong character.
    In the face of those who have unplanned pregnancies and contract inhibiting and life threatening stds and grow more and more jaded, you’ll be the one laughing.

  12. I think another line of thinking might be that if a man hasn’t had a lot of sex, he’s not ready to settle down. He hasn’t yet sowed his wild oats or gotten it out of his system. He’ll always be wondering if there’s something better out there instead of having it figured out. And even if he might have it figured out at first, what if he reaches middle age and starts to resent that he hasn’t had all the ‘adventure’ he could have had. Or, if the lack of previous experience was not by choice, will he be so intoxicated by any female attention that he’ll abandon/humiliate you in a hot minute for it? Will he confuse novelty sex with love?

    • Alternate says:

      No. Facts just don’t support it. In my experience and some studies I read, promiscuous men and women are more unlikely to stay faithful and or keep a long term relationship. It’s rare to find promiscuous men and women staying monogamous very long.

      I think, the better explanation is, is that, even if he don’t have experience with penile-vaginal sex, he has lots of experience with its other forms. From his statement, there is oral sex, and I won’t eliminate anal sex and handjobs and mutual masturbation. Also add porn.

      • Whoa, let’s step back a second. Promiscuity involves having many sex partners. Cheating involves dishonesty. I find it both specious and offensive to say the two go hand-in-hand.

        Also, monogamy in and of itself is NOT a virtue. Sexual relationships with multiple people are not wrong; deceit is. Keep those things separate. Non-monogamy is not cheating. Cheating is cheating.

  13. what exactly is the point of this discussion, other than to highlight that yes, by and large people find virginity or celibacy a bit of a freak show attraction?

    if the title had been ‘let’s assume i’m gay’ would you have had the same comments asking if he’s weird, if he’s really thought it through [one comment about it not being an informed choice – i’ve never tried arsenic but i’m pretty sure it’ll kill you. you don’t need to try everything to still know the result. that’s what school was for.], if he just wouldn’t be happier joining everyone else?

    the suggestion seems to be that everyone should be with someone, gay or straight but you need someone; being with no one is just untenable, there must be a trauma/odd belief that means you’re ‘weird’.

    ”some people are straight, some are gay, some are celibate, some have some very extreme attractions to different things and ideas. ”

    – that’s it. doesn’t really need more than that. it’s not a big deal, it’s really not impacting your life in any way what somebody else does in this respect, and if you were honest you’d realise it’s not even the focus you believe it is in your own life. [for example without the time spent on relationships some may spend that energy on other things; how many people are in relationships, supposedly so critical, yet wishing other areas of their lives were much better instead?]

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