Sex seems to govern our world sometimes. We are told over and over that it is one of life’s necessities next to food and sleep. Sex fascinates and obsesses us. It sells unrelated products to us. It makes some marriages last and makes other relationships die. It reveals the unexpected darkness of our saintly leaders and engenders respect and disbelief for those who discipline themselves to permanently live without it. Sex can be the most destructive perversion any of us can imagine and it can foster the most beautiful and spiritual of connections. Sex is alive and hotly discussed and displayed on television, radio, billboards, movies and in books. It is inescapable.
Imagine then how the world looks to a 29-year old virgin. Yes, that was me.
When I made new friends, I always debated about the balance between telling them too early or too late in our acquaintance that I had never had sex.
I would frequently participate in lively conversations about politics, religion, or the environment only to be left out when the conversation turned to sexual experiences.
Dating was another interesting issue. Do I reveal my secret during a moment of passion or before I even am allowed some affection and he turns and runs for the door?
I believe that virgins have been forgotten. Or scorned. Or simply made to look ridiculous. After all, what is the premise of many teen movies? The dork wants to get laid before he goes to college. The assumption being that his experience is lacking without sex and that in order to be cool, he must conquer the prom queen.
I believe that virginity is something to be cherished. It is our last bit of innocence left in a world that seems to be obsessed with sex. Virginity is the only real hope for avoiding diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
Now I’m not a prude. I don’t ask others to feel guilty for having sex or to change their lifestyle to accommodate my own convictions or choices.
All I ask on behalf of current and future virgins is respect and maybe a little awe. It’s a difficult life and a choice that takes years of discipline and courage. Yes, we might not have had certain and specific experiences but we have the wisdom of lives lived without sexual intercourse and we have something to say: Our lives are not lacking. They are not less than. They are full and rich.
Our numbers are certainly dwindling but if one day you happen across an adult virgin, why don’t you ask him what he’s learned about sex while living without it. You might be surprised by his answer.
Oh, and by the way, I just got married. To a very handsome virgin. And it was well worth the wait.