Tales of a 25-Year-Old Virgin

Is waiting really worth it?


So there I was, sitting in another planning meeting on another Wednesday morning. This was an important meeting. It directly affected my professional life, and I really should have been paying attention. But I wasn’t. I was too busy pondering a single, all-consuming observation:

“I’m the only virgin in the room.”

This wasn’t a point of speculation. I knew, in a settled and certain way, that every person in that room, married or otherwise, had had sex.

Situations like this are becoming increasingly common as the years roll by, and my marital status remains perpetually … uneventful. Most of my Christian friends are married. Most of my single Christian friends have “slipped up” once or twice—some have lost count. And, not surprisingly, none of my non-Christian friends made much of an effort to “save themselves.” That leaves me: a virgin in his mid-20s who, with each passing wedding season, has fewer friends with whom he can discuss intercourse in that speculative, overly fantasized tone he has used since middle school. Suffice it to say, The 40-Year-Old Virgin isn’t as funny as it used to be.

The sexual evolution

Whatever your relationship status or sexual experience, it is funny the way one’s view of sexuality changes over a decade of post-pubescent chastity. That’s something they don’t tell you when you’re 13 years old, hurriedly signing the “Purity Pledge” card and avoiding eye contact with your youth pastor. It’s easy to be a virgin when you’re in seventh grade.

It’s not much harder in high school. A pregnancy scare here, a cataclysmic breakup there and you’ve got all the motivation you need to keep your virginity for a few more years.

Things get complicated when you arrive at college and discover that promiscuous sex is no longer accepted, no longer encouraged; it’s downright expected. I think there are state schools where fornication is actually a requirement for graduation. (I went to a Christian college, so the pressures were not as great, but even so, most of my friends didn’t make it out with their v-cards intact.)

Suddenly, you’re out of college and everyone is having sex. But now it’s different. No longer can you console yourself with vaguely condescending thoughts of how sad it is that those around you are giving in to the base desires of the flesh and will never know the bliss of an unstained marriage bed like you will. Now your peers are married. They are tasting the fruit for which you have long hungered. You, on the other hand, have become an anomaly, an outlier, an honest-to-goodness freak of nature. On the rare occasion that you speak of your condition, people respond with emotions ranging from pity to fascination to confusion.

If you’re currently living in the increasingly lonely world of prolonged purity, you are likely facing some nagging questions. “What am I waiting for? Is it even worth it? What’s the point of waiting when no one else is? Why haven’t I met ‘the one’ yet? What if he/she never comes along? What if he/she is not a virgin? … Is it even reasonable for me to expect that anymore?”

Promises for the waiting

As with any moral dilemma, there are a myriad of forces that arise to provide answers. Married friends say it’s definitely worth the wait. Single friends say it’s still pretty awesome even when you haven’t said “I do.” I know a young couple at church who abstained from premarital sex and are now getting divorced. I know some exceptionally virtuous, godly young men and women who didn’t wait. I know five toddlers who were born out of wedlock.

The Christians are what make it hardest. Eighty percent of young unmarried evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 29 have had sex. Many of my closest brothers in Christ are not virgins. I’ve dated some fantastic Christian girls who were not virgins. They all did it and they all turned out alright. So what’s the big deal?

Sometimes, in weaker moments, you may find yourself wishing you’d compromised years ago when you still had the chance. Sometimes, it’s easy to overlook the heartache you’ve seen result from premarital sex in your peers because its pleasure still eludes you. Whatever your conviction, it may seem you “have no choice” but to wait for the loving confines of a monogamous relationship.

But, despite it all, it’s worth endeavoring to stay the course. In one sense, this is merely a cost/benefit analysis. If you’re going to quit a marathon, you should do it after mile five, not mile 25. No sense bailing before the big finish. But it’s about much more than that.

“Sex should be saved for marriage” isn’t the only thing Scripture tells us. It also says God knows the plans He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11). It says if we wait patiently for Him, He will turn and hear our cry (Psalm 40:1). It says His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). And, if all that is true, we should endeavor to run with endurance the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1), hoping for what we don’t see and waiting for it with patience (Romans 8:25). If, after 12 years, God still wants me to save sex for marriage, I have to believe those other verses still hold true as well.

Maybe you’re reading this and you’re not a virgin waiting on marriage; maybe you’re waiting on a job offer, healing, financial provision, a church to get involved in. Or maybe you didn’t save sex for marriage and you’re craving grace as you move forward—these verses are for you as well. We may not always like His ways. We may wish sometimes that He’d move things along a bit, but that’s not for us to decide. We’re on God’s time. That’s where I’ve been for the past two and a half decades, and, having come this far, I suppose I can go a little farther.

Though I must admit: that verse about a day being the same as 1,000 years for God makes me nervous.

Whether you’re single and waiting, or married and didn’t wait, what are your thoughts on abstinence until marriage? Why is it worth the wait?


0 thoughts on “Tales of a 25-Year-Old Virgin

  1. I really appreciate this article. As a 26-year-old virgin who hasn’t really dated, I have come to ponder more recently what is the purpose of waiting when I do find the guy. While the thought has crossed my mind that I might not make it (for the first time ever in my life because I’ve always been adamant about waiting), I had never really thought about what the big deal in waiting was. But for me, waiting ultimately is about being in that lifelong relationship of marriage before I enter into something that ultimately is best in marriage. This year has been a year of questioning what I believe and finding a better foundation than it was just how I was raised. Because you never know what will happen day-to-day, the importance of the commitment of marriage is what comes down to my biggest reason.

  2. Well if you want the brutally honest answer to your question, here it is: it could be worth the wait, but it may not be. There are lots of things they don’t tell you, and I will do my best to say them here for the first time I have ever seen it in print. I waited for marriage, and I wish I didn’t. I have witnessed many others waiting, and the results were disastrous as well. Let me explain. The concept of waiting until marriage does not take some things into account. First that we are humans wired to reproduce, and therefore have a strong sex drive. But we are taught this sex drive is bad, sinful, evil, etc. Some people carry that mentality into marriage and because of the brainwashing, some (married) literally think it is sin to enjoy it. Or a sin for their spouse to want it. Second, not everything just um, fits or flows just because you are a male and female with a marriage license. More on that later.

    As a young person, I was put under intense pressure. The pressure of marrying the first person I dated in my teens even though I had no clue about life, then the pressure of having a perfectly normal non-sinful sex drive, but feeling guilty about it and not being able to do anything about it. Believe me, this pressure quickly clouds judgement on picking a spouse. You just want to do IT, and fast. You want to see what all the fuss is about. So you pick a person and (before knowing anything about what sex is like with them) put yourself in a morally and legally binding contract FOR LIFE that they are the only person you will ever have sex with or want to. Do you even know if their parts fit together with your parts? No. How could you? You just assume because church never covers the different shapes and sizes that males and females can be. That is only something you find out when you have sex. Will it hurt? Will your spouse want to have sex as much as you do? Well, she won’t if it hurts. She won’t if it feels awful. She won’t if she still thinks it is sinful. She might reluctantly decide to have sex with you once or twice a year out of obligation, maybe not even that. Does your spouse agree on which positions and sexual acts are okay and which are not? I know men who say missionary position is the only acceptable sex act. Are you glad you waited to find this out? Did you know that your parts could be too big or too small for your spouse to enjoy sex? No one ever told me that. No one told me about the tearing and bruising and bleeding and wanting to just get it over with, or wanting to die. Sometimes I wished that he would die or cheat on me so that I could *Biblically* marry a more suitable sex partner. I just had this idea that sex was supposed to be this amazing uniting fulfilling thing that we can do to somehow experience the love of Christ (???) and that I couldn’t do it until I made a legal contract with a man saying he is the only one I would ever have sex with. Well, it was terrible. It was terrible for almost a decade until we finally said, enough, and divorced. Before that we had followed all the christian rules, stayed faithful to each other, tried so hard to make it work. We just weren’t sexually compatible.

    Just because we were Christians and male and female did not make us compatible. I cannot emphasize that enough. Waiting for marriage does not guarantee a beautiful sex life. I was never told that, I was just trying to do things right so I wouldn’t get in trouble with God or my parents. It was not worth it. They say that you should never sign a contract unless you know what you are agreeing to and have read it. Waiting until marriage is like that. A gamble that could go either way. Even if everything technically fits okay, the sex can be awful if your chemistry with that person is not right. And there is literally only one way to find out.

    After the divorce I went through realizing that the religion/culture I based my convictions on had these very rules of virginity based on the trading, buying and selling, and betrothing of women to people who the women did not pick themselves! We have terms for that in America now, they are called slavery and rape. Men in that culture could visit prostitutes, but betrothed women had to be virgins. Also the men could have several wives or bonus girls on the side called concubines or a harem. Women were property. Even now in American “free-will” weddings, the father “gives” the woman away to the man. This is residual from the tradition of the ownership of the woman being transferred from her father to the new husband. Not as romantic as some young girls may think. It is wrong in my opinion, and I think women and men deserve better. I notice one of the article’s quotes is from Psalms. King David is NOT the poster boy for virginity until marriage. He was more promiscuous in his life than probably anyone reading this article. The only time he really got in trouble for it though was when he had a man murdered for his own sexual gains.

    I want to cry for some of the people who have commented here. You seem like beautiful people who are doing what you think is right. There IS something special about virginity and innocence. I hope so much for your sake that your waiting is rewarding in the best way. I should say that just because you see married couples hold hands and sit together in church and smile does not mean they don’t fight about their “Godly” sex life the whole drive home after church. We did, and we waited. If I could do it over again I would have seen if we were sexually compatible while we were engaged, before the wedding planning. Then when it was obvious that we were not, we could have backed out. No guilt and shame and blame and horror, just common sense that it would not work with us. I know some of you will hate me and think I’m sinful for suggesting this. I wish someone would have told me before I committed to a life of misery and pain. The devastation of divorce is so much worse than being a non-virgin when you get married! The sex does not become magically good just because you have a certified marriage certificate.

    Don’t be in a hurry to get married just so you can have sex. You could be in for a lifetime of hurt. Don’t think you will have to marry someone that you don’t want to, just because in the heat of the moment you had sex with them. That does not make them your soul mate or ideal spouse, or you theirs. I am not an advocate of promiscuity by any means. I think it would be best if sex is between two people who are at least engaged, of proper age and maturity, and are ready to be bound for the next 18+ years when pregnancy happens. Proper judgement really is essential here. But I don’t believe that proper judgement is *necessarily* waiting for marriage. Sure it can work and be wonderful. It can also not work and be horrible. For others, it is worth the wait. For me, it was not.

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