by B. Wong
“You can go without sex. That’s much less of a problem than going through life alone, and without affection.”
It’s Not You, It’s Me is a series that looks at dating in America from the perspective of different ethnicities, sexual identities, life experiences and circumstances.
Forget butt play or the pull-out method: The latest trend in sex might be forgoing it altogether.
According to a recent study out of University College London, millennials are waiting longer to have sex than members of previous generations, with 12.5 percent of them abstaining until age 26.
But some wait even longer than that. We recently talked to three people who have remained virgins well into their 30s — one by choice, the other two by happenstance. Below, they tell us more about how they’ve remained abstinent this long and what it’s like to date when you’ve never had sex.
Responses have been edited for clarity and style, with last names withheld for privacy.
People remain virgins for so many different reasons. For you, was it an intentional choice to abstain from sex?
Brianna, a 35-year-old programmer from Indianapolis, Indiana:
My reasons are a bit of a mixed bag.
I was raised very conservatively and was told that sex before marriage was a sin, so that kept me a virgin for a while. Then, when I outgrew that thinking, it was a matter of waiting to find someone I felt comfortable enough with to consider that next step.
It just hasn’t happened. I date and have had a couple of relationships get as far as three months or so, but no one long term. So, I’m still a virgin.
Matt, a tech industry worker in his mid-30s who lives in Lansing, Michigan:
I grew up with fairly severe social anxiety, which I’ve never completely overcome. I had some early rejections in late high school and early college that completely ruined what self-esteem I had.