The Virginity Thing Revisited

Oy the virginity thing. A couple months back I posted on 10 Critical Things In How To Choose A Wife where point six related to the idea that if you were young and wanted to pursue an early marriage route that virginity was a good thing in a wife. This post is both an expansion on that theme, but also will probably be viewed as a modification on that theme towards a more practical approach as well.
Honestly I was a little surprised at the reaction to this point. I thought I was going to get reamed out for automatically discounting any woman with a cigarette in her hand, or suggesting that B Cup breasts was the ideal long term plan before getting the virgin thing tossed back at me.
Generally I’m standing by much of my explanation of why I thought that in my original post. Jennifer and I are each others first, and that really has had a huge upside and a decent part of the “why” of our happiness now. There’s no disease issues, no funky ex lovers lurking in the shadows, no awful experiences with others to work through. We’re each others highest and best. Our relationship is eroticised in part because of what we are to each other.
Jennifer’s “erotic kink” that turns her on is marriage / monogamy / me. That sounds all very vanilla, but vanilla is still an actual flavor rather than the absence of flavor. My kink is a little wider in scope and I admit I bore easily and like high stimulation experiences, so I’m the one that brings a bunch of different sauces to the table. We go well together. All I’m saying is that if you become her special erotic kink, you are all set with that woman sexually forever.
However the practical reality is that young men are absolutely biologically programmed to seek opportunities to have sex with any available female that is willing. You can talk all day long about this stuff and most are going to express understanding on an intellectual level that I might have something on this point and then they are going to see cleavage, hear the click of high heels passing in the hall, or catch a little whiff of perfume and the blood is going to drain downwards and chase mode is going active.
Giving a young man a choice between a woman that is willing to have sex with him now, or sex with him (much) later, most young men simply are incapable of waiting. The ones that can wait for ages are to be honest slightly questionable in other ways. There’s a fine line between impressive willpower and emotional pathology. And don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying men are bad guys for wanting sex, it’s completely normal and healthy to have a sex drive. Also remember I’m not even saying marriage and monogamy is a moral requirement, it’s a sexual strategy, as is promiscuity. I’m just saying that played well it’s a great strategy that benefits men sexually as much as women.
However considering the number of young men that are interested in ever forming a marriage or LTR are probably smaller than the number of young women interested in the same, the men generally hold the cards in the level of sex that happens. If there are four truly datable young men for every every five datable women, and the fifth woman is a virginal hold out, she’ll not get a relationship with a decent man.
The practical reality for the young woman is that if you do happen to meet a keeper willing to form a meaningful relationship with you, it’s probably best to lay him like tile. I really do not advocate cheating of any kind, (including tolerating cheating boyfriends), or random hook ups. That stuff really does damage your long term worth.The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Guys – if she was ever a cheat especially one that involved you getting cheated on or with, this is as red as red flags get about not marrying her.
If your boyfriend / girlfriend you’re sleeping with turns into a fiance and then a husband / wife, it doesn’t really matter the road you took to get there if they are still your first. It’s the first thing that’s more important than waiting for a wedding day. Of course the number count may be higher than one by the time marriage comes up, but it’s a good history to be able to say “I was with partner #1 for two years and caught them cheating so I left, partner #2 for three years but they refused to marry me so we broke up and then I meet you”. At least it’s much better than saying “I don’t really know, college was wild, I haven’t had many breakouts either, that’s all under control now” and then running out of fingers trying to count them all.
Plus after a while of staying virginal, it changes from being a positive reflection on you and slowly starts being a negative one. Virgin at 20 is sweet and like fresh snow – everyone wants to be the first on that trail. Virgin at 25 is kinda odd and starting to be concerning. Virgin at 30 is some sort of broken vagina that probably has teeth.


  1. Athol, you're getting soft on us! I much preferred your earlier post on the topic. Yes, the earlier post on virginity ignored its more difficult-to-live-by aspects, but that doesn't change the facts. Study after scientific study is pretty consistent on this. The fewer one's sexual partners prior to marriage/LTR (with zero partners being the ultimate), the greater the satisfaction in that eventual marriage; the fewer the dysfunctions.

    Yes, maintaining one's virginity–or seeking it in another partner–is tougher than not. We live in a heavily sexualized world. But it's entirely doable. At the same time that one is "programmed" (as you say) to seek sex, one isn't a programmed automaton at the mercy of every urge or emotion.

    In fact, there's aspects of virginity that make life easier! There's fewer complications–both physical and emotional; an easier time making social decisions as one can think more clearly with one's "big head" than with one's "little head"; a feeling that you're the prize; never a fear of child support or STDs; a far easier time dealing with women because you don't trigger those post-sex nesting instincts and betaization attempts; less likelihood of finding one's self "slippery sloped" into an LTR or marriage. …One could go on.

    Yea, it's not easy all the time. It's sort of like being a kid and having to walk past the Christmas tree for weeks on end prior to being able to open the presents underneath. Or it's like having to wait for the chocolate chip cookies to cool even as the smell assaults your nose. But altogether too few people really think through the decision: a few more orgasms now vs. more complication-free relationship satisfaction later on.

  2. I was a virgin until my wedding day (13+ years ago), but my wife, to my chagrin, was not. She gave it to a high school boyfriend, although she dumped him after she decided it was wrong and then waited 5 years until our wedding day. It's the single biggest issue that I am still not completely over (yes, I consider it my issue/weakness, for the most part). Don't get me wrong, we have a great relationship, including sexually, and love each other and our 7 children. But in the bedroom, it's not unusual for me to think about her high school dude with her, and nobody should have that kind of intrusion during their intimate times with their beloved. It's an emotional thing – there's nothing rational about it (ie, I'm completely aware of the tremendous value she built by waiting for me after that one guy). But there it is – sex is for lifetime bonding with your spouse – and far too many people treat it too casually. I'm thankful for what you've written in here – the whole alpha/beta thing is interesting to consider.

  3. One small aside about breast size (I realize this relates to the earlier post more than here). My guess is that my wife was a small B when we got married. The beautiful thing about a woman who gives birth and then nurses her child(ren) is that, as the husband, you get to experience a woman with multiple breast sizes. I've had everything from very-emptied (darn those babies!) to a solid C – all in the same woman. It's a very dynamic way to experience one aspect of your lover and gives a little bit of freshness to our sex lives.

  4. lanabunz says:

    another fun read! thank you!

  5. Johanna says:

    Shane -
    Sex is not for lifetime bonding with a spouse. Sex is for creating offspring that share your DNA. Yes, some species use it for bonding with other members of the species – humans, dolphins, bonobos come to mind in particular – but the primary function of sex is to create new organisms that contain copious amounts of your DNA, and the more one is able to do this (ie, the more offspring one produces that survive to reproduce themselves) the more successful that individual is considered to be. That sex helps cement a bond between you and your wife is a side effect of the whole process of reproduction to keep you around to help raise the babies – which you would potentially be inclined to do anyway as your average genetic relatedness to any of your children is 0.5 (50%).

  6. How do you determine if he's a keeper? I agree with you that the sexual market is "Put out or get out" for young women – a huge failure of Feminism/the Sexual Revolution that is the elephant in the room of discourse. But there are no guarantees, even for discerning young women. If she gives it up and he walks, she's out something of value, and he's not. If she lays him like tile and gets pregnant (as the young are wont to do) she's got three options – abortion, adoption, single motherhood – all of which according to the manosphere automatically make her certified used goods, and none of which are likely to leave her completely unscarred. If she is against abortion, as I was/am, her choices are narrower and harder. Which means if she protects herself and her options, she does one thing. If she wants to date/have a boyfriend she must act contrary to self-preservation. A real dilemma for young women who perhaps don't have the experience to tell a keeper from a cad? Would you agree?

  7. wonkawilly says:

    Good post.

    You hit the nail on the head this time around.

  8. Rollo Tomassi says:

    So essentially the basis of all your advice regarding women, dating, social dynamics, gender psychology, etc. is rooted in your having sexual experience with only one woman whom you married (17 years ago) at 23 y.o.?

    " Our relationship is eroticised in part because of what we are to each other."

    I guess it had better be, right? Because, what do either of you realistically have to compare it to? Really you're making your necessity a virtue. The problem with your premise in this post is that ignorance is bliss, but you discount the very valuable education that both a great past LTR and a horrible one represent to an individual's maturation and the benefits it provides knowing the qualities of a future good one.

    People can and do go on to have perfectly healthy, loving and vibrant marriages after having had sex with (multiple) people other than their spouses. Understanding and accepting that is part of being a mature adult. Expecting prolonged virginity or feeling betrayed because your wife or husband had sex with someone prior to you is adolescent thinking,

  9. Anonymous says:


  10. The idea that a virgin is like fresh snow awaiting first tracks seems a bit flawed and it calls into question the value of the "virgin" label (in my opinion).

    Are we to assume that inexperience with vaginal (or anal?) sex implies sexual purity to the extent that the "virgin" could not have a disease, funky ex-lover, or bad experience?

    I'd rather commit to a partner who had a string of monogamous lovers than a virgin who gets throat fucked at parties on the weekend.

    While my example may seem a bit extreme, my point is that choice in a life partner should be based on MANY important criteria… history of genital contact seems very unimportant.

  11. Athol Kay says:

    There are a lot of good questions and comments here, I'll try to answer them all tonight in a post.

  12. Meg at Demanding Joy says:

    I think its sweet that you were each others' first. It definitely gives you a special bond. It sounds like you have a rock solid marriage which is not so common. Kudos to you!

  13. Johanna,

    You're absolutely correct, sex is primarily about producing offspring. That bonding and pleasure are attached to the act help cement attachment between me and potential offspring and their mother.

    I approach it from the Catholic religious angle (procreation, unity, and pleasure thrown in as a wonderful side benefit), although I often think about it from the science/biology angle too.

    There's a fair bit of data that people with very little/no genital contact other than their spouse experience the most sexual satisfaction, despite what the promiscuous among us seem to want to believe. A variety of partners might give a variety of interesting/enjoyable physical experiences, but it undercuts the ability of many to form exclusive and permanent satisfying bonds.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hey, Rollo Tomasi:

    "feeling betrayed because your wife or husband had sex with someone prior to you is adolescent thinking"

    Nah. If you really don't care about your wife's past, what else about her do you not care about?

    Think about it, if someone contracts to get lumber, say, exclusively from one yard, but gets it from another the day before the contract starts, it's no big deal, right? But if a guy jumps the bridesmaid just before the wedding, it is a big deal, innit? (H/T John C Wright).

    So – when do previous lovers stop being an issue? After the breakup? Do they really?

    But they still did it, didn't they?

    That's one of the reasons marriage isn't just a contract, or an exchange of services.

  15. Athol Kay says:

    Anon – actually the lumber yard thing is silly. The engaged couple clearly have a relationship before the marriage.

    Previous lovers may never stop being an issue. Plenty of rekationships end due to someone returning to a previous lover. Sometimes decades after the orginial relationship supposedly ended.

  16. "The problem with your premise in this post is that ignorance is bliss, but you discount the very valuable education that both a great past LTR and a horrible one represent to an individual's maturation and the benefits it provides knowing the qualities of a future good one"


    If someone has a happy marriage, they don't need a previous bad relationship to "learn from".

    This "learning from" non-sense is just another way of saying, "shit! I made a mistake and wasted a HUGE part of my life with this person and I wished I hadn't, but in this culture I'm supposed to feel OK all the time so I better tell myself, 'well, it wasn't a waste of time if I learned something from it'".

    There's no need to make a mistake. Sometimes we do make one, but it's not neccessary.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Sure, you could argue that people should know these things and not have to get into multiple relationships to find what they want, but hey, not everyone is perfect. Sometimes people are still growing and learning about themselves and changing, and it's not that simple. What started off as a promising relationship can end over things we never expected. Believe it or not, people do actually learn from these experiences. Everything event in our life comes with a lesson if we pay attention.

    I have not been in this position, as I'm looking at marriage with my first partner in the near future, but I don't feel the need to look down on other people's histories. People take different paths to get where they're going.

    I agree that not everyone HAS to make this mistake, but I don't think the original author of the quote was saying that. It just sounded like a counterpoint to me.

  18. Anonymous says:

    God thought virginity so precious that he made it the gift that a woman can only give once. Before the destructive effects of the feminist movement and the sexual revolution, there were more virgin brides and more marriages that lasted.
    I agree with the article except for the part implying that 25 or 30 year old virgins are defective. A woman who has kept her virginity that long may be entirely okay and quite desirable. A red flag perhaps but not an automatic rule-out without a closer look.

  19. To the last Anon – I understand that arguing with Christians is a vapid exercise, but I'll bite. Why is it that the virtue of virginity is reserved only for girls/women? I guess Christian guys can do whatever they want before marriage… so long as it's not with the girls. Hmmm. Actually, that explains a lot Anon. Thanks for clearing that up.

  20. Dick, no. If you knew God's Laws, you would know that it's not okay for guys to do whatever they want. The unisex idea is nonsense. Guys are either experienced or not. Only a female has a hymen. Only a female can be a virgin.

  21. Anonymous says:

    "Virgin at 20 is sweet and like fresh snow – everyone wants to be the first on that trail. Virgin at 25 is kinda odd and starting to be concerning. Virgin at 30 is some sort of broken vagina that probably has teeth."

    Eww. From sweet and fresh to odd and concerning in five years? Do you know how quickly five years pass?

  22. Anonymous says:

    How do you approach the topic of asking how many partners they've had?

  23. Athol Kay says:

    How do you approach the topic of asking how many partners they've had?

    With drinks.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I am a woman and I like sex. I liked it before I was married, and I now like having sex with my husband. I am completely monogamous and would never think of cheating. When I was younger I was constantly in search of the right guy and I had a hard time resisting the glorious temptation of sex. However, I was not a slut (there is a gray area between being virginal and a slut). I have no lurking ex-lovers and I am very happy. Why is that so wrong? It seems that some men can't stand the idea that someone might have done a better job before they got there. I think that sexual insecurity isn't very "alpha." I believe that a strong bond between two people results in wonderful sex. If two people have a strong relationship then they will have amazing sex, sex itself does not create a strong relationship or "bond."

  25. @Anonymous Feb. 8-
    I think your comment changed my life. I am a male entering into a committed relationship with a woman with more previous partners than me. All the other factors in our relationship are great. I've been struggling with this issue however. Thank you for posting this.

  26. Oi! Ain’t nothing wrong with being a virgin at 25. When I finally revealed to my then boyfriend/now husband that I had somehow managed to emerge from high school-college-early twenties with my V-card intact it was a massive turn-on for him. And, being a slightly older, marriage-minded guy he basically wasted no time in snapping me up :D

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