I have hesitated writing this post… it’s embarrassing. It’s vulnerable. It’s about sex. It is not like I want to announce to everyone that I am now a 40 year old virgin… but it seems like someone needs to. I remember a few years ago a woman writing a book on the subject of her virginity at a relatively late age. I also remember the jokes on Letterman and Leno about it. I won’t go into those here. Then, of course, there was the recent movie with the title “The 40 Year Old Virgin.” It is not the first time I have been the stereotypical geek of a movie. You might remember the movie “Sixteen Candles.” Classic teen romance. Geek meets jock. Molly Ringwold. Joan Cusack plays the girl with the back brace they ride the bus with. If you can picture it… in junior high I was the girl with the back brace, braces on my teeth (the big silver ones… not the clear ones they have now!), carrying the cello with her on and off the school bus.
Okay, so this is a little different. Yet it evokes some of the same feelings. I feel like I must be the only 40 year old virgin in the world. Though I know it is not true. I have friends in a similar situation. A few. It is such a joke that I wonder if something is wrong with me. Okay, granted, I have trouble with relationships and there is something a bit messed up about me. Yet, from what I have observed, perfection has not been a requirement for most people to start having sex.
The reason it disturbs me the most is that I feel the same way in the midst of the church as I do in the rest of the world. Lauren Winner recently spoke about sex at North Park. She has a fairly recent book about chastity. I’ve heard it is a great book. I also know that it was written by someone discovering chastity as a new Christian, a renewed virginity. I’ve decided I should write a book about virginity… what it is really like to wait for 40 years. (I hate to admit it… while it might be frustrating, it hasn’t been that difficult. I don’t have guys falling at my feet begging me for sex everyday… or ever).
I have found that most people assume that someone who is single and my age has had sex. If we haven’t had sex, we must have found some outlet for our sexuality. And most of the outlets people can imagine are not condoned by the church. So, we must be doing something sinful. But it is easier to assume that I am doing something sinful than to imagine that I might actually have been faithful. Now don’t let your mind wander too far at this point… stick to the point of the post….
I am not writing to condemn those who have not followed this path. I know it is a hard road for many. I don’t know why God has not placed me in a situation where my conviction has been seriously tested. Mostly I am grateful for that...I suppose I wanted to write this to encourage others who have remained chaste their whole life… and have done it as an act of faith and obedience. It is not something we should be ashamed of. It is not something that people should whisper about or make jokes about… especially in the church. It does not mean that we are undesirable or unattractive. It is simply the path that God has called us to… may the church come alongside and support us as we strive to be faithful.