A Thirty-Something Year Old Virgin

Sex is something some people like to talk about and some people don’t.

I always thought the people who didn’t talk about it were just private people, or very conservative, or  just not into TMI, or found talking about sex to be crude. But a few people aren’t talking because they’re virgins.

Actually, 4% of the US population are virgins (according to the Center For Disease Control’s Health Statistics Report.) It makes sense that some of those 4% of virgins are in their 30’s.

I remember directing a production of Savage In Limbo in college and thinking that it’s crazy and impossible to be a 32 year old virgin. I was 19 at the time and didn’t really understand the play the way I do now. All of the 5 characters in the play are 32, lost, and frequenting the same tired bar that they went to in high school together. Not much has changed in their lives.

The 32 year old main character, Denise Savage, has never had sex. When asked what it’s like to still be a virgin, Denise says:

“In the beginning, it was just bad luck.  I’m not like you, and I got a big mouth, and well, it’s easy not to lose it at first.  You’re scared, they’re scared, somebody says: Boo, and everybody runs away.  At least that’s the way it was for me.  To start with.  But then it became a thing.  Most everybody I knew lost it, you know, over a certain period a time, and there I was, still in the wrapper.  It woulda been easy to lose it then.  But it became a thing, you know?  I felt different.  I felt like I was holdin out for somethin, sayin no, no, I’m not takin that life just cause it was the first one I was offered. So here I am.  I’m thirty-two.  And I’m still sayin no, no.  And I still only got offered the one life, and I still don’t want that one.”

Savage In Limbo is about 32 year olds who’ve stagnated and aren’t moving along with their lives. They all worry about the accidental limbo they’re stuck in, the ever-present and problematic “sameness.” But for some 30-something year old virgins, virginity isn’t accidental and it definitely isn’t problematic.

In an article I read recently, It Makes For Awkward Conversation: What It’s Like To Be A 30-Year-Old Virgin, one woman talks happily and openly about her decision to maintain abstinence. She even wrote a book about it! She says,

“I decided to write my book on my abstinence experience when people were continually shocked that I was a virgin. People’s first response after being informed that I’m a virgin is usually, ‘No you’re not,’ justifying their claim by pointing out the way I dress or my outgoing attitude. Then there are people who are confused and ask, ‘But why? You’re pretty’ as if every virgin is a virgin because no one desires them. I began to realize that my look and attitude did not fit the idea of a virgin that many had. So, I decided to share my journey and give a new face, dress and attitude to the virgin. As readers are invited on my journey of abstinence they will realize that I have had plenty of guys who were willing to introduce me to the pleasures of sex and that I have even had to suppress my own urges when my body’s desires were not aligned with my decision. I want to make it clear that there are women and men who are adult virgins not because we are not desired by the opposite sex, but for reasons that all drive the choice that we have made.”

In the comments section of the article, many virgins, men and women, anonymously write about how they’ve been afraid to share their stories, and don’t like when conversations turn to sex, because they have nothing to add, or are ashamed to talk about it, even when it’s a personal choice.

I believe that no one should be made to feel ashamed for their choice to stay abstinent- it just may not be well- understood. I didn’t know that so many 30-somethings are virgins, by choice or otherwise, but I’ve actually had more than one 30-something friend open up to me about it! If you are a 30-something virgin, don’t be ashamed or feel the need to hide! You don’t need any more pressure added to the already long list of pressures in your thirties. The aforementioned article says it best:

“The Dirty Thirty. It’s an age where your concept of what being old is has changed because you are now at the age you once thought was on the precipice of old. You are finally making strides in your career while your student loan payments are devouring your income. You are getting a grasp on your life goals and have set a plan in motion to achieve them. The idea of becoming a responsible adult begins to set in, and the pressure of settling down becomes a reality. With all of the adulthood responsibilities your thirties bring, a few women have added “maintaining abstinence” to their list.”

I couldn't find any of my  photos from my college production of Savage In Limbo (sadness), but I did find quite the provocative photo from a University of Alberta production in 2010.

I couldn’t find any photos from my college production of Savage In Limbo (sadness- they’re on my old hard drive), but I did find quite the  intensely provocative postcard image from a University of Alberta production in 2010.

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Would You Volunteer to Die on Mars?

Feeling bored of Earth after more than 30 years here?

Can you live without sex?

If your answer to both of the above questions is yes, perhaps you’d consider going on the trip of a lifetime.

A not-for-profit company called Mars One is currently raising money to send 4 people on a trip to Mars.

Below is a fascinating 10 minute video about some of the selected finalists and why they want to go to Mars.  The interviewed applicants all seem slightly jaded by time so far here on Earth. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons they want off this planet.

Anyone can apply to be a part of the Mars mission- you don’t need any special qualifications other than robust physical health.

There’s only one catch: you can never return. Not ever.

Mars One received over 200,000 applications for their one-way Mars mission and have just narrowed it down to around 700 finalists.

The chosen spacefarers will train for 10 years on Earth before heading to Mars in 2025. Mars One is currently in the process of raising 6 billion dollars for the project- tens if not hundreds of billions less than any manned mission to Mars proposed by NASA.

Here’s what the space-travelers won’t have:

  • Sex! (Intercourse will discouraged because there won’t be supplies to support the arrival of a baby in space.)
  • Connection to friends and family (you think internet is slow here, imagine it 35 million miles away)!
  • Delicious Mac and Cheese (Spacefood will be limited …and cheese, if it exists, will likely be Kraft- making any mac and cheese concoction a lot less delicious.)
  • The ability to travel (once on Mars, you’ve already taken the absolute grand slam of a trip…and you’ve traded in all smaller trips for that one.)
  • Everything else we take for granted here on Earth!

Who knows if the Mars mission will actually happen? But it’s a serious undertaking, a potential reality show, and it’s getting a whole lot of press right now.

It’s funny to think about how we’ll feel if this ever becomes reality. We’ll be like ‘remember when we thought the whole going to Mars thing was never going to happen..or was even impossible?’

But we also have to remember that we’re the generation that grew up without laptops. We used card catalogues. We had land line phones. We lived in a world of no internet! A lot of technological magic was suddenly thrust upon us in our early lives. We understand the reality of really quick changes.

Just imagine all the potential ahead.

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Would you volunteer to die on Mars?

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