I'm an Actual 40-Year-Old Virgin. Here's What That's Like
And no, you do not “lose it” if you don’t use it.
As a 42-year old virgin, I'm often asked what life is like without sex. My answer is usually, "Ask any couple that's been married 20-plus years." And if you were wondering, no, you do not "lose it" if you don't use it. I can certainly assure everyone that your man parts will not fall off if you decide to wait.
It's not hard for me to joke about my abstinence because I am very comfortable with my decision to hold off until marriage for sex, a choice I made when I was young based on my religious upbringing. I grew up attending several Christian churches of various denominations, but their message was always the same: When it comes to sex, it's best to wait.
So that's exactly what I've done. Of course, being a virgin in your 40s isn't always easy. I've been subjected to numerous jokes and rude comments from people who just can't seem to understand my life choice and there are definitely days when I feel lonely.
When an article about my virginity was posted on LADBible in 2018, I started reading the comments, but eventually had to close the browser. I don't judge anyone for their choices, and don't think I should be judged, shamed, or pressured because of mine.
I can, however, take the good-natured ribbing from friends and family, who are all accepting of my decision. (Although the ribbing has gone down as the years have gone on—after this amount of time, the jokes get stale.) And for the most part, I can handle the cruelty of others, especially after withstanding the bullying I endured during my younger years.
As someone who grew up in a neighboring farm community and transferred schools in second grade, I was teased initially by the city kids for wearing glasses, not having the latest styles of clothes, and eventually, for my smart mouth when I decided to stand up for myself. Most days from middle school until 10th grade, I was beaten up.
If there were any girls who liked me at the time, they certainly were not going to befriend me and risk getting bullied themselves. Even my male classmates wouldn't really associate with me. I was always picked last in gym class—or not at all, which strangely the teachers let slide—and I always hated assignments where we were supposed to be working in pairs because I knew I would be the odd man out, unless the teacher forced someone to work with me. But this ostracism only made me more independent and self-sufficient—and frankly, I think I am better off for it.
As a sophomore in high school, I decided to switch from public school to a Christian school out of town. I was very active in the church during those years—and the combination of my religious teachings and the virtue of being constantly busy kept any sexual urges at bay.
Then, instead of going on to college or university, I went straight into the workforce out of high school, toiling in the call center industry. I was also teased at work, but in a good-natured way, as most of the employees there were much older than myself. When you're the fresh-faced teen working with mostly women 20 and 30 years your senior, it's to be expected that they will comment on your youth and relative inexperience. It was quite a busy environment normally, but during the slow times, we'd get to talk about our lives and families. While my coworkers knew I was single and likely a virgin, I never felt like they looked down on me for it.
Eventually, I found myself in a job that I loved, taking roadside assistance calls. I buried myself into my work, racking up overtime as much as I could until I was laid off 18 months later when things got slow. I managed to find work at another call center right away, but the vibe there was quite different. The work was stressful and while I made a few acquaintances, there weren't any that I socialized with outside of work.
I didn't get into many deep conversations with my colleagues since there wasn't much time to talk between calls. I am sure everyone knew I was single, but—with the exception of one woman who came on a bit too strong for my liking—I didn't form many close connections with the majority of people who worked there.
Eight years into that job, complications from LASIK surgery ended my career and forced me onto disability benefits. The first year was a rough adjustment period. I certainly spent a significant amount of time and money at the local bar and made a few friendships, but nothing more than that.
I also began managing youth sports teams, which I've continued doing for the past 12 seasons, and I developed an interest in amateur photography out of that as well. In a way, it eases the pressure to have kids of my own since I get to enjoy the great things about having them with few of the responsibilities that come with it.
Despite what people often assume, as I've gotten older, staying celibate hasn't gotten harder. Society today places so little value on sex, constantly using it to sell us merchandise or making it a commodity in itself, only solidifying my decision. That's not to say that I am not interested in having sex, I just want to know it's in the right situation if I do.
I have looked at apps like Bumble and Tinder from time to time, but in addition to the fake profiles and safety concerns inherent with meeting strangers online, I find most of the users on these services are only interested in a quick hookup, so I have never actually arranged to meet. In fact, I have rarely worked up the courage to even match with women. The only time I really look at these apps is when we are away at hockey tournaments, when the chance of meeting up is extremely unlikely in the first place. I guess you could call it self-sabotage or a sign that perhaps I am not really ready to get into a relationship yet.
So is the chastity belt firmly in place? Time will tell. Certainly I have given thought to whether I would want children at some point, but for now, I will wait for the right person to come along. If nothing happens, I am at peace knowing that I am living my best life. And for more on single life after 40, here are 40 Things No One Tells You About Being Single Over 40.
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