Dear Em & Lo, I’m a Thirty-Something Virgin – Help!

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Dear Em & Lo,

I’ll get straight to it: I’m in my early thirties and I’m a virgin. Not really by choice. It’s just never happened. It’s gotten to the point where I’m so worried what potential dates (and even platonic friends) will think if they find out, that I’m afraid it’s holding me back and I’ll end up dying along. It’s really starting to depress me. Help!

— Pre-Cat Lady


Dear PCL,

It’s great to wait for the right person for such an important life event. We’d even recommend waiting for love, however long that takes! But if you’ve made it to your thirties without making at least one serious connection with a like-minded human being–and you want to make this connection–then you’ve probably got some issues that need to be dealt with in therapy.

Do you have some social interaction problem–fatal shyness, insecurity, social ineptness, a mullet–that is preventing you from meeting people? Have you built up sex (and the person who gives it to you) to be this great, big, overwhelming, all-powerful, awe-inspiring ideal that can never be achieved unless the stars are aligned just so? (Prepare to be disappointed.) Are you a sexual person who has sexual desire and masturbates regularly? If not, you may have a hormonal situation that could be dealt with medically, or else perhaps you subscribe to an incredibly repressive religion that guilts the sex drive right out of you. Or perhaps you just think that nice girls don’t. (For the record, nice girls do.)

Whatever the case, it’s not the virginity holding you back–you’re holding you back. And it’s going to take some serious self-reflection to get to the bottom of why you’re not meeting people you’d even consider doing. Then it’s going to take some serious motivation to make the necessary changes to meet people you do want to do. Once you do that, read our advice on whether or not to tell him you’re a virgin.

Nice girls,

Em & Lo




  1. Oh and don’t be afraid to tell a prospective partner that you’re a virgin. If he makes a big deal about it then he is an a**hole and you will be better off without him. The guy I lost my virginity with was totally cool and non-judgmental about me being a thirty-something virgin.

  2. You’re awesome Jillian,
    It’s nice to see someone who isn’t totally ignorant about asexuality. I’m not asexual but I’m probably pretty damn close (I never felt any urges or desires until my early 30s). Thanks for standing up for people with low or zero sex drive.

  3. Well… I’m on that same situation, went to therapy, but had to interrupt it, why??? well, because I don’t have a job and couldn’t afford it anymore.

    Can you really fall lower in life??

  4. OK, I’m not asexual, but I would like to just stop for a minute and defend asexuals. Just because someone has a low drive, or zero drive, doesn’t mean they are defective (hormone problem) or damaged (repressive religion). I don’t think the letter writer is asexual, since she says she’s not a virgin by choice, but your attitude is kind of dickish toward actual asexual people.

  5. I agree with Em & Lo. Get therapy, it’s not shameful but helpful in any situation when you’ve mentally caged yourself. There is nothing wrong with YOU but you seem to have a hang up with the sexy times.

  6. I completely agree with and understand PCL. I’m 24 and I’m in the same boat.

    I’m very shy and it’s hard for me to talk to guys. The ones I like don’t like me and the ones I do, I don’t like. When a guy does talk to me, a few things may happen: I can’t say words, I word vomit, I say something awkward, I blush, or I run away. I don’t even really think about sex or get any urges, but I know it’s because of a low thyroid hormone issue.

    One of my friends tells me to just do it and get it over with while others tell me that if I’ve waited this long, I should just wait until marriage. I didn’t plan on waiting, it just never happened. The fact that I’ve never had a boyfriend either kind of adds on to it. At this point I’m just like if it happens it happens and if it doesn’t, I’ll just have to learn to like cats so I can be an old cat lady yelling at the hoodlums to get off my yard.

  7. So yes, I lost my V-card a little earlier at age 22 (but I hadn’t even kissed a guy until I was 21!) I just took the stance that it’s sex, not rocket science.

    When I found a guy I liked (actually not for dating…I wasn’t “saving” myself for a particular reason either), I just nonchalantly warned him I wasn’t very experienced. His response? “Well today’s your lucky day!”

    I understand why some people purposely make it a big deal, but if you don’t, neither should the other person! If he/she does, I know this may be hard to believe, but they’re not the norm. If you’re really into the guy (or girl), your instincts will take care of the rest and they’ll forget in under 10 seconds that you’re “inexperienced.” So I say do wait for someone you’re crazily attracted to – but put some effort into finding people that turn you on! 🙂

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