There are no statistics on adult virginity because people are often too shy to self-report.
Dr. Wendy Walsh: They walk among us. They don't look any different from most adults -- some are hot, some are not. But they harbor a secret that inhibits their social life and love relationships. They are adult virgins. How they got to this place is a story unique to each of them. Missed opportunities, social awkwardness, body image concerns, religious messages, a physical handicap, and even extreme shyness may have all contributed to their situation. More men than women seek help for adult virginity, but that doesn't mean that women aren't as vulnerable to the condition. Obviously, there are no statistics on adult virginity because people are often too shy to self-report.
The good news for adult virgins who want to enter the ranks of sexually active adults is this: like any other psycho-social condition, help is available. For some, a licensed sex therapist can assist them in developing a fully faceted adult love relationship. The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists grants certification to a wide range of sex therapists and educators who are trained to help with a variety of sexual issues. Some of those therapists and counselors work with sex surrogates, who are anything but "professional" prostitutes. Sex surrogates can assist clients with intimacy issues, body image concerns, the development of social skills, and, yes, they can help unlock one's sexual potential. Sometimes, but not always, they use a hands-on approach.
After decades of never seeing or touching an opposite gender body, the whole experience can be terrifying for adult virgins, and best not left to a bewildered date. A sex surrogate's physical interventions might include simple hand-holding, exploration of non-genital arousal areas, and explanations of opposite gender sexual arousal. In a few cases, they use their own body for demonstrations.
The goal is to get clients comfortable with relating to a romantic partner, and comfortable relating to their own body. Successful body image therapy is often done by sex surrogates who have far from perfect physiques. Standing in front of a mirror, unclothed, the sex surrogate assesses their own body parts, acknowledging and accepting their flaws, and expressing pride for parts of their physical attributes. This kind of modeling of a healthy body image can be hugely liberating for someone who has never been undressed in the presence of another adult.
We are so fortunate to live in a culture that supports the journey of people who were not swept up by adolescent and young adult sexual activity. Some adult virgins live with shame and loneliness. If only they knew that healing is just a click away.
|Dr. Wendy Walsh holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and her area of interest is Attachment Theory, a psychological, evolutionary and ethological theory that provides a descriptive and explanatory framework for understanding interpersonal relationships between human beings. As a psychological assistant registered with the California Board of Psychology, Dr. Walsh has treated individuals, couples and families for a variety of mental health concerns including personality disorders, anger management, eating and substance disorders, and depression. Connect with Dr. Walsh on Facebook.|