twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Adult Virgins -- Can Sex Therapy Help?

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

There are no statistics on adult virginity because people are often too shy to self-report.

woman smiling

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.

next: Torturing Kids with Marshmallows
8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Natalie September 17, 2009, 10:25 AM

Why is this relevant to MOMlogic? I mean, obviously the people who visit this site are no longer virgins…

ame i. September 17, 2009, 3:25 PM

Excellent point made by Natalie!!

brianna September 17, 2009, 8:06 PM

i hate to say- but i agree with the above posters. interesting issue- but nothing to do with the momlogic audience. if we were virgins, we wouldn’t have gotten ourselves into this mess!

Anonymous March 9, 2010, 1:15 AM

I know I am not your usual readership, but thank you for posting this. It’s nice to be reminded that I’m not alone.

cheapviagra2912 August 30, 2010, 11:16 AM
Katie September 3, 2010, 1:55 AM

HAHAHAHAHA…I am laughing at this article because it is so ridiculous there is nothing else to do with it.
First of all, Dr.Walsh, there are studies on adult virgins. Not many because most people are too comfortable with the negative stereotype they carry around to actually desire the facts of the situation, but there are a few. In fact, I find it highly misleading or lazy at the very least that you didn’t mention the studies that have been done. When comparing the numbers, the actual facts, you will see that anywhere from 4% to 11% of the adult population in America are virgins. Also interesting to note that these numbers are very close to the actual numbers for adult homosexuals. So why is their ‘alternative lifestyle’ treated with kid gloves and parades and virgin’s ‘alternative lifestyle’ ridiculed and treated as a disease?
As you might have guessed, I am a virgin. I will turn 25 this weekend and I have never so much as kissed a man. I am not shy or afraid of my body. I am beautiful. As proof my favorite physical qualities about myself are: I’m tall, have big, green eyes, killer smile, gorgeous shoulders and collarbone, a killer rack (34 D all natural), a 26 in. waist, and legs a mile long. I am graceful and elegant and when I walk in a room I turn heads. Just because I choose not to engage in sex doesn’t mean I’m afraid of it or men. I like men and find them attractive, and they very often return the favor. I have had relationships in the past that didn’t turn into a committed relationship, but that was for many reasons not just sex. And I think that puts me right in the middle of a lot of other ‘normal’ single adults. So, before you start labeling lifestyle choices as disorders I would hope you could throw away your prejudices and take some time to really analyze the facts. Oh, and NO THANKS to the sex surrogate. I’m good :)

Anonymous December 19, 2010, 11:47 PM

Katie, I think you should read the article again. It mentions specifically that SOME people are not virgins by choice because of a lack of self-esteem etc. You don’t seem to suffer from a lack of self-esteem (it seems to be overabundant in you, actually), and you are a virgin by choice. For many of us, we are not virgins by choice and an article like this offers us hope and relief.

Ten Tees January 9, 2011, 2:29 PM

Good site. Enjoyable to read. I’ve just got one observation to offer about tee shirts.

Back to top >>