Abstinence: The New Taboo

There are a number of taboos that appear in the realm of sex, dating and relationships. A taboo that people don’t talk about are the issues of abstinence and the age one begins dating. The assumption is that when you get into your late teens and early twenties, there’s going to be parties and one night stands. And so the talk of using protection and birth control pills rises. But being the 40-Year-Old Virgin makes one a total laughingstock in this day and age. For some people, this may cause them to feel self-conscious and lower their sense of self-worth. So more and more people may do away with abstinence as a result.

I have a confession to make. I am 27 years old, and I have never had a date with a woman before. It is not for lack of trying, I might add. It’s simply one of those things that has always been an area I’ve struggled with. A lot of times, I feel embarrassed about it because I see that almost everybody has a significant other. It has been one of those things that make me wonder what’s wrong with me. There’s always talk about one’s significant other and what they did together on Valentine’s Day or the last weekend.

Perhaps a lot of people feel that way because, in this day and age, one is often considered a loser if they don’t get laid. There’s become a cut-off point to where once you pass a certain age without “doing it” before people start becoming concerned. Just look at the movie “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” starring Steve Carrell. In the movie, when word that his character isia virgin gets out, his work buddies all laugh at him, and he feels embarrassed around everybody for quite some time. He admits to a co-worker that he lost hope after a number of failed relationships. Why is this? Is it the assumption that only priests and sex criminals end up old and alone?

I don’t mean to spoil the movie for anybody, but at the end of the movie, Steve Carell’s character finally admits to his girlfriend that he’s a virgin. Before this, she was running away from him because she saw some red flags about him. But Carrell admitting his virginity and that it scared him because he wasn’t sure how she’d react, they reconciled and got married and “did it”.

This reminds me of an episode of the sixth season of “The Big Bang Theory.” Raj Koothrapalli and Stuart Bloom put together an event at Stuart’s comic book store for people alone on Valentine’s Day. After Raj and Stuart notice that everybody looks sad about being alone, Raj tells everybody that all the singles in the area are not mutants like those in the comic books. Raj says that the singles are a community, and as long as they have each other, they’re never truly alone.

So perhaps abstinence, intentional or otherwise, is not that bad. For one thing, you don’t have to worry about unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases. If you don’t want to have kids, perhaps you may not want to take the risk and get all risque. I’ve heard a pastor say that being single and being married each has their own gifts and blessings. So let’s give ourselves a break.

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