Late-in-Life Virginity — Its Causes and Consequences
Late-in-life virginity — people who remain virgins until well into their 20’s, 30’s, or beyond, is a subject that as a sex therapist I’ve been interested in for a long time. So I was pleased to be interviewed by writer John Fortenbury for his article, “On Late-in-Life Virginity Loss,” in The Atlantic — and pleased that so much of the material from our interview found its way into the final piece.
As I told Fortenbury when we discussed the matter, most people I see in my office with late-life virginity suffer from extreme shyness or even social anxiety disorder — a condition that’s extremely frequent among people with sexual dysfunction. As I tell people in my office, people with severe social anxiety experience the same level of stress on a date that most of us would experience being live on National TV.
Social anxiety tends to have a particularly great impact on single men, as I told Fortenbury, since in the conventional script for heterosexual mating it’s typically the man who has to make the first move. Men who are socially anxious tend to have a much harder time taking that risk. Late virginity is often the consequence.