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Em & Lo

Ask Trixie: My future husband is a 40-year-old virgin and I'm worried he won't have a high-enough sex drive

I'm a divorced 37-yr-old woman dating a 40-yr-old virgin man. I am the first woman he has kissed, the first real relationship he has had. He's a little shy, but incredibly kind and treats me better than any man I've ever dated. We both attend a "wait until marriage" church, so my only sexual experience is with my ex-husband. My problem in that marriage was our desire levels did not match. I wanted far more than he did. My concern in dating a 40-yr-old virgin is that if we marry and become intimate, I will have the same problem I did before. Is it possible for a man to stay a virgin so long and still have a high sex drive?? Or am I dooming myself to the same fate I had before if I stay with him??

First of all, it's awesome that you've found such an amazing guy. And I also think it's great to hear that your boyfriend has found a woman who obviously has such strong feelings for him (we get so many comments from older virgin guys who can't imagine any woman being interested in someone with little to no sexual experience). 

Having said that, your question raises questions for me. Like, what does a "wait until marriage" church ask you to wait for? Intercourse? Any kind of intimate activity? Because you don't have to be putting penises into vaginas to have some pretty intense sex (and get a good feel for how often each partner wants said intensity). 

The most important question is: Have you asked your fiance about his sex drive? Because many 'older' guys who have never had partnered sex do have strong libidos. Does your fiancee masturbate? Does he have sexual fantasies? Does the very sight of you make him horny, even if he knows he can't act on it just yet?

Aside from that, though, having un-equal libidos is not that unusual in long-term relationships. And those libidos can fluctuate and change over time as well (after all, there's no normal, only what works for each relationship) I'm reminded of a post on Em & Lo asking how men feel when a woman has a stronger libido than her male partner. The men's answers were fair to lame, in my opinion, but here is one good comment that all their other readers especially liked. This is an excerpt:

I am married and I think it is safe to say my sex drive is much higher than my husbands. Our sex life is great, the two of us have a very open communication of what feels good and what feels great. However we both also know when the other is too tired for sex. More than not its me knowing when my other needs a break. Having sex is not a chore my husband has to check off his list, but an experience we both enjoy, a lot.

I must tell the truth he looks forward to that week of cramps and menstruation because sex is the furthest thing from my mind and he gets a “break” but sure enough after only four days he’s still pawing at me. Sure there are at times a feeling for him to preform, but it comes with the awareness of his current needs and my libido. It would be outrageous to think that every time I wanted sex I would get it, much like it is outrageous to think that every time a man wants sex the woman *must* put out. And I think that outrageous statement is what is behind these “advice answers.”

There needs to be room in a relationship for a woman to say, “No” just as much as there needs to be room in a relationship for a man to say, “I’m too tired.” And in my relationship there’s plenty of room for that, along with acceptance, commitment, and consent.

I'd also strongly recommend reading Scarleteen's Getting Married When We (May) Want Different Things From Sex. In this case it's the female partner who hasn't had sex and frankly isn't all that interested, but it gives a lot to think about in terms of how to negotiate the problems that situation might bring.

What do you the rest of you think? Can couples negotiate a big gap in libido? Does it make sense to ask mature adults to wait until marriage to become sexually intimate? Let us know what you think! Got a question about virginity, sex, relationships, feminism or filmmaking?  Ask Trixie here.

Just the Tip: A grumpy line-up of Virginity in the News featuring Steubenville rape, Real Doll virginity auctions, bad sex advice, Chinese Love Hunters, the Bachelor Virgin and more...

With additional reporting by Judy Park OnionAthlete

Here's a gem of commentary on the Steubenville rape verdict: an incredibly prescient 2011 Onion SportsDome video called "Athlete Overcomes Rape." [Click on that link because it's not emedable.] That's the one he committed, not one he survived. This satire at its finest from America's Finest News Source is not to be confused with actual mainstream news coverage. Let us also recommend this great piece from Henry Rollins. Why lead with this? Because purity culture=rape culture, a climate in which women are judged and controlled based on their sexual lives. Where rapists rate more concern than rape victims, where bystanders don't recognize a rape when they see one, and where women are clearly asking for it by simply being drunk and female.

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Guys are bidding over a hundred thousand dollars (and counting) on the virginity of Valentina. Who happens to be a Real Doll. You could be the lucky dude to fork over years of salary to be able to say you were the first to put your penis into the "state-of-the-art skin" of her lifelike vagina. The deal includes a sumptuous hotel stay, dinner and bubble with your waterproof silicone queen.

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An upcoming episode of "New Girl" will be "a flashback episode that details how the main characters lose their virginity. While offering few specifics, creator and executive producer Liz Meriwether, who wrote the episode, said cryptically that Max Greenfield’s Schmidt, playing the scene as his overweight younger self, would be seen “in that dorm room moving through space a little bit. He gets very overzealous with some lube.” No word on whether  the stories will hew to heteronormative, gendernormative deptictions of first-time sex, because a girl can always dream, can't she?

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20130302_152212The latest Bachelor contestant Sean Lowe is a virgin. No, wait, he's a 'born-again' virgin. Wait, that's just religious-speak for 'celibate.' So that means he used to have sex but at the moment he's not. And the ladies didn't know! Oh, wait. Maybe they did. Actually, they're having bible study every morning! And now he and his suddenly celibate future bride are going to wait together. Whew. Glad that's all cleared up.

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A few ideas on how to liberate Indian women, according to this satirical piece from India: chastity belts, virginity soap, and fairness baby oil. Then you can save the men who can't save themselves, unless you're offering your enthusiastic consent, in which case don't forget tightening virginity soap and some fairness baby oil to lighten up your skin.

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The New York Times reports on "Love Hunters" in China, a new breed of matchmaker for the mostly-male ultra-rich: "In Joy City, Ms. Yang gave instructions to her eight-scout team, one of six squads the company was deploying in three cities for one Shanghai millionaire. This client had provided a list of requirements for his future wife, including her age (22 to 26), skin color (“white as porcelain”) and sexual history (yes, a virgin)."

As for wealthy women looking for love: "She had just spent an hour with a rich Chinese businesswoman in her late 30s. The woman proposed spending $100,000 on a campaign to find a husband who matched her status. “I had to tell her we couldn’t take her case,” Ms. Yang said. “No wealthy Chinese man would ever marry her. They always want somebody younger, with less power.” "

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A 30-something calling herself "Pre-Cat Lady" writes Em & Lo desperately seeking advice on how to talk about/cast off her virginity with potential partners. Em & Lo remind PCL, "It's not the virginity that's holding you back-you're holding you back." And here's some questionable Q&A advice from 'a doctor' on virginity loss, anal sex and STDs.

Thanks to virginspotters @j_a_allan, @funkybrownchick and @paulfreeland. Want to be a virginspotter, too? Send your links here.