If You’ve Never Had Sex, Don’t Freak Out, Sexperts Say There’s Nothing To Worry About
I recently learned that one of my adult friends had not yet had sex. My first reaction was surprise, because I remember how much pressure there was to lose your virginity in my teens — and then I was honestly impressed. Not because I thought it was some sort of moralistic victory for her to have never had sex, but because she had confidently made that choice based on what was best for her despite all the (crushing) social pressure to make a different one. But mostly, it was really no big deal; the subject changed and we went about our day.
However, that was my experience with that conversation, but it may very well have been hard for her to share that with me. It could be something she choose to keep private before, for whatever reason. While I can’t say for sure exactly what was in her heart and mind at that moment, I do know one thing: If it was something she was worried about, she didn't have to be, because there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of if you haven't had sex yet. And that's not just me saying so — I reached out to experts for their take on why not having sex is nothing to be worried about. Here's what they had to say.
It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Whether you decided to have sex in your teens, or wait until you’re well into adulthood, or never have sex, period — that should be a choice that you feel totally empowered to make without judgment. Which is why when I asked licensed marriage and family therapist Nicole Richardson if not having sex yet was something to worry about, her response was clear. “Not at all,” she tells Elite Daily. “No one should be ashamed of respecting themselves and putting what they need ahead of keeping up with what other people are doing or FOMO. No one can love you if you don't love you first!” says Richardson.
Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, licensed clinical psychotherapist and founder of Love Victory, agrees. “Is there something wrong with you if you are over 21 and haven't had sex yet? The quick answer is: No. The longer answer is: Still no," Dr. Wish tells Elite Daily.
Your virginity does not define you.
People are complex, and while our sexuality is an important part of who we are, it’s important to remember that it is only one part. “You are many things, you probably have many different skills, accomplishments, interests, and contributions to society, family, and friends. None of these pluses has anything to do with whether you've had sex or not,” says Dr. Wish.
The same thing goes for when and if you do decide to have sex. "One thing should not define a person,” says Richardson. “Virginity should not define you just as your job should not define you. You are the sum of your parts. If you feel good about you, you don't have to give anyone the power to make you feel badly about your choices.”
Do what feels right for you.
Some people chose to wait to have sex, and others don't. Neither of these choices are "better" than the other. What actually matters is making the right choice for you — and whatever you choose is not something to be ashamed of. “Respecting your body will never go out of style,” says Richardson. If you’ve decided that that, for you, means waiting to have sex, or not having it at all, then Richardson says that’s great. “Be proud of the fact that you don't cave into peer pressure and you have a mind of your own, that is beautiful and sexy.”
Ultimately, Dr. Wish says it best in the most simple terms. “Regardless of the reason for your virginity, there is nothing to be ashamed of,” she assures, and warns not to let outside influences like peer pressure or modern culture make you feel any differently. It’s your body, so it's your choice. Period. That isn’t just something to not be worried about, it’s something to be proud of.