I’m a virgin. Sexually abstinent. I’ve never “hooked up,” “been laid,” or “gotten any.”
And I’m cool with that. And I get a kick out of watching people’s eyes grow as big as dinner plates when they hear my sex life is non-existent.
I was at the gym a few years ago, stretching after lifting weights. Two female friends were nearby, talking in graphic terms about their sex lives as they lifted. After 15 or 20 minutes of increasing awkwardness on my part, I finally asked them to stop. One of the women was surprised, and said, “Everyone likes to talk about sex!”
When I told her I had never experienced what she was talking about, she dropped her weights and left the area, saying, “This is awkward.”
Another time, an Army buddy and I were having a discussion about sexual morality. Eventually, realization dawned, and he proceeded to drop the volume of his voice from a conversational level to a whisper. “Are you a virgin?!”
“Yes,” I whispered back. “But you don’t have to whisper.”
He ended up laughing at himself. “I did, didn’t I?”
It’s amazing what happens when I tell people I’m sexually abstinent. Some people play it cool. One day, when I was dressed in a suit purchasing some alcohol at a convenience store, a guy told me to “bring a girl home for him.” I told him that “I would, but the Catholic guilt is strong in this one.” He gave me a thumbs-up, and said, “I got you, man.”
Clearly, Star Wars overcomes differences of sexual practice.
More often than not I get a look of absolute shock, often followed up by stuttering. Such as the customer service employee at a sporting goods store in New York City, who, a few minutes after meeting me and my buddy Jeremy, made a crude sexual joke. I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about — not having experienced what he was referencing — and as Jeremy burst into laughter the guy looked to him for clarification. The poor guy proceeded to stutter his way through saying, “Oh, um, well, good for you…”
Just a couple of months ago, I was on-air at CPAC, and mentioned that I will be sexually abstinent until I am married. Two women who happened to be in the general vicinity overheard this, and their amazed expressions were priceless.
Why have I never had sex? The decision was made at first because my parents informed me of the costs and benefits of pre-marital sex, from the spiritual consequences to more mundane ones. To paraphrase my father, sex is an adult activity — which meant if we wanted to have sex while living under his roof, we would find ourselves living on our own, as adults do.
At the time, being about 13, free clothes, free shelter, and free food on the table every day were more important than sex.
Later, in college, I stayed abstinent because of my Catholic faith, something that has grown increasingly stronger in adulthood.
Now, though? The reasons are so much more complete than a teenager’s cost-benefit analysis or fear of Hell’s fire. I’ve learned that abstinence until marriage is not just about me, but also my future wife. Waiting until marriage means sex will be more than a carnal pleasure, instead fulfilling a relationship that is based upon a deep love. And rather than put myself or sex partners through the emotional harm that comes from sleeping around, I will be working with my wife to bring us closer together, and hopefully “be fruitful and multiply.”
People think of God as a cosmic killjoy who wants to keep us down. But life has showed me that God knows that what we want now is not always what’s best for us — and when I follow His guidance, life is a whole lot better.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m a guy. I wish I was married and having sex all the time. But it looks like God might reward my patience, since at least one study shows sex might actually be more enjoyable if I wait until I’ve walked down the aisle.
Until that point, though, I’ll keep watching people go from cracking jokes to slack-jawed amazement. And wondering why it’s okay for Miley Cyrus to “twerk” on national TV, but not having sex is so weird people lose their ability to speak.
This piece was originally published at Townhall.com.