"I'm a virgin. I always have been." - The 40 Year Old Virgin

Virgins. Admirable under 18. Pitiable over 25. The all important touch of elegance that will make your next ritual sacrifice a cut above.

And now virgins the latest subject to featured on TLC,  the channel that brings you all gawking, all the time (save for brief interludes of ‘What Not To Wear’ – HOLLA!) with a new show ‘The Virgin Diaries’.

The precap on TLC’s website describes the hour-long special as follows:

“The Virgin Diaries takes you inside the lives of adult virgins who reveal the challenges, truths, and anticipations of losing their virginity.”

I very much like the idea of ‘The Virgin Diaries’ in concept. While virginity and abstinence are touted as the moral high ground for youth, past a certain age virginity is often frowned upon.  A virgin who is well into their adult years is an uncomfortable notion for some people.  There’s a general assumption that, save for members of the clergy, people of a certain age have had sex with a partner.  And if they haven’t…they must be super-religious, undesirable, emotionally/psychologically arrested or just plain weird.

While it’s true that 40-year-old virgins may be a rarer breed, it does not automatically follow that there is something weird, wrong or dysfunctional with never having had sex.  Which is why, I say again, that in concept, I like the idea of a show that seeks to normalize adult abstinence by exploring  choices and circumstances around older virginity.

Unfortunately, the following trailer leads me to believe that in practice, the virgins are being put on carnival display.


Oh, TLC. Fail!  You would promote your special by showing an awkward first-ever newlywed kiss.  And now the Internet at large is mocking this poor couple.  Not cool!

Admittedly, it’s not the prettiest looking kiss, but it’s not a ‘OMG grown up virgins are SUCH FREAKS THEY CAN’T EVEN KISS NORMAL!’ thing.  I couldn’t kiss normal the first time I tried it either.  Given that this couple had their inaugural lip lock in front of friends, family and a camera crew, I frankly think they did pretty well.

At any rate, fingers crossed that TLC’s ‘Virgin Diaries’ will be less a train wreck and more a considered look at adults who have never had sex.


  1. brynzapoppin says:

    I saw something similar on BBC a few months ago. It told of a man in his 20s who travelled to the Netherlands to work with a sex coach, in order to brush up his skills and make him feel more comfortable. He wound up spending his first time with her.

    • nadinethornhill says:


      The situation you describe (assume the sex was a mutually enjoyable experience) is one of the many reasons, I’m in favour of legalizing and de stigmatizing sex work. I think a LOT of people could benefit from coaching or guidance when it comes to sex. And I don’t mean that in the glib sense that people suck at having sex. But I can imagine that having some practice with a person who is experienced and kind could help boost a person’s confidence sexin’ up future partners.

  2. Milan says:

    I don’t know if virginity is ever ‘admirable’.

    It might be prudent, in situations where people do not yet desire sex or do not yet have the knowledge and materials required to do it safely, but I don’t think it is ever morally laudable in and of itself.

    • nadinethornhill says:

      I see your point. Virginity is a prudent decision under certain circumstances, just as having sex is a prudent decision under certain circumstances.

      But I do think having the capacity to consider your circumstance and make decisions accordingly is admirable.

  3. seenonflickr says:

    I saw something else on TLC (I think) the other day which was MY SECRET PREGNANCY or something – seemed to be very young people not telling their parents they were pregnant. (Points for the title of the show being very explanatory, I guess!)

    • nadinethornhill says:

      I’m trying to imagine how someone keeps their pregnancy secret while being followed by a camera crew.