Remember Janet Jackson’s 1986 hit, “Let’s Wait Awhile”? At the time I was too young to know what she was singing about, but I was astute enough to appreciate how it sounded.
Back then, Jackson crooned about wanting to wait to get it on with her lover (and get it on she would) because she wasn’t quite ready to take their relationship to the next level. While the smooth ballad gave hope (and courage) to millions of girls everywhere who were looking for just the right words to keep their boyfriend’s hands at bay, these days, Jackson’s sentiments seem about as ancient as her teased-to-death ’80s hairdo.
Waiting to have sex has officially gone out of style. Although it was once quite common for folks to remain sexually inexperienced until they reached their 20s, today, you’re looked at like a Martian if you’ve held on to your goodies past your 19th birthday.
Recently I saw a commercial for TLC’s show “34-Year-Old Virgin.” As you might imagine, the guy on the show looks like your typical grown virgin—awkward, not conventionally attractive, and like an extra from “Revenge of the Nerds.”
Whenever grown virgins are shown onscreen more often than not they look like they are 34-year-old virgins for a reason: They aren’t attractive. But why is that? With so many religious folks in the world, and just some who want to wait to give up the goods until they meet the right partner, there must be some “normal” looking, attractive virgins out there.
Perhaps that’s why track star Lolo Jones is so important. The 29-year-old hurdler has been very open about her goal of waiting until she’s married to have sex. Unlike the socially awkward virgins we normally see, Jones is a beautiful woman who, I’m sure, has had her fair share of offers.
Although our society once valued this level of commitment, today Jones says she’s often made fun of because of her choice to save herself for her future husband.
“It was cute when I was 22, 24…. [At] 24 to 29 it’s not cute,” she told Bryant Gumble. “You get judged a lot, a lot of guys won’t return your calls after they find out.”
The other day, someone I follow on Twitter was discussing sex and asked if people were still getting into relationships with folks they’d never seen naked. While she admonished them for doing so, I wondered if our openness to quickly add physical intimacy to the getting to know you phase is partly to blame for much of our inability to connect with each other in a meaningful way.