Rise of the BornA­gain Vir­gins

Why many of us are sav­ing sex for mar­riage – long af­ter los­ing our vir­gin­ity

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - BY SHARI NEMENTZIK

Mi­randa Kerr re­cently said she and her hus­band Evan Spiegel did not have sex un­til they said their vows. ‘He is very tra­di­tional,’ she told The Lon­don Times be­fore her gar­den wed­ding to the Snapchat CEO. ‘We can’t… I mean, we’re just … wait­ing.’ Mi­randa is ob­vi­ously not a vir­gin. The ev­i­dence? Her son, Flynn, with ex­hus­band Or­lando Bloom. She’s what you would call a born-again vir­gin. We’re not talk­ing about sur­gi­cal re­con­struc­tion of the hy­men, though. ‘A born-again, or “re­newed”, vir­gin is some­one who’s al­ready en­gaged in sex­ual ac­tiv­ity and has made a de­ci­sion for moral, re­li­gious or any other prac­ti­cal rea­sons not to be sex­u­ally ac­tive un­til a later time or af­ter mar­riage,’ says sex ther­a­pist Chantelle Ot­ten. And Mi­randa’s in good com­pany. Fel­low stars Mariah Carey, Ciara (as she re­vealed ex­clu­sively to COSMO in our Fe­bru­ary 2017 is­sue), Nicki Mi­naj and Min­nie Dlamini have all hinted at (re)-sav­ing them­selves for mar­riage or en­joy­ing a pe­riod of celibacy at some point.

It’s not just celebri­ties com­mit­ting to celibacy. Anec­do­tal ev­i­dence sug­gests it’s be­come a trend among us ‘nor­mal’ folk, too. Ot­ten says she sees more clients tak­ing this path. ‘Many do it be­cause they’re look­ing for some­thing more in their life or have turned to re­li­gion,’ she says.

‘Some have dat­ing burnout; some have ex­pe­ri­enced neg­a­tive sex­ual pat­terns. They want to re­de­fine their re­la­tion­ship with them­selves and ex­pe­ri­ence emo­tional in­ti­macy with their next lover be­fore hav­ing to ne­go­ti­ate sex.’

A fresh start

Many young women de­cide to be­come a born-again vir­gin to, put quite sim­ply, ‘find them­selves’. Af­ter a tough break-up, Anna*, 25, de­cided she needed to re­con­nect with her­self and not fall into bad habits. ‘You’ve heard the say­ing, “to get over some­one, get un­der some­one”, right?’ she says. ‘Well, that’s how I dealt with all my other break-ups. I’d go out and have mean­ing­less sex with strangers, but then the next morn­ing I’d al­ways feel like shit about my­self. It was a really toxic cy­cle. Af­ter break­ing up with Tom*, I made the de­ci­sion not to have sex un­til I find some­one I want to spend the rest of my life with.’ Anna spends her week­ends with her friends and fam­ily, and hav­ing qual­ity time by her­self. ‘I used to dread be­ing alone; now I can think of noth­ing bet­ter. Af­ter all these years, I’m com­fort­able with who I am and I know ex­actly what I want in a part­ner,’ she says. ‘And I know I’ll find him when the time’s right.’

‘The pos­i­tive of be­ing a born-again vir­gin is that they can use that time to build a healthy re­la­tion­ship with them­selves and feel more con­fi­dent in their choices,’ says Ot­ten. ‘Plus, they can de­velop the skills to set healthy bound­aries with their next lover. Then they can use those skills to their ad­van­tage for the rest of their life.’

But this only works if you take the time to work on your­self. ‘If an in­di­vid­ual de­cides to take this route be­cause they’re un­happy with neg­a­tive pat­terns in their life, then they should make an ef­fort to get to the source of what is caus­ing them pain,’ says Ot­ten.

‘The sex is mind-blow­ing’

One of the big­gest beliefs is that when you fi­nally have sex on your wed­ding night, it will be noth­ing less than mag­i­cal. Sarah*, 31, de­cided to be­come a born-again vir­gin at 28 when she met her now-hus­band. ‘He was very re­li­gious, and I was happy to stay celi­bate for him be­cause I fell in love with the per­son he was,’ she says. ‘Our wed­ding night was per­fect and the sex was mind­blow­ing. The ten­sion had built up over our 20-month re­la­tion­ship and it all cul­mi­nated in an un­for­get­table night. It had been so hard to re­sist each other for so long, and fi­nally our minds and bod­ies were one.’

A not-so-happy ever af­ter

While Sarah had a very happy end­ing, it doesn’t al­ways go that way for ev­ery­one. ‘When born-again vir­gins do de­cide to “lose” their vir­gin­ity again, they may find their sex life with their lover isn’t healthy,’ says Ot­ten. Very few peo­ple can say their first time was like fire­works, so this should come as no sur­prise. As with any­thing, prac­tice makes per­fect. But there are cou­ples who are sim­ply not com­pat­i­ble in the bed­room. Take Lily*, 32, and her ex-fi­ancé. ‘I be­came a born-again vir­gin be­cause I was tired of men only see­ing me as a sex ob­ject,’ she says. ‘When I met David*, I told him I was sav­ing sex for mar­riage, and he never judged me for it. A year and a half later, he pro­posed – and that’s when I de­cided I’d have sex with him. But there was no chem­istry. It was awk­ward. Af­ter six months of coun­selling and try­ing to make it work, I called off the en­gage­ment. Now, look­ing back, I’m glad I didn’t wait un­til the wed­ding night. I had as­sumed a great emo­tional con­nec­tion would equate to a great sex life, but it’s not al­ways the case. We’re only meant to be close friends.’

Let Lily’s tale be a cau­tion­ary one only. As the say­ing goes, ‘When you find the one, ev­ery­thing else falls into place.’ Or some­thing like that. ■

‘It’s not just celebri­ties: celibacy has be­come a trend gen­er­ally’




Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.