At 37, I Want to Stay a Virgin—but I Want a Relationship, Too

I am 37 years old and never once in my life have I had sex. I haven't even kissed a man. And you know what? I'm fine with that. So here is the catch: I do want a relationship. I want to be in love. I want a partner. I don't want kids, I just want a connection with someone that is deeper than friendship, a person I can count on and who can count on me. I have had no luck finding a partner. As soon as guys figure out I won't sleep with them, they run for the hills. But I really have no desire whatsoever for sex and I don't want to budge on that. I don't have anything physically wrong with me, the desire just isn't there in the least. There are a million other things I would rather do with my time. Do I stand a chance of finding a man who is down for a meaningful, sexless relationship, or do I need to find a way to get over my sexual apathy? The desire has never remotely been there for me, even as a teenager. Thanks. —37-Year-Old Virgin
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Dear 37-Year-Old Virgin,

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself in your question. Though you didn’t use the term, it sounds like you could be describing yourself as asexual. People who identify as asexual are quite simply not desirous of sex. Like you, there is nothing physically wrong with them; they just don’t desire sex.

So my short answer to your question is, no, you do not need to find a way to get over your sexual apathy. I believe that authenticity is a cornerstone of mental health and well-being. This is part of the person you are and has been so, consistently, for 37 years. Trying to deny such a stable, core part of yourself might create discomfort that could lead to a host of mental health concerns.

Since you mention that men “run for the hills” when they learn you are not interested in sex, it is probably no surprise to you that asexuality is somewhat uncommon. You are hardly alone, though. A quick Google search reveals some dating websites specifically for people who identify as asexual. So there is definitely a pool of people seeking exactly what you are seeking, and a platform designed to connect you. I also encourage you to check out the website for The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), which features a variety of resources and forums for people whose desire for sex is nonexistent or low.

You seem to be very clear about who you are and what you want, so I imagine that once you are dating someone with whom you are intimately compatible, you will find what you are seeking. That said, dating, even in a sexually compatible pool, can be stressful, and building a relationship can be challenging. If you feel like you need support in the process, partnering with a therapist might be helpful.

Best wishes,
Sarah

Sarah Noel
Sarah Noel, MS, LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She specializes in working with people who are struggling through depression, anxiety, trauma, and major life transitions. She approaches her work from a person-centered perspective, always acknowledging the people she works with as experts on themselves. She is honored and humbled on a daily basis to be able to partner with people at such critical points in their unique journeys.
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  • Noni

    Noni

    October 31st, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    Do you think that you would ever want to explore the option of whether or not there as something that a counselor could help you work through to get to a place where you are not so anti sex? I know that this is the way that you feel and I too am all for you being true to yourself, but I also know that there can be physical things that could be going on that make you less than excited about the prospect of ever having sex. I hope that you find the right person, and who knows? maybe when you do meet that perfect mate then there will be desire there that you have never experienced before.

  • mary

    mary

    October 31st, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    I applaud your resolve but at the same time I hope that you do not limit yourself to the opportunities that are out there for you. Just keep an open mind. You don’t know how you may feel a few years from now and may want something more than just a relationship with another asexual person

  • Franklin

    Franklin

    November 2nd, 2014 at 6:13 AM

    I guess that this is a possibility but I also think that you have to understand that there are many of us scratching our heads and wondering why you would ever be okay with missing out on this very meaningful part of most relationships. I would love for you to find someone with whom you can be happy and have the type of loving and caring relationship that is important to you, I just also want you to recognize that I think that you are right by understanding that this could be a difficult spot that you put yourself in because there are many people who would never commit fully to a relationship like this that did not hold any promise of a physical aspect.

  • margaret

    margaret

    November 3rd, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    There are people from all walks of life, everyone looking for something specific in a relationship that they think will make them happy.

    I am sure that the right person is somewhere out there for you but since you are so specific it just might take you a little while longer to find them.

    And that’s okay, don’t compromise what you are looking for just because it may not fit the mold of what others expect that you should want.

    Just be patient… it will happen.

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