Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ask Dr. Helen

My PJM column is up:

Middle-aged virgins are not necessarily the stuff of comedy. Choosing to wait is just fine, writes Dr. Helen Smith — unless past sexual abuse or a debilitating lack of confidence is making the choice for you.

Go take a look and drop a line if you have something to add.


Blogger TMink said...

Poor guy was abused and has not sought treatment for it. Because it sounds like a homosexual assault, he may have never told anyone prior to telling you. What a shame.

It makes me think of a recent illness that I (sadly) shared with my wife. She was at home sick and called me up at work and asked me how and why I went to work when I was symptomatic. We talked about it and decided that it is more important for me to be "tough" than well, and she (quite sensibly) wants to be well and being tough does not enter into it.

I blame John Wayne!


11:19 AM, January 24, 2008  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

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Better get that more info. I like is fantastic.


6:10 PM, January 24, 2008  
Blogger bmmg39 said...

"There are a number of reasons men are virgins after the age of 40; they feel comfortable this way and have no desire for sex (asexuality); their faith prohibits premarital sex; they want sex but don't know how to approach a woman and feel unable to 'compete,' (in other words, 'got no game'); and finally, prior sexual abuse that may have interfered developmentally with their desire and/or their confidence in attracting women."

Dr. Helen, I can't thank you enough. Almost every other host/columnist who mention asexuality at all seems to intimate, condescendingly, that asexuals simply have something wrong with them and that they need to see a doctor for their "problem." While it is true, as you say, that sometimes there's a more sinister genesis for someone not wanting to have sex, many of us have a low libido and are cool with it. You take a more "live and let live" approach, and I really do appreciate it.

I'm 35 and male, and I've never been sexually active. When I was in high school, it didn't even occur to me that others around me might be having sex, as -- though I was in a public high school -- I attended only "nice" parties where there was no alcohol or drugs or kissing or what-have-you. In college, I marvelled at how two people would have a few drinks at a party, and then select each other almost randomly to suck face, when I didn't want to do that even with someone I had romantic feelings for.

So, when people allege that there's a connection between my lack of romantic partners and my lack of sex, I respond that, if anything, my disinterest in sex has caused a lack of romance, not the other way around. I was always looking for someone to hold hands and kiss on the cheek with, which never seemed to fit in with the atmosphere around me, contrary to the gross misconception that the US is a "sexually repressed nation."

2:50 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

"My suggestion at this point is to seek therapy with a licensed therapist or certified sex therapist who is knowledgeable about sexual abuse and sexuality."

Is it still possible to locate an actual male licensed "sex" therapist in a field (psychology) 85% dominated by females?

Why would any intelligent man want to go into counseling with a female therapist?

Unless for comic relief? Or a diagnosis of obvious masochism?

4:02 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


Yes, I think it is--the field is about 67% women currently but the older psychologists tend more to be men. However, a female sex therapist would not be a bad thing in this case if she is qualified and competent.

6:06 AM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

I think it is sad if people have problems that have led to their virginity. I guess I'm afraid of being there someday, but I am not even 25 yet, so I have a long time to go! I was watching 1 vs 100 for an episode and they mentioned one of the guys was a "real life" 40-year-old virgin. If it is based on moral reasons then I think it is fine. I used to visit a blog (that no longer exists) written by a 37-year-old single Christian man and my guess is that he is still a virgin. One contributing factor for him, I imagine, is that his father left him. I have an uncle who is 39 and I believe he might still be a virgin. I know some people made jokes about Harriet Myers being a 60-year-old virgin since she has never married.

2:02 PM, January 31, 2008  
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3:50 AM, June 08, 2009  

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