I Think Sex Is Wrong Outside Marriage. Why Won’t Anyone Date Me?

I Think Sex Is Wrong Outside Marriage.  Why Won't Anyone Date Me?

Dear Evan,

I keep losing relationships when I say that sex isn’t right outside of a marriage. I used to think that women have more self-control than men, but have since realized that we are all humans.

Is it ever possible to have a year-long relationship without sex? Even the most conservative girl I’ve met gets heavy on that after a while. I feel pressured. They ask questions like “will we be doing that (whatever is the action in the movies) in future?”

I think maybe I’m the problem. I’ve been called frigid, gay (am not), etc.

There’s so much more to life than sex, right? Maybe I should look for intelligent scientists.


Dear Jon,

You sound a bit like the guy who insists on buying flowers for women on first dates. He seems like a really nice guy, but what he doesn’t get is that his views are out of step with the majority of society.

So it’s not a matter of whether he’s right or wrong; it’s a matter of whether his behavior is effective or ineffective.

When you lead your question with “I keep losing relationships when I say that sex isn’t right outside of a marriage,” you make it abundantly clear that your moral stance is quite ineffective. That doesn’t make you wrong. That makes your choice a highly questionable one as far as most women are concerned.

And, as I am wont to do, I’m going to use this platform to ask readers to consider if they have any hard-wired minority beliefs that prevent them from making a connection. Again, I’m not a moralist; I’m a pragmatist. Just because a guy tells me that his mullet hairstyle is the purest expression of how he likes to look, doesn’t mean that wearing his mullet in his online dating photo will help him woo the ladies.

Just because a guy tells me that his mullet hairstyle is the purest expression of how he likes to look, doesn’t mean that wearing his mullet in his online dating photo will help him woo the ladies.

Lest you think I’m joking – that’s a true story. I had a client four years ago who was a grown-up 70’s rocker who teaches guitar lessons. Nice man. Very passionate. But in his insistence on “being himself,” he pretty much eliminated every woman who tossed her AquaNet out the window in 1989. Same goes for my Jewish client who loved his dreadlocks, and was surprised he didn’t get much attention on JDate. Somehow he was shocked that all the Ivy League women who want to marry doctors and lawyers weren’t flocking to his unwashed nest of hair. Doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy – it just means he had to make some tough choices: Keep the hair and lose the women. Or lose the hair and get the women.

Since I’m not a psychologist, I’m not gonna worry in this space about WHY you’d opt for abstinence. That’s between you and your clergyman. All I can say is that the number of people aboard the no-sex train is increasingly small. So as I see it, you have two choices:

Keep beating the drum that says sex is wrong outside of marriage and continue to wonder why most women keep running away, OR:

Get off your moral high horse and start sexually servicing these women the way they want to be serviced.

If not, someone else will. I guarantee that.

Join our conversation (269 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 121

    Post menopausal women can be fun people also!…

  2. 122

    Michael: though your idea is certainly another potential solution, most guys in their twenties and thirties aren’t looking for post-menopausal women. Heck, even guys in their forties and fifties aren’t that interested as they’re all looking for younger women (see: tons of threads on this blog). Though I also know that the likelihood of guys actually choosing to abstain from sex for this reason is, admittedly, slim.

  3. 123

    Heck, even guys in their forties and fifties arent that interested as theyre all looking for younger women (see: tons of threads on this blog).
    Probably because they want to make babies, otherwise they would stick to women their own age.

    Of course, what I wonder is why a woman, who has never been married and never had kids, would seek a man who has been married before or has had kids. A man without any prior marriages or prior children would have an advantage in this field, even if he is older.

  4. 124

    “why a woman, who has never been married and never had kids, would seek a man who has been married before or has had kids”

    I don’t think they make a point to seek them- they just date what they find in the pool- and the pool’s got a lot of divorcees with kids.

    I’m 30, never married, no kids- and there’s certainly no way I’m dating a man who’s been the above- even if that does shrink my dating pool. But hell, something’s gotta give- so I’m throwing out my height requirements as of today.

  5. 125

    I think that this issue is not specific to the whole abstinence question, but as Sayanta said, I don’t think most women are looking for guys who are divorced with kids (unless, perhaps, the woman is divorced with kids). Personally, I tend to avoid guys with children, but am open to divorcs though I wasn’t always. Part of it had to do with the fact that by being open to divorced guys it opens up a whole new pool of guys, but then I’ve also had a friend who’s become divorced and she’d be a great match for a guy, so why wouldn’t a divorced guy still be a great match for me? As Evan’s been known to say (I think) if the perfect guy comes along and he just happens to be divorced, am I going to reject him because of that? Not so much.

  6. 126

    As Evans been known to say (I think) if the perfect guy comes along and he just happens to be divorced, am I going to reject him because of that?
    If a woman is divorced, then she is, by definition , not perfect.

  7. 127

    By definition, not perfect? Really?…hhmmhhh…

  8. 128

    Being human is, by definition, being imperfect 🙂 In many, many other more important ways beyond whether or not someone’s got into your pants, too, geez.
    If I was in a slightly higher age bracket I would look for single dads, actually. It only makes sense seeing as kids are a large part of the reason I’m looking to get hitched in the first place, and I’m all for making the world a better place and adopting a few kids. And a responsible dad who does a good job looking after his current kids would have proven he’s got at least a few of the skills I’d be looking for. …Young twentysomethings with children tend to have other issues, though, on average.

    Well I’m still a virgin, and, seeing as I’m borderline-atheist, for non-religious reasons to boot. (Although I just started on birth control for other health reasons… and to be honest, childbirth is a lot riskier healthwise, ain’t it? Ah well.) Still pretty new to dating and haven’t had a serious relationship yet–I think my sex drive developed late ’cause I was at least 20 by the time I started really getting into guys–and I’m hoping that maybe reading tidbits of wisdom from others will at least enable me to avoid a few of the usual/more obvious mistakes along the way. Like sleeping with the wrong person, or even the right one too soon (or too late?)–although that unfortunately seems like the kind of thing that’s only clear in hindsight.
    I find it kind of funny that there are plenty of blog entries on who to go after and when to have sex, but the latter always insist the rules are a little different for a first time…but never ever specifies how that “should” differ. …Not that I’d necessarily take someone else’s advice on that, particularly some stranger on the internet (and even if I do find some useful and thought-provoking advice from them on other subjects), but still.

    I also find it interesting how very few people are interested in communicating with their partners while still single and giving the sex life a chance to improve. It seems to go “test-drive,” and if the sex ain’t absolutely amazing you’re out of here on the instant. Then again, my situation’s different and perhaps makes me more sympathetic to the less skilled and experienced. 😛 And to make it clear, I’m sure as hell not expecting a first lay to be wonderfully magically perfect, either; that’s a rather silly and harmful myth, too. A committed relationship is about growing and learning with your partner sexually as much as in any other area, surely!

  9. 129

    Bryndel, you can study/research/read up on, sex life, to make it wonderfully, magically, perfect!..

  10. 130
    Deb C

    Bravo! I applaud you, a man who doesnt’ have to jump in the sack, and has more going for him than what’s between his legs, a man who actually uses his brain for a change, how refreshing! I commend you sir for your integrity.

    If more people in this world would practice the biblical principle of abstaining until they are married, there would be a whole lot less disease in the world. We have lost our souls to a world centered around sex, and money, and lost our focus of God’s principles for the union of two people.


  11. 131

    If more people in this world would practice the biblical principle of abstaining until they are married, there would be a whole lot less disease in the world.
    Well, that could happen if we encouraged people to marry in their mid teens.

    It is not a practical option for me, since every single woman my age has had sex and I am not going for fourteen-year-old girls.

  12. 132

    What a horrible answer! Just because the most of society says something is ok doesn’t mean it’s right and a person should throw their convictions out the window. WOW! What a stupid answer. I’m glad a majority of society doesn’t think it’s ok to kill someone, you’d tell jon to “just suck it up and kill people too. Everybody is doing it.” It’s a shame you get paid for doing this.

  13. 133

    Is it not important to measure up to other people?

  14. 134

    Michael, are you saying that we should have sex outside of marriage because “everybody” else is doing it? (which is NOT true) If so then what if everybody else said, “hey i think it’s ok to kill all mother-in-laws”. Would that make it right? NO! We have to have a standard of measure besides other people.

  15. 135


    I really really hope you’re being sarcastic with your #133 comment. If not, all I can do is pray for you, buddy.

  16. 136

    After reading this email and a few of the comments, I wanted to add my two cents as well.
    For starters, I do agree with some of the comments above… Consider carefully how you word your desire to remain abstinent. It is unfair to you and them if you make your personal/religious choice seem like a moral indictment on their past/present behavior. Also, make sure that you explain why you are choosing to wait. (Additionally, it doesn;t seem unreasonable for you to consider having this discussion earlier rather than later.)
    The other issue I wanted to address (and since I didn’t want to take the time to read ALL of the comments that were posted, I hope this hasn’t been said too many times) is that you said you are “losing relationships” because of choosing not to have sex. While it may seem that way, is it possible that you are really just losing relationships that are not very well-developed? If having sex is the only way that you and these women see the relationship moving forward from where it is, then it seems that something else is a problem. So, you don’t want to have sex before marriage; I’ll assume then that you/these women aren’t interested/aren’t ready for marriage. If that is the case, I guess I can see why you both might be frustrated upon realizing that the relationship can’t remain static and can’t move forward… And end the relationship.
    All that being said, I am a woman who is waiting for marriage. In response to the comments above, I too believe that sex is healthy and a can be a positive way for people to express their love, affection, and desire… I just believe that it will be more special and positive within a loving marriage. I can’t force anyone to agree with me; I just know that I will be looking for someone to share those same feelings.

  17. 137

    In posts #30 & 68 I mentioned info on the percentage of people who have not yet had sex. 7% of women 25-29 and 5% of women 30-34 are virgins, while 4.7% of men 25-29 and 3.1% of men 30-34 have not had sex (more statistics available in the posts mentioned).

    My question is, what percentage of the population would be willing to date someone without having sex until marriage? Do you think it’s double whatever the percentage of virgins is? Or 10? 20%? Higher? Or only the number of people who still haven’t had sex yet? And at what age does this change (for instance, a 22 year old might be willing to date a virgin until marriage, but not a 30 year old)?

    Though I said that most guys have responded really well to my revelation when I’ve made it, most guys I’ve dated don’t know that I am still a virgin. So in reality, I actually have a pretty small sample of people to get data on for this question. So, anyone want to chime in on this subject?

  18. 138

    A-L, mature men will wait until marriage. In an effort to answer your question, on percentages, I belong to a singles group, where, 7 or 8 virgin females meet(according to hearsay). They are not tall, and have a weight problem, late 30’s or maybe into their 40’s, one female lives at home and doesn’t have job, I believe the others have a job. They are careful and look out for each other(some men call this type of women, relationship blockers)

  19. 139
    Karl R

    A-L asked: (#137)
    “what percentage of the population would be willing to date someone without having sex until marriage?”

    That depends on what intimacy was still occurring. I want to be physically intimate in some way (otherwise there’s no difference between a girlfriend and a female friend). Furthermore, I want to be sure that sex will be good after marriage. I can make a really accurate guess without having to go all the way, but I wouldn’t be that confident in my guess unless I’d made it to 2nd or 3rd base.

  20. 140

    Clarification: Since not all virgins are willing to perform the same activities, let’s say that the relationship will get to third base prior to the marriage. What percentage of men do you think would be willing to date her seriously?

  21. 141


    It’s hard to think in terms of percentages (for me, at least) when it comes to things like this- it also tends to make me paranoid. I really don’t think it matters as long as you find ONE guy who’s in sync with you.

    I guess the real question you may -I don’t want to put words into your mouth- be asking is what are your CHANCES of finding a guy that will be okay with what you’ve stated. That’s also something that depends on circumstances and the kind of relationship you have with the guy, the guy’s culture and background, etc.

    One reason I tend to stay away from percentages is 1) A lot of the time they’re skewed, 2) The sources aren’t necessarily accurate, and 3) When you read something negative (and come on, how many positive stories do we read in the media regarding relationships?) it sticks in the back of your mind, and you’re not even conscious of it. But even though you’re not conscious of it, you’ll exude your real feelings to the other person.

    For example, I see articles all the time entitled “How to Stop Men from Cheating” “The Latest Stats on Cheating” etc. I think the media thinks it’s doing us a service here (god knows why), but all I see is more women checking their boyfriends’ e-mails, texts, etc. Not a recipe for happiness.

    Similarly, if I’m a virgin and I read negative stats about men dating virgins, that will stick in my mind and possibly I’ll end up being colder or distant to a potential boyfriend.

    But that’s just me- it could be totally different with you.

  22. 142

    I’m obviously on a statistics streak here, but it hasn’t been done to depress me or anyone else. It’s just that I’m the type of person who researches everything before doing most major things, from getting a car, choosing a neighborhood, buying a house, picking a travel destination… And even though it’s impossible to entirely research one’s romantic life, I do want to be armed with as much information as possible to make an informed decision about my relationships.

    It’s sort of like a job. You want to know what the typical salary is in your area, how readily jobs are available, typical hours, duties, etc. If you like your job (or job offer) but there are some things you don’t like, your decision to stay or go will probably depend on whether or not your job is typical of most in the field (does everyone work 70 hours a week, or is it just this employer), and how easy it is to find another job. Granted, relationships are not exactly the same but you still want to know as much info as possible.

    Basically, I don’t want any decision I make to be made either on information that’s too pessimistic or too optimistic. I will never know all facts or probabilities, I just want to know my rough odds. I’d hate to make a decision and then years later be kicking myself because if I had just taken the time to find out a little bit more, I might have made a different decision.

    And I guess I’m also lucky because I can learn something (even if it’s negative) and not have it affect my general outlook on life. I’m sorry, though, if any of my posts have negatively affected yours.

  23. 143


    No negative effect at all. Just giving my two cents. 🙂 But one thing struck me- you said, “Id hate to make a decision and then years later be kicking myself because if I had just taken the time to find out a little bit more, I might have made a different decision.”

    How do stats relate to this decision? For example, if you read stats, just for talking’s sake, that the percentage of men who fit your type and who are willing to date virgins (since that was what we were talking about) is .0000007%. How would this information be helpful to you? Would you decide to lose your virginity on the basis of this statistic? And how would you KNOW years later, that you hadn’t had enough information to make a correct decision- there might be a different statistic then, but it may be because 1) Society has dramatically changed for some reason, 2) Statistics were flawed to begin with, and 3) The types of men availabe don’t mesh with the types you want.

    I do agree with you that stats and solid info are excellent sources for purchases and for job hunting. But again, what are finding out negative stats about men (and I have yet to see any positive stats about them, like I said) going to help? Because humans are emotional and lots of times irrational beings, it’s not possible, I think, to get certain kinds of stats on them.

    Take this scenario for example:

    an organization polls a group of 100 men (age 25-35) on whether they would date virgins. All give a resounding “Hell no!” on March 27, 2009. On May 27, 2010, 25 of those men meet amazing women who are virgins and decide they want to think about getting serious with these women, because of a lot of emotional, etc. factors that didn’t exist a year ago. But by that time, the survey has already put those men down as “non-virgin-daters” even though technically, the stats of that same group have dramatically changed. This is an extreme scenario, of course, but I’m just making a point, because I think variations of these things do happen.

    So, again, that’s my opinion. I don’t know if it has anything at all to do with what you’ve said. If not, my apologies. It’s always interesting to hear all sides on this issue, I think.

  24. 144

    I heard the Jonas Brothers are into the whole no sex until marriage thing.

    Whoever marries any of them will find out if the rumors about blue balls are true.

  25. 145

    Just for the record, I’m not into no sex ’til marriage- I just want to get to know the guy really really well before I do the deed. Which means I don’t follow the third-date rule.

  26. 146

    Imagine that 25% of the population fits what you you want. If you’re thinking about committing to someone who’s pretty much everything you want but missing a little something, then you might think, “Oh, one in four people I date is likely to be what I’m looking for, I think I’ll hold out.” But if it’s 1% (or less) of the population that fits your wishlist then you’d be much likelier to hold on to him/her because you you might have to date another 100 to find someone comparable and there’s no guarantees you’d like them more.

    Can statistics change somewhat? Yes. Are they likely to change significantly? No. So although your situation might be possible, it’s unlikely that a percentage will rapidly change from 1% to 25%, at least not during the span of my dating life.

    Imagine you’ve got a 93% match with someone. If it’s unlikely that I’ll ever meet as good of a match (or at least not in the next 5 years or so), I’d rather grab that 93% than never find something better than a 70-80% match. But if it’s pretty likely I can find that 100% match, then I’d probably try for the jackpot. That’s what I meant about kicking myself. Makes sense?

  27. 147

    I really really hope youre being sarcastic with your #133 comment. If not, all I can do is pray for you, buddy.
    I was not being sarcastic. Measuring up to other people, proving to others that you are just as good as they are, that is what is important. After all, how could you possibly feel good about yourself if everyone else you know, everyone else that you grew up with has had a relationship and you have not? Would you not feel deficient or resentful?

  28. 148

    Most women tell men, no sex, when we first ask them out. But, all men know that can change, just like, most any other issue in a relationship.

  29. 149


    Deficient and resentful? Nope, not at all. The only people always measuring themselves to others are ones with no life purpose (or personality) of their own.

  30. 150

    Another clarification: In #146 I wasn’t alluding to percentages (1%, 25%) of whatever I thought the likelihood was of a man being interested in dating a woman who wanted to not have sex for a longer period of time than the typical woman. I sort of pulled those numbers out of a hat.

    I had actually been working on a composite number for myself, looking at multiple factors for which statistics were available, to see the likelihood of finding a man who met my requirements. I was just trying to poll people here on the sex issue as that is one thing I haven’t been able to find any statistics on whatsoever, credible or not. Basically, I was trying to figure out the odds of finding my dream man (with the sex thing being only one factor). Hope this clears up my posts.

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