According to recent studies, most people lose their virginity sometime around age 17. That certainly isn’t the case for everyone, though, and some have their first sexual encounter much later, either by choice or bad timing.
But, as one new study shows, being an adult virgin doesn’t always pan out as happily as Steve Carell’s case in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” In an experiment led by the Kinsey Institute and published in The Journal of Sex Research, researchers asked nearly 5,000 people between the ages of 18 and 76 if they’d consider dating a virgin.
Unsurprisingly, most of the sexually experienced participants said they’d rather not pop someone’s cherry. What is surprising, however, is the number of fellow virgins who said they wouldn’t date someone who’s never had sex either.
The 20-somethings were especially likely to say they would not date a virgin; although, paradoxically, most of the virgins surveyed were in their age range. Adult virgins, it seems, want nothing to do with other adult virgins.
Researchers decided to take the experiment one step further by creating fake online dating accounts with various levels of sexual experience. They then asked volunteers to rate the fake profiles based on the person’s attractiveness. Virgins, they found, tended to gravitate toward other virgins despite saying they weren’t interested.
Researchers involved with the study said this could be a result of “assortative pairing,” meaning people tend to be more attracted to those with similar experiences.
While the study isn’t conclusive (it left out LGBT people for a start), it does suggest losing your virginity gets no less complicated as you get older.