On late-in-life virginity loss

The couple recently Skyped with me, sitting on their bed in Reno, Nevada. John, now 33, would look like a college professor if he weren’t wearing a University of Nevada, Reno sweater. He’s an online math teacher with thick-rimmed glasses, neat grey hair, and unblemished white teeth. Sarah is a 34-year-old brunette who smiles with her whole face. She has bangs, dark eyes wrapped in black mascara, and is a director for a Christian ministry.

The couple’s Christian convictions partially motivated their decision to wait until marriage but they say those weren’t the only reasons. The two also wanted to avoid STDs, pregnancy, and the emotional damage they had heard can come with having sex with someone who ultimately leaves. They speculate that they would have lost their virginities later than average even if they weren’t Christians. John thinks he would’ve lost it after college, in his 20s, since he admits he didn’t know how to talk to girls before age 20 and wasn’t ready for sex before then. Sarah says she had low self-worth before age 25, making her believe she would’ve eased into sex piece-by-piece in college.

Their wedding night wasn’t spectacular but their sex lives continue to improve.

“The first time felt good to me but he didn’t orgasm,” Sarah says. “We knew we wanted to keep learning, to figure it out more. It took lots of experimentation. Neither of us had anything to compare it to. If I didn’t orgasm or he didn’t orgasm, it’s not like, ‘You don’t love me.’ It’s more like, ‘Oh, how can I do that better or different next time?’”