Miranda Kerr got pretty personal with a reporter for The London Times this week. In an interview, she revealed that she and her fiancé Evan Spiegel don't currently use any contraception, because they're not having sex — at least, not until they're married: "[Spiegel] is very traditional," Kerr said, according to Jezebel. "We can’t…I mean we’re just…waiting." Now, we do know that Kerr bore a son some six years ago to one Orlando Bloom. Barring the possibility of immaculate conception and in-vitro fertilization, Kerr is presumably not a virgin, so it seems safe to assume that she's now giving the "born-again virgin," or "second virgin," thing a try. If this seems like a new concept to you, it's actually not — in fact, some evidence would suggest it's a bit of a trend. Back in 2000, Charlotte and Trey from Sex and the City tried to wait until they were married to have sex, but then caved and attempted to have a wedding day quickie. In 2013, the Bachelor contestant, Sean Lowe, also vowed not to have sex until after marriage when he appeared on the show, though he admittedly had sex long before taping started. And then, just last year, Ciara and Russell Wilson said they waited to have sex until they tied the knot. Of course, deciding when to have sex is a very personal decision for individuals and couples, and just as it's not a reporter's business to ask Kerr about her contraception method, it's not our business to speculate why she and Spiegel are doing this. "Maybe it's a trend, but sex is based on mutual consent, and if both partners are willing to abstain, it's their desired right," says Julie Spira, a Los Angeles-based dating expert. But, while Kerr and Spiegel's personal motives aren't up for debate, it's clear that born-again virginity is making a comeback. So are people actively prioritizing other aspects of a relationship besides sex? Or is it simply a matter of regaining "purity"?
"How do they want to show up sexually? Are there any patterns or habits they want to hit the reset button on?"
There are certainly those who are seeking a do-over for religious reasons. Lowe, for example, said he felt guilty about having sex in college and called his pre-Bachelor dating habits a "path of destruction." He told the evangelical site I Am Second, "At the age of 24, I finally became a man. I said, 'Okay, Jesus, let’s do it again'" (meaning: let's do virginity again). According to Christianity Today, it only takes a little pleading to become "purified by God" and therefore a born-again virgin. "That may not clear up your reputation or your memory," the article on the site reads, emphasizing shame and purity. "But it does clear up your future with God." But, for couples who aren't foregoing post-virginity sex for the sake of religion, the motives vary from person to person. According to sex therapist Kristin Zeising, PsyD, many are simply seeking to lay the groundwork for a solid relationship before sex complicates things (if sex is a complicating matter for those people, that is). How long each person waits — whether it's until marriage or another relationship marker — is also highly personal. "There's no magic number of how long someone should wait to have sex," Dr. Zeising says. "By establishing a relationship that's not dependent on sex, you can establish your roots, and get to know each other on an intimate level emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually." She also says that sex might even be better if you wait until you feel like you can be present and engaged — and, for some people, that just happens to be after they're married. "Working on establishing a connection can help you feel more grounded in your relationship, and then sex can be icing on the cake," Dr. Zeising says. This is also why couples try sex breaks or fasts, which was a popular trend a couple of years ago (thanks to former NFL player Terry Crews). The idea is that depriving yourself of sex for a short period of time will make it that much better when you finally do it. Not to mention, being a born-again virgin could also help a person keep their guard up if they aren't sure about a new relationship. "Some people get more deeply attached once they have sex and may have difficulties breaking it off if things go south," Dr. Zeising says. Other couples, however, simply wait to have sex until marriage to reset their personal relationship patterns and get a fresh start. Talking about how she and Russell Wilson abstained from sex until they were married, Ciara said, "[It was] an organic thing for him, and I think he was just being honest about where we are." Deciding to be chaste until marriage can give people the opportunity to approach the relationship differently. "It's a time to be conscious about their intentions," Dr. Zeising says. "How do they want to show up sexually? Are there any patterns or habits they want to hit the reset button on?" Ultimately, how you decide to approach your intimate relationships — whether you opt to continue having sex or decide to take a break, for whatever reason — is up to you and your partner. Just like having sex on the first date can be awesome and incredibly hot, so can waiting until after you exchange vows or make some other big commitment — you do you. After all, like Kerr and Spiegel, you don't owe anyone an explanation for what's going on (or not going on) in your bedroom.