We only have to look towards films like Steve Carrell’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin —
where a 40-year-old man is pressured by his friends to lose his virginity — to understand why the concept of virginity at a later age feels atypical in modern society. The 2010s “sex-positivity” boom
encouraged a non-judgemental, open attitude towards sex and sexuality, with a heavy focus on shame-free pleasure. It allowed movements like Amber Rose’s Walk of No Shame
in 2015 to thrive, which was partly aimed at removing the taboo attached to one-night stands. Over the last few decades, the sex-positivity movement helped remove long-held stigmas around pre-marital sex and encouraged conversations about women’s pleasure. It was considered the antithesis to the previous norm where waiting until marriage reinforced the polarising concept of virginity and a woman’s virtue. Most importantly, with the rise of the sex-positive movement came a greater emphasis on choice and consent — which includes a person’s decision to wait until marriage to have sex. However, virginity in later life hasn’t always been represented in conversations about sexual expression and choice.