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The Orthodox 40 year old virgin

I think I may have been the only one in the theater watching the Steve Carell movie 40 Year Old Virgin thinking about how the Orthodox version wouldn’t be so funny. According to halacha, Jewish men and women aren’t supposed to have any physical contact outside the confines of marriage. Thus, 40 year old singles are expected to still be virgins. I recently went out with someone who told me that anyone who thought that Orthodox singles in their 30’s weren’t sexually active had got to get their head checked.

It happens to be that whether or not someone keeps Shomer Negiah, (not touching the opposite sex would mean you keep it) is one of the most common discussions amongst Orthodox single men and women. Shomer Negiah is probably one of the most broken Jewish laws by young Orthodox folks, but it is so taboo that many people will only break it in private and tell people that they keep the law.

For instance, I have lived in communities where having a girl sleep at my house would not be an option and so many times in the last few years I have snuck girls into my home for something as simple as a sleepover. When I was 19 I once put a girl from one of the local seminaries, into the trunk of my car so I could get her into my house through the garage undetected by the Ultra Orthodox neighbors who would surely snitch and get her thrown out of school. Ah, the mesiras nefesh (self sacrifice) I went through would have made the Morano’s proud.

I myself have termed this action Fictional Shomer Negiah, people presume you refrain from touching, basically the Orthodox version of not kissing and telling. I have met many folks who refrain from touching the opposite sex until they are engaged or in a serious relationship.

Shomer Negiah is very similar to keeping kosher, there are so many different ways to observe and everyone has their own little way of keeping it. I myself follow the shomer until relationship rule and have in the past kept to the shomer until opportunity rule. Many Orthodox Jews who do touch the opposite claim to refrain from pre-marital sex, but based on my large circle of friends I don’t know too many folks who remain celibate past the ripe old age of 30.

This is a departure from my traditional writing style, an experiment you say….

For more on frum virgins search for em on 4torah.com

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • An-on November 16, 2011, 1:54 PM

    Shomer until she’s into you enough.
    Shomer until stuck in an elevator.
    Shomer until drunk.
    Shomer until the office holiday party.
    Shomer until stuck in a rainstorm under one umbrella.
    Shomer until you need to perform the heimlech on her at dougies
    Shomer until she gets very bad news and needs a hug
    Shomer until officially OTD
    Shomer until Brooklyn college.
    Etc. etc.

    • U Avi November 16, 2011, 7:46 PM

      Hilarious. You could always just look like a constant mess, not take a shower, wear old cosby sweaters, sleep in your van (except on shabbos of course) and only wear one of those thin like white plastic yarmulkas with a tear on the top so you would never attract a mate until you want to, thus never even having the “opporutnity” This is what I do and it works pretty well for me.

      • Heshy Fried November 16, 2011, 9:30 PM

        It hasn’t worked for me, the shlumpier I get the more those ladies can;t keep it in their pants, ahem skirts.

        • U Avi November 16, 2011, 9:42 PM

          Dudddddee, stinks man, sorry.

    • Michaltastik November 17, 2011, 9:47 PM

      Hahah, I went to Brooklyn College.

    • ipitythefoo November 20, 2011, 12:55 PM

      Shomer until the wilderness.

  • Philo November 16, 2011, 2:04 PM

    I was mostly shomer until my early-mid 20’s when I realized that the whole thing was a silly, nonsensical game

  • Anonymous November 16, 2011, 2:05 PM

    ” anyone who thought that Orthodox singles in their 30?s werent sexually active had got to get their head checked.”
    “I dont know too many folks who remain celibate past the ripe old age of 30.”
    this is not true, in my experience. maybe your circle of friends is not quite so large. there are plenty of frum singles in their 30’s, and over, who are not sexually active. comments like these may make some feel better about their own choices (bc everyone’s doing it) but they can also make frum older singles feel like freaks. they are not! they will be sexually active when they meet the right person, and usually after the chuppah! this focus on pre-marital sex is not productive, people should be looking for partners for life. she’s good enough for a relationship? great! Commit and move on.

    • Heshy Fried November 16, 2011, 9:33 PM

      What if they don’t meet the right person? When I was growing up I had the oppurtunity to hang around the singles scenes of the 40-60 year old crowd and I’m not sure anyone was abstaining and many of these people were of the yeshiva ilk.

      • Anonymous November 19, 2011, 4:19 AM

        the right person doesn,t mean the perfect person. a good book on the subject (esp. for the girls) is Marry Him by Lori Gottlieb.
        like you, i’m not sure what was going on behind closed doors in above-mentioned singles scene.
        speaking as a (thank G-d) no-longer-older-single, i suggest that you keep your eye on the prize instead of fooling around on the side.

    • Michaltastik November 17, 2011, 9:49 PM

      It’s not just Heshy’s friends. I know fakers in their early 20’s.

  • Dan November 16, 2011, 4:02 PM

    “told me that anyone who thought that Orthodox singles in their 30?s werent sexually active had got to get their head checked.”

    Maybe someone is a bit too insulated by their non-ultra orthodox community.
    There is a whole big world in here, you guys should really come check it out one day. You make fun of us, for being insulated from your community, but you are 10 times more ignorant of ours.

  • Anon November 16, 2011, 4:53 PM

    I’m curious how many other older, not married, non-virgins there are out there who for all other intents and purposes (i.e., shomer kashrus and shabbos) are orthodox….

  • Sarah November 16, 2011, 5:42 PM

    There’s a blog about a 40 year old Orthodox virgin… I think you posted about it once?

  • JPAC November 16, 2011, 7:33 PM

    You guys are so far gone from Torah ideals because you watch movies,listen to secular music and inhale all the shmutz from the outside secular world from evolution to gay rights. Did you know that JACOB was a virgin till age 84. So dont look at observant single Jewish men or women who abstain from sex as something strange. If there is strange things in our secular society its gay marriage, evolution, and abortions on demand.

    • Heshy Fried November 16, 2011, 9:34 PM

      Yeh but back in the day there were harlots walking the roads and Torah sanctioned POW rape was cool as long as they shaved their heads afterward. Seemed like there was a lot more out of wedlock action back in the biblical days.

    • Lex Luthor November 17, 2011, 7:14 AM

      How do you know that Jacob was a virgin until he was 84? It doesn’t say that in my Torah. All we know is that he first married then.

      • Dan November 17, 2011, 10:33 AM

        Actually, chazal say that when yaakov blessed his son reuven, because he was “reishis oni” (Gen 49:3), it referred to the fact that reuven was conceived from yaakov’s first ejaculation.

        So yes, there is good source for the notion that yaakov was a virgin until 84.

        • Michaltastik November 17, 2011, 9:52 PM

          And some people are very naive…

  • lion November 16, 2011, 8:33 PM

    Actuly Shomer until…. is going on even by married peaple

  • OfftheDwannaB November 16, 2011, 8:39 PM

    Wait- everyone’s doing it but pretending? OK, 1,2,3, over! There, now we can all have sex with each other without hiding. You’re welcome.

    • Tinok ShenishBeth November 16, 2011, 9:47 PM

      Damn! That’s all it took and you waited until now!?!

      I don’t know if we should thank you, or spank you with cholent ladles…

      • OfftheDwannaB November 17, 2011, 6:38 AM

        Cholent ladles? Well, I guess if you’re into that sort of thing, and the cholent isnt too hot… Hey, I can throw kichel at you if you want.

        • A.N. Onomous November 17, 2011, 1:36 PM

          Ooooooo baby!

  • Sammy November 17, 2011, 1:33 AM

    There is no official data out there on this, so lets not speculate about how many people mess around. Yes its a hard mitzvah to keep, but we should still strive to serve hashem as best we can.

    • Balansen November 17, 2011, 5:04 AM

      How ironic, a frummy asking for hard data before making any conclusions. How secular of you. Maybe Heshy can pass around a collection plate and then commission Gallup to do a poll of frum singles.

      • Heshy Fried November 17, 2011, 8:31 AM

        I have found that most people aren’t really admitting it – especially if they grew up frum. It does seem that many converts and baalei teshuva are fairly weak in this department, which is a good thing for us FFB’s.

        • Been There November 17, 2011, 9:38 AM

          It’s easy to tell which singles are getting some and which aren’t. The former are smiling and relaxed and the latter are constantly getting hocked with “smile and relax or you’ll never get any.”

      • Michaltastik November 17, 2011, 9:55 PM

        I was actually thinking about doing a poll on this. If anyone is interesteed in taking this or any other survey, send an Email to Michaltastik-Yahoo. I’ll Email you the link for the survey when I write it.

  • Avrumy November 17, 2011, 8:29 AM

    So much easier to be a frumgay. Classic negiah rules do not apply. 😉

    • OfftheDwannaB November 18, 2011, 2:33 AM

      Lol! What? All halachos apply to everyone. Just open up a mishnah brurah and follow it to the letter and everything will work out fine. No thinking required.

  • NewlyMarriedMO November 20, 2011, 5:04 PM

    I am a divorcee and just married an older MO single guy. I can assure you that he was a virgin until me!!!! (He was totally clueless, but now he is well informed!!!!)

  • Kyle Gutterman June 6, 2018, 8:59 AM

    A lot of men support virgin-women because we hope to receive a virgin wife but, when it comes to loving your wife as you love your own body not many of us can live up to treating others’ how we wish to be treated. A lot of crazy fornication and stuff even goes on in marital bedrooms. But, if one day you woke up and you were living in the body of your marriage partner would you demand a divorce? If you want to marry a virgin woman because you want a pure heart and a clean partner then, what you should do is to begin to treating your neighbors as though they are yourself. Even if you don’t get what you original thought that you deserve in the moment; you will most likely encourage love from your future-partner because, you have chosen to be the first one to show love through the self-sacrifice of your burning desires.

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