When it comes to sexuality, we're living in an interesting time. On the one hand, many of us are living sexually liberated lives in which the stigma surrounding sex is practically gone. On the other, thanks to smartphone use and the rise of texting and apps like Snapchat, teenagers aren't dating nearly as much—and as a result, they're having sex later.
In fact, the number of sexually active ninth graders has dropped by 40 percent since 1991, and on average teenagers are having sex for the first time in 11th grade. This is a full year later than the average age of the generation that preceded them.
While there are absolutely positive elements of the rising age of "virginity loss"—for example, the teen birthrate is at an all-time low—there's another interesting problem emerging: More women and men are entering their 20s without having had penetrative sex.
No, that number isn't a huge one, but recent data from the CDC indicates that virgins make up 12.3 percent of women and 14.3 percent of men between the ages of 20 and 24, and that number dips below 5 percent for women and men between the ages of 25 and 29. And this leads to a unique kind of anxiety surrounding sex—or lack thereof.
"Settling into my mid-20s, I thought I was immune to having the kind of anxiety that comes with growing older...but when it comes to my sex life, which is nonexistent, I'm starting to panic," writes one man in a VICE blog post. "I'm approaching the twilight of my youth, and I still haven't done the deed. Better act fast, I think to myself, which is a terrible mentality to have."
This panic surrounding "late-in-life virginity" raises the question: Is it time to rethink our definition of the word virginity altogether?