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26-year-old woman creates huge buzz by boldly explaining why she’s a virgin

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How’s this for different?

A freelance writer from Minnesota is gathering national attention after a column explaining how she’s remained a virgin at age 26 – and how the men she dates react to the news she plans to stay that way until marriage.

The piece by self-described Christian and “Minnesota Lutheran girl Ellen Burkhardt, “When Guys Find Out I’m a Virgin,” appeared on the lefty website Salon on Oct. 5. Since then it’s gotten written up by CBS news in Minnesota, been shared, tweeted, re-tweeted and commented on countless times.

Despite my Miss Independent, one-of-the-guys, often cynical/always logical demeanor, I am a hopeless romantic. I believe wholeheartedly that sex and love should coexist. In fact, I believe they need to coexist; that without love, sex is just a Band-Aid fix for something that should be addressed with words rather than walks of shame.

In an America where the news cycles are dominated more by women Burkhardt’s age demanding the rest of the country pay for their birth control, it’s refreshing to hear one woman’s explanation for why she doesn’t need it for the moment.

So how unusual is Burkhardt’s decision? According to a WCCO report about the stir her column caused, most Americans lose their virginity at 17. About 12.6 percent of women and 14.4 percent of men are virgins between 20 and 24, the report stated, citing Centers for Disease Control.

After age 25 – Burkhardt territory – it’s below 5 percent for both sexes.

“It usually ends up coming up one way or another however many months down the road, as them kinda saying, ‘Yeah, you’re right. I don’t know how to connect with you without that piece of it,’” Burkhart told WCCO.

“There aren’t very many of us who wait, period, and wait for this long.”

Every guy reacts differently to the No Sex bomb. Some play it cool while calculating how to coerce me into changing my mind …. Some bail immediately. Some fake acceptance — and then bail a few dates later …. And some truly give celibacy their best shot before breaking down and, yep, bailing.

Even if the men in Burkhardt’s life so far have lost interest in her company once she explained the conditions, the interest the piece generated has been intense. Clearly Burkhardt’s decision, the platform she used to broadcast it, and her reasoning have all struck a nerve.

I do it because after 26 years, I’ve come to realize that of all the experiences and opportunities offered in life, to love someone is the most precious. A long time ago I was taught — and chose to believe — that love and sex are intertwined in such a way that to separate them would be to lessen their value.

She might not have much company in the sense that not many share her physical situation, but judging by the reaction, Burkhardt’s not the only one who feels that way.

Are you listening, Lena Dunham?

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