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Many virgins will testify that being a virgin "sucks"; another thing that sucks is a vacuum. It is therefore no coincidence that, much like a vacuum, nature abhors a virgin. Any time a character's virginity is mentioned in the course of a plot as being a negative attribute, we can be rest assured that by the end of the story the character will "get over it", and get laid. The negative attribute in question is defined very broadly. It can simply mean that they lack self-confidence, experience with women, or that they just aren't real men. If the virginity is necessary for a character to be made into a ritual sacrifice (and thus, losing it renders her unable to be sacrificed), that counts, too.

This trope does not apply when the virginity is a positive attribute that must be protected. That is the province of Virgin Power.

This trope can be used to head off a Virgin Sacrifice. The inversion of Virgin Tension. Compare You Need to Get Laid. Do not confuse with Nature Adores a Virgin.

Examples of Nature Abhors a Virgin include:


  • In ~S. M. Stirling~'s The Peshawar Lancers, the psychic Central Asian/Russian young woman has to be a virgin to keep having psychic clairvoyant powers (which also cause her distress). At the end, the hero relieves her of her psychic powers, to save her. Bet you're surprised.
  • Used with very little build-up in I, Claudius. The fact that Sejanus' ten-year-old daughter is a virgin would normally be self-evident, but is brought up explicitly because the religious protection Roman paganism affords to virgins means that the guards can't kill her simply for being Sejanus' daughter. When they use the predictably horrific loophole to get out of it, Emperor Tiberius is quick to mention that, upon discovering this, he prayed to the Gods for forgiveness, disassociating himself from them as much as he could from this monstrous act.
  • The Bell Jar, non-stop. Esther feels very much imprisoned by her own virginity: In The Fifties, men expected women to be pure for them, though men were allowed to sleep around. If Esther wants to be married some day, she absolutely can not have sex: she'll be deemed a slut and undesirable.


  • The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Once the main character meets his Love Interest, the rest of the film ends up building up his losing his virginity. Unusually for this trope, this involves him getting married right before it happens, technically making it a subversion.
  • Once Bitten opens up with the main character and his girlfriend stalling on whether or not they should have sex. His hand is forced, so to speak, once the vampires show up, and the head vampire can only drink the blood of virgins.
  • In Scream, Sidney Prescott had to lose her virginity in order to be a possible victim of the serial killer.
  • Hocus Pocus is a subversion. The male lead is the virgin needed for the spell, and he doesn't have sex before the end of the show, probably because he's about 15 and it's a Disney movie. He does, however, get a girlfriend and some lip action in a bed.
    • There are a few (million) jokes at his expense about his virginity though. The most notable perpetrator is his 8yo sister Dani.
    • It's not a subversion at all: virginity is the joo joo which brings Satan's emissaries on Earth back from the grave.
  • In the James Bond film Live And Let Die the tarot reader Solitaire only keeps her predictive powers for as long as she remains a virgin. Big Bad Kananga makes it clear that its up to him how long she gets to keep her powers, and when the time comes he will take care of them personally. Too bad for him that Bond got there first...
  • In a possible subversion, The Sorceress in The Scorpion King is kept as a virgin by the evil Prince so as to retain her predictive powers. After our hero rescues her and they get together, he asks her whether this means that her powers have disappeared. She tells him that virginity has no effect on her powers, but "can you think of a better legend for my ancestors to have started in order to protect all of us?".
  • In the affectionate comic take on Dragnet in 1987, a character is always referred to as "the virgin Connie Swail" -- until the very end of the movie, when she's just "Connie Swail." For bonus points, she spent her evening with Friday, who, it is implied, was a virgin also:

 Pep Streebeck: Oh Joe, you never had these feelings before, have you?

Joe Friday: Almost. I had a kitten once.

Pep Streebeck: Yeah, it's going to be a little different. Connie is not going to be sleeping in a box, or meowing all night, or clawing up your drapes. Or maybe she will. I mean, you're both kind of starting from scratch with this.

  • In Police Academy 2, gun nut Tackleberry tries to hint to his friend Mahoney that he is still a virgin. Mahoney keeps failing to take the hint resulting in Tackleberry telling him directly a bit louder than he'd intended. This stuns everyone nearby into an awkward silence. Tackleberry is able to score with a fellow officer he'd developed an interest in - also a gun nut.
  • Lair of the White Worm presents an Eldritch Abomination who needs the blood of a virgin in order to rise once again. While the virgin in question and the main characters don't seem to care too much, the Lesbian Vampire antagonist mocks the idea of virginity.

Live Action TV

  • Averted in Babylon 5 - Marcus Cole is a virgin to the end.
  • Heavily played with and eventually averted in the British sitcom Drop the Dead Donkey. In one episode of that series we discover middle aged Gus Hedges (a Pointy-Haired Boss) is a virgin. Eventually he is set up with a prostitute by one of his employees, but has such an attack of nerves he faints before they go through with it (she lies and tells him he fainted with pleasure while they were having sex).
  • Partially averted in Degrassi: School's Out. Joey loses his virginity, but Snake doesn't.
  • The Mighty Boosh: Howard is outed as a virgin as his "32nd" birthday. He's also never kissed by this time, or even held hands. They slightly remedy the situation....
  • Degrassi plays with this. Not every time someone's virginity is brought up does it lead to sex, but every time someone's first time is included in the episode it is an issue for plot. This doesn't include all the people that we assume have sex, but the exact setting for it is never shown.
    • The best example of subverting this is Power Squad captain Holly J thinking she's the only virgin on the squad. She immediately looks for a man to just pop one off. After being rejected she decides it isn't worth it, and waits for love.
  • An episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air had Carlton being mocked by Will and his friends for being a virgin. Halfway through the episode he finally gets laid, and of course, a big deal is made of it, only for it to turn out that the woman he slept with was already married. This leads us to An Aesop about how it's okay to wait for the right person.
  • Subverted frequently in the early seasons of Married... with Children. Bud is desperate to lose his virginity, but since it's his defining trait (after the first season or so) his attempts to get a girl always go awry, usually at the last second. Bizarrely, several episodes end with Bud actually getting the girl only for him to be a virgin again the next episode (of course, you don't see anything, but evidence gets pretty conclusive). Eventually, Bud does end up having sex that sticks, and he goes from the guy who just can't get laid to the guy who just can't get laid again.
  • Several times, virgins are the exact thing needed for spells and summonings in Supernatural. Of course, bad things happen to everyone, including an Ethical Slut protagonist. Virgins are specifically lampshaded, though.
  • In Glee, Will finds out Emma is still a virgin. They then break up.
    • Subverted with Kurt, who in episode 2x15 is established as not only a virgin, but a virgin who feels that he's not ready to have sex yet (or even think about it in too much detail). This situation is not only unchanged at the end of the episode, but validated, as his father reassures him that it's perfectly okay to feel that way. The subversion continues into later episodes, as in 2x16 Kurt gets a boyfriend with whom he shares some enthusiastic kissing, but by the end of the season there is still no indication that the two of them have had sex, or are even planning to in the near future.
      • Later revealed that they hadn't but in the fifth episode of the next season...
    • Also subverted in a different way with Tina, who casually discards her virginity in company with Mike Chang off-screen at some point before episode 2.19 (at which point she is able to refute 'that' rumour about Asian men) without a single complaint about or even mention of her virgin status before that.
      • Later revealed she didn't lose her virginity then but between season 2 and season 3 over the summer, intercourse isn't the only cause to see your boyfriend nude.
    • Ultimately played straight as pretty much none of the main cast keep their virginity.
  • The Secret Life of the American Teenager is made of this trope. For example, one of the first scenes in the first episode is a guy lamenting about being a virgin at the tender age of 15 and he is eagerly looking to lose it.
  • SLiDE plays this absolutely straight. Ed's virginity and his desire to lose it is a big part of the pilot episode. He does have sex for the first time by the end of the second episode, and by the end of the fourth has been laid as many or more times than any other character.
  • Averted in Grey's Anatomy halfway through season seven it is revealed that April is a virgin. As of early season eight that has not yet changed.

New Media

  • From the Evil Overlord List: If a malignant being demands a sacrificial victim have a particular quality, I will check to make sure said victim has this quality immediately before the sacrifice and not rely on earlier results."
    • "Especially if the quality is virginity and the victim is the hero's girlfriend."
  • The Nostalgia Chick Lampshaded this in her review of "Hocus Pocus". She especially mocked the issue of said virgin being 15.


Western Animation

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