By Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Skippy is a 34-year-old virgin who lives in his parents' basement. Bespectacled and slightly pudgy, he's not conventionally attractive nor is he freakishly unattractive. However, Skippy is weird. A Mormon saving himself for marriage, Skippy resides in his parents' basement. The decor includes a poster of the Osmond family and his belly button lint collection. Skippy is strangely arrogant and self-deprecating at the same time. He's so aggressive and starved for physical contact, his personality resembles that of a hyperactive puppy.
While Skippy could be considered the archetypal virgin, TLC's Virgin Diaries introduces viewers to people of various ages and both sexes who, for one reason or another, have made the decision to abstain from sex.
Skippy tries to lure girls on dates with his self-designed T-shirts, with logos like "Make the world a better place ... put a kiss on Skippy's face" and "Got Skippy?" He hits a club with his mom, who serves as his wingman pointing out potential mates. Ever hopeful, Skippy states, "Tonight could be the beginnings of the start of my eternal bliss." Unlikely, since after one dance he offers to introduce the girl to his mother. Also, he sweats so profusely, he carries a hair dryer in a backpack and dries himself off in the bathroom.
Skippy scores a date with a girl, Stephanie, that he meets at a party. The date consists of hanging out in the basement that Skippy has decorated with Christmas lights for ambiance. While eating pizza off television trays, he grills her with questions like, "Do you have your future kids' names picked out?" He then admits to having picked out his kids' names by age 14. If they were out at a restaurant, this would definitely be the point where she would yell, "Check please." No date is complete without a goodnight kiss, which Skippy begs for, to no avail. Even a T-shirt can't tempt this kind-hearted girl who demurely states that she doesn't kiss on the first date.
Lindsey is an attractive 32-year-old virgin who is dating Jon, a widower. Lindsey is also saving herself for marriage and is growing inpatient waiting for Jon to propose. She is so sexually frustrated that Jon is forbidden to touch her just about everywhere for fear that she will become uncontrollably aroused. Apparently, masturbation is off the table for Lindsey as well, because she claims her only release is to exercise to the point of exhaustion.
Jon feels the relationship has to be consummated in order for it to continue, while she'll only have sex if he proposes. The bigger problem in this relationship is that Jon has not told Lindsey that he loves her. How this couple thinks they can survive this barrage of intimacy issues is unfathomable. Jon admits to the camera that he loves her, and she is shockingly confident that he does, in spite of not hearing the words. Why would you expect a proposal from someone who hasn't expressed that level of sentiment?
With Lindsey's 33rd birthday looming, Jon goes shopping for engagement rings, obviously unsure if a forbidden piece of tail is worth all this trouble. He even confides in the salesgirl about Lindsey's virginity. Perhaps it is a ploy for some pity sex in the stockroom.
Not in a committed relationship or even looking for one is Karissa, a 29-year-old virgin. She's pierced, tattooed and proudly boasts of the lack of a gag reflex. The most experienced of the three, Skippy has made it to third base (sort of); some might argue that her dalliances with oral sex should exclude her from being considered a virgin. Karissa's reason for abstaining from intercourse is simply that she hasn't met the right person. That is, until now. Karissa is seriously contemplating having sex but, like a nervous squirrel tempted by a nut, might bolt at the last minute.
Karissa's mom, Ruth, who in her youth was apparently very sexually active, is anxious for Karissa to give up the goody bag. Ruth tries to explain to Karissa that the first time might be awkward or uncomfortable, but Karissa's primary concern is "doing it right."
Like a Boy Scout on a quest for a badge, Karissa readies herself for the big event by lingerie shopping, where she announces to the owner that she is preparing to lose her virginity. Karissa also goes for her first bikini wax and asks the man doing the job if her vagina looks normal, since he is the first to see it.
One of the three does lose his/her virginity, but as with many things in life, it doesn't meet the person's expectations. What would seem like a very personal experience, is now just fodder for another reality television show. It would be a lie to say that Virgin Diaries isn't entertaining, because men like Skippy make it worth watching. However, it lacks heart, and TLC will eventually run out of Skippys. He's a precious commodity -- just ask him.