Singletons are being condemned to live as born-again virgins
Virgins would be scarce enough nowadays but there is no shortage of born-again virgins. The church kept the numbers up for years, of the originals, that is. The few virgins we have left now in Ireland wouldn't fill up the front few pews and so it has come to pass that the ranks of the virgins have been boosted by the inclusion of the born-agains.
The message from the church was to lay off the sex until you get married. Keep yourself for the big day and you will be fully compliant. There are millions of Catholics all over the world of a certain age who believed they would be doomed if they went off before the starter's gun, which was usually fired late at night in the hotel room and the level of expertise was often of a very poor standard due to lack of practice.
Although a limo driver – whom it must be said is prone to exaggeration in that he claims to have taken Elvis from Shannon to Feakle some five years after the king was declared dead – told me the story of the couple who consummated their marriage in the course of the journey from the church to the hotel, a trip of some three miles. It could be, as was often the case in the old days, that a long engagement was effectively 20 years of foreplay.