Jan 5 2013 11:00am

Feels Like the First Time: Virgin Heroes in Sci-Fi Romance

Games of Command by Linnea SinclairSexually experienced heroes are a traditional aspect of romance stories. It’s a great fantasy because they’re masters of their lovemaking craft. Every touch of a skilled hero is guaranteed to set the heroine’s skin ablaze.

Sexually experienced heroes aren’t going to vanish anytime soon, but virgin heroes can certainly give them a run for their money—for one thing, they’re equally passionate about sex. They’re simply waiting for the right partner.

Whether heroes are virgins by choice or by destiny, they’re often mature and demonstrate a world of self-restraint despite strong cultural expectations that they engage in copious amounts of copulation. There’s also a unique intrigue associated with the raw, primal passion of a man who simultaneously claims his heroine and makes love for the first time.

We often discuss memorable heroine “deflowering” scenes, but what about those of virgin heroes? Which ones stand out the most against the romance landscape?

One hero “deflowering” scene (for lack of a better word) in science fiction romance that has always stuck with me is the one featuring Admiral Branden Kel-Paten from Linnea Sinclair’s Games of Command. Kel-Paten is a cyborg. He’s stronger and smarter than anyone around him. His abilities give him a big advantage in space battles, but the resulting emotional and physical scars of his transformation leave him endearingly vulnerable in the social realm, especially when it comes to women.

Caressed by Ice by Nalini SinghWhen the story opens, we learn that he’s long held a torch for Captain Tasha “Sass” Sebastian. His secret, pent-up emotion, coupled with his virginity, creates a potent combination. When they make love for the first time, Sass is on top. For me, her act created an extra layer of significance for the scene—here is a man completely secure in his masculinity. As a result of all that, it’s a heartfelt moment when Kel-Paten surrenders himself to Sass both physically and emotionally.

Another memorable virgin hero love scene is Nalini Singh’s Caressed By Ice. This story features Psy hero Judd Lauren. His telekinetic abilities are off the chart, which is why his code of Silence is crucial to help him maintain absolute control. Physically, emotionally, Judd is, well, a pillar of ice. He has to be, or risk endangering those around him. But all bets are off when he meets Brenna, a fiery Changeling wolf.

When Judd and Brenna finally make love, Judd unleashes so much sexual energy that a maelstrom of whirling, breaking, crashing furniture is the result. The visually charged symbolism of the scene demonstrates that in the end, human nature—and love—will overcome all odds. That’s a lovemaking scene for the ages.

Beyond the Rain by Jess GrangerA hero whose loss of virginity makes for a special scene is the character of Soren from Jess Granger’s Beyond the Rain. This hero possesses a unique hormone that’s harvested as a sexual narcotic against his will. Where Kel-Paten and Judd are heroes roiling with angst, Soren is sweet, eager to please, and deeply romantic. When he and warrior heroine Cyani make tender love, it’s because Soren is in a position to give of himself rather than be exploited. Experiencing pleasure in a safe, loving embrace is something everyone deserves.

One aspect that makes a hero “deflowering” scene special for me is how much the hero’s virgin status is framed as valid. Through these scenes, authors offer an alternate definition of what it means to be a hero. Virgin heroes are as masculine and powerful as their non-virgin counterparts, but they express their virility in a different way.

Now I’d like to know your thoughts on the subject. What are your favorite scenes involving a hero losing his virginity?


Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express.

She’s also an author in the subgenre. To learn more about her published work, visit

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Lege Artis
1. LegeArtis
Oh, Judd..... It's one of my favorite sex scene in general. Love this book....
Sasha N.
2. Sasha N.
Well, someone has to say Jamie and Claire in Outlander!
3. Kareni
Courtney Milan's Unclaimed features Sir Mark Turner who is known for his book on chastity. It's an excellent historical romance featuring a virgin hero.

4. Rose In RoseBear
In Mary Balogh's No Man's Mistress, Ferdinand is a leathers-wearing daredevil whose family history is steeped in sexual excess. Honestly, the first time I read the book, I didn't realize Ferd was a virgin until well after the sex scene. I had to go back and re-read to catch it. A little too subtle ... I like 'em more obvious --- but sweet.

For contrast, there's John-Matthew's disastrous initiation in J. R. Ward's Lover Avenged. JM's sexual issues have reverberated through several books, and caused him and Xhex --- and others --- lots of trouble.
Sasha N.
5. Pauline Baird Jones
Kel Paten is definitely a favorite hero for me, too. One also doesn't get the feeling that the hero of Finders Keepers (another Sinclair) has much experience. I like that book a lot, too.
Sasha N.
6. eva lefoy
Wow. I haven't read any of those books, but I'm going to now! Thanks for the heads up!
Sasha N.
7. Torifl
Well, Judd of course, and his brother Walker from Singh's Psy/Cahngling series . And Jamie from The Outlander.

Winter Makepeace from Hoyt's Maidan Lane series. He's a virgin but DANG IT ALL...he takes control and it's all so sexy.
Sasha N.
8. Charlee
Caressed in Ice and Beyond the Rain are two of my favorite books. Great choices!

Another memorable scene was in Dara Joy's Ritual of Proof. It is lost earth colony founded by women who reverse earh society of the regency era so that young noblemen are the protected virgin class. Very entertaining.
Ellen Hutchings
9. shadowmaster13
@Charlee, I liked Ritual of Proof as a whole, but I actually found the sex scene itself disturbing as every male in this world has so much pain during their first time they have to be tied down so that it can happen.

The world however was interesting, especially the comment that the women built their world the way the did because of a love for their Regency period historical romances.

And I know it's paranormal not sci-fi, but several of the heroes from the IAD are either virgins or very inexperienced, its about 50/50 split almost.
Angela M Harris
10. harrisa79
One book with a virgin hero although it is not sci-fi, is the Virgin Groom by Joan Johnston. It is an interesting take on modern day society and what we expect from our sports heroes. The hero is a famous football player who is ashamed of the fact he's still a virgin in his early twenties and asks his best friend (a woman) to help him out so no on will ever know. Though it was written in 1997 it is very relavent today with footbal star Tim Tebow coming out and announcing he's a virgin. It's amazing how many articles have been written on that compared to how few articles were written on Wilt Chamberlin's announcement that he slept with with 20,000 women. At the time I first read it, I thought too much was made about the hero being a virgin and that he had to lose his virginity or face humiliation. However, the tretament of Tebow's annoucement has shown me that Johnston nailed it on the head.
Sasha N.
11. tadyena
I also really liked "Ritual of Proof" by Dara Joy. I have reread it several times. It is an awesome take on the reversal of gender roles.
Sasha N.
12. filkferengi
Another fun role-reversal, virgin hero story is _A Brother's Price_ by Wen Spencer. It's got a regency flavor, but set in an alternate midwest, with steamboats. Boy children are very rare, & so may have many wives, as marriage tends to be to a whole family of sisters. There's lots of political intrigue, with a sweet, loving but independent & adaptable hero.
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