Nerds Are Virgins
If you are a nerd, then as far as fictional media are concerned, you have never gotten laid, very likely haven't gotten to first base, may have never ever stepped up to bat—and quite possibly have never so much as wandered within a mile of the ballpark.
Now, this does have some real life basis, in that some nerds and geeks do lack some social skills, and take up unusual interests as a way to fill the gap in their lives (or, more unfortunately, fail to develop social skills because of said interests).
This trope can apply to female nerds as easily as male nerds, but thanks to the Double Standard, the males are far more likely to find unwholesome outlets for their unexpressed sexuality, virginity notwithstanding. In fact, male nerds have just as much chance of being the Casanova Wannabe as any other type of male character. Some males (and a rare female or two) may try to deny their virginity, out of fear of losing face, but thanks to their nerdy exteriors, they are unlikely to be believed by other characters, if they even have the social graces to spin a convincing lie in the first place.
There is also a general perception that a nerd's level of nerdiness is inversely proportionate to their chances of losing their virginity, which is a big reason that Even Nerds Have Standards. It also means that some nerds will deny at least some aspects of their nerdiness.
In non-mainstream works, this trope shows up less frequently, although some cases are deliberate aversions and some are just Author Appeal.
If the nerds are the main characters, there is a high chance they won't be virgins by the end of the movie/book/first season of the show, because virginity is a tragic flaw and heroes always overcome their flaws. Make that a very, very high chance if said heroes are male.
Note this doesn't prevent a Nerdgasm.
Compare You Need to Get Laid.
Contrast Nerds Are Sexy.
No real life examples, please; this is a trope about how characters are depicted in media.
- Revenge of the Nerds plays with this in varying degrees. Clearly some of the nerds are out of their depth sexually, but Gilbert seems fine at attracting nerdy girls, Lewis comes off as a sexual maestro, and Booger clearly has enough experience to take seriously an illegitimate child scare in the fourth movie.
- The 40-Year-Old Virgin: The virgin protagonist collects fantasy (comic book style) toys, and has a good understanding of technology. (this doesn't necessarily imply 'geek' therefore 'virgin' but it is consistent with that view).
- In The Breakfast Club, Brian Johnson, the "brain" is a virgin... but so are Claire (the princess) and Alison (the basket case). However, Alison and Claire both get together with Bender and Andy at the end, while Brian is left alone and single.
- Implied in Dead Poets Society:
- Played absolutely straight in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
- The Big Bang Theory averts this. Aside from Sheldon justifying it with his Asexuality, no one else in the group is a virgin, even if Raj has trouble with women (Because of a personality issue completely unrelated to being a nerd).
- Similarly, 30 Rock's Liz Lemon is not a virgin, but merely has a terrible sex life, partly due to her bad social skills and partly due to the fact that, aside from Floyd, all the men (and one woman) she has dated turned out to be either insane or wildly unsuitable in some way.
- Supernatural: Sam has been body-swapped with a teenage boy and is looking through the kid's stuff. He finds a Star Wars T-shirt and comments, "Virgin."
- On The OC, Hollywood Nerd Seth is stated to be a virgin at the beginning of the series, but it doesn't stay that way.
- Of course, so are Summer and Marissa.
- Averted in Bones, where the show's extensive and exotic galery of nerds and geeks all do have sex, most of the times satisfacory and often perverse (and do they brag about it!).
- Played with in the case of Zach Addy, whom everyone initially assumes is a virgin. He tells them quite frankly that he has, and does, in fact, have sex. At one point, he asks the psychologist Sweets why everyone thinks/assumes he is a virgin.
- Toby Isaacs, one of the few people in Degrassi Community School history to graduate as a virgin. This trope was averted with Liberty, however.
- Seinfeld inverts the trope and implies Virgins are Nerds. When men don't have sex, or stop having sex for a significant amount of time, the 99% of their brains that are always thinking about sex will start to function normally and boost their intelligence and thirst for knowledge significantly (George, for example, becomes an Omnidisciplinary Scientist and learns Portugese in a matter of days). Women however, can get sex so easily they take it for granted to the point where they require it to function normally, and during a dry spell start to act like someone who hasn't had their morning coffee.
- Marigold in Questionable Content is a WOW-playing Yaoi Fangirl with zero boyfriends to her name, who later adds that she has "never seen a dick".
- Averted with Rayne from Least I Could Do. He is a huge nerd who also routinely sleeps with women.
- This strip is a very deliberate aversion.
- The heroine of The Non-Adventures of Wonderella will of course state this.
- Gary from Ménage à 3. At least until this strip.
- Chester A. Bum noted this in his review of the new Star Trek.
- Averted with most of the TGWTG crew though. Doug Walker and his brother are both engaged, and Linkara, Spoony, and Lindsay have all been in long term relationships.
- Several Copy Pasta stories involve the poster bringing a girl who is very much into him back to his place only for her to see his nerdy interests and walk out.
- In one of these stories, the girl worked at the comic shop the poster frequented, where she sold him most of the nerdy stuff. Somehow things didn't click for her until she got back to his place.
- Yahtzee alludes to this in his review of Catherine:
(Increasingly amused) "... there's a moral choice aspect where you answer questions based on your own substantial experience with relationships *stifled laughter* "
- And the accompanying visual is of a fat glasses-wearing guy sitting next to a blow-up doll.
- The Cleveland Show: Cleveland takes Jnr to a sci-fi convention, to show him what happens to guys that fail to lose their virginity. They ended up coming home with heaps of stuff from it.
- Another example from this show involves a cutaway gag about finding a rapist at a Star Trek convention. The police ask the crowd to raise their hands if they are not a virgin. The only person who does so is told he is under arrest.
- The Star Trek episode of Futurama mentions that in Earth's past, Trekkies, after the show became a worldwide religion, were executed by being thrown into a volcano because it was "the manner best befitting virgins." Considering how many of the show's staff are themselves Trekkies, nerds or holders of advanced degrees there was a definite Take That Us vibe to the scene.
- There is a Cutaway Gag on Family Guy where a terrorist goes to heaven to get his "72 virgins", only to find a group of (male) nerds playing Magic: The Gathering.
- The Comic Book Guy in The Simpsons lost his virginity to Agnes Skinner when he was in his forties.
- Principal Skinner, who is pretty square himself, apparently lost his to Mrs. Krabappel when he was in his early 40s.
- One bit on Robot Chicken had the Devil wondering what had happened when everything in the underworld suddenly turns frigid as he's torturing victims. Cut to a bedroom with a hot blonde lying in bed and a nerd dancing around the room singing "I got laid! I got laid!"
- A survey showed that students at elite US colleges were far more likely to be virgins than the population at large (e.g., Harvard 41% were virgins, Princeton 44% and MIT 49%, versus 13% of college students at large.) Even 35% of grad students at MIT were still virgins! You could also find similar results by breaking it down by majors with high and low GRE scores for Wellesly students: "0% of studio art majors were virgins, but 72% of biology majors were virgins, and 83% of biochem and math majors were virgins!". The page also notes that this doesn't seemed to be entirely explained by the common rational of this being completely involuntary (though that seems to explain part of it) as MIT students (particularly the female ones) were also much less likely to have A Date with Rosie Palms than the population at large.
- The etymology of the word bachelor also seems to bear this trope out: since most people in university or apprenticeship programs were/are young, single and their studies did not grant much time nor resources to actively court someone, the term (which had it's school-based definition first) slowly became a synonym for any single male. In other words, they were too busy studying to date.
- This is much less true when it's Nerd On Nerd, especially now that the Internet makes us less isolated from each other. Many conventions are notorious for some people attempting to make the Free-Love Future a reality one hotel room at a time...