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The Wait is Sexy – Listen to Nigerian-American Actress Yvonne Orji’s TEDx Talk on Dating & Virginity



“You cannot date until you get married.”

Born to strict Nigerian parents, Yvonne Orji was determined to get married and intimate at 18 but her enthusiasm was diminished by her friends’ low expectations of sex. After getting “bamboozled by Jesus” in college, today Yvonne is a 33-year-old virgin. Suddenly her parents want her to meet someone.

Yvonne gives 5 suggestions for finding love – regardless of your beliefs, values and choices because when you find the right person, the wait is worth it.

Yvonne Orji is a Nigerian-American actress, comedienne and writer who continues to display her versatility and passion with each project she takes on. On television, she stars in HBO’s new comedy series “Insecure”. The show follows the friendship of two modern-day black women and all of their uncomfortable experiences and racy tribulations.

Orji stars as one of these women opposite Issa Rae, who is executive producing the show along with Prentice Penny and Melina Matsoukas. She is also currently developing a half-hour sitcom, based on her life entitled “First Gen”, that Oprah and David Oyelowo are executive producing. The show is a comedy about a Nigerian girl who trades medical school for a career in stand-up comedy and the adventures that ensue after her strict African mother discovers her plans.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organised by a local community. Learn more at



  1. nnenne

    April 7, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Yes, sister! !!
    Love yourself first! .
    Sell love is very important! !!

  2. Weezy

    April 8, 2017 at 1:17 am

    Unfortunately this extreme aversion to sex that Nigerian culture teaches girls can lead to problems down the line. I wonder how many smiling Nigerian wives are silently suffering with vaginismus – painful and uncomfortable sex.

    • Fleur

      April 8, 2017 at 2:08 am


    • John

      April 8, 2017 at 2:09 am

      Ur mom maybe

    • A Real Nigerian

      April 8, 2017 at 3:03 am


    • EC

      April 8, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      John foolish statement and low blow. Don’t call out anyone’s mother here

    • nnenne

      April 8, 2017 at 3:41 am

      @Weezy….Totally unrelated. No one said we must all be alike, though.

    • Passingby

      April 8, 2017 at 8:12 am

      @weezy I hear. I feel you got a point. I’m surprised at the backlash from our in house feminine militia. After all you basically are in support of women taking control of their own sexuality and not waiting on men. Personally I don’t believe in the wait for the rknight in shiny armour that’s a very fake dangerous notion. It’s a fairytale. Done that, got the t shirt and even the sheets to prove .what I learnt? – Men are human not knights in any kind of armour . I believe waiting because of your FAITH is a solid notion (you can never regret your faith and at least you got your faith to fall back on if things don’t work out)I’m a mother of 3 teenage girls . I preach abstinence ( not necessarily for marriage) but along the lines of , waiting until you are old enough to know your mind (21yrs as brain is fully formed) respecting your body and your own decision to have sex rather than the pressure from culture / some archaic patriarchy notion to be “Pure” or peer / thirsty man pressure to do it to fit in. Sex should not be the leading reason to get married. I preach, take control of your own body, don’t be a puppet for anyone’s fake notion . Respect your body and others ( don’t put anythings into it that will harm you), take care of yourself ( safe sex) follow your heart. I feel bringing up confident ladies acts as a natural repellent to defective males . I tell my girls the only thing worth waiting for is your own readiness/ your willingness to sacrifice your time to wait on something YOU TRULY BELIEVE IN. That way you have no regrets as you know what you signed up for.

    • Muna

      April 8, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Are you suffering??? You can share and get help. Not everyone is suffering, speak for yourself only.
      I love love love and enjoy sex and yes I waited….And I am creative.

    • Se

      April 8, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      So, are you suggesting the solution should be for girls to lose their virginity at younger age or what so they don’t suffer from uncomfortable sex.
      Virgin or not virgin, your heart is what matters to God. However, it’s refreshing to hear something different from the typical bombardment of promiscuity from men and women. Sex is just everywhere, perversion has become a norm.

    • Idomagirl

      April 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      @Se where did she suggest that?
      Basic comprehension is a problem.

  3. Noms

    April 8, 2017 at 4:48 am

    @Weezy, keep wondering

  4. Lailatu

    April 8, 2017 at 9:05 am

    That was so inspiring, watched it over and over. Sometimes we need to be reminded to value ourselves, that having standards is not a bad thing and not to compromise on core values. I love Yvonne.

  5. Poesy

    April 8, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Love this woman! Very inspiring.

  6. Madman

    April 8, 2017 at 11:15 am

    TWO things Nigerian women are extremely and obsessively obsessed with, MARRIAGE and SEX.

    Everything else like business, leadership, innovation……leave it for the MEN.

  7. Susie

    April 8, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Well done Yvonne! Can’t be easy to hold on to your values in Hollywood.. Premarital sex is so overrated & I wish I could have waited until marriage.

  8. mamaebele

    April 8, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I waited. Got married at 35yrs. Never achieved colital orgasm with my oga on top. Infact oga in any positions . I Achieved FINGERATOUS orgasm ??DIY styli a good couple of years into marriage with the help of utube looool.. Menopause hit like a vengful bitch at 45 (like wetin i do na) Hummmmmmmmm. Dry vajaja plus mood swing is REAL LIBIDO SABOTAGE. Mea nwhile oga had being enjoying his sexuality since peak of his sexuality till now. Hummmmmmm. If i had my time back i would NEVER EVER waste my Sexuality waiting for a man . NEVER. But i encourage ladies who want to wait ti please wait for the man to permit your sexual awaking. Experience is the best teacher. Everybody is different . menopause is scientific fact sha!

    • Muna

      April 8, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      You seem really sad Sha. Get creative with Oga. Menopause is not a death sentence. Keep healthy and take your vitamins and eat foods that keep you ‘alive’ sexually. Women in their sixties are still getting their grooves on. Don’t carry too much weight around, it kills libido.
      Creativity I repeat creativity will keep you glowing menopause or no menopause.
      Good luck!

    • MB

      April 8, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      Dear Muna, I want to believe we are all grownup women on this site and therefore are able to share our opinions and experiences freely to invoke polite discussion. We all have different experiences and I have shared mine cheerfully and unreservedly. I’m not sad rather I think it is sad when a grown up woman would resort to Childish rudeness to try and silence opinions that maybe contrary to their own. How does my experience and opinion subtract from you?or do you have regrets too?. Thank you for your patronising advice sha oh, I’m not offended rather I feel your comments are an indication of your present state of being. For your info I’m currently on HRT. It really has helped with the gadawful horrible side effects of menopause.. I don’t wish my menopause hell on my enemy. Despite your somewhat positive testimony of virginity, based on my experiences I still wish I hadn’t remained a virgin for so long, I didn’t get any medals for it. Prehaps Muna you would like to share the medals of honour you received from waiting. It might encourage a following to your philosophy and help validate your decision to wait and keep you positively cheerful x

    • Tilda

      April 9, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      Muna you do sound sad for someone who boost of getting some. Maybe you could do with HRT.

  9. Alero

    April 8, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    So in other words women are never meant to have sex without the go ahead of a man. Basically if no marriage proposal no sex forever.just asking oh!

  10. Anon

    April 8, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Wait for one man to have sex with. What if he is not good at it? Or he turn wife beater, cheater. So then you are suppose to just lick your wounds and stay in that marriage.. Will my being a virgin give me immunity to marital problems? I don’t think an insignificant piece of skin between my tights has the ability to create a good marriage. wil I be happy to marry a 33 year old male virgin who cannot live up to his responsibilities, or a man who is not a virgin but is wise and responsible. Virginity is over rated. I place More value on character? All virgins are not all good. And all non virgins are not all good.

    • Muna

      April 8, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      So in your opinion, sampling vejayjays and penises from all walks of life is the answer. Ok. Whatever floats your boat….lol

    • Idomagirl

      April 9, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      Muna where did they say that?
      You’re just all over this place taking things unnecessarily personal.
      No one is knocking your personal choices, you should be able to read a contrary opinion without taking it as an attack on you.

  11. cutie

    April 8, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    I am so inspired. God bless you Yvonne

  12. Christy

    April 8, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Listened to her sermon but no not feeling it. The world would be a better place if men and women were governed by the same principles. If virginity is a virtue then women should be looking to pair with men who are virgins too. What’s the whole point of remaining a clean virgin only to be poked by a man who has had sex with numerous partners. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

  13. Micky

    April 9, 2017 at 8:29 am

    My wife was not a virgin before we got married, neither was I. We were attracted to each other for other tangible values and started dating. Somewhere down the line I fell deeply in love with her and knew she was the one. I was relieved when she accepted my proposal. 6 year on we’ve increased by 2. I married my soul mate. The fact that I married my soul mate is what has kept our marriage stronger. virginity is just the state of a part of your anatomy. Its superficial and redundant as a measure for virtue as it does not concur with outstanding character, innocence or purity .At most it’s a measure of your staying power which would be a great attribute to have if marriage was the Olympics. True values or virtues stay on after the wedding night and those are the things that count and that couples draw on when marriage hits turbulent times.

  14. Tilda

    April 9, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Some really good debate besides the sour grapes. It’s really good to hear opposing sides to a topic. Thanks MB for highlighting menopause. I quickly went to google it after I read your comment. Bella could you guys run a segment on dealing with the menopause. I think it’s something all women should be aware of . Thinks in advance guys.

  15. evah

    April 10, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Its not so much about virginity as it is about faith and personal convictions about purity in the eyes of God…for yvonne its about honoring God with her body as His word instructs,…The bible says no sex till ure married and since she is a believer she is doing just that…it is what she believes,her faith,her choice to believe that one day God will give her a beautiful marriage where she will enjoy sex the way God intended..

    • Kmt

      April 10, 2017 at 6:04 pm

      Is it guaranteed that if you remain a virgin before marriage you would be exempt from trials and tribulations and have a beautiful marriage. Are there any statistics to prove this. No shades , Just asking?. My next door neighbor was a virgin before marriage she’s from Somalia . Infact she was circumcised sewn up to ensure no action before marriage. She was sent to England as a bride. when ever her husband beat her she used to come seek shelter in my house, it only stopped when her eldest son was big enough to challenge his own father. Maybe the answer to my question is that virginity before marriage gives you the strength and humility to persevere and remain married regardless of the trials and tribulations. Prehaps it’s a mind over matter situation. There must be some really good testimonies of women who have beautiful marriages but is it because of their virginity or the grace of God. I feel it’s misleading to promise a beautiful outcome in marriage if one remains a virgin as it could go either way.

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