Am I less of a man for waiting?
Susie replies:Hey there. I'm a 20-year-old male and I've been in a long term relationship with my girlfriend for about 3 years and 6 months and well ... we still haven't had sex. As weird as it seem it had never been a problem for me. We are both virgins and well, I just love her enough to wait. We've been together since I was 17 and back then well, sex wasn't that big of an issue. But now that I'm 20, with college and going out and stuff, it's really starting to hurt my masculinity. I feel stupid really because I feel like by know it shouldn't be a big deal and it bothers me that it only gets to me when we are around other people, or when I'm watching sex advice shows on TV, or even just regular shows were sex life is a big deal. I just would like to know two things: <ol><li>How can I deal with this thing? I mean is there like .. . some mental yoga or whatever method I can use to just go back to not caring that much about not having a sexual active life (which I've wanted since I'm like 15) <li> How can I explain what I feel to my girlfriend? She doesn't really understand what I go through.</ol> I'll be waiting for your answer. THANKS!
Hi Miguel, it looks like you're fighting some serious peer pressure. Despite all of our progress towards gender equality and rights, we still have some pretty wacked double-standards in our society. There's the double-standard that says that women who have lots of sex are whores, and men who abstain from sex are wimps. Culturally speaking, there's not much to defend the lot of us who make our own choices and follow through with them.
I applaud you for respecting your partner so much that you can enjoy a romantic relationship with each other without pressuring each other for sex. But it's going to take a lot of will-power and resolve to fight a culture that wants you to go screw around. The biggest glaring thing I recognize here is that your desire to have sex with your girlfriend isn't based in your own desire to have sex. Mostly, it's because external influences and your environment are telling you to have sex. This is not the way to have a healthy sex life.
The choice you make to have sex should be done exclusively on your own terms (with your partner making the same decision on her terms, of course -- then you get together and "settle" your agreement).
Ultimately, you really just have to tell the world to sod off. Remind yourself constantly that you make your own decisions. Remind yourself that this matter is private and personal to you and it is nobody else's business. And try to kick the notion that a man is defined by his sexual conquests. It's shallow -- it demeans every man who was ever proud to define himself by his moral fiber, intellect and real accomplishments.
YOU ... ARE ... MORE ... THAN ... SEX.
As for explaining what's in your head to your girlfriend, you could argue that as a woman, she may never fully understand what it is to be a man because she's not experienced it. But try to explain that you're fighting a lot of cultural pressure to conform, and that you're fighting it with all you've got. She'll appreciate the effort and appreciate you for caring so much and being so respectful of her feelings.