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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Still a virgin at 21, please help

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Author Topic: Still a virgin at 21, please help
givingupslowly
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Hi, I'm a 21 year old girl who is still a virgin. I've never had a real boyfriend. This isn't really by choice, no guys were ever interested in me except for a few creepy ones. Now I'm afraid that my lack of experience is going to scare guys away. I know I don't have to tell them in detail, but eventually it will show that I'm not experienced. Please help!
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Heather
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Welcome to the boards. [Smile]

I hear you voicing concern that guys will be "scared" because you haven't had sex with anyone before. Can you tell me why you're worried about that?

As well, why wouldn't you tell a sexual partner about your sexual history (or lack thereof)? After all, that's usually part of our intimacy with someone else, and when a partner wants to be with us, part of who we are is that history. If someone wasn't okay with that, that's probably not someone who'd be a good choice of partner for us, you know?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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givingupslowly
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I guess just because one I'm embarrassed to be a virgin, and two I know that it scares a lot of guys away.
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Heather
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Where are you getting that information?

In other words, you say "you know." Can I ask how?

Why I ask that is that people are so very, very diverse. (As well, some guys your same age also haven't had sex with anyone either!) And how people feel about a potential partner's sexual history, whatever that history is, varies a whole lot.

Perhaps you can also tell me why you feel embarrassed about this?

[ 06-07-2013, 02:34 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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givingupslowly
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Well I guess I'm embarrassed because I'm not really a virgin by choice.
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Heather
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Personally, I don't think that's anything to be embarrassed about. I hear you saying you haven't found the kind of sexual opportunities you'd like to have found by now, that's all. No one can control what opportunities they have in that way: that's usually mostly just circumstance.

And again, that's true for plenty of people at any given time with their sexual lives: where they haven't been able to start a sexual life they want with a partner, or partners, yet, because they haven't had the opportunity or where they haven't been able to continue a sexual life with partners at a given time because of lack of opportunity.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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givingupslowly
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That's true, I haven't really had to opportunity. How do you suggest I go about fixing this situation?
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Heather
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Well, what are you asking about "fixing?"

In other words, what do you want to change?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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givingupslowly
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What's the best way for me to gain some experience?
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Molias
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Certainly, you can learn a lot about what works for you sexually by masturbating or exploring sexual thoughts on your own, and some of what you learn this way can be information you share with a future partner. That's certainly a type of sexual experience, even if it isn't partnered sex.

Ideally, when any two people are sexual together for the first time, they'll talk about what their interests and limits are. There will probably be a time where both people do some experimentation together to see exactly how sex will work between them; this may be different from previous relationships, because everyone's at least a little different in their preferences.

My point being: I think the best way to gain sexual experience is with someone who's willing to communicate openly about expectations and preferences, at a point when you feel comfortable talking about these things as well. We can't tell you how to find a sexual partner or a boyfriend, but I think someone who's worth dating is not going to have an issue with you not having a lot of experience.

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Heather
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Also, I'd add that if what you want is to explore sex with partners -- which is what I'm hoping vs. "I need experience so partners won't be afraid of me" -- you certainly get to pursue that.

I'm not sure what your history has been like per having the sexual opportunities you've wanted, but if what opps you had was mostly pr primarily about who initiated with YOU, you do have the option of being the person to take the initiative and pursue possible sexual relationships with people you're interested in and don't find creepy.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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givingupslowly
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Okay, thanks for the tips. I'm just afraid because I've heard that a lot of guys don't want to deal with an inexperienced girl at my age.
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Robin Lee
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As Heather said above, people are so very very diverse that any statement saying that all, or even most, guys like this that or the other thing needs to be taken with a giant shaker full of salt. There's just no solid reason to think that all guys are going to not like you because of your sexual history. And, if one guy happens to not want to be with someone who hasn't engaged in partnered sex before, that's about him as an individual, not about all guys.

This doesn't just apply to not having had sex before. There are all sorts of reasons why people would or wouldn't find someone a suitable sexual partner for them; that's just the nature of being individuals.

I imagine, for example, that you have types of people that you're more attracted to and interested in than other people?

You know, I'm also wondering about this idea of being inexperienced. When it comes to engaging in sex, or any sort of relationship, with another person, we bring all sorts of things, all different parts of ourselves, to the table. So, yes, you haven't had sexual experience with another person. However, you have had experience relating to people. I'm imagining that over the years you've found things that work and don't work in terms of how to talk to people, hwo to negotiate and make decisions with them, etc. All of these are tools you can bring to, and will find useful in, a sexual relationship.

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Robin

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givingupslowly
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Frankly none of that makes me feel much better, but thanks for your input. I just feel I'm at ahuge disadvantage when it comes to sex/relationships.
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Robin Lee
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Would you like to talk about that then? What makes you feel like you're at a huge disadvantage? You've talked here some about what makes you feel at a disadvantage when it comes to sex. What makes you feel like you're not prepared enough/experienced enough for relationships?

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Robin

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givingupslowly
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I just feel my lack of experience is a big liability when it comes to things with guys, especially at my age. That's the only way I can really explain it, sorry if I'm not being clear.
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Robin Lee
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Where do you think this belief is coming from?

I'm also wondering: How do you feel when you think about your lack of experience? When you say you feel this way, what you're actually expressing is a belief, not a feeling, so I'm wondering what the feelings that go along with this are.

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Robin

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givingupslowly
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I guess the main feelings would be shame and inadequacy.
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skiesofgreen
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Hi givingupslowly,

I hope I'm not interrupting but just from a "you're not alone" perspective I thought I'd let you know that, being a couple years older than you, I have significant number of friends within my immediate friend circle who haven't had sexual partners (or romantic in some cases) either. And, of those, only one is by choice. And you know what? One of them recently got into a romantic/sexual relationship and all of this has been a none issue for her. For that matter when I got into a relationship with my boyfriend (at 21) and he was virgin it was also a total none issue. Both from an I-could-care-less perspective and also from a technical one where, honestly, I found from the beginning that he was a really awesome sexual partner. And that wasn't because he'd had lots of experience with others (obviously) but because he was always willing to listen and ask and change things up to see what worked best. In other words he was a good sexual partner not because of his level of experience with others but because he was willing and able to communicate and work with what we each individually wanted. And honestly, I feel like in many sexual relationships, if not most, those qualities are far more determining of the quality of the sex than how many partners any one has had.

Point being that I get the impression that you're feeling very isolated and bad about this fact and I get that, feeling like you're outside the norm or that you're not desirable are pretty bad things to feel. Especially if anyone around you has been putting pressure on you that you need to be a certain way. But the reality is, even if you haven't experienced this personally, that 1) there are still plenty of people (of all sexes) your age that have not engaged in sex and 2) for many many people (of all sexes) that's very much a none issue (and probably would be no matter the age).

[ 06-08-2013, 11:27 AM: Message edited by: skiesofgreen ]

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Robin Lee
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It sounds like you believe that all other twenty-one-year-old women have had partnered sexual experience. Is that what you're thinking?

What do you think about what Heather said above re ways you can pursue sexual relationships?

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Robin

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givingupslowly
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I do understand that there are people my age, and older, who haven't had sex. As far as pursuing sexual relationships, I'm not really sure how to go about that, but I'm willing to try.
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Robin Lee
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One generally pursues sexual relationships the way one would pursue any other relationships, by putting oneself in positions to get to know more people.

It might also be helpful for you to think about what kinds of people you find attractive--what kinds of people you'd be interested in engaging in sexual activities with. We all have our own unique attractions and preferences, and figuring yours out would, I think, help you in this.

Trying something new can definitely be a little scary or intimidating. I think we often tend to feel that way about something that really matters to us.

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Robin

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Jojojo
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Hi, I'd just like to say that I'm 20 and until a few months ago was in your position, I've always been very shy and growing up guys just weren't interested in me. This meant that not only was I a virgin till I was 20 but I had also never as much as kissed anyone. About 6 months ago I met a great guy but decided to lie about my sexual experience, soon I realised that he was going to realise so I came clean and told him everything, he was so nice and understanding and was actually really happy to be my first everything [Smile] . Not all guys are put off you just need to find the right guy who will respect that your still a virgin and is willing to take thing slow and teach you everything xxx
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Heather
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I think Jojojo shares something important here, as well as bringing up an important point.

I tried to touch on this earlier, but maybe we can try again.

In a word, when you choose a sexual partner, I'd hope you're choosing someone awesome who is a lot more complex than someone who'd have some kind of huge issue with your lack of experience and react badly. And honestly, I'd say that kind of person is the exception, not the rule.

I'd also say it might be you're kind of thinking the worst about a sexual partner or yourself before even meeting someone: assuming someone will react a certain way before you even know who they are to have any sense of that. Do you get what I mean by all of that?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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givingupslowly
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I do understand what you're trying to say, but unfortunately my experience has been quite different. I myself have been rejected by guys for having no experience, and I've often heard that once you're in your 20s it's very hard finding a guy who's willing to deal with that.
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Redskies
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Hi givingupslowly,

I think I can hear some of what you're saying here, and there's quite a lot I'd like to say in response. Rather than splurge huge amounts at you, though, I think it'd work better for me to have a better handle on exactly where you're coming from first - I hope that's ok.

You said you'd been rejected before because of your lack of experience. Certainly, if we're rejected because of something we already feel insecure and unhappy about, that can make the whole thing much more sensitive and much harder. The people who turned you down, were they respectful to you, or were they in any way mean? Did they frame their choices as about their own preferences, or did they make you feel as if you weren't "good enough" in some way?

Above, you wrote that you feel shame and inadequacy. Do you feel this only through the eyes of other people - that is, is it only or mostly about what other people will think of you and how they might react - or do you feel uncomfortable with yourself that you haven't had partnered sex? What do you think, generally, of 21-year-olds who haven't yet had partnered sex? With this, do you feel differently about yourself than you do about 21-year-olds generally?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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LissaCroft
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My point is that I think the best way to gain sexual experience is with one who's willing to communicate openly and, at a point when you also feel comfortable talking about these things as well. This would work great for your future sex life.
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Redskies
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Hi Lissa,

we welcome helpful interaction and input from our users, but we do prefer if people don't bump up questions from many months ago which have either been resolved or where the asker seems not to be around any more. If you could stick to more current enquiries, that'd be great. People are also welcome to contribute to threads that were started as discussion threads at any time.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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