I have yet to read the book or see the movie that this punny title was based on, but...
I was chillin' with a close friend of mine today, and we were talking about our lack of (partnered) sexual experience and how there's this societal pressure to be "experienced," at least by college-age, even though ironically enough sexuality is still considered quite a taboo topic in many spaces.
So, I'm wondering to all you peeps out there, since I've only ever heard worries of being "behind" and negatives about it in my own peer circles:
What are the benefits of being a "late bloomer" (a.k.a. being older-than-average) to partnered sex?
Are there any positives to being older than the average "beginner" age and inexperienced?
And for the Daily-Double-Devil's-Advocate Question (try saying that five times fast! ): Why is there such a stigma around being a "late bloomer" or older and sexually inexperienced?
(Sidenote: Just wanted to point out that I don't want the responses to become slut-shamey or "holier-than-thou" towards people who may have started being sexually active at a younger-than-average age, since that's really uncool like prude-shaming or making fun of people who are older-than-average and inexperienced. So, let's make sure to stay away from doing that in the responses, thanks! )
I personally don't think age inherently really has much bearing on positive sexual experiences, and I say that while also being someone in your position of not being considered "experienced", and sometimes struggle with the very pressures you mention.
In fact I think that if being older and inexperienced means that I already am transgressing a social norm, then I am in a unique place to question and consider the ways in which these norms don't even align with who I am or what I want anyway, and to really create a sexual life that is about me, and to be sexual for me, rather than for someone/something else (which incidentally is how many of us are raised). That is the main benefit for me, since I have had the time and growth to be able to understand my desires, needs and concerns, and educate myself properly (thanks to scarleteen!). Also more time to get to know my own body and responses. Of course these things are also possible at younger ages, but that has been my journey. Also, I think the fact that you are asking questions like this is a good benefit!
I almost don't understand the idea of someone being "behind" anyone else, since this isn't a race or a sports game (despite what our language would suggest). I think that at any age people can have positive and negative sexual experiences, so the answer to your second question is yes. Having or being an experienced partner doesn't necessarily mean a good time, and is probably less important than caring for yourself and your partner.
I might also ask a few different questions that what you have posed here: Why do we talk so much about what people do (like how much experience one has), more than what they want or how they feel? What are the benefits of people prioritizing health, compassion and respect in partnered sex, rather than focusing on gaining experience or avoiding stigmas? Posts: 7 | Registered: Feb 2013
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Marimo, I really like what you said about transgressing a social norm by being 'older and inexperienced'. I think once you don't buy into one aspect of something (this can be applied to dating, religion and a lot of other things), it becomes much easier to question other aspects as well, and figure out what makes sense for you personally.
I will say that for me, by the time I was even thinking about wanting private space for engaging in sexual activities, I was already living away from home, so I didn't really have to deal with parents approving/disapproving (at least not on a daily basis) or any of the 'not in my house' sorts of things.
Also, while an unplanned pregnancy would not have been ideal, by the time dating people rolled around, I felt confident and secure that I would have the means (social network of people, mostly, as well as a high school degree) to provide for it and that I would not have to consider abortion, which for me (and I think many people) would have been a really difficult decision for me to make either way.
As for the stigma, I'm not really sure. I know I definitely felt it though, and it definitely had an impact on my first experience and wanting to get my first kiss 'over with'. In retrospect, I think that was a bad decision because I think people should be actively interested in each other for kissing to occur, but I also think it was a good experience that taught me not to get caught up in what everyone else says I 'should' be doing. So despite the meh experience, I felt it validated my previous decision to wait, because I hadn't found anyone I was really into. And things have been a lot better when both people are really interested, so I'm glad I did wait even longer.
Marimo, your questions are great and I have no answer to them yet. Sorry.
Posts: 48 | From: Northern Hemisphere | Registered: Feb 2011
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Why do we talk so much about what people do (like how much experience one has), more than what they want or how they feel? What are the benefits of people prioritizing health, compassion and respect in partnered sex, rather than focusing on gaining experience or avoiding stigmas?
That's a great question and I think the best way to answer it is not by going into a puesdo-socioethniccultural critique with some hypothesis but actually just taking this as an opportunity to check-in with ourselves, our own beliefs and making sure that we are still valuing and 'hitting' the refresh button within ourselves.
Posts: 357 | From: US | Registered: Nov 2010
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quote:Originally posted by marimo: I might also ask a few different questions that what you have posed here: Why do we talk so much about what people do (like how much experience one has), more than what they want or how they feel? What are the benefits of people prioritizing health, compassion and respect in partnered sex, rather than focusing on gaining experience or avoiding stigmas?
THIS. So much of this!! You know, I honestly have no clue. The only purpose I've seen it serve is creating a culture where people who fall outside of the "norm" on sexual experience feel bad about themselves (like the unnecessary pressures I mentioned up top), which is like... totally helpful to nurturing healthy sexuality.
I didn't have sex until I was 20, and I don't regret leaving it so late for one bit.
I used to believe in no-sex-until-marriage, but my opinions and beliefs changed and I decided to become sexually active. I think having so many years of asserting my boundaries on men set me up pretty well for being vocal and assertive of my likes and dislikes in the bedroom.
I think also leaving it until later meant that I could fully appreciate the meaning of sex, emotionally, spiritually and physically. When you're young you're told a lot about the physical consequences of sex (pregnancy, STIs etc.) but the emotional consequences are never really discussed, and not many younger people would understand (and I certainly would not have either). Being older gave me a better foundation for open, honest sexual interaction.
This means, however, that at 22 I'm not as experienced as most men my age and feel like quite a noob in the bedroom. Luckily, this hasn't been an issue with any of my boyfriends so far.
That's just my experience, anyway! XD
Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011
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