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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Pressure

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Author Topic: Pressure
Member # 70059

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For a whole host of reasons, I'm a virgin, despite my age and my long-term relationship. In sum: after a few months of being more physically involved, my boyfriend and I decided we had some things we needed to work through before we could continue. When we sorted ourselves out, we realised we were nervous, and we would need to take our time before we were willing to try again.

I'm alright with that (though, admittedly, a bit frustrated because I'm slightly more desirous than he, but perfectly willing to go at his pace). However, I am feeling immense pressure from friends to have sex and that attitude is making this situation quite stressful for me. Many of my friends are not virgins and don't always understand that a relationship can be meaningful without (vaginal) intercourse. Other friends are so sexually frustrated that they talk about sex all the time, to the extent that they care more about sex than much else. Whether or not they know the specifics of my situation, I feel uncomfortable because I'm busy enough trying to sort out my feelings, and the added pressure only serves to exacerbate the matter. I don't know how... I can tell them to stop talking about these things around me, but it's almost as if the damage has been done. I feel the pressure even if I'm not privy to it all the time.

Have you ever dealt with something like this?

Posts: 42 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

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Before I say anything else, I want to reassure you that you are not the only person who is deciding to take all sex, or certain types of sex, off the table in a long-term relationship. People in relationships decide to do that all the time, for any number of reasons, and it does not mean that there is anything wrong with them or the relationship. And it's also not nearly as uncommon as you might thing.

That said, have you ever tried explaining to your friends that the way they are talking about sex makes you uncomfortable? If you feel up for that, you can try and explain to them that when, whether and how people chose to have sex is very individual, that there is no one-size-fits-all approach and there are no "shoulds", and that it's not very nice or supportive to generalize on a topic that is so, so personal and subjective.

Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 69161

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I ran into the same situation while I was in college. Many of my girlfriends had already had intercourse and it was discussed often. To my knowledge, it seemed as if I was the only person on campus who hadn't done it! (Which I know is probably untrue). My reasons were varied, including some morals from my upbringing and kind of a self-worth thing. Many of the guys I dated used me, and I knew it, so I always hesitated before taking that "final step," so to speak.

I agree with September. Talk to your friends. Or, even when they bring it up, maybe mention your reasons for not having intercourse yet. Surprisingly, I found that my girlfriends (and some guy friends) actually ADMIRED me for waiting-it was like they were in awe, and it was like I had some sort of gumption that they didn't. They wanted to know more about my choices, and it was a good respectful teaching/learning moment for everyone.

Just to clarify, I am fully in support of whatever decision an individual makes as to whether or not to have intercourse, or any sexual relations for that matter. It's totally up to you! My decision was mine, but I did not look down on ANY of my friends because of the decisions they made. Make sense? Don't let their decisions (or non-decisions) influence you in any way. They are probably not trying to influence you either way, and the pressure you're feeling is just from yourself!

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Member # 70059

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Thanks to both of you for your replies. I feel a bit better now! I know it will take time for me to get over these feelings of insecurity, but this was certainly a start!
Posts: 42 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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