How Old is Too Old?

Any questions or discussions that you ONLY want to discuss with our staff or volunteers.
(Users: please do not reply to other users here.)
girlplayer34
not a newbie
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:52 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I can play basketball
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Lesbian
Location: New York

How Old is Too Old?

Unread postby girlplayer34 » Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:18 pm

Hi,

My name is Deja and I'm a 22 year old virgin. I have never had sex before and always wondered what it would be like, I've never had a girlfriend or really been in a relationship before. I have a lot of anxiety of when I'm going to find someone and also having sex in general, I'm scared I won't be good at it or will mess up there are like a million possible things that could go wrong. I just need some advice I don't wanna be like the forty year old virgin and I wanna know if my friends are right is 22 too old? should I be thinking about having sex sooner rather than later? I could really use some advice please.

al
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 379
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:17 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I make zines!
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: California

Re: How Old is Too Old?

Unread postby al » Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:16 pm

Hi there girlplayer34, and welcome to Scarleteen!

I'm so happy that you asked this question, because it has an easy answer: there is no age limit for having sex! There are lots of people who don't have sex until their 20s, and 30s, and beyond! There are even some people who choose not to have sex their whole lives! And that's totally okay. (If you want to learn more about the whole distorted concept of "virginity" and its problematic roots, I highly recommend checking out Magical Cups and Bloody Brides: Virginity in Context.)

I know it might be hard to internalize the idea that sex is a totally personal choice and that you shouldn't feel bad comparing your own timeline to others, especially with popular media like T40YOV making it seem like being unsure/inexperienced makes you a loser. But it really, really doesn't. Everyone starts out with zero knowledge, and no matter how many teen movies or issues of Cosmo they read, they aren't prepared to actually be sexual with another person until they start experimenting and learn experientially.

You mentioned having sex "sooner rather than later", and I really want to know more about that. Are you feeling like you want to have sex, and like there are other people around you that you might be compatible with? How about mitigating risk, like STI transmission or pregnancy (if that's applicable)? (These questions and more can be found over at Ready or Not: The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist, which you might find helpful!)

Also, about your friends: are they sexually active, and/or are they telling you that you're too old? If so, that seems a little disrespectful - people who care about you shouldn't try to pressure you or make you feel bad about making a choice that is deeply individual and vulnerable. How do you feel about what they've said?

I can't tell you whether or not it's the right time for you, but I will tell you that the best and most wonderful sexual experiences happen when we're feeling calm, relaxed, grounded, safe, comfortable in our own skin, and connected with the other person. That usually takes a bit of time, and thinking about those questions above, and slowly building up to it.
There's nothing wrong with where you're at and the choices that you've made! And you're certainly not alone. <3
Nothing happens in contradiction to nature, only in contradiction to what we know of it. -Special Agent Dana Katherine Scully

girlplayer34
not a newbie
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:52 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I can play basketball
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Lesbian
Location: New York

Re: How Old is Too Old?

Unread postby girlplayer34 » Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:30 pm

Thank you,

My friends are sexually active they just think at my age I should have lost it already and what if they are right. My biggest fear is that I get a girlfriend she finds out I’m a virgin and laughs or worst leaves because she can’t be with someone who doesn’t have any experience I mean that’s what I thinks about all the time I know they are all what if’s but there still real to me i don’t know what to do.

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 6833
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: How Old is Too Old?

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:00 am

Hi girlplayer34,

So, your friends are actually wrong in this situation, because there is no "should" when it comes to having sex with another person for the first time. People have sex for the first time at fourteen, at eighteen, at twenty-two, at twenty-nine, and so on, and all of those are completely okay timelines to follow. Having sex isn't a race, and it doesn't have a deadline; instead, it's about finding a situation and a person that makes you go "oh heck yeah" and that can take time. I really like how this article explains it: Embracing Newbiehood: How to Approach Dating and Sex in Your 20s with Little or No Experience

I have to say that in my experience as a sex educator, lack of sexual experience is almost never a dealbreaker for people. And really, a respectful partner (and the right partner for you) won't see you not having had sex as a flaw. Instead, they'll see it as an opportunity to explore sex together, or as just one part of the whole person who they're super-excited to date.

Too, it helps to remember that even if a partner has had sex before, they haven't had sex with you before. That means you're actually on more even footing with them than you might think, because you'll each be learning how to sexual with each other. Does that make sense?

girlplayer34
not a newbie
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:52 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I can play basketball
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Lesbian
Location: New York

Re: How Old is Too Old?

Unread postby girlplayer34 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:09 pm

Yes it makes sense thank you for all the articles. I'm a romantic, from books to movies I've always wanted someone to come in and sweep me off of my feet. Most of my friends are in relationships and they tell me that relationships don't work that way. I'm sacred t be honest with you I want to be with someone and have sex but I'm also scared of getting hurt afterwards which is why I waited most of my friends got hurt after they had sex for the first time and I didn't want that to happen to me so I waited sometimes it can feel like all people want is sex which is why they get into relationships and I didn't think someone would want to be with someone who didn't know what they were doing who had no experience I know you say it doesn't matter but to me it does. What if they compare me to every partner they have ever had I can't compete with that.

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 6833
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: How Old is Too Old?

Unread postby Sam W » Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:18 am

While some people are mainly interested in pursuing solely sexual relationships, lots and lots of people want something much closer to what you do. A way of avoiding that mismatch is to up front when you're dating about what kind of relationship you're looking for, so people who are looking for the same can find you and people who are looking for something different can know it's not a good fit.

Honestly, refraining from sex until you're in a relationship that feels emotionally safe to you is a sound call if you're worried about being hurt (of course, no sex will be 100% without that risk, and there's a good explanation for why here: Sorting Maybe from Can't-Be: Reality Checking Partnered Sex Wants & Ideals). In fact, it's a point in favor of not trying to have sex before you feel ready just because you feel you're behind, because having sex from a "gotta get this over with so I catch up" mindset generally leads to some pretty crummy sexual encounters.

It may help to remember that sex is only one part of why people get into more serious, romantic relationships. So even if someone is surprised or wrong-footed by your inexperience at first, a person who's a good partner for you will be able to roll with it, and will still be excited to be with you, the whole person. Too, while sometimes we do notice how a current partner differs from a past one, most people understand that each of their partners will be different, and that having a happy sex life is more about being able to communicate and explore eagerly together than it is about having met some random benchmark of "experience." Does that make sense?

Too, you're far from the only person your age who hasn't had sex yet, so there are plenty of people out there who you might want to date (and who might want to date you) who have that in common with you. And for those who don't, while some people have had ginormous numbers of partners by the time they're in their early twenties, just as many--if not more--have only had a few. So, as much as you can, try not to fixate on the idea that you'd be getting compared to some massive amount of past partners.


Return to “Ask Us!”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 6 guests