How to date as a late 20s virgin?
November 24, 2012 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Advice for dating as a 27 year old virgin?

I just turned 27. I am a virgin. I am getting asked out by a lot of guys lately. When I was younger I was very socially anxious and for that reason did not date much. Now I am less shy, I'm going to more social events, meeting more guys and getting asked for my number frequently. I've dated guys briefly in the past for 2 months at the longest, so I'm comfortable with the early parts of a relationship. I'm nervous about having a longer relationship or dating guys who will want to move faster. How do I explain my virginity at this advanced age? Will it scare guys off?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (16 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It won't scare off anyone who matters.

"I have never had sex before. I was shy when I was younger and I never really found the right guy."
posted by Silvertree at 1:20 PM on November 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

Don't worry about men being scared off because if someone is, then it wasn't someone worth dating in the first place. 27 isn't that old and although a 27 year old virgin isn't common, it definitely isn't weird or strange. I know how easy it is to ruminate over a perceived shortcoming and blow it up to more in your mind than it really is. But this isn't going to be a big deal with 99% of the population, just relax and have fun and it'll happen when you feel comfortable with it.

On preview, my answer is coming from the assumption that you want to start having sex. I reread your question and it seems it could also be read that you want to stay a virgin but also date, and if that is the case, the answers could vary greatly. Contact a mod and have them update us with that information.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 1:22 PM on November 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

I think most people want sex to be part of their dating experience, so yeah, it's going to make some guys not want to date you. And not just jerks, but also nice, quality dudes who simply want sex to be part of dating someone.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:31 PM on November 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Just don't tell a guy you are dating. I mean if they are asking you about your past, then let them know. But when I start dating someone I don't begin to tell them how many people I slept with or how I like having sex. If you find someone you feel comfortable sleeping with just go with it. But make sure you feel good about it and they are treating you right.
posted by Autumn89 at 1:37 PM on November 24, 2012

I agree that your question is a little ambiguous. If you're asking how to date and remain a virgin at your age, I would say be upfront and matter-of-fact about it. I don't think it's something you need to mention on the first date, but the subject of physical intimacy will likely rise by the third date or so. I think Silvertree's response followed by a, "and it's something I'm not looking to rush into" would work. True, a lot of guys your age will expect sex to be part of dating at some point, but not all of them will write you off simply for that fact. Be clear on the early side to manage everyone's expectations.
posted by smirkette at 1:39 PM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think Mary and 23skidoo identify the only significant issue. That you're a virgin isn't a problem to anyone that matters. But depending on what "guys who will want to move faster" means that could be a more significant stumbling block. There will be plenty of guys who are happy to move slowly. There will be far fewer guys who will be happy to have a long term relationship that doesn't include sex at all. It isn't clear whether you want to take it slowly but start having sex, or continue not having sex at all.
posted by Justinian at 1:39 PM on November 24, 2012

Echoing what people said above--this depends a lot on whether you're looking to remain a virgin or not. In case you weren't aware, you can email the mods through this contact form and have them post more information in the thread so that people can give you better/more pertinent advice.
posted by needs more cowbell at 1:48 PM on November 24, 2012

Here's my perspective, having been a virgin at your age (and older!) and having known several other women in the same boat.

It all depends what you want. In my experience women fall into two basic mindsets about this. One is "I just want to get it over with/I wish I'd done it 10 years ago/I'm really nervous about it physically but it's not a huge emotional deal to me anymore." The other is "I want my first time to be in a serious relationship/marriage (or possibly a short-term but meaningful fling) that makes all the years of waiting worth it somehow."

If you're the first, then Autumn89 has it. You're not obligated to tell someone you're casually dating your sexual history, unless you are married or have a disease. In this case I'd make sure, either on your own or by asking your ob-gyn, that you're not going to be in obvious first-time pain.

If you're the second, then it's the standard "go slow" advice given to anyone, virginal or not at all, who isn't looking for casual sex. Be upfront that you want to get to know each other first and take it slow. If he can't handle that, it's his loss.

In either case, it's fine and probably a very good idea to tell the guy you're dating that you're not very experienced and therefore you're nervous about the whole sex thing. You don't have to say, especially at first, that you've never done it, just that you haven't done it a lot. And it doesn't have to be a big speech or anything. I've known men to assume all sorts of ridiculous things about virgins and run away in fear (and they're jerks.) But I've never heard of a man not respecting the fact that a woman is relatively less experienced. And it goes without saying that if one didn't, he'd be a jerk too.

(Oh, and if you want to date but stay a virgin...I don't know. Though honesty about it, as soon as possible, seems like the best way to start.)
posted by ocksay_uppetpay at 2:00 PM on November 24, 2012 [6 favorites]

How do I explain my virginity at this advanced age? Will it scare guys off?

Hi. I'm going to be making a couple assumptions as I write this. A few others have said that you can clarify via the mods on a few of these points, but basically I'm assuming that you're in a place where you're not in a mad dash to have sex but you also aren't making very firm plans to refrain from sex for the foreseeable future.

If I'm wrong about that, then the answer is this: You should probably tell potential paramours in the very early going that you don't see yourself wanting to have sex any time soon. It will kind of suck, because it will drive a lot of people away, but you need to do it. The alternative is just really unfair to everyone. It will make it harder to find the right person, but not impossible.

If I'm right in my assumption, then the answer is this: First, you need to start asking yourself some honest questions about what constitutes going slow, because this is something you'll need to know ahead of time. For some people, going slow is keeping things entirely out of the bathing suit area for a good long while. For some people, going slow is doing everything but PIV sex for about half a year. For some people, going slow is fucking on the third or fourth date.

So it'll help to know what you mean when you say you want to take things slow, physically - which activities are on the table? Which aren't? On about what time frame would those things start being on the table? For example, would it take you longer to be ready to give or receive oral than to use your hands on someone (or have them use your hands on you)? Would you be more comfortable giving some acts than receiving them at first, or vice-versa?

As you ask yourself these things, be aware that there are no right or wrong answers and that you may find that the answer changes situationally. It's not like you'll know intuitively that it would take you two weeks before you're ready to blow someone but three weeks and four days before you're comfortable letting them go down on you. But it'll help to have a good sense of how momentous some things feel in relation to each other, and which things you're comfortable with and which things might take a little longer.

The answers to these questions are not things that you necessarily need to share right away with a gentleman caller, but they're things you should know, because if you meet someone and hit it off and they seem cool then at some point you'll need to tell them that you're into taking things slow. You should tell them this in the early going so they can make their own decisions about whether or not they can handle it.

Don't tell them why, and don't tell them you're a virgin. Well, I should say don't be the one to bring it up. If they ask you how many people you've had sex with...actually, no one should be asking you that, especially if they personally have not had sex with you. I guess what I'm saying is, if they flat-out ask if you're a virgin, it's okay to say yes, but you don't have to tell them right off the bat.

Why, you ask? Here's why. As it is, anything physical you do with a guy right no is going to have one person (you) worrying, at least a little, about the potential weight of every action, and it'll be a little fraught. If he knows you're a virgin, then both people will be, and it runs the risk of being awkward.

But at the very least, tell him you want to take things slow, and don't judge people as bad if their idea of slow doesn't match yours. I think there's a lot of value in knowing what works for you and what doesn't. That's true on both sides of it.

It's important to watch for signs of guys who pay lip service to being okay with it but then pressure you. Drop them like a bad habit.

If you find a guy you like and you have sex with him, then maybe tell him after the fourth or fifth time you have sex. Tell him during naked post-sex cuddling time. Be as light about it as you can.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 3:14 PM on November 24, 2012

How do I explain my virginity at this advanced age?

You don't have to. It's not something to be explained, it's just a fact. It doesn't matter why or why not. That's all the story around the reality. The reality is you are a virgin, end of story. If you're worried what other people may think about it, it sounds as if you are uncomfortable with it somehow.

If that's the case, it's probably worth investigating how you are relating to it yourself. Do you want to stay a virgin? Do you want to not be a virgin? Do you oscillate in between? Is it a serious part of your identity? Is it just something that's happened? If you're having an issue there, maybe unpack a bit of it for yourself.

When we have confidence in our beings, we no longer feel the need to explain ourselves to anyone else – especially in matters as personal as this!

Will it scare guys off?

Ah, are you scared it will scare men off? If it does, they're not the right men for you. When you meet the right men, it will not even be a consideration. The right men will connect authentically with you for who you are.
posted by nickrussell at 3:48 PM on November 24, 2012

Oh: No matter how slow you intend to take things, figure out your birth control situation. Whether that be the pill or carrying condoms in your purse or what. Because there is a word for people who figured they could decide on birth control later as they wouldn't need it any time soon. That word is "parent."
posted by Justinian at 4:18 PM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

As someone who was in a similar (but older!) boat, no, virginity is not something you need to bring up early or justify to anyone. But I would add that it's a good idea to say Something - like the above, something about being nervous for lack of experience. It allows your partner to take it a little more slowly and be a little more careful to check in with how you're doing the first time.

Also: if you're anything like me, you'll have turned this into a Much bigger deal than it was. Most dates, as folks have noted above, are much more concerned about whether you'll be a good match for them and when (and if!) you'll be interested in sex with them.
posted by ldthomps at 6:45 PM on November 24, 2012

My brother met a girl who was a 32-year-old virgin. They've been married 25 years.... so, it's not necessarily a bad thing.
posted by Doohickie at 6:57 PM on November 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

27 is not an "advanced" age. Once you stop thinking in those terms and dating those who think in those terms, you'll find yourself relaxed and confident enough to not worry about "virginity". There is a first time for everything, for everyone. Its only a big deal if one or both of you make it.
posted by xm at 9:35 PM on November 24, 2012

Also, scaring off guys is not necessarily a bad thing. You see, its the ones that don't get scared are worth knowing anyway.
posted by xm at 9:39 PM on November 24, 2012

27 is not Advanced by any means, I just wish there were more out there of your age that had the common sense to wait till the moment was right.

Men are a pushy bunch these days and those at clubs I think are mostly looking for a one night hook up and not a relationship. I could be wrong I have been out of that by choice for many years, I would rather go to a good sports bar and watch a game, than get all dressed up and put on a face trying to impress someone.

Do you want to remain a virgin? If so stick to your guns. If not I can only recommend that you have sex with someone you know and have great affection for and who you trust. Make sure you are protected by birth control and by condoms. That way you are protected not only if the condom breaks from pregnancy but also from STD's.

You will know when you are ready, if you don't feel right about it or the guy is applying pressure then it is not right, wait a little bit longer. Noone really gets hurt if you decide to wait, but you could if you try to push yourself to do the act itself.
posted by kmpwj at 6:40 AM on November 30, 2012

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