Is there an age by which it is too late to lose one's virginity?
February 28, 2017 4:59 AM   Subscribe

Is there an age by which one would be too old to lose their virginity? I'm a guy if that matters, but this question would likely also be relevant to all the women out there as well.

I'm in my late twenties (nearly 30, actually) and have never had any sort of sexual experience or even a relationship with anyone else. In my case, it was due to a number of factors including mental health, Catholic schooling (I have been non-religious for about 10 years now), and simply not prioritizing relationships in favor of school/work/getting a permanent living place/etc..

My recurring fear is that of a "catch-22" situation in which I need experience to have sex, but in order to have sex I need experience. Additonally, there's the fear of being viewed prejudicially under some negative stereotype of older virgins (where "older" can mean over 30/25/20/18/[hell, insert just about any post-pubescent age]) being undesirable, repulsive, socially maladjusted, hopeless, or any combination thereof. I don't know how much of a deal breaker my virginity would be to others. I know enough not to mention it first thing to those I meet, but I am concerned about the fact that if my lack of experience is made evident (directly or indirectly), the other person would think I'm somehow socially maladjusted or repulsive or that, at best, it wouldn't be worth teaching whatever I "should" have learned during high school or college. In short, I worry that my inexperience at this age would be viewed as a negative against me in some way and that there is no possible way for me to have sex at this point.

Yes, I'm aware of the existence of sex workers. I don't live in an area where such work is legal, and I'd rather not drop a ton of money on losing virginity if I really don't have to.

TL;DR -- Is there an age past which virginity becomes a deal breaker and makes losing it impossible? Is lack of experience a big deal to others?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (42 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Literally no such thing. There will be people who are open to sleeping with someone who is significantly less experienced than they are at any age, even past the age when "most" (what does that even mean?) people have had sex with someone else at least once. My current partner (a dude) was a lot less experienced than me (a lady) when we met and I'm really enjoying the (ongoing, multiple-year) process of figuring out what we like doing together as it slowly develops.

Fears about your inexperience are a great way to keep you inexperienced even when you don't want to be. It is only by taking a chance that you will find out either way. People may be assholes to you about it, but that's because they're assholes, not because of your inexperience. If it wasn't that, there would be something else for them to be assholes about. People who will be cool with your situation definitely exist. The only way to find them is to talk to a lot of people and be open about what you're looking for.
posted by terretu at 5:04 AM on February 28, 2017 [13 favorites]


I know a guy that is a way older than a 40 year old virgin. Everybody who knows him knows by this point. He has had ample opportunity - friends willing to help just to get him there and he wont / hasn't wanted to / hasn't been able to / self sabotages closing the deal. He's not gay - there have been other friends that have made the same offer with the same result. People have offered to hire him professionals. At one point he went to counseling over it... and then - I think he just came to terms with it. We're ok with it. He's said / indicated that he's ok with it. I couldn't tell you if he thinks about it or wants it today.

He is successful, is constantly surrounded by friends who love him and he loves, has every imaginable toy that he has wanted and has never had accountability to anyone other than himself -and he takes care of his long term planning, has a solid safety net and social structure in place for when he eventually retires... I mean... the guy is great and in a great head space around it. In some ways, he's figured out something very few people have - how to be happy in your own skin.

Incidentally, some may care; however, the relationships worth having though won't. Even in the age of internet porn and TV-MA there are plenty of people of both sexes that make it through college, through relationships, and even start / establish their careers without having had sex. You are not a pariah.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:35 AM on February 28, 2017 [9 favorites]


There is no "correct" age to lose one's virginity: there is only what is right for you, and screw what everyone else might think. (And I say that as someone who lost their virginity at what other people would've considered "old".)

I'm sure there are multiple reasons you are still a virgin: they could include anything from being picky about your prospective partners to a low sex drive to having experienced sex abuse/groping as a kid which put you off the whole idea. We don't know, and it isn't any of our business either, just as it isn't any business of the vast majority of people --- the only exception is whoever is very close to being your first sex partner.

The idea that everyone everywhere is having 24/7 sex! sex! sex! is media-driven: no, not everyone loses their virginity as a teenager, and no, not everyone but you is getting wild hot sex day and night. You are perfectly normal.
posted by easily confused at 5:36 AM on February 28, 2017 [7 favorites]


I've been with a partner who was almost two full decades older than you are, and had almost no sexual experience at all. Like half an hour of experience.
He told me this before we started having sex, but not long in advance. We were already doing things like cuddling and kissing by that time.

I did not think it reflected badly on him in any way at all. In fact I thought it was kind of sweet: the way that the things we did were new to him made them feel a little bit new to me, as well, and that was actually really nice. It was not a turn-off at all. Maybe a bit of a turn-on, even.

Keep in mind that you're not as rare as you think. Everyone seems to be having all the sex, all the time, but trust me... that's not true. There are others your age who have not had any sex.
It's also good to realise that individuals differ so much that having sex with a new partner is always a first, in a way, for everyone. There's always a lot to learn and find out about having sex with this specific person. You have no experience, but s/he has no experience with you. So the situation is not as unequal as it may seem.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:52 AM on February 28, 2017 [23 favorites]


Rejection will happen if you date. It happens to everyone. I'd work in accepting that possibility instead of trying to convince yourself that rejection is unlikely/impossible.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 5:59 AM on February 28, 2017 [9 favorites]


I will note that a not-insubstantial fraction of people may consider this a positive.

Often people like to teach. There is a certain appeal in being able to mold somebody who is naive, inexperienced, but willing. So the most important thing there is not to misrepresent yourself. Be clear about your uncertainty. Ask where they like to be touched, and do that.

I am strange (in the manner which you might call a friendly but "off" neighbour strange), so I do not feel I will ever have the aura of "experience" - unless it's deeply intimate, it doesn't appeal strongly to me. But this has worked for me on the rare occasion.
posted by solarion at 6:04 AM on February 28, 2017 [6 favorites]


Any person who is turned off by your virginity or thinks you are too old to still have yours is not worth associating with. The right person won't care if you're a virgin at 30, 40, or even 90.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 6:06 AM on February 28, 2017 [8 favorites]


I think if you are so old that you have lost the ability to consent to some sort of senility or dementia, that would be too old. Other then that, you are almost certainly making a bigger deal out of it then you should. Relationship skills like communication, understanding your emotions, being complimentary and supportive, etc matter much more then skill in bed. Find someone you are genuinely attracted to, express that attraction in your behavior, and you'll be fine.
posted by gryftir at 6:11 AM on February 28, 2017 [4 favorites]


I suggest you let go of the concept of "lose one's virginity" as some singular defining thing. Sex is a spectrum of experiences. Relationships also involve a spectrum of experiences and levels of intimacies.

Get to know someone. Get closer to them. Relate to them. Sex will happen in some forms, and you'll learn and get to know it as you get to know the other person.

It is not helpful to think of "losing one's virginity" as an accomplish, like going hunting so you can put a deer head up on your wall. Viewing virginity and intercourse like that objectifies the experience, objectifies your potential partner, and creates psychological distance between you and your potential partner. You want to be with that person, talking, dancing, getting close to them, getting your minds, emotions, and bodies in sync. You don't want to be in your head keeping track of how close you are to your "lose virginity" goal.

This is a long way of saying you should relax and let yourself get to know people. Intimacy and sex will happen.
posted by alms at 6:14 AM on February 28, 2017 [49 favorites]


Also, in my experience, there is no direct correlation between Years of sexual experience and Sexual skill. As in, plenty of men with loads of experience are downright awful in bed. I, and many other people I know, would never be turned off by lack of experience, since that would not predict how much fun we might have together.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 6:17 AM on February 28, 2017 [13 favorites]


The most important sexual skill is paying attention. And that is something anyone should be able to learn.
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:20 AM on February 28, 2017 [24 favorites]


There are certainly some people who would wonder what is wrong with a 30-year-old virgin or a 40-year-old virgin, or whatever. But there are plenty of people who are going to be more interested in you as a person, and if you as a person are not weird or creepy, then they will not really notice or care about your lack of experience. Sleep with the second group of people and fuck (figuratively) the first group.

It is also not necessary to tell people you've literally never had sexual intercourse if you don't want to. It won't be obvious. Many people are plenty nervous or mismatched with a new person, so some fumbling and messiness is normal until a new pairing figures things out anyway.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:20 AM on February 28, 2017 [3 favorites]


There will be some people that will view lack of sexual experience (and experience with dating in general) as a bad thing. The not having been in a serious relationship is probably a much bigger issue than virginity. But it's not going to get better if you continue to wait and it sounds like you are ready for a relationship now, so put yourself out there. You'll get some rejections for a variety of reasons, but that's just part of life.
posted by Candleman at 6:22 AM on February 28, 2017 [2 favorites]


Not only is there no cutoff date, but I suggest you reframe your thinking about sex. Losing one's virginity isn't a notch in your bedpost. I mean, it can be a completely meaningless physical exercise one does when they're 14, but that's not really what sex is about.

Getting your v-card punched isn't some type of goal that needs to happen by a certain age and thinking about sex in this way isn't very healthy for an adult.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 6:23 AM on February 28, 2017 [12 favorites]


or even a relationship with anyone else

Relationship experience is the limiting factor here, not physical experience. There is no cutoff date for that. But your interpersonal habits are more ingrained with each passing year and your ability to develop emotional relationships/intimacy is a kind of muscle to which use-it-or-lose-it rules apply.
posted by headnsouth at 6:29 AM on February 28, 2017 [9 favorites]


Relationship experience is the limiting factor here, not physical experience. There is no cutoff date for that. But your interpersonal habits are more ingrained with each passing year and your ability to develop emotional relationships/intimacy is a kind of muscle to which use-it-or-lose-it rules apply.

Eh, I wasn't in a proper romantic relationship until I met my beloved fiance at age 35. We do pretty good. Most of the skills you need for a romantic relationship are the same as you need for a non-romantic relationship.

As for the virginity question: I know people who lost their virginity in their 30s. So that definitely happens. I don't think you even need to tell your partner if you don't want to, although a "I'm not super experienced" heads-up is a nice courtesy.

Also, remember, plenty of people who have been in relationships and had sex are terrible at one or both of those things.
posted by mskyle at 7:04 AM on February 28, 2017 [15 favorites]


Nthing focus on relationships, and discuss sex at the appropriate time. It's also possible that people can be "sexually experienced" but still be bad at sex. As Too-Ticky noted, "The most important sexual skill is paying attention."
posted by filthy light thief at 7:24 AM on February 28, 2017 [3 favorites]


My recurring fear is that of a "catch-22" situation in which I need experience to have sex, but in order to have sex I need experience.

I am starting to really hate this idea that you need to have sexual experience to be good at sex. Honestly, honestly, there is nothing to learn. Sex is doing what feels good with another consenting partner.

I've been with a guy who had lots of experience but the sex wasn't very good because he wasn't super attracted to me. In addition, both Mr. Freedom and I had had experience before we started sleeping with each other and he still accidentally puts his forearm down on my hair, or I accidentally knee him in the balls. Penetration works best the first time in when I am lying on my back, and I apparently make a funny face when we're lining things up, and literally none of that matters. Literally none. He wants to be having sex with me and I want to be having sex with him, so it's good sex.

The relationship bit is what I would focus on if I were you, not some idea of getting rid of your virginity and gaining experience.
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:27 AM on February 28, 2017 [19 favorites]


Your problem isn't that you're a virgin, it's that you're so hung up on being a virgin that you're afraid to try to do anything to change the fact that you're a virgin. Other people are most likely not going to think of you as "socially maladjusted or repulsive," but it sounds like you might think those things about yourself. And you shouldn't! There is nothing wrong with you!

I have a friend who is just a couple years younger than you who was a virgin, and oh man, she was so freaked out about it. She told me about it like she was confessing something to me. But I couldn't have found it to be any less of a big deal, honestly! And less than a year later, she wound up meeting a great guy and dating him and eventually sleeping with him, and now they've been dating for over a year. And it was so much less of a big deal than she thought it would be!

Honestly the whole concept of virginity is stupid. You're not magically a different person once you have sex - it's just a thing you do. We don't talk about losing our driving virginity when we learn how to drive a car, or our school virginity when we graduate, or our alcohol virginity the first time we drink. Those things are milestones in our lives, sure, but that's all they are, and people do them at different times for different reasons, and it doesn't say anything about who they are or what they're worth as people. Virginity isn't any different.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:49 AM on February 28, 2017 [10 favorites]


Yes, there's definitely an age that's too old, and I reached it in my 30s when I started having thoughts like yours. Even knowing that they were likely untrue thoughts, they consumed way too much of my thinking and were part of what kept me from being able to date.

I agree with everyone above. Good people in honest relationships won't care, so get out of your own way and date already. And if these thoughts prevent dating, talk with a therapist about what it is you're scared of.
posted by ldthomps at 8:05 AM on February 28, 2017 [5 favorites]


I think it's true that there's a cultural expectation that men be sexually experienced. But as you've seen, plenty of people *are* open to dating (and teaching) someone who isn't. They just have to be the right match, is all.

There are trends, expectations, and statistics around the timing of milestones for all kinds of key experiences - dating, career, marriage - and it's definitely uncomfortable to feel like you're on a different clock / life script. But it's not helpful to look for barriers, or rules, to define the limits of what's possible. The compulsion to do that alone will block you, and is likely to inform a self-fulfilling prophecy. Every person is an individual, and can't be reduced to odds. Odds are odds, not destiny. (This is something I have to remind myself, about other things :) )

I agree that your focus should be on relationships, but also get why you're focused on sex - we're in a sex-obsessed culture, and even if we weren't, it's pretty important to most people. But in doing that, there's a danger of treating potential partners as means to an end, and that's shitty. So try not to do that. Get to know individuals, the way you want people to know you.

(Another thought, if you're a very sort of "head"-focused or anxious person, or very used to guarding yourself from touch or restricting physical expression, highly recommend finding some kind of bodily practice, to ground you more deeply in your physicality & help you relax. For your own sake, most and first of all, and because that sort of tension does sometimes come across to others.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:33 AM on February 28, 2017 [2 favorites]


I don't know if I can say this in a way that sounds as supportive as I mean it to be, but many people have crappy first sexual experiences and while that can be upsetting and disappointing, they recover and have more sex in the future. (Possibly starting over with a different person, but not necessarily.)

Jump in the pool -- splash around -- you are unlikely to break your neck. (smiley face)
posted by puddledork at 8:42 AM on February 28, 2017 [2 favorites]


One can have sex outside of a relationship. If you desire sexual experience outside of a relationship, it's straightforward to seek it openly and honestly. Hookups, one night stands, whatever you want to call them, people have been advertising their urgency for sex for a very long time. Craigslist, for instance, has a section devoted to casual encounters for many gender combinations and cities.

You can scan through existing postings to get a feel for their format. Speaking generally, list your age/gender and describe what you're seeking. Total honesty is not something one should expect when reading these postings (i.e. age is flexible), but when people have very precise desires they tend to be described in detail. You, for instance, may be interested to know that some people are deeply attracted to the idea of having sex with a virgin. Given the initially anonymous nature of Craigslist posting, you may find success advertising your availability thusly: "29/(m/f) virgin looking for (describe ideal partner) to (describe preferred sexual experience)." See what responses you get, respond if you're intrigued.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 8:46 AM on February 28, 2017


Don't get hung up on the sex thing. If you want love in your life in the form of a romantic relationship, pursue *that* -- the sex will come naturally.
posted by amaire at 8:56 AM on February 28, 2017 [3 favorites]


I was older than you are before I had partnered sex for the first time. My background is similar (Catholic plus social anxiety, depression, etc). I certainly wasn't a virgin by choice, but I was in an otherwise good place, after a lot of work on my mental health.
The first time I felt nervous, which I hid as best I could, but I didn't make a big deal of it, and it really turned out to be no big deal. There isn't a magical before/after. The only thing I lost was a bit of internalised stigma — guilt-tripping aside, virginity is a pretty useless notion.

After we first did it, I deflected some questions about past partners by saying I had little experience, until I felt more confident saying I didn't have any previous partners. She took it in stride (actually acted amazed, boosting my confidence).
If it may help, I was already feeling comfortable with self-pleasure. I was a reasonably sex-positive virgin (heh), I had read Come as you are, I liked being around women despite the awkwardness of being a little bit sex-obsessed around them.
I spent a lot of time on preliminaries, just enjoying the other's naked presence, caressing, and using my fingers patiently.

There is an important lesson in this recent thread, which is that with a new partner, you are new to sex with this person. Learning a partner's body is an adventure you start with a beginner's mindset: curious and open to all sorts of positive surprises.
posted by Pop Sucket at 9:13 AM on February 28, 2017 [4 favorites]


I will tell you a secret: the further away generally well-adjusted humans get from 14, the less virginity even means anything. 20 and inexperienced can often mean also not having taken advantage of book-learning (or being largely sex-educated via rumor or potentially abusive sources/entities outside your control), where 30 or 40 or whatever and inexperienced generally means you've had the means for some time to get yourself to the library or bookstore or internet to obtain knowledge, that you've had time to question the lessons given to you by your church/friends/parents/TV shows. Everybody, regardless of how much sex they've had, has to do this (unless they lucked out and came from a really supportive progressive background, but even those people have to trade in their childhood understanding of sex for adult understanding as they get older - there's just stuff you don't understand about human behavior at 20 that you have to reassess at 30. It never really stops.).

There are people out there who are just leaving the marriages they entered as barely-adults and now they're 30 or 40 and have had only a little sex or lots of crappy sex and barely know any more about it than you. There are people who have lots of passive sex for years, people who've never had it sober, never had it with someone who cared about their experience. Human lives are complicated, and most people understand that a whole lot more once they have some adulthood years under their belts. I'm not saying you can only have sex with those people, I'm just saying that grownups get exposed to this stuff in their friends and family and lovers and things they read in books and see in movies, so that most adults you might have sex with are going to understand the world is a complicated place.

Like others have said, every time you start with someone new you are pretty much starting from scratch anyway. It is possible to learn the absolutely vital things - how anatomy works, how to have safer sex, how to communicate about sex (and many other complicated things), from good books and websites and trusted advisers - and the rest will work itself out in the moment.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:25 AM on February 28, 2017 [3 favorites]


Am i going to do this? Okay, I'm going to do this. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck ...

Hi, Anon, I'm WCityMike, I'm 42, I've never had sex, and I've had very few relationships. And I do *NOT* consider myself doomed to never having sex in my future. There is *ALWAYS* hope. There was, you'll remember, a blockbuster movie a few years ago about someone who lost their virginity at 40. The "twist" was that the most likeable character in the film, who ended up having the healthiest attitude towards sexuality, was the virgin protagonist, not his more "experienced" friends.

Trying to understand what, deep down, you may be carrying around that lends itself towards compounding the problem will be of help to you. In my case, it's mostly due to (a) longstanding shame over my weight, (b) anger over childhood bullying, rewrit towards the world, which lent itself towards secluding behavior.

I've never admitted my virginity publicly before, but I see an opportunity to help you here by urging you not to be ashamed about it, so, fuck it. Lately, I have started to try to simply accept myself for who I am and take a stance of pride towards it. I am a survivor of bullying, I am a pretty decent human being, and, hell, this is me right now.

And, as you're non-religious (I am literally agnostic - my faith is "I'll know when I'm dead"), you'll agree with me that as far as we know, we have only one ride around this grand merry-go-round, and that means being ashamed of ourselves and secluding ourselves from what the world has to offer is a WASTE OF FUCKING TIME.

Listen, man, you are basically having a very understandable mental problem: you are picturing the woman in this picture as being judgmental about your lack of sexual history and having no emotional connection to you. What you're not realizing is that by the time you are ready to have sex within a relationship, and she is ready to have sex with you, you will have likely grown closer and formed some sort of emotional connection in which judgmentalness/unkind reactions is less likely to occur. Especially with women (were it moreso with men), emotional connection is a strong factor towards sexual attraction. I would imagine a woman would be both curious as to why it didn't happen, and pretty nervous about being your first.

I still have days where I feel like it's never going to happen for me. Well, remember two phrases I carry around in my mental back pocket: anxiety lies. Depression lies. Your inner voice is often not helpful. If you're in your head a lot like I am, you get used to a certain "supremacy of the mind" -- you think your mind tells you the truth and can be trusted all of the time. It really can't.

Next steps? Get out there in socializing activities, especially with larger groups. Improv classes. Whatever interests you. Just focus on pleasant conversations with people of both genders. If a woman seems to be enjoying the conversation and she doesn't have a ring on her finger, and you like her "in that way" too, then ask her out on a date. Just concentrate on being in the moment ... enjoying whatever you're experiencing with her AT THAT POINT, not getting caught up in the future.

Finally, I'll toss in two alternatives that are somewhat divergent from the above. You may want to consider seeing a therapist who specializes in sexual issues and get a referral to a sexual surrogate. If interested, watch a film starring Helen Hunt called "The Sessions". It is not particularly graphic and is based on a true story involving a disabled journalist. Also, if you are American, prostitution is legal in Reno. I wouldn't recommend this last option, as all it will take care of is the actual act. For me, I realized that the actual intimacy and love in someone's eyes was what I was really yearning for. It wasn't just the sex I was after, it was having someone to hug, love, and share breakfast with.

Finally, check out this: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskWomen/wiki/virgin

Unlike many things on Reddit, I think you'll find the feedback comforting. Contrary to your fears, many women indicate they'd find being someone's first "hot" or that they'd want to know "so that they know how understanding to be" regarding learning curves and performance. (Just remember that a few of the questions are regarding female virginity.)

Okay. Well, I did that ...
posted by WCityMike at 9:50 AM on February 28, 2017 [69 favorites]


My recurring fear is that of a "catch-22" situation in which I need experience to have sex, but in order to have sex I need experience.

I think you are confusing sex and job hunting. This is just not a thing at all.

whatever I "should" have learned during high school or college

An awful lot of women can't wait for men to unlearn the horrifying BS they learned in high school and college. You may be ahead of the game in terms of not needing to be deprogrammed of terrible, dehumanizing ideas and practices.

Re "relationships": You have or have had parents and other relatives, teachers, classmates, coworkers. There are differences between a long term sexual relationship and other relationships, but there is also a lot of overlap. It isn't like you need to learn Klingon to ask for sex.

When answering a previous, similar question here, I looked up stats. It isn't as uncommon as people think to still be a virgin into your mid to late twenties.

Someone I know likes to say that "Of course, sex studies are filled with people who have tried all the wild stuff. Private people who don't attend orgies won't answer those questions for a study."

I have no way of verifying if that is true, but I think it is a good point. You need to be a bit more skeptical of the idea that everyone is doing it all the time. Porn is as wildly popular as it is in part because an awful lot of sexual gratification occurs alone. The porn stars get laid a lot. A lot of the audience members have much more constrained sex lives.
posted by Michele in California at 9:57 AM on February 28, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm not going to go into specifics, but I was rather later than the average and it worked out fine. I can't say that I was spectacular from the get go, but enthusiasm, honestly, and a willingness to learn go a long way. I didn't worry about being considered a socially maladjusted weirdo because (a) I work in tech. Sort of goes with the territory and (b) we'd already established that she thought I was pretty nifty.

I can't promise that it will work that way for you, because everyone is different. Some people are going to be turned off by the fact that you are a virgin, some will be thrilled, and some will be neutral. Some will be turned off by the presence/lack of tattoos, religion, and/or hair. So it goes.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:27 AM on February 28, 2017 [2 favorites]


I dated a guy who had very little sexual experience in his late 20s, and to add to the chorus, it wasn't a big deal. It was pretty awesome actually. I was more experienced but that experience wasn't healthy or fulfilling for me. I got to discard all of that and basically start over with that guy like I was a virgin too. It helped that he didn't expect real sex to be like porn.
posted by cabingirl at 10:44 AM on February 28, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'm going to go a bit against the grain. I (a woman) was 27, and while I'm glad I waited for true love, I was also, when love happened, making plans to get the deed done. These plans involved casual dating and thinking of what friends might be willing to help me out. Now. Although I believe that all the commenters saying "no big deal!" are telling the truth from their experience, it's also true that it's easy to say that when one has been sexually active since high school or college. I also salute WCityMike for his story and state of self-acceptance, BUT I have a handful of friends in their late 30s or 40s who _aren't_ happy about their lack of sexual experience. Some of them are not, technically, virgins anymore, but haven't had the Big Relationship, or have only occasional craigslist hookups. It is hard. It was hard not to have had that experience at 27 and I can only imagine what it feels like at 37 or beyond.

So should you freak out? No. But I think this is the right time, heck, the ideal time, to put yourself in situations where relationships or sex might happen. Tell yourself you do it all the time. Let the nice woman at the meetup think that sure, you maybe last had sex with your ex 8 months ago or something like that. Tell yourself, at the bar, that of course you just had sex last Tuesday...why wouldn't you have? Whatever positive self-talk you use, do more of it. (I don't mean literally lie to people...I mean, think of yourself as a competent adult who occasionally gets laid.)

Good luck. It'll happen. Just do what you can to put yourself into a receptive mode.
posted by 8603 at 4:12 PM on February 28, 2017 [4 favorites]


No. Because you don't actually lose anything. Is there am age where it's too late to have any other kind of consensual interaction with another human? No.
posted by Chrysalis at 6:17 PM on February 28, 2017


I am concerned about the fact that if my lack of experience is made evident (directly or indirectly), the other person would think I'm somehow socially maladjusted or repulsive

dude. you are not considering what horrifying things experienced people have experienced. not even considering assault, just general horror. You are 99 percent guaranteed to not be anybody's worst time. why? because lots and lots and lots of men are real bad in bed. They've had a lot of practice...at doing it badly. You don't get better just by doing it more, you get better by paying attention and also caring enough to bother.

You cannot learn to be good at sex until you do some, that is correct, but it is not true that nobody will let you have sex with them until you're experienced. that part you made up. All you need to know is enough to be polite and well-behaved and unafraid to ask a question if you're not certain you're invited to do something or if it's going well for the other person. That is the big risk and you can eliminate it just by deciding to. not a skill, just a choice.

really it infuriates me that being pleasant and considerate will get a man so far and so much gratitude even if he lacks any technique whatsoever. so you can trust that I'm only saying it because it's true, not because it's a comforting platitude. from my end, it isn't one.
posted by queenofbithynia at 6:47 PM on February 28, 2017 [7 favorites]


People may be assholes to you about it, but that's because they're assholes, not because of your inexperience.

Quoted for truth. Life is an experiment. The sex thing happens if/when it happens. Good luck, god speed, and be kind to yourself at all times under all circumstances.
posted by Bella Donna at 7:24 PM on February 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


It's really not a thing. One of my bfs was a virgin when we started dating, and it all came naturally. I really wouldn't have known if he hadn't told me. Experience very often works against men when it comes to being good in bed; experience with a particular woman is much more important.
posted by stoneandstar at 8:40 PM on February 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


To answer your question, yes there is an age when being a virgin is no longer considered cute.

Now, rather than obsess about it, I'd suggest looking for escort services or a massage parlour (whatever is available where you live) near you, just to get rid of it. The earlier you do this, the less you'll have to wonder whether you're too old to be a virgin.

That should release all that pent up pressure and perhaps allow you to enter with a clearer head into the dating world, if that's what you're after. Then you won't have to "admit" that you're a virgin.
posted by Kwadeng at 11:31 PM on February 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


The potential problem with seeing a prostitute is that I suspect a lot of women who would not be concerned about a man with little or no experience would be much, much more concerned about a man who had ever had sex with a prostitute, or worse, only ever had sex with a prostitute. If you're going to be keeping some detail of your sexual (non-)past from a woman, virginity seems like a far better secret to be keeping than paying for sex.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:43 AM on March 1, 2017 [7 favorites]


God, don't just "get rid of it" with an escort. Any kind person will understand why your life situation has led to sexual inexperience, but very few people will understand or want to understand why you went to an escort. Lying about it is even worse, and a high risk partner that will set up unrealistic expectations of sex is not something you should carry on into serious relationships. Sex with a sex worker is a product, and it's not representative of sex with a friend or partner.
posted by InkDrinker at 10:34 AM on March 1, 2017 [3 favorites]


As a woman, please extremely don't see an escort to get rid of your virginity. You're either going to end up lying about being a virgin or lying about seeing a prostitute, in all likelihood, so why bother. Being with a prostitute will most likely teach you the same things that porn would: how to be with a woman who is faking it. (In other words, how to please yourself.)

I don't think I've ever met a woman who cared at all whether a guy was a virgin or not. If it's come up during girl talk it's a "!! can you believe it!" but that's because it is rare, not because it is pitiable. And usually the woman tells her friends with relish because frankly she knows she's going to rock his world. Honestly, a lot of women in the dating world have been with so many men with problems due to being OVERsexed, that being undersexed... not so bad. And I think a lot of women like the experience of being sexually desired; being a guy's first is ego gratifying. But if you're afraid to tell, you probably don't need to, sex is pretty easy to figure out and it's always a bit awkward with a new person at first anyway.

Frankly, if I found out a guy I was interested in had seen a sex worker/escort/whatever, I'd lose interest pretty quickly. I have nothing against the sex workers, but the ethics of paying a person you don't know to have sex with you are too murky for me. And for you, lying about it will probably feel weird and immediately create a barrier to intimacy with whatever woman you end up with.
posted by stoneandstar at 6:52 PM on March 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


8603: "I also salute WCityMike for his story and state of self-acceptance, BUT I have a handful of friends in their late 30s or 40s who _aren't_ happy about their lack of sexual experience."

I appreciate the salute, but I find I need to correct the implication you make about being "happy about my lack of sexual experience." I'm certainly not, and it's a really important distinction.

I just know that what I really want is not something I can get from a sex worker. I know that I want is the intimacy and affection of the act within a loving relationship. To me, OP is despairing that his late virginity is ruling that out from ever happening. While he doesn't mention relationships, he seems to be talking about them, since he's talking more about his partner would feel about him, and rules out sex workers. As someone older than him and still a virgin, I'm telling him he need not give up hope, and trying to share the revelations I came to -- in a hope that it maybe helps give him a shortcut and maybe lets him leapfrog some years in his journey.

Listen, if all I was after was to remove the "label", legality or not, I could buy condoms, search webpages, hire a sex worker, meet her at a hotel, and have sex. I've known that for years.

But I know that this isn't what it really means. (At least to me.) In an ideal situation, I want to look at the eyes of someone who is beginning to realize that I could be a really great guy for her, and I want to look at her eyes and realize that here is someone who I might be able to trust and love, and for our physical affection to be an outgrowth from that. (I also know sex isn't always like that, but at its very least, it is an expression of feeling towards your partner -- even if that feeling is lust.)

But, no, I'm not "happy about [my] lack of sexual experience". Trust me, I'd've loved for chunks of my life to have played out differently. I didn't have fumbling in the backseat after a prom, I didn't get to have a partner roll around with me when I was twentysomething, I didn't get to catch my breath as a beauty walked down the stairs while I trembled with a plastic-boxed corsage in my hands -- there are plenty of high school, college, and twentysomething and thirtysomething life events I'd have liked to have experienced or go differently with a partner.

What has given me peace -- and the strength to take a chance and publicly admit my status (in the spirit of accepting myself for who I am, not who I want to be) -- is the fact that understanding and acceptance is all that is left. My love of science fiction aside, we can't rewrite the past. We can't visit alternate realities. So I had to come to understand how this came to be, and I had to come to accept that ... at the risk of sounding overly hippy-dippy ... that was just how that part of my life played out. I had to come to realize that the best alternative to the regret over missed experiences is to find that you can live with who you are and what you experienced, and make the best choices you can from this point onward.
posted by WCityMike at 8:09 AM on March 2, 2017 [5 favorites]


Just saw this today: "he eventually realized what he was missing all those years - confidence. And when he found that, he was finally comfortable being himself."
posted by foxjacket at 1:16 PM on March 2, 2017


Another over forty year old 99% virgin waving by, just so you see you're still relatively young and I was about your age when that 1% thing happened.

When it did it made me laugh may ass off about that whole "losing virginity" thing afterwards, which, yes, had bothered me greatly before too. Not because I could finally tick off 1% now, but because it made absolutely clear to me how stupid the whole concept is.

I would also say, that my distaste for the idea of casual sex combined with my distaste for my idea of a relationship might remain an unsolvable problem in my case for some more time and I'm fine with that so far.


Also, WCityMike, you should have seen my face when I read that:
(b) anger over childhood bullying, rewrit towards the world, which lent itself towards secluding behavior. Yeah.
posted by ZeroAmbition at 8:08 AM on March 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


« Older Mood problems and frequent urination   |   Book recommendations - elemental magical orgy... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.