Will he know that I'm a virgin?
October 16, 2006 9:46 PM   Subscribe

Ok, embarrassing. I’m a late twentysomething virgin, in a relationship that will probably turn sexual very soon. He doesn’t know I’m a virgin and I really don’t want to tell him. My question is, will he be able to tell when we do have sex?

I don’t mean by the way I’m acting, or reacting. I just mean, solely by what it feels like physically for him. Please don’t just tell me to tell him the truth. I know he’d be utterly shocked and not know what to say and make a big deal about it and feel weird and I just can't bear that awkwardness.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (49 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

No, he won't know, unless you still have your hymen, and even then, perhaps not. Why is this such a big deal? I would tell him. He will probably be flattered rather than flustered. However, it is all about whether you are comfortable releasing that info or not. I would base your decision on how you feel. Frankly, I am guessing you are feeling embarrassed about still being a virgin and that is the real reason. Please don't feel that way (if it is in fact how you feel). Whatever, this is undoubtedly a much bigger deal for you than for him.
posted by caddis at 10:03 PM on October 16, 2006

If your hymen is intact, obviously yes. If not, it's unlikely. He's much more likely to clue in to it by how you act, though.
posted by majick at 10:05 PM on October 16, 2006

I think a lot of it would depend on how many partners he's had before. If he's had many, he may be able to feel that it's different, although he might not assume that it's because you're a virgin. If he hasn't had many, he may not even notice.
posted by twirlypen at 10:06 PM on October 16, 2006

If she has her hymen, I'm pretty sure he'd notice the blood and so forth no matter how many partners he's had.
posted by Justinian at 10:09 PM on October 16, 2006

Agree with others. Your inexperience is more likely to tip you off.

But I agree with your decision not to tell him. It will inevitably cause anxiety and strain during the act, from you or him or maybe both. But I think you can sense that. Go with your gut and deal with it afterwards, if it even comes up. It's your choice what to tell him and when.
posted by PercussivePaul at 10:12 PM on October 16, 2006

I doubt it. I was told 1 month after that I was my then girlfriend's first. I did not know. I am quite sure that the tequila had nothing to do with the fact that i did not know or that she initiated her first time that night.

I do not see any upside to telling him other than if you think he would treat you nicer, more gently, or some special way if he knew. Even then, if you think the trade-off between having the evening be some sort of special event geared soley towards your pleasure and the awkwardness you would feel by telling him is not worth it, then do not sweat it.

If you decide not to tell him and even if he suspects it, just deny, deny, deny. He'll never know for sure.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:17 PM on October 16, 2006

Be as comfortable as possible together before you cross home base, as it were.
It'll just be so much more fun than 'well, damn.. that's it?!? This was supposed to be amazing!'
By reversing the scenario from 'I am worried about being with him' to 'I am excited to be with him', inexperience will not be a problem.
posted by lilithim at 10:19 PM on October 16, 2006

Do you see this turning into a long-term relationship? If so, you might not want to build a fictitious sexual history that he'll later find out is false. You sound like you would be very self-conscious if he knew, and that it would make your first time pretty awkward. I would recommend at least telling him that you haven't had much experience, and that it's been a while, so you're nervous.

And yes, if you still have your hymen he will be able to tell from the bleeding. I googled "break your own hymen", and found a lot of interesting results. Most say not to try it, because you might hurt yourself. Maybe someone who knows more about hymens and vaginas can address that issue.
posted by agropyron at 10:24 PM on October 16, 2006

I once dated a girl for about a month. Fast forward to the "time", after we take our clothes off, she gets suddenly shy and says "I have to tell you, I'm a virgin". I was equally surprised and flattered. But I had never been with a virgin before and I was afraid of causing her pain--sort of the opposite of what I was hoping to provide! So we started, and long story short, we had to finish by non-intercourse means. She was frightened of the pain, too, so to put it bluntly, she wouldn't spread wide enough for me, she kept flinching and closing her legs. I tried to get her to relax as much as possible, but after a while of this I felt that I was pressuring her, and I couldn't go on. So we did other things instead.

He'll probably know anyway, as you'll be reacting to (or afraid of) the (possible) pain, and of the (probable) resulting blood on the sheets. Tell him. It'll probably surprise him like it did me, but I'm sure he'll be flattered at the same time.
posted by zardoz at 10:45 PM on October 16, 2006

Apart from the bleeding, what if you need to take things slow due to pain? Hymens are like snowflakes in that no two are alike and some take a fair amount of pressure to break while others are barely noticeable. Sex involves a fair amount of communication at one level or another, why not try doing that from the start?

If you are really concerned about covering it up, make an appointment with your doctor--they can snip these things for you.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 10:48 PM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

Sex involves a fair amount of communication at one level or another, why not try doing that from the start?

Seconded. I know you said you don't want to be told to tell him the truth, so I will simply make the observation that after mumble-something years of being sexually active, I've found that intimate relationships grounded in honesty and openness tend to be stronger and more satisfying (in and out of the bedroom) than those that are not. YMMV, of course, but why start out your sexual life by lying?
posted by scody at 10:59 PM on October 16, 2006

Tell him! It is totally hot...it is a really special thing and he's bound to feel great about it. Besides, you should also be honest about it, and it will put you at ease when it happens. It's better to have the awkward moment before rather than during.
posted by SciGuy at 11:23 PM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

If you're not comfortable enough to tell him you're a virgin then why do you think it's a good idea to have sex with him?

Seriously, don't start off your sex life on the wrong foot. There's no reason to be embarrassed about being a virgin. Everyone is a virgin at some point. It's not a big deal.

Don't try to predict how someone else is going to react when you're not being upfront yourself.

If it's such an awkward ordeal in your head then maybe you're not ready to have sex. And that's OK.

Depending on his experience he may or may not know. However, if you're preoccupied enough to post an anonymous question to a website - I'd say chances are pretty high that your nerves are going to give you away.

Just tell the guy. If you can't say it out loud then write it down on a piece of paper.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:50 PM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

Don't tell him if you don't want to. If all your parts work, most guys have no bloody idea what goes on down there. (No pun intended.) And most guys are way more inexperienced than they let on. Who knows -- he could be a virgin, too.

But -- be aware it's entirely possible it simply won't work. Mechanically, I mean. Pain or no, it might just not go in. Then you're gonna have to think on your feet (or off of them, as it were). Yes, you could go to your ob-gyn and have it snipped, but that seems like more hassle then just telling the guy -- which you'll have to do anyway. In the dark.

Best bet: Buy a dildo, and practice, practice, practice. (Dead serious here.) You'll both appreciate it when the time comes!

(The nice ladies at Good Vibrations will hook you up.)
posted by turducken at 11:57 PM on October 16, 2006

You should really tell him.
posted by delmoi at 12:02 AM on October 17, 2006

If you really don't wish to say anything....a friend in college told me she'd explained the blood away by telling the guy it must have been a cut. So if you really need to, you can pull that one out. But....

I don't think you should lie about it, if he knows the truth then you guys can work together to make your first time a lot easier, emotionally as well as physically.
posted by Salmonberry at 12:29 AM on October 17, 2006

Some virgins' hymens are gone (who-knows-where) by the time they have sex.

Some virgins' hymens are broken for the first time when they have sex, and they bleed.

Some virgins' hymens are broken for the first time when they have sex, and they do not bleed.

Some nonvirgins' hymens are broken during the first time they have sex, and they don't bleed thereafter.

Some nonvirgins' hymens are not entirely broken the first time they have sex, and they may bleed thereafter.

Is he going to be aware of all this? I dunno. Probably, like most people, he'll assume that bleeding = virgin, no bleeding = no virgin. But you can know all those facts going in; play it however you want to play it, and explain that your gyno just told you that that's how you are. (Even if s/he didn't say anything about that, you have still been to a gyno, right?)
posted by booksandlibretti at 12:35 AM on October 17, 2006

As a man who has had sex with virgins and the not so virginal, I have a request:

Tell him.


I am not joking or making a casual request. I'm dead serious.

If he's a decent guy (ie: worth popping your cherry over) he'll be considerate enough to make your first time go a lot easier. The last virgin I dated it took 5 or 6 tries before everything was relaxed and synced up enough for actual penetrative intercourse. If she hadn't told me it would have been impossibly frustrating.

And trust me, you'll want to be relaxed. Not tense from worrying about stuff. Get this relationship off on the right foot and clear the air.

If you're in your late 20's you should be mature enough to know this by now.
posted by Ookseer at 12:56 AM on October 17, 2006

will he be able to tell

I really don't understand the question. You could conceal the fact from a casual one-night-stand type of partner, but if you are in a relationshp with this person, how has it not come up?

I don’t mean by the way I’m acting, or reacting. I just mean, solely by what it feels like physically for him.

If he has not asked enough about you to learn thing #1 about your past, readiness for sex, attitudes toward it, then frankly he doesn't care enough to notice any subtle physical cues which might give away your condition. There is nothing physical you can do which will be anything more of big a "VIRGIN" flag than anything you're doing now.

So I guess your secret is safe. There is the issue of your hymen, assuming you are female. But there are a million excuses ready for that one. You experienced some post-menstrual bleeding. There might have been some tearing. You're not a virgin but perhaps part of your hymen was still intact. Hell, why not add lies to a total disregard for the truth?

The only question remaining is whether you want to have sex with someone who would be a jerk about this. Not even lose your viriginity. Just have sex, period.
posted by scarabic at 1:42 AM on October 17, 2006

He won't be able to tell.

You've got nothing to be embarassed about.
posted by xammerboy at 1:55 AM on October 17, 2006

You really honestly should tell him. Not for HIS peace of mind, but you will genuinely feel better if you do have sex.
Imagine how stressed and paranoid you'll be during the whole ordeal if you're worrying if he knows, or can tell!! Now imagine how much better it'll be if he knows, and is gentler, and reassuring, and you don't have to worry about anything.

Please tell him. You don't have to use the word 'virgin' because it's a pretty horrible, embarrassing word to use. Just say "I've never had sex". It's easy and quick and honestly, he will understand if he's a decent guy. And you won't regret telling him, I really believe that.
posted by angryjellybean at 3:09 AM on October 17, 2006

Tell him please. Perhaps you feel incredibly old to still be a virgin and perhaps you have implied to your friends - even to this particular friend - that you are not so as to seem more normal. Now you are contemplating carrying through this pretence to the sex itself. For a moment imagine looking back at this event from, say, 20 years in the future - your boyfriend might be the first of many you have slept with or he might be your one and only partner. Does the deception seem worth it in either case? In the end you are both likely to have a better experience through honesty. As with any act of honesty it can be difficult to confide initially and virginity can feel like an enourmous weight. If he is even vaguely worthwhile he will be very flattered.

And have fun!
posted by rongorongo at 3:10 AM on October 17, 2006

I'm a guy. I was a virgin at 30. Don't sweat it. Tell him.
posted by flabdablet at 4:08 AM on October 17, 2006

My partner was a virgin when we met. It is a fact which I cherish to this day, 10 years after we met.

If you bleed, this could freak him out. Most people don't like blood associated with sex. We've moved away from parading blood-stained sheets through town, day after our wedding.

I wish you the very best.
posted by Goofyy at 4:57 AM on October 17, 2006

I hope you decide to be open and honest with him, because it can only help the situation. If he appreciates you and what you're offering him, you'll have a much better night and will be secure in the knowledge that you have a great guy.

If he freaks out, you won't waste your time on a loser. Oh, and, as someone else said, after the first time you'll realise that virginity isn't a big deal at all. Don't believe Judy Blume.

One more thing: freaking out at blood went out of fashion at the same time as blood-stained sheet parades. Women have hymens, menstruate and give birth ... grown-ups can deal with this. I remember from my first time that I was surprised how messy it all is. And how fun. Don't forget to have fun!

(If you decide to bluff that it's not your first time and you bleed, just pretend your period has arrived a day or two early)
posted by Lucie at 5:20 AM on October 17, 2006

I was a virgin until 25, and I felt exactly the same way that you did about telling the guy. One day when we were driving or something, he had asked me about my past, what positions I liked, etc and I had NO IDEA what to say. So at first I was like, "omg, I can't talk about this right now." I think I actually hid behind a jacket I was holding. So then a week or so later he brought it up again. I said, "you know why I couldn't talk about it? I have no idea what the answers to those questions are because I've never had sex."

Yeah, it was kind of awkward at the time, but SO WORTH TELLING HIM. And if he's the type of guy to react negatively to this bit of information...well, do you really want to be with someone like that?

Trust me, if he's a decent guy, he won't be put off by it. If he is, he's a jerk.

And chances are he will be able to tell, depending on your body.
posted by AlisonM at 5:31 AM on October 17, 2006

I recently had sex with a virgin in her late twenties. She told me, but if she hadn't told me it wouldn't have been obvious by feel, by the blood, and by how much pain she was in.

I didn't have a problem with having sex with a virgin. I didn't think lesser of my partner at all. However, I was slightly intimidated about being "her first" -- inevitably it came with some responsibility and obligation. I wanted her re-assurance that she was actually ready for this, so we fooled around heavily but waited until the next morning to do the actual deed.

I think most decent guys will have a similar reaction to mine. I agree with the other comments that if he has a problem with it, he's not worth being with.
posted by randomstriker at 5:54 AM on October 17, 2006

You're probably already wrecking his head about it, if he's paying attention. While it may be that you are behaving nonchalantly on the idea of sex, I and those people I've talked to about the issue have had a bit of a complex before doing it, in that our attitude to the act bore little relation to the reality of it. So, your attitude may well be dissonant to him, and he might be seriously wondering what he's doing wrong to provoke that weirdness.

If he’s never had sex with a virgin before, he may not be able to tell. If he has had sex with virgins twice or more, he will be able to tell—if not the first time, then later as he realises he how much harder he had to work that first time, and that it was too much to be a mood thing. This doesn't mean he'll say anything, but were I him I'd ask questions bringing up the subject indirectly, as time goes on, to give you a chance to mention it.

If you bleed and you still don't want to admit that it was your first time, say that sex sometimes provokes an early period for you, and that it's happened before. I can't imagine a man without a grounding in Ob/Gyn would ask further questions to that.

Good luck—despite the romance of the idea, the first time won't be amazing for you. But it gets much better with practice! :-)
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 5:57 AM on October 17, 2006

Echoing the other posters. It all depends on whether your hymen is intact (and if it is, its thickness) and how well the penis initially fits into the vagina. For some women, it takes a lot of force to break the hymen, for others, not. For some the pain of thier first time will mean they needs tons of lube and a couple of separate tries of having sex, others will love it that time.

And honestly, there isn't a good way to tell which one of these you'll be. A doctor can tell you if your hymen's intact. If you masturbate with dildos or penetration it will probably make things easier. But the easiest thing really would be to tell him--and if he's as shocked and appalled and whatnot as you say, well, fuck him. A truly caring partner will not make things awkward for you, they will provide guidance and support.
posted by schroedinger at 6:11 AM on October 17, 2006

Scarabic says:

The only question remaining is whether you want to have sex with someone who would be a jerk about this. Not even lose your viriginity. Just have sex, period.

When I lost my virginity, it happened to be with someone to whom I was okay with saying that it was my first time. I have had worthwhile, enjoyable relationships since then with people for whom that wouldn't have been the case at the beginning; while I liked them, and enjoyed their company immensely, I didn't know if they were level-headed enough about sex not to have that faze them, and it would have been the less tense option not to say anything.

So while I believe the poster’s fears are overdone and don't actually represent the guy she’s dating, I can understand that she has them. I don’t think they clearly mean she should leave him.
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 6:26 AM on October 17, 2006

I don’t mean by the way I’m acting, or reacting.

I've been with women who, despite having undisputable experience, still acted/reacted like they were insecure about sex, their bodies, etc. So sure, it's possible that he might think you're experienced, but frigid, or very insecure, or have some other sexual or psychological problem that you haven't told him about, or are just bad in bed. Or maybe that you just think that he is bad in bed.

It is much, much better for you if he knows you're a virgin than if he thinks that any of those other things is true.

I'll say this too: I don't really want to have sex with any more virgins. Mostly it's because I'm 35, and at this point I want someone with a level of experience more compatible with mine. But it's not a moral/prudence thing, it's that I know from experience what it's like to be in a relationship with a virgin, and at this point in my life, that's just not what I want. That's my choice, and it doesn't mean that I'm insecure about myself or that I think all women should lose their virginity as soon as possible. I also don't want someone who smokes. That's just how people are; they have preferences.

That being said (because I think this is relevant to the question): if I was with someone who successfully pretended to be a virgin on our first night together, I would still know sooner or later, and/or I would think that she had issues, was frigid, etc. Because a sexual relationship between two experienced people unfolds differently than one between two inexperienced people, or between one experienced person and one non-experienced person. That's just how it is.

It's true, you have a choice about whether you want to tell him or not. But, setting aside issues of morality and honesty, it's going to be much easier for you in the long run if you do tell him. You cannot retroactively de-virginize yourself. The truth is that you're in your 20s, and you're a virgin, and that's who you are. Some guys will have a problem with that, but it's much better to just deal with that problem at face value than to turn it into a much more complex one.
posted by bingo at 6:49 AM on October 17, 2006

Well, I think you have your specific question pretty much answered, but if you're still reading at this point, I would summarize it as:

probably not, especially if you've previously broken your hymen.

That said, there are a lot of people here encouraging you to be truthful, which I would also second. Although, I think a good idea would be not to wait until you're on your way to the sack. Maybe bring it up at lunch or something like that some time, get it on the table. These things are a lot easier to deal with when you air them out.

99% chance his first response will be an unspoken "Raaaaad....".
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:50 AM on October 17, 2006

You have to tell him. He will be terribly flattered and treat you carefully and gently, which, frankly, is what you need. Unless you have been playing with all kinds of toys, it's going to hurt. A lot. And he will be extremely flustered and confused...unless you tell him.

On the other hand, if you're dead set on not telling him, even the pain may not be a giveaway. I've been regularly sexually active for longer than I'd like to admit, and it still hurts sometimes, if it's a big enough penis. I even bleed still on the extremely rare occasion, for the same reason. Still, I would like to echo absolutely everybody else and tell you to LET HIM KNOW. Why would you want to have sex with somebody who you couldn't even be open with? That's so much about what a sexual relationship is. Let him teach you.
posted by timory at 6:55 AM on October 17, 2006

Unless you have been playing with all kinds of toys, it's going to hurt. A lot.

anon, please note that this is absolutely not a universal truth; plenty of women don't experience much, or any, pain the first time they have intercourse.

That said, I tend to agree that you will have a much better time if you are relaxed, and that you will probably be more relaxed if you can concentrate on what you're doing, instead of worrying about what's going through your partner's head.
posted by Siobhan at 8:37 AM on October 17, 2006

Even if your hymen is still partially intact, he might not notice...
(I didn't)
posted by suomynona at 8:47 AM on October 17, 2006

plenty of women don't experience much, or any, pain the first time they have intercourse.

That's right. I had very little pain. So don't start to anticipate (and probably amp up your nerves!) something that may not even be a problem.

But -- just to chime in again -- it's still a good idea to let your fella know what's going on, so that he can be considerate in case you do have some pain. As so many other people have said, if he's a good guy (and I do hope he is!), then he'll want to be good to you through this experience. Don't rob him of that opportunity because you think he'll think you're weird.
posted by scody at 8:59 AM on October 17, 2006

Unless your hymen isn't broken he probably won't know. The big question is whether you want to tell him it's your first time or not. That's completely up to you. Do you think this relationship is going anywhere? You could always tell him later, but he might wonder why you didn't tell him before.

That said, relax and take it easy. If you're nervous tell him, that's all you should communicate. He'll take it slow and be gentle.
posted by PetiePal at 9:17 AM on October 17, 2006

Sex is so much better when you know what you and your partner like and dislike - which only comes through honest and open communication (done right, that kind of communication turns everyone on like you wouldn't believe).

Don't begin your sex life with a lie and the anxiety that comes with it.
posted by aladfar at 9:30 AM on October 17, 2006

Isn't he going to think that you're terrible in bed if he doesn't know that you're a vigin? I know for damn sure, having been one myself, and also been someone else's first, that the first many times you have sex you're figuring it out.

If you're busy figuring it out, he's going to be mighty confused. You sure don't want him to think that you're experienced and this confusing in bed. If you're open with him, he's going to have a hell of a better time, partly because he'll know to tell you ans show you things that he would otherwise just assume that you know already.

Communication communication communication.
posted by Four Flavors at 10:15 AM on October 17, 2006

I figured in such a boyzone there would be endless talk about the hymen (which, in a woman your age is almost certainly gone - most women lose much of or all of it before they ever are near sexual maturity), and that's not likely to be an issue.

The issue is, you'll be unused to the feeling of penetrative sex, and there will probably be some fear involved, which can tighten things up. It might be more difficult not to tell him and risk the awkwardness and possible pain. Things ALWAYS go easier in a sexual relationship when people can communicate - and if you don't tell him now, he might find out later and feel like a jerk for not knowing, making it easier for you, etc.

And if you want this to be at all long-term, why start off the sexual part with a sort of lie?
posted by agregoli at 10:56 AM on October 17, 2006

In an effort to balance out all the "Of COURSE you should tell him" comments, you may want to check out this entry and the comments at Feministe about women who keep their virginity into their late 20s and 30s, and the issues they may face when they decide to lose it.

There are advantages and risks both to telling and to not telling, and you're probably in the best position to know which makes the most sense for you and your relationship. I will say, to answer your original question, that I've seen comments on a number of boards from a number of guys who only found out later that their partner was a virgin, so no, not all guys can tell. But it's anecdotal evidence, so I don't know how common that is.
posted by occhiblu at 11:31 AM on October 17, 2006

No on the dildo, yes on the truth.

If your hymen is intact, obviously yes.

And this is (obviously) absolutely false.
posted by justgary at 12:39 PM on October 17, 2006

Why are we losing virginity and not gaining sexual maturity?
posted by Andrew Brinton at 2:59 PM on October 17, 2006

Without reading 50 answers that probably say the same thing...

Guys don't really care that much if you're a virgin (even at your age). Girls don't have to "protect their studly reputation" the way we do (although a girl probably wouldn't care that much either if the situation was reversed). Your guy might think it's a little unusual, but unless he's a creep he'll be more than OK with it.

I know people say this type of crap all the time (and it's usually bullshit), but most guys would consider your virginity a bonus. The only guys I know who make comments about never wanting to be with a virgin are players. They claim it's because you would be bad in bed, but I think it's because they would feel guilty being your first when they know they're just using you for sex.

Besides, it's pretty common to still be a virgin into your twenties (but extremely uncommon to admit it). I say tell him about it. If he bails there will plenty of guys waiting to take his place. This is obviously just one guy's opinion, but it wouldn't phase me or change my opinion of you in the slightest. However, I would definitely approach the situation differently if I knew.

If you insist on not telling him, I would at least make a comment about not having been with many guys. That way he might just assume you're really inexperienced (again, a plus for most guys) and take the lead. I would be prepared for him to be kind of dissappointed if you tell him afterwards. It's possible for your hymen to still be intact if you've had sex, but most guys won't believe that (and it's probably unlikely anyway).
posted by bda1972 at 5:12 PM on October 17, 2006

Young lady, go out and buy yourself a dildo, posthaste! Seriously, if you are a twenty-something woman who's never used an insertion toy, you are totally missing out.... It's not the same as having sex - that's kinda the fun of it! He still may guess that you're not too experienced by the way you respond to him in the moments before the actual event.... But hey, he might like the idea of being able to take control a little bit, who knows? Just remember, sex is supposed to be FUN! Don't take yourself to seriously, don't spend too much time building the event up in your mind (easier said than done, I know). Tell him what you want to tell him, and try to relax. And don't forget to do some shopping!!! ;)
posted by DecemberRaine at 6:03 PM on October 17, 2006

If you're not comfortable enough to tell him you're a virgin then why do you think it's a good idea to have sex with him?

She doesn't want to tell him now, maybe she will later, maybe she won't. That's fine. Just because she doesn't want to share a very personal (and potentially embarassing) detail with him doesn't mean she can't enjoy a little fun in the sack with him. What does it matter that this personal detail revolves around her virginity? Are we supposed to only have sex with people we're willing to bare our deepest, darkest secrets to? (Not that this is dark, but it is deep.)

As for whether he'll know, as others have said, so many factors are involved (revolving almost exclusively around your hymen - which certainly might still be intact - and his penis size, and your state of arousal (it always hurts more if you're dry and tense). I would bet that he would know, but that's just anecdotal evidence from friends, etc.

One consideration, though a stretch - if there's a lot of blood, he might get it on him. Granted, you probably don't have any bugs if you're a virgin, but it's possible through other means, and it may not be fair to him to keep that a secret. The average guy having sex with a condom probably isn't thinking of getting blood all over him.

Now, I actually think you should probably tell him, because he'll probably be flattered, and it will probably feel a lot more special to you if you know he knows, but I can see why you wouldn't want to tell him, and I am quite sure that some guys react to this news by freaking out, or thinking less of the girl, so I wouldn't categorically say that it's better to tell.
posted by Amizu at 6:04 PM on October 17, 2006

I think you might want to consider what kind of experience you'll get out of it. A nice guy will be more likely to go easier on you, by which I mean: getting lubricant (saliva or otherwise), more foreplay, more tenderness, more patience, etc.

Otherwise, he might wind up thinking: "Oh, dear, another clueless lay with no rhythm. Just another girl who thinks her contribution to sex is showing up." I assume you want a relationship with him - wouldn't you want someone to teach you how to be a good lover?

Your hymen has probably already checked out by now (fall on your bike any?), but that's worth looking into. Assuming the hymen isn't an issue, he might, on a very off chance, be able to tell if he's perceptive, but it's more likely that your physical reactions will be a much, much larger indicator that you're not very experienced.
posted by adipocere at 6:06 PM on October 17, 2006

Read occhiblu's Feministe link (I was going to link the Salon article). The truth is you are not being unreasonable as some suggest, and there are indeed unreasonable consequences that can come from gratuitous honesty (as opposed to lies; not the same thing).

It's none of your boyfriend's business how many partners you've had or your's how many he has. This info may or may not come up in natural contexts down the road, but it really doesn't need to come up for your relationship to be healthy, open or honest right now. Let your b/f know in a tactful and clear manner when you find his questions invasive, uncomfortable or rude. Just deal with the actual sexual issues as they are important. Buy some lubricant, and let him know you would prefer it, and be vocal about your pain/discomfort if it comes, or needs to go slower/easier, etc. These issues have no necessary relationship to your virginity. Let your sexual history be your business, and make your current sexual needs the real issue for your bf to be considerate about.

FYI - you are the best judge to know if this strategy is best for your relationship. Personally I would consider your status as a plus in a romantic relationship and a minus in a casual one.
posted by dgaicun at 6:48 PM on October 17, 2006

There’s no reason to have the “numbers talk.” Your sexual history is your own. Even if you have an STD that needs to be discussed, there is no reason whatsoever to divulge how many previous partners you’ve had. If someone is asking you for a specific number, that’s generally a good indication that that person is insecure, or judgmental, and that there’s a good chance that any information you give will be thrown back at you. . . God knows, it would be much, much better if we could all be free to express our sexuality without judgment, without shame, but the fact is, we live in a patriarchy, and any deviation from the patriarchially-approved cultural script has consequences.
The Numbers Game - Feministe
posted by dgaicun at 7:24 PM on October 17, 2006

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