Should I tell him I haven't had sex?
December 9, 2006 9:42 AM   Subscribe

I've never had sex, and the guy I'm "just having some fun with" doesn't know, and though things are getting more intense I have no plans to have sex with him. Should I tell him, or will it put him off?

Please don't get me wrong here - I'm not messing him about. We started seeing each other about 2 months ago, it's still casual (we're not exclusive, we see each other about once a week, we haven't told any of our friends) but recently things have started to happen, in a sexual sense, and it's really obvious that having sex is on his mind (well he's 23, of COURSE it's on his mind) but also there's the problem that, because I'm inexperienced, I'm really reluctant to do ANYTHING to him - it's not a selfish thing so much as embarrassment, I hate to say this but I'm almost afraid if I try to do anything for him sexually I'll be awful and.. that's somehow worse than doing nothing at all.

I suppose I'm asking a few things at once here. Firstly, because I know neither of us specifically want this to be a relationship right now (but if we carry on like this it's going to get more serious and involved, so it's not a case of "just have a bit more fun and then say goodbye and that's that"), and I know that I will only lose my virginity to someone I am in love with, I'm just not going to be able to have sex with him yet, despite this maybe going on for quite a while longer. So, should I tell him this? And if I don't, how can I get around the fact that I'm so inhibited in bed without looking either like a total prude (which I'm not) or like I'm too selfish to even bother thinking about his sexual needs, when he always makes a big effort to, er, sort ME out. And every time something DOES happen, I get all quiet and weird because I'm thinking "tell him tell him tell him" but then can't, and I think he's starting to get worried because hell, it makes me look a bit strange.

In case it matters, which i dont think it does, I'm 21. I've also never really had this problem before because I've never even properly dated anyone before. And finally, I kind of feel like I might be falling for him, which really sucks, because the thought of telling him all this and him running for the hills for fear of me suddenly wanting to get really serious, and thus end up having sex with him, really bums me out quite a lot.
posted by trampesque to Human Relations (49 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Tell him. Everybody's been a virgin so there's a good chance he'll have some sympathy. I you don't tell him, he'll sense your hesitance, and possibly interpret it as something else.
posted by lekvar at 9:47 AM on December 9, 2006

Definitely tell him. Sex is a very important thing for ALL people, not just guys, and he needs to know what this relationship will provide. Then he can choose if it's enough for him.

Frankly, I couldn't handle a relationship without sex, as it's one of the great things in life you can do with somebody you love.

I am curious as to what you mean when you say that you need to be in love with someone before you have sex with him. Have you ever been in love? Do you know what it is?

I don't mean to condescend, but I've found that what I used to think was love when I was your age was really obsessive possession. Now that I'm 35, I find my view of love to be a lot more encompassing. Romantic love is still very important, but a general level of love-ness to my friends and lovers is what I value most.

And don't worry about being inexperienced. Everybody has to learn sometime. Just be honest and communicate well, and it'll all work out. And make sure you know what you like sexually. Too many young women put up with bad sex because it's hard to talk about. Have fun!
posted by mixer at 9:49 AM on December 9, 2006

Sorry, but at this stage there's a reasonable expectation of sex, unless you've made it clear you are religious or similar. By not telling him, you are messing him about.

Also: it's not really an embarrassing thing to admit to a guy. Being someone's first is always something, he's not going to be grading you on it as well!
posted by bonaldi at 9:49 AM on December 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

This AskMe may be useful for you.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:52 AM on December 9, 2006

This AskMe may be useful for you.

are you trying to be funny or did you honestly not notice who posted that?

Honesty is key. No getting around it. Doesn't matter if it feels complicated or difficult to do; it's your responsibility to be up front about what's going on on your side of the table.
posted by mdn at 10:06 AM on December 9, 2006

Response by poster: mixer, no i haven't ever been in love, that's why i haven't had sex with someone. i think what i mean by it is just that, i need my first time to be with someone who actually cares about ME and not just the action; someone who will be there the next morning, and for a good while after that. it sounds naive to talk about love when i don't know what it is, but i know that with every guy i've ever come close to having sex with (the number is five, i know it doesnt matter though) the only thing going through my head is "i don't love you, so why would i do this?"
erm.. yeah, i dont know if that clears anything up. :)
posted by trampesque at 10:11 AM on December 9, 2006

not to get too far off-topic but anybody else notice that trampesque was 21 in September of 2005 and still is 21 in December of 2006? just sayin...
posted by menace303 at 10:16 AM on December 9, 2006

It sounds from your question like you're doing 'everything but' with this guy. In a case where you're having near sex - hand jobs, oral, whatever, without actually have vaginal intercourse, I'd say, yes, the fact that you haven't told him that you're a virgin and you don't plan to have actual sex with him any time soon means that you're messing him about. Severely. I imagine telling him will put him off. But it probably should, since he seems to want very different things from your non-relationship than you want.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:16 AM on December 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Given Alvy Ampersand's reference of your previous question, it's clear your virginity is weighing on your mind. It might help you to read Desmond Morris' The Naked Ape, to get a zoologist's view of how human virginity has historically figured into sex, and continues to do so (recognizing that the book was first published in 1967, and cultural norms have changed somewhat since, in light of AIDS and it's attendant "abstinence movement" responses).

There is nothing wrong with maintaining your virginity, for whatever reasons you choose. But you need to understand that there are powerful emotional and physical reasons within yourself contending for your interests in remaining a virgin, or beginning your sex life. The Naked Ape can help you better understand some of this, and provide a framework for understanding human sexuality in an anthropological framework. Personally, much of what I've learned about sex in my lifetime since 1967, I still think of in terms of the frame of reference Morris provided way back in 1967. And I find that some of his concepts, such as the "pair-bond" are so widely understood culturally, that I'm not alone in this view.

It's a good read, and an important one, and will answer your question much better than I possibly can.
posted by paulsc at 10:16 AM on December 9, 2006

Go buy The Guide to Getting it On. Then read it. It's a big fat book with about a million chapters, and only one of them is about intercourse. The rest of them are about fun things you can do before, after or instead of intercourse. The book has a fun, quirky attitude about it that's hard to describe, but easy to absorb when you're reading it. There are plenty of good tips on how to be amazing in bed, but beyond that, my whole attitude and way of thinking about sex changed after reading it.
To answer your question, you should probably mention the sex thing to your guy, but you don't have to mention the virgin part unless you change your mind and decide to do it with him. Just say "this is super fun... you know I'm not going to have sex with you, right?" and when he goes "oh, come on... it'll be so fun! No strings attached!" then you can chuckle and say "yeah, I'm sure it would be really fun.... but I have this thing where I only have sex when I'm in a really serious relationship... that doesn't mean we can't do other fun things though..." smooch smoochy smooch, the info has been imparted, no big deal. If he gets huffy, then you don't want to be with him anymore anyway. More likely he'll take it as a challenge, and that dynamic can turn into a fun game of "yes yes yes!" "No no no!". Trust me on this one. I know of what I speak.
posted by bonheur at 10:23 AM on December 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Should I tell him, or will it put him off?

You should tell him, and it might put him off. If you guys are at the "in bed and fooling around" stages, unless you tell him that there's not going to be any in-and-out sex, he's probably making reasonable assumptions that there might be. This may matter to him or it might not, but it should be something that both of you have complete information on. If you know you're not going to have sex with him and you're fooling around with him and you're in your twenties (I might give different advice if you were, say 14) it's th ekind thing to let himknow.

I went through this at a slightly younger age with an older boyfriend. I hadn't had sex with anyone, we were fooling around a lot, he was more experienced. It seemed normal to me for us to be fooling around without having sex -- that's all I'd ever done -- but it wasn't normal for him. At some point he was the one who brought it up to me. I told him the truth and he said "well that's not what I'm looking for" and we split up. It wasn't a big deal, but I think it might have been if it had dragged on with him assuming we were eventually going to get to it and me knowing that we weren't.

There is of course always a chance that this is the guy you're going to fall in love with and sleep with for the first time, but if you're pretty sure this isn't that guy, tell him and be prepared for himto have a different feeling about it than you do.
posted by jessamyn at 10:23 AM on December 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

You need to tell him.

It sounds like you're in a casual hookup relationship. At 23, most people do not engage in makeout sessions for two months without some expectation it will progress to something more. If you guys are doing everything but, you need to make it clear it's going to end there because you're not comfortable with the ol' in-and-out unless it's with someone you're in a serious relationship with.

Also, you said you want your first time to be with someone who cares about you and not the action . . . unfortunately, it sounds like you've kind of started an action-based relationship. Actually, it sounds like you started five, which begs the question why you start action-based relationships if you don't intend them to go where action-based relationships normally head . . . but whatever.
posted by Anonymous at 10:36 AM on December 9, 2006

The only reason you ask is because you are a virgin, and so have not been in this situation before. As long as you are honest and kind you don't owe anyone an announcement of your intentions. Do what you want. Don't do what you don't want. If it is that important to him to know, he'll ask. Otherwise, just roll on.

For what it's worth, I think you are right to want to save the big prize for someone you are in love with. It's a big deal, the first time, and you definitely want to optimize it if you can.
posted by Methylviolet at 10:37 AM on December 9, 2006

Response by poster: menace303, well spotted. i was 20 when i first posted about this, but didnt put my real age then because two of my friends use mefi and know i'm a virgin - i didnt want them realising *I* was trampesque and/or looking at my other posted questions. i'm 21 now.

jacquilynne, i can see your point, i just wish people would understand that this is actually incredibly hard. being a virgin at 21 is not that common, and i just wish i could fall into an easy, normal fling or relationship or whatever with guys the way i probably could if this sex thing wasn't such a big deal. i'm really not trying to mess him around - i can kind of see how i am, subconsciously - but in my defense i feel really, REALLY bad about this situation. hence this question.

and ugh. i really hate that this might put him off. i know "life is unfair" but for feck sake, thats a really shitty situation. this is a catch 22 - i cant not be a virgin until i'm with someone who really cares about me, but i can't find someone who really cares about me because they all seem to want sex and i can't give them that. this is how it seems to me, anyway.
posted by trampesque at 10:41 AM on December 9, 2006

If the two of you are just "fooling around," then I think it's fairly reasonable to set stronger limits. This isn't to say that you'd be obligated to have sex with someone you were in a long-term relationship with, but I think a long-term partner would be more justified in setting sex as a condition of the relationship. If it's just a friends-with-benefits thing, he's got less reason to expect you'll go all the way, particularly if he knows you're a virgin. Sit him down and have a talk with him about it. If he's not a total jerk, he'll understand.

However, on the subject of waiting to fall in love before having sex, let me offer a personal anecdote. When my current girlfriend of 3+ years and I first started dating, we had decided to take our relationship really really slowly (at my request; I had just been in a short series of bad romances and was still pretty tender). She was a virgin at the time; I had had a double handful or so of sexual relationships with women. I was reluctant to have sex with her, simply because I didn't know if I could commit and I didn't want her losing her virginity to someone who wasn't going to stick around for at least a few more months. I was telling a friend about this (a female friend, if anyone cares), and she said something really helpful: "Well," she said, "that's a good policy, but on the other hand, I'm sure you'd be nice to her and give her a pretty comfortable experience overall, and you don't know what kind of guy she'll date in the future."

It was pretty good advice, and it convinced me to be more open to the possibility of sex. When the time came, we still weren't sure where our relationship was going, but initiating a sexual dimension to it really helped cement things.

I guess the moral of the story is that sometimes being open and intimate and vulnerable in front of someone is a pretty good way to tell if you're in love.
posted by hifiparasol at 10:43 AM on December 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Sorry; change "particularly if he knows you're a virgin" to "particularly if he finds out you're a virgin."
posted by hifiparasol at 10:44 AM on December 9, 2006

Response by poster: sorry to keep adding things to my own post. i thought i should just add.. he really isn't a jerk. he's one of the sweetest people i've ever met, he's unusually attentive, always complimentary and apparently really thinks im pretty great. so i don't want to lose him because of this. and i know the obvious answer is "if he's so damn nice, just tell him and he'll understand" but what if he just sees this as me wanting a relationship, which he will pull away from?
posted by trampesque at 10:47 AM on December 9, 2006

You should be honest with him about your feelings, your desires and your needs. In general this is a good habit to get into; it will save you much heartache.

It may very well put him off. But look at the alternative - would you prefer to trap him with false pretenses? Is that going to end up making you both happy? Probably not.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:58 AM on December 9, 2006

Well, do you want a relationship?
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:01 AM on December 9, 2006

OK, I really hate it when people do that crazy "Let's stalk your MeFi posts and figure out everything about your life!" thing, but in your case I was curious, so I checked up on a couple of your previous AskMes.

Look . . . If you're doing this sort of thing, yes, he's gonna be expecting sex. Because at the point where you guys are nekkid together and he's getting hard, and you are touching the penis, and the penis is touching you in the areas where penetration happens, there is this natural progression to penetration that is going to be expected from anybody who is out of high school, especially if they've had sex before.

And you know, given that you have admitted to have a tendency to obsess about things (and that is evident in most of your posts), I think you oughta just get it over with. Honestly, from the viewpoint of most of the world, by the time you are serious enough with a guy to get naked with him and worry about pre-come, you are at the point where you'll be having sex soon. The difference between that and penetration is all in your head.

You're not a 14-year-old. Oral, nekkid-body rubbing, playing with the penis, that is sex. It is all part of sex. Penetration happens to be the most popular step in what is a full range of steps. I don't understand why you have this hang-up about saving the "penetration" part for The Special Guy Who Is Not Using You For Action when it seems like you're not worried about using others and being used for all forms of action outside of penetration.

Look, to me, it sounds like you're severely confused about exactly what sex it, what it means to you, what it means to other people, and it is, inadvertantly or not, leading you to mess with people's heads. Stop. If you're not going to have the penetration part, tell him. There are few people out there who think getting naked and genital-play does not lead to penetration, so if you really are dead-set against having anybody but your soulmate touch your hymen, you better tell him because it is cruel otherwise.

Finally--if you're looking for a relationship, a real relationship, not just action, then tell him straight-up that's what you want. If he doesn't want one, he doesn't want one. That's how it goes. Fooling around and playing coy won't get you anywhere.
posted by Anonymous at 11:03 AM on December 9, 2006

Response by poster: schroedinger, everything you said is totally justified. i know, i KNOW that everything else is so much like sex that i might as well have just done it, or just do it now. i dont know why i have some mental hangup about this, i just know that i do. although its not really relevant, the only thing happening with this guy now is HIM touching ME. no nakedness or anything. so its not actually gone that far - i'm having to literally force myself not to touch him because i dont WANT to mess him around and think its going where it isnt. um, i dont know if that sheds a better light on me or not, though i guess nobody is going to see me as much more than a tease. and god, im really really not. i sleep over at his and keep my fucking jeans and jumper on because i cant bear to give him the wrong signal but i love falling asleep with him, which is why i stay. im sorry that im being crap about this, and cruel, and honestly, i see your point. i really hate that i've put so much emphasis on actual penetrative sex. i think its just that.. once it's done, its done, and ... i'd rather it be a nicer memory? :/
posted by trampesque at 11:11 AM on December 9, 2006

trampesque : "sorry to keep adding things to my own post. i thought i should just add.. he really isn't a jerk. he's one of the sweetest people i've ever met, he's unusually attentive, always complimentary and apparently really thinks im pretty great. so i don't want to lose him because of this."

Everybody already told you to go and tell him, so I won't add one more "me too". I am just going to point out that you should consider getting professional help. Unless you have religious reasons to wait until you're a 50 year old virgin whose life will consist of regretting all time lost waiting for prince charming, at this point (as a young adult) sex should not be such a big issue anymore. It is good, it may be great sometimes, even unforgettable - but it will never be any of those things unless you actually do it...

What I mean is, if the guy is so great ("one of the sweetest people i've ever met", "attentive", "complimentary", "thinks im pretty great") and still unfit for your "greatest gift" (Oh, dear), I say you will have a hard time finding a good candidate among the other 3 or so billion of us. Just remember, once you do it you're not a virgin anymore. And guess what, almost no one cares if you're not a virgin - we're not in Victorian England anymore, we're not even in last century 50's.
posted by nkyad at 11:21 AM on December 9, 2006

I KNOW that everything else is so much like sex that i might as well have just done it, or just do it now.

It's not like sex, it is sex. I'm in agreement with schroedinger that I wouldn't consider you a virgin at all.
posted by knave at 11:25 AM on December 9, 2006

I've never had sex, and the guy I'm "just having some fun with" doesn't know, and though things are getting more intense I have no plans to have sex with him. Should I tell him, or will it put him off?

If you WERE planning on having sex with him with the idea of being in a relationship with him, but he was only planning on having sex with no relationship, would you want him to tell you?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:33 AM on December 9, 2006

Best answer: Trampesque, my only advice is that once you finally have penis in vagina sex, you're gonna wonder what the big deal is. It's nice and all, but so are those other forms of sex--it's all just a matter of preference. And if you've experienced the rest of the buffet (or a decent proportion), this is just one more thing to add to it.

It's ok to want a relationship before you have sex and it's ok to want a relationship with this guy. But these things aren't going to possible unless you talk to him. Ok, I guess that was more advice.

On preview, it's also ok to wait to have p-i-v sex on your own terms. You're 21, not 50. It'll happen eventually, if you want it to. I doubt very many of us had that whole emotional/physical intimacy thing figured out at your age either, regardless of how sexually experienced we were.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 11:36 AM on December 9, 2006

Hate to break it to you, trampesque, but first time penetrative sex for a woman -- second time too, usually -- isn't wine and roses. It's messy, bloody, and painful. Tissues rip. Even if you have the most wonderful and gentle partner in the world, you will be in the bathroom afterwards cleaning up as if your period had started. That's just the reality for most women. (Of course, it gets much better the third time round.)

Sorry to be harsh with the gross-out anecdotes, but I really think you need to get over your hang-ups about how penis + vagina = "love and magic and butterflies every time!" and yet bizarrely maintaining that penis/vagina + mouth/hand = "just fooling around, nothing serious, no expectations". Wrong on both counts. It's all sex. And stop confusing sex for intimacy, please. The latter has far more of an effect on your relationship.

If you're not willing to have penetrative intercourse, you need to tell him that, or else, yeah, you are being a tease. But worse, you're just being a wishy-washy anxious twit who can't stand up for her own convictions. Or, to emphasize what the previous poster said: "Look, to me, it sounds like you're severely confused about exactly what sex it, what it means to you, what it means to other people, and it is, inadvertantly or not, leading you to mess with people's heads. Stop." Ditto, ditto, ditto. If this boy is so damn great, he deserves your honesty.
posted by Asparagirl at 11:44 AM on December 9, 2006

Best answer: but also there's the problem that, because I'm inexperienced, I'm really reluctant to do ANYTHING to him - it's not a selfish thing so much as embarrassment, I hate to say this but I'm almost afraid if I try to do anything for him sexually I'll be awful and.. that's somehow worse than doing nothing at all.

I thought this was the more interesting part of your post and hasn't really been touched on much. There's nothing wrong with considering "sex" to be the vanilla penetrative act, and wanting to save that for someone special. Those that want to tell you "you aren't a virgin" because you've done other sexual acts with people... well, frankly, nuts to them. Considering penetrative intercourse to be the virginity-removing part of sex for a straight person isn't strange or "wrong". A lot of this is about feeling and perception, so don't let someone else make that call for you.
Anyway, here's my advice: get over your hangup about doing stuff to him because you're bad at it. You only get better with practice, and if you want to get into a relationship without having full-blown baby-making sex, you need to find other ways to get your partner off. I think a lot of people (especially young people who aren't that experienced but want to be in a relationship) would be willing to forgo full sex for a while, but I doubt there are many that would forgo all sexual activities period.
So tell him that you're not yet ready to have sex, but that you're willing to do other stuff. Ask for pointers if you're willing, or just take it slow and read up on techniques.
And once you are ready, use protection!
posted by ch1x0r at 11:53 AM on December 9, 2006

first time penetrative sex for a woman -- second time too, usually -- isn't wine and roses. It's messy, bloody, and painful. Tissues rip. Even if you have the most wonderful and gentle partner in the world, you will be in the bathroom afterwards cleaning up as if your period had started. That's just the reality for most women.
Whoa! This woman's first time was pleasant, and there was no ripping or bleeding at all. First time sex is NOT like that for all or even most women. Yes, it gets better over time, but the first time can be nice, too. Yeesh!
posted by bonheur at 11:55 AM on December 9, 2006

Just tell him. Otherwise, he will think you are bad in bed. Because you will be. I know this sucks, but I suggest you get over it sooner rather than later.

Oh, and um, trampesque is probably not the best handle for you :-)
posted by dhammond at 11:57 AM on December 9, 2006

Best answer: Yes, you should tell him. You should tell him because he's not a jerk, he's one of the sweetest people you've ever met, he's very attentive, etc. So reciprocate by keeping him on the up and up. You know he's assuming that you guys will get around to sex, you know he wants to have sex, so don't just let him continue to assume this and be frustrated in his attempts to initiate what he thinks you both want.

Of course, that's a scary conversation to start, but that's how you demonstrate trust in him and show yourself to be worthy of trust. Even if it never progresses to a relationship (beyond not-quite-fuckbuddies), you'll want to encourage trust and communication. Just tell him. It won't be as bad as you fear, and then it will be over with.

And on the issue of p-i-v sex: The first time I did that, I was 23 and had many of the same hang-ups about it. Afterwards, I rolled over and thought, "Wait, that's all? That's what I've been stressing about for years?" It hurt and there was blood everywhere and it certainly wasn't anything spectacular. Of course, a few years later, sex with that same person is spectacular, but that comes with getting to know each other and being comfortable with each others' bodies and how they work (not to mention your own!) and building confidence, communication, and trust. Not the first time. Which is not to say that you shouldn't pick your place/time/partner well, but don't build it up into this impossibly idealistic fairytale that prevents you from enjoying your current relationships either.

P.S. You're allowed to say, "I'm not looking for a relationship, so don't freak out, but I'm also not looking for anything that might get me pregnant, so let's avoid that." You're also allowed to leave out the part about being a virgin, since it's not your past that's really important here, it's your present intentions.
posted by heatherann at 12:01 PM on December 9, 2006

Tell him and what it means to you. He might say farewell.
Be ready for that; don't be worry about his reaction.
You may be pleasantly surprised. If you admit a need to get better at sex, but draw the line at vaginal intercourse, you may have much fun, but do this on your terms as others have wisely mentioned. If you think you are falling for him, that's the important part. You need to sort that out. After that, sex takes care of itself...but only once you've told him what you require, and can judge where he wants to go where you might want to emotionally.
posted by nj_subgenius at 12:03 PM on December 9, 2006

..that is, if he wants etc...
posted by nj_subgenius at 12:04 PM on December 9, 2006

bonheur, I think the main point is the quality of one's first time in terms of ripping and bleeding and pain has far more to do with whether or not the dude is gentle and the thickness/malleability of the girl's hymen than the emotional connection between them. Unfortunately, the Powers of Love do not include melting centimeter-thick hymens into nothing.

One of my friend's ex-girlfriends had a fantastic time when she lost her virginity to him. Other exes have had varied amounts of bleeding and pain. It had nothing to do with how much they loved each other, and everything to do with how the woman was built.
posted by Anonymous at 12:07 PM on December 9, 2006

I think you should get it over with.

He's a sweet guy, you like him, you might even grow to love him. Hell, you probably do love him.

Sex is great! I advise getting it on (with a condom, natch).
posted by mixer at 12:09 PM on December 9, 2006

Oh my god, ripping-and-bleeding people, please! No wonder she's freaked out.
In this day and age you have the option of going to Good Vibrations or somewhere. Get a dildo. Practice!
You can find out more or less what it feels like, and get things stretched out a little so your first time isn't a scene from a horror movie.

Also, I support the idea of telling him. Might as well get everything out in the open, and most likely he'll be willing to work with it. Not all men are evil pigs, you know!
posted by exceptinsects at 12:36 PM on December 9, 2006

Hate to break it to you, trampesque, but first time penetrative sex for a woman -- second time too, usually -- isn't wine and roses. It's messy, bloody, and painful. Tissues rip. Even if you have the most wonderful and gentle partner in the world, you will be in the bathroom afterwards cleaning up as if your period had started. That's just the reality for most women. (Of course, it gets much better the third time round.)

Not just for women. For guys, the first time can be awkward, uncomfortable, and (hehe) anti-climactic. The "first time" has been so hyped up by our society that unless you are incredibly lucky, it will never live up to your expectations. For me, the first time wasn't special at all, and I was actually quite disappointed by it. Give it a few more times though, and you end up learning, getting better, and more relaxed, and then after you have some experience, sex definitely does live up to the hype. It definitely helps to have a partner that is patient and understanding (which it sounds like your guy is). Obviously this is a personal decision that only you can make, but if your only reason for waiting is that you want the first time to be a magical, earth-shattering experience, you should know that it won't be.
posted by SBMike at 12:58 PM on December 9, 2006

Here's another thread that has some perspectives on this.

I agree with Schroedinger 100%. You gotta figure out where you stand and be up-front about it. It's not about apologising for yourself or hiding things you think will disappoint the other person. It's always better to know and respect your own needs and values.

When the time comes, remember that sex rarely looks like it does in the movies. Every time you sleep with someone new you effectively start all over again. One of the best things about sex is learning what your partner likes and giving them that pleasure. A good lover is someone who asks and listens and learns willingly.

But until you get to that point, you can prepare by getting to know your own needs, your own body -- another big part of being an awesome partner is being comfortable with and aware of your own body -- to guide the other person in pleasing you. I firmly believe masturbating makes us better people!
posted by loiseau at 1:52 PM on December 9, 2006

Hey can I join the intervention and say

1. it would be wiser to tell him ..what ?

Not that "I am a virgin" if you had dirty dark unspeakable secret...omg I am a virgin oh noes !

Tell him " Hon I never had sex before, but I would love to make love to you" ...or something to this effect, so that he 1) get to know you don't know how 2) gets a very clear message you like him a lot. Key is not begin brutal , but not sooo suggestive he doesn't figure out what the hell you want to say. Frank, direct, tender.

He can react many way, it is not really possible to foretell exactly which way, but most likely (as a male) it will be positive, slightly "deer caught in headlights" .

He may get a little anxious and maybe ejaculate a little early or maybe not even getting dick up, but that ABSOLUTELY not a sign you disapponted him...he could just be all tripping over the idea it is your first time, or just having his own anxiety mini-issues because it would be his first time with you ! Yep we males get anxious as well.

From a phyisical point of view, review what Asparagirl tells can be quite messy the first times, but that's completely human and absolutely not a terrible thing.

which really sucks, because the thought of telling him all this and him running for the hills for fear of me suddenly wanting to get really serious, and thus end up having sex with him, really bums me out quite a lot.

If he runs for the hills the reason is he got "scared" somehow..but if you are just telling the truth, it would be not your fault if he gets scared from truth.
posted by elpapacito at 2:17 PM on December 9, 2006

Did you sleep with this guy? Did you tell him that you were a virgin too?

As for this current guy, yeah, you should be honest with him. Or if he's stuck with you this long, say "Eff it" and just lose the virginity already. Otherwise, it really does seem that you're basically being a huge cock tease. If you're not willing to go all the way, perhaps you oughta make that fact very clear to people before you get naked with them and start fooling around. Do you have to? No. Should you? Probably. Might be a good idea before you wind up in a situation that you really do not want to find yourself in. (ie: you get naked with someone, get all aroused, and he doesn't stop when you say "no sex, turn it all off.")
Might as well protect yourself by being honest about your boundries before anything happens. Sex is a lot of fun. I lost the whole starry eyed "oh this is supposed to be magical" thoughts after I first had it.

Just protect yourself and be safe.
posted by drstein at 2:43 PM on December 9, 2006

1. Decide what YOU want. Then TELL HIM.

2. Honesty is always the best policy in a relationship. If there's ever a question of whether you should tell the truth or not, the answer is usually to tell the truth, even if it is going to cause significant pain. There are times when you shouldn't tell the truth, but relationships are built on trust, and trust means honesty.

3. It's your body. It's your heart. You need to own them, not let them be ruled by whatever societal, psychological, or relational forces push and pull things in your life. Again, decide what YOU want. Then TELL HIM.
posted by dw at 4:52 PM on December 9, 2006

Totally, totally not in the dictionary...

If you think he's sweet, if you want to keep him around, why would you not want him to be the first? The first time is special, but it's shouldn't be something to cause you all the stress. Especially if he's not the one pressuring you for it. But as has been said, don't get nekkid and foolin around and get yourself in a bad spot. If he's sweet he'd still back off when you say no, but he'd feel totally led on and hurt if not pissed as hell.
posted by CwgrlUp at 4:59 PM on December 9, 2006

Best answer: In a rush, so I apologize if my answer echoes somebody else's.

Tell him you don't plan on having sex with him. If he freaks out, and is only with you now because he thinks it's leading to sex, then ... hello! ... that's not the kind of guy you're looking for. Right? If you tell him, and he is totally responsive and understanding, then great: the two of you are on the same page, and you don't have to worry that you're setting his expectations too high or that you're compromising your beliefs / hopes.

Also, I just want to go on record as disagreeing with the people who are saying "just get it over with and have sex with him." If you're not ready for sex, don't have sex. But I do think you should be up front with him.

Finally, have your thoughts straight in your mind about why you want to wait to have sex before you talk with him. If you're confused about your reasoning, he'll only be more so.
posted by Alt F4 at 5:34 PM on December 9, 2006

Also, you really need to put an e-mail in your profile, so people can e-mail you privately.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:45 PM on December 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

I wanted to come back and add something, just because this question has sort of stayed with me for awhile. It's not specific to virginity and sex, but is pretty applicable to anything in a relationship. You shouldn't choose your actions based on a guy's possible reactions, you should choose the guy based on his reactions to your actions. Not exactly an epigram, but the basic concept is there.

Decide what you want - for yourself, in the relationship, out of life. Act accordingly. If the guy freaks out over something that you really value - whether it's maintaining your virginity, your desire to have a real relationship and not just be fuck buddies, or your views on a myriad of topics that are relevant to a relationship from eventually having kids to when to meet the family to how often to go out together vs. with your own friends - then he's not the guy for you. That doesn't necessarily make him a bad guy. It just makes him not the right guy.

There can be disagreements on things that are important to you. Discussion is great, and ability to compromise (on both sides) is important. But if you don't see eye to eye on the fundamental issues of your relationship (and whether you even have one is a pretty fundamental issue) and you can't resolve those differences or at least talk about them honestly and openly, you've got nothing but heartache ahead.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:50 AM on December 10, 2006

but i can't find someone who really cares about me because they all seem to want sex and i can't give them that

Newsflash here: everybody wants sex. Even the nicest guy in the world, who thinks you are the most special creature in the universe, wants sex. If you mean that they all seem to *only* want sex, that's different, but you're never going to get close enough to somebody to give them your virginity if you aren't up front about it in the first place. A guy who knows that you are a virgin and want to save your first time to be something special (understandable, though from the answers in this thread, clearly not the opinion held by everyone), if he is worth being in a relationship with, will understand. You might feel like you're the only person your age who is still a virgin, but you're really not. Don't worry so much about it, find a nice guy that you can be honest with (and again, don't be put off by the fact that he wants sex). If you don't tell this guy, eventually it's going to come up that he's going to try to have sex with you, and you'll have to tell him no, and he's going to wonder wtf is going on.
posted by antifuse at 8:00 AM on December 10, 2006

Response by poster: Okay, I just wanted to thank everybody for what is really a shedload of good advice. Although some of it has been repeated by many people here, a lot of it hadn't occurred to me properly before, and the fact that it's been repeated means that it's probably right advice. I think I just figured that if I told him I was a virgin and he ran off, I'd be losing out. Clearly everyone who has said that if he runs off he's not right, has got a point. And also everyone who has said that I should be upfront with him is right too. I think I've been holding off because I don't want to scare him off too fast, but ... yeah, it's the right thing to do. Anyway, I'm going to talk to him this week, I definitely feel like I should. So, just thought I'd tell people so they don't think I just ignored everyone's replies - I've very much taken them on board!
posted by trampesque at 11:40 AM on December 10, 2006

Trampesque -- your vow concerning sex reminds me of the main female character in Jude the Obscure. I forget the character's name, but she's the love interest that torments Jude (I'm talking about the intellectual one, not the working-class woman).

Read the book; maybe it will resonate with you and shed light on your problem.
posted by jayder at 4:43 PM on December 10, 2006

Why don't your friends know that you guys are dating/hanging out? That seemed a little peculiar to me.

Is he dating or sleeping with anyone else? If you guys have been sharing a bed for several months and he seems fine not really getting any from you, EITHER he's really crazy about you, probably already knows or figures that you're a virgin and is OK with that..........OR he's getting some from another girl who does put out, and you're just a side piece. For your sake, I hope it's the former. But before you go further with considering a real relationship with this guy, you might as well find out if anyone else is in the running.
posted by infinityjinx at 9:11 AM on December 11, 2006

I just want to weigh in on trampesque's extra comment about being frustrated about the "catch-22" of the situation. I know people who won't have sex until marriage (I'm not one of them, most definitely! but can add in their perspective), and it's definitely an issue when they begin to date a new person. However, they also realize that it's a factor that needs to be dealt with early on, and so there's a discussion that takes place.. oh... a few dates in (different timing, depending on the relationship) that just clarifies a few things - we're not having sex, but we can do everything else, sex for me (them) is something shared between people in love, and I'm not ruling out that that won't be us someday, but for right now you need to know.... etc. Because sex *is* an important part of expressing emotion towards another person, the issue of will-we/won't-we needs to be dealt with up front. Not only then will the partner decide if the relationship is worth sticking around for, but then you have REALLY valuable information as to whether this person is worth later falling in love with! Granted, it kind of sucks to have to discuss something so intimate so quickly, but it needs to be done.

And don't let people pressure you into sex, or let anyone tell you it's no big deal. For some people it *isn't* a big deal, and for others it very, very much is. The reason it's a big deal doesn't matter at all outside of your relationship - do it only when it's right for you. Screw everyone else.

well, don't *screw* them. You know what I mean.
posted by AthenaPolias at 9:29 AM on December 11, 2006

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