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Your Call – How Long Can a Virgin Make a Guy Wait?

Tue, Mar 2, 2010

Advice, Dear Em & Lo, Your Call

photo by (nutmeg)

Dear Em & Lo,

I’m a 26-year-old virgin and, while I’m not waiting for marriage, I am waiting for the right guy. You know, that guy that won’t pressure me for sex because it’s the 3rd date or break up with me after 3 months because I’m not ready. And yes, both of those situations have happened, on more than one occasion. As I get older, it seems more impossible to find a guy that will wait for sex. I want someone to respect me and make me feel safe enough to want to share that with him, because if a guy can treat me like crap after a nice evening where I cooked dinner and he didn’t get any, then imagine how much worse I would have felt had I given in and slept with him.

So, I guess my questions are: are there guys out there that will wait and respect me, how long is too long for him to wait, and what do guys think about a girl making them hold out for sex? I have male friends that respect me for waiting but, guys I date — that’s something else.

– The 26-Year-Old Virgin

What do you think the 26 Y.O.V. should do? Let her know in the comments below:

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253 Responses to “Your Call – How Long Can a Virgin Make a Guy Wait?”

  1. Mary Says:

    I’m 29 and have the same story. It’s taken me a while to see that how he treats you on this topic is a pretty good indicator of how he will act on other things. Before anyone accuses me of manipulating, I don’t use sex as a proving ground; this is just a side-benefit.

    Does he communicate well about sex, ask about your motivations and express his own opinions? Or does he make assumptions based on your (non-)actions? If he can’t talk about a common denominator like sex, it’s hard to imagine him taking part in something more profound.

    How would he feel about sleeping with a virgin, or does he just run for the door? I’ve had a guy say that, even if I were willing, he wouldn’t want to take on the “burden” of my virginity and the inevitable emotions I would feel for him as my “first”…and he didn’t want to spend time on an inexperienced sex partner. See? Better off without him.

    And the ability to communicate goes both ways. Do you feel comfortable having these discussions with him? If not, then you may have trust issues that don’t bode well. Or maybe you’re not that interested, if you don’t want to push that envelope. And I believe Em and Lo always recommend getting the skinny on various health questions, comfort zones, contraception, etc.

    So, common sense, trust your gut, and when in doubt, you know your vibrator still loves you :)

  2. Sophie Says:

    If after three months with the same guy you don’t feel confident enough with him to have sex, you’re only dating jerks or you are afraid of men/sex. Perhaps you should think about why you never felt ready, and then be honest with your partner. In a situation where a woman makes them hold out for sex, I suppose a lot of guys would think she’s playing games, Ă  la “you’re not going to have any until you buy me a pony”. Communicate, tell him you need to feel confortable around him to be intimate with him, but to do so you need to know how he can make you feel confortable first.

  3. TechCoquette Says:

    I agree with Sophie. I think that if, after three months, you still don’t feel comfortable enough to have sex, then maybe the guy is the problem. Instead of saying, “How long should I wait to have sex?” maybe it should be “How long should it take a guy to show me he’s great?” A good guy — the right guy — will do that pretty quickly.

  4. Alice Says:

    Kudos on waiting for the right guy. I had that exact same situation. I dated around, but wanted to wait until I met the right guy for me, which didn’t happen until I was 28. We dated for 4 months before I was ready (but we only saw each other on the weekends). During that time, we fooled around a bit (he was experienced and knew I was a virgin), and he would sometimes ask if we could do it, but always backed off once I said no. When I felt ready, I was confident that he was the right guy for me. He later said he was glad I made him wait because our relationship could develop at a slower pace, and he was happy that I trusted him with my first time. He also said that if he likes the girl, he can wait longer for sex, but if he doesn’t really like her, he will pressure her for sex sooner.
    I don’t know how long is too long… but I’m pretty sure he would have waited longer than 4 months. I’m the one who couldn’t wait!
    So yes, guys who respect girls do exist, but I had to wait 28 years to find a guy like that!

  5. Cally Says:

    I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 3 years now and am still a virgin (at 18). He says he will wait for me as long as I need him to. Find a guy like him!

  6. Jay Jay Says:

    There’s also a good chance that you could find a guy who is a virgin. Or is that a misnomer where you, as a virgin, at 26, would not want to have “inexperienced and virginal” sex? Perhaps you would prefer your foray into the sexual world be with a seasoned “expert”? I know a few good men who are truly fantastic guys who feel the same as you do regarding sex. Perhaps if you gave up the misplaced notion that as a woman, you are the only one out there not willing to throw away the idea of a meaningful experience just because you’re afraid it doesn’t exist or worst, has become passe. I applaud your diligence on this matter. Go snag yourself a fella who shares your charming and focused ideals!

  7. Conrad Says:

    Of course there are guys out there that will wait for you. But the real question is, why is sex something we feel we have to wait for? It’s what we are built to do. Everything else is societal.

  8. Madamoiselle L Says:

    This is hard to answer. Maybe not.

    The first man I had sex with waited about 3 months for me to decide I was ready. (that was for intercourse, there was a LOT of “heavy petting” going on before that, enough so there was no palpable “cherry” to “pop” thank Heavens.) I was, of course, only sixteen at the time and afterward even I thought I had made him wait TOO long. I can’t imagine he would have waited much longer, maybe a month or two, but he older and wasn’t a virgin and knew what he was missing. I didn’t yet. I admire his waiting that long. And, I was only sixteen.

    At the time, I had no idea he was “the one” just a guy I felt I was in love with, really liked, he really liked and loved me, and sex just seemed to be the next step AND we both really wanted to do it, a LOT. I would not have regretted it, even if we hadn’t ended up together some time later. You have to take the plunge eventually, I say better sooner than later. JMO.

    After trial of fire and ice, this man and I eventually found our way back to each other and have now been married for many years, and have children, home and great sex life. I can’t imagine if I had lost him, because I put off making love to him because I was “afraid” of sex. (And, to be honest, at the time, I wanted to, but was terrified, with NO good reason, except a Catholic upbringing and had had a sexual abuse situation in my childhood. Neither of which are much of a good reason NOT to have sex, and can easily be overcome, if you think about it in any detail.)

    At 26, I had a house which we own, a husband (the one who got to pop my cherry) and two kids….. and was still watching some of my single friends still plow through bars and clubs and one night stands, and pregnancy scares, and guys who never called back and biological clocks, and other assorted terrors of singles in their 20s. [shudder]

    I can’t anticipate dating again in my life now, barring a very serious catastrophe. If so, I don’t think I’d wait for a man to have sex beyond 3 or 4 dates or so, if I had any fondness for him in the least. Three months? I don’t have that kind of patience. Nor that low of a sex drive. But, it takes all kinds.

    I need to ask, what ARE you waiting for? Even if he isn’t “the one” by THREE months you should be able to know if you “trust him” or not, know that we cared about each other, should have chosen a form of birth control, have discussed what would happen in the event of an unplanned pregnancy, and should feel pretty damn horny by now. I know My Man and I did all this, when I was still in High School.

    If he isn’t “the one” SO WHAT? Chalk it up to Good Experience, and move on, the burden of your “virginity” gone and best forgotten. What ARE you waiting for? You won’t find “perfection” in a man, anymore than a man will find “perfection” in a woman. A good relationship and similar interests and enjoying your time together and caring for each other is really all that it takes.

  9. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Wow, I had to comment: Mary said: “Does he communicate well about sex, ask about your motivations and express his own opinions? Or does he make assumptions based on your (non-)actions? If he can’t talk about a common denominator like sex, it’s hard to imagine him taking part in something more profound.” END QUOTE

    Honey, men don”t DO this. His MOTIVATIONS? He’s horny! He LIKES YOU. HE THINKS YOU ARE HOT! What else needs to be said? There is little men hate more than “talking about the relationship.” Yes, there should be a discussion (short, to the point and with as LITTLE emotion as necessary, you ARE talking to a guy, the fact ma’am, nothing but the facts) about birth control, pregnancy, and maybe even getting tested, or reporting on any STIs, but men, for the most part, DO NOT talk about much of anything else concerning “THE relationship” UNLESS it is about trying something new in bed. In fact My Man, when we are just sitting around together with nothing to do, (after several decades together) will say, “Soo, do you want to talk about our relationship?” AS A JOKE! If I jokingly say yes, he feigns fear and runs out of the room.

    You have to meet the Man as he is a Man at least HALF of the way there, and pressing him to “talk about our relationship” with emotion and details and “how do you feel about that?” etc will only make him uncomfortable, and NOT propel “the relationship” forward.

    I need to ask, have you, Mary, actually DONE this with a man? Did it work out? Are you still a “virgin”? Just wondering.

    Your mileage may vary. But, it probably won’t.

    Men aren’t just women with penises. We have to remember that.

  10. dialog Says:

    Thank you for asking that question in such a forum! I identify with your confusion on this and really appreciate the advice from other commenters.

    I am in a long-term relationship with a wonderful man. While we have fooled around quite a bit, we are both still technical virgins.
    This more intentional on my part. He values me enough to respect my boundaries and loves me enough to do whatever I want.

    Of course, I am over the moon happy about this, but do worry if I will ever be as lucky again.

    Bottom line: If he can’t deal with your virginity, then he probably can’t deal with your sexuality.

  11. Jennifer Says:

    Madamoiselle L, I have to say I found your post highly offensive. I’m glad for you that your life worked out the way you want, but you do not need to disparage other people’s choices, nor berate them for their level of comfort.

    Perhaps it was too long ago to remember, but you did have good reason to be scared: sex ups the ante on emotions and can have physical ramifications (like the pregnancy scares you mentioned).

    A person who is self aware will stop and think about these consequences before taking action, you do not seem to think that important or even valid.

    And yet what I take most offense at is your assumption that victims of child abuse is one of two reasons:

    “Neither of which are much of a good reason NOT to have sex, and can easily be overcome, if you think about it in any detail.”

    Your convoluted sentence seems to imply that abuse is simple and should just be thought about in order to approach sex without ramifications. I find it amazing to believe that you had such an easy time healthfully starting to have sex, with no leftover feelings or fears, but good for you. It is probably the case for a percentage of victims.

    But saying that anyone else who needs help is basically just doing it wrong is offensive. I have had friends and friends of friends who were abused, and it is no simple matter.

    As a side note I find it interesting that you say the man you married, who saved you from a life of single/terrible 20′s, would not have waited four months to sleep with you. You’re so sure. Proud almost. I don’t know what that means, but it would be interesting to look at, if you ever want to do that whole self examining thing, I think there would be a lot there.

    To Em and LO: I’m sorry this was so vitriolic, I get worked up over issues of child abuse.
    Also, I waited three months into my first serious relationship. I kinda wish I hadn’t slept with the a-hole, but I loved him and I’m glad to no longer be a virgin.

  12. Dannie Says:

    I don’t think it’s right for -anyone- to dictate to -anyone else- how long it should take for them to feel comfortable about having sex. Everyone is different, for different reasons. The point is that she should have sex -when she’s ready-; one can be completely into a guy, completely in love, and just not ready for the physical. And yes, the two feelings can be mutually exclusive, especially if she’s a virgin. So whether you’re being told there’s something wrong with you for not having sex by the guy you’re dating, or by some other person evaluating your relationship, know that the ultimate choice is yours. Do what you are comfortable with, and never settle for anyone who would force you into anything. In fact, being pressured/forced into sex is indeed rape. There’s nothing wrong with waiting, just as there’s nothing wrong with having sex–so long as one is -ready- to do so. If you want to have sex with a guy and truly feel it is time, go ahead–but don’t do it just because of what he may want, or what other people tell you you should be feeling.

  13. Spes Says:

    To The 26 year-old Virgin:
    YOU are not MAKING him wait. If a guy doesn’t want to wait, he has the option of leaving. YOU are NOT holding out on him. No one has the right (even spouses) to expect sex from anyone else. You do not have something that is his nor owe him anything, therefore you are not ‘holding out’ from him. YOU have made a choice not be rushed into something (it just happens to be sex in this case). If a guy likes and respects you enough to want to wait WITH you, then great, but if he acts like you are forcing this upon him, then he doesn’t really respect your decision and isn’t worth your time. How ever long it takes for you to be comfortable with having sex with a guy, is exactly how ever long it is okay to wait to have sex with him.
    Kudos to you for standing by your convictions.

  14. Spes Says:

    I must say that I, too, am appalled by Mad.L.’s statement concerning child abuse. For a woman who claims to be educated, I am stunned that you can write such a harmful and ignorant comment. Your flippant attitude towards childhood sexual trauma is not only insulting to every person who has struggled with overcoming such trauma, but is also dangerous. It is statements such as yours that are used to further abuse such victims.

  15. Rhett Butler Says:

    Let me recast the question to illuminate it a bit more. While the analogy isn’t perfect, let’s replace “sex” by “marriage” and reverse the gender roles and see if it makes any difference. How long should a guy expect to be able to make a woman wait before he commits to marriage? He should make her wait as long as he needs to in order to be sure that she really is the one for him. Conversely, it is not at all unreasonable for a woman to say that she wants to get married, and if it’s not gonna happen in this relationship, then she should feel free to move on. The actual time frame is completely up to the individuals. Whatever each finds reasonable really should be fine.

    The same with sex. We all enter into relationships with priorities, and it is up to each person to negotiate to see that his/her needs are met. Period. Whatever they mutually find satisfactory is the correct length of time. But let’s leave any notions like, “if he really loves you he’ll wait” out of it. It is legitimate to expect sex in a relationship at some point. And a man can reasonably weigh the chance that the relationship will work out against his immediate needs. If he thinks his odds are too remote for a long term relationship, then he should certainly feel free to move on. That isn’t selfish, nor demonstrative of a lack of respect.

    And oh, Spes, I must disagree with you on one point. If I were married and my wife decided one day that she didn’t want to engage in sexual activities anymore, that would be a deal breaker. Big time. It’s absolutely fine to have expectations of your partner, even sexual ones.

  16. Kim Says:

    Personally, I waited longer than most to have sex. I had other semi-long-term relationships but just wasn’t ready. The guy I lost my V-card to waited 5 months. Unfortunately, he stopped calling right after. So making a guy wait does NOT necessarily mean that he respects you. I was upfront with my current boyfriend that since I was burned in the past, he wasn’t likely to get much action at first(he had helped me through the break-up with my first). He understandably wasn’t totally enthused but he said he waited 8 months just to date me, he could wait to have sex with me. After a month of JUST kissing, I had enough and ripped his clothes off and told him I wanted sex. He actually refused me because he wanted to make sure it was really what I wanted, and not due to being caught up in the moment. He gave in after I pinned him down and climbed on top. ;-) The fact that he was able to ‘resist’ a naked woman for even a little bit made me realize how much he cared. Basically what I am saying is don’t make a guy wait a certain TIME FRAME, make him wait til you are COMFORTABLE.

  17. Passerby Says:

    I wasn’t a virgin when I first started dating my current boyfriend, but I had only done it with my previous boyfriend, and yeah, I did not want the count to get that much higher.

    He is 38, so he has had all kinds of experience before. But was very respectful from the beginning, and when things started to get hotter (like a month after we started seeing each other), I let him know that I had only had sex with my ex, and that we would need to take it slow until I was comfortable. He respected that (and even liked it).

    A few months in, I felt ready, but HE was the one who did not want to rush it, since he wanted to make sure we were going for the long haul first.

    We only started having sex after 7 months together, and it was simply amazing, because once we did it, we were so comfortable with each other and we were both very into each other. So… It is worth waiting, and trust me, there are a bunch of guys who would respect your time and even enjoy the mistery…

  18. Bubbles Says:

    I agree with the majority of Spes’s comment, particularly that you are not making someone wait on you. If you are 26 and have not had numerous productive, loving relationships and aren’t comfortable having sex with someone for less than that, go for it. I know many men under the age of 35 who share your view. Yes, many. Some are religious and choose virginity as part of their faith, some are less social and have trouble connecting with women initially (just shy no antisocial traits), some have simply dedicated much of their lives to this point to obtaining high-level degrees and didn’t want to risk their future with accidental pregnancies. My point: these men exist, even in your age bracket. Men who will respect you until you’re ready (but who have sexual experience) also exist; again, I know many. These men aren’t always easy to find, but the right man (or men, over time) will come along.

    However, if you can honestly look back at all your ex-boyfriends and former dates that didn’t work out and see a pattern developing in their personalities, likes/dislikes, where you met them, etc…I’d encourage you to either change where you meet them, reevaluate what attracts you to them, etc. Sometimes a few visits to a psychotherapist is helpful for that type of thing, and a good straight-talking friend might serve well too for this…if you are willing to listen.

  19. Lindsey Says:

    You can wait as long as you like, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. When the time is right it will be right. The most important thing about having sex with someone else is that you are comfortable with being intimate with them. Whether that takes two days or two years doesn’t matter, what matters is that you feel right about the situation.

    Just focus on loving you for exactly who you are. There is nothing wrong with being a virgin. When you focus on loving you and building your confidence you’ll attract a guy who will love you for who you are and will be worthy of being with you.

  20. Dannie Says:

    Rhett, I think Spes meant more in the, “I don’t feel like it tonight, honey,” sense of the idea within marriage. Sometimes you don’t want to have sex, and no one–not a husband/wife or anyone else, should force you into it. Yes, you have the right to leave if that is a priority in your relationship, but no one should be forced or pressured into the act. Ever. And yes, rape does exist within marriage.

  21. Ellie Says:

    The right guy will wait as long as you need… this I know for sure. And I agree with an above poster. You aren’t “holding out” on him. You’re making a mutually respected decision about your body. Way different.

  22. Dave W Says:

    I think she should guard against being like someone who says their wedding day has to be perfect or is perpetually saying that they haven’t met their soulmate yet. In other words, that she doesn’t have a problematic outlook on the endeavor. If not, then she has every right to wait until she feels comfortable and safe.

    One more thing: If I were her, I wouldn’t make it a point to advertise her outlook. I might not pursue a date with a girl who I knew felt that way, because of pre-conceived notions a la “The Virgin” episode of Seinfeld. But I could easily see myself waiting for a girl that I’m already dating and liking.

  23. Tiffany Says:

    My boyfriend and I waited 2 years before we had sex. We’ve been dating now for almost 6.5 years. Given we were really young and both of us were virgins, the situation may not be completely relatable, but I just wanted to say that you’re definitely making the right choice.

    My boyfriend wanted sex, but never forced me. Even when I said I wanted sex, he asked if I was sure before jumping on the chance.

    A guy who is really going to be there for you in the long run is going to respect your choices. There ARE guys like that out there. You’ll find one. No worries. I’m just glad you’re making the right decisions so far and following your gut about these guys you have been dating. There is no such thing as “too long.” If you did want to wait until marriage, he would respect that if he really cared about the relationship. If you’re not ready, he should respect that. If you’re comfortable enough with the guy, you’ll be able to communicate this and, if he’s the right guy, he’ll get it.

    As for holding out on guys, it’s fine as long as you’re not doing it to spite him. If you’re holding out because you’re not ready, that’s definitely your personal choice.

  24. Johnny Says:

    She’s not “making” him do anything! That’s a bad mindset to take. It sets up sex as a prize to be won by the right guy.

    And ever see what Eddie Murphy has to say about a man who feels like he’s being “made” to wait, or “made” to win sex like it’s some kind of prize?

    It’s a personal decision and a virgin should wait as long as she wants. It’s got nothing to do with the “right guy,” as far as I’m concerned.

    As for the dudes waiting around indefinitely… wtf? Who but a high school boy would wait months and months for sex? Personally I wouldn’t even try to seduce a virgin – I’d move on out of respect for her values and our obvious incompatibility.

  25. Juana Says:

    It’s simple. You wait until you’re ready. Choosing to have sex with anyone — whether you’re a virgin or not — is your choice. You should wait until you feel comfortable with a potential partner. Sometimes that takes a few days, other times it takes a few months. Being physically intimate shouldn’t make or break a relationship.

    I would also urge you to communicate with the guys you’re dating. No, “So, I’m a virgin” shouldn’t be the first thing you say when you meet a potential partner, but if you’re honest about the fact that you’re choosing to wait on sex for the time being, I think you might get rid of some of the hurt feelings and confusion that can often go along with that decision.

  26. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Ah, Jeez, I kinda thought my comment on abuse would be taken the wrong way. WHAT I MEANT WAS, the asshole who abused you already ruined things ONCE for you, if you LET HIM make you a continual victim, and let him DENY YOU a good sex life, HE CONTINUES TO WIN!!!!

    It happened to me, too, you know!

    I REFUSE to take “victim” as my identity. One can get therapy, or one can think the thing through and work through it with increasing self confidence.

    Child sexual abuse is a HORRIBLE thing, but it can be overcome, and if one clings to the status and identity “Victim” there is simply no way she can enjoy her life (unless she hangs around with Oprah, I guess.)

    I wasn’t being “flip” I was being realositc. I know too many women (and a few men) who avoid enjoyable lives and wear their identity as “Victim” as a badge. The abuse was something that HAPPENED to me, however it is NOT what MADE me who I am. I refuse to let that asshole pedophile win, and clinging to a Victim Identity would to just that.

    YOUR mileage may vary. I CHOSE TO MOVE ON and enjoy the rest of my life.

    Spes, I like ya, but you really have to learn to turn down your “I’m shocked and offended.” dial. It evidentally “goes to eleven.”

    What happened was not our fault or our choice. HOW we CHOOSE to deal with it IS our choice. I chose to continue to LIVE!!!!

  27. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Thank you, Rhett Butler, I agree with 100% of what you said. Many women want that ring on their finger in short order, but want a man to “wait” a very long, indeterminate time for sex in some cases. Great analogy.

    Also, a sexless marriage would be a deal breaker for a lot of women, too.

  28. Spes Says:

    Thank you, Dannie. That was my point exactly.

  29. SS Says:

    I agree with you ML, there are those people who have a sh&tty upbringing (not necessarily sexual abuse, but including that), and then deal with it, move on, and don’t let it define them, and then there are those who have made it their identity, who actually don’t want to get “better” because their identity is tied to their former situation.
    Also agree with Conrad: we have made such a very big deal about sex in our society, with intercourse being the “Holy Grail” of the experience (where some people will do “everything but,” and then hang onto that virginity label)…why? Romance novels aside, most “firsts” aren’t all that great (first sex, first attempt at cooking, first ski lesson, etc.) and get better with time and experience. We don’t wait until we have the perfect kitchen/stove/pan/brand of chocolate to bake our first cake, why do people do that with sex? (“Sorry, honey, I’m not going to even try to bake you a birthday cake until I have that 8 burner Viking range, because I know it will be so much better…”) I wonder if people who are avoiding sex until the situation is “perfect” are just trying to avoid experiencing the pain and loss that potentially comes with any relationship, as though if you find the “perfect” guy, he’ll never do anything to hurt you? Nobody’s perfect, or even close, so I’m thinking some of these people may be in for a very long wait…

  30. Dannie Says:

    Waiting isn’t necessarily about wanting perfection; perfection, is after all, impossible. Some just aren’t ready to take the leap. Pregnancy risk, STD risk, even just having a body not quite used to sexual sensations–all valid reasons for abstaining. And yes, I am aware that STD risks occur outside of intercourse. But my point is, some people just need to wait. A few months may in fact -be- a rush for some people, whereas many here seem to think a few months is a lifetime. It’s individual, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Within a relationship, as has been mentioned, someone can choose to respect that person’s individual need and wait with them, or they can decide it makes them incompatible and leave. It has nothing to do with should or shouldn’t, right or wrong; the only wrong would be if someone is pressured or forced into something they don’t really want to do. Gender-free, independent of orientation–everyone has a right to have sex when they are ready, which means that they should neither feel the need to wait nor the pressure to rush.

  31. Dannie Says:

    And speaking of gender. Let me say here that I’m not exactly 100% with the way we’re gendering this, that gals make guys wait for sex and men make women wait for marriage. The sex of the individual is outside of the equation: one person is ready for one thing while the other is not. That is it. And I do believe that guys can take a stake and put time into a relationship for more than just sex. If they are attracted to the person, yes, they will want sex–but they should also want their prospective partner to want it, too. Furthermore, the idea that a woman would be denied sex because a man thinks she is not ready when she has decided she is just reeks of patriarchy. Just as a person has a right to decide not to have sex, they have the right to decide to have sex. And there is nothing wrong with either decision.

  32. Dave W Says:

    Madamoiselle L,
    I can’t say I agree with everything you say about choice. Out of the people who haven’t been very successful moving on from sexual abuse, I don’t think all of them simply haven’t made the choice to move on. I don’t know why their wheels haven’t gained traction, while yours did. It’s not so easily understood. For my whole life, I’ve dealt with chronic depression(dysthymia). This is not something most people seem to be able to understand, especially in a man. I’m not sure how well someone with dysthymia would be able to move on from sexual abuse. When someone shows a lack of understanding, sometimes I ask them to look inside themselves at something they haven’t been very successful at addressing, and that other people don’t understand. But then, they don’t seem very inclined to do that.

  33. Me Says:

    I want to answer to what SS said, I have felt the wrenching pain of loss without having sex with any of the guys I have been with. I didn’t need that to assess my relationships.One of the good things(but not only that like the fact that I had the guts to walk away and make good decisions for myself) I could tell myself is that this guy didn’t have my first time. Sure I agree that waiting for perfection is unrealistic but it just feels more logical to wait to have a good bond with the other person. Other things count like not being at the right place at the right time or the fact that in between the time where it is statistically admitted to lose one’s virginity (like 15 to 18) and now in my twenties, it felt safer not to be rash in deciding who I have my first time with. I’m not worried about the guy leaving me, I’m concerned with how much the person cares about me when it happens and how special I want to feel. I don’t think perfection has its place in this order of things but I want to place personal value on this. I would be upset if it was that unexciting or overrated.

  34. Karen B Says:

    I am 18, a virgin, and currently debating whether to have sex with my boyfriend. I am in love, and we have gone out together for over 10 months but I want to wait until we find out if we will be going to college near each other so I know whether it is possible for the relationship last or if it is going to be ending rather suddenly. I’ve been told I should have sex when I am ready, but I know while I may feel ready now I will not be OK if I have to break it off. Sorry, for talking about myself but what I am saying is there are guys who will wait, more than 3 months or 3 dates to have sex. This is pretty normal at my school where many couples go out for at least 3 months before sex. I think sex should be something only done with someone you trust and love but at the same time I would have felt ready to have sex at 6 months if it wasn’t for the split that will most likely have to take place at the end of school. My boyfriend and I have talked about it, and I did make it clear that I was not going to be waiting for marriage, but I did want to wait and I think that was a crucial discussion. I think many people assume that if you are waiting, it is for marriage and that needs to be communicated one way or another when the relationship is still in its beginning stage. I’m sure my boyfriend would have stayed with me through high-school if I had told him I was going to wait for marriage and try to convince me otherwise but, we are in high school, and I doubt he would be willing to continue the relationship into college if he knew he was going to be in a sexless relationship indefinitely.

  35. Deathbunny Says:

    One thing to remember: If you are selecting a long term partner based on his willingness to wait, you may be selecting him based on something you aren’t intending. Willingness to have an intimate relationship with a woman without sex can be derived from several potential situations on his part.

    1) He could be an idealist that puts some a way of thinking over his/your emotional and physical drives. This can be religion or other ideals.

    2) He could be a very empathetic guy basing his tolerance on your emotional state. This is probably the ideal you are looking for.

    3) He could have low or no sexual desire.

    Conditions 1 and 3 (and there could be others) have a great potential for causing problems later if you do not share his set of ideals or if your sex drive is greater than his.

    Just something to keep in mind and assess as you search.

    Good luck.

  36. Loren Says:

    Long waits are common with teen virgins but if a woman in her 20′s still said “not yet” at 3 months I would figure she’s got some big hangups with sex and I would leave. It is not a matter of not being willing to wait, it’s a matter of what probably lies at the end of that wait.

  37. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Me said : “I’m concerned with how much the person cares about me when it happens and how special I want to feel… I would be upset if it was that unexciting or overrated. END QUOTE

    Me, if you put TOO much emphasis on the “First Time” being a bigger and bigger deal, the longer you put it off, the more you WILL find it “overrated.”

    For most women, and even a lot of men, the first time wasn’t the fireworks and soul melding experience they thought it might be. And the more you hold out for that, the more disappointed you will be the next morning, when you are a little sore, probably didn’t see stars or even have an orgasm (Unless you and your man have been practicing some very advanced sexual moves and you have had orgasms from these before)and you might be more likely to actually think “That was it?” The first time is rarely a way to judge what your eventual sex life will be like.

    If your man is NOT a virgin then it won’t be as big a deal to him as it might be to you. Doesn’t mean he won’t care, just that he has done this before, and face it, sex with a virgin is few people’s idea of the best time in bed. (Once you gain experience, even it is is with the same guy, things will be different, but for that to happen the FIRST time has to be gotten through.) Once you gain experience, it can be that fireworks and mind meld experience. The first time is usually always, “OMG, do I look weird? Does he think I smell funny? Am I making too much noise? Did I not make enough noise? Is it going to hurt more? Should I move more? HOW? Is he enjoying it? Am I enjoying it? OW…..wtf was that? What if I bleed? What if I don’t bleed? Oh, that was kinda nice. OMG, he’s DONE already?” and so on.

    Yes, the guy MAY leave you. (although you say you don’t care about that……) Few people end up permanently with the person they lost their cherry to. So? You move on.

    He may leave if even if you don’t have sex. Having had sex doesn’t make a break up any worse. Unless the woman thinks of sex as something she “gives” to a man. Then there are other issues.

    All I am saying is the more you expect out of “The First Time” the more you will be disappointed. Kind of like those girls who spend their whole childhood looking at wedding magazines, and thinking about “being a bride” they find A Guy who will marry them, take 2 years to plan “the perfect wedding” only to be left with nothing but a let down feeling once that SINGLE DAY is over and it wasn’t all she “thought it would be.” Not exactly the same but similar. The more emphasis one puts on just how special something will be, without ever having done it, the more likely they are to be disappointed.

    Sex is fantastic! But, it takes a while to learn how to make it fantastic. Experience is one of the keys to a fantastic sexual life. You and your man have to learn what you each like and what the other likes. That knowledge is rarely there “The first time” even if you aren’t a virgin.

    You have every right to wait as long as you like, but as you age, the pool of men who are “willing to wait” months or even years will get smaller and small, and honestly, in their late 20s, or older, weirder and weirder (sorry, I know some people are going to freak out, but a guy with a low sex drive who is willing to NOT have sex for months or years is just……weird to me.)

    You have the right to put it off. if you think that will make things better when it finally happens. But, there are consequences to doing this too long, also. Often large consequences.

    And no one can “guarantee” you that “the right guy is willing to wait as long as you make him wait.” Not true. I know a few women who lost perfectly good men to “waiting games.” And plenty of men who really cared for a woman and just ended the relationship because it wasn’t moving forward. (And for most men, and a LOT of women, SEX is an integral part of a GOOD ADULT relationship.)

    I don’t believe that every person has ONE soul mate, so there are men out there, or there is only “one perfect man or woman” for anyone, but after a while “the good ones are taken” (as any woman dating in her late 20s or 30s or beyond) and your search will become more and more difficult. After High School and college, meeting people becomes more difficult, and also the pool of men who are unattached shrinks as well.

    Good luck. You may want to lower your expectations (as many would see them as unrealistic, although I guess you are entitled to “expect” whatever you think may happen) and if you have a man you care about, think about the consequences of NOT making love to him.

    Your mileage may vary.

  38. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Dave W, I respect your viewpoint and understand. I feel for you. I also completely understand where you are coming from. I’m sorry you have suffered. I’ve had depressive episodes, also. Serious ones.

    However, I don’t believe in making That Thing That Happened be the lynch pin of my entire life.

    Nor do I blame things on it nor put off normal adult activities using “that thing” as an excuse not to engage. I probably shouldn’t have said it was “simple” to move on (more the Catholic thing I was referring to) but I think an ADULT (or even adolescent) has the RESPONSIBILITY to address their issues, and DEAL with them, either on their own, or through therapy and meds. I’ve done all of these. (But, plunged into a very satisfying sex life before the official therapy or meds, just working it out in my own mind. NOT MY FAULT. That was my mantra, now I don’t have to think about it all that much.) As have most people in that situation, “depressed” or not. (And I think that having these issues in one’s past is certainly more likely to have one end up clinically depressed at one time or an other than if it had not happened. I don’t know a single person who has had this horrible experience who hasn’t been depressed at one time or an other. It means we just have to work harder to overcome it.)

    As I said, I refuse to take “Victim” as my Identity and I insist on dealing with things as they occur, so they don’t cripple my ability to move forward in my life.

    I’ve had some horrible nasty depression. SSRIs, therapy and introspection (but not TOO much, that can be a problem as well) helped, but to be honest, nothing helps pull me out of a cyclothymic downward spiral than good sex. (Despite the “horrible thing” that happened so long ago)

    I don’t think that having a depressive situation would make someone LESS likely to put The Horrible Thing in the past (where it belongs) and move on than anyone else. JMNSHO.

    I hope you can find peace. :)

  39. milena Says:

    I’m sorry, but what are you waiting for? You say you’re waiting for the right men, and you’re dating these guys…. If you don’t sleep with them after a couple of months of seeing them, it’s like you’re saying, “no, you’re not the right guy for me” and nobody wants to waste their time with someone who doesn’t think they’re the right person for.

    Maybe that’s the problem. You can have your reasons for not having sex and the rest of the world has to respect them, but don’t complain about guys dumping you over it. Very few guys will wait forever, especially with that excuse.

  40. Allen Says:

    Vitals: I’m a 26 year old guy who has had sex before.

    I dated a girl for over a year, who was a year older than me. For those of you counting, that makes her 27.

    She was great in bed. Fantastic. The kind of girl (yes, I realize I”m referring to a 27 year old female as a ‘girl’–what can I say? It fits) that a guy knows immediately that he wants to have sex with.

    She had never had sex before. Everything else–in spades. But not intercourse.


    She was adopted, and somehow that got tangled up in her emotions about sex. I was fine with it. For the first 8 months. Then I started to resent her. Like commenters have noted before me, I knew what I was missing. And I knew that with her, I was missing even more than usual.

    This is for all you “just explain it to him” women out there: I tried to talk to her about it. I explained to her that by now, when I’d shown amply that she could trust me, that I loved her, etc, and it was all genuine, and she knew it, what was the problem?

    She couldn’t explain it. She shut down, and rolled over and faked sleep until I gave up. If she had given me a reason, I’d have accepted it, provided it made any sense. She said she wouldn’t do it until she was married.

    Here’s the problem with that, to me, and most guys I know: no guy in this day and age is going to marry a girl who won’t have sex with him after more than enough time, trust, love, commitment, etc. A ring is wholly artificial. For some of you girls, it’s a defense: I’m not married = no. And from a guy’s perspective, this is profoundly selfish. The relationship is not all it could be without sex. And in most guys’ minds, having sex might be the clincher that leads to the ring. It might make the ring even a formality–something that’s obviously going to happen.

    You girls say I won’t trust him if he won’t wait until whenever it is I feel like it. To that I say I won’t trust HER if she’s not willing to give that part of herself to me. These days, women are no longer pure princesses, armed with chastity and virtue and innocence. You women are career-oriented, you’re world travelers, you’re capable adults. Why remain children by withholding sex from a guy you care about, love?

    It doesn’t make any sense. It’s selfish. And it could lead to the end of your relationship. And by 8 months–that’s justified. Because we guys think: what am I wasting my time for? She says she loves me, but she clearly doesn’t. People that love each other can’t STOP having sex–let alone avoid STARTING.

    We’re designed for it. It’s the reason we’re here. Make sure you know the person, trust the person, love the person–and then relax a little. Sex is like an appetite–there’s always another around the corner.

  41. Feaad Says:

    Here’s the thing about waiting for sex: the waiting can be fun. All that tension, the build up? All the ways that you can pleasure each other without actual penetration? When I lost my virginity, we took a while to get there. However, some guys have their own hang ups about sex; you can’t just assume that they’re animals who just want to screw whatever walks into the room. Losing your virginity means a lot of things: birth control, risks of pregnancy and disease, it may hurt, and it’s a new way to interact with someone. You want to wait for you – NOT because you’re testing? – then wait. You want to be excited about it, not resistant. But also know that some guys do have expectations and it’s fair to want certain things out of a relationship. If you don’t want those things, then it’s not the right pair. However, there will be someone out there.

  42. Noir Says:

    If you are waiting for Mr. Right, why not wait to marry Mr. Right? After all, once you find Mr. Right, would you ever want to leave Mr. Right? I think not. It’s something to think about. . . .

  43. Cally Says:

    A woman is not selfish and not a child if she doesn’t want to give her virginity to you, Allen, and for you to need that part of her to fully trust her signals you may have some trust issues. As I’ve said before, my boyfriend and I have been dating for 3 years and we have not lost our virginities yet. He says he will wait until marriage if that’s what it takes for me to feel comfortable. Personally, I am terrified. It is an extremely intimate act to me, to allow someone else to be fully inside me, joining us together. And it will be painful. I am not “testing” him, and I am sure as hell NOT being selfish to be afraid, and it’s incredibly offensive that you would make that assumption.

    Not all guys fit the molds that some of the commenters think must dictate how men and women interact. Some guys are actually PEOPLE, not caricatures or stereotypes. It’s a pity that seems to be the only type of person you’ve interacted with.

  44. Doug Says:

    Virginity is not a gift. It’s not something a woman presents to a man to show him how much she loves him and how special she is. Period. If you are not ready to have sex with him for personal reasons, more power to you. But your virginity isn’t something you “give;” it just means you haven’t had sex yet.

  45. Cally Says:

    There are just so many things wrong with Allen’s comment I just had to come back and go through step-by-step to be sure I didn’t miss anything (can you tell this is a rather touchy subject for me?).

    “No guy in this day and age is going to marry a girl who won’t have sex with him after more than enough time, trust, love, commitment, etc.”
    Just wrong. Proven over and over again by, I can probably assume, thousands of couples, religious or not. Example: my boyfriend and me. We have talked about marriage, and as I stated earlier, he has said he will wait if that’s what I need.

    “…’I won’t trust him if he won’t wait until whenever it is I feel like it.’ To that I say I won’t trust HER if she’s not willing to give that part of herself to me.”
    You write as if you believe losing one’s virginity is a casual decision. While it may be for many (most of my friends saw it as no big deal), it most definitely is NOT for many others. See point I made in previous comment, as well as my speculation on YOUR trust issues from needing to take a girl’s virginity/have sex with her to trust her, which is just so twisted and strange it doesn’t really need a response.

    “These days, women are no longer pure princesses, armed with chastity and virtue and innocence. You women are career-oriented, you’re world travelers, you’re capable adults. Why remain children by withholding sex from a guy you care about, love?”
    So because of women’s lib, basically, we shouldn’t have any problem with having sex with a guy who wants it? Because we aren’t sheltered and expected to stay in the kitchen and have babies, we should no longer have these kind of opinions about our own bodies? Just because we aren’t “pure princesses” (which, by the way, is an absolutely idiotic term to refer to a virgin or sexually naive woman. Virginity does not equate to purity), does not mean we don’t still value our bodies and our opinions about them. Losing my virginity is frightening to me personally because of the incredible amount of intimacy it entails, as well as the pain I know will happen. I’m not at all withholding sex and intimacy from my boyfriend by saying no to penetration.

    “It doesn’t make any sense. It’s selfish. And it could lead to the end of your relationship. And by 8 months–that’s justified. Because we guys think: what am I wasting my time for?”
    Selfish. Waste of time. That’s an interesting view of one of your potential girlfriends who won’t give it up to you. Sounds like you don’t really respect her as a person who can make independent choices. I wouldn’t say my relationship with my boyfriend has been a waste of time; far from it. That’s an extremely disrespectful way to view a woman who doesn’t want to have sex. I hope you let all your girlfriends know from the start that they aren’t worth your time if they won’t have sex with you. Pretty juvenile.

    “She says she loves me, but she clearly doesn’t. People that love each other can’t STOP having sex–let alone avoid STARTING.”
    How dare you suggest I don’t love my boyfriend. How dare you say that girlfriends don’t truly love their significant others if they don’t have sex with you. How can you possibly presume to speak for all couples? Sex≠love, you idiot! It is a wonderful, wonderful perk of being in love (or not, it doesn’t matter either way), but it is not love and it is not a signifier of love. You are applying your own experience to everyone else’s!

    “We’re designed for it. It’s the reason we’re here.”
    Asexuals. Homosexuals. Sex is biologically for reproduction, but everyone does it differently (or not at all). And that’s okay. It’s beautiful, whatever you choose. We are not here to pass judgement on others’ choices or to make everyone conform to our idea of what life should be like. We are here to be ourselves, enjoy ourselves and love each other, no matter what form it takes.

  46. Aaron Says:

    If this was a rl conversation I’d put on my Paula Dean voice…

    Hon, you can take as much time as you need.

    There are lots of reasons to choose to not have sex. There are lots of ways to create intimacy in a relationship without sex.

  47. 30 year old virgin Says:

    I’m here too…. It’s been asked of me too many times to count. “Why are you so tight?” This is MINE. God gave me this choice, and no person can take it away from me. God says for women to save themselves for their future husbands. Not collect on all the mistakes that can happen before. I’m no one’s Library Card.

  48. misspiggy Says:

    erm… I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t know whether or not they want to have sex with someone by the second or third date. I mean, isn’t the reason you go on a date in the first place because you feel that you do, or might, want sex with the person? If you don’t feel that way, why would you date them?
    Having sex is very intimate, the first time is a little bit painful for women and often it isn’t brilliant anyway. But you would know well before three months if you felt like doing that with someone you were dating, wouldn’t you? That’s if you wanted sex at all. If you don’t want sex, that’s absolutely fine – and it is possible that some women in this situation may be unwilling to admit that they actually don’t want to have sex with a man… but whatever the reason for dating guys and not wanting sex, wouldn’t it be a good idea to sit down and really think about why, so that you don’t continue to put yourself and them in an impossible situation? There are plenty of opportunities for men and women who aren’t interested in sex at all to get together, so it seems a pity to keep on with such a wrangle.

  49. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Can someone tell me WTF being someone’s “Library Card” means?

    I love to go to the library and I can’t see any analogy with sex. I love sex, too. I just don’t see what they have in common.

    *sigh* Something tells me I’ll get a scary, disjointed, hell-and-brimstone answer. Y’all know me, I ask anyway.

  50. missorangeb Says:

    32-year old virgin checking in here to add my 2 (or 3 cents). To get the basics out of the way, I’m not a virgin because of any religious reason – I am in fact an atheist – or because I’m a prude or any other reason you might be imagining.

    Mostly I’m still a virgin out of circumstance. I wasn’t ready in high school or college. I dated around a lot in my early 20s but no real relationships and then I had one “actual” committed relationship in my mid-20s but he had a supreme amount of baggage and was the one who put the kibosh on any expectations for sex. After that I really stopped looking/never made it past a few dates over the last several years.

    Now I’ve just started seeing someone who I could possibly see “losing it” to. And boy, would that be welcome. Honestly, at this age it just feels like this tremendous burden. Luckily I have really low expectations for what the physical experience will be – pain, discomfort, orgasm-less. But I do imagine that I will be quite tied up in the emotional fallout. For this reason, and frankly the potential pain factor (ugh!), I’d rather wait until I knew there was a reasonable amount of mutual respect and possibly love for one another before taking the step to have sex. I don’t see that as unreasonable.

    As for Allen’s comments, they don’t offend me and I don’t really think he’s wrong to expect sex. As he and others have pointed out, sex IS a big part of most adult relationships. That particular woman he was dating sounds like she may have deep-seeded issues that were never worked through. I don’t know her or the whole story so I’m not going to comment further.

    ML, I think the “library card” analogy just referred to the fact that the 30-year old virgin doesn’t want to be another “notch in someone’s belt”. (Apparently I cannot properly explain this w/o another analogy!)

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