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

Mon, Jun 17, 2013

Advice, Dear Em & Lo, Your Call

photo by (nutmeg)

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section. 

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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:

***AN EM & LO ARCHIVE CLASSIC***

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8 Responses to “Your Call: How Long Can a Virgin Make a Guy Wait?”

  1. J Says:

    You’re allowed to wait as long as you want. You have every right to wait until you feel comfortable. But, guys have the right to wait for you as long as they want as well. In my opinion, three months would be a fairly long time to ask a man to wait, especially if he isn’t getting any from anyone else. I would say anything less than three months is reasonable. But asking him to wait much longer than that will start to get frustrating for him.

    I think the question that begs asking is, if you’ve dated someone exclusively for three months, what is getting in the way? Is it possible that you have some hang-ups that are unrelated to the man you’re with? I think if you work that out for yourself, the rest will fall into place

  2. Bryan Says:

    Withholding sex as a test for whether a man is relationship material is somewhat manipulative and may simply be a way for you to keep guys at a distance without looking like the bad person. The guy who leaves you after three days, or three weeks, or three months is always going to be the pig who only wanted sex. The question you really need to ask yourself is “What do I want?” If you don’t want to have sex within a relationship of relatively short duration, that’s fine. Don’t blame the men when they leave you, though. Most men don’t place that much of a premium on virginity or the sex act itself. They may also be thinking–do I want to be responsible for taking this girl’s virginity and teaching her the ropes sexually? Many men don’t even want to be a woman’s first. Really I think you need to rethink your whole attitude toward sex, maybe even get some counseling, because if you think your first time is going to be some knock-out experience, you’re probably going to be disappointed. That’s not to say you need to immediately instigate a random hookup just to get it over with. But you ought to consider lowering your standards a bit, because the only guy who is going to wait months for you to feel “safe” is the kind of guy with some hangups of his own. He may be a virgin and have hangups around pre-marital sex, too. Or he may have low self-esteem and thinks he has to give in to your wishes, or else lose you. Anyway you look at it, your high standards are chasing away a lot of good guys who don’t care to be manipulated into “proving” themselves to you.

  3. hannah Says:

    I agree, you have every right to wait for as long as you want… But you really can’t take it personally when guys give up after a couple months. I would personally not be ok with waiting over a month, although I’m sure there are plenty of people who feel differently.

    I guess how I feel about it is, sex is such a fundamental part of a relationship, and my feelings need to be allowed to grow organically in the context of a sexual relationship in order for me to truly feel connected with someone. It does something to you, and bonds you together, in ways that I can’t replicate in any other way. I mean, think about it… if people did not reproduce sexually, would we even have a concept of love, marriage, romance, or soulmates? I doubt it. Sex is the very origin of love, and it’s very challenging to maintain love without it.

    I don’t mean to pressure you, but I do think you need to be fair to the people you are dating. If someone is waiting a month for you, that actually IS an incredible testament to how strongly they feel about you. It is probably very upsetting for them, not because they are crazed nymphos who HAVE to have sex, but because they probably feel like the relationship is stunted and the power is all in your court (no in fact, that you are stunting the relationship), and they feel so strongly that they want to have that connection with you. I’m just saying, it is not always that they don’t respect you. In fact, if they try to date you at all, knowing it is a long way off, they probably respect you very deeply and really care about your needs in ways that most people won’t. Maybe in some ways, you are not respecting them…

  4. Lily Says:

    Wow, I’m a little stunned by the comments above. Just some context about me so you’ll have a better time judging how useful my advice will be to you. 26 YOV, I am a 27 year old female virgin that will be 28 in a few months. I grew up in a pretty standard environment- was raised by a healthy loving family and have not been traumatized in any way. My family had its ups and downs but I feel my childhood was overall a joyous one. Neither my parents nor I am religious and my reasons for staying a virgin are similar to yours- I want to make sure the relationship is a good one before I am comfortable about moving in that direction, and the main thing I need is to build up enough personal comfort with someone so I can sleep with them. I once dated a guy for 6 months and the most we did was kiss and some touching. We were very clear with communication early in the relationship, I told him my thoughts and he said that he would be alright waiting for a long time for sex (he wasn’t a virgin) and that he had dated someone else for over 1 year without sex before they broke up (she moved). So there are people out there that are willing to wait, but there they have to really like you a lot. But then again would you sleep with someone who didn’t? It would probably help to talk these things over with your future dates once you guys get into serious kissing and would be able to broach the issue without being overly awkward, so then you can ask what their expectation of reasonable wait times are. I did seriously consider having sex around this time frame, so hopefully that’s helpful to you as a reference point to think about.
    Bryan:
    It is extremely unfair to assume that 26 YOV has “hangups” and even more insulting to suggest she needs counseling. You have no information to gauge why she is a virgin. I admit it is unusual, but there are all kinds of people in the world and they all want different kinds of things from a relationship. There does not need to be any kind of “hangup”. (For your reference the guy I dated didn’t have hangups either, he was just plain decent). My reasons are that I value exclusivity in an intimate relationship and will only be interested after I’ve explored in depth if my partner and I are a good match in terms of temperament, worldviews, interests, what we want in life, etc. I will not jump to sex if I do not find a certain amount of fulfillment in most of these things first.
    Contrast this with what Hannah said above, we are very different in our approach to relationships and my way will obviously not be to her liking nor her to mine. Therefore, 26 YOV, do not take her words seriously when she says “you are disrespecting them if you don’t sleep with them”. That is the way she would feel in a relationship if she did what you are doing, but she is not you and vise versa. Neither way is right or wrong, but don’t do things just because someone says its right because it’s not necessarily right for you personally. And if you give into pressure without being sure, you’ll carry the regret and possible emotional scarring for life. Just do what you are comfortable doing and someone who loves you will at least try to be okay with it. Good luck with everything.

  5. Michelle Says:

    Wow J, Bryan, and Hannah,
    You are some VERY judgmental people. It’s insulting to assume that 26YOV has hang-ups or needs counseling or is being disrespectful. Why not just accept that people are different? People have different values and beliefs. For some people sex is the most important part of a relationship, which is fine. Other people might not place that high a priority on sex and value the emotional aspects of a relationship and that is perfectly fine as well. There are asexual people who have healthy romantic relationships so you don’t necessarily need sex to have love. Some people do and some people don’t. Nothing wrong with either.
    Also, another thing to consider might be sex drive. Maybe 26 YOV has a lower sex drive, which is totally fine, because people are different. I don’t judge people who want to wait a while nor do I judge people who hook up with random strangers.
    For the record, I was even older than 26 when I finally had sex (gasp! 30). I probably have a lower sex drive than most people. I’m not religious, I wasn’t waiting for marriage, I don’t have any hangups about sex, and I’ve never felt uncomfortable with my body. I simply never felt like doing it until I met the guy that I lost my virginity with. It was that simple. No hang-ups or disrespect or mental health issues. I just waited until I FELT LIKE DOING IT.
    26YOV, I think you should have sex whenever you feel ready for it. If you’re dating someone who is not willing to wait then you might just have to accept that the two of you have very different values and are simply not compatible with each other. Or you might end up meeting someone you’re so hot for you’ll want to do it right away. Anything can happen. Whatever happens, you should do whatever you feel comfortable with, whether it’s f***ing on the first date or waiting for a year. It’s your choice. Good luck to you.

  6. S Says:

    I was you until a month ago. I just didn’t feel ready and yes, absolutely there were men who made me feel terrible for not being there. But the man with whom I finally had sex was not a jerk about having to wait a few months (I think it was almost 2) and was cool about me being a virgin. You make a man wait as long as you want to make him wait. Sex will be better if you’re ready for it. If he doesn’t want to wait, then he can go have sex with someone else. Pretty easy.

  7. Burned Card Says:

    I have a slightly different take on all this…

    I had met my last gf back in 2007, I was 32 and she was 30….I wasn’t a virgin (lost it back in 2000) and she was.

    At the time, I was five years removed from my last relationship and I had done absolutely fuck-all in the interim…no dating, no kissing, no hookups…nada

    Might have been a case of two people with a lot to give meeting each other and the floodgates opening….but she told me about her virginity pretty early on after the first few days of seeing each other.

    I remember telling her that I know what it’s like to be a late bloomer in that department and that I had wished that my first time was with someone that I was in a serious relationship with. So, I know how important of a deal that this is to most people (at least IMO) and that I was willing to wait as long as she wanted me to, whatever “steps” that she wanted to take down that path, she would have to be the initiator and that I would put zero pressure on her whatsoever. I basically treated the whole situation with Kid Gloves. We graduated to a multitude of things rather quickly, I suspect it was her eagerness to at least be intimate in some way without the hangups of actual “regular sex”.

    Believe it or not, I was just as fine without all that stuff happening but I basically followed her lead and I’m not going to lie, the intimacy that we did share was magical.

    Long story short, we lasted together for four years and living in two different States, we were about a year away from getting married until she met someone else at her work in the summer of 2011 and promptly left me for this other guy. I heard through the Grapevine that she didn’t waste a whole lot of time in giving this guy “all of her”. Yes, believe it or not….she still was a Virgin upon departure. She came close that last summer and was making inferences about possibly taking that final step…but in hindsight, this was only after she met the other guy and was already talking to him.

    Although it’s horrible to state something completely daft like “…well, I put in my time, she’s obligated to lose it with me!”, I know that’s not right because nobody is beholden to anybody else. Perhaps, i should have been a little more forceful in ‘sealing the deal”, so to speak….maybe I was too passive. But, to experience the Woman that I was going to marry slowly check out of our relationship to see this other guy and eventually leave me for him, that was bad enough. To actually hear that she did the deed was very soul-crushing indeed.

    I have my own parts to play in the demise of our relationship, looking back on it in hindsight. But, I can tell you this….I’ll never date a Virgin again for as long as I live. And at my age (late 30′s) the chances are pretty good that whomever I date next will not be one.

    After this experience, quite frankly….I’ll probably never date again and also most likely will never be intimate again. It’s a double-edged sword to fall on, but I’m now emotionally-closed off to forming relationships / dating and I can’t sleep with a woman that I’m not dating so…that pretty much leaves me where I’m at now.

    So, to any guy dating a Virgin….tread lightly and try to be aware of every little detail going on in your life (and in hers). Yes, Sex and the “scoring” of the Virginal gal is not the end-all be-all to Life and I certainly never approached it in that way. My only gripe (if it’s even valid) is….shouldn’t there be some sort of Karmic Payoff in this situation? I dunno….I guess I’ll be bitter about it to the grave.

    To the ones who have waited (one year, one month, one week, whatever) and experienced it and it was a fruitful experience…..kudos.

  8. Brian Lee Says:

    to Burned Card

    What did you do to contribute to the demise of the relationship?


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