Ask Marzipan: The Virginity Issue

February 06, 2010

Dear Marzipan,

I’m about to become a 25 year old virgin who has never been in a real relationship.  And I feel like the biggest failure.  Sex isn’t something I take casually because I’m a very vulnerable person (aren’t we all at the core?). Having never been in a relationship makes me feel unlovable/ugly/dumb/fill-in-the-blank-internal insult.  How can I not feel like a freak when everyone around me is getting married and having babies and I can’t even find someone who is willing to hold my hand? I can only say to myself “it will happen eventually” so many times before it sounds like a joke in my head.

This past year I fell really hard for someone I lived with, worked up enough courage tell him how I felt, only to be told I was more like a sister.  So I’ve been wallowing in this heartbreak since June and I need to be slapped or doused in cold water or electrocuted (perhaps I’m being a bit dramatic). Or maybe I just need a feminist hug. How can I hold onto any body confidence when it feels like no one is interested?

Dear friend,

You are in need of a feminist hug.  In response to the first issue [the virginity issue]: I’m finding more and more that this is really common.  It may seem like everyone around you is coupling up or hooking up or getting hitched, but the reality is there are many people who wait until they meet the right person to have sex for the first time. It may seem depressing or scary, but the reality is that it WILL happen – I won’t say eventually because it seems disparaging and I do not want you to feel depressed about this.

As someone who chose not to wait and considered her virginity an obstacle to overcome, I cannot tell you how romantic and healthy it sounds to take sex seriously.  Sex is serious. And yes, we are all vulnerable. And as vulnerable people, it is my honest opinion that we do more harm than good by rushing into compromising sexual encounters.  I do not think that sharing your body with another person is something to be taken lightly, even if it seems like everyone around you is doing it with reckless abandon.  All of that shit that people say, you know, that sex is a trillion times better when you have a partner whom you love and respect – is true. This is not to say that you can’t have a fantastic time having sex with a one-night stand, because you can. But some people don’t have the vulnerabilities that you or I do, and for those people this type of sexual activity can be carefree and fun.  For me, it was always stressful because in those inherently close situations I sought to create romance and intimacy where there was none, leaving me disillusioned and heartbroken after the fact. Not fun.

As for the roommate: I am so sorry that happened to you! Heartbreak is never easy, whether you become romantically involved with the object of your affection or adore them from afar. Or, in your case, from close up as this person lived in close proximity to you.  I will say this, you are incredibly brave for having the guts to tell that person how you felt! That is something that can be beyond scary to do, and the mere fact that you were able to do it makes me all the more positive that you are going to be just fine.

Re: holding onto body confidence.  I have the distinct pleasure of actually knowing you, and thus I also have the ability to tell you with utter confidence: you are a phenomenal person. Not only are you physically beautiful and have a personal style that I always loved, but you are super intelligent, funny, and a great friend.  You are not in the LEAST bit unlovable/ugly/dumb/stop telling yourself mean things.  You are fantastic!! And I absolutely guarantee, without a shadow of a doubt, that someone will scoop you off your feet and hold your hand and so much more.   The reality is, we all move at different rates, and what is good for some other people might just not work for you.  That’s perfectly fine!

If I were you, what I would do [because I just manifest madly for anything and everything that I desire] is to compile a list of the traits/experiences/emotions that you are looking for in a potential partner – someone with whom you will be able to share more than just sex.  Someone you can let your guard down and cozy up next to.  And someone trustworthy with whom you can feel safe doing so.  I would write all of those things down, and I would read it to myself often, put it under my mattress, have a ritual for bring abundance [these things really do work].  Generally speaking you are asking for what you are looking for from the universe and trusting that door will open for you.  Maybe say a little prayer too that all the little locks that this recent heartbreak has put in your heart will magically unlock so that you will be able to recognize these new experiences when they come your way.

And above all else – please – do not give up hope or stop loving yourself. Be patient. It WILL all work out.