tell

Putting it out there

You’ll have to learn just like me 
And that’s the hardest way
Ooh la la, ooh la la la la yeah
I wish that I knew what I know now 
When I was younger
–- "Ooh La La," Faces

I lost my virginity at age 27, after I quit my job, between international trips and before I moved across the country. I had opportunities to have sex before then, but that moment in time when it actually happened made the most sense. The guy I slept with was not someone I loved — though I thought I did later, because the thing that happens in movies where you get attached to the first person you sleep with does happen in real life — nor was he someone I’d known my whole life. I always thought those two things needed to be true, but I’m so glad they weren’t. He was a good guy, though, and I’m grateful to him, especially because he didn’t freak out when I dripped blood all over his carpeting. He just said, “I know how anatomy works!” and got me some paper towels and let me do the embarrassed cleaning I wanted to do.

The experience of losing my virginity was both the biggest deal in the world and the smallest deal imaginable. I felt a sense of profound relief, because I no longer had to fake basic knowledge about sex in conversation, and because I had solved the mystery for myself. And yet I felt sick, because sex hurts the first few times (see: blood in previous paragraph) and I didn’t know how to handle being nearly 30 and having feelings of teenage affection for someone. And I was hungover.

In the months after having sex, I began to talk about it, and most conversations teetered around the same empty congratulatory statements — from people I knew and loved. They, too, were relieved, but in this disappointing, patronizing way. I had always struggled to converse with people about sex, yet even after I had it, I still wasn’t getting what I wanted out of the having-sex world. But I also learned that a couple of my friends were in the same boat, similarly hesitant to talk about it because of how lonely and mysterious the older-virgin existence is to everyone else.

This site is for those of us who found — or still find — ourselves virgins much later than we ever intended. It’s for those of us who are just as scared about our futures as we are curious. It’s for fifteen-year-old me. It’s for fifteen-year-old you.

But this site is also for them, the family members, friends, would-be lovers and curious strangers who learn this thing about us and either don’t know how to respond to it or don’t give us what we need. Because we need you, just not how you think we do. I can’t claim official expertise or a degree in the subject, but I can tell you that I’ve been there, and I’d like to be there for you.

 

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