Regarding Virginity and Seborrheic Dermatitis
I’m not proud that I’m a virgin, but I’m not ashamed of it, either. Not on most days, at least.
I have seborrheic dermatitis.
That means my face skin can get super-gross and scaly sometimes (Heads-up: The Google Images results aren’t too gross, but there are some that aren’t super-great, either. Proceed with caution), and I’ve got more dandruff than you can shake a stick at most days. I’ve had it for a long time; probably since I was thirteen or fourteen. It’s not curable, but it is treatable. However, it also flares up semi-randomly and quickly, which means that I could be fine at 2 PM and scaly-faced at 3 PM. For me, it’s not painful, and only occasionally itchy. Mostly, it makes my face look gross.
Or, at least, it makes me think my face looks gross.
My seborrheic dermatitis, along with several other factors, have meant I’ve had a hard time working up the nerve to ask people out throughout my life. A combination of self-loathing, overthinking, and general social anxiety have left me single for the last twenty-six years, having messed it up pretty dang bad the one time I did work up the nerve to ask somebody out.
And that’s OK! Most days, I’m fine with this scenario. I don’t feel alienated from women or any such business; I just recognize that I am very bad at interacting with people in a romantic fashion. Some people can’t snap their fingers; I can’t flirt. Maybe that’ll change someday; maybe it won’t.
I don’t claim any allegiance to being single and, on the whole, I hope it changes eventually, if only so I know what it’s like to not be single, but I don’t think there’s any shame in my current state.
Until I go on Twitter on certain days.
See, whenever dudes are saying misogynistic garbage about the fact that Tracer from Overwatch isn’t straight or that the new Doctor is a woman or whatever the latest thing that dudes that say misogynistic garbage about is, I know something is coming.
Invariably, somewhere in the response to the garbage response is a recurring implication. The implication that these problematic dudes are virgins, or that they’ve never kissed a woman, or that they’ll die alone, or something along those lines. And these responses get picked up and championed as sick burns, and I see them retweeted and quote-tweeted over and over again in my feed.
And though these comments aren’t directed towards me, they still impact me. As a single virgin who occasionally wonders if he’ll die alone, it makes me conflate those statuses with the notion of being a bad person. “The reason you’re single,” some mean-spirited part of my subconscious tells me, “is because you’re bad, and not because you’re shy, or overly self-conscious, or were pretty much told when you were younger that if you waited to start dating until after college, then God would drop someone in your life and you would live happily ever after together with no problems ever, and you still haven’t quite gotten over the feeling of betrayal when you learned that wasn’t true.”
But the truth — the objective truth, which I can see when I step back far enough — is that there’s no inherent value in being single or not single. There are pros and cons to both, but there’s nothing that makes one absolutely better than the other. I don’t believe it every day, but on the days I do believe it, it helps. It reminds me that whether or not I’ve met somebody with whom I shared a mutual interest in pursuing a romantic and/or sexual relationship doesn’t make me less of a person.
Seborrheic dermatitis doesn’t have a cure, but it doesn’t need one. It’s almost entirely a cosmetic condition. The primary source of my discomfort isn’t from the condition itself, but from others’ response to my condition. Part of the solution is me being more comfortable in my own skin; part of the solution is other people minding their own damn business and not making people feel bad for things that aren’t actually problems.
(in case you didn’t get it, that last part was a metaphor)
(just wanted to make sure we’re all on the same page)
(ok you can stop reading now, thanks for stopping by)