The Ballad Of The 26-Year-Old Virgin
The 40-Year-Old Virgin seemed like it was shaping up to be a reality. Sure, I was 14 years away from it, but these days 26 might as well be 40 when it comes to losing your virginity. Gossip Girl and The Secret Life of the American Teenager made bank off of showing 15 and 16 year olds hooking up; not in the making out sense, but in the clothes-off-condoms-on sense. And then there’s Teen Mom, taking the whole adolescent sex thing to the next level. I felt simultaneously ancient and naive with my lack of experience.
It wasn’t that I had a reason for not sleeping with anyone. No specific reason, anyway. I was just waiting to be in a relationship. And then that never happened in high school. It never happened in college. And it didn’t happen in the years after college, either.
Finally, after my 26th birthday, I got fed up.
Another birthday had passed with no relationship, and hence, under my own mandate, no loss of virginity. I was getting restless. Frankly, I was getting horny. I started rethinking my whole approach to sex.
I wasn’t necessarily waiting for true love — I definitely wasn’t waiting for marriage — but I was waiting for someone to care about me. Emotional intimacy begets the best physical intimacy, right? I mean, I thought that was the theory. Clearly, I didn’t really know. I just thought I wanted someone who would take the time to light the candles, make an iTunes playlist and ask me if I was truly ready.
But then I thought, what happens when I meet someone that I am actually attached to?
What happens when the subject of sex rolls around? When the question of how many sexual partners I’ve had comes up? I would undoubtedly handle it poorly. I was in the business of hiding the fact that I’m a virgin until I got close to people. But that’s the whole point once you’re in a relationship. Again, I didn’t know first hand, but these are the things that television taught me.
And then there was the issue of confidence.
The longer I went without losing my virginity, the longer I went doubting my sexual prowess. Obviously I knew the mechanics of sexual intercourse, but not all moves are created equal. I had no experience, hence no practice. Once I met the person that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, how would I cover up the fact that I had no idea what I was doing? How would I prove that our chemistry was proven at the dinner table AND in the bedroom?
I decided that I wanted to have sex with someone before that. Get it over with so I didn’t have to deal with the awkwardness of having the first time be with someone I really liked.
I considered doing it with the next rando that propositioned me in a bar. I came close with one guy, but he was a little too forward with his intentions and advances. I chickened out that night, but subsequently became more determined.
And then I went on a first date with someone I met online. We had the chemistry, the comfort, and while I didn’t see it going the distance, I did see it going to a second date. And that second date became a symbol of leaving my naivete behind.
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