When I told my parents I was in love with a girl at 16, my parents acted really badly. Even though my parents are not religious, or have anything against gay people, my mom could not accept it from me. I always used to have a great relationship with my mom and suddenly that was gone. When I was 17 I moved out to go to university. That did not go very well. I became depressed, gained a lot of weight, and stayed in bed most of the day. When I was 18 I told my mom that I was gay and that it wasn’t gonna change and after a few weeks she started to accept it. The damage was done though because I was already very depressed. When I figured out that I couldn’t live like that anymore, I changed my own life completely. I lost about 60 pounds, started going to the gym and started excelling at university. Nowadays, my mom and I are best friends again and I’ve got my life back on track.
However, due to the long depression (two years) and the recovery process afterwards (also about two years) I spent most of my time trying to figure myself out and my own identity. I didn’t really have time to love someone and ask them to love me if I couldn’t really love myself yet. I have never been in a relationship and I have never had sex (boy or girl).
I am not a very sexual person and I don’t understand the purpose of one-night-stands and therefore would not want to do that. I would like to be with someone I trust and love (or at least like a lot) and be in a committed relationship with that person before I have sex with them. I feel however that we live in a sexualized society and sex is considered to be so important and I’m scared that once I get into a relationship, the girl I’m with wouldn’t want to wait for me until I’m ready or wouldn’t have the patience for me to help me with certain things (because I am also worried that I’m not really good).
Question 1: Is it weird that I’ve never had sex at 21? Question 2: Are my worries about relationships valid?
Normally, I would ask my mom questions but she doesn’t mind that I didn’t have sex yet (duh!) but my friends always act really surprised when I say that and it makes me feel like I’m weird. Thanks in advance.—Jazz
Anna says: If you’re weird, then I’m a big weirdo too, Jazz. I lost my virginity when I was 21. I wasn’t even working through a depression, just your garden variety teenage heartbreak followed by a dry spell and then figuring out I was queer somewhere in there and dealing with that. Matthew Morrison, aka Mr. Shuester from Glee, was also 21. And Tina Fey was 24 when she lost her v-card. If we are all weirdos then let’s have a big weirdo party because that is a party I want to attend. We can even have fancy cheese and one of the flavored kinds of Triscuits.
In other words, no, you’re not weird. Sometimes it takes a little longer, especially if you want the experience to not be a one-off after a drunken game of Truth or Dare (hypothetically). You want your first time to be with someone you trust and like a lot, and that takes time too, since it’s rare to meet someone you really connect with after a drunken game of truth or dare hypothetically.
I think you’ve got your head on straight, sugar shoes, and I mean that in the gayest way possible. You know what you want, you’ve worked long and hard to pull yourself out of the crap stew, you take care of your body and mind, and you’ve mended a tough relationship with you mom. Plus, this right here: “I didn’t really have time to love someone and ask them to love me if I couldn’t really love myself yet.” Are you sure you’re only 21? ‘Cause that is a Grade-A truth bomb, the kind of wisdom that is hard fought and hard won. You’re ready to put your heart out into the world, darlin’. Shoot, I’ll even help you edit your online dating profile. That’s how much faith I have that you’re going to be a-OK with the ladeez.
For more on late bloomers and virginity, read this column.
As for our oversexed culture, that much is true, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t people willing to take things slow. If there weren’t, then there wouldn’t be an Usher song about it. I guess also it depends on what your definition of “sex” is. Like, do you want no sexy contact whatsoever? What constitutes virginity to you? Because there’s a lot of area to cover (and uncover) and depending on what you’re comfortable with, I’m sure some girls would be happy to leave certain acts off the table as long as it didn’t mean full-on, no touching, no looking celibacy. Especially if said girl liked you a lot.
As for the second question, with any person we are seeing naked for the first time, we basically have to start from scratch because every lady is different and likes different things in bed. So don’t worry too much about not knowing “what to do” and where to put your elbows and how to make “your bottom lip dance” (that advice comes from Dawson’s Creek and I apologize). Worry instead about being a good communicator. Asking her what she likes is 100 times more likely to yield good times than silently trying to guess, like an awkward game of Charades.
You’re gonna be aces. You’re gonna be Ace of Bases, even. Just believe in yourself and stick to your convictions. Now let’s get back to talking about Triscuits.