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I'm a senior in college, but I haven't been sexually involved yet, because I simply want a deep loving relationship before going any further, but men seem to be intimidated by my inexperience for some reason. I don't know what to do, so should I tell or not tell about my lack of sexual history in a budding relationship? - Inexperienced at Ithaca
You have made an admirable and mature decision. Plus everyone at Cornell and Ithaca is really attractive and there isn’t much else to do besides work up there, so special kudos. In the environment of most contemporary colleges, the mere prevalence of casual sex pressures many to engage in hook-ups that leave them feeling emotionally unfulfilled. It sounds like you have made a decision that is right for you, and I’m sorry that you feel it has affected how guys treat you.
I’m curious as to how guys “seem to be intimidated.” I wonder if some of it is in your head. You’ve made a decision that works for you, but you may feel self-conscious because you worry about being unusual. You also may be volunteering this tidbit about yourself too early. If you’re sharing this on a first date, or even if you’re not dating, a guy is going to be freaked out.
Here’s my perspective when it comes to virginity: it’s not a deal breaker but it is something that intimidates both guys and girls. Whoever on the Internet says that virginity is a turn-on for some guys needs to get out more. With guys, this intimidation comes from the belief that deflowering a girl makes the relationship a big deal. Many feel that sex with a virgin indicates a seriousness for which they aren’t ready or don’t want.
Whether a guy has strong feelings or not, he also has the understandable anxiety about actually doing the deed. This isn’t going to be Titanic. No hands will be ecstatically hitting steamy windows. Taking someone’s virginity has the potential to be uncomfortable and awkward for both parties. Guys want to avoid embarrassing both you and themselves.
You want a meaningful connection before going ahead with sex with a guy, so make sure you have one. At the point in a relationship where you are seriously making out and, umm, touching, warn him that you want a deep loving relationship before having sex. He’ll get a sense of your attitude, and may also guess that you might be inexperienced. Then see what happens. If he sticks around and proves that he’s serious about you, then he should be OK hearing all of the details. When you’re ready to have sex, tell him the whole truth about your inexperience. At this point, if you’re in a serious relationship, it should not be a big deal for him. The best method is to share your perspective and attitude about sex and relationships before divulging the piece of intimidating trivia.