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On what is not wrong with you, part 8: being a virgin

This week I got an email from a guy who is a virgin. In his words:

!’m 28, male and a virgin. I got brought up religiously. I so wanted to lose my virginity – but it didn’t happen. Let’s just say meeting girls wasn’t something I did. I went to university when I was 20 and well, it didn’t happen. Then I came home and it didn’t happen and… well, although I’ve never seen it, I’m like that 40 Year Old Virgin guy.

Long story short: he is worried that being a virgin makes him less attractive to women. A sticky problem, because if it’s true then being a virgin beyond a certain point means you fall into a vicious circle of not-getting-laid, making you less attractive to potential partners the longer it takes you to get laid, and so eventually diminishing your chances of getting laid to almost zero.

Scary stuff. Luckily, the world is not such a bleak and awful place that women will, en mass, refuse to sleep with you if you haven’t hurled your virginity away by your X-teenth birthday.

What’s the right age to lose my virginity?

The answer to this question is “literally any age you feel comfortable losing it.” Fun fact: this might mean ‘never’, if you never feel the desire to. Before I wrote this blog I Googled “ages to lose virginity by country” and came across this excellent map. The link to the original source is broken (if anyone’s got updated links do let me know in the comments) but I’ve no reason to believe it’s not true – it lists the average age for people to lose their virginity by country, with the ages ranging from around 15 to over 20. The overall average is 17, which would probably surprise the British teenagers I went to school with, who seemed to think that if you hadn’t rid yourself of your virginity by the age of 16 you were definitely frigid and/or ugly.

I digress.

The most important thing to note is that these ages are average: they are the age arrived at when, on balance, everyone’s experience is taken into account. If we all lost our virginities on or before the average these figures would plummet, so from this we can deduce that there are plenty of people losing their virginities much later than the average age, as well as people who lose it before.

Will girls not want to sleep with me because I’m a virgin?

Sadly I can’t answer for all girls, no matter how much I’d like to have an ‘official spokesperson’ badge. But what I can tell you is that there are definitely some girls who will want to sleep with you even though you’re a virgin. Moreover, there are girls who will find the fact that you’re a virgin a distinct turn on.

Over the course of my life I can count the number of virgins I’ve slept with on one hand. Or, to be more precise, one finger. The sex was stunningly hot. Absolutely, achingly, delightfully hot. His nervousness and desperation to do the deed combined to produce a tension that was utterly unique: never before or since have I felt someone trembling so violently as he touched me, or moaning with such beautiful, lustful agony as he slipped his shaking fingers into my knickers. You can read more about him here, or [SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT] buy my book for the full story.

So, in answer to your question, I certainly wouldn’t be less likely to sleep with someone if I knew he was a virgin. On the contrary, I’d be more likely to savour the moment, flattered in the knowledge that he’d probably remember me for the rest of his life. Not all women will think like this, of course, but those that do will appreciate you so hard they’ll make up for any other judgmental ones.

If all this is true, why do I feel bad for being a virgin?

Because some people (I like to call them ‘fuckwits’) speak and act as if your virginity is a troublesome mess to be disposed of. Like you’ve been carrying a used tissue around with you since you were born, and when you hit sexual maturity you must dispose of it as quickly as is humanly possible.

Whether it’s the arsehole kids at school calling you a virgin because you’re not behaving like a sex pest, to the adults who really should know better using ‘virgin’ as slang for ‘pitiable loser’.

Like those who think sleeping with more than the ‘average’ number of people makes you a reprehensible human, some people act as if ‘losing your virginity’ is a chore you need to get out of the way before you can become a fully functioning adult member of society. It’s balls, of course. I remember the night after I lost my virginity lying in bed thinking “huh. So that’s it. I’m not a virgin any more.” I expected to feel different: more grown up. I’m not sure how exactly – I don’t think I expected flashes of light or a tingling cunt or a sudden and comprehensive knowledge of the Kama Sutra. But I didn’t feel different at all: I felt like just the same slightly clumsy, neurotic twat that I’d been before, just with a new experience to hold onto.

I’d rather be a virgin than a bastard

In my experience sex is a very nice thing to have, and if you want to have it and haven’t yet then I understand your desire to hump things, in the same way as I understand why people want to go to Disneyland, or stay at the Ritz. I’m not going to patronise you and assure you that “it’ll definitely happen one day” or that you just have to wait for the “right” person – these things will depend utterly on how you feel about it, what you do, and who you end up meeting.

What I will tell you, though, is that not everyone is going to think badly of you for being a virgin. And I can assure you that the people who make you feel shit because you’ve missed out on a life experience they happen to have had are probably not worth fucking. They’re like braying gap-year-ites who tell you you’ve ‘never lived’ because you haven’t been to India, or got off your tits on mushrooms at a beach party in Thailand. Like arrogant city boys who brag about their salary in front of lower-paid friends. They are the the cool kids from school who never grew up, and remain convinced that happiness can only be measured in comparison to other people.

There are plenty of people for whom your virginity will not be an issue – there are many who will actively find it a turn on. There will be a few – and I suspect it’s only a small proportion – who will judge you for it. Don’t worry about whether these people will fuck you: if they judge you for being a virgin then they don’t deserve to have nice sex.