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Ask Trixie: My family is shaming me because I'm still a virgin at the age of 21

Got a question about virginity, sex, relationships, feminism or filmmaking? Ask Trixie here.

My family is shaming me because I am still a virgin at the age of 21. A bit of background: In high school I had a girlfriend for all of four months. We didn't do anything besides make out and in the end I was glad to leave that relationship. When I turned 18, my friend said to me "Guess what the difference is between me at 18 and you?" He then said "I got laid, you haven't." I can take a joke of course but this has caused internal trouble for me.

Just a few weeks ago, my grandparents were in town. Because the car didn't have enough room, I had to sit in the middle with my little sister on my lap. Grandma asked if I had a girlfriend and then my mom said "This is the first time J. has had a girl sit on his lap." Laughter was had but I still tried to shrug it off with no avail.

For me, I personally don't want a one night stand in part because of the possible regretfulness. I'd rather wait till it's someone I've gotten to know well. I know deep down that I can't wait to have sex but the opportunity has not presented itself yet. I also know that I am a sexual person with a fairly high libido, masturbating every other day or so.

I guess what I'm asking is does it get better? Should I let it weigh me down? –J

Hi J -

Thanks for writing. I'm so sorry to hear you're getting so much grief on this. It especially stings when it comes from people who should be supporting you, not putting you down. I've personally gotten shit for the shape of my body, my feminism, and other things. Teasing really sucks.

I don't want to diminish how frustrating and hurtful your experience has been, but people who have had sex are just as likely to get teased about what they have or haven't done.  Either way it's really none of your family's business what you're doing in your intimate life. You owe them no explanations or excuses, and unless you're going into gory detail about what you're done or haven't done, they really have no idea what your experience is. On a side note: I think it's kind of weird for your mom to compare your little sister to a potential girlfriend, but maybe I'm over-thinking this.

Unfortunately, it sounds like you've internalize their comments and allowed them to define who you think you are. So, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's not really the teasing that's getting you down, it's the feeling that you've somehow missed your chance at sex, that the ship has sailed and you're left standing on the dock. So here's some very important information: There are lots of 21-year-olds who haven't had a lot of (or any) sexual experience, and you are in better company than you think.

Becoming a sexual person is a long process, not one magical moment when you 'get laid' that changes you forever. Whatever you did with your girlfriend was one milestone in that process and there will be more. So, yes it does get better and you will have more and better experiences. But you have to do a bit of work as well to make opportunities happen, like getting out and meeting people, taking a chance and talking to someone you find interesting, and making your goal to develop a relationship, not to get laid.  Most of all, please don't let it weigh you down...21 is way too young to give up.

Check out a post from contributor MHiggo on how to deal with being ridiculed about your virginity. We also really like this V-Card Diaries story from someone who challenges the idea that it's unmanly not to be sexually active.  You can also read more stories under the 'It Gets Better' section of The V-Card Diaries. Hang in there and let us know how things go.

Got a question about virginity, sex, relationships, feminism or filmmaking?  Ask Trixie here.