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Dan Savage's tough love for older virgins

This week's Savage Love column is all older virgins, all the time. The letters come from three men, aged 26, 45 and 60, all virgins and all mightily unhappy about it. Here are some excerpts:

26-year-old: Due to my being overweight, awkward, and generally unable to attract women I'm actually interested in, I have only been sexually intimate with prostitutes and women of low caliber. I have never been able to sustain an erection during intercourse.

45-year-old: I have no explanation for how I fucked up something this important this badly for this long, but here are my best clues: (1) Deep down, I don't think I've ever really believed women could possibly find me attractive. (2) For me, being rejected and/or humiliated after approaching someone is an almost paralyzing fear. (3) My professional/career/financial situation is only slightly better than my romantic/sexual situation: I'm always either barely getting by or in some crisis where staying non-homeless is my only priority.

60-year-old: I never learned how to date. I considered paying for sex, but I decided that was the equivalent of admitting that I was a failed human being. Now I spend my days consumed with loneliness, resentment of the past, and a constant longing for a hint of intimacy. Longevity is a family trait, and I expect to live into my 90s. Is there any plausible way to salvage something from this mess?

Yow - this is really depressing stuff (and what exactly does 'low caliber' mean?) Dan basically tells them all to get over themselves, offering unvarnished feedback including, respectively: Join a gym; find a shrink and perhaps a friendly sex worker; get checked for mild autism. That's not all of it, but you get the idea. It's interesting stuff, plus there are loads of comments, many supportive or commiserating, including:

My fiance was a virgin until this year, and he's 33. After one short lived relationship, he met me, and we're engaged and fucking like rabbits!

While there's not "someone for everyone," as Dan says, most people - less successful people - fall into someone else's "type." Even if you don't see how anyone could love you, put your best foot forward and don't freak out if you do get a little interest.

My [Asperger's] diagnosis doesn't wash away any of my myriad failures, but it does explain a lot of them. It also really helps my relationship with my family. And it also helps me cut myself a little slack, making it that little bit easier to get on with the rest of my life.