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Captain Awkward

V-Card Talkback: "Being a virgin at 20 may put you slightly on the trailing edge of the bell curve, but it hardly makes you a space alien or an object of ridicule."

We got such a great comment for our last V-Card Diaries from Katherine titled "I'm so afraid of rejection that I don't know how to approach a guy I'm interested in", that we're sharing it as a post so no one misses it. It's from one of our contributors MHiggo, and we hope it'll have some helpful advice and resources for others who are feeling like Katherine.  Hi Katherine,

I mostly lurk here but feel compelled to respond as your situation sounds very familiar. Being a virgin at 20 may put you slightly on the trailing edge of the bell curve, but it hardly makes you a space alien or an object of ridicule. Also, given Hollywood’s treatment of it, it’s understandable if people think college life is a cavalcade of booze, drugs and sex with the occasional class mixed in, but reality is, as ever, far more mundane. The hook-up scene just does not appeal to some people, and by no means are you a lesser person for not partaking in it.

As for your second paragraph, while people are free to have their preferences, any man who would overlook you simply because he thought your breasts weren’t big enough is a man you likely wouldn’t want to date anyway. Obviously men are not one monolithic group, and a probably-not-insignificant number even prefer women with smaller breasts. Of course, ideally men would be interested in the whole of your person — after all, you’re a human being, not a cup size.

You probably don’t need to mention your virginity right up front, be it on your profile or a first date. Let your date get to know you as a person first and, if things look like they’re taking a physical turn, you can tell them “Hey, by the way, I haven’t been on many dates, so I might need you to take the lead.” (Note: That does not give said date carte blanche to violate your boundaries or disregard your feelings.) Roll it out as a bonus for the other person rather than you having some dreaded disease — after all, they’re looking at a potential partner who’s eager to learn and hasn’t picked up any bad habits from years of dating. You’re a catch!

Lastly, please don’t fret over “catching up”. Everyone progresses at their own pace, and comparing your dating life to that of others is fruitless as your wants and needs are bound to vary. If you’d like some reading material aimed at people with no or very little dating experience, I highly recommend Dr. Nerdlove and Captain Awkward.

Please take particular note of the last link as the letter-writer is a woman in a situation much like yours, even down to being in Europe. It’s not too late for you — not even remotely — and your best days are ahead of you. I wish you all the luck and happiness in the world on your journey.