All You Have

There was a specific blog post I read recently that is the springboard for my commentary here, but I think what I say can and should be understood in a much more general sense as well. There aren’t many blogs I enjoy, and even fewer I read on what could be considered a long term basis. In my ramblings I came across a blog that I seem to enjoy mildly (for the time being anyway). Many of the post/articles are written in response to letter writers. I’m amazed that format never seems to fall out of style.

A recent letter writer wrote in asking for advice on his situation as a virgin in his early thirties. Despite what we’d all love to believe, stats on such things are likely horribly inaccurate. Any estimates on how many people there are like him would really be an anecdotal crap shoot in my opinion. My suspicion is his situation at the very least, isn’t particularly common, but that’s really irrelevant.

The story was intriguing to me because 1) he claimed he wasn’t on any religious bender and 2) he came across as articulate, normal, and reasonably socially-adjusted person; as reasonable as anyone I suppose. So while he has some years on me, I otherwise felt like I could easily identify with his situation. One which I could easily find myself in eventually.

What shocked me was the overwhelming consensus in the response from the blog author and readers. The consensus being that basically he should lie his ass off–if he mentioned it at all–to women. I’ll concede that not mentioning it is something I could see myself doing. At least for a while. I place a low importance on it, because but for a few slightly different circumstances, anyone could find themselves in that situation. It’s not that big of a deal. But I feel eventually, out of respect for potential concerns she might have, I’d let it come up. That seems right to me; letting it come up on its own. I certainly wouldn’t lie about it if asked. I have to say I was shocked at some of the reader response. A few female readers said if they found out, they would’ve bailed immediately (totally within their right, if a bit narrow minded). Several others (male and female) suggested that women would likely bail upon hearing that (unsure about context, they didn’t say). And yes, of course there were the obligatory suggestions to have the “problem” fixed by a professional. If you feel comfortable going that route, I think that’s absolutely ok. A lot of people don’t, myself included. There were also “fake it until you make it” type suggestions.*

Here’s where I step in: Good riddance. To me, if you feel like you need to be dishonest (or even just hiding) about something so fundamental to who you are, you have bigger problems. Much bigger problems. Why? Are you afraid they’ll all bail on you? So what? If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that lots of things come and go, but you are who you are, and if you don’t own who you are 100%, and stand by yourself in all things, no one else is going to. This applies here, in the case of “older” people who are sexually inexperienced, but it applies almost everywhere else too. Stand. By. Yourself. On second thought, I’m glad to be in this situation. It’s going to save me a lot of time. Are you ok dating/being involved with someone who’s never even kissed anyone at 25? No? Ok, bye, best of luck! As an engineer, I love that. Look at all the time I saved. It’s O(1). It doesn’t get better than that. Is it possible everyone I come across will say no? Yup. But this is the line I’m drawing. Are you really going to discount someone solely because they haven’t reached arbitrary milestone x by arbitrary age y?! Everyone has things they haven’t done. I haven’t been sky diving either (yet). So what do you want to fixate on, one tiny thing in the mathematically infinite list of things I haven’t done, or the ever growing list of things I have done (sometimes at great personal difficulty and achievement)?

*Really? You’re in a position of being mature, and fully mentally developed and you’re going to waste this unique situation? There’s no shame, in anything, in admitting you don’t know what you’re doing. That it’s your first time. That you want some help. That you want to learn. I’m tired of hearing the “fake it until you make it” method applied to relationships. Other stuff? Fine. If you want to fake knowing how to grill an awesome steak until you make it, what’s the worst that could happen? Bad steak? You’re dealing with another sentient being here. It’s not even the same ballpark. Considerations need to be made.

So there it is. Normally I wouldn’t, but I just had to riff on this. It was bouncing around my head all day long.