Part 14: I’m a virgin. How do I talk about this with women?

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The following is part of a series of questions and answers that I did on a Reddit self-improvement forum in Aug 2013.

Also, for reference: The safe/unsafe chart.

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Q: How do I answer the question: “Why are you still a virgin?” when the answer is simply no one ever wanted to have sex with me, which is apparently the wrong answer. Also, I refuse to lie. This question is always brought up when I’m talking to a girl and she eventually starts talking about ex-bfs then asks about my ex’s, I say I don’t have any, then asks if I’ve ever been on a date, the answer is no, then this leads to asking if I’ve ever had sex.”

A: Okay, let’s roll it back a bit to the line of questioning that you say leads to, “why are you still a virgin?” Firstly, there is absolutely no need to get to that question when you’re just talking to a girl initially. Those kinds of things do not need to be discussed until way later, like after a few dates, after  you’ve both decided you like each other and can talk about more serious topics.

(Side note: This is interesting – why does the girl always start talking about her ex-bfs? That’s kind of a strange thing to talk about with someone you’ve recently met, no? I can think of a billion other things to focus on, like “Did you watch Game of Thrones last night?” “Did you do anything fun for the long weekend?” These are the types of things you could be talking about in the very initial stages of getting to know a person, not talking about their past relationships. And let’s say you’ve moved past the initial stages and are on a date with a girl, and she wants to talk about her ex-bfs a lot: this is called emotional baggage. There is a time and place to talk about those kinds of things, and an early date is not the right time or place. She should be focused on you, now, not the past. She’s probably not ready to date if she’s not over her ex.)

Okay, now say you met a girl, got to know her a bit, and the topic of past relationships do come up (in a non-baggage way). Let’s say, for instance, you’re talking about traveling, and you ask her where the last place she went was. She goes, “I was in Hawaii last summer.” And you go, “Oh, that’s awesome, did you go alone or with other people?” And she goes, “I went with my ex, Brad.” And you go (without blinking an eye because you’re cool like that), “Nice, which islands did you guys go to?” Bla bla bla, conversation continues, and then she might go, “How about you, have you ever been traveling with someone you’re dating?” Bam. What do you do? If we go by your logic of “I cannot tell a lie,” then you’d be like, “Oh, I’ve never been in a relationship.” Then all the warning bells and subsequent questions leading up to “why are you still a virgin” come rolling in, right? We want to prevent that question from ever happening. Until much later on, like when you’re ready to actually have sex together. Let me repeat this: No one, except for the person you’re potentially about to have sex with, needs to know that you’re a virgin. You’re not misleading anyone; it’s just, quite frankly, none of their business.

Let’s go back to the Hawaii example. “How about you, have you ever been traveling with someone you’re dating?” Pause. I want you to think about this as a job interview. You’re applying for a retail job, you’re sitting across from your interviewer, and he goes, “Do you have any customer service experience?” In your mind, you’re thinking, no. You have zero customer service experience. The only job you’ve ever had is working as a lifeguard one summer at the local pool. But you really want this job. You need it. Do you say to the interviewer, “No, I do not have any customer service experience.” Do you really think they’re going to hire you? You’re shooting yourself in the foot. So what do you do? Spin it, without lying. “I haven’t officially worked in retail before, but I learned a lot in my job last summer as a lifeguard about actively communicating with people and being attentive, which I think are some of the same skills that apply in a retail environment.” This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get hired, but it’s a hell of a lot better than, “I have no experience.”

Do the same thing when you get asked questions like, “How about you, have you ever been traveling with someone you’re dating?” Instead of saying, “No, I’ve never been in a relationship,” say something like, “I usually go traveling with friends or family. The last time trip was to Yosemite with two of my old friend from high school, it was kind of like a nice reunion after 5 years of not seeing each other.” Then she should be like, “Oh, that sounds cool, how many days were you guys out there?” If she’s a normal person, she’s not going to be like, “But have you ever been traveling with SOMEONE YOU’RE DATING?” I mean, that’s pretty weird.

The point I’m trying to make with these two examples is that you can always steer a conversation in multiple ways. With the job interview, you’re highlighting your attentiveness and communication skills, while downplaying your lack of direct customer service experience. In the traveling example, you’re focusing on your adventurous spirit and strong friendships, while downplaying your lack of relationship experience. You are not deceiving anyone, and you come out looking good. There is no need to focus on dating. Do not get hung up on your virginity.

Another example: In Part 11 I talk about someone called Greg, a guy who is short. Replace “short” with “virgin” and you have a similar situation. In a way, you have it easier than Greg. No one can physically see your virginity status, and it’s not like you’re being forced to wear T-shirts that say “I’m a virgin!”

“Greg is 5’7″. He knows he’s short. Everyone knows he’s short. He could worry about his height all day, make self-deprecating jokes about it, use it as an excuse as to why he can’t get dates, bring it up over and over again in conversation and just be completely obsessed about it. Or, he could do Option 1, put some lifts in his shoes to add a few inches, buy some longer pants, and be done with it. Or, let’s say Greg doesn’t have the patience for all that. He decides to do Option 2, accept his height, take on a “who gives a fuck” attitude and get on with his life.

Yeah, he knows he’s short. Who. Cares. It doesn’t have to define him. It doesn’t need to be brought up all the time. If he keeps talking about it, other people will catch on that this is something that’s on his mind, and they will start having it on their minds. [This part is especially relevant to you.] So then instead of “Greg, that dude who’s really into guitars and majoring in econ who’s kind of short,” it’s “That short guy Greg.” Do you see where I’m going here? You don’t have to be the token short guy. Honestly, no one gives a fuck. People might joke about it, yes, but people joke about everything. Don’t take it personally and people will get over it.”

Point: Don’t make a big deal out of it, and other people will follow your lead.

One more for you. What if at some point in the conversation she goes, “What kind of relationships have you been in before?” You could say, “There were some things that haven’t worked out in the past, I think because I was so focused on school/work/research the last few years. I’m glad those crazy days are over and now I finally have some free time to do more fun things.. like taking a girl ice skating (because you obviously took her to the skating rink on this date!) Get it? Deflect, in a non-obvious way, without avoiding the question, while subtly changing the topic slightly. She’s not going to think you’re weird. In fact, you should think SHE’S being weird if she won’t quit inquiring about your past relationships early on.

Once you’ve gotten to know each other pretty well and decided you both are really into each other, the conversation of “I’ve never had sex before” will be far more appropriate and less daunting for you. Because by then, you’ll already feel a sense of acceptance from her, and be far less likely to feel like she’s judging you on your lack of experience. If everything is going great and then she finds out you’re a virgin and goes running, then it’s time to find someone else. It says more about her character than yours.

And for the record, I know people who didn’t lose their virginity until their mid-20s or later. Not because of a religious thing or anything, there just wasn’t the right person around, or the right time. They are fine and well-adjusted. I also know a girl who got into a serious relationship with a guy and they had very different dating pasts. She is attractive and outgoing and has had a lot of dating experience. He was quiet, mellow, had never been in a relationship. They met over 5 years ago and they’re still together. He is a super chill guy and I wouldn’t have known that he had never dated

TL;DR version:

1) Your sex life, or lack of sex life does not need to be broadcast to every girl you start talking to. 2) You can casually steer conversations about previous dating experience in different directions during the initial stages of getting to know someone, which will stop the question from quickly leading to “why are you a virgin?” 3) Do not focus on your lack of experience. Highlight your positives in a non-braggy way, like in a job interview. 4) Meet someone you like, get to know them, THEN talk about things like sex. It will be far easier, because they’ll be invested in you by then (for your awesome personality) and will be far less likely to judge you for your lack of experience.


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