Written by M.
One of the biggest reasons that I wanted to start this blog was that I loved the idea of a place online where women of all backgrounds could come together and have a safe place to share their experiences candidly. Where women could come to find stories to connect with on any level. This article is a hard one for me to write, because of its deep, personal nature and how much I struggle being okay with it. I have debated for a long time with myself, whether I would share it at all. But after the week I have had, I’ve realized that I have to. I have to share it for all of you out there reading. For anyone who may wish to be a contributor for the site (after all, how can I ask you to open up if I don’t share my own stories?). But mostly, I need to share this story for me. So that I can work on getting past it and not feel so weird about the whole situation.
I’m almost 30 years old and consider myself to be ‘virginal’. Let me explain, I dated two guys in middle/high school. One was from 5th to 9th grade and while we became very close and are still dear friends to this day, we are both gay (though unknown at the time) so we never did more than hold hands and one very special peck on the cheek. In high school I dated a different guy, and he gave me my first kiss. We made out a few times, but remember that off handed comment about being gay? While I cared for him, I never felt attracted to him in that sense and so I never really enjoyed any of the kissing that we did.
In college and beyond, I went on dates here and there with various people (some guys, some girls) and found that most of them tended to feel more like job interviews than actual dates. As I got older I began to worry that I had missed my window and never learned how to date. What do you talk about? All of the rules, like what are acceptable topics of conversation when dating, or what is the current pace of dating (is it still three dates before sex? Is that even a thing?). It all feels overwhelming. I tend to be very quiet and shy around new people and it can take a while for me to feel comfortable enough with someone to really let my guard down (but quite the opposite once I do). This makes first dates difficult because I have no idea how to interact with someone in an unfamiliar situation with a person who is also unfamiliar. I tend to become one of two people; the person I think I’m supposed to be, or I stay very quiet and listen to the other person and desperately hope they’ll carry the bulk of the conversation. As you can probably guess, this doesn’t lead to a lot of calls for 2nd dates.
This lack of dating has also lead to a distinct lack of experience physically. Besides my high school boyfriend, I have only made out with a few people in my life. One was a friend deciding she was going to teach me how (it was more than a little awkward and ended pretty quickly), once making out for a few minutes with a different friend at a party, and a few other scattered times. Never have I experienced that deep, passionate kissing that I constantly hear about from the people in my life as one of their favorite activities. I’ve never once enjoyed kissing. There has never been mutual attraction, let alone passion and enjoyment.
While I am not a virgin, I have only had sex with 2 people. One was a guy, when I was still hoping that I was bi, and not gay (my journey with my sexuality is a whole other topic for another day) and the other a woman I was close friends with. Again, similar struggles. I was not into the sex with they guy and often joke that I watched the movie over his shoulder in the background (True Story. It was ’40 year old virgin’. I was actively losing my virginity). With the woman, I was more into it and even came many times, but there was something missing. That passion-puzzle-piece kept the sex from feeling anything other than mechanical.
I wish there was more to the story. It can make me feel like a petulant child or a whiny teenager, but I hate, hate, hate the fact that I have never known the kiss of a lover. Or the excitement of getting lost in someones’ kiss for hours at a time. The rush of exhilaration when a lover pulls you close for a night of passion. The dirty fun of roughly, yet passionately fucking someone. I could go on.
It fucking sucks. I feel strange. And broken. I feel like it’s my elephant in the room. I worry it’s gone on for so long that it will be a barrier to finding someone. I mean, at 30 years old, it would be perfectly reasonable for them to find out that I have really never dated or been with anyone and bail. I have had no less than 4 friends in my life who have made general comments about how they wouldn’t want to be someones first anything because of the baggage that comes with it.
And maybe it’s all in my head. Maybe you’re sitting there now scoffing at how something so trivial could be such a big deal to someone. But really think about it. Think about those moments of passion and lust you have had in your life. The great sex. The kisses that you think about for days or even years. Now imagine having never experienced any of it, but everyone else in the world still has. Think about the conversations with friends, family, coworkers etc. sharing their romantic stories. Almost every single goddamn movie or song or show in the world. Think about everything in our world, constantly reminding us that there is no other feeling in the world that even comes close.
Feeling isolated yet? Feeling abnormal? My brain spends a lot of time trying to scientifically figure it out. I have lived for 29 years. I have made a lot of friends in that time, worked a lot of different jobs and met uncounted people. I go out in the world. I bathe and wear deodorant. So why not me? The only conclusion my brain comes to is that it must be me. That I’m unappealing, unattractive and not-romantically-lovable in a way that no one else is.
After all, I have never met anyone else who made it past about 25 without having at least 1 or 2 of those experiences (with the exception of those who don’t want to have those experiences. I have much love for the ace community and those who choose to abstain for personal or religious reasons). But I do want those things. I always have. It can be really hard on the self-esteem when year after years goes by of no one asking, or even really showing much interest and getting rejected by those that I work up the courage to make the first move.
One of the reasons I wanted to write this blog is because when I went to Google to find solidarity with other people in my situation… I didn’t find anything. That was kind of a sucker punch to the gut, having that validation that yes, I am as strange as I secretly suspected. So for anyone out there who has had the same experiences, this is for you. You are not alone.