Sexplain It: My Crush Won't Date Me Because I'm a 34-Year-Old Virgin

"Now I’m all in my head at the thought of having sex just for one other person."

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I'm Zachary Zane, a sex writer and ethical manwhore (a fancy way of saying I sleep with a lot of people, and I'm very, very open about it). Over the years, I've had my fair share of sexual experiences, dating and sleeping with hundreds of people of all genders and orientations. In doing so, I've learned a thing or two about navigating issues in the bedroom (and a bunch of other places, TBH). I'm here to answer your most pressing sex questions with thorough, actionable advice that isn't just "communicate with your partner," because you know that already. Ask me anything—literally, anything—and I will gladly Sexplain It.

To submit a question for a future column, fill out this form.

Dear Sexplain It,

A guy I like won’t date me because I’m a virgin. The obvious answer is to get fucked, but now I’m all in my head at the thought of having sex just for one other person. I’ve waited this long (not for any reason, just circumstantially), but now the idea of having sex to make a point has really gotten into my head. I want to have sex this year, but now I don’t know where to start. What should I do?

— The 34-Year-Old Virgin

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Dear The 34-Year-Old Virgin,

If your crush doesn't want to date you because you’re a virgin, move along. Don't fuck some other guy so you can date this one. If his desire to be with you is entirely contingent on you having boned before, it sounds like he might be a jerk, anyway.

That said, I’m not opposed to you losing your virginity to “get it over with." It sounds like you're struggling with dating because you're stuck in your head about never having had sex—so have some sex! (Other experts may disagree with me on this, but screw 'em. This is my column!)

It doesn’t have to be a big to-do. There’s this false notion in mainstream culture that losing your virginity should happen in a candlelit room on a bed covered with rose petals to someone you deeply love. That's not how it happens for most people! In reality, it's often an awkward and nerve-wracking experience. I couldn’t get hard when I tried to lose my virginity—I literally fled from my girlfriend while she lay naked in bed. I cried the entire car ride home! But guess what? I made it past that initial hurdle, and my sex life is pretty fucking awesome now!

Julia Bendis, host of the comedic sex and relationship podcast Somebody Had to Say It..., agrees with my advice to go out and get laid—as long as you can keep things casual. “If you think you can emotionally handle it without getting attached or regretting [your] choice to have sex because it was a one-night stand (and potentially no future with this person after the sex), then I say go for it,” Bendis says.

It'll help you keep your emotions at bay to know that your first sexual experience doesn't in any way define you. It doesn't set the tone for the rest of your sexual career.

The question then becomes: How do you get laid? Easily, is the simple answer. “Tinder is perfect for this”—or any online dating site, Bendis says. If you match with a guy and there seems to be a connection, ask him out on a date. On the date, if you like him enough (and you feel safe with him), invite him back after drinks. As the date is wrapping up, you can say, “Hey, I had a really fun time with you. Want to head back to my place?” If he's down, that’s when you say, “Just a heads up, I’m nervous and not the most sexually experienced, so I’d like to start on the slower side. But I’m really excited!”

Notice how I didn’t recommend you say that you’re a virgin. It’s not something you have to disclose unless you want to. “It’s your body, and it’s no one else’s business," Bendis says.

34-Year-Old Virgin, I know you’re in your head right now. I know you’ve built up sex to be this huge, life-changing experience. While sex can indeed be life-changing, it’s typically not the first time you do it. What’s more important than a single act of sex is your sexual career: how you relate to sex, how it brings you pleasure, and how you use it to connect with others. That can only start once you start fucking. So if you think you’re ready—and it sounds like you are—then hop on Tinder and hop to it.

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