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I'm Still a Virgin and I'm So Embarrassed 

Dear Athena,

I'm in college and turning 21 soon, and I am still a virgin. I am so embarrassed that all my other girlfriends have done it and I still haven't. It's so lame and pathetic, and the longer time passes, the lamer I feel. I didn't have a boyfriend long enough in high school to ever do it. In college I thought I would, but I haven't yet, and I need to before the end of my senior year or I feel like I never will. I just started hooking up with this guy, and I think I should do it with him to get it over with. He's nice, but he doesn't know I'm a virgin. Should I tell him or just do it?

Help me,

Virginity Sucks

Dear Virginity Sucks,

I don't know why there is so much pressure on young men and women to lose their virginity. Sex is so personal, and no one should be influencing when you decide to have it. Losing your virginity shouldn't be a race. It should be exciting, stress-free and happen naturally. It's a big life moment, and hopefully an enjoyable one that you can remember fondly.

The fact that you haven't done it yet is no big deal. It's not a requirement for adulthood or college. Being a virgin doesn't make you any less cool or less interesting. In fact, I give you props for not rushing into something you weren't ready to do thus far. You should be proud of respecting yourself and resisting any peer pressure you may have experienced. Now you just need to ease up on pressuring yourself to do it. I urge you to give yourself a break.

If you jump into bed with this guy just so you can "get it over with," you will most likely be sorry. The first time can be awkward and uncomfortable. In fact, it can be downright painful initially. But with the right person and under the right circumstances, it can still be fun and even pleasurable. If you rush into it, you're cheating yourself out of that experience.

Not to mention that sleeping with this guy without him understanding the situation isn't fair to him. He might really like you, and you could sabotage a good thing by not being honest. You'll feel bad about lying, and it'll be hard to come clean. So if you really like him and you feel comfortable and safe, tell him you're a virgin. If he's a good guy, he'll be extra thoughtful and gentle and make the experience special. If he bails on you, he's an ass, and you can move on to meeting someone who would be honored to be your first lover.

Bottom line: Don't be so hard on yourself. Sex is about feeling good and sharing yourself with someone else. When you're truly ready for that, it will happen.



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