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Navigating relationships can leave you feeling vulnerable even in the best of circumstances.

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The Good Men Project. And you …. Awesome, smart, funny guys, with female friends and a reputation for being amazing. The truth is, great, eligible, sexy guys staying virgins into adulthood is a growing trend, a new normal.

So where do you go from here? How can you maintain your integrity, develop confidence, and get the sweet, sweet loving you so desire? Maybe you were focused on your job, friends, sport, spiritual growth, or other truly meaningful endeavors.

Maybe those things took all of your attention, and provided you with lots of satisfaction. One of the most wonderful things about men is their ability to take care of business : to focus on what needs to get done to the exclusion of everything else, including sex.

Don’t judge a virgin by their cover

Everyone has their own life path. Yours has included many challenges and triumphs. It has made you the great guy you are today. A guy can get a new job, get super focused, and next thing you know two years have gone by without sex, and not for want of desire.

Give yourself credit for all of your great accomplishments, and remember that sex is a magical alchemy that requires certain specific circumstances, many outside of your control. In the vast majority of cases, you not having sex has nothing to do with you, your attractiveness, or your eligibility.

Being a virgin into adulthood—or going years without sex—is normal, especially among truly great, sweet, wonderful, sexy men who eventually make incredible boyfriends and even better sexual partners. Not having sex can feel shameful. Remember, though; a guy who goes through a promiscuous phase may feel shame about that, too.

All of us can feel latent shame about our sexuality and our bodies, because our culture teaches us that everything about sex, including not having it, is shameful. Even very sexually active men can feel like failures, and become obsessed with their sexual performance. It can be a celebration of your bodies, of a great partnership, of a beautiful moment.

It can be playful and experimental. It can be serious and satisfying. You can show up to sex in your masculine power no matter your sexual history. Trust me on this. Presence—showing up, being honest about your experience, being open to the experience of your partner—is what makes sex great.

How to date a virgin, if you’re not one

Your presence is powerful. Your penis is powerful. That has nothing to do with the notches on your bedpost. If you are feeling terrible about this and really want to get it out of the way, try a casual hookup. Surrender is about trust. Let me explain. I think that waiting for a great person is an excellent reason for putting off sex, and one that many women will find very attractive as it indicates depth of spirit and emotional self awareness.

Sometimes the universe takes a while to introduce that great person to us … and sometimes there are great reasons for that.

Trust that this great person is out there, that you are good enough to attract them, and be patient. When you do meet someone great, let yourself trust her. Right now it feels like sex is a ridiculously big deal, I understand that.

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But the more you allow yourself to see it as just another act, another way to express energies and emotions that you are already expressing meaningfully via other outlets, the less power it will have over you. Like everything else in your life, you will bring a level of energy and mastery and compassion to sex. Trust yourself.

You may believe that women are only interested in massively muscled guys with a certain swooping hairstyle. Or you may think women are only interested in guys who have money, or are established in their careers, or are great with. The wonderful truth is that different women are interested in vastly different thingsand attracted to a broad range of qualities in a man. No matter who you are, you have some very awesome, attractive things about you that women will like. There are women out there who are attracted to the exact qualities that you possess.

The basic truth is that there is a woman out there who needs you. No one else. She needs you to have the courage to show her who you really are, to show up in her life. Again, presence is the key. Bring your authentic presence with you everywhere you go.

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The right women will respond. Meanwhile, sexual violence against women has never had so much attention, and many men are loathe to be assertive about their attraction, lest they be labeled sexual harassers, or scare a woman they care about.

How can you reconcile your potent sexuality with the idea that male desire is wrong or frightening? You can be up front about being attracted to a woman without scaring her or being creepy.

Simply stating that you like someone or that you would love to go on a date is a great way to go. Women love men. Every man has the potential to be a hero. So be heroic, even in this small thing. You will succeed eventually, but you will inevitably get shot down. I know how confusing and crushing that can be. Women have their own struggles to overcome in the quest for intimacy, and there are many women who will react poorly to your advances out of fear, or because of feelings of their own inadequacy.

Try not to take it personally, and to learn from every experience. Remember that you are a great guy Dating as a virgin a lot to offer. You were taught as a boy that initiating sex is your job, and that your self-worth relies on women acquiescing to your advances. You were taught that your penis is your pride, or that you sexuality is your power.

Those are good reasons to feel angry. Very angry. I ask you to feel that anger for what it really is: Loss. These feelings are normal and healthy, and the only way to overcome them is by feeling them fully. Remember that your angeryour hurt, all of those things … those are a result of this situation, not a result of the actions of specific women, or of women in general. It can make sense to blame others for our awful emotions.

You have the opportunity to grow through this difficult experience. You can become an even more incredible man—compassionate, empathetic, loving, kind, proud, confident— because of these difficult emotions. The way to turn this pain into those strengths is to feel the pain, fully. Sit with it, doing nothing else. Breathe into the part of your body where this pain is. Just accept that this is how you feel.

Offer kindness to yourself. In the meantime, you can share your feelings with trusted friends. You will probably find that they are experiencing similar things to you—no matter what their sexual history. That can include anger, of course!

But I would advise you not to share your anger with women. Be conscientious of this. And few women want to have sex with a man who is angry. Someday a woman is going to choose you. She will want you, need you, and welcome you into her body. This article was originally published with the Good Men Project ; republished with the kindest permission. Kathryn Hogan writes about authenticity, spirit, love and sex with a fun and sassy twist.

Learn more.

A Reiki Master and daily meditator, she brings a wealth of insight and ancient wisdom to this mysterious thing called modern life. Read her hilarious, heartfelt advice at kathrynhogan. We're having a conversation about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century. Care to us? Find us on Facebookand Twitter. Have Faith Someday a woman is going to choose you. About the Author: The Good Men Project We're having a conversation about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century.

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