Anon asks: Hi Isaac! So I’m almost halfway through college, and I’m still a virgin. I didn’t think I’d ever feel self-conscious or ashamed of that, but it’s really hard when most of your friends are comfortable having sex with someone right away and when this is the norm on your college campus. I feel like I haven’t found anyone at school who will stick with me because I won’t have sex. What advice do you have to navigate this “sex or nothing” attitude on campus and find real relationships?
Patience. But I wouldn’t worry, because you’ve proven yourself highly adept at waiting (lolz sorry).
First things first, I can totally relate to having a value system that precludes you from behaving in the exact same way as just about everybody else. My family raised me as a member of the Baha’i Faith, and one of the laws of the Baha’i Faith is that alcohol is strictly forbidden. So for most of my teenage years, I went along to parties with my friends and hung out and sober-drove them around and felt like I was at the party but not really part of the party, if you know what I mean.
So finally I decided to put some solid research into finding out exactly what I’d been missing out on, and not dissimilar to a typical modern sex-life, there were amazing times, terrible times, exhilarating times, embarrassing times, and times that I would later regret*.
Here’s what I learned in the process: When I didn’t drink, people would either think it was weird and not want to party with me, or they’d accept it and hang out with me all the same. When I did drink, lots of people wanted to party with me all the time, but the moment anything got serious, those same people disappeared.
I imagine your experience with sex is (or would be) about the same as my experience with alcohol. People who care about you will still want to get to know you even if you won’t jump straight into bed with them, and people who are looking for instant gratification probably won’t stick around.
My advice is to work on being happy by yourself, and the rest will come. Stop comparing and contrasting your life or lack of relationships to the people around you, because for all you know, they’re miserable anyway. The grass is not always greener on the other side. Trust me! I’ve been in some fecking abysmally bad picture-perfect relationships**.
Hope that helps.
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*For the record, I don’t drink any alcohol at all anymore.
**My relationship with Miss Jennifer Albright is not one of them, but bear in mind that we were best friends for five years before we became romantic. PATIENCE!
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