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Friday, February 24, 2012

269

Faking, Other Women, and the Top 50 Proposal Jokes

I've known a guy for about eight years now, and during that time I've pretty much always had feelings for him. We're now good friends, but it's hard because he has a girlfriend. However, he recently told me that he liked me and drunkenly tried to have sex with me. I would have gone for it, except I don't want to be the other woman.

So, I have a couple choices. I could not go for it and maybe never be with him, or I could tell him to break up with his girlfriend to be with me (I'm sure the actual situation wouldn't be this simple, but that would be the goal). The problem is, I don’t know if we would work well together. I know that we get along really well, and the one time we did have an intense makeout session, it was the best I've had, but I don’t know if we'd be good in a relationship. I don't have that much relationship experience and tend to shy away from commitment, but I really like this guy. But I don't want to be the cause of his breakup and then our relationship be a disappointment to both of us. It's hard to weigh the pros and cons, because a lot of it would depend on how great it would be to be together — something I've been avoiding, since it hasn't really been possible.

It always seems hard to weigh the pros and cons when the cons clearly, overwhelmingly outweigh the pros, yet the pros are related to complete fantasy and an intense makeout session. But take a step back from what you’ve written and read it as if a friend had sent it to you. What advice would you give her? What evidence would you have to endorse this as a good move for her?

My guess is that you wouldn’t have much evidence at all, and you’d tell her to forget about him and move on. I mean, what are we talking about, here? An eight-year, pretty good friendship that culminated in him telling you how much he liked you right before trying to make sweet, drunken, semi-erect love to you? You kids and your romance! Do you live in a town with one boy? If so, maybe he has a cousin one town over?

You're better than this. Here’s what I want you to do. Wake up tomorrow and tell yourself it is the first day of the rest of your life. Put on some athletic shoes. Go for a brisk walk. Breathe in the morning air. Listen to nature. Come home and read the news of the world. Think about it. Make a nice, healthy breakfast. Take a hot bath. Go to the mirror. Look at yourself for five minutes as if you were someone else. Write down the fake conversation you have with your mirror other. Call your grandmother. If you don’t have a grandmother, replace with any older, wiser woman. Tell her about the fake conversation as if it were real. Listen to what she says. Get dressed. Go about your day. Eat lunch and dinner with someone interesting. Come home. Go to bed early. Get a good night’s sleep. Wake up. Repeat, except this time, skip the fake conversation, tell your grandmother about the real conversations during lunch and dinner. Listen to what she says.

Do this until it becomes second nature. Then, wake up. Tell yourself it’s the first day of the rest of your life. Walk. Breathe. Listen. Read. Think. Eat. Bath. Mirror. Back to fake conversation. Write it down. Compare it to the first one.

After that, I don’t know, I’m just trying to give you something else to do for the next eight years other than worry about this turkey.

So, I'm in a long distance relationship with this lovely guy for just over a year. He is in the UK, I'm in the US, I'm planning on moving over there soon, and I've been going back and forth a lot. (I'm not just moving because of him, I want to attend grad school over there and hopefully permanently relocate.) Anyway, we're planning on living together this coming year, which I'm excited for! The thing is, recently he's been joking around about proposing and marrying me.

He visited me in the US and would say things like "I was thinking about asking your dad for permission" and "Should I propose at dinner tonight or after?" and my response would be joking back like "Shouldn't you ask me for permission first?" So I thought I was being non-threatening. This behavior confused me, because he always said he wanted to live with someone before getting married, and I'm not sure where he's coming from, so naturally I asked him. When I asked him he got defensive, said he didn't want to talk about it, said it was far from his mind, which is why he could joke about it and also repeated that he would need to live with someone first, which is completely understandable. But, I'm not wanting to get married yet, it's not like I'm asking him to propose! And his reaction was quite strange to me (he's usually really easy to talk to about serious things), and I didn't quite believe him. I think I brought it up bluntly (because I'm direct!) and it scared him. So, finally, my questions are 1) Why do you think he joked (and continues to joke) about proposing? 2) Why did he react so defensively? 3) How can I talk about it with him without the defensive reaction?

1) He’s anxious about the reality of you every day. Not in a bad way, necessarily. He’s making a joke about marriage to see if you’ll say “OOH YES FINALLY MY DAD AND I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU TO ASK THANK YOU,” so he can validate his fears that his bachelor life is officially over.

2) He really isn’t opposed to his bachelor life being officially over but is still anxious. It’s a big deal. He feels vulnerable. What if it doesn’t work out? What if you don’t like him every day in real life? Oh haha he didn’t care anyway haha. You thought he was serious? Oh man haha. He was definitely not serious. Phew. Well, dodged that bullet. Anyway! Back to ye good olde bachelor life days of glory! *sobs*

3) Make jokes about the above. Tell him you're anxious, too, and that it’s okay. That no matter what happens, you’re making the move for yourself, not him. It’ll be fun! [Sidebar: watch Beginners with him. So sad, so great!]

Greetings, A Dude. Here's the situation: I have decided to jump into the world of internet dating! Whee! The problem is that I'm what you'd probably call a late bloomer.  I'm thirty-three, I've had exactly two "relationships," the longest of which lasted three months, so will it totally shock you to discover that I've never actually had sex?  What can I say, it just wasn't a big priority in college (when it's supposed to be?), and I'm (obviously) not a big dater, and for a while I had a problem that made trying to have sex painful, and blah, blah, here I am, an adult woman who has never experienced something that's a pretty significant part of life.  And I'd like to.  Y'know, with someone nice.

So ... my question is when, exactly, does a girl drop this bomb on someone?  I mean, I'm not planning on leading with this information. ("Hi, great to meet you! You look almost just like your picture! I've never had sex! You want to order drinks now?") But — maybe because I watch way too many Sex and the City reruns — I feel like maybe sex is on the table as an option before sharing deep dark secrets is? And I don't want to get to that awkward point — it's happened before — when we're making out, and it's great, and then it becomes obvious it's going to go further, and then I have to decide between faking my way through something or initiating an honest but awkward (and ill-timed) conversation. (I have been in this situation, albeit only a couple times, and I chose to go the faking-it route — I know, I know — and it culminated in a) lots of physical discomfort and me finally saying, "Okay, stop," and b) me still having to have the awkward-but-honest conversation.)

Also, is this totally going to freak a dude out?  I mean, it's one thing if I held off having sex because of religious beliefs, or I had some other really serious reason, but basically, for me, it just comes down to, "Eh, I just haven't done it yet."

Greetings! I am shocked by nothing! Whee! Stop faking it! I think you should always err on the side of honesty, especially when dating online, where it’s much easier to fudge the truth in order to improve your search results. If you make it a policy to be as truthful as possible in building your profile and reading your suitors’ profiles, then you’ll end up with a better pool of candidates, ones who are already attracted to the real you and appreciate your honesty. And when you do inevitably get to the brink again, and that honesty policy is in place, then it’s less likely that what you say will freak that dude out. Your relative inexperience is not actually that freak out-worthy, anyway, but it’s still a delicate balance if you’re trying to keep the chemicals flowing for both of you. It may end up in a few more awkward conversations, but it will also likely end up that, when it isn’t awkward, you’ll recognize it pretty quickly, and maybe that’s when you’ll know it’s the right time. Or you could just hire a man hooker aaaaaaaaaand I’m joking. Good luck!

Dude. Is there a good (i.e. less awful) way to ask someone whether you made out with them when you were drunk?

Are there any not-good ways?

Previously: Treating and Sitting and Smoking and Talking.

A Dude is one of several rotating dudes who know everything. Do you have any questions for A Dude? (300 word max, please.)

Photo by Felix Mizioznikov, via Shutterstock



269 Comments / Post A Comment

Xora

I enjoyed the straight-forward-ness of this Dude's responses.

HillsideHoyden

@Xora "It always seems hard to weigh the pros and cons when the cons clearly, overwhelmingly outweigh the pros, yet the pros are related to complete fantasy and an intense makeout session." #realtalk

realtalk

@HillsideHoyden did someone say my name?

wharrgarbl

@HillsideHoyden Seriously. You kind-of pine for this boy for years and then his move on you is a) drunken and b) cheaterrific? Girl. You can do better. You will do better.

You will get yourself a boy who (charitably) won't dick around with another girl and then make a pass at you because he doesn't know what the fuck he wants or (uncharitably) gets drunk and tries to fuck girls who aren't his girlfriend when she's not around because he's thinking with his dick and doesn't care about his SO. But first you need to ditch this boy, because he is getting in the way of you finding that boy.

HillsideHoyden

@wharrgarbl If there's one thing I'll make sure to teach my as-yet-hypothetical daughter, it's "guys don't have to be interested in you romantically or even like you as a person to try to have sex with you." It's an important lesson.

smidge

@HillsideHoyden OH MY GOSH i needed you a few years ago. On behalf of your future hypothetical daughter, I thank you.

Hooplehead

@wharrgarbl Seriously. She's liked the dude for 8 years. I'm sure that there were times over 8 years when he was single and free to pursue her if he wanted to. And his big move is to ask for a drunk hookup when he has a GF? Time to throw this one back, he has clearly shown her what kind of guy he is.

wharrgarbl

@HillsideHoyden "Just because someone wants to have sex with you does not necessarily mean that they like you, that they want a relationship with you, or--most importantly--that they will treat you well. Those things all need to be determined separately." Which, I feel, is pretty gender-neutral advice.

carolita

@Xora yeah, I like this A Dude much better than the othe judgemental one of the other day!

whateverlolawants

@Hooplehead Amen sister friend. I had a friend like this. He never got so far as to drunkenly try to make out, but once I got my head straight about everything, I realized if he ever tried, I should kick him to the curb.

The story, in case it resonates with anyone: He had a shot with me, b/c he was single when we met, then he got back with his ex but continued to string me along with a flirty friendship for months until I put my foot down and asked if he had feelings. He denied it, and I was able to get over my crush. He was either telling the truth (doubt it) or was a coward (probably.) I'm making him sound a lot worse than he really is- he's still a friend- but it was really hard when I had feelings for him.

etoile

@wharrgarbl @Hooplehead So this. And LW#1: What do you mean by friend? As in he's there for you when you need him, respects you, and finds joy in your company? Or he strings you along in a flirty friendship (a la @whateverlolawants; been there!) so that he has someone to adore him when he needs or he needs a drinking buddy? To be fair, since we don't know too much about either of you: I guess that could be vice versa on the stringing along, too, if you've been communicating your commitment-phobia (and since he's a good friend he knows about non-relationship fun you may have had with others and doesn't see you as a serious relationship person?? Sorry...thinking of an acquaintance who fits from this view of things) but keep him in your life for the fantasy potential of a relationship without the actual having to have a relationship??

Anyway, before I put anything else in parentheses I've gotta echo wharrgarbl in the "ditching this boy, because he is getting in the way of you finding that boy." It feels mighty refreshing to free your mind by doing so!

barnhouse

I especially enjoyed the imaginary interior monologue of LW2's BF. Hee!

pilcrow

@etoile Oh, that thing you just said? That smart thing? Yes.

As in he's there for you when you need him, respects you, and finds joy in your company? Or he strings you along in a flirty friendship so that he has someone to adore him when he needs or he needs a drinking buddy?

It was really a part of growing older and wiser that made me realize the difference. Just because you like being around someone doesn't make them your real friend.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

Someone musical needs to record "Call Your Grandmother (Hairpin Remix)".

melis

Hallo, Grandma! Find love! It is the only way!

SarahP

@melis Grandma, it's not your fault.

EpWs

@SarahP I hope we can still be friends!

Emby

@melis How Grandma sits in the chair in the drawing room of her mother’s home. The exhale of her breath fogs the window. She traces her pale fingers through the condensation in erratic patterns. She seeks meaning in this, but it is simply that which is immeasurable. It is a temporal haunting. Call her already. She wants to head about your fake conversations. It is immeasurable.

ilikemints

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Don't tell her that I bake you cookies that you cookies that you never even knew you missed.

ilikemints

@ilikemints Please ignore the above comment. My timer ran out!

Or maybe think of it as an incredibly shitty Grandma remix?

matisse

@ilikemints tell her that the only way her heart will mend is when she learns to bake again (grandma needs to figure out how to spend less time on her feet!)

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@ilikemints an immeasurably shitty remix?

Olivia2.0

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) I would also approve of someone writing this conversation out in Robin/your boyfriend piece format.

wee_ramekin

A Dude, I am hurt because there IS only one boy in my town and I think you're being small town-shaming. Please check your urban privilege.

Faintly Macabre

@wee_ramekin And the Dude clearly assumes that boy would be straight. Ugh, smh.

plonk

@wee_ramekin aaaaaa yes. yes yes yes.
(advice to Call Your Grandma etc. still holds though.)

PistolPackinMama

@dieauflaufformchen

My sinister social scientist self has sat here going "if there were, like, only one man and, say four women, then there isn't really cause to call it a town (maybe a township?), because the population is too low. But if there are, say 200 women and 1 man, then there is a narrative there that bears exploring. I wonder what is going on there? But..."

And then I told myself to get some coffee and stop being insufferable.

Ask A Demographer- not a popular column on the internet, for good reason.

wee_ramekin

Also, A Dude is also being really imperialistic and showing off his super clannist view of the world by assuming that the one dude in my town has a cousin just a mere town over. WE CAN'T ALL BE THE COLONIZERS, A DUDE.

itmakesmewonder

@wee_ramekin My worldview changed a few days ago when I spoke with an Amish woman and asked if she could do something (for my job), and she said, "I don't know, it's seven miles away. You know . . . By buggy."

Faintly Macabre

@PistolPackinMama I would love that column! After my friend went to Iceland and brought back photos of tiny, remote villages, I kept asking her, "BUT HOW DO THEY GET MARRIED??"

VolcanoMouse

@PistolPackinMama I, uh, kept reading that as "But if there are, say 200 women and 1 man, then there is a narrative there that bears ARE exploring." Cue intense wondering: "did the bears eat all the other dudes? Are the bears going to raid the town and carry off human bride-slaves? If bears are exploring the narrative, does that mean they're all postmodernists?"

More coffee for me too.

beeline96

@VolcanoMouse I saw BEARS too! Thank goodness I swallowed my water before reading this section of the comments.

entangled

@PistolPackinMama would totally read "ask a demographer" especially if it involves a village where bears chased off all but one man (but really, would read it anyway)

laurel

@arrr starr I would read the hell out of that column.

whateverlolawants

@Faintly Macabre I was just thinking about that too! My friend wants to go to Iceland (partially thanks to the recent article here) and mentioned going during Gay Pride Week. And I wondered what the gay scene is like there and how incestuous the friend circles get.

PistolPackinMama

@wee_ramekin yes, that's right. The bears are responsible. For sure.

(Bwah... heeeeeeee)

Xanthophyllippa

@arrr starr So it's not bears, but you should read The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival. Excellent.

Leon Tchotchke

Since we already know LW1's potential suitor is the type of guy to get drunk and attempt to cheat on his girlfriend, I'm not seeing much evidence that he's good relationship material and a lot of evidence that he isn't (namely that he's the type of guy to get drunk and try to cheat on his girlfriend!).

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@Leon Tchotchke Yeah, I think LW1 can safely give this bridge a pass.

Woman Laughing Alone With Boas

LW1, A Dude is totally right on this one. That guy is not worth your time. All those other things are, and are so helpful and feel so nice.

(A Dude, you made me tear up a little! Good job!)

WaityKatie

For what it's worth, online dating is an excellent way to dispatch with your unwanted virginity and never have to see or interact with the deflowerer again. The key is lots of alcohol. Then, you can hook up with someone better after that is over with and you never have to have an awkward conversation at all! I mean, so I've heard...

plonk

@WaityKatie this line of thinking is an important one to bring up! it's ok if it doesn't work for the LW, but WORTH MENTIONING.

plonk

@plonk "doesn't work" as in "not what she prefers," is what i mean.

@serenityfound

@WaityKatie I'm a few years younger than LW3 and half-assedly doing online dating, but that sounds terrifying! I mean, not having the awkward conversation would be great, but there is something (maybe wrongly?) scary about drunken deflowering. Or maybe that's just because I actually get drunk enough to lower my inhibitions like that a couple of times a year....

WaityKatie

@@serenityfound Well, I mean, don't plan it out, necessarily. But if you HAPPEN to get really drunk on an online date, and then you HAPPEN to end up in your apartment with the guy, THEORETICALLY, you might just spontaneously make the decision to freaking go for it. And if you did, I'm just saying that it wouldn't be terrifying at all, but in fact maybe kind of better (?) than being sober for this awkward and painful life event? I haven't regretted it. Of course it all depends on how much you fear awkward conversations (I did, a lot. Still do, but feared them even worse back then).

werewolfbarmitzvah

@WaityKatie One of my very best friends was looking to rid herself of her virginity at age 27, and while she didn't do it through online dating, she did do it with an attractive complete stranger she drunkenly met at a party and never saw again. She seemed pretty satisfied with how it all transpired! If someone plans on going the "random stranger" route, my recommendation is to just make sure that he's 1) someone you're attracted to, 2) someone who doesn't pique your interest to the point where you're going to want to fully date him, 3) someone who's not a murderer and uses condoms and whatnot.

SarahP

@Marzipan Just remember that everyone is different, and I think we're all trying to let LW3 know that there are options, not just One Right Thing to Do. That approach worked for you (and me, actually), but I have several friends who preferred their virginity not to come up at all for their first time.

itmakesmewonder

@WaityKatie I can't endorse "Get drunk and lose your virginity to a virtual stranger" (no pun intended) as a strategy. That sounds scary for a lot of reasons.

thebestjasmine

@SarahP Yes, this is a totally awesome option. You can totally have sex with a guy that you don't really know that well, and it is just fine. You also don't have to tell him that it's your first time if you don't want to.

acookieaday

@WaityKatie Of course you might also be the sort who cries when stressed and really, really drunk and it's not a totally random stranger but a sort of boyfriend who you still see around town once a year... And it still hurts a lot and you should have asked for more oral foreplay.... Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is maybe try not crying and instead try more foreplay.

AndSomethingElse

@werewolfbarmitzvah I think that's pretty good advice. (Ideally maybe an acquaintance of a friend visiting from out of town or something? So there's at least someone to sortof vouch for his not being a serial killer?)

Advice I'm (not actually) going to give to my kids: your first time will probably suck. Don't have high expectations for it. Have high expectations for, like, your 20th time.

Veronica Lemmons

@thebestjasmine I concur! I lost it to a dude I'd known for a week, which was long enough to determine that I was attracted to him and vice versa, that he was sweet and non-pushy and that I definitely wanted to do it. I didn't tell him I was a virgin, though looking back it was probably obvious. I preferred to get deflowered quick and easy, and it was a wonderful experience (for me, not saying it's for everyone). After we were done, we hung out a bit and then he went home (my request) and I smoked a joint and lit some candles and felt like a goddamn queen.

Megoon

@werewolfbarmitzvah Yeah my friend kind of did that, but it was at a wedding with a dude from Sweden. Bonus - she sees him at other weddings and gets to "re-hit that," in her words, once or twice a year, without any worry of running into him at Whole Foods.

WaityKatie

@werewolfbarmitzvah Points 2 and 3 are key, but I think the "attracted to" part can even be waived. This is where the alcohol comes in. But yes, definitely choose someone harmless! Actually, my policy for one night stands in general is that it has to be someone I don't see a potential relationship with. It's just, one and done! (which usually makes them a bit boring, but anyway).

WaityKatie

@Al Cracka Someone's cousin from Canada, something like that.

carolita

@itmakesmewonder and yet lots of people do it, are doing so as we speak. I've never done it. Wait, I guess I did it once but I wasn't a virgin. Okay, twice. Both times were big disappointments. So... I say lose your virginity to a friend if possible. A friend who likes sex and knows how to break up well in case you get a little clingy. It happens, right? I was often guilty of it in my newly deflowered years.

I was once asked by a friend to deflower him but refused because he was way too conflicted. I knew he'd find someone eventually with the patience I don't have. And he did. Yay!

Any One Ninja Plot

@acookieaday Yes, I once tried to get drunkenly deflowered but instead got TOO drunk to the point where I just flipped the eff out and started crying and as soon as he took his pants off and then I fell off the bed and accidentally KICKED HIM IN THE ARMPIT while I was falling off the bed and then he fell off too... So, maybe do a few practice runs with how many drinks it takes for you to cry and see if you can lower that but still be comfortable having sex.

whateverlolawants

@carolita That's similar to the Whateverlolawants method. I choose a friend who'd been trying to sleep with me for 8 years. I'd just broken up with my boyfriend, I was 21, and I wanted to be rid of my virginity without any emotions, fanfare, or external recognition. He'd been around the block quite a bit and talked about using condoms and getting clean STD test results, so I figured he'd be good in bed and a safe partner. And I'd fooled around with my ex and watched enough porn to do the act pretty well the first time. We did have to change positions so he could get in (me on top), but if that tipped him off that I was a virgin, he kept quiet about it.

It wasn't amazing, but it was a fine introduction to the world of intercourse. We stayed friends-with-benefits for a few more months, and I quit seeing him when he said that he "wouldn't mind actually dating me." I didn't want that, and didn't want to toy with his emotions, so I cut off the booty calls. I got what I wanted, I never had to deal with an awkward or intense deflowering, and he finally got to sleep with me. Win-win-win, I suppose. I haven't talked to him in a while. I wonder what he'd say about it.

apb
apb

@WaityKatie My "deflowerer" (gross! Why are we using this sick term, women?) didn't know it was my first time until we had been dating for several years, and I was so much happier this way I think.

WaityKatie

@apb I use deflowerer ironically. I realize there isn't actually a flower in there. Although maidenhood-rupturer would probaby work just as well.

But wait, do you mean you didn't have sex with him until you were dating for several years, or that you did have sex, and several years later were like, "oh, by the way...?"

Daria Morgendorffer

@WaityKatie I hate to say this, but if I went on a date with a 30+ year old virgin it would probably make me really uncomfortable. Is that just me? When advice columnists say "the right person won't care!" I just always think it's a bit silly, because that's a pretty big deal these days. Not trying to be bitchy, but am I not right?

werewolfbarmitzvah

@Daria Morgendorffer I don't know, I've known SO MANY people who have hung on to their virginity until pretty far into their 20s for varying reasons (shyness/awkwardness, waiting for the "right" person, not feeling confident about their bodies, and sometimes just plain not feeling ready), that while the notion of someone waiting it out until their 30s seems slightly unconventional, it doesn't faze me much overall. And I actually think there are probably a LOT more older virgins out there than we assume. It's just that people who remain virgins into adulthood don't exactly shout it from the rooftops, so that it's easy to underestimate just how many of them exist. (FWIW, I managed to lose my virginity by a seemingly superhuman effort a few months before my 19th birthday, with a guy friend who turned out to be a bit of a guy douche in the end, but as a MEGA-SHY lady, I feel like if the chips had fallen a slightly different way, I totally could've grown up to be a 30-something virgin instead of the sex machine who stands before you today.)

WaityKatie

@werewolfbarmitzvah Me too, I sometimes wonder about if I hadn't been like, "oh what the hell" with an internet date at age 26, if I would STILL be a virgin at 35, arrrgh. (no offense to those who are, but at the time it felt like this gigantic burden hanging over my head). I feel that many of the relationships I had would not have happened if I had been a virgin. The guys would have been freaked out by it and been all "I don't want to be your first, blah blah freaking blah." I hate that people are so hung up on this that I had to feel like a defective freak for not Doing It by a certain age. For those who judge people on it, why is it such a big deal to you? Just because it's not "average" or "normal"?

apb
apb

@WaityKatie I guess ironic-"deflowerer" is best but it is still too...evocative, or something. I slept with my former bf on maybe our third date, and didn't tell him until we'd been dating for a year or two until I told him he was my first. Maybe it's my own issues about power dynamics in relationships, but I didn't want to give any guy the potential ego-boost of knowing he "took my virginity" unless I knew he was a good person who wouldn't be an idiot about it.

insouciantlover

@apb I hate the phrase "took my virginity." No dude, you didn't take it. Do you have it in your pocket? No, I lost it, it must be somewhere under the bed and I frankly don't feel like looking for it right now.

spoondisaster

LW3: Yeah, any conversation you have about it will be somewhat awkward but openly communicating makes things much less awkward than they could be otherwise. Maybe the best time to say something is when it's obvious that there's an attraction and an interest in sexy things (like kissing or sex or whatever), but before things get too far along. It could be as simple as "hey, I'm not very experienced but I'm willing to be patient and open-minded if you are."

WaityKatie

@spoondisaster I mean, having been in a similar situation of being an elder-virgin (not the same age as the LW but old enough to be considered freakish by mainstream society), those conversations work great in the abstract, but in reality usually result in the guy just not getting it at all and thinking there is a "real reason" why you have not managed to get it on on the "normal" schedule. The guy generally assumes that the "real reason" is that you are waiting for True Love (and, naturally, will fall hopelessly in love with him and stalk him forever if he deflowers you), you are secretly a religious freak, you are secretly covered with coarse thick body-fur, or something even worse. Guys think there has to be A Reason, because guys believe the societal myth that any woman can get laid by anyone at any time. And, for those of us who aren't experienced at relationships in general, it's not that likely that we are spontaneously going to meet a guy who is open, communicative, great at relationships, willing to build a lasting connection after going out on a couple dates with us, etc. I'm not trying to be discouraging, but if the LW is intending to wait for such a relationship, she could be waiting a very long time. Which is why I'm for the get drunk and get it dispatched philosophy I described above.

SarahP

@WaityKatie I agree that some guys might worry there's a hidden agenda, but if she wants to, she can mention the real reason. She didn't date much in college, and used to have a medical condition that made it hard.

Anyway, I'm not sure I'd be keen on being with someone who assumes I have a hidden agenda right from the get-go.

WaityKatie

@SarahP The thing is, if you've gone out with someone 2-3 times or whatever, he doesn't know you. The less you know someone, the more you're going to rely on your own prejudices and stereotypes to interpret what that person is doing. I don't think you can assume that someone is super suspicious or disbelieving or undateable just because he thinks you might have other reasons than the ones you are stating for what you're doing/have done. I think that's a pretty normal human reaction. It's unfortunate and it sucks, but I mean, I still don't tell people that I "waited so long" to have sex, because even people who are cool will probably not understand that I wasn't "waiting," it just didn't happen for me as quickly as for some others.

wee_ramekin

@WaityKatie This is kind of inappropriate, but...is the reason your user name is WaityKatie because you were an elder-virgin? Because that would be awesome.

(Also, I really like the term "elder-virgin". I feel like it could be a special class of Cleric in Baldur's Gate II or something...)

WaityKatie

@wee_ramekin It wasn't, but that is a really good idea! I was actually just kind of hoping that calling myself that would make me eligible to be a princess, somehow.

gobblegirl

@WaityKatie I think you bring up some good points. Whenever anyone Asks A Dude any questions like this, the answer is always along the lines of "If he's WORTH IT, he'll be patient, understanding,[insert perfect quality here]" as if the only way they can get through whatever is bothering them is by finding basically their soulmate. I think I would find that kind of discouraging?
Maybe she just wants to get it on with a guy who is nice and who she thinks is hot. He doesn't have to be the guy she wants to spend the rest of her life with.

SarahP

@WaityKatie I see what you mean about staying away from saying you "waited." But I don't see as much to read into with how @spoondisaster worded it. "I'm not very experienced, but I'm willing" [okay I know cutting it off there is not so true to spoondisaster's meaning but is maybe A GOOD IDEA ;)] doesn't give me the impression of "I was waiting for you, One True Love!" How one word it sounds key here!

ayo nicole

@gobblegirl I'm with you on this. Any time us "old" virgins crack and ask about this, the answer is kind of frustrating. A lot of us were/are impatient and just want to be done with it already. Realize that you trust the other person enough, have some drinks if you want to, take your dress off. That works, too.

thebestjasmine

@WaityKatie Could not agree with you more. Yes yes, honesty is great and all, but it is really okay to keep a secret if you want to. And it's not that you're keeping the secret because it's shameful, it's just because you don't want to tell, and that is just fine. And she can go ahead and sleep with a guy and not tell him, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Bambi

@thebestjasmine Keeping it a secret can work. But, if you're someone who unfortunately still has a hymen (and didn't know - used tampons too!), and the first time you have sex it hurts, like really bad, because your hymen only breaks on one side and it hangs out of you while you bleed after sex, it'd be really really hard to hide that from the guy who just broke you a bit. Just sayin'.... But maybe being drunk would lessen that painful experience or maybe there's just one weirdo out there with that memory (mainly, me). And I was older when I had sex and had been to the gyno, so really it's a all mystery as to how that happened. (Sorry if it's TMI).

thebestjasmine

@Bambi Hahaha, there is no such thing as Hairpin TMI. And yes, totally, that is a good reason to share. But I just wanted to make sure that she knew that she didn't have to share if she doesn't want to (for what it's worth, I had a very opposite experience).

WaityKatie

@ayo nicole Ezzzactly. At some point "waiting for someone good" just kind of expires, and you've just been waiting too damn long, and it's actually starting to interfere with your chances of having a normal thing with someone good. And this is all due to screwed up societal expectations that of course should go away, but the fact is, they're there and we have to deal with them. It's easy to say "wait til it's right" when you're 22, not so easy anymore when you're 33 and thinking, "am I ever going to get to do this thing?"

WaityKatie

@Bambi Oh, I may be kidding myself here, but sometimes they are so drunk they don't even really notice? They're like, "oh, what's this?" and then forget about it after a minute and then when they get up and go to the bathroom after you can stealth-flip the blanket over so they don't see the blood...WAY INTO TMI HERE NOW, SORRY.

purefog

@thebestjasmine <3 this 'Pin characterization.

carolita

@WaityKatie Why get drunk? I lost it at 22 and it didn't hurt THAT bad. It smarted, yeah, like a huge cramp, but as soon as it was over I was like, " let's try that again." Hurt less each time. Did it four times and it was like riding a bike! (Luckily he was able to! Ah, to be 28!) On the other hand, I found a guy who was excellent at foreplay. And he knew I was a virgin. He was flattered I chose him, and took his responsibility seriously, meaning he wanted to make sure I got the best experience out of it. Surely there's more than one guy like that out there?

WaityKatie

@carolita I advocate getting drunk more for the avoiding awkward conversations aspect, and less for the pain aspect. Although, drunk as I was, that first time still hurt like a m-fer. Your mileage may vary? And, I do think there's a huge difference in the awkwardness level of the Virgin Announcement (VA) between 22 and...say...hypothetically...26. At 22 it's still borderline acceptable, at 26, or 33, you've crossed over into "That's Weird" territory according to mainstream culture.

Daria Morgendorffer

@WaityKatie My own TMI: before I switched teams, I lost my hymen-virginity to a dude, and oh my goodness I bled all over the place. I didn't tell him I was a virgin because it seemed too emotional for the one-night stand I wanted. But obviously he found out - all over his comforter. Whoops!

spanglepants

@Daria Morgendorffer I didn't bleed the first time I had p-i-v sex, but I did bleed buckets the, like, third or fourth time? I thought at first I'd got my period (not unreasonable as mine tend to come on very quickly/ heavily), and kept up the pretence even when I realised it wasn't that at all, cos I was embarrassed. (Er, not that I want to scare anyone. It was probably just me being weird and will never happen to anyone else ever.)

WaityKatie

@spanglepants I bled the first and second time, so you're not that weird. Or maybe we're both weird. I was just like, god, is this thing ever going to be gone?? Finally by the third time it was ok.

SarahP

I love the answer to LW3. A Dude is right! It may be awkward, but the honest conversation is the best way to go... and if you're with the right person, it's only ill-timed because it's in the middle of a great makeout session, like a comma, not necessarily a full stop.

WaityKatie

@SarahP The more I think about it, the best way might be to solemnly announce "I have something to tell you" in the middle of a makeout session, and then, after he starts to panic that you're going to reveal an incurable STD or something, whisper, "I'm a virgin." And he will be so relieved that it isn't the other thing that he won't care?

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

Hmmm...I wonder if LW2's Brit boy is getting pressure on "immoral living arrangements" from family.

leastimportantperson

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) Oh you're so onto something. It could even be just his friends, being like, "She's MOVING here? No getting out of this one. Spot of tea [because they're British]?"

melis

"Son, does this girl even know how to wield a knife? What earthly good will she be in an old-fashioned glassing party?"

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@melis "Good heavens, Bertie. Look at her teeth."

wee_ramekin

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) "They're so...straight!"

melis

"Yes, Aunt Dahlia" I said, "You have guessed my secret. I do indeed love."

"Who is she?"

"A Miss Pendelbury. Christian name, Gwladys. She spells it with a 'w'."

"With a 'g', you mean."

"With a 'w' and a 'g'."

"Not Gwladys?"

"That's it."

The relative uttered a yowl.

"You sit here and tell me you haven't enough sense to steer clear of a girl who calls herself Gwladys? Listen, Bertie," said Aunt Dahlia, "I'm an older woman than you are - well, you know what I mean - and I can tell you a thing or two. And one of them is that no good can come of association from anything labelled Gwladys or Ysobel or Ethyl or Mabelle or Kathryn. But particularly Gwladys. What sort of girl is she?"

Faintly Macabre

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) If there's anything I've learned about England [from reading Jeeves and Wooster], it's that English people see engagement as a prelude to any courtship, real or imagined.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@melis "[She is] one of those robust, dynamic girls with the muscles of a welterweight and a laugh like a squadron of cavalry charging over a tin bridge. A beastly thing to face over the breakfast table. Brainy, moreover."

leastimportantperson

@melis Yeah, the LW might want to quickly ask how many formidable aunts are in the picture. Because that could explain everything.

Jenny Cox

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) Or getting pressure from his friends to throw a killer Vegas stag do?

melis

"So I've nothing against the nontraditional traditional stag night: the groom and a bunch of mates getting pleasantly or mordantly drunk, depending on the coldness of the groom's feet. I have nothing against Tallin. And nothing for Tallin."

melis

"If you're boring, no amount of high-speed water prostitution will save you."

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@melis "I am not pulling your leg. Nothing would induce me to touch your beastly leg."

Jenny Cox

@jenny_ Or maybe they met through Camp America and their mutual friends are engaging in a lot of transatlantic Skyping about how that wedding would be the ultimate party? I mean she's already joined the women's rugby club because he got her into rugby, so it's basically like they're engaged.

feartie

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) immorality of living together is NOT an issue in the UK (he might not be from England, by and by, he may be from elsewhere in the kingdom). Some things that are an issue -

1. if they do not like/get American directness, say, in the form of discussions that seem like entrenched arguments to those used to be more...self effacing/evasive (delete as appropriate). As a Scot (tending to be more direct than an English person overall) married to an American this has still been a sticking point.

2. sense of humour failing to cross international borders. Although I'd never have joke-proposed myself, perhaps it might be more an acceptable thing to joke about with him?

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@feartie Oh, I'm not trying to generalize about British morals, just maybe his family in particular? Anyways, pure speculation.

feartie

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) Ah, sorry, didn't mean to come off as RAAR. (I feel like I'm doing that a lot in my online communication today). Don't mind me!

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@feartie I just like how this thread went from glassing and Wodehouse quotes to random Vegas stags and rugby clubs without solving anything in particular or coming to any sort of conclusion.

Lenora Jane

@jenny_ Camp America...HA HA are you me? Or at least describing me? I'm not sure how many people are, a year on, still (only somewhat jokingly) pissed at me for depriving them of that wedding but it's at least 8.

sceps yarx

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) Ah, that's why I love the 'Pin.

Blondsak

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) @wee_ramekin @melis @et al This thread is the best thread.

gobblegirl

LW1:I think you need to talk to this guy. Because it's not just you secretly pining (ie, he has indicated interest), you need to have a conversation so that your friendship doesn’t get SUPER awkward and you drift apart and then you never see each other.
Call/text him, and ask if you can talk? Explain, that you just want to clear the air so that things don’t get weird. Ask him if he meant what he said (in a no-pressure way – don’t be like “did you meeeeeeeeeeeeean it? *sad eyes, pouty bottom lip* - you might want to laughingly ask “so, how drunk were you when you said that?” or somesuch). If he says that he does like you, tell him you like him too, but you’re not a homewrecker.
Perhaps he’s not happy with his girlfriend and would be great with you. Perhaps he’s not happy with his girlfriend and is only into you because you’re not her, and as soon as you got together it would be a disaster. Perhaps he IS happy with his girlfriend and it was actually just a drunken mistake.
But you need to talk about it or you’ll lose him as a friend. And that’s WAY worse than not dating him.
Also, go on dates with other dudes. Obviously.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

I wouldn't even formalize the talk, just drop it in casually at the end of some other conversation. Don't make it into a Thing, unless you want to, in which case I recommend playing "Call Your Girlfriend" on a loop and staring at him intensely. (It's been a Robyn sort of day.)

Leon Tchotchke

This is kind of off-topic for LW2 but maybe it will benefit someone: When I proposed I asked my wife's mother for permission in a very old fashioned, I-care-deeply-for-your-daughter-and-would-like-to-ask-for-her-hand-in-marriage sort of way, because she'd said at one point during those dance-around-the-issue pre-proposal discussions (you know, the ones where you're both talking about how you want to get married without SAYING you want to get married) that it was important for her that her mom approved.

So I sat around psyching myself up for a day or two and then called her mother and asked her, and it was great! However, my wife's parents are remarried and it never occurred to me to also ask her father for permission, and I found out later that he was a little hurt that I didn't.

I was purely going by what I knew my wife wanted, but, you know, PROTIP: if you're asking for permission to marry someone, do yourself a solid and ask both of their parents.

EpWs

@Leon Tchotchke I think this is adorable. (It's not super important to me whether dude asks my parents' permission or not, but it does seem important to him. I told him if he asks one, he'd better ask both.)

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@Leon Tchotchke Aww, that's lovely of you. In my case, my parents would have been horribly offended if Fig 2 had the temerity to ask them first. Or at all, really.

candybeans

@Leon Tchotchke My fiance asked my mom and stepdad, and I almost wish he hadn't, because my mother basically asked him how he was going to provide for me (the one with the LAW degree), knowing that his work was a bit intermittent, and it gave him a headtrip. Plus, my mom is SUUUPES dumb and I don't want her permission.

jule_b_sorry

@Leon Tchotchke My father's reply, when my husband called him to ask his permission to marry me:

"I don't know. Shouldn't you be asking her?"

I love my father and his sense of humor (and his sense of feminism).

H.E. Ladypants

@jule_b_sorry My dad gave a similar response to my brother-in-law.

"I think you're asking the wrong person, X. I'm not the one who has to be married to you."

thebestjasmine

@jule_b_sorry Yes, it would fill me with rage if a guy asked either of my parents.

Leon Tchotchke

Oh man, I got off easily, apparently. I didn't even really consider what I'd say if there was some objection raised. "Welp, I'm sorry to hear that, hope to still see you at the wedding, tho!"? Like I said, we'd already kinda stealth-talked about it beforehand.

Oh and just to emphasize, I wouldn't have asked any parents if left to my own devices. OBVIOUSLY it's not her parents' decision.

H.E. Ladypants

@Leon Tchotchke Nah. I agree, every situation/family is different.

I used to feel very, "Ugh, don't ask my parents. I am NOT chattel." Since my dad died, though, I've decided it would be really nice if my dude were to ask my mom- for a bunch of reasons involving family and structure and how things have changed and little things that I can't even begin to describe. Obviously it's all totally pro forma, but I still think it would be nice.

Leon Tchotchke

@H.E. Ladypants Yeah, exactly - pro forma is precisely the way to describe it. I think it can be a really positive gesture, as long as everyone understands that, you know, it's a gesture.

AndSomethingElse

@H.E. Ladypants I asked my ex's dad because I knew he'd be pleased if I did. And she'd be pleased that he was pleased. I mean, she knew the question was coming at some point around then, and we both knew what the answer would be (from her and from her dad), so it was a formality; I'm in favor of doing it if the parents would enjoy that. (I'm also in favor of knowing the parents well enough to know whether they'd like that or not.)

entangled

@jule_b_sorry this is similar to my dad's response. My husband basically had to convince me that he should ask for my parents blessing (never permission... eek!) because I am generally very against those sorts of traditions. He thought my dad would feel kind like it was a nice thing to do. (in the end, what won me over was the way the travel plans worked out... his family would find out in person before mine so the compromise was to ask to give my side a heads up by phone before we came to town in the form of asking for their blessing)

My dad's immediate response was "why the hell are you asking me? arrr starr does what she wants." Yay Dad!

packedsuitcase

@Leon Tchotchke Yeah, I love it as a gesture, but not if the guy was seriously asking permission. No way, nuh-uh. In my head the conversation goes, "I am going to ask packedsuitcase to marry me, and it would mean a lot to me to have your blessing." Because he doesn't need their permission, but I know it would mean a lot to my parents to be involved since I'm suuuuuper independent and have generally grown into just announcing what I'm going to do, or telling them afterwards (moving, bungy jumping, moving in with my ex, etc.). So an acknowledgement that they're important would probably be nice for them.

KatieWK

Related, naive, probably slap-worthy question from a person who missed out on online dating: Why aren't people brutally honest about themselves on their online dating profiles? I mean yes, more people will likely reject you if you bare your (perceived) flaws, but all that rejection happens so far removed from you that you can't actually feel it! Like, if someone sees your profile and isn't interested, will you ever even know? I'd rather be rejected by a million dudes I never knew existed than suffer through one awkward date with a dude to whom I'd misrepresented myself, or who was otherwise unimpressed with the real deal.

WaityKatie

@KatieWK My theory about guys that do this is they want to trick people into going out with them, at which point they are going to hit us with the in-person "charm" to such an extent that we will overlook all the lies about basic characteristics and fall in love with them, or, in the alternative, we will think "well, I put on my nice underwear and makeup for this thing, might as well bone him anyway." I don't know if this has ever worked, but I believe that is the main strategy.

Also, I have been brutally honest in my profile (to the extent of being honest about my age, lack of religiosity, and refusal to have kids) and I get a scanty amount of responses, so that's...that.

gobblegirl

@KatieWK Because anyone can read that! You wouldn't put make a poster with all your personal information (what relationships you've had etc) and put it up on all the lightpoles so strangers can read it, would you?
Obviously, it's stupid to lie about stuff, and it's important to be clear about what you're looking for and who you are (if you're really religious and want to marry someone who shares your believes, say that for sure).

KatieWK

@WaityKatie Good for you for being brutally honest! And as for having fewer responses: most of my lady friends complain that they are barraged with responses (and usually not the good/serious kind) so maybe you are doing it right? I just feel like the things that work in real life--having confidence in yourself, not projecting a fake persona, having high but not unreasonable or inflexible standards, etc.--should work passably well in the online world, too. Obviously you don’t need to air your entire personal history, but I feel like there is a vast middle ground between oversharing and the kind of personality/detail-scrubbing that most people do when online dating. (Again, all according to my friends’ gripes, which I don’t begrudge them, so who really knows.)

WaityKatie

@KatieWK Haha, well, I still get the mass-emailed "UR HOTT WHAT IS UR NUMBER" messages. No way to really avoid those. But I get very few serious messages from people that I would seriously consider meeting in reality. It makes online dating a bit boring, actually. I usually kind of forget that it's there.

@serenityfound

@WaityKatie I totally forget about mine for weeks on end. Then I'll pop on and check it for some random reason and the next three days will be ALL MESSAGES ALL THE TIME. It's really rather amusing!

sashay

@KatieWK

Well, obviously you're going to try to present yourself in the best light, so for example, you'll choose a flattering photo and try to be witty and clever in your profile. I think once you've started to do that, it doesn't seem like such a big step to ...edit your life, a little bit.

It's partly an aspirational thing, so that activity you did once or twice (scuba diving? hiking?) and really enjoyed and have been planning to do more of anyway gets listed as a hobby. And that man-booker award nominated book you read last year that you actually did like gets listed as a favorite book, even though if you were being totally honest with yourself, you liked all 7 harry potters more than it.

It's also partly a self-delusion thing, I think. Like, you post an old photo of yourself because that more accurately reflects how you see yourself in your mind's eye than the reflection you see in the mirror every morning. You still think of yourself as someone who's 10 pounds lighter and has fewer wrinkles.

I think from there it's a slippery slope. Once you've started to edit a little bit, the bigger edits (lies) seem more reasonable and understandable, and pretty soon you're just making shit up.

Bird Internet

@KatieWK I don't know! My friend once sent me a link to some statistics by okcupid that basically said "All men lie about their height by +2 in. and all women lie about their age by -2 yrs." so it could be just trying to even the playing field? Like if everyone else is already lying then you are at a disadvantage if you don't lie too? And people will just assume that you are lying anyway and your actual (perceived) flaw is even worse than you are saying?
Another thing is, my friend (who is not a super-tall guy) complains that girls just filter for things like "6 ft or taller" to narrow down their choices. But I am like, if someone would automatically rule you out if you are 5'11", why would you even want to go out with someone that superficial anyway? But I'm a short girl, so maybe I just don't understand the height issues of online dating.

WaityKatie

@@serenityfound Yes, I have noticed this too!

WaityKatie

@Bird Internet I do filter for the height thing, but only because of my cynical theory (which has been proven correct too many times) that everyone anywhere near 6' claims to be over 6' and everyone who admits to being shorter is WAY shorter, we're talking like 5'2" territory. I know that guys do filter out women based on age too, but I'm too proud to lie about my age. I could pass for 27 or whatever and get way more responses, but I can't lower myself to do that.

MrComment

@KatieWK People lie because we're all above average. I feel like I'm 6'2". When you meet me, I'm sure you'll feel like it too. Just make sure it's a bar where you can sit down. A lot of people genuinely are delusional about how the rest of the world sees them. I think it's helpful for them.

wee_ramekin

@WaityKatie @serenityfound I think OKC is actually programmed to make your profile come up later in a list of someone's potential matches if you haven't been on for a while. So, when you jump back on for a minute, your profile gets bumped up in peoples' match lists.

SarahP

@wee_ramekin It's been a few years since I was on OKC, but that was definitely true when I was on it. The more often you're on the site, the more you show up in people's matches.

Bird Internet

@WaityKatie Exactly - it's the liars who ruin it for everyone, so that if my friend puts his real height, you will assume he's 5'2", and if you put your real age, guys will assume you're like 45 (I'm assuming you're somewhere in the 30s?)

Chesty LaRue

@WaityKatie I got one the other day that said "yor such a sexy bitch,lol"

Besides the obvious (content, spelling/grammar errors), the lol disconcerted me.

rudedog@twitter

@WaityKatie I'm 5'7", which is a bit below the US average but not anywhere close to 5'2". And that's what I would put in my profile. On the other hand, I never really had much success with on-line dating, so do what you will with that information.

gobblegirl

@Chesty LaRue Wow! You should be flattered! You earned the coveted “e-neg.” I wonder if he wears his Mystery-style peacocking hat while he’s typing, as well?

thebestjasmine

@KatieWK As others have said, because anyone can see that! I mean, I'm not brutally honest about telling all of the details about myself to other random strangers, why would I proclaim it all to the internet at large?

WaityKatie

@Bird Internet I look a lot younger than I am (35) so I'm constantly afraid that people will assume my pictures are old. I tried putting all these tags on them, like 'from February 2012' or whatever, but I always assume they'll think I'm lying because so many people put old/unrecognizable pictures up. There is no way to win. And I can't meet guys in bars because everyone thinks I'm 12. Not too long ago I was meeting my friends in a bar in Philly and walked past these two middle aged creepers who stared creepily at me with the following conversation: Creeper 1: "How about that one?" Creeper 2: "UNDERGRAD." Thanks, I guess?

thebestjasmine

@WaityKatie OH WK, why are we not in the same city? We have so much in common.

Chesty LaRue

@gobblegirl I would hope so! Otherwise it's just sad.

Porn Peddler

LW1: Oh dear, keep him as a fantasy. Do not date, do not pass go, do not collect $200. I've had a dude like that for YEEEEEEARS. Even if there is crazy great chemistry. Even if it has been years and you are still into him. Bad plan.

LW3: At first, there's always the lie of omission, ie "I don't like to move quickly with new people"

ilikemints

LW3- There's nothing wrong with asking to take things slowly! If a dude is worthwhile, he'll be fine with it. I would definitely suggest bringing it up only after you've been dating long enough for you to feel like you trust him (whether that's five dates or twenty-five dates is all up to you), and not mid-makeout session. Definitely in a private space, fully clothed.
Having sex in college and your twenties, in my and my friends' experience, is just as much about making stupid sex mistakes with unworthy people as it is with fulfilling loving experiences that makes your heart/vagina sing. You get to skip a lot of that bad stuff! You're looking for someone real now, and you're at an age where your partners should be, too. Not mention you are approaching your sexual peak, so when you do find a solid guy to do the sex with, it'll be a lot more exciting and fun than stumbly, awkward 19 year-old sex.

Good luck!

LydiaDeetz

LW1: I was you. Always falling for "friends" (usually these dudes are not actual friends and know full well how into them you are), not much relationship experience, a commitaphobe...Then one day I went to a therapist and she helpfully pointed out that traits one and two are strongly related to trait three. After spending a year working out WHY I was phobic of relationships, I suddenly was way less interested in dudes who jerked my feelings around. Because honestly LW, this dude knows you've been into him for forever and is hoping to capitalize on your emotions (not his own) to get what he wants (which is a wet dick and plausible deniability, also known as, pleading the drunk).

beanie

@LydiaDeetz if you want to go in a time machine and tell my 18 year old self this, that would be fantastic.

gobblegirl

LW3: I'm probably going to get yelled at for this, but I think it's okay if you lie a little? He doesn't need to know anything more than you're comfortable sharing, so if you want to just say "I haven't done this in a while," I think that's okay? If you want to share every bit of your sexual history with him, that's cool too. But it's completely alright to just...let it happen, because sex is really not that big a deal. It's more important to be honest about the feelings stuff - let him know that you're still learning all the girlfriendy stuff as you go along, and ask for patience there if you feel you need it.
Sex is just fitting shapes into other shapes.

wee_ramekin

@gobblegirl Mmmmmmmm....shapes.

ilikemints

@wee_ramekin Relationshapes?

tortietabbie

@gobblegirl I agree. I don't think it even has to come up, if LW3 doesn't want it to.

tortietabbie

@tortietabbie Although my first time was not a big deal - I didn't get off but it didn't hurt. And it looks like that was not the case for some other commenters. So. I don't know. YMMV!

nyikint

@gobblegirl Relation-shapes!

Inconceivable!

@gobblegirl Yeah, I agree. My first time was when I was 22, which at the time seemed ANCIENT but of course was not really, and I just said I wasn't super experienced and it had been awhile since I was with anyone (which was, you know, technically sort of true?) and the dude was like, okie doke, if you need things to slow down just say the word.

What a dreadful sentence that was.

werewolfbarmitzvah

Aiiiight, LW1, so this "intense makeout session" that you mention, did it happen before or after he got the girlfriend? Because if it happened after he got the girlfriend, you already know that he's bad news and you are kind of already technically the other woman (Prudey von Prudenstein over here says: KISSING COUNTS TOO. KISSING IS NOT LIKE A HANDSHAKE.). And if this intense makeout session happened when he was single, then the question becomes, why didn't you guys start dating after that? Because if you had feelings for him and he was feeling some unspoken thoughts that caused kissing to happen, and you were both single, I would have to imagine that if you guys were going to date, that would've been when it would've happened. If that incident did not culminate in dating, then it seems to me like it wasn't meant to be. I don't know, when I picture your beloved in my head, he looks like another one of those shlubby bearded half-employed artist guys who live off of the kindness of their swooning harems. And those guys are almost universally bad news.

wilarseny

@werewolfbarmitzvah boys becoming men, men becoming shlubby bearded half-employed artist guys who live off of the kindness of their swooning harems

whateverlolawants

@wilarseny Why didn't anyone warn me about THEM?

PistolPackinMama

LW 1- I like you way better than I like the guy in this picture. Oy. Not as cool as he wants to be.

LW 2- I love A Dude for giving this advice.

LW 3- <3 it will work out fine. This more or less is exactly what happened to a relative of mine that I like a lot. They just owned up, and now is married with two very cute kids. Comment from relative: you just have to get over being embarrassed in favor of being honest, and the problem pretty much solves itself.

LW 4- What's wrong with saying "that one night when we were both out of our minds on Jack and Coke/ I was trashed on Campari/ whatever... did we make out? If you were kissing a dude and you or both of you were that under the table, there is no possible way you should be embarrassed about what he is thinking. Because whatever. And also because it takes two to get blackout drunk and make out together.

Unless there is a consent problem here, in which case, I am really sorry that happened to you, and I don't have a good answer to that problem, except to say, I am sorry about it happening.

Cissle

I totally read the last response in the voice of Sterling Archer.

melis

@Cissle You are going to eat so many spiderwebs later.

melis

BECAUSE HOW HARD IS IT TO POACH A GODDAMN EGG

seriously

that is like Eggs 101

frigwiggin

"I have to go. But if I find one single dog hair when I get back, I'll rub...sand...in your dead little eyes."

"Very good, sir."

"I also need you to buy sand."

"Yes, sir."

"I don't know if they grade it, but...coarse."

melis

Woodhouse, you scoundrel! Is this brandy?

frigwiggin

"It doesn't exist for you to just jet off to--Whore island!"

"That's not...a real place."

She Saved The World, Alot

Oh LW 3 I'm in a similar boat! I haven't never had sex but I have never had GOOD sex (it's either been painful or just plain boring and uncomfortable and honestly I've done it maaaaybe like...10 times in my entire life [why am I thinking like this?]), and I just (re)made my OKC profile on National Margarita Day! And this whole how-honest-is-too-honest thing is definitely stuck in my mind. With me, it's the (tequila fueled) disclaimer of: "First of all, I’m not DTF, so don’t ask. Seriously, that’s so rude, and I’ve deleted one of these things before because of it. So, if you’re a disrespectful douchenozzle, you can fuck right off. Thanks so much."

One of my friends, who has a lot more OKC experience than I do, says this opening statement makes me seem like a) a prude b) a brat and c) a raging bitch, and she says I should tone it down lest I scare all the menfolk away. I think this is a little unfair - why am I a brat if I want to be treated with respect? (Not that casual sex is A Bad Thing, I just think asking a stranger if they're DTF is rude and disrespectful and that shit isn't gonna fly with me so..why should I sugarcoat things and be nice and avoidy? Dudes who have a problem with it can move along, and dudes who don't mind the fact that I'm blunt can read the rest of my profile and see if they're interested.

This became the Me Me Me comment too quickly, sorry about that! Mostly, LW, I think you should be honest and unashamed and most of all just do what you're comfortable with. You're under no obligation to spill all the deets or lack of deets about yourself life (barring STDs, of course). And..try not to think of the fact that you've never had sex before as a "bomb" because anyone worth his salt shouldn't care. Like, what's the big deal? And if he asks WHY (or if you feel compelled to explain why), there's nothing wrong with saying that you just haven't found someone who you're comfy enough to git nekkid with. Honestly, the sex I've had has been pretty dismal because I wasn't comfortable with the dude, I just did it to "get it over with" in terms of virginity, so I'm firmly in the camp of sex being better when it's with someone you trust.

WaityKatie

@She Saved The World, Alot It is pretty ridiculous that society places all this value on this one act. To the point where people have debates about whether lifelong lesbians are "technical virgins" because they've never done it with a dude, etc. I mean, jesus christ, give it a rest.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@She Saved The World, Alot There's also the thing to consider that declaring that you're "not DTF" can be seen as a challenge by some guys.

@serenityfound

@She Saved The World, Alot I would just move it down to the "Message me if..." section. That's where I have my "If you're not a tool or a bro" disclaimer!

HillsideHoyden

@She Saved The World, Alot I think it's less the stating that you're not DTF and more the overall tone. If I were reading that I would feel lectured, and if I wasn't planning on sending a DTF message, I would feel lectured for no reason! And nobody likes being lectured for no reason.

She Saved The World, Alot

@HillsideHoyden Hmm...that's definitely true. I don't know, past OKC experiences make me have my guard up because SO. MANY. GROSS PEOPLE. Which, you know, it's the internet so, duh. I guess I just need thicker skin?

I'm definitely thinking about taking the curses out and being a little less abrasive, because even when I wrote it I totally knew I was being unneccessarily abrasive. Its just...so exhausting, though. But the bitchclaimer was definitely and act of self-sabotage on my part, ha.

Ugh, dating. I think I'm just gonna get a puppy.

gobblegirl

@She Saved The World, Alot Maybe what your friend means by "rude" is that it sort of comes off like you're accusing them of being that douchenozzle before they've even said anything - just for reading your profile.

ETA: uh, basically I agree with what Hoyden said.

ilikemints

@She Saved The World, Alot I think the point your friend was making was that it inadvertently accuses everyone who reads it of being a douchenozzle? Like a dude is guilty until proven innocent of thinking of you in a disrespectful way. Kind of like if a guy had "First of all, yeah, I'm short and bald. If you're one of those superficial stuck up bitches who has a problem with it, you can fuck right off. Thanks." I personally don't mind shortness or baldness, but if I were to read something like it in the hopes of finding someone to date, I'd think he was abrasive and over-sensitive, instead of forthright and confident.

Edit- yeah, what everyone said.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@She Saved The World, Alot Also, don't confuse antagonism with assertiveness.

(love, someone who was a rather antagonistic and confused 20 year old)

She Saved The World, Alot

@HillsideHoyden But then at the same time I don't know. I don't WANT to tone it down?

Also...I have a problem with the acronym DTF. It's so like...mechanical? I don't know. I'm not in a rush to be in The Most Serious Relationship Ever, but I don't wanna be someone's fuckbuddy. Someone's lover? Maybe. 3am-I-Come-Over-Drunk-And-Get-It-Done...no.

She Saved The World, Alot

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) I am confused by this? Possibly because I haven't taken my lunch break yet?

She Saved The World, Alot

@She Saved The World, Alot WAIT I GET IT...My profile is antagonistic not assertive! Le sigh.

I agree with ya'll, since you explained it in a way that wasn't really calling me a prude little brat. Will probably do some editing tonight. Cursing at strangers on the internet is not that much above crudely propositioning them in terms of admirability. Silly tequila fueled indignation.

Chesty LaRue

@She Saved The World, Alot
I recently told a guy on OKC who asked if I'd like to have sex with him that night that I wasn't going to have sex with him if:
a) I didn't know his first name
b) he wouldn't be seen in public with me. Because that's basically what they're asking right?

beeline96

@She Saved The World, Alot

You know, if people send you messages asking if you're DTF, you can always just delete them! I'm off OkC now, but on the first go, I responded to people even if I had a "meh" reaction to their profiles. The next time around, I was very happy to delete any messages that were boring, inappropriate or obviously a mass email. I had a "red" marker but whatever!

Other OkC tips learned from The Hairpin: don't check "casual sex" (even if that's actually what you want), it's okay to be really picky, and please share any good stories you might have.

She Saved The World, Alot

@beeline96 That's true, too! I am so bad at online dating. I always kinda felt like I should respond even if I wasn't all interested, because it felt rude not to? Also, the first couple of times I tried to do this, I was kind of in a rough patch dating-wise which colored my experiences kind of a lot and made me take the DTF thing way too personally. (Still, it really does get under my skin.)(Obvs.)

So far the only story I have is getting a message from a guy who seems really intent on cuddling? "Either right away, or we can get to know each other first."

I can proudly state that I did not answer Cuddle Guy OR the guy who wrote "ppl" instaed of "people." Pickiness FTW!

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@She Saved The World, Alot Yes, I am politely trying to say that perhaps your friend is not entirely incorrect. Sometimes you think you are being Assertive and you may be interpreted as aggressive and/or immature. But what do I know, I'm just an anonymous fig on the internet.

She Saved The World, Alot

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) The more I think about it, the more I think you (and my friend) are probably right. :\

I just didn't like the way she called me a prude AND a brat AND a raging bitch (maybe bc I knew she was partially right?) ESPECIALLY the prude thing bc I really let that word really get to me back when I was still so concerned with the losing virginity thing. And now I know that that was a pretty silly thing to do.

Also when I made the OKC thing on Wedsnesday I was all "HA look at how BLUNT I am, I am such a lady who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to say it!" and now that seems silly too.

But I'm 22 so...this is normal methinks.

Guh. OK shutting up now.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@She Saved The World, Alot Heh, I remember 22 (I'm 28). The key is to only give in to your impulses sometimes, not all the time. Also to not let people push your buttons, because You are in control of your reactions.

Oh god, 22. I am just so, so glad I don't have to repeat 2006 ever again. I was on OKCupid too and pretty much did what you did. And I was trying to Make It Happen with these silly, silly boys. It gets better, I promise. Also, I was so insecure and such a bag to my sister. Everyone, really. Anyways, I digress.

purefog

@She Saved The World, Alot Puppies FTW!

entangled

@She Saved The World, Alot I think other people have already covered my initial reaction to your profile. The one thing I'll add then, is I don't think the people sending those skeevy "hey baby are you dtf?" messages are actually bothering to read that many profiles. They're basically sending it to any girl whose picture they like... or any girl... or anyone with a picture. They're the digital equivalent of the guy using the same stupid line on every girl in the bar because maybe one just really, really wants to have sex right now.

I absolutely think you can specify what you're looking for and that it's not casual sex but there will be creepers who ignore it. Fortunately, their messages can be deleted without a significant time commitment.

laurel

@She Saved The World, Alot

Do dudes on OKC even know about all the terrible spammy 'lol ur hawt les fuk' messages the ladies get? I could see a guy reading your not-DTF message and thinking, 'whoa that's a little...abrupt'. But once one is familiar with what goes on (and on and on) on the W end of M4W online, it seems reasonable if spiky in tone.

Maybe just put up a link to this site.

tea tray in the sky.

@laurel Mmmm, you're so thin. Thin like a thin boy.

She Saved The World, Alot

@laurel I love that site!

So I did some editing after knocking myself down a notch and taking a shot of optimism. Here is my less spiky bitchclaimer:

"I'm not DTF. I have nothing against casual sex and if that's your thing, go for it, but honestly, if all you're interested in is sex, I'm not interested in you. I'm very much the take-it-slow type of girl. I want to go on dates."

Also it's not the FIRST thing on my bio anymore.

She Saved The World, Alot

@Twinkle Little Bat I'm partial to the "wanna watch me work my muscles on cam?" because...well it's a funny mental image. And also because the point break up seems so incredibly accurate.

Chesty LaRue

@She Saved The World, Alot So much better girl :) Now those guys will move on, but you are so much more approachable. A girl who knows what she wants, but not a scary girl.

entangled

@She Saved The World, Alot I think that's a lot better, particularly since it's not the top of your profile... I just feel like making it #1 makes it seem like it's the most important thing about you, which I highly doubt is the case.

The wording is a lot friendlier, too. Maybe saying I have nothing against casual sex, so it that's your thing go for it (but maybe with someone else - see above). I like saying that you want to go on dates, though, because it's a positive statement about what you want and going on dates is fun.

paddlepickle

I feel like for LW4, a good rule of thumb is "If you have to ask, the answer is almost definitely yes".

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@paddlepickle Yeah...and once you've asked...then you know. Which is not necessarily a good thing.

LornaLoo

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) I once asked a college dorm-mate if we made out because i remembered being "very close to his face."

The answer was yes... He walked me to my door, I took my glasses off, threw them dramatically onto my desk, yelled, "kiss me now!" and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck for a sloppy kiss.

Sober me would have never done this, with this person, but In my opinion, it was a good thing since it made for a pretty great story.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@LornaLoo Sadly I do not have any stories like this, only painful, awkward reality. Fortunately the statute of limitations should kick in any day now!

LornaLoo

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) That makes me sad... I suppose I have been lucky that none of my drunken makeout transgressions have come back to bite me in the ass, in fact I have drunkenly made out with quite a few good guy friends, and we're all able to laugh heartily about it to this day.

As far as the guy in the story above, he was a juicebox I haven't seen since sophomore year (2001!), but due to the story, I don't regret it one bit.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@LornaLoo Sadly I didn't make out with any hot guys, just the awkward ones. I am happily married now (to a hot and brainy and considerate guy) so I'm not too sad. I do have some great drunk stories though! Although not as good as my sister's friend, who got drunk and fell in love with a tree and refused to leave it.

LornaLoo

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) I love great drunk stories. I have quite a few that involve multiple props and voices.

packedsuitcase

@LornaLoo All my good drunk stories are really old. That makes me sad.

City_Dater

I am stealing "do you live in a town with one boy?" to use as the answer to everyone who overanalyzes a non-relationship with a non-boyfriend and asks me for advice.

ilikemints

@City_Dater Word. I know just the friend upon whom to drop this knowledge.

Shara

@City_Dater This is going to become my mantra as I try to get over my own non-boyfriend. It's a very important point.

kayjay

Hey A Dude, if you're reading, or if any other Dudes and Ladies want to chime in, I have a question: Is virginity a big deal for a Dude? I mean, one way or the other? I ask because I've taken an extremely scientific poll (nope, not really scientific) and I have yet to talk to a Dude who feels strongly about virginity one way or the other. In other words, "If I like someone, I like someone. They're sexual experience doesn't enter into it." Thoughts?

SarahP

@kayjay I have quizzed several manfriends about this, and I too received resoundingly middle-of-the-road opinions.

But poor dudes--most of my straight lady friends are not into the idea of sleeping with a Dude Virgin.

kayjay

@SarahP Fascinating!

kayjay

@SarahP And also, now that I've had a chance to read what I wrote, I meant "Their" not "They're".

Leon Tchotchke

@kayjay I definitely encountered some guys in college who went through a phase where they'd talk about virgins like they were a thing to seek out or, I don't know, a trophy of some sort. These guys were pretty rare and almost universally shitty, immature people with or without this fact being taken into account. So I'm just going to like declare them an outlier and ignore it.

I think most non-terrible dudes would either a) not care one way or another, b) be particularly mindful and considerate of someone they knew to be a virgin that they're pursuing a sexual relationship with, or c) be slightly but not particularly nervous. But I'm just totally guessing here.

tortietabbie

@SarahP My dude was a virgin before he met me, and it didn't come up until we were literally at the p-in-v point and he totally freaked out (sorry, my dude, if you ever read this). But for me, honestly, it wasn't a big deal at all. And it's kind of wonderful to have a partner with no sexual baggage! (though I have plenty for the both of us, argh)

smidge

@kayjay my totally scientific poll (cough) indicates that dudes don't really care, but maybe I just know some extra nice dudes. Where is leonstjean?

atipofthehat

@kayjay

I've heard dudes say:

"I'll drive through a tunnel. But I don't want to build one."

THESE ARE NOT THE DUDES YOU WANT

rudedog@twitter

@kayjay this dude doesn't really care one way or the other. If we're into each other, it will be good. On the other hand, this dude is of an age where an age-appropriate virgin lady friend would be fairly surprising.

One thing I would add is that I would be very unlikely to consider a virgin as LTR material. This is based on my own experience with my ex, who was a virgin, and after a few years started to wonder what she might have missed. This was a very, very large contributing factor to her becoming my ex, and is not something I wish to repeat.

AndSomethingElse

@atipofthehat wait, what?

Leon Tchotchke

@Al Cracka perhaps they are confused as to the particulars of the female anatomy

AndSomethingElse

@kayjay I am not This Dude but I am A Dude. (A dude who reads the Hairpin, so, y'know, a specific kind of dude.) I have literally never talked to any dude who was all "Oh man, I love me some virgins!!!" Not even in college.

I have been one woman's first. She was like 25 so she was a latecomer and wicked nervous and embarrassed about it. We were friends first so I already knew about that before we got together. We were going out for a while before she was ready to go for it but that was okay with me. (We did other things! Like hold hands and talk! And oral sex.) I was a little nervous because I hadn't done this before so I didn't know, was I going to have to batter at her hymen for like 20 minutes? Was it going to be like a grand guignol thing? Was it going to be agony for her? (My informal poll results from female friends at the time: probably not, probably not, maybe but if it is it's at least partly your fault (thanks for taking the pressure off).) What if she instantly fell forever in love with me? It was sortof a casual relationship. But whatever, she was Ready To Get This Over With and I was the guy she was seeing. I wasn't deadly nervous, but I can't say these questions didn't occur to me.

Anyway, it was fine. The answers were no, no, no and no. It wasn't the best sex ever. She was nervous. We stayed together for like a month and then broke up just like normal people. I assume when she tells the story these days she says "It was with some guy I was seeing for a while. It was awkward but fine, whatever."

AndSomethingElse

@Leon Tchotchke someone should find whoever said that and explain that having sex with a virgin doesn't mean you have to build her vagina. It's not like legos.

frigwiggin

@kayjay @SarahP My boyfriend and I were both virgins when we got together, so maybe-fortunately neither of us had huge expectations out of the other? (But, also, it turns out that someone can be really, really good without any experience, so I'm here to spread the good word in favor of at least some Dude Virgins in the world. Welcome to Figwiggin's TMI Corner: please stay, there's juice and cookies!)

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@Leon Tchotchke I remember when we started sex ed in grade five and one of the boys was very surprised to find out that girls had "three holes". To be fair, we were all farm kids and used to cattle/pig/horse reproductive equipment.

Leon Tchotchke

@Al Cracka Re: LOVIN ME SOME VIRGINS, I sort of doubt that any guy ACTUALLY feels this way, but I also think it can be the sort of BS that idiots might say to each other over whatever it is that idiots drink, like some sort of juicebox shibboleth or semaphore system.

Leon Tchotchke

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) I had a similar experience, although in my case I'm pretty sure it was someone asking, "But... but then how do girls pee?"

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

Yeah, I generally recommend staying away from people who fetishize any sort of group, let alone virgins. I mean, it's fine to have your turn-ons or whatever, I'm talking about people like certain (white) men who fetishize Asian women. Issues, they have them.

WaityKatie

@rudedog@twitter Don't count the virgins out, though. I have a friend who has only been with one guy, forever, and they are still together (and married) about...12 or 13 years old? Something like that. I'm sure there are plenty of people who aren't virgins who get out of relationships because they "wonder what they're missing" as well.

Apocalypstick

@kayjay A dude friend of mine didn't know how girls peed at the age of 21. He'd had a girlfriend and given head and all. In retrospect we probably should not have made him a diagram of the female anatomy right there and then out of things we could find on the pub table and in our handbags.

whizz_dumb

LW3: Do not avoid sex conversations. They are completely necessary since us dudes are not very good at reading minds. It doesn't have to be awkward (which isn't necessarily bad anyway) it can be funny, and not just in hindsight. Explain your situation and own it. He should listen with unflinching attention because all sorts people have all sorts of different sexual histories and potential sexual futures are exciting. When is a good time, during the second make-out session maybe? Whenever really, if he's worth anymore of your attention he'll be understanding and act accordingly.

teebs

"Sidebar: watch Beginners with him. So sad, so great!"

Protip- do not watch Beginners with anyone unless you are comfortable with that person seeing you ugly-crying with snot and tears on your face for two hours.

mooseketeer

LW1: I'm going to go against everyone here and say you should totally self-destruct and tell him to break up with girlfriend and date you. Probably he will say that he likes you but then never break up with his girlfriend and you'll be devastated and realize that you should not be hanging out with a dude you're pining over. I don't know, maybe it happens where friends hang out for years and then realize that they love each other and get married. But in my experience that doesn't happen and if people like each other they figure that out quickly.

but then maybe he's been pining over you too and he'd only cheat WITH you, not ON you. Or maybe he's been looking for an excuse to break up with his lady and even if it doesn't work out with you it'd be fine. Doing nothing is the worst idea because it already is bad for you!

BadWolf

LW3, listed to the Dude. A slightly-awkward but honest conversation is SO MUCH BETTER than trying to fake it. Really, sex itself is kind of awkward, so an awkward conversation about it is SO not the end of the world.

You don't have to put it out there before the first course----just go slow, and, when it seems right to have the conversation, emphasize that you might have a lot to learn, but that you are patient and curious; a cool guy will understand and reciprocate. And if he doesn't, you don't have to sleep with him! And (bonus of internet dating), even if you do sleep with him, you never have to see him again if you don't want to!

Empathetic story time: I unburdened myself of my (technical, hetero) v-card at the advanced age of 24. And I didn't tell the guy I was with that it was my first time. And, because I didn't say anything, it was a DISASTER. It was painful for me, and he didn't know why, and my determination to not stop him (because, hey, it's about time) made it totally not fun for me, and subsequently not fun for him. And when I had to explain after the fact what had just happened...well, it was still awkward!

Don't fake it. It won't be fun for you! You deserve to have a way better time than that.

antilamentation

LW1, a thought experiment for you: imagine you are the girlfriend of the guy, writing in to A Dude to say that you've found out your boyfriend made a drunken pass at the female friend who he's known for 8 years now, and who he has had an intense, hot makeout session with in the past. What advice do you think you'd get here, and how do you think you'd feel?

If you were responding to that letter, what advice would you give the writer?

I'm asking because what's to say that wouldn't be you in a year's time if you get together with this guy? If you got together that way, what indication do you have that he wouldn't drunkenly cheat on you with his other female friends, the way he's trying to cheat on his current girlfriend? Would you end up watching all his other female friends nervously? I see nothing in your letter that gives me a sense that this guy has any likeable qualities - he's certainly not doing well at being faithful or loyal to his girlfriend, or respecting the friendship he and you have built up over 8 years. If you tend to shy away from commitment, when you do finally decide to commit to a relationship, wouldn't it be better to commit to someone who has a better track record with women (girlfriends and female friends) than this?

needsmoresalt

I misread, and thought LW1 said, "intense workout session, it was the best I've had," and it really cracked me up.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@needsmoresalt Squats! Soo intense. And then we rowed for awhile.

Diana

This is my kind of advice column! I love the variety of voices we get in Ask A Dude, but it's the pragmatic "Step 1:" type dudes that speak to my forthright little heart. I can't stand namby-pamby, wishy-washy "advice" columns that turn into an excuse for narcissistic forays into the Human Soul (Cary Tennis you worthless fuck!!!!! Your professional existence plagues my Human Soul.). Dear Sugar is the outermost edge of my toleration, since she does address the problem, though normally in an extremely oblique manner resolving itself in a grand and ultimately vague pronouncement. (LW 1: "You've got to have a long-term relationship with yourself. You are the ground you are building upon. Feed your soil. Only then will others savor your fruit when it is truly ripe." Or something.) Like, I guess that is true? But what does that mean for me when I get up in the morning? Anyway, this Dude sounds more like an actual guy friend whom I'm plying for advice, so thanks Dude!

automaticdoor

@Diana [snort-laugh] Dear Sugar is also at the outer limits of my tolerance. That was a really great parody.

leastimportantperson

@Diana I sometimes do parodies of Dear Sugar in my head when I'm bored. The funnest? The funnest.

atipofthehat

@Diana

I'm ready for "Ask a Dear Sugar Parody" !

Where do we send the letters?

thebestjasmine

@Diana Man, I am with you about Dear Sugar. It all seems so overwrought, though I think that partly it's because so many of her questions are the most self indulgent navel gazing questions in the world.

automaticdoor

@thebestjasmine You know, since the Unveiling, I've been rereading some of her columns, and it's just not the same. It really isn't. Dear Sugar as a vague entity giving forth this advice was a lot more tolerable than Dear Sugar as an actual person giving forth these pronouncements about the world.

usually just lurking

@Diana I love reading advice columns and I feel exactly the same way you do about Cary Tennis and Dear Sugar

chickaboom

@automaticdoor I agree! I mean, I'm going to come out and say that I freaking LOVE Dear Sugar and all of her obliqueness and grandeur. But something about seeing her face... it wasn't what I was expecting? It changed the whole way I think of her saying those words?

But I did get to read some absolutely stunning essays by her under her real name after that, so at least there's that.

automaticdoor

@chickaboom I'm thrilled to get to read her essays. And I've pre-ordered her memoir and have ordered her novel (which is obv on back-order everywhere omg). But I wish she'd done the big reveal at the end of Dear Sugar? She says she's not going to write it forever, so what's the harm in postponing it a bit longer? I just feel like it's a really jarring power shift, for lack of a better way to put it. You're anonymously spilling everything and this anonymous woman is baring her soul back to you, writing these words of wisdom that are more powerful because they don't have a face. She could be anyone, the person next to you on the subway for all you know. But now the balance has shifted. You're still anonymous, but she's still "Sugar," but we all know who Sugar is and yet the pretense of Sugar is still there in her column. That to me is different than Dear Prudence or whatever where Prudie is very well-known as Emily Yoffe and it's never had that. I liked the mystique. And also, I don't know. It wasn't what I was expecting either. Is it bad that I just wasn't expecting a conventionally attractive blonde woman and my hopes were a little dashed by that? I mean, I guess it reinforces that we can all have deep heartbreaking secrets and that even pretty people can have them, but from the way she talked about herself, that was not really the image I had.

...I did not know I had so many feelings about Dear Sugar.

Apocalypstick

@Diana Dear Sugar's answers are great as essays, but if I was on the receiving end I'd wish she'd skip to the advice already. Her life cannot possibly be a direct parallel to *every* LW's life.

whateverlolawants

@Diana Oh lord, we truly need some parodies of Dear Sugar and Cary Tennis. I nominate you.

purefog

I'm really surprised that no one has suggested this to LW3, but it sounds like she might want to hie herself to a good and sensitive sex shop (they aren't everywhere, but they do exist in, at least, SF Portland and Seattle), pick up some lube and toys, and experiment. I'm thinking, particularly, of a phallic-imitative dildo, which would answer (and perhaps pre-solve) the hymen/pain/fear questions; but also just, in general, to get more comfy with her own body (if she indeed needs to; this could be wholly presumptuous of me to assume).

entangled

@purefog I thought of this as well. (and there are female-positive, helpful shops like that in New York as well and probably other cities but not having lived in those other cities I don't know for sure)

chickaboom

@arrr starr I'm with you that this could be helpful to get over questions/fears, except that even non-virgins might not feel comfortable enough with their sexuality to find a sex shop and then actually go in and then go on a Quest for the Perfect Sex Toy. You know?

entangled

@chickaboom hmm... not most of the late (or lateish) virgins I have known. it could certainly be possible, but I've known plenty of 20-something virgins who could probably psych themselves up into going into a safe space type sex shop and just haven't found someone they felt comfortable having sex with yet.

There's also mail order (ooops almost typed that as male order which is far sketchier). I would recommend babeland.com as they're female-centric and have a lot of explanations. (do not work for them, but they have uh... worked for me in the past)

Betsy Murgatroyd

Was it me or did his answer to LW #1 sound like he cribbed the lyrics from that one Jewel song? Not that it's not sound advice, I just noticed is all.

Hello Dolly

LW3: As a 36 year old virgin myself, and as someone who has done online dating off & on (more off than on) since I was in my early 20s, I feel you, girl. When I was in my 20s, I recall putting my 'I'm a virgin' status in my online profiles, almost as an antagonistic challenge. I remember having heated discussions with guys via IM or chat about me being a virgin and how it wasn't worth it to wait, blah blah blah. At a certain point, I dropped it from my profile because it stopped being something I used to define myself (I hope that made sense.) It is what it is. Whatever happened in my life to get me to this point, whether planned or not, does not make me (or you) a freak. I would think, if you approach it as 'well, I know you're going to think this is kind of strange/freaky/weird, but hey, I'm still a virgin!', then the dude might react as it is freaky/weird/strange. He's going to pick up his cues from you. Be cool with who you are, communicate with the dude about your experience, and roll with it. If you want to do the 'get drunk and screw' method as recommended in this thread early on, nothing wrong with that as well. Just don't think of yourself as a freak, because you aren't. There is no judgment here, however you live your sexual life.

WaityKatie

@Spicy Bubbles I wholeheartedly endorse this. And if people want to be mature adults and have sex for the first time sober, I endorse that too!

MissCellaneous

@WaityKatie After reading this whole thread, I'm convinced you're me 10 years in the future (I'm 25). Can you tell me, is the future awesome?

WaityKatie

@Kris10 It might be, as long as you don't go to law school! Don't do it!

automaticdoor

@Kris10 DON'T GO TO LAW SCHOOL OMG WHATEVER YOU DO

*cough* I mean, um. If you want! But know what you're doing to yourself!

WaityKatie

@automaticdoor I think the consensus opinion is, don't worry about whatever you're doing or not doing sexwise; focus on not going to law school.

automaticdoor

@WaityKatie My 3L friends and I who are graduating soon surveyed each other. None of us decided that our lives have been in any way significantly improved by going to law school, and in some cases, our lives have significantly worsened. (I am one of those cases. It contributed directly to the deterioration/destabilization of my mental health. Just when I had my bipolar disorder under control...) We agreed that for most of us, we would have wondered what would have happened had we gone to law school/possibly regretted NOT doing it, but now most of us regret doing it. Catch-22?

WaityKatie

@automaticdoor I could live with that "regret," provided it didn't have almost 200k of debt attached to it (and no possible way to ever switch to another career because of that debt).

karion

LW#1 - the answer you are looking for is "a piece of shit."

That is the answer to the question of how it feels (1) being the cheater; (2) being cheated upon; and (3) being the other woman.

The answer is always a piece of shit. Thing is, you are absolutely correct in your assessment in two of those three scenarios.

Danzig!

I'm in that boat with you, LW3. I am a virginal dude (not even a kiss!) at 25, which is the new 40, so I'm basically Steve Carrell without all the wacky hijinks that somehow keep scuttling my opportunities. I'm just not all that good with people, I guess.

I've had friends, even ladyfriends, tell me that I could totally get dates, and despite my goblinesque paunch have told me that I am more attractive than the boys they dated in the past (not sure how to react to that, honestly. Compliment...?!)

But yeah, I totally understand the V-card thing, it's this Sword of Damocles hanging over you and it just gets heavier and heavier with each passing year, and you think "maybe this year someone will enter my life" and no one does.

The thing is, it's like penis size - people tell you it doesn't matter, but it's pretty apparent that it really does. And that's hard, especially when you're like me when there are other, more potentially devastating landmines to clear away before you hop in the sack. It has a chilling effect on your whole dating mojo. I strike up a conversation with someone cute on OKC and when I realize I'm going to have to sit a potential girlfriend down and Have A Talk (or even that I'm going to have to ask a grown woman to teach me things people learn in high school) it's emasculating in advance. So I do that thing where I disengage and start pining for people I can't have because hey, at least I won't get hurt that way.

But don't give up! Don't give up. If you feel like you need that band-aid ripped off, by God it will happen. Personally I've actually started to seriously consider what my life will be like as a perpetually sexless, lonely old man, and I think, if I have things to do (and a few cats, natch), I can hack it. It'll just be like always having that feeling you get when you know a sore throat is on the way. But when I think about it, I realize that probably won't happen! There will be some woman, somewhere, and it will work out, if just for a short time. It'll work out! It'll work out for you! We're not Liz Lemon! Solidarity!

Danzig!

@Danzig! It's 6 AM and I realized that second para is completely nonsensical, so just add "but it's still entirely mortifying to even think about." to the end of it there.

sarah girl

@Danzig! Some hope for you - the guy I'm dating just lost his v-card with me at 26, and it was awesome! I've been around the bend a couple of times, but was also a fairly late bloomer (post-college), so I had been there myself just a few years earlier and definitely commiserated.

What worked really well was honest communication, but not in a formal Let's Have a Talk sort of way; it had come out a bit in our first few days that he didn't have much dating experience (which made me wonder), then after some makeouts and such I asked him about it. He was pretty matter-of-fact about it, not quavering and full of shame, which helped a LOT. It was just a part of who he was, not the SOLE DEFINING FACTOR in his life or anything like that! But, he was also very honest and open about the fact that he was a little nervous about it and wanted to work up to full-on sex, so we took it verrry slowly, which was completely fine.

The most important thing is that he was honest but didn't make it a huge anxiety-ridden deal which would in turn make ME feel anxious, and (in the words of Dan Savage) was awesomely GGG and willing to learn and do some research and listen to what I liked, as well as assert his own desires. Success!

WaityKatie

@Danzig! This is a really eloquent description of the feelings I had as an elder-virgin! But instead of emasculating, it was more like de-feminizing, I guess. I felt like people viewed me as a neuter, unattractive, unfeminine, not good enough to attract anyone's attention, etc. And before everyone jumps in to say "try therapy," honestly I think having to go to therapy about it would have made me feel even more of a freak. The only thing that made it better was getting it out of the way, frankly. Now I look back and 26 seems really young, and it's had to see why that was such a big deal, but at the time it was. I felt like it was getting more burdensome with each passing month, like "I can't turn 27 and still not have had sex! I can't be a 28 year old virgin!" And now, even though it does kind of seem that I MIGHT be "alone forever" anyway, it's not as bad somehow. It's a crazy psychological situation that we put ourselves in.

girlwithinternet

I REALLY hope the girl, or anyone with the "no sex yet" question reads this...and reads a few of the previous comments as well...
A Dude's advice was kind of off on this one. I would advise NOT telling guys that you haven't had sex before. FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT! :) Maybe tell someone at some point, that you're not too experienced- if you think that will make you feel more comfortable, but I don't think you should tell most guys you haven't had sex yet. I really don't think many guys these days are able to hear it and deal, unless you're like, a smoking hot 18 year old...then maybe they'll deal. I love men, so I hate saying this, but there is kind of a stigma about it, so even nice guys may bug out a little! :(
I also was a late bloomer, because anyone who has sex after 19 these days seems to be a late bloomer, sadly (I was 26). I had the awkward conversation ONCE with a guy that I really, really liked at the age of 25, because I felt comfortable enough with him, and I thought he really, really liked me too. And it freaked him out. I tried to play it cool, but, it didn't really work. Our situation was a little bit more complicated anyway, but, mostly, I think he thought my mentioning it made things seems way more serious than they actually were, and that there was all this pressure on him. So once the cat was out of the bag, there was no way to back-pedal. He was a great guy, really, not an asshole, but he didn't know how to deal, and I can't blame him too much, I guess (even though I was mad afterward, and it was pretty humiliating, and I ended up heartbroken about him). Yeah, maybe in an ideal world he should have been able to deal like an adult. But he didn't...
Anyway, I had sex for the first time with someone a year or two after this incident, and I did NOT tell this guy that it was my first time. It was fine. I'm not emotionally scarred from it, neither is he. He was a nice, fun guy, that I liked somewhat, but I wasn't in love with him at all. And I think for my situation, that ended up being the perfect thing. While he didn't know he was the first, he probably knew I wasn't super experienced, which is fine (I'm sure I wasn't the best he'd ever had). But who cares? We dated for about a month, and had sex a few other times, then went our separate ways. We're still casual friends, and he still doesn't know my little "secret".
So, the little "dream" of losing one's so-called "virginity" (a word I never use anymore) in a lovely romantic situation, that image we grew up with, fell to the wayside. I was sad about it for a while, but, we grow up and move on. Life rarely turns out like the movies and tv show us it will be, so, who cares? Sex can be fun, it can be boring. It can be meaningful, and it can just be utilitarian sometimes. Take the pressure off yourself a bit, and know that you're not the only one, even in your 30's, you're NOT weird. I promise you're not the only one. A FEW BITS OF ADVICE, HOWEVER:
1. If you think it will HURT because you're not "stretched out" down there...sorry to get so graphic...you need to stretch it out yourself, duh! That's what dildos and vibrators are for! Go get a couple. Problem solved.
2. I think dealing with the situation also depends upon the kind of guys you'll end up more likely to go out with. If you're on the nerdier side, and you're dating guys who are also on the nerdier side...THEY may be more understanding and ready to deal with "the big reveal", whether it comes before or after the act itself...(And you may end up revealing it a while after, if you keep dating...because eventually you may feel like telling him if you think he can deal with it...and most guys will probably understand why you didn't say anything up front. I knew someone this sort of happened to.) If you are a girl who is being approached by guys who seems more experienced, or more mainstream, or more "average/normal" or great looking...then I especially wouldn't tell them up front.
3. Study up on sex just a bit, if you're REALLY nervous. I've since had a few more sexual partners, though I'm still probably not as experienced as most people my age (30), and I know that since I'm a little behind, I've watched some porn a bit, or read articles about different positions, which people in relationships do sometimes, too (but don't worry, people don't expect crazy shit the first couple times you have sex with a new partner anyway-- well, most of the time, anyway!...but it might ease your mind to be able to think outside of the "missionary" box just a bit). Also, blow jobs are always a good intro with a dude, if you're just warming up with him. They may buy you a little credibility, maybe, for lack of a better way to say it, and may give you a little confidence when you get him off for the first time. And PS- ORAL SEX IS SEX. So if you've had that, you're more experienced than you think. Study up a little (you don't have to be an expert though), practice some moves when you're alone sometime if you really want (why the fuck not!), and just relax and fake it til you make and don't give a shit. And get some toys....
I believe it will work out just fine!!!

girlwithinternet

Also, I wanted to add something else to this - Most of the advice above can apply to non-sexed dudes, too! But I think women especially feel like they should tell a guy that they haven't sex yet, because they feel obligated, like they are hiding something if they don't. But the truth is, your sexual history is yours to share, or not to share. If you'd sex with 100 dudes, would you feel an obligation with the next dude to tell him he was going to be number 101?? Probably not. People withhold all kinds of information up front in the dating world, for all kinds of reasons. If you're withholding something that could complicate the relationship(like a husband), or could potentially hurt someone (like an STD), then that sucks! All else is mostly fair game in my book. And in case anyone is wondering, to clarify- the guy I first had sex with was a dude I met online, and we had sex on the 3rd date. So, I'd hung out with him a few times and felt comfortable enough at that point, though one could do it sooner or later, it just all depends on you, and the feel you get from the other person.
-HUGS to you, citizens of the internet.

WaityKatie

@girlwithinternet I think women feel more obligated to spill the beans beforehand because it's easier for guys to tell if it's your first time. It's more the profuse bleeding and...difficulties doing it the first time. I mean, if you're one of those lucky people who doesn't bleed at all and it's just totally rad from the get-go, great, but how do you know that before you do it? With guys, the only way the woman would know is from their awkward fumbling around, which, frankly, isn't necessarily a sign that they've never had sex before!

Ivona Poyntz@facebook

Dude has some sound advice going on

Tulletilsynet

There is no way for LW3 to play her V-card without making everything that happens immediately thereafter a response to it. Which might turn out to be totally non-disastrous, who knows? But it is going to amount to a challenge of a sort. So stop me if I sound absolutely crazy, but it ought to be possible to arrive at the degree of intimacy at which the topic is completely appropriate, and then defer action until the next meeting, if any. -- Yeah, that was pretty crazy. Sorry!

Jael

I know this is way, way out of date but I'm in a similar situation to LW3 and I just wanted to say that I'm incredibly grateful that LW3 wrote in with her questions, that the Dude answered them, and that so many people contributed their experiences and advice so sensitively. It is so amazing to realize that I'm not alone. Thanks so, so much! I wish all of you every happiness.

msmars

I know it's been a while on this thread but just wanted to say thanks to LW3 for her question and to everyone for their honest answers! I was in a similar position until yesterday (I'm 25) and read through all of these comments multiple times in the last few weeks to try to give myself some perspective. Now that I've lost my v-card, all I can say is being a virgin/not a virgin doesn't make you a different person. Also, there are many guys out there who are not weirded out by it. After all the hours I spent worrying about it, turns out it is not really such a big deal. Thanks everyone for helping me remember that if it takes you a while, you're still an awesome lady.!

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