Hi Miss Meghan,
I’m a virgin and it is not that I don’t want to have sex but the longer I do not have sex the harder it gets. I get nervous that my lack of inexperience will turn boys off. Quite the catch-22. How can I get this to change?
Most of the members of humanity are sexual beings; as in engaging in sexual acts has some biological/instinctual bases that equip us with the skills we need to accomplish the various acts of sex, and gain some pleasure out of it. I would say that you probably have some level of sexual skills, even thought you still carry your “V-card.” The way to reduce that anxiety is to increase your skill and confidence levels.
There are two ways to reduce that anxiety. The less recommended, scarier, but more time efficient method, is the “sink or swim.” The theory is that if you are scared of a drowning, go swimming. Facing the fear that you will be perceived as sexually inexperienced by having sex will help you realize that you are not perceived that way. This method has some risk thought, in that odds are that you won’t drown, but you would probably already be swimming if there wasn’t some chance of drowning.
Therefore, I would recommend the “test the waters” method. Do little things that may still make you nervous, but that are more likely to boost your confidence. Start talking to men folk and see what they think (as in, “I have a friend who is a virgin and…”). Talk to female folk about their past sexual experiences and how they gained sexual confidence.
Do some self-exploration and figure out what areas of your body you get pleasure from. Do you enjoy a light touch here, but a rough touch here, every where a touch touch? Your virginity status is significantly less important during sexual acts than your ability to tell a partner what and how you like it. Change your focus from the fear of potentially turning a boy off to teaching him how to turn you on. Each person has different things that turn then on and off, so being comfortable enough with some to have that conversation is a great place to aim for before engaging in any sexual acts with them. If your goal is to turn your partner on and your partner’s goal is to turn you on, and you teach each other the most effective ways of doing that, then the odds of swimming (and swimming well) are significantly higher.
Also try swimming, but with floaties. Learn to get your face wet, learn the different swimming strokes, learn how to come up for air (have I taken this analogy to far yet?).
Most importantly: yes it is normal to feel some anxiety about engaging is sexual acts for the first time. However, if you are feeling pressured into it, don’t think you are ready, or just want to wait, that is a healthy and ok choice.