While 40-Year-Old Virgin incites roars of laughter from most, for me, it is becoming a scary reality. Twenty-four, a virgin, and never having been in a relationship, I am hard-pressed to find somebody willing to take the daunting V-Card. Assuming I will tattoo their name on my crotch, boys are terrified of the implications, the burden of sex with me. I will admit in my teenage and even early college years I vowed to wait for love. Seeing as that ship has sailed, I am pretty open to calling in a favor from a friend. If the V-Card were literally that, a laminated membership card, I would shred it assuming it expired circa 2006.
Most kids have their first sexual experiences at summer camp behind the pottery shed. Unfortunately, I was too busy giggling and blushing in the corner during camp socials because my crush looked somewhat in my direction. An obvious late-bloomer, my first kiss was at age 18. So now the options I’m left with are the virgin stealers and the effeminate males questioning their sexuality who need to sleep with me to assure themselves one last time they are in fact not into women.
Like heartburn or hearing loss, virginity exacerbates with age. At this point, it has taken on a life of its own. Friends and strangers alike discuss my “sex” life as though it was as common and public as the Sunday comics. My virginity is often announced by friends at the bar just for the pleasure of watching some poor guy’s reaction. And mine. I’m not even embarrassed anymore. I’m not a troll, I’ve had the opportunity; I’ve listened to my friends discuss their sexual exploits in more detail than I should enjoy, and I certainly talk the talk, but when it comes down to it, I simply panic. In fact, the one time I gave the okay, the guy panicked. Go figure.
Maybe I have daddy-trust issues but I think it’s more along the lines of lacking experience; a vicious cycle of nerves and avoidance. The more I hear people refer to my virginity like a disease, pretend they are impressed with my will power, or condescendingly tell me that, “It’s okay,” the more I cling to the fact that it’s not my fault. I blame the fact that I spent six years, ages 12 to 18, at an all –girl private school. After the lectures promoting the school as a breeder of strong, independent women and the knowledge that hormonal teenage boys were out of the equation, our ecstatic fathers threw us into pleated skirts and we never brushed our hair or shaved our legs again. What I did not anticipate as a sixth grader applying to junior high were the everlasting effects that an all-girl school would have on an already innately awkward Jewish girl. (Now that my father wonders why I am not engaged to a nice Jewish boy, I wonder if he regrets the all-too appealing female environment he was so eager to shut me in.)
After completing my six years there, I was not more comfortable raising my hand in college classes, as they promised; I was not more outgoing, as they promised; and I certainly did not leave with the self-confidence they claim only an all-girl environment can provide. What I did leave with was social awkwardness and the realization that I was going to have to play major catch-up in college. Makeup, hair, the absence of uniforms; it was overwhelming and that’s just before I left my dorm room. Boys were in the classroom, living next door, and couples made out in the hallways between classes. Flirting was a foreign language and supposedly foreign languages are easier to learn when you’re young. It was culture shock, to say the least, and I was completely unprepared for it.
So here I sit more than a year out of college, living across the country from my home in Los Angeles, and finally ready to put more than two fingers down during games of “Never Have I Ever.” I’m not looking for a fairy tale (though a girl can only dream) just someone I can trust. I’ve waited this long, I figure it’s not worth losing it to a total stranger I drag home from the bar. Perhaps more importantly than anything else, Tina Fey (who turned her awkwardness and sexual incompetency into a career) lost her virginity at 24. This is my year.