Ask a Very Smart Brotha: Nervous Virgin & an Eager Wifeseeker
I’m just confused at this moment in time and just need some clarity or at least a male perspective on my situation before I make any choices. I’m a 21 year old woman (still a virgin) never had a boyfriend and, up until two years, was very shy and awkward around guys. And not just the ‘so-Hot-should-be-on-the-cover-of –men’s-health’ type guys, I mean EVERY single guy. Literally the only men I wasn’t shy around were my older brother and my two uncles. That’s it. Four years at an all girls’ school didn’t help either. I also didn’t have a lot of confidence and a pretty low self-esteem. And on top of all of this my mum (who is a single parent) was very strict in terms of boys as well.
I love my mum to death and she has done an amazing job of being both my mum and my dad, but went it came to talking about boys, relationships and sex, for the most part all I was told is never to do it outside of marriage, ‘you’ll disgrace yourself if you start sleeping around’, ‘you better not start adopting the mentality of those loose ‘oyinbo’ girls (‘white’ girls in Yoruba – my mum is Nigerian) because remember you’re a black woman, you can’t get away with such nonsense’ etc and it would just be the same repeated stories of how former friends of her who started sleeping around at an early age ended up as prostitutes back in Nigeria, or dead (talk about dramatic). Or how one of my aunties is struggling now because she rushed into a relationship too quickly and is now also a single parent of two boys. I remember her blasting me so badly that I ended up in tears (mainly out of frustration and anger) when I went to a friend’s house who was a guy (he was babysitting his little brother and all we did was play computer games and eat food) and I was honest about it. She even forbade from going to his home ever again AND I was 18 at the time. So as a result, the irrational childhood misconception I had of boys and men metamorphosed into this beyond ridiculous fear of men.
Fast forward to my first year of university and needless to say I went a bit wild trying to ‘catch up’ on what I thought I missed out on ie. Partying and of course guys. Even though for the most part I was still quite shy around guys but I hid it behind a ‘cocky bravado’ and alcohol. I didn’t sleep with any of the guys I was seeing at the time but things…happened.
After getting it all out my system in first year, I’ve spent the last two years working on myself (and being by myself), building up my confidence in a positive way, building my relationship with God, getting over my irrational fears and just growing up in general.
And now I’ve met this amazing guy who I really feel a connection with. We’ve been talking and hanging out for the past 4 and a half months. He’s 25, sweet, polite, has a good head on his shoulders, focused on his career and what he wants to do in life, etc. I could go on lol. The other day when we were hanging out and he initiated ‘The talk’ but I brushed it off as a joke cos I really didn’t know how to respond. I’m yet to tell him I’m a virgin and I’m scared to do so because it could go either two ways: 1) Not be cool with it and bounce or 2) Act like he’s cool with it to try get some later or 3) be genuinely cool with it & be ok to wait. So I just want to know what your perspective on all of this is, whether it’s really possible for him to be genuine ok waiting or not and if you were in his shoes what would you do?
Thanks for response in advance…
Very Very Nervous Virgin
Dear Very Very Nervous Virgin,
I first saw “The 40 Year Old Virgin” six months or so after it was first released. Although I’m a huge comedy fan, I hesitated to watch it because the somewhat cheesy title made me think it was going to be like one of those Saturday Night Live spinoff comedies — i.e.: MacGruber, The Eggheads, Night at The Roxbury, etc — ideas that made funny five minute skits but wore thin if stretched into a 90 minute movie. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Not only is “The 40 Year Old Virgin” hilarious, I’d argue that it’s one of the two or three best comedies ever made. Along with the perfect casting, the numerous quotables, the consistency (Most good comedies tend to peter out and become less funny towards the end. Not this one.), and the numerous scenes that could stand alone as hilarious skits by themselves (ie: The Kevin Hart/ Romany Malco midget gangbangers scene), what makes the movie stand out even more is the fact that it touches on a few legitimately pertinent and relevant topics in an insightful manner. Most notably, the paralyzing anxiety virgins and other relatively sexually inexperienced people occasionally face when interacting with other, more experienced, people.
In the movie, the title character’s “condition” is first met with ridicule and disbelief, but as the movie continues, not only do you see that most of his hang-ups are self-induced, the virginity servers as a screening process — allowing him to better gauge those genuinely interested in him.
Now, while it may help you weed out the pretenders from the contenders, I won’t lie and say that any guy who isn’t willing to commit to you because of your virginity automatically aint Isht. There are quality guys, men who’d make good boyfriends, who would still be weary about seriously dating a virgin. Your potential beau may very well be one of them. And, to be perfectly honest, if I were in his shoes I would be too (Why? I’ll explain later)
But, you still can’t let that impact your decision to be forthright. Maybe you haven’t lied about your lack of sexual experience, but the longer you wait to tell him — allowing him to catch feelings for you — the more it becomes a lie of omission. Also — and this is crucial — it’s very important for you (and anyone you’re interested in seriously dating) to understand exactly why you are a virgin. Not that there’s anything wrong with being one, but there’s a definite distinction between a person who’s scared of sex, a person who’s just waiting for the right person to be with, a person waiting for religious/moral reasons, and a person who just hasn’t gotten around to doing it because of either a low sex drive or an inability to find willing partners.
From what you’ve told me, it sounds like your virginity is rooted in fear. To be honest, that seems like an issue you may need to work through before you enter a serious relationship. It’s not like you’ll be able to just turn on a switch and all of a sudden not be scared of sex anymore.
It’s great that you’ve met a great guy that you have a connection with, but I’m thinking that you need a bit more “me” time before you’re ready to start something serious.
Damon Young (aka The Champ)