Ready for some more whining about my v-card? Honestly, this wasn’t a topic which I expected I’d devote some 2-3 entries for, if not more, when I began this blog last summer. It was likely inevitable as I would run out of previous adventures to discuss, and would have examined all of my major past encounters with women in time. Despite the title, I am very aware that all of my problems with dating, or life in general, won’t be solved by grinding flesh with another person in the end. However, I do find himself in a bit of a cycle lately when weighing any options, and while it may not be entirely due to my most shameful secret, it certainly is a factor of it.
In the end it all comes down to a lack of experience. It can feel very much like seeking employment in that way. Most employers prefer someone with experience – whether it’s gigs one needs a degree for or even slinging burgers for minimum wage – yet it’s hard to get that experience if no one hires you. And much as with that situation, age and assumption by society also play key roles. Most employers would be sympathetic to a teenager without any job experience, but someone in their 20’s or 30’s would be seen as odd (in the least). To a degree dating is similar. Like with anything, dating, sex, relationships and love are things that are skills which can be learned, so long as one has opportunity. Without that opportunity, however, the odds of landing any “positions” (pun intended) become nil. Much as with employment, the older one gets without a certain level of experience, the more bizarre it seems to others. Reasons don’t much matter; few people genuinely care about such things. In a world built on endless competition, especially with men against other men in nearly anything, reasons for a lack of certain skills are ultimately meaningless. The world doesn’t care.
Virginity as it is known is a social construct, invented by men eons ago for various purposes, least among them controlling women’s sexuality to make the task of figuring out whose children are whose (often for the sake of inheritance) easier. It, along with other gender norms, effect and hurt both sexes in different ways, although there is some overlap. It can seem that too many people – especially men – can make too big a deal of it online too often.
At the moment I feel I am at a crossroads. There is a part of me who wants to look at the body of evidence laid forth in this blog, see it for the litany of failure that it is, and move beyond it. Call it exhibits A thru Z as to why I need to embrace my inner zen and abandon even the theory of dating anyone. It is where I, intellectually, want to be. I want to be able to give up on this and never feel any pangs of being lonely or envious ever again. To be freed from such desires and continue on with the rest of my work, such as my job, my family, and my hobbies. There is another part of me, however, that doesn’t want to quit; that insists that my last date was some seven years ago and despite my insistence, I’m not the same as I was then. I consider this an emotional side, as it ignores all previous examples of my dating futility and seems to still hold to an ember of hope that things will be different were I to try again. The struggle of the heart versus the mind is a classic one, and to a degree it is one that we all have to weigh about a variety of things. There seems little way to reconcile this personally, at least at the moment.
Onto what I have dubbed, the “Vicious Virginity Cycle”. For most “normal” people, the path of romantic relationships is one of youthful experimentation which leads to trial and error and hopefully, a final partner whose selection represents the culmination of all that has been learned (or not learned). You stumble and bumble during teenage years, refine skills and desires as a young adult, and by the time one is in their 30’s, one is supposed to at least have a better idea of what they want in a lover, what they won’t consider or accept, and more importantly have enough pieces in play to want to share them with someone else for a longer term. This includes having been through (and survived) at least one break up, which tends to go better the younger one is, as teenagers rarely have enough resources at their disposal as adults do when it comes to grief. For an older virgin, they have no such experience, and the lack of it not only makes it difficult to venture forth at a later stage in the game than their peers, but it also makes their peers hesitant to risk becoming part of a late bloomer’s bumbling quest.
At my age, most women where I am in New York are seeking to settle down with someone for the long haul. Hell, even in college in my early to mid 20’s, most of the women I encountered seemed to be looking for long term relationships over flings (or at least so they said). And while I am not exactly looking for “one night stands”, I also cannot honestly say I am looking to “settle down” and marry yet, either. My love life hasn’t even begun! And this represents a dilemma for any woman who would even consider giving me a chance, so long as she has full knowledge of my terrible secret. I cannot look someone in the eyes and honestly tell them that I love them and want to spend forever with them if they are the only lover I have ever had, the only woman who dared embrace the beast, because I have no frame of reference to compare her too. In addition, any of the mistakes and errors that are common in first relationships would be hers to suffer, at a time when most women hope to have left that sort of thing in high school. Therefore, a woman would be reasonable to assume that after I had my “first time” with her, I likely would not be staying with her forever, and would ultimately move on. This isn’t to say that I want to “love ’em and leave ’em”, but without a commitment, a break up is inevitable. What woman would want to be the stepping stone to an old hapless virgin’s journey? It’s an unfair thing to ask of anyone, much less someone that I may happen to like.
Most normal people don’t go through angst like this, because they did all of their “experimenting” with their physical and emotional romantic needs during their teenage years. Going through that again with someone who is old enough to have acquired this experience is not something which I imagine is desirable. This, therefore, would favor a woman who isn’t looking for long term romance but is after shorter term flings herself. But, this represents another problem; a virgin, by definition, is inexperienced and therefore can’t be counted on to please even in the short term. I can’t even be counted on as a boy toy, a friend with no benefits. I, of course, having had no experience, would be tickled pink just to make out with someone. Alas, that leaves the woman with nothing gained on her end, and that’s an unfair proposition to put on anyone. I suppose I could be delusional and assume (or hope) that by sheer fluke I am some sex prodigy who somehow nails everything on the first try, but I sincerely doubt that. Life isn’t that convenient, at least not for me.
So, in conclusion, being an older virgin means that I have nothing to offer a woman with long term goals (as it’s likely that she would merely be “the first” and not “the last” for me, even if I decided to marry my second girlfriend), nor do I have anything to offer one with short term goals (as a man who has never seen a live vagina is likely to be a terrible short term lay). I don’t believe I project an aura which screams of “danger” to women, but that alone is the bare minimum, not a plus. Outside of high school, there are no accepted ways to safely “experiment” with anyone aside for sexual surrogacy or prostitution (which outside of Nevada is illegal and dangerous for women).
This paradox makes it difficult to even fathom trying to date anyone again intellectually. In order to have success I have to project a sense of confidence and self, and that I have something to offer. Even faults should, in theory, be spun in ways that can be seen as strengths. However, there is no positive way to spin being an inexperienced virgin over 30. There is no way to sell that to anyone in a manner which is anything short of desperate or pathetic. There is no way to have confidence in an area in which you have never succeeded before. What would I have to be confident about with a woman? What reason could I have, what could I possibly offer romantically that she couldn’t literally get from literally any other living man within a mile radius? It is delusional, and unfortunately that is something I am not. And the longer one stays crippled with inexperience, the harder it is to risk trying to get some. Hence, a cycle. I have a sense of humor, but that alone isn’t enough; you don’t rack up “joke points” until they reach a certain threshold and then you become “sexy”, same as simply being “nice” should carry no expectation of romance.
And this is a cycle which can easily make the decisions as to which side in my crossroads to take for me. I have some potential opportunities online. I could invest more in OKCupid, pay the $10 and get to see the 25 women who clicked “like” on my profile (whose profiles weren’t ones liked by me in the past). There is a speed dating event at this fall’s New York Comic Con which I could, in theory, apply for. Speed dating is vastly tiring and a convention is tiring enough, but how often does one get to meet women who will all likely be into similar geeky stuff that I am? And there is one acquaintance, a literal friend of a friend, who I have gotten to know slightly on Facebook (as in, we are friends and comment on stuff sometimes) who I would love to date, had I anything to offer besides being the low earning rung of a romantic ladder. But even when I begin to consider potentially trying for any of these options, I face the cycle (or “the Self Awareness Paradox“). Putting a bow tie on a farm animal won’t make it a man, and unfortunately, that’s all I have. Hiding it didn’t work and any romantic foundation built on lies doesn’t work. Unfortunately, there seems to be no honest way to escape this cycle.
The best I can do is to try to erase any desire to do so from myself. Maybe one day, I will succeed.
Sorry for the repetition. Maybe I should get to my last flashback and get on with it already.