It wasn’t like I intended it to work out this way. I’ve not been precious about meeting my true love, saving it for a serious relationship or marriage, and it’s not because of religious or cultural reasons. I just happened to remain a virgin until I was 35.
I never had a boyfriend at high school or university and I was grossly overweight which only compounded things. Now that’s not to say that men don’t like big women. But for a long time I convinced myself that was the truth and blamed the entire male species for not being able to see beyond my belly. The truth I came to realise over the years is that it was me who couldn’t see beyond my body and I pushed men away.
I’ve actually learned to enjoy being single, except for one thing: there’s a certain stigma about being a mature-age virgin.
Not that there is anything wrong with it, theoretically I knew that, but internally I was ashamed of this status. Just as society is known to slut-shame women, it seems there is no place for virgins outside of their early 20s. And not only was I a virgin, but I was inexperienced in even the most basic things. My last kiss was when I was 16. I had never fooled around, given head, or even slept in the same bed as a man. And then it just happened.
I met a guy through an online app, we went on a few dates and I simply liked him. At the end of our third date I declared “I’m gonna kiss you!” and suffered through an extremely awkward and unsexy kiss. But we persevered. On the sixth date we went back to his place and I was thinking “we’ll probably just snog a bit”. But no, we went straight to the bedroom he took his clothes off very matter-of-factly and then took mine off, and that was it.
So here’s what I learned from my experience about having sex for the first time in your 30s...
"It was... GOOD."
I expected pain and awkwardness. That’s what you hear so often when people tell stories about losing their virginity. But I think my newfound confidence in my body and knowledge of what I like (after all, I’ve been having sex with myself for years) made me so much more sure of what I was doing than I imagine many 16-year-olds would be during their first time. And having the years of experience under his belt that I did not, he knew what he was doing. Fumbling teenagers we were not. There were orgasms.
"I never have to worry about having 'that' conversation again."
In addition to the stigma and perceived shame of being a virgin, is the anxiety about whether/when/how to tell him. Will he be turned off and stop? Will he find it hot? In the end I didn’t tell him beforehand. Maybe I should have, maybe he would have been gentler, but I didn’t want gentle. I told him after the third time. It was an excruciatingly awkward conversation to have, but he took it in his stride. And best of all I never have to have the conversation again. I cannot tell you the nights I’ve laid awake thinking about how and when it’s going to happen and what I’ll say. It’s all sexy for Anastasia Steele in 50 Shades of Grey, but for me it was like an albatross around my neck.