Q. Purity Problem: I’m a 26-year-old virgin. I should mention that this isn’t for religious reasons. I simply haven’t had the opportunity yet. I realize I’m “older” than most stereotypical virgins. My question is: When the time does come, how do I explain to someone that I’m inexperienced without sounding prudish? I don’t have any romantic prospects at the time and am hardly unfamiliar with sexual desires. Am I thinking too hard about this?
A: I don’t think you’re quite as alone as you think, and I certainly don’t believe you’re thinking too hard about it. You want to make sure your future sexual encounters are honest and fun, and you want to be frank about your own experience without accidentally turning someone off. You don’t sound prudish to me at all, if that helps, and I think that there are lots of people in their 20s with relatively little sexual experience who won’t be put off at all by your history. A few years ago, the Hairpin ran a series of interviews with adult virgins that you might find helpful; there’s a variety of sexual experiences out there, and you should be able to find partners who are perfectly happy with yours.