25 year old male virgin dealing with sexual shame


25 year old male virgin

Have unending hang-ups about sex. I am seemingly unable to get past my insecurities about being sexual and it's been ruining my potential romantic interactions for years. Sex to me just seems so... alien. My entire friendship group has been with at least one person and here I am, barely made out with a woman. I can't relate to any experiences and I struggle to put myself in situations where sex is a possibility. I just can't get it through my head that it's okay to have sexual desires and to want to share them consensually with a person. Not only that, I feel disgusted and creepy at the mere thought of opening up sexually to someone, which creates a negative feedback loop where I'm chastising myself for being such a coward and not taking a chance.

I'm unsure where this mindset came from, it's not religiously motivated, I think it just stems from my deep-seated self-hatred. I know nobody "deserves" sex, but I don't even let myself try. And as a result, the women who are interested in me at the beginning inevitably get bored of waiting and move on. The last person I was seeing was more patient than I deserve, but if you're dating someone who is too sackless to even kiss you properly after multiple dates, you're eventually gonna say enough is enough. And now I'm sure she's with someone who's not afraid to show her his attraction to her. As a man who is expected to take the lead in these situations, I feel absolutely hopeless. The dream scenario would be meeting someone who doesn't mind making the first move, but I feel like that's not a realistic option. I've spoken to a few therapists about this but I just don't know how to get past it. I've convinced myself that any attempt to seduce a woman is creepy if it's me doing it. Otherwise, I'm completely sex-positive with everyone else and I'm happy for those who pursue healthy sex lives, although I won't let myself be one of them. Does anyone have any advice for sexual shame that hasn't stemmed from religion? Can't help feeling like I'm too far gone. Thank you.


I lost my virginity when I was a few years older than you are now. And while I didn't mentally describe my issue as being one of shame, I do identify with a lot of the hangups you've described. Feeling like even the idea of sex or a relationship is completely alien like you're light years behind your peers like you've been dumped into the middle of a game you don't understand the rules to (and no one can seem to explain).

While ultimately I think finding the RIGHT therapist is your best bet, (try CBT if you haven't) what you're saying about how hard it can be to "sack up" and go in for a kiss or make a move sounds very, very familiar to me, as does the feeling that sexual advances are creepy, at least coming from me.

What I found the most helpful was to break things down into smaller steps. Going in for a kiss felt like this huge, insurmountable step, one that she might reject. But brushing my hand against hers to draw her attention to something around us didn't seem so bad. And wow! She seemed ok with me touching her. I guess she wasn't all that creeped out by it.

Once you have some indicator that she's ok with that, that she liked that, doing something a bit more intimate, like putting a hand on the small of her back for a moment as you're walking seems manageable. From there, it's easier to rest a hand on her knee, or compliment something about her, or flirt a little. And, eventually, a kiss doesn't seem like such a mystery. Still a step, a tough one, but not an impossibility.

This escalating, ramping process does two things. 1, it gets the BOTH of you comfortable with the idea of something more physical happening. It's like easing yourself into a cold pool rather than cannonballing in. 2, it helps drive away those irrational thoughts telling you that you're a creep, that she finds you disgusting. The evidence right there, that she's not, in fact, repulsed gives you ammo against the (very understandable) fear.

Of course, it's possible that you know and do all of this already, and what I've said has no bearing on your issue. Hopefully not though, hopefully, there's something in here that'll help you out.
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