I'm nearly 25 years old; I've known that I am gay since I was 16. I'm still a virgin. This has plagued my self-esteem for years. I spent a lot of time wondering if guys would hear this fact and think, "Oh, nobody has ever slept with him? There must be something wrong with him. Time to skedaddle!"
I'm not very attractive, I spend most of my day writing code designed to hack programs running on other peoples' computers, then sharing this code with the people who maintain said programs so they can fix it. I don't get out much as a result. (And there isn't much tolerance for homosexuals and furries in the world of information security.)
According to a 2006 document issued by the US CDC (Center for Disease Control, not Cult of the Dead Cow), 96% of people have had at least one sexual encounter at the age of 20. It's also known that the average age of losing one's virginity is 16.9 for males and 17.4 for females. If we use these two points and assume a bell curve (because no further research has been done), age 25 marks 6 standard deviations from the average.
Recently, one of my friends showed me the Elliot Rodger manifesto video, where he decried his own virginity before killing many innocent people. Now I stare in the mirror and wonder if I'm the same kind of monster somewhere deep inside. Maybe, on some level, everyone sees that in me and that's why nobody gives me the time of day.
Should I keep holding onto the fantasy of ever finding a loving relationship with another (furry) man that is unlikely to ever happen?
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The central question here is why do you think you are still a virgin? Just in your short letter, I can think of a couple reasons. First of all, you lack confidence in your appearance. You say you are not very attractive. Who says? By whose standards? Don’t go by what’s on TV or in fashion magazines, and don’t think that all people (men or women) are so shallow that they only go by looks, and don’t forget about tastes. You might be surprised by how attractive you could be to some guys out there. I’m guessing perhaps you are overweight, for example. There are a lot of gay guys out there who like their men chubby. True beauty, to use the cliché, comes from within, and when you have confidence in yourself that comes out in very attractive ways to those around you.
Problem two is what you do for a living for two reasons: 1) you “don’t get out much,” so how the heck are you going to meet anyone if you don’t get out?, but 2) could be more important, depending on what you mean by your job. When I first read it, it sounded like you were a hacker who writes malicious code and then sells fixes to other unethical people. If that’s the case, then you have what I consider a serious character flaw that could wash over into your personal life, making you less than desirable as a mate. However, re-reading it, it could be that you are writing code to show companies what vulnerabilities their programs have so that they can write patches to prevent future hacking. If that is the case, then you’re doing a good thing and no worries there. I just wasn't sure by the short description which of these it was.
I find your observation that “in the world of information security” furries and LGBT people are not very welcome to be puzzling. Why would they care? You’re a bunch of people sitting at computers writing code. Why would the subject even come up?
You have a very analytical mind, as evidenced by your citing stats from the CDC. I suggest you are overthinking this, freaking yourself out and creating an infinite loop that results in a self-fulfilling prophecy: “I haven’t had sex yet, so people will hate that I’m a virgin, so they won’t want to have sex with me, so I haven’t had sex yet, so people ....” Instead of obsessing about the sexual aspect, stop putting the cart before the horse and think about relationships. What you need to do is get out of your office, away from the computer, and meet people. Establish friendships and, hopefully, one will blossom into more than that, which will then lead to sex. If you are taking the opposite approach (“I want sex and then, maybe, a relationship”) you will end up sabotaging possible relationships before they even get started. That kind of attitude is a real turn-off for many. Not to advocate illegal behavior, but if you just want sex, there are ways to do that with some cash. Did I hear a “Ewww”? Hope so.
As for Elliot Rodger—do you seriously feel you might flip out and kill people because you’re a virgin? If so, please seek counseling right away. My guess, though, is that it won’t come to that and that you realize Rodger had some serious mental issues. Just because you’re upset over being a virgin will not, in itself, make you homicidal. Rodger was already mentally unbalanced. The jealousy thing over other people’s happiness was just a trigger that shot off an already loaded gun.
What you need is a new mindset. Stop saying things like love (or sex) for you is a “fantasy,” stop saying that you are homely, stop thinking negative things about yourself. The more you do that, the more you dig yourself into a hole. If you wish to improve your life, start looking at the positive things about you: you’re obviously smart since you can write complex code, you have a job (which is more than I can say for a lot of people out there), and you want something better for yourself, so you’re not complacent.
Make up a list of positive things you like about yourself. Seriously, write them down. Then post this list somewhere prominent where you will always see it (like next to your computer). Then, whenever you hear yourself putting yourself down, immediately shut up and substitute that negative thought for one of the positive things on your list. Repeat it three times, such as "I'm a smart person, I'm a smart person, I'm a smart person." Repetition will help form pathways in your brain that will become part of your psyche with practice.
Next, start taking care of yourself. Go out and get yourself some nice clothes (not necessarily expensive, just nice, so I don’t mean logoed T-shirts and worn jeans). Go to a salon and give yourself a good treatment of hair styling (ask for suggestions from the stylist), shaving, even pedi- and manicure. This might sound shallow, but how a person grooms him- or herself and dresses is a reflection of how they feel about themselves inside (also true for fursuiters, if you think of it, hmm). Furthermore, take care of yourself physically. Eat healthy foods, exercise, and get a good eight hours’ sleep every night. Feeling good and being healthy go a long way toward making yourself feel more confident.
Most of us (except for the rich) can’t do anything about, say, a big nose or a weak chin without plastic surgery, but you can do a lot of things to counter that. Look at, for example, Quentin Tarantino (who leaps to mind). Not a very classically attractive person, but clean him up and put on a nice suit and he looks good. Part of looking good is his self-confidence; he knows he is talented, and it shows in his demeanor.
Finally, give yourself a break. Relax, don’t obsess. I didn’t have my first sexual experience until I was 21, which is much later than the "average" in the stats you wrote down. And because I waited it was with someone who became the first love of my life. Everyone is different. Statistics are heartless figures that should not be used as barometers for our own lives. You are an individual, not a statistic. It will happen when it happens, but you can do a lot to increase the likelihood of it happening if you step away from the computer and treat yourself better.
I Wish You Happiness,
As Papabear points out, you will be more attractive to others if you feel good about yourself.
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