This story touches a tender spot in my heart and I’ll tell you why. Aaron makes the same mistake that many of us do - I include myself in this group - of confusing two quite critical components in our lives: intimacy and sex. We think that they are one and the same. Newsflash for the younger generation and any older ones lagging behind: they are most definitely not.
I used to think that intimacy meant having sex, albeit quite a long time ago. Which was probably why I often considered my first time a load of rubbish. But with time and the ability to articulate myself, I can see what the problem was. It lacked intimacy. Handsome he may have been, French and sexy, he certainly was, but I hardly knew him and I was too proud to tell him that I was still a virgin. Unsurprisingly, this did not make for an ‘intimate’ (or even fun) experience.
True intimacy requires us to step out of our comfort zones and be honest about what, and who we are, which in Aaron’s case, is totally petrified. No, seriously, I am not suggesting that you tell your partner that you crap yourself every time they get within ten yards of you, choose your words a little more carefully than that, but honesty is very endearing. If you can find it in yourself to step out of the comfort zone and come clean so to speak, you might find yourself surprised by the results.
From a random straw poll conducted amongst girlfriends, ‘relieved’ was the most common answer I got when I asked them how they would have felt, had one of the teenage horn-bags they had encountered back in the day ever admitted that they were actually quite scared about what was going to happen next. Being honest breaks the ice and ultimately it brings us closer together. If Aaron can find it in himself to be honest, I think he might find the real deal: bona fide intimacy.
Aaron. Age 18.
‘I’m sure you must get a billion stories like this, but I need to write this for myself just as much as I want to send it to you. Hopefully, we will both learn a little :]
My name is Aaron, an 18-year old virgin fresh into college in Texas. It took me until right now to figure out that I really look forward to sex, but at the same time, I am terrified by it. Of course I’m a college male and I automatically have urges, but I’m so scared of being vulnerable before someone.
I was raised in a Christian community (reading your site, there seems to be a lot who find problems from this) and have always promised abstinence till marriage. More than anything though, I look forward to the emotional side of sex: I want to feel fundamentally connected to someone in a beautiful way. I want to love, and learn to love, and I don’t know if sex is a part of that process, a reward for achieving it, or some only slightly related event.
About a month ago, an ex-girlfriend and I agreed to a ‘friends-with-benefits’ relationship which was horrible! Some part of me really disagreed with the whole idea of it but I was kinda pissed off at life so I took what good feeling I could get. We ended up slyly messing around in my bed while my roommate was on his computer, oblivious. A few minutes into it, I was lying next to her and she stuck her hand down my pants and grabbed me. It was the first time anyone has ever really touched me there, and for a minute I was almost breaking down inside.
I felt empty. I was simply lying face down beside her, her hand casually slipped down the front of my jeans, and I couldn’t move. It was as if she had ripped off the protective layers of my soul and I was bare before her. I felt humiliated to myself, and the feeling of pure vulnerability began to drown me. I hated it, oh god, I hated it, and for a while I hated her. I hated being exposed and open to the world and to myself, and at that moment I felt purely pathetic and I couldn’t move a muscle, I just lay there and shook a little to myself with her hand firmly attached. The next day I informed her that I just couldn’t handle being around her for a little while, and we didn’t talk or hang out for two weeks or so.
So now I know I have a problem of sorts, I truly want to love and be loved, whether sex is a part of that or not, but I am now even more terrified of being vulnerable before someone, especially after somewhat experiencing it.
Now, weeks after my little incident with said ex-girlfriend, I am starting to date a beautiful young lady here at school and we have already begun to get a little physical with each other. But really, if it ever came to deciding whether or not to have sex, or even just to let her touch me intimately, I might be too frightened to consider. I know though, that after our making out sessions are drawing to an end and we just lay in each other’s arms, I really want to get closer to her and sex may be something we eventually consider. I know that only I will know when I’m ready for sex, but is there a way to combat the feelings I experienced in my little episode mentioned earlier? I want to learn to love, but I don’t know if sex is necessarily a part of that. It seems I’m just a college boy full of questions. Who would’ve thought? Lol.’
* All names changed to protect identity.