I recently turned 25, and I'm still a virgin, which really frustrates me. It's become such a big deal that it causes me anxiety on dates and with men in general. I think that if I can just get it over with, I'll be much less worried about it.
I have this good guy friend that I dated about four years ago but never had sex with for several reasons, the chief one being that I moved away to go to grad school before we got that far and the distance broke us up. This friend and I still hang out once a month and he always makes comments that lead me to believe he'd jump at the chance to sleep with me. I'm thinking about asking him to have sex with me just so I can get it over with. My friends say that it will ruin our friendship — it might, I suppose, but if that happened, I think I could handle it. I trust him, and I care for him as a friend, so I figure, why not? I am starting to feel like a freak. Do you have any advice?
— Really Ready Rachel
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Dear Really Ready Rachel,
I completely understand why you feel awkward about still being a virgin. In our society, there is a lot of stigma around the age at which you lose your virginity, but it's upsetting to know that it's causing you so much distress. Try to remember that any guy that likes you will not suddenly like you less when you tell him that you're still a virgin. He might ask why you've waited, but it's unlikely that it will affect his opinion of you, and if it does then he's not the right guy anyway.
However, you sound very confident that you're ready to lose your virginity, so if you're determined to have sex now, I agree that a friend is a better option than some random guy at a bar. Keep in mind that while you may be willing to lose a friend over this, it's possible that he won't feel the same way. In fact, he may have feelings for you that he hasn't revealed, making sex something very different for each of you. The point is that things may be more complicated than just getting it over with. If you're going to do it, be ready for any consequence, and don't be afraid to embrace who you are — flaws and all. Good luck and be safe.