Over 50s dating over 50s romances
Today, I want to start the conversation to help dismantle it.
Not the details – although I’m fairly certain that losing it on Halloween means I’m secretly Goth – but the drama that surrounded it. I was convinced I was the last male virgin on campus. As far as I was concerned, it was profoundly unfair that everybody else had gotten lucky.
I resented it when my more experienced friends would talk about sex and compare their various exploits; it felt to me like they were bragging, showing off in front of someone who couldn’t possibly understand.
One of the reasons why men tend to freak out about the idea of being a virgin – especially being a virgin past college – is that we’ve grown up in the shadow of a cultural narrative that we believe to be law.
The Standard Virginity Loss Narrative tells us that men are supposed to lose their virginity by a certain age – sometimes by age 18, sometimes by 21.
I was so embarrassed about being one of the great untouched that during my Freshman year, I made up a story about having gotten laid during Spring Break just to feel like I was one of the “normal” people.
Your virginity hangs around your neck like an albatross. Like there’s a great fault within you that’s holding you back but that nobody else seems to have.
According to the Standard Narrative, the ideal time is at some suitably momentous occasion: the “big game”, at prom… If you can’t manage it in high school, then you wants to be there because here there be dragons.They can’t bring themselves to approach women, so they don’t have opportunities to lose their virginity. We live in a culture that seems to go out of its way to imply that everyone is having sex and you aren’t. In fact, the number of people having sex in high school is actually from 54% in 1991 to 43% in 2011.They continue to get older, becoming even of titanic proportions that casts a shadow over everything they do and who they are. So let’s talk a little about the problems with the way we think about male virginity… Stories of blowjobs being traded as casually as handshakes in high-school, and the hang-wringing over college hook-up culture make the world sound like a never-ending bacchanal for those who are lucky enough to take part. Similarly, college isn’t the hotbed of casual sex that we think it is; students tend to regularly overestimate just how much their fellow classmates are hooking up rather drastically. The first is that we’ve been handed a shared narrative via pop-culture that directly affects how we our lives are supposed to be.What makes this especially twisted is the way we internalize the pressure to fuck, to be a virgin.When we fail to follow the narrative we get angry, lashing out at others and haranguing ourselves in turns.On Monday, I talked a little about the toxic culture surrounding masculinity and how it hurts men.