Ask Ada: I’m In My Mid-20s & A Virgin, Is That It For Me?

Welcome to “Ask Ada,” a weekly series in which we answer all those burning questions you’d rather not share aloud. Buckle up for some brutally honest advice!

Are virgins really “hot on the market?” It seems like nobody in their 20s and older wants to have sex with a 24-year-old virgin. Am I doing something wrong, or do people just suck?


Charlotte Commons

Hi Charlotte,

When I was 25, I wrote to an advice column with nearly the exact same question. My query didn’t get published, but I did hear back from the agony aunt, so I’ll tell you the same thing she told me: You are in your 20s, so you are only just getting started in life.

Like you, I scoured the Internet for advice, trying to figure out if I was “hot” or not. The more time passed, the more anxious I got. What I did not realize was that I didn’t have to disregard my feelings or destroy my own boundaries in order to be loved and accepted.

“What’s love got to do with it?” you may ask. All I said that I wanted was sex.

True. However, you want sex with someone who will treat you with respect. Someone who will make an effort for you, who will try to give you a good first time (and maybe, second and third). Someone who won’t be impatient, or (creepily) turned on by your inexperience. There’s nothing wrong with wanting basic decency – it’s the bare minimum as far as sexual partners go.

If there actually is something you’re doing wrong, then it’s the same mistake your sexually-active friends are making: focusing on quantity over quality. Potential partners have rejected you for being a virgin, most likely multiple times, so you started thinking the rejection is a result of something you did. It never crossed your mind that maybe, these people are fundamentally incompatible with you.

Try asking yourself this question: If the roles were reversed, would you hold a dating partner’s virginity against them? Or would you simply see their sexual inexperience as another feature, like their eye color or fashion sense?

The fact of the matter is that your virginity makes your risk of pregnancy and HPV extremely low. That’s it. It doesn’t make you any less kind, loyal, and loving than you already are. It doesn’t take away from all of the incredible things you have done and all of the amazing things you have achieved. If other people refuse to treat you with the bare minimum – respect and consideration- then they have no place in your bed, let alone your life.

It’s 2019 – basic human f*cking decency is not something we should beg for.

We could all do with a different story, one that doesn’t tie sexual status to self-worth. For me, my perception of virginity truly changed when I drew a line in the sand, stopped being friends with assholes, and sought out people who filled my life with joy.

Here’s what I want for you, Charlotte: to build a life so beautiful, so vibrant, and so meaningful that only the most exceptional people can join you in it. Find a partner who will not make you miss being single. You deserve nothing less than the best.


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