Dating : How to talk about sexual inexperience

Dating : How to talk about sexual inexperience

I’m a woman in my early 30s who has never had sex. I took a few years out of the dating scene altogether but I’m thinking about trying again. I need some advice because the older I get, the more this feels like An Issue.

It’s not for religious or moral reasons – I’ve just never got to a point in a relationship where I wanted to have sex. I’ve dated some lovely guys who I found very attractive but the comfort level for sex wasn’t there yet. Had some fun hookups but always stopped at “heavy petting”.

I never know when or how to bring it up. I have a friend who was in a similar situation until meeting her now-husband. She’s opted to never tell him that he’s the only man she’s slept with. I’m too – open? non-secretive? – to go that route.

I’ve dated men who were put off once they learned. I’ve never had to deal with anyone fetishizing it, but I’m sure those men are out there (though perhaps not in a woman my age). I want to present it as a neutral fact, not a positive or negative.

Would sexual inexperience in a thirty-something woman put you off? How could I best approach the conversation? How far into a dating relationship should it be disclosed?

What do you think?


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  1. Hey, I’m a 36 year old virgin and my experience somewhat parallels yours. I’m in muscular fit shape with interesting hobbies, very liberal, kind of punk/hipster, and like you, was never really into hook ups and started approaching dating late in the game because I was always focusing on career and just assuming that meeting someone would be easy. Turning 30 definitely changed that perspective quickly haha. It’s tough, because I would be lying if I didn’t say that I feel a little worried about how someone might take the disclosure. Some people have advised me as well to forego saying anything, but I’m pretty sure it would be very apparent that I’m inexperienced if it got down to it, and I’d hate to risk someone losing interest in me because the sex was clueless.

    What I find most often is most women are just in disbelief when I tell them, as if I’m lying or that « there must be something wrong with me, » which doesn’t feel so good.

  2. Its not a big deal from my perspective as a guy. I would not be turned off by that fact. If a guy is, what does that say about his character?

  3. Plenty of good men will respect the reasons you’ve waited. I dated a woman who was 40 and a virgin and she told me about it before we had sex and we just took it slow. There is a certain hesitation men have about virgins being sexually unskilled, since people get so much better with practice. But there is also an allure, since “taking things slow and romantically” can be a beautiful experience for those jaded by too many experiences of casual sex.

  4. 28 year old female virgin. The guys I’ve dated have not cared, I’ve gotten comments that they like that about me or that it just means they want to take things slower and wait a bit longer before sex.

    For me it’s a topic that has always come up naturally within the first few dates, guided that way more by the guy than by me, probably because they can sense how guarded I am about escalating physically. I’m not ashamed about it though and am very honest about it, and DO want them to know – the inexperience is going to be obvious anyway. If that’s a dealbreaker for them then they are just not the right person for me. I used to worry about talking about it but it’s been received well thus far, so I’m starting to believe that for most guys it’s not an issue.

  5. I (46yoM) would def want to know, but would not judge you, or w/e. It would only influence how I treated you during our / your first time. Specifically, being **extra** suuuuuuuper gentle, and making sure to check in and that it was as positive an experience as possible. As far as timing? Naked, in bed. This way there is very little opportunity for over-thinking / judging, but it is still enough time to ensure he does all of the above.

  6. I can’t speak on behalf of all guys but when it comes to relationships, especially long term, I appreciate the fact that I am with someone that hasn’t been ran through by a dozen guys in her past. I think it all depends on what type of relationship you’re looking for. Maybe the person your with will be turned on by the fact that they can teach you a thing or two

  7. I think its possible you are making the mistake of thinking that your first time having sex will be preceding by a feeling of total comfort, confidence and enthusiasm. This isn’t the case for most women. Even when they want to they feel nervous about it. But most women will push past that. There is nothing you can do, at all, to make yourself absolutely completely 100% comfortable having sex the first time. You can meet your soul mate and you will still be nervous, it can’t be helped. You probably could have had good sex with some of those men you turned down. If you were expecting something more sentimental and romantic you must remember most people become sexually active when they’re buzzing with hormones that amplify the emotional experience of everything and you’re basing your expectations off of people whose brains were addled.

    At your age its something to disclose relatively soon in a relationship, once it starts getting sexual. You’ll probably have a better experience if you aim for people who seem to want a serious relationship. A man that wants something more casual or fwb won’t be enthused but someone who is waiting for marriage may take the news better.

  8. It would not put me off.

    As for bringing it up, sex will come up in conversation naturally sooner or later so it’s not something to over-think.

  9. I’m very curious.


    It is extraordinarily uncommon for a man or woman to reach their 30s a virgin.


    Why do you think in all this time you have never felt comfortable to open up intimately? Is it the guys? Is it you?


    It’s worth spending time there (on causes) more than on how a guy would feel about it (the fact).

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