It’s been two years now since I stormed the screens of ITV as the badass babe who don’t need no cock.
And while the media attention was a great experience, the downside is, it’s kind of become all people associate me with. Every other article I pitch gets rejected. And when I use Curious Cat, my inbox looks a bit like this:
“What would you do if you lost your virginity on a night out?”
“How do you feel about turning 30 still a virgin?”
“Have you ever done oral?”
“You’re so ugly, no wonder you’re a virgin LOL.”
But upon reflection, what I ultimately want to achieve from all of this is to help others. Rather than just sell my story to another magazine for £100, I want to offer some useful, actionable content for those out there in the same position. So here is my honest, down-to-earth advice for the virgins.
Match your tribe with your vibe
Back in the day, I was once referred to as the Queen of Drinking, and I wore my title with pride. I had no idea who I was, or what I wanted out of life other than a drink in my hand. It wasn’t a good night unless it ended face-down in my friend’s bathroom crying “I JUST WANNA FIND SOMEONE WHO LOVES ME FOR WHO I AM.”
The problem is, drinking culture and hook-up culture go hand in hand. In my first year at university, I’d go out to have a good time, and people would have a go at me for not getting with people in clubs for the sake of it. I didn’t want to get sexual with anyone until I was in a relationship, and I’d get told to “get some experience”. Then in the holidays, I’d go home, and on outings to Pavlov’s Dog (our pub of choice), this guy would constantly grill me as to why I hadn’t “seen a cock” at university. At 22, my main group of friends decided I was boring for my beliefs, and cut me off.
Now, I write, read books, listen to self-development podcasts, and drink about one alcoholic beverage a month. I have more of a sense of who I am, and what I want. The people I vibe with now tend to be people I’ve connected with through hobbies like writing or politics. They’re generally supportive.
And if they’re not, I bin them.
You don’t have to justify yourself to anyone
In aforementioned “debates” with the guy in Pavlov’s Dog (plus many, many, many more, in many many other wonderfully named locations), I felt like I constantly had to give justifications for my abstinence.
“If I do X X will happen.”
“X did X and she regretted it.”
“Actually waiting for a relationship is better because of X.”
And so on.
You get the picture.
But the thing is, you owe anyone an explanation (even yourself, fellow overthinkers).
Tell people it’s your choice then end the discussion there, ignore all “advice”, then go with your gut.
The vast majority of my extended family were settled down by the age of 20. And for most of my friends, relationships just happened for them. I was the perennial single girl, never able to catch a break, frequently bemoaning my Bad Luck In Dating™.
When using Twitter to build up a following for this blog, I became encompassed in “Dating Twitter”: a collection of blogs and accounts who tweet about, well, dating. It tended to be longer-term single people; those who’d spent more time single than in relationships. “Oh look, other people have Bad Luck In Dating™ too!” I thought. It was wonderful. But there were a few people I ended up spending more time with and getting to know more. And over time I realised… there was a reason. So there must be a reason that I’m single.
So my main piece of advice if you’re still in a virgin in your twenties and beyond is to be the person you want to date. If your ideal partner could look into your life right now, hear everything you said, see everything you did, read every tweet and WhatsApp message… what would they think? Every standard you have for someone else, you must meet. People seem to think dating magically gets easier with age, but most of the people I know who struggled in their teens are still single in the late twenties or early thirties. Ask for feedback from honest friends as you may have a blind spot. Seek professional help if necessary. And see also: attachment styles.
Don’t get a dog then complain that it doesn’t miaow
In my early twenties, I seemed to think I was looking to settle down. However, after burning through a handful of dates from Plenty of Fish, I ended up in contact with this guy I’d met on my gap year who lived on another continent and had a girlfriend. I told him I was a virgin; he seemed to find this a turn-on, and told me he wants “a woman who respects herself”. I thought I’d found someone who liked me for who I was, convinced myself we were in love, and fantasised about the day he’d leave his girlfriend for me and I would move to Africa and be with him. We spent 6 months talking, until we finally met in person.
Turned out, he just wanted to get laid. And when it didn’t happen, he got angry and informed me that “men like experienced women”. Because- quelle surprise– people who stay in negative relationships and cheat on their partners aren’t people who understand why you want to save your virginity for Mr or Ms Right.
Screen potential matches early on. Not saying you should introduce yourself as “Hi I’m X, I’m a virgin”, but I’m in favour of discussing divisive topics early on. And if you’re religious, for goodness sake stop dating atheists.
Basically, if you want something that miaows, get a cat.
You are enough
If I throw a coin or scroll down Twitter for a few minutes, guaranteed I’ll find something negative about virginity. In our culture, sex is throwaway, cheap, a badge of honour or a stick to beat people with. It’s easy to feel behind if everyone else’s life is moving forward at a faster pace than yours.
But there are six billion people on the planet. You are enough, right now. And to the right person, you will be too. Take inspired action, make good judgements, and trust in the divine timing of the Universe. You will get there one day.
The Unexpected Joy Of Being Single, by Catherine Gray
This book is a must-read for anyone who is single. The writer takes us through her life, from how she became a “love addict”, to how she ended up single and serene about it. This book performs the double-whammy of not only flipping the cultural narrative regarding singlehood, but also explores how childhood patterns can affect adult relationships- so also offers advice on getting better at dating.
I Waited Until I Was 41 To Lose My Virginity. But Was It Worth It?, by Amanda McCracken
This is an article by writer Amanda McCracken, who appeared on the Katie Couric show to explain why she was still a virgin at 35, before eventually having sex for the first time at 41. It’s a really interesting read; it delves into overcoming previous patterns to find love, and offers reassurance for anyone worrying they’ve left it too late.
Attached, by Amir Levine & Rachel Heller
This book is THE BIBLE of dating and relationships. I wish I could go back in time and whack my 18 year self over the head with it. Anyway. The premise of the book is that people can be classified into three attachment styles: secure (my cousins), anxious (most of Dating Twitter), and avoidant (guys I’ve dated). 3-5% of the population are also a combination of anxious and avoidant (I fall into this category; so does Amanda from the article above). But anyway, the book explores the different attachment styles and how to work towards better dating patterns. It makes you view people you’ve met in the past and relationships in a whole new light- “That person was definitely an avoidant!” etc.
The Soulmate Secret, by Arielle Ford
I saw more change in my life and mindset from when I got into the Law of Attraction than in the rest of my life combined. It truly is a gamechanger. Anyhow, if you’re interested in going down the spiritual route, rather than just writing a list of desired partner qualities and throwing it into the fire, this book takes you through all the steps you need to manifest your soulmate. Although you may have thought you were ready for years, there may be things still blocking you.
Although Attached is definitely my go-to book when it comes to dating and relationships, there are a couple more I’d recommend if you’re looking for more practical dating help:
Get The Guy, by Matthew Hussey
Matthew Hussey is a world-renowned dating coach for women. He has a book, along with a whole host of YouTube videos that cover all aspects of dating, from how to meet more men, to how men think. It avoids any game-playing tactics and is all about getting out of your comfort zone.
The Surrendered Single, by Laura Doyle
A recommendation from “trad wife” Twitter, this book is great for women seeking a long-term relationship/ marriage. The key focal points are stepping out of your comfort zone and dating outside your usual “type”, and screening out good guys from bad guys. You can read my full review here.
Game, by Roosh V
Obviously, I don’t have much experience dating as a man, however I bought this book for my friend and he says it’s pretty good. The writers’ previous work has been more focused on sleeping with as many women as possible, however this one is more about dating and relationships. A lot of the focus is on self-confidence, which is a key area.
My friend once told me that most guys need some form of training up in bed, as they tend to take a lot of their technique from porn. This isn’t advisable. However, there are other resources you can use if you are looking for advice in that department.
She Comes First, by Ian Kerner
With the aim of closing the orgasm gap, this iconic book is an essential guide to pleasing a woman, covering philosophy, technique, and step-by-step instructions.
Passionista, by Ian Kerner
The male equivalent of She Comes first, this book bills itself as “the empowered woman’s guide to pleasing a man”. Exciting stuff.