Inexperienced and Not By Choice [Sexy Time]
I’ve written a bit about choosing to abstain from sex, as it is a perfectly valid and not at all unusual decision. However, I would be remiss if I neglected to acknowledge that some people who aren’t hooking up aren’t doing it by choice. There’s this omnipresent idea that young adulthood is a bastion of sexual tension and anyone who wants to have sex is already getting it on. But I know from experience that there are plenty of us out there who have never had sex, been kissed, or even held hands with someone intimately, and it’s not through any glaring fault of our own.
I was definitely one of those people for quite some time. As I’ve mentioned before, I was a sophomore in college before I got my first kiss, and that was the first time in general that a guy had ever expressed any interest in me. That was a one-off thing, and it was well over a year until I got my next makeout session. As it stands now, excluding my boyfriend, I have only ever done anything physical with guys a handful of times. My gut tells me that if my boo and I ever part ways, I wouldn’t have a gaggle of guys falling over themselves to get intimate with me (what can I say, I have a specialty milkshake that only brings a select few dudes to the yard). However, I definitely feel like I’d have more options now than I did when I was 19, and it’s not because of a drastic personality shift. There are little things you can do that don’t require a total betrayal of yourself to be more attractive.
1. Accept the fact that you’re not perfect.
I am very hypercritical of myself. I could rattle off a billion of my flaws without a second thought. However, I realize that about 90 percent of the things that I consider “flaws” are ridiculously inconsequential and have no bearing on my overall character. It took me a while to get to this point. I used to think that no one would ever like me because I didn’t always have a witty response to everything, because sometimes my hair doesn’t cooperate, or because I could barely tell you the difference between football and hockey. And I’ve come to terms with it. Once you stop beating yourself up over every little perceived deficiency, you are going to be more comfortable with yourself, and that confidence will start to show.
2. If you’re not a party girl, don’t expect to get lucky at parties.
I tried so hard to get comfortable going to parties and clubs, because that’s what everyone else was doing. Most of the time, I hated it. Either the music sucked or the vibe was weird or (the most likely scenario), I really just wanted to be curled up in bed watching Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and eating gummies. It was probably painfully obvious that I wasn’t that girl who’s going to end up making out with some vaguely familiar looking dude in the middle of the dance floor, so I never really got any attention. Partying and/or blacking out isn’t my scene. If you lead a more low-key lifestyle, you can totally meet people doing the things you enjoy, whether it’s going to bookstores or rock climbing or whatever. If you need to expand your reach, there is no shame in online dating at all.
3. Polish your personal style.
Whether you’re preppy, boho or a jeans and a t-shirt kind of girl, make sure your wardrobe is comfortable for you and flattering. Choose pieces that accentuate your favorite assets and show off your personality. No one expects you to look like a model, but putting a little extra effort into your appearance automatically makes you feel and look more put-together and appealing.
4. Recognize and flaunt your great qualities.
Sometimes we accidentally end up selling ourselves short. Sometimes it’s because of low self esteem, and sometimes it’s because we accidentally end up putting ourselves into narrow boxes. We reduce our personalities to the traits that people comment on the most. Regardless of the reason, making yourself a caricature is not cute. Everyone has great qualities – whether it’s your intelligence, your listening skills, your sense of humor, your sensitivity, etc. Don’t neglect all of the things that make you awesome. When people say you need to “put yourself out there”, it’s not just about going out and physically putting yourself in a variety of places. It’s about putting your great qualities out there for anyone you interact with to notice and appreciate.
It’s important to note that sometimes the dating/hooking up pool just sucks, and you’re around people who don’t recognize a good gem when they see one. Unfortunately, you can’t do anything about that. Dating, hooking up, relationships… I strongly believe a huge chunk of it just comes down to luck and timing. In the mean time, just enjoy getting to know and love yourself, your friends, your family, and your life.
Jasmine is a graduate of Northern Arizona University who moved across the country to the Washington DC area for the politics and stayed for the cupcakes. She likes working on her fitness, collecting nail polish, devouring current events, being the only person who still watches Gossip Girl, and relentlessly tweeting @itsajasmine.
[Lead image via Catalin Petolea/Shutterstock]