Artwork: Nikki Pecasso
Welcome to Sex With Stoya, the advice column in which you get the v rare opportunity to ask actress, writer, oh and adult film superstar, Stoya, your deepest, darkest, most ‘I can’t believe I’m even admitting this’ questions about love and sex. No topic is too personal, vulgar or embarrassing, but do know that our girl is going to hit you with some goddamn truth. This is definitely no Dear Abby.
First of all, thanks for your great tips and help and please excuse my English—I’m not a native speaker. Now here is my problem: At the age of 15, I received a relatively nasty diagnosis and was not given much chance of survival. For the next 15 years, I somehow managed to get by, graduated from uni and got a job, but because I was often in the hospital and had some hormonal issues associated with my condition, it was not really possible to have any kind of relationship.
Now I’m 30 and believe it or not, I’ve recovered completely—so far so good. The problem I have now, is that the idea of having a girlfriend on one hand, sounds great, on the other hand, it’s a bit scary or rather frustrating, since if I don’t count some girlfriends I had as a very small kid, nothing serious and of course, with no sex, I’ve never had one.
On one hand, I’m sure it would be easier to tell the person in my life that this would be my first time, but it feels a bit embarrassing at this age, not to mention that I’m not sure what the reaction would be. Explaining the reasons would probably make it a bit more justifiable, on but I just don’t know, talking about my problems is not something I’m a huge fan of and the reaction to that, again, is unpredictable. The other option, is not say anything, and I guess technically, this is possible given that guys have the advantage that you cant tell, visually if we haven’t had sex. But that also worries me, because I’m not sure if it is actually possible to be so good the first time the other person won’t notice. I’ve of course seen some videos, and I can help myself just fine, but I’m sure this is totally different. The third option is just staying single, but given that I’m now hopefully completely okay, and it is not like I didn’t want a relationship in the past, it just wasn’t possible due to my health problems. So that option feels like a last resort.
You’re definitely not the only person to make it to 30 without engaging in sexual activity. You list three options: inform your potential partners, don’t inform them, or stay single. Depending on where you live (for instance, Germany, New Zealand, or the parts of Nevada outside of Clark County) there’s a fourth option—see a professional.
Many sex workers are able to provide education and emotional support in addition to the physical aspect of their work, and they’re unlikely to pry into your history. They’re also there entirely for you. If you decide to pursue this option I recommend sending a short note explaining your inexperience and what you’d like to get out of an interaction.
Withholding the fact of your virginity from partners is in a bit of a grey area—you’d be omitting some important information, and it would be reasonable for them to be upset if they found out later. You’d also risk them assuming you’re an inattentive or selfish lover when you’re really just trying to get oriented.
If you peruse the archives of this column you’ll see people stressing about whether to disclose their fantasies, out of what boils down to fear of rejection. Your specifics are different, but just about everyone has moments where they make themselves vulnerable and sometimes do get rejected. The key is to continue interacting with people, flirting and sharing.
Since you prefer not to talk about your health issues, and they are likely to come up, prepare a simple statement like, “It’s over and the details are quite boring,” or whatever works for you.