I've grown close to these men; and they have advised and tended my interests in ways my female friends don't (and perhaps shouldn't). Another friend, Paul, tells me when I'm being a dating idiot.
"I was becoming an Adele song there," I admitted after one breakup.
"You were the whole album," he said. He wasn't wrong: I was 44; Adele's albums 21 and 25 combined, minus two for the actual happy songs in those collections.
There was no template for talking about my virginity… so I didn't
The man I eventually lost my virginity to lent me his Sex and the City boxed set. After that, my friend Bill referred to him as "that gay guy you're dating."
Stephen was actually quite straight. The DVDs had belonged to his ex-wife, and he lent them out on first dates to ensure a second.
I didn't tell Stephen I was a virgin. There was just no script for me to use at 35.
Then one night, he and I tried to achieve penetration for a good 10 minutes.
"Uh, how long has it been?" he asked.
"Thirty-five years… seven months… and, um, what's the date?"
We finally managed. Hymens have a shelf life, if you believe the fiction (and I did -- I loved Judy Blume as a tween). Actually, most hymens really do go the way of a bad horseback ride or a fall off a bike. But mine had tenacity. The sex with Stephen hurt a lot more than I thought it would.