I was raised in a very conservative family and was taught that one ought to save themselves for marriage. I grew up as a strong young woman with firm beliefs, and did save myself for the man that I am with today. I was very clear with him when we first got together where my boundaries were, and even though he’s from a completely different background, he was prepared to wait for me —something very few men would do. We have been together for over 3 years now (I am 25) and I lost my virginity to him about a year ago. I haven’t regretted it for a second. He’s been supportive and amazing; he genuinely loves me, and I love him.
The problem arises, however, now that I have been awakened into this whole other world of sex. Even though I have no problems with how I was raised, I have started to wish that I didn’t in fact wait so long until I lost my virginity. I think that what I did was a beautiful thing, saving myself for my one true love, but the fact of the matter is that now I wish that I had had a LOT more sex before I met “the one!”
My boyfriend is one helluva guy and he raises the bar way high, but I have in fact met a few guys who I have had crazy chemistry with these past few months. I have never done anything with them, but I still feel like I am cheating because in my mind, I am. I imagine myself having crazy, wild sex with other men. It’s not that my boyfriend and I don’t have good sex— but then again, what do I know what is good sex or what isn’t? All I know is that all my life, movies, music and everyone around me has been running around and being crazy about SEX. And I want to know what all that hype is about! Having sex with my boyfriend is fun, it feels good and he does make sure my needs are met. But it’s not that crazy, electric, goosebumps-all-over, I-can’t-stop-thinking-about-
And sure, maybe it IS just that the grass-is-greener on the other side, and if I were to taste it, it would simply confirm that what I have here and now with this relationship is amazing. But how do I know that? How can I just take someone’s word for it? If I can’t stop thinking about having sex with others, surely that’s a tell-tale sign that something isn’t completely right? I don’t want to cheat on him, but sometimes I wish I could push the pause button on the relationship, screw around a little, and come back to him. But I know it doesn’t work like that. If I were to break up with him just to be able to sleep with some random guys, he would never take me back. And I don’t want to lose the best, most stable guy I’ve met in my life—someone that I know I could spend my life with. On the other hand, I don’t want to end up a married 40-something with kids who starts to cheat on her husband of 20 years either, because I suddenly have a mid-life crisis and need to get something out of my system!
I don’t want to cheat on him (Cheating is baaad! Badbad! Trust is crucial!) buuuut sometimes it feels like the only way to kill those grass-is-greener thoughts is by having a taste. I have imagined talking it out with a distant guy-friend (we dated a little once, it fizzled and we became distant friends), laying my cards out on the table, and asking him to jump my bones, and then leave it at that —both of us being very aware of what it is that I am asking for. I am also aware of the fact that it is, actually, a bad idea, seeing as it would be cheating, but for me, it feels like it would be the only way to get some random, meaningless sex with others out of my system so that I can fully understand what an amazing thing it is that I have with my boyfriend already. Sound confusing? Yes I know… I don’t actually understand why I have this need to sleep with others when I already have someone so perfect in my life already, but I can’t stop the thoughts from entering my mind.
So HELP! Either tell me something that will stop me from wanting to sleep with others, or tell me that it is okay to want to have some random, meaningless sex before I get hitched and spend the rest of my life with the one guy I’ve ever been with!
Dear Sudden Non-Virgin,
Thanks for your question. It’s an interesting one, but you’re certainly not alone in your thoughts and feelings. You sound like a lot of guys we know.
Having fantasies about other men and women is perfectly normal. Most everyone that’s honest with themselves—and in touch with their true feelings—would admit to having some sort of fantasy from time to time. Being with one woman or man is a compromise. Actually, every decision in life is a compromise, and a mix of gain and loss. For example. if you choose one college, you don’t get to go to the other one you got into. If you decide to vacation in Italy, well then you can’t go to Japan. And so on. It’s the same for relationships. If you choose one man, you can’t have another. And if you choose to be in a monogamous relationship you can’t have sex with other people, unless you want to cheat on the person you’re purported to love.
We happen to think that the sex you have from a stable relationship is much more gratifying and deeper than what you get from sleeping around. However we understand your conundrum since you’re relatively inexperienced and never got to “live” the single life. Yes, we can tell you that you’re fixated on thinking the grass-is-greener, but we’re not you. And if this is something that’s going to eat away at you, then it’s going to seriously impact your relationship, beyond just you cheating. It’s likely you’ll start feeling resentful and angry, and your boyfriend—or possibly husband by then—will have no idea why you’re lashing out at him. It will go from bad to worse, and if you don’t cheat on him, you’re likely to leave him. You’re smart to try and figure this out now before you get too ahead of yourself.
So what about sex? We love your quote. “But it’s not that crazy, electric, goosebumps-all-over, I-can’t-stop-thinking-about-
You say the sex with your boyfriend is good, but you’re not sure what that means. Well, simply put: That’s good. You’re with a man who loves you, and cares about satisfying you. Not all men are like that. (Or women.) So don’t discount what you have with your boyfriend. He’ll never be the “new guy” to you again, but he loves you, and it sounds like you love him. That’s nothing to scoff at. (We know you’re not, but it’s good to hear it from an objective viewpoint.)
Our suggestion: If you feel the weight of wondering pulling at you every moment you’re with your boyfriend, then you might need to take a hard look at it. We’re not saying you should break up with your boyfriend, but we’re saying, if this is going to affect your relationship then you need to decide now what you want to do. We wish we could give you the answer, but unfortunately we can’t, and won’t. This is your decision.
However, we do know guys that were in your current position. Some decided to suck it up and deal with it, and went on to marry their girlfriends. Others, decided they just weren’t ready to commit, and they went the other way. We can tell you—we’ll speak for THE GUYS—that every guy we know would like to be able to have sex with other women, even though they’re happily married or in committed relationships. For us, the longing of a new woman doesn’t go away. Some days it’s better than others, but we’re wired to sleep with as many women as we can. But acting on it is a whole different story. The guys that cheat, and throw away their marriages/relationships, usually regret it later. Maybe you’re more like a guy in this way. (The fact that you have the longing.)
If you do decide that you just have to experience “more” we understand. You’re young, and sometimes people have to make difficult decisions that affect other people. If this is just one of those things you have to do, please don’t cheat. You need to break up with your boyfriend first. You don’t need to give him every detail—we wouldn’t—and tell him every single thing you’re thinking. But if you’re honest with him—tell him you need to be single a bit longer before you get married—you never know what might happen down the road. Most guys would have a really difficult time with this, but maybe he’s different. There are certainly no guarantees he’ll be around when you’re ready.
Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask us a follow up question. (Leave it in the comments section below.)
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