Sex with a virgin. Has it ever held an attraction? It certainly hadn’t appealed to me, but after a while I began to see that it might have its advantages.
If you’re reading this on the coat-tails of my interview with Tommy, it’s not quite a coincidence that I have chosen to share this story now, but I can guarantee you that it’s unrelated. Phew, I was feeling a bit awkward there for a moment.
This story is one from the vaults of my first year online dating, so let’s propel ourselves back a couple of years.
I’d rejected the idea of sex with needy late teens long ago, even those who were upfront about wanting ‘experience’. I didn’t fancy being anyone’s teacher but quite by accident I found myself in that role.
I met Tenzin on Skout in the final days before I deleted it as a bad joke. He had an ambiguous photo and a friendly approach with only a whiff of desperation. For a couple of weeks we chatted on and off about nothing much in particular.
I was interested in Tenzin’s Tibetan culture and Buddhist background. He opened up and revealed that most women on the app wouldn’t talk to him. He was an accounting student doing his second degree, with a new full-time job to pay his way. All his family were back home. His English was excellent and he explained that it had been honed for many years through work, before only recently moving to Australia.
I was doing my grocery shopping when Tenzin confided in me that he was a virgin. I stopped the trolley in shock. “You shouldn’t tell women that,” I texted. “It’s private!”
I didn’t think that the average Australian woman would appreciate the reasons why he’d reached the ripe old age of 30 without having lost his cherry. Tenzin explained that things were different back in his small village in Tibet. Men and women married young with little or no sexual experience. His knowledge about sex was based on hearsay and porn.
Channelling my inner Shere Hite I invited him to open up about that. I couldn’t help but think of several young men I’d already met who had self-confessed porn addictions and already concerning problems with erectile dysfunction. When Tenzin revealed that, actually, porn made him feel slightly nauseous and sick at heart, I talked to him some more about my own views.
By then we’d hit it off. My inner, subconscious dialogue went something like this:
If I can teach this sensible, innocent young man how to treat a woman well and enjoy both his and her sexuality, I will be improving not only his life but also the lives of several women.
Tenzin proved a willing and eager subject. He liked hearing that if he treats a woman well and satisfies her, she might just appreciate him all the more and stick around.
I gently suggested that he do some genuine research into female physiology. I shared openly my own experiences and some horror stories that other women had told me.
“Don’t be like all those men,” I advised. “If you think of sex as a conquest and it being all about your own satisfaction, then you’ll lose the opportunity to feel what true connected sex and mutual pleasure can give you as a human being.”
He liked my argument. More than that, he was excited to ‘meet’ a woman prepared to be so open and honest about sexuality.
He was also turned on by my cougar status! I shared with him the sad and exasperating statistics about how few women experience orgasm in penetrative sex and how so many men are disinterested or ignorant about women’s bodies.
Sometimes I feel like, here in Australia at least, we’ve gone backwards in time and orgasm equality is farther away than it might have been in the latter part of the 20th Century.
As he read more and more ‘homework’, Tenzin fired questions at me all times of the day and night. His questions ranged from the very basic (“how do I put on a condom?”) to the bizarre (“is it true that most women enjoy having sex with animals?”)
We covered every conceivable topic in between and I was honest with him in a way I’d never been before with either my former husband or any sexual partner. I think this was because our relationship was clear and safe. I’d never met him, I barely knew what he looked like, he didn’t know my full name, we didn’t have to meet or face each other over the breakfast table.
He’d solicited my advice and I’d given it. At times I didn’t feel like responding to his fixation with the topic, but I could understand how exciting it all was for him. He was on the cusp of losing his virginity and was learning so much more than he’d ever dreamed possible.
He could now see a future opening up, where before it was only loneliness, embarrassment and awkwardness.
The pattern continued for a few weeks. I’d send him off to do some more research and he’d do that, plus go off on a tangent and then come back to me with more questions.
Eventually I reached the limit of my altruism and began to grow bored with his neediness and the tone that seemed to have entered his messaging. “You owe me,” it whispered. “I want you to teach me in practice next.”
I questioned my own feelings about sex with this ‘stranger’.
Sure, we’d become familiar but only within a very restricted setting and firm boundaries. I asked for a photo and found him unattractive to my tastes. I withdrew but he followed me, persistent but polite, to the point where I began to feel that I genuinely did have an obligation to give him access to my body as a teaching tool.
For a couple of weeks I fobbed him off with excuses about being busy. I was even quite abrupt, telling him that he couldn’t expect too much from me, that I wasn’t looking for a relationship and that my free time was extremely limited.
I considered his point. Should I go through with it? What did I have to lose? Might it be fun?
It was hard to muster much enthusiasm because I just didn’t find him attractive. I think that’s an important ingredient in fulfilling any sexual fantasies – or at least a certain chemistry that lends itself to intimacy.
I knew he’d never touched a woman before so he’d be ‘clean’. Though he wasn’t keen on condoms, I assured him that he needed to learn for the future.
And so we made a sex date.
Tenzin agreed to take a day off work because he had no free time on the weekends and evenings were out for me. It was a chilly grey Friday morning when we met at a nearby town. I saw his car approaching mine and I stepped out into the fog to meet him. He stayed seated in his car since we’d agreed that he’d follow me to my house.
“Wow,” I thought to myself as I drove the last few kilometres home. “He’s actually quite good looking!”
And indeed he was a fine specimen of virile Asian manliness: trim, small, nut-brown and with a pleasant face and stark white teeth above his crisp white shirt and business trousers. Tenzin seemed confident in an unassuming way and intent on his task, which was of course to lose his burdensome virginity as quickly as possible.
When we arrived, I ushered him inside with warmth I didn’t really feel. I’d realised quickly that he left me cold; I couldn’t sense an iota of passion or genuine interest in me. Clearly, we didn’t see the world in the same way and never would.
But that was fine. I didn’t want anything from this, in fact I would have been quite happy to shoo him back out, say farewell and good luck.
But my own sense of obligation kicked in, and after half an hour of polite conversation during which I knew he would never make the first move, I steeled myself to take the initiative and kiss him.
It was god-awful terrible.
Clearly, he’d never actually ‘kissed’ a girl before. Within seconds, his thrashing lizard tongue forced itself down my throat. It took every ounce of self-control not to end it all immediately.
“Stop,” I said to him gently. “Slow down, slow right down.”
Then I led him by the hand to my bedroom and I swear my thoughts ran like a cliché: “Let’s just get this over with.”
Tenzin was very nervous (as you’d expect) but he was holding it all together pretty well. He was very quiet and intensely serious. There was no laughing, no fun, no passion – all of the things that make my world turn.
I knew that he feared being ‘seen naked’ but I wasn’t sure why – he had a lovely body. It just wasn’t my type.
To cut to the chase, Tenzin successfully put his hard-won research into practice and gave me a single, passionless orgasm, and then climbed on top of me and not too soon, reached his own heavy, panting climax.
I’d fulfilled my duty and he’d achieved his goal. He didn’t have to carry the weight of ‘virgin’ status in a highly sexualised world any longer. He could hold his head high and perform adequately with any woman.
In fact, I reassured him afterwards, a lot of women would have no idea of his limited sexual experience. I bolstered him up and told him he’d done well. I went further in my own head: compared with some of the men I’d had in my bed on this crazy journey, he was bloody good! A virgin until an hour before – and he was a better lover than some guys who swear they’re studs and sexperts. I had a quiet internal chuckle at that for quite some time.
Unfortunately, Tenzin misunderstood our transaction.
Despite my warnings that I didn’t want a relationship and had no free time to offer, which was true in many ways but especially because I was so busy dating other men, Tenzin hadn’t listened.
He contacted me many times afterwards. My least favourite method was an unannounced phone call to my mobile from a private number.
After more than a year of random, awkward conversations where he’d make small talk and then beg me to give him another chance, I told him that it would never happen.
This was still not blunt enough. Months later, I resorted to blocking him on kik and refusing to take his calls on my mobile. One of the reasons why I never, even now, answer an unknown number on my phone, is because of his unreasonable persistence. He’d told me that there hadn’t yet been anyone else after me, which was a great shame.