It's been a while since I posted, but I do try to read the threads frequently.

This is about male virginity - question mark because there are some doubts about it.

I just turned 26 a couple of months ago. I've had some sexual experiences before that started when I was 20. However, while I enjoyed such experiences on a physical level, I felt there was something missing. A fundamental piece, some kind of 'connection' wasn't there.

I did it also to see how I deal with my boundaries and turns out that physically there's not a problem. But I have actively avoided going 'too far' (i.e actual penetration), even using protection because I didn't really know very well the women I was with. I don't know their intentions, their thoughts and I can't simply forget that there is a person on the other side. In other words, I can't see her as the 'something' that will give me pleasure and that I won't talk with the next day... makes me feel like and asshole. Also, one night stands, even if there is consent, would make me feel like I used somebody to 'get off'. Something doesn't feel well in the head because I know how meaningless this can be.

Yet at the same time I feel flawed because I am unable to detach from my feelings to enjoy casual sex, which most people my age seem to enjoy. At this point I have put sex (intercourse) on a throne, assuming it's the very best thing people can experience and that I'm not doing it, hence I'm missing out. I even feel like less of a person because of that. Isn't that a contradiction?. Also, I have been hanging out with a friend who has told me that 'she can do the favor', that we can be 'friends with benefits' but she does this with a number of guys and doesn't mind changing from one guy to the other; and then this becomes drama. And also, I don't feel connected, appreciated or that I trust her enough. This is holding me back.

Then I wonder, am I a virgin, when I have done other things while keeping myself away from penetration? This leads to the other question: who decides? I just want to find a way to avoid feeling so terrible, feeling like everyone has developed a healthy sex life and I haven't.
Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there. ~Josh Billings.
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