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My Girlfriend's a Virgin But I Want to Have Sex

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Dear Athena,

I have a girlfriend, and we've been together for one year. I'm 18. We sleep together naked but don't have sex. We do everything else. She is a virgin. I don't want to do what she doesn't want to, but I really want to have sex, and I want to try anal sex, too. I want to try all kinds of positions. She says that it's early yet, that we need time and that, after two years, we can have it. I laughed, but I think she was serious. I need good advice, Athena!

Signed,

Hard-On for Sex

Dear Hard-On,

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow your roll. I get it — sex is awesome. But only when both parties are ready for it. You need to check yourself for a sec here, pal, and see this thing from two sides.

If you don't already know, sex is a very intimate exchange. It can make us feel vulnerable in ways we can't imagine until we've done it. Deciding to have sex for the first time is so personal and unique to each individual. Unlike a license to drive or the right to vote, there is no predetermined age that dictates when we are ready. Long story short, you can't make your girlfriend ready — that part is 100 percent up to her.

It sounds like you're not taking her seriously, and that's a problem. You need to listen to and respect her choices — and then make a choice yourself. You either stay or go. Sure, she'll probably feel pretty awful knowing that you left because you couldn't keep your pants on long enough to wait for her. But it's OK to want or need different things. She'll move on, and you can get it on with someone else.

Whatever you do, never make her feel bad, self-conscious or wrong for choosing to wait. And don't take it personally if that's what she wants — it's a decision based on many factors, many of which have nothing to do with you. Be open to those reasons. She shouldn't have to defend choices regarding her body — ever! Pressuring someone to have sex is hella unacceptable. There isn't a lot you can do here, but there is a ton you shouldn't do. Be sure to know the difference.

Yours,

Athena