DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: Long time reader, first time writer. I’ll go to the point: I’m 26 and never kissed, hugged or had sex with a girl and I’m thinking losing my virginity with an escort. It really hurts knowing I’ll pass through life without experiencing how it feels to love someone that loves me back and have a girlfriend or get married and have a family of my own. I’ve been told enough times how ugly I am and I have completely given up at this point. It’s just not for me. And since there is no solution, I was thinking maybe at least pay for have a glimpse of what normal people do. I mean, I don’t only want to have sex with her, I would like to hold hands, lay in bed talking nonsense or just looking into each other eyes and cuddle.
I have done my research and hiring some “girlfriend experience” could be perfect for me. Except it doesn’t feel like that. I mean, one half of myself wants to do it right now, to stop wondering how it feels and finally doing it. But the other half is terrified. I’m scared that I would feel even worse. I imagine myself holding hands and looking at someone who is pretending being attracted to me and it makes me cry. It’s too awful, meaningless and empty. And yet is the best I could ever get.
So I’m in a limbo. I want to do this, since I’ll never experience it in my life and I don’t want to die without knowing how it feels. But at the same time I don’t want to, because I will be with someone who doesn’t like me at all and it not a replacement for a true and sincere relationship.
You always give great advice, can you help me?
Doubtful and Scared
DEAR DOUBTFUL AND SCARED: There’s a lot to unpack here D&S, and a lot of it is coming from a place of bulls
t and fear. We’re going to start with the idea that you’re going to never be loved, never get married or have a family. This is the start of the bulls
t. It’s not the truth, it’s not prophecy and you’re not Nostradamus.
(If you were, then the best thing you could do would send me the winning Powerball numbers).
What you’re feeling is depression and despair talking, not truth. It only feels like truth because we have an inherent bias towards negativity, where negative thoughts, emotions and experiences affect us five times more than positive ones do. Negative beliefs have a much stronger effect on us because, well, they hit us harder. This is why it’s much easier to believe – without actual evidence – that you’re doomed to be Forever Alone.
But the funny thing about being Forever Alone: nobody can predict that, either. I have lost track of the number of people I’ve worked with who’ve insisted – like you – that they’re too ugly, too socially awkward or just too late to ever know love, relationships or family. Funny thing: every single one of them has gone on to find all of those things. Yes, there are people who die without having found someone, nobody denies that. But here is a truth: there is literally no way to know that you will be one of them until the moment you actually die… and sometimes not even then. Life is nothing but the potential for change; the question is whether you’re going to let those changes happen or take control of your life and make them happen.
Because, if I’m perfectly blunt? Your problem isn’t that you’re a virgin. Your problem is that you’ve been surrounded by assholes. And the folks who’re bagging on you for how supposedly “ugly” you are? They’re a
holes. Yes, even the ones who’re supposedly giving you “tough love” or “telling you harsh truths”. All they’re doing is kicking your soul in the nuts for grins. As is becoming a cliche in this column: if I had a nickel for every average-to-cute looking dude who insisted to me that he was actually too ugly to ever date, I’d be having mecha fights with Elon Musk in San Francisco Bay.
And as I’m also always saying: your looks have far more to do with your presentation and your grooming than your bone structure or your symmetry. Looks are malleable; all you have to do is watch an episode of Queer Eye to see the astoundingly transformative power of a decent hair cut and some clothes that actually fit. Plus, to be perfectly blunt: guys coming back from Iraq with massive burn scars over the majority of their body are able to find love and get married. You, D&S, are far from doomed to a life of involuntary chastity.
Now let’s talk about your wanting to hire a sex worker, because that is coming from a place of ignorance as well. If that’s something you want to do – and I’m all in favor, if it is – then you need to come to it from a place of understanding and reality, not from your internalized self-loathing. You have this idea that escorts can’t stand their clients… and honestly that isn’t true, any more than psychologists and counselors are pretending to care or to want to help you. I talk with and am friends with a number of sex workers across the spectrum from dancers to porn stars and honestly? While there’re always a
hole clients, there’re also the clients that they are incredibly fond of and have genuine affection for. It may not be a romantic relationship, but it’s a genuine fondness and appreciation for them as people, not as ATMs with legs. Someone providing you with a girlfriend experience isn’t internally rolling her eyes while counting down the minutes until it’s over, they’re giving you a genuine moment of connection.
If you want to be one of those clients that they think of fondly? Then treat them with respect and consideration. Do your research, find an escort who offers what you’re looking for – one who’s an independent, who’s not being trafficked etc. – go through her screening process and set up an appointment. Pay her rates and give a nice tip. I suspect that you might actually have a much better experience losing your virginity with someone who’s invested in giving you the best experience possible than, say, a random person you met at a bar.
But if we’re being perfectly honest: losing your virginity – whether with an escort or not – isn’t going to fix things for you. Even if you feel a surge of confidence and motivation, which certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility, you need more than that. What you need more than anything else is to focus on breaking these self-limiting beliefs of yours. I think, more than anything else, you should work on finding a therapist and learning how to break these negative patterns you’ve found yourself in. That, more than anything else, is going to help you realize just how much amazing, boundless potential you have and how incredible your life and future can be if you take active control.
You’ve got far more going for you than you realize, far more potential than you could ever hope for and the strength to make the future you’re longing for come into being. You just have to step up and take charge.
You’ll be ok D&S. I promise.
All will be well.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org)