From a teen in Romania: By the time they are 18, most people have already had their first kiss and quite a lot of them have already had sex. I haven’t even come close to kissing anybody and I am terribly embarrassed by that. I can talk about it with really close friends probably because they also have a lot of different problems at this age and I feel like I am equal to them in a way because of that, even though their problems are different from mine.
When it come to talking about that to a therapist, I just feel that they will judge me, maybe pity me. I feel inferior and that shame that I already feel regarding this intensifies. I’m almost sure that I will cry if i ever confess this to a therapist and that I hate as well. I dislike how much my lack of experience in this domain bothers me but I can’t stop the way I feel, not when I know my situation is simply abnormal and when I know how much I really do want to be in a relationship but can’t. I don’t mind talking about sex in general. In fact, I like it. Teenagers who have had sex tell me that I know more about it than they do, which shocks me.
My friends can never help me with this. I don’t find their advice helpful and in the end, even if they are supportive, after having talked to them, I think I’m even more right to believe I might just die a virgin. I’m introverted, I hate parties, dancing, I find flirting ridiculous and I never initiate a conversation with a stranger, whether I’m attracted to him or not (I don’t have the arrogance to assume they’d like me since that doesn’t happen much). I also rarely like anyone myself. I’ve only really wanted to be with maybe three people in my life, if not two and the feeling was never mutual.
I do believe therapy may be my only chance but it is so incredibly hard to talk about this. Even the thought of it makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know how to make it easier for me. I don’t think I can see a therapist as an actual friend, especially because of the age difference. What should I do?
I don’t know where you get the idea that most people your age have had sex. A recent study of Romanian teens showed that only about 20% have had their first experience with sex before age 20. Teens aren’t always honest about their own experience. They often want to seem more experienced, more sophisticated and more knowledgeable than they are in order to “fit in.” Wouldn’t it be ironic if all the people you know are just trying to impress each other and none have actually done any of the things they talk about to fit in with other people who were also telling tales?
Of more concern to me than your sexual inexperience is your discomfort around other people. With a therapist’s guidance and support, you can learn the social skills you need and to feel more confident socially.
As for your worries about therapists: Therapists aren’t interested in judging. They are interested in helping. I doubt very much that a therapist will make you feel ashamed. (If one does, leave immediately and find someone else.)
As for a way to start: Just bring your letter and this response with you and ask the therapist to read it as a way to start your first session.
I wish you well.