Dear Dr. G.,

I am a 17 and a half year old college senior. I'm female in case that's important for you to know. I am going to college in a few months and I'm still a virgin. I hate that. Most of my friends are not virgins. I'm already nervous enough about going to college. I don't want to be the only one who is a virgin. I don't want to be looked at like a loser girl.

Dr. G. I follow you and I like your advice to parents and teenagers. How do you think I should handle this whole issue? I'm working at an all female sleep-away camp this summer so I'm not likely going to lose my V-card (virginity) over the summer.

HELP!

A High School Senior

Dear High School Senior,

I must say that you are right. According to the statistics that I have seen-on the average teens have sex for the first time at age 17. By age 19, 7 in 10 females and males are reported to have had sex.

That being said there is no reason to believe that having sex at these ages is either a positive or healthy experience for teens. In fact, many of the teens that I have spoken with regret having had their first sexual experiences with partners that they didn't know well or even have fond feelings for. Many of them, like you, simply wanted to "get things over with" and lose their virginity. Now they are upset that their first memories of sex will not necessarily be good ones. After all, you never forget your first partner.

I encourage you not to think of yourself as a loser because you have not had sex yet. Nor should you be in a rush to lose your virginity before college. I suggest that you wait until you meet a kind and sensitive partner. I have always believed that the mind, the body and the heart all play a role in the sexual experience. It is unlikely that your first experience of physical intimacy will be a good and memorable one if you simply choose a random partner.

You probably have a lot of anxiety about the transition to college. That is understandable. I promise you, though, that you will not lose any friends because you are a virgin.

Good luck with the transition to college.

Dr. G.

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