Ask Ang (10/18): I've Never Kissed Anyone, Any Advice on Talking About Inexperience?
"I'm a freshman, and I've never kissed anyone before. I want to start dating/exploring my sexuality, but I don't know how to share this piece of information with someone. It feels important that they know, but I don't know what to say without scaring them away. Do you have any advice about how to share my sexual inexperience?"
Okay, first off: it is absolutely not unusual to have never kissed anyone as a freshman in college. It’s easy to think everyone around you is having sex, but statistics show young people aren’t having nearly as much sex as the media would have you believe. Especially in a pandemic! While so much shame can come from never having experience (or having experience), please don’t feel like you need to “catch up” with some cultural standard that doesn’t work for you.
You’ve probably heard the advice that the right person won’t care. This can make it feel like there’s pressure to find one person who will be okay with your situation, and that you have to find and stay with that person. The reality of it is that the “wrong person” probably also won’t care. Obviously though, if someone shames you for your past, you should not be involved with them because they do not deserve you.
It sounds to me like you would like to be open about this with your potential partner, but you are not under any obligation to detail your sexual history to a partner, as long as everyone is being safe. If you really just want something casual, you do not have to tell them anything you don’t want to. Chances are, they won’t ask! If, however, you feel more comfortable sharing this information with a potential partner, I would suggest bringing it up in a casual way while hanging out. Here are some sample conversation starters:
“Hey, since I feel comfortable with you, I want to be honest and let you know that I haven’t kissed anyone before.” They will most likely respond with “thanks for telling me!” and honestly, you’ll probably kiss so that’s a huge plus! If you want to be a little less up front, especially if it’s more casual, you could just say “I don’t have much experience with this sort of thing, so this is all really new for me, but I feel comfortable with you.” Again, you can disclose as much or as little as you want. You’ll notice that both examples, no matter how casual, include some mention of comfort— because you really should feel so comfortable with whoever you’re engaging in sex or kissing with!
I want to emphasize once again that you don’t need to “catch up” to anything. While in college, it can feel like everyones looking to have sex while you just want to kiss, that’s just not true. Go as far as you feel comfortable with, and don’t do anything you don’t want to do. You deserve respect, no matter how much experience you have or do not have. You got this!!