A Virgin Lit the Candle

This week’s column is unabashedly homosexual in flavor and content. Tender Buttons makes no apologies, and I urge readers to celebrate the plurality of sexualities found around the 5Cs. Even more frightening: we’re talking about virgins this week, tender readers. Pop in your deliciously 90s copies of Hocus Pocus (hello, Sarah Jessica Parker!) to summon old virgin-phobia. Virgins!

Dear Tender Buttons,

I’m gay and was closeted in high school, and I just entered my first real college relationship. We’ve been dating for a month and a half now and still haven’t had sex yet. I want to, but my also recently out boyfriend keeps on rejecting the notion when I bring it up. We’ve made out several times, but every time I go for the goods, he gets angry and ends the intimacy. When I’ve brought it up outside of the bedroom, he references personal dignity and a desire to remain disease-free as the primary factors holding him back from sex with me. Should I spend $120 to get tested for him, even though I’m a virgin? Is this normal?

-Total Virgin

After years of accumulating exhaustive data, sexologists and medical professionals have made two fundamental discoveries about virgins: 1) A virgin is particularly delectable to the palates of witches, and 2) a virgin may have a STD or STI, pristine genitals to the contrary.

However, unless your boyfriend suspects you of frequent drug use or obtained your medical file and took note of your blood transfusions in the 80s, he’s a paranoid, passive-aggressive withholder with severe intimacy issues.

Let’s consider you drop $120 on a full STD test, Total Virgin. Would a certificate clearing your shiny uglies of any untoward contact with the gushy stuff break your relationship’s holding pattern? Here’s a hint: your boyfriend refuses genital contact with clothes still on, with no possible risk of contracting a disease—save perhaps a serious case of sticky skivvies.

Where is his offer to take the same test? Where is your “personal dignity” when he precludes the possibility of your honesty while presuming his moral infallibility? He thinks you are dirty, Virgin, and you’ll always remain dirty, groveling, and powerless to his demands in this relationship.

I beseech you: Resist the urge to go down the “fix him” route. Y’know, the “he’ll-change-for-me-because-we’re-both-going-through-the-same-coming-out-narrative-and-what’s-not-to-love” angle. To be perfectly frank, you are not qualified to dip your hands into that steaming pile of internalized homophobia/Catholic guilt/after school special episode of Blossom dog-mess. I do not mean to trivialize your boyfriend’s unfortunate situation; however, let the record show that you, as a gay man fresh out of the closet, are in no position to guide his hand through preliminary sex hurdles. Therapy is best left to the good folks at the QRC—or to a tub of Ben & Jerry’s alongside some late night viewings of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.

Dumping your boyfriend may sound like a drag, Total Virgin. But wait, there’s good news! You’re not dirty! You’ve done nothing wrong! His tragic intimacy issues have nothing to do with you, and the 5Cs are teeming with gay virgins looking for a few innocent slides down the rainbow. Spend the $120 on a vat of Astroglide, stay safe, and drop his ass to the curb.

Toot it and boot it,

Tender Buttons

Got a question for Tender Buttons? TSL wants to hear from you! E-mailsex@tsl.pomona.edu, or leave your queries in the office dropbox outside Walker 101. Thank you!

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