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The 40 Year-old Virgin

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I just got this email from a reader, and I found it so sad (assuming what he says is true), I thought I'd share it with you guys here:


Ok, I'm writing this email in bits at a time to try and be sure hotmail doesn't eat what I write. Basically, ages and ages ago, 20 years ago, I politely informed my parents I had always been gay. I have been thrown out of my own family ever since with no given option of coming back. I live alone, and am still a virgin at 37, something I freely admit to people. I have never had a boyfriend because I have no idea where to start getting one, simply.

Its also because while I genuinely love beautiful men, I am also TERRIFIED of them! Seriously, I've learned not to compliment their looks or anything because if they are straight, HOO boy, you are not seen as complimentary no matter how polite you are and risk getting severely pounded. The possibility of rape (a lot of guys seem to get wildly ferocious when they want their sex) has had me keep distance too.

So yes, I am shy & timid. I also don't go to bars or things because those are boring grown-up-style stuff to me: I'd always prefer a fair or bookstore, I'm a quiet person. But it does make it tough to know where to start. Anyway, around 2000 when I had a working computer, I thought, let's see what happens if I try an online gay dating service.

I'm sure you can imagine that I learned real quick about all the insincerity on the web as a result. And the chat rooms with all their "let's have sex one way or another" attitude. But after 2 years, one person I'll call Scott actually struck up a conversation with me and offered me his phone number. I kept telling myself I was being stupid for calling this number out of the blue.

Well, surprise! This guy just wanted to visit. He wasn't looking for a date at the moment but just thought I'd be nice to visit with while cooking dinner. And we did. He also told me half jokingly "Of course, I know you won't call back after this. They never do, always same old thing on there, sex sex sex. If someone calls back more than 3 times, then I'll believe he's nice, lol." It was a nice call. Seriously, and then as I called back to visit during the next 3 weeks, he finally said "ok, I believe you, you're a nice guy." He actually invited me to meet me at a Dennys.

That Dennys was usually crowded and so I went while taking my cell just in case. And he showed up. Oh wow, I wish I could describe how beautiful he was. I mean, he could have been a model, and the prettiest blue eyes with soft lashes. I later found out he worked out a lot. Tanned.

Do you understand what I mean when I say I was so in awe of his unexpected beauty that I did NOT get all turned on? That's how I reacted. As he introduced himself I just stared in awe. Then I turned my head away and knew I was blushing and said "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to stare, it's just.. that you're so beautiful."

He blushed & said "why, thank you." First time I ever got to hear such a response from a man & know it was directed at me. We had a nice casual dinner, he was fun, light & funny to talk to, & very polite even though something about him seemed cautious. He told me that the last time he had ever had a boyfriend, his boyfriend would get really abusive and one time when Scott had had enough & said "I'm leaving" and started to go, suddenly a chair came flying at his head, & next thing he knew he was waking up in a hospital bed. He had shut down his heart ever since & only had what he called "glorified sex buddies". Afterward he drove me to his place so we could continue to talk in private.

Actually we both drove, I was invited to follow him. We sat in his living room on a couch & visited casually about pretty much anything. Then finally it was late & he said he had better turn in for the night as he had to work next morning.

I said "Okay. I should too. I'll see you later?" as I went to the door. He stood but he just had this shocked look on his face. At first I asked if I did something wrong. And he finally says "You didn't try to seduce me. You didn't touch me. You didn't even try to get my shirt up." I was a little scared & said "uh... You wanted me to?" He said "No, I didn't. That's just it. Everybody treats me like a side of beef & then leaves. I get so tired of people drooling over me all the time & acting shallow. You don't want to have sex with me?"

I swallowed & said no. He goes "I don't get it. But you like my looks." I said "of course I do. You're a very beautiful man." and he was, and extremely masculine. He said "Then why didn't you try anything?" I stammered, "I respect you too much as a human being. I mean, what sort of person would I be if I took advantage of you like that? I'd be no better than your last boyfriend."

He looked at me a minute then walked up to me & smiled then said "David, that's the most wonderful thing I've ever had anyone say to me." He then lifted my chin with his finger & said "You're very sweet. Thank you." And he kissed my cheek and said goodnight. I called him the next few nights and he always seemed so happy to hear from me.

I met with him one other time at his place, and it was sort of funny but he said, "This world is so screwed up as it is. How did you manage to stay so innocent? I almost actually start to feel a bit guilty for not giving anything physically to you, I mean you're sure you don't want ANYTHING?" I blushed & said "You said you weren't interested in another boyfriend at the moment, so no, not right now. Well there is one thing I admit I would like." He asked "what's that?"

I said "Well, if it's ever ok, I would like to be held." He went "That's ALL? Here, I can do that for you right now!" And he took me in his arms on the couch and let me cuddle in his arms. I never knew a muscled male could feel cuddly and soft like that but he did. I saw he had the most serene smile on his face, and I grew embarrassed when I realized I had whimpered with pleasure. He softly chuckled at that. After a long time of that I was going and he just smiled at me & said "You are amazing, you know that. It's a shame." I asked "What do you mean?" he paused and said "Never mind, I'll explain later."

Well I found out the next night when I called, he sounded wistful & sad, then speaking slowly he said "uh... David, there's something I need to tell you. You see, a year ago I began to plan a permanent move to Europe. Before we met this month, I had spent that year arranging & paying for everything and my job and all. I'm leaving in three weeks. I never expected to meet someone like you at the last minute like this.. And I'm really sorry."

I was in shock. He said "I was bored and had just been looking for others to shoot the breeze with while I waited for the moving. And I certainly didn't want more sex, please don't get the wrong idea. But I didn't think I'd meet someone like you David, you are wonderful, affectionate, compassionate and I - well, I'm falling in love with you and I find myself wanting to marry you. If I let myself do that, it will ruin things, but at the same time I feel awful leaving you because I didn't mean to hurt you. And it also makes me feel I dont deserve you for doing this to you. I just can't handle the situation. I need to leave and I'm saying goodbye before I do more damage."

By that point I was in tears and begging him to please at least stay in contact with me, that I was willing to accept his being long distance. Suddenly he was in tears himself and wept "Please David, please don't make this harder than it is. Please forgive me. I love you. Goodbye." and that was the last I ever heard of him. All further tries to contact him didn't work, when I tried going to his place he was never there. Eventually it was emptied. I sobbed for days. Lots of times I would just start crying over any little thing as my heart was broken.

And now it's 2005. I have no computer now & doubt I would use that dating thing now if I tried. But life has felt so dead after him. I suppose I should be mad at him, but I'm not. I still love him & forgive him. But I don't know how I'll ever meet someone like that again, even though I was left high and dry I still think he was wonderful. :-(


So that was his email. I gave the reader some advice -- see a shrink, get over it, accept that the person he met was probably screwed-up with his own problems, and this was one of those things just not meant to be. I also told him it was never too late to finally accept who he was and to try to find some happiness in his life, and all it takes is the courage to take that one step. But it still got me thinking.

I thought the content was appropriate for this section, and just thought I'd share it. I also recently worked on the trailers for the real 40 Year-Old Virgin movie (which I never saw, but the scenes I worked on with Steve Carrell were very funny), and the parallels just struck me as ironic and amusing, as well as very sad. A gay version of this film is probably easier to imagine than most people think.

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Thank you for posting that. Suffice it to say that I understand where Scott's coming from more than I'd like to. That's probably apparent from the sum of my posts. :lol:

I'm sitting here trying to think of how much to say and how I want to say it. It may take me a while to do that.

...I thought I'd figure out a way to put a preliminary comment in, but it keeps getting either too personal or too much like other posts I've made. I'll come back to this.

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I could've posted my (lengthy) reply to the guy, but suffice it to say, I sympathized with him. I told him nobody's a bigger geek than me (especially back in the 80s), and getting the nerve to go to snazzy LA hot spots and bars was tough. Even worse when you don't exactly look like the member of a boyband or have the physique of a model.

Funny, though, the guy I wound up with was just another geek like myself. :) Neither of us had been out for very long, and we've been pretty comfortable together for over 20 years now (with some expected ups and downs). It seemed like kind of a big deal when it first happened, but looking back, it was like falling off a log -- natural and predictable, and we were instantly comfortable with each other.

The bottom line is that relationships are hard, and it takes a lotta courage and effort to go out and make new friends, have dates, have sex, and make longterm commitments. But you can't get discouraged, and you also gotta know that everybody's got the right to find happiness in their lives. I encouraged the reader not to give up, and (using my own example), told him that if an idiot like myself could finally hook up with a compatible guy, anybody can.

If you wanna talk privately about this in email, feel free to talk to me. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I can at least point you to places where you can get them, and give you my two cents on life in general.

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I appreciate that, Pecman.

Two observations from last night:

First, many of the things I wrote while trying to draft a reply were very much like other posts I've made, which tend to be very supportive and encouraging and maybe even humorous, but which also tend to go into "poor me" or "oops" or "if only" mode, or which reveal more than needed, perhaps. I'm working on getting myself out of that rut, including in how I post. However, it may help others to read some of that.

Second, it was one of the few times when I sat and really stewed over what to write, trying to get it just right. (Pardon the alliterative pun.) I was surprised when I realized just how long I had sat there running through drafts of what to post. Usually, like now, I just write off the cuff when posting in forums.

That it took so long and affected me so tells me I'm still stuck more than I thought. Damn it, I'm not hugely screwed up, though sometimes I think I am. I have the feeling that once I get past the first big step, I'll have a much easier time with the others. But taking those first steps is hard.

How silly it seems, and sad that it should become such a big deal, at whatever age you finally come out.

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How silly it seems, and sad that it should become such a big deal, at whatever age you finally come out.

Exactly. But it does seem like a really big deal when you're going through it.

I often wish I could go back in time and give myself the advice I didn't have as a teenager in the 1970s. To me, coming out doesn't have to be a big deal; but on the other hand, you can't do it until you're ready. As for me, I wasn't ready until I was in my 20s, and it took a 2500-mile move, away from my family, plus another four or five years to finally get the courage to do it. Once I did, it was like a tremendous weight was taken off my shoulders.

But that was back in the late 1970s. I think it's easier now, especially for teenagers, to get the right information and to understand what it takes to be honest with yourself. My joke is, if I had been able to watch QUEER AS FOLK when I was a teenager, I'd've been partying pretty hard by the time I was 15 at least. :)

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I met an absolutely amazing man named Ben once...truly beautiful, and quiet and gentle. Over time (ok, it was a week), I fell in love with him (or was deeply infatuated or something), and then one night in bed, he tells me he loves me but he's going to UC Davis in a month. In my usual fashion, I decided to use my heart as a landing pad, and continued to hang with him until he left, even letting him live with me for the last two weeks, since he'd given up his apartment.

The night that he drove away in his little gray car was incredibly difficult. I still think about him from time to time, and I always wish him well.



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I've written several things to post here, but they keep turning into my history, and, well, I'm not tellin'.

I had something that went through various typical stages and seemed clever too, until I realized it might not cover enough of the possibilities. In other words, it might be just me or guys like me.

Instead of having too little to say on this topic, I have too much to fit in, and most of it is a history, a soapbox, a vent and rant.

Methinks Blue dost protest too much.

I think I may have made over another mental hurdle. I think I've psyched myself up to make some more progress. I'm going to see a recommended counselor and get some of this untangled, so I can keep making progress and start finding out how the other 10% lives. ;)

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Sincere good luck, Blue! I hope things work out well for you.

I've been told by a few psychiatrists that it seems a larger-than-normal percentage of gay people are neurotic. But the theory is that a lot of their problems and depression were caused by years of having to hide in the closet. Once they were out, they were a lot better off, but it still took years to overcome the traumas from the times they weren't out.

As for me, I struggle with depression and mood swings all the time, but I try to keep swingin' as best I can, and live up to my responsibilities and so on. Being gay isn't a problem for me anymore, but at the same time, I don't volunteer the info. Only in the last couple of years has anybody I worked with actually asked, "so, are you married?". Usually I pause, brace myself a little, and then casually say, "well, sort of. I've been with the same guy for 20 years." So that's one way to answer the question. :)

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