My life in sex: the 31-year-old who has never been kissed
It’s not as if I’ve never been interested. As a young girl, I got on better with boys than girls, but by 12 I started experiencing all-consuming, unrequited crushes on them.
I was never going to be popular at school: chubby and sensitive, I was a target for bullies. At home, life was dysfunctional. My parents couldn’t really take care of me because of their struggles with mental health and addiction. My father was sometimes emotionally abusive towards my mother and me; I knew early on I’d rather be alone than in a relationship like theirs.
It wasn’t until my late teens that I made close friends. I focused on studying as a means of escape, and dismissed men on the rare occasions they showed an interest because I couldn’t see how that was possible.
After graduation I moved back home, my self-esteem at an all-time low as I looked for work that would pay enough to rent a room. My social circle narrowed, despite living in a big city.
I now have a job that lets me live alone, and a better social life. I should be thankful for my independence but I’m worried I’ve left it too late to find someone. Many of my friends are now married with children, while I still feel like a kid longing after boys – now grown men with extensive sexual histories, who will never like me back. Even if I did meet a man who reciprocated my feelings, we could never be sexually compatible, because of my lack of experience. It’s hard not to think there’s something wrong with you when you’ve never kissed a man, let alone had sex.