My life in sex: ‘I both long for romance and dread it’

·2-min read

When my friends talk about sex and romance, I pretend to understand and hope they don’t notice that I don’t have stories of my own to tell. I’ve never had a boyfriend or been kissed, let alone had sex.

I’ve been on a few dates (they were uncomfortable) but they were more than 20 years ago. In the years since, nobody has asked me, and my fear has grown.

I sought help from a therapist 15 years ago, but she made things worse by calling me childish, and telling me that I couldn’t be helped.

Since then, I’ve been too ashamed to admit to anyone that I’m a virgin. How could they understand a woman who can’t find a man to want her? I’m not attractive, and men have never been interested in me. Now that I’m older, they don’t even see me as a woman.

Related: My life in sex: the insatiable husband

I long for romance, but at the same time dread it. I’ve always hated being touched, and have found the idea of kissing disgusting for as long as I can remember. I do find men sexy and have been in love with a few, although they didn’t reciprocate my feelings. The thought of sex terrifies me. Maybe I’m asexual or have a phobia, but I’ve never had an opportunity to find out, and have long given up hope that I ever will.

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