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I’m a teenage guy, and I’m a virgin. My girlfriend isn’t. Is it normal or okay to feel like less of a man, or worried that she might have some standard I won’t be able to meet?

Lots of people worry about meeting their partners expectations, especially when it comes to sex. People can feel that way no matter what kind of experience they have.

But in a healthy relationship, you shouldn’t feel pressure to do anything that makes you uncomfortable, or that you don’t feel ready to do. It’s really important that the two of you are able to talk about these feelings, and about the sort of relationship you want to have together. You might feel like you have to have sex with your girlfriend because she’s had sex before, or because she expects it. It might feel like sex is something that, as a guy, you "have" to do — but this isn't true. Only you get to decide when you’re ready for sex — and it's OK to say "no" if you're not ready.

It's also important to remember that the only person who can tell you what your girlfriend is thinking is your girlfriend. You can't read each other's minds, so talking about your feelings can really help.

Choosing to be in a sexual relationship is a big decision, regardless of your girlfriend’s sexual history. It can help to take an inventory of your personal values and goals, your feelings about your relationship, and the kinds of emotional and physical risks you want to take. Visit our web page about deciding when you’re ready for sex. 

Tags: relationships, virginity, guys