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The earlier you lose it, the better off you are (no matter how unhealthy that act may actually be), but you should be trying by high school.According to the Standard Narrative, the ideal time is at some suitably momentous occasion: the “big game”, at prom… If you can’t manage it in high school, then you wants to be there because here there be dragons.One of the reasons why men tend to freak out about the idea of being a virgin – especially being a virgin past college – is that we’ve grown up in the shadow of a cultural narrative that we believe to be law.The Standard Virginity Loss Narrative tells us that men are supposed to lose their virginity by a certain age – sometimes by age 18, sometimes by 21.We get the Standard Virginity Loss Narrative burned into our minds early on, reinforced over and over again by pop-culture until we start to believe it’s the TRVTH, carved into stone tablets delivered to us at the base of Mount Sinai.The story turns our sexual development into a performance, just as masculinity is often a performance.

We blame for whatever flaws make us perceive ourselves as unfuckable.Your virginity hangs around your neck like an albatross. Like there’s a great fault within you that’s holding you back but that nobody else seems to have.What are you supposed to do about the fact that you’re one of the Great Untouched?And just as traditional masculinity is a fragile thing, any minor deviation from the Virginity Narrative throws the whole thing into disarray. And there will be plenty of people eager to reinforce the narrative, to mock us, and tell us that this deviation from the narrative calls our masculinity into question.The story that we’re supposed to lose our virginity by X milestone doesn’t take into consideration that navigating relationships – romantic, sexual or platonic – can be difficult, stressful, even . Just as the gender police are eager to punish people who don’t live up to the traditional definitions of manhood.

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