She may bare it all on the sex-filled, skin-filled Girls, but in 2005, the 27-year-old writer-filmmaker-actress Lena Dunham was just a 19-year-old virgin (like many of us), looking for some advice. In honor of throwback Thursday, she posted a series of clippings on Instagram — here, here, and here — illustrating her letter to Jamie Bufalino, the sexpert in Time Out NY, along with his response. Below are both her inquiry and his advice (which is quite sound). And Lena didn't have to wait too much longer; she had sex for the first time her sophomore year of college.
Q: I'm a 19-year-old girl who has been reading your column since its inception, and I've always wanted to write in. Well, I finally have a question. (What a rite of passage! I feel like I'm in a Judy Blume novel: Are You There Jamie? It's Me, Margaret.) Okay, so here it is: I have a reasonable amount of sexual experience, but somehow I have managed to stay a virgin (as have a few of my friends). Once you're 19, people seem to expect that you're done it six ways to Sunday. So it can come as quite a shock when a girl my age admits that she's still on the v-team. In fact, I speak for all my virgin friends when I say that confessing we are virgins has stopped more than one sexual experience from progressing further. It seems to freak guys out, like they think that you're going to get too attached to them if they devirginize you. Either that, or they find it really sexy in a somewhat pervy way. I don't need to be in love when I finally have sex (Lord knows I don't love most of the guys I've hooked up with, and I've still enjoyed it), but I do want a comfortable and respectful situation, so I feel the guys should know I'm a virgin. But if I tell, I risk seeming like a huge dork and having him stop the whole thing in its tracks. (It has occurred to me that guys might think it isn't worth their time to sleep with an inexperienced girl.) What do you think is the proper etiquette? I'd like to get rid of the v-card before I turn 20.
Get Jamie's advice after the jump!
A: Who knew that kids today were using antiquated phrases like six ways to Sunday? As for you, young lady, hang on to that v-card until I tell you it's time to relinquish it. There will be no deadline-setting or peer-pressuring. You will simply live your Intermix-clad, iPod-accessorized, O.C.-obsessed life until you meet a young man who doesn't give a whit about your sexual status, but just wants to express his love for you through three timid thrusts and premature ejaculation. Putting yourself on a schedule to lose your virginity within the next year will only increase the potential for bad decision making (how do you think Paris Hilton got herself into the fix she's in?). Since any postpubescent schmo with a penis, a functioning circulatory system and the most minimal grasp of anatomy has the ability to deflower you, you need to be extremely discriminating and remain on the lookout for someone who actually deserves the honor of ushering you into the next sexual stage of life. The last thing you need is some sly strategy for dropping the v-bomb on someone. All you have to do is proudly announce your status, and gauge a guy's screw-worthiness by how he reacts to the news. If he's standoffish or pervy, then ditch the loser. Remember, you want the first time you have sex to be memorable (and not in a bad way), so trust your instincts and cool your jets. Besides, you'll have plenty of time in your twenties and thirties to sleep with total bozos.