Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss


Lost Virginity
Vacation Romance
Love at First Sight

Lost Virginity

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm 23 and I just had sex for the first time.

I've never been married. I have a college degree, a great career,a nice personality, lots of friends, a supportive and close family. I'm a little over weight but some men still find me attractive. I've never been in any kind of a steady relationship. All i ever do is make out with "guy friends" and then we pretend like nothing happened. AND I LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT! None of these guys ever want to date me, they just want to use me for sex and I finally gave into one of them! Why!?

The man: he lives in another city, I hadn't heard from him in months, he calls, I come over and we have sex! I think I was so desperate for some affection and attention that I just did it. It's been weeks and I haven't heard from him.

I think the problem is all me. I went into that situation knowing I wasn't going to get the relationship and love, just stupid sex. But for some stupid reason I wanted to gett it over with! Now I regret it but there's nothing I can do, i gave up on my morals for NOTHING.

Am I ruined? I've had "wait until you're married" beaten into my skull since I was a kid, and my mother still asks me if I'm still a virgin. I have this horrible feeling that the nice man I was saving myself for will never love me now. Am I destined to be a woman who only has sex once and then is shunned by "nice men" for the rest of her life for not being pure??? Has meaningless sex ruined my chances for love?

Dear Ex Virgin,

Whoa! You are way off base here. Most women lose their virginity to men they aren't going to spend the rest of their lives with. If that meant that all those women were doomed to never find love, to be shunned by nice men, and to regret it forever, there would be hardly any married people at all.

You're not the only ex-virgin who felt that it wasn't worth it when she had sex for the first time. First-time sex is usually a letdown. You build up so many expectations about the first time, and the longer you are a virgin, the bigger your expectations are. Then you finally have sex, and you feel like, "Is that all there is?" And, "I wish I hadn't done it."

But it's too late. Once you've had sex, you can't put the genie back in the bottle, and you might as well forgive yourself and enjoy your new status as a woman of experience. Virginity is highly over-rated, and most men don't expect a woman to be a virgin. Even "nice men" are realistic enough to know that "nice women" have sex.

Give yourself a break. You gave in and had sex with a man because you wanted to, because you're a sexual woman with normal adult female urges, and because you were turned on. If you don't let yourself off the hook and accept yourself, your self-esteem will suffer and you will feel as if you don't deserve love. You'll give off vibes that say, "I'm not worthy."

A woman saving herself for marriage is a very sexist idea. Nobody talks about men saving themselves for marriage. It's also a very old-fashioned idea that comes from an era when women married at 16, not 36. There comes a time in a woman's life when she has to face up to the fact that she's a grownup and not a little girl whose mother knows best. Your time is here.

If you are uncomfortable making out with guy friends, then don't do it. If you enjoy making out, then do. If you want to have sex, have it. If you don't want to have sex, don't. But if you do decide to make out or have sex, do it with gusto and enjoy it. And don't beat yourself up for it afterwards.

You're not ruined, unless you ruin yourself by berating yourself for a perfectly natural act.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Vacation Romance

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a married, 32 year old female. I have three children with my husband who I have been with for 13 years. My husband is a physician, a wonderful provider and home every night except weekends when he is away commercial fishing for extra money. I am a stay at home mom. Question: I went on vacation with a girlfriend this past month and met a 26 year old male. I never felt so comfortable, relaxed and had so many laughs. He has emailed me since I have been home and claims his feelings are the same.(he brought them up first) I would like to visit him to see if this was suppose to be the one.

I never did believe in love at first sight but, "WOW" the compatability was incredible. Please help, I have not been happy in my marriage for a very long time and am truly afraid to pass up what may have been "meant to be". I would live the way I have been before I hurt anyone involved. I really need knowledgable advice.(I have always been faithful, including on my vacation.)

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Hope to hear back. confused

Dear Stay at Home Mom,

You are building a fantasy about a vacation romance, and it's just that, a fantasy. Fantasies never live up to reality.

You have three children and a husband and you want to give them up for someone you met on vacation and didn't even have sex with? You know nothing about this young man except that you felt comfortable and had lots of laughs. Well, that's what vacations are for.

However, those laughs and good feelings rarely transfer into real life. Vacation romances aren't meant to. They're meant to be on vacation and left right there. If you think you can bring this romance into your real life and find the same fun that you had together on vacation, you're living in a dream world.

In real life, you're married and he's not. In real life, you'd have to sneak around to see him. In real life, you'd definitely wind up hurting your family, probably yourself, and maybe the young man as well.

If you're not happy in your marriage, try working on your marriage first. Go to counseling. Get some help. You don't just dump a marriage without trying to fix it first. If you do, you'd regret it forever and might wind up wondering what might have been about your marriage too. It's very possible that you'd give up your husband and children and then find out that this vacation romance wouldn't work out either. Where would that leave you?

Stop emailing the young man. Do the right thing and give him a chance to marry and have a family of his own with someone who isn't already married.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Love at First Sight

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am an 18 year old male with no marital history. In fact, not even a history of any relationships. Recently i met this girl that i think is the cutest girl i have met. I like everything about her from her eyes to her personality. I haven't known her long and i was wondering if you believe in love at first sight. The first time i met her i liked her alot.

I also would like some advice on how to tell her what i like about her without sounding like a stalker. the hardest thing a guy has to do is tell a girl he likes (or loves) her. I really am clueless on what to do. I know i don't want to go too overboard, yet i want her to notice me and that i care and have feelings for her.

Finding the right person is tough and i cannot tell when a girl is the one for me. Women are really complicated and i would like to be able to understand them more. If you have any tips for me i would gladly appreciate it. Thank you.

Dear Clueless,

I believe in lust at first sight, but not love at first sight. You can be attracted to someone, you can love the way they look, but you can't really love that person until you have found out what they're like inside, and that takes time. You don't really know a person until you've seen them under stress, found out how they act when life isn't going so great, and seen how they treat others. You can't do that on a first meeting.

You're very young and will meet lots of girls you like in your life. So here's a tip that you should always follow, no matter what.

Never, ever tell a girl "I like you," or "I love you," until you've been dating for some time. Instead of telling her how you feel about her, show her by the way you act. Listen to her. Be interested in what she's saying. Ask her advice. Give her your full attention. Compliment her on something really smart she said.

Invite her out on a casual date, for lunch or an outdoor summer festival. Or find out what she's interested in, and invite her to something she'd really like. If she likes music, find a concert. If she likes nature, find a great hike.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

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(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
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