I was an unwilling virgin at 33

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“Sex isn’t everything,” my mother says lightly, from the kitchen of my new condo. She means to be encouraging. But I stiffen against her words, as if to defend myself. I’ve heard it too many times from too many people – that sentence, so reductive it’s offensive.

How easy it is for my mother, who married at 20, to dismiss what she’s never lived without. I can’t help but feel she’s being purposefully dense, simply refusing to consider anything beyond the surface. My first impulse is a fierce rush of frustration – the urge to roll my eyes, shout a blistering, condescending “no shit” in the direction of the kitchen, where she’s unpacking boxes. Obviously, the problem is not just the absence of sex. Obviously, there are more complex issues at the heart of my unplanned celibacy.

When I turn to meet my mother’s eyes, I work hard to keep my voice from veering into sarcasm. “Do you think I’d be a virgin at 33 if I thought sex was everything?”

Via Joāo Dujon Pereira

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