28 y/o virgin*, never had a gf. Should I seek professional help?

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KenAdams87 asks:

I’m 28 years old, and have had only sex once (from an awkward hookup by a friend), so I sort of still count myself to be a virgin. I’m generally sociable, have friends, and I’m in good shape. I also have no history of child abuse or anything extreme, just social awkwardness and shyness through my school years.

I want to have sex and get a girlfriend and I’ve tried for several years, and now it feels like as I get older, my chances are getting more and more slim. I’ve tried online dating sites (Match, POF, Tinder, etc), got little to no results. I’ve read mountains of dating advice, and while some was helpful and made me a little more self-aware, it hasn’t gotten me laid once. Whenever I do manage to get a number from a girl, I can never gain their interest long enough to go beyond texting. One of my friends tried to hook me up with someone, and I thought the first date went well, but she rarely text me afterward and doesn’t seem interested at all.
I’m really getting worried now, and I’m really tired of masturbating and wasting away what’s suppose to be my best years for having sex. Is seeing a psychiatrist my best option now? And if so, what kind should I see and how much should I look at spending? I’ve never strongly considered seeking professional help so I know little about finding it. All I know is I’m ready to put this problem past me, and enjoy the sexual life that I deserve.


Demetrius says:

I think the answer is yes, you should seek professional help, but I think you should probably focus less on the sexual aspect of your issue. There’s something wrong here if you think there is, but I think part of the problem is how you’re trying to approach things. Let me just say that there isn’t anything wrong with being sexually inexperienced. That alone isn’t a problem and there’s nothing wrong with being 28 and having had sex only once, even if it was awkward. Instead of focusing on trying to get laid, I’d recommend that you try to focus on the underlying issue, mainly your social awkwardness and shyness. Here’s a little secret from me on how to get laid to remember in the future: Don’t do the work to get laid, do the work to be a better person. Self-Improvement will eventually get you laid.

I promise you, when you work on yourself, the things you want out of life happen organically. You should seek out a mental health professional because you want to work on your social issues and not as a way to get laid. Getting sex on a regular basis is great and all, but being able to confidently speak with others is a much better feeling in the long-term. If you build up your social skills and work through your awkwardness in social settings, you’re more likely to be able to go out there and be able to do the things that will lead to sex (i.e. being able to talk to women confidently). You said that your issues are social in nature, and you mention that you have trouble connecting with women and I can tell you, that will be a much harder obstacle to overcome than your inexperience. If you focus on trying to get better in social settings, the dating and sex will eventually happen. You do have the right idea that seeking help is the way to go, I would just advise you to focus less on the sex and more on improving as a person.

As for what kind of mental health provider to seek and how much it costs, that depends on what services you want and your insurer. I found a handy guide comparing Psychologists to Psychiatrists on everyone’s favorite anxiety inducing website, WebMD. Give that a read for a start. Generally speaking if you have commercial health insurance, the co-pay cost for a mental health professional is the same cost as that of any other specialist. Not always the case, so it’s always a safe bet to call your insurer and ask them what the cost of behavioral health services are, what’s covered and how many visits are covered,  and what mental health providers are in your network. If you need help finding services and you’re uninsured, you can also go to Mentalhealth.gov.

Don’t worry so much about the not getting laid part because that’s temporary. Focus on improving yourself, and dating, girlfriends, sex, etc. will eventually come.

Good Luck Out There.

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