The dilemma I am a 20-year-old man, but I still get terribly insecure about my sexual experience. I've not been with many women and I often get jealous of partners whose number is higher than mine (in some cases much higher). I'd like more experience, but I feel I'm held back by my shyness in public situations or my feeling that women generally won't be interested in me. I listened to someone the other day complaining about the burden of having had too much sex too easily. While I don't want to become that, I wouldn't mind somewhere in between.
Mariella replies Ah, the much-lauded middle ground. It's not an agony aunt you need to find but a Google map. Forget the Amazon or Antarctica, the steppes of Siberia or the wilds of Namibia, the sort of places that promise exotic or individual adventures, you are asking me to point you in the same direction as everyone else: Ibiza, perhaps, or southern Spain. When it comes to sexual excitement you are looking no further than the home counties, where just over your picket fence the neighbours are keeping up appearances.
Your letter isn't focused on the complications of your relationships, or the pleasure of them – it's all about maths. But your ambitions appear to be based on an average that doesn't exist. How much sex you have depends on everything from your religion to your location, your age to your libido, the length of your relationship, the stress in your life, the number of available partners in your vicinity. Looking for common ground on lovers accrued is a particularly unrewarding pursuit.
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