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32 Yr Old Virgin Friend Joins SM Sex Club and I Am Worried

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My best friend and I are very different from each other but we have grown a very strong relationship over the years. She is a smart, highly educated, 32 year old virgin that I hardly think has ever even kissed someone. Myself, I have been in many relationships but am currently single, 32 years old as well. My friend has been growing as a person a lot over the last year, and in August she came to me and said she´d started dating someone she met online. I was very supportive that she started online dating, and thrilled that she wanted to go out for drinks, buy shoes with high heals, and I encouraged more social behaviour. She dated this guy for a few weeks and it ended. Then, about 6 weeks ago she called me at 00.30 on a Thursday night, asking if she could come over because she had something to tell me. I got a bit stressed thinking it must be serious, because it was so late, and because it could not wait. She told me that when she started dating that online-guy they had sex. He was her first, and they were not in love. Then she told me that she liked it rough and he could not give her what she wanted. She had therefore joined a sadomasochistic sex society, went to an information meeting and now attends meetings and parties. This just after having sex for the first time a few weeks earlier. She told me she didn’t want to lie to me and wanted me to know what was going on, because we are so close and I know everything that is going on in her life. This particular night she came straight from a 45-year-old man she had had sex with. My friend and I have hardly ever talked about sex, I have even wondered that she might be a lesbian without knowing it herself yet. I was shocked to say the least. We live in a small city with 300 000 inhabitants, big enough to be anonymous, but still. I want her to experience love and sex, not sex as a mechanistic act. The days after her confession I felt confused and sad, kind of like I’m losing her. Now she has a complete new side to her life that I cant share with her, and she has met so many new people. People of all sorts with a variety of sex-interests, some living in polygamist relationships. A lot that is new to me, but I wish to be open-minded.
One week after the breaking news she attended a party and met a guy wearing latex clothes. Lets call him Alan. They jumped straight into a relationship, and one week after they first met, Alan and his friend joined my friend and I at a cabin trip (because he was going to Kuala Lumpur in a few days for work). He was rude to me and I did not like his attitude. He seems very emotionally unstable (I have a PhD in neuroscience), and recently got out of a 6-year relationship, just 2 months prior. He kept talking about his ex and how she being mentally ill had ruined their relationship. Apparently this ex-girlfriend grew up in several foster homes and was sexually abused, married a 25-year-older man that she left – including the children because she was an unfit mother. Later on it was revealed that this old father had abused the children too, and she got the custody back. Then she met Alan. Alan is dominant and my best friend likes to be dominated, apparently. I cant help but think that Alan sort of “liked” being with a damaged woman that he could help and further dominate. I don’t know, but it bothers me how negatively he was talking about her. All matters have two sides.
Now my friend talks about Alan constantly and is in love. She has already introduced him to her parents and some of our other friends. After only 5 weeks acquaintance. She really wants me to like him. However, I find it really hard to like him and her new lifestyle. I feel like I have lost her and that our friendship has changed forever. It makes me really sad, she has been such an important part of my life for so long. I feel like she has put a lot on me, the sex-club in itself will take some time to accept. However, introducing a man to me just a few days after the confession and expecting me to like him, is just too much. How should I react to this? I am trying to be happy for her, but in a way I don’t want to. It’s quite possible that if I don’t like this new guy I will lose my best friend. Should I just move on and accept that we have become too different now? I would really appreciate some thoughts about this, I have no-one I can discuss it with. (From Norway)

32 Yr Old Virgin Friend Joins SM Sex Club and I Am Worried

Answered by on -


 Don’t try holding onto a relationship that causes you so much anguish. Be clear about your limitations. Have compassion for her as she explore this part of her journey, but don’t feel obligated to save her from herself. She is an adult making adult choices and some of the consequenses of doing that involves losing friends. Be honest with her about your reactions — explaining that it is hard to watch her change so rapidly. My best guess is that she will need you when things don’t work out, or there is a crisis, or a fallout of some kind. The real work might be how you handle rekindling the friendship.

For now moving on makes the most sense — but done with enough sensitivity that you would be able to rekindle the friendship downstream if need be.

Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

32 Yr Old Virgin Friend Joins SM Sex Club and I Am Worried

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Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). 32 Yr Old Virgin Friend Joins SM Sex Club and I Am Worried. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 18 Dec 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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