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updated 3/22/2004 3:04:30 PM ET 2004-03-22T20:04:30

The opinions expressed herein are the guest's alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have a question about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

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Question:
I am 26 years old and have never had any relationships at all with men. I am otherwise a completely "normal" person, but for some reason it just won't happen. People always say you're not "trying" hard enough, or "you secretly don't want it to" but I don't think this is the case at all. I think most people just can't relate since they take it for granted and don't understand. I don't really know anyone who can understand what this is like. I feel like I am missing out, like I'm really far behind, and I feel hopeless that I will never have a boyfriend.

Besides the effect on my mental state, I am wondering if complete lack of a sex life can be detrimental to my health at all. I am a fit and healthy person, but I always feel stressed and cannot relieve it, and I can't sleep a lot. I also tend to get a lot more food cravings than most people and I wonder if any of this is related.

Answer:
You might be a perfect candidate for a dating service. When you join one of those you know that the other people you meet are looking to be in a relationship and possibly marry. That would take the "chance meeting" aspect out of your situation.

In the meantime, masturbation is a good way to keep your sexual parts active. Women who can masturbate to orgasm are more reliably orgasmic with a partner when they do partner up.

Louanne Cole Weston, Ph.D., is a licensed marriage, family, and child counselor and a board-certified sex therapist in practice since 1983. Her work in the field of human sexuality includes extensive experience as a therapist, educator, and researcher.

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