Like a Virgin

No partner, no problem.

Valentine’s Day might feel like the worst day of the year to be a virgin. When it seems like everyone is hooking up or expecting a romantic night with their significant other, what is a single virgin to do? Whether you’re celibate by choice or waiting for the right one, you might not know what to do this Feb. 14. Thankfully, there are a lot of options aside from sex to explore.

Bumble Buddies

Did you know some of the most popular dating apps have options to meet friends? Bumble has a “BFF” feature for finding non-romantic dates and Tinder has Tinder Social, mostly used to match friend groups for a big night out. Other apps exclusively for platonic pairings include Patook for single match-ups, We3 for groups and Hey! Vina for self-identified women. Chances are, others are feeling lonely on this day too. That isn’t to say hookups can’t be an option. If you’re ready to lose your virginity and think Valentine’s Day is the time to do it, Tinder and Bumble might be valid places to start.

Feel the Vibrations

Pardon the cheesy header, but I think it’s valid to start recommending vibrators at this point in the article. Virgins, contrary to popular opinion, get horny too. Most people have masturbated by the time they get to college, but not everyone has experimented with toys. I say: Use the holiday as an excuse to go get one. Locally, She Bop in North Portland is bright and unintimidating (and carries only non-toxic products!). If you’d rather order online, Adam & Eve is the classic, discreet choice. Give it a go—you’ll thank me later.

Palentine’s Day

On the way less sexy spectrum of things: Hang out with your single friends! Parks & Recreation gave us Galentine’s Day, and we honor its memory by eating brunch with our best friends. The gender-neutral Palentine’s Day is also a great naming choice. Palentine’s Day does fall on a Thursday this year, so brunch might not be the most sensible option. Instead, do dessert after dark! The Cookie Dough Café is a unique alternative to other unnamed ice cream shops, with vegan options as well. Friends are just as important as significant others; it’s best not to let them go unappreciated on the most love-filled holiday of the year.

Treat Yourself

The best part of being single? All that free time! Use those extra hours to treat yourself kindly. You have a lot of love to give, so give it to yourself. Pursue your hobbies, be that writing, running, drawing, making music, watching Netflix, you name it. Make sure your space is clean and arranged the way you want it. Maybe call a therapist or counselor if you’ve been feeling stressed, depressed or anxious. It’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves, so take this time to check in with yourself.

Most of all, keep in mind that everyone grows at their own pace. I didn’t lose my virginity until I was twenty. Though most of my friends had already had sex, I knew what was best for me in my situation. Twenty is late for some but early for others. There shouldn’t be any pressure to have sex before you’re ready or to have sex with someone you don’t have any interest in. In the meantime, use Valentine’s Day to make time for the things that make you happy. Right now, it’s all about you.