I don't have a girlfriend. Never had one, either. I'm 22 and overweight and massively self-conscious. I once visibly flinched in the ninth grade when a female friend came over to hug me because that's how unused to attention from the opposite sex I was. And sadly enough, not much has changed, in that regard. Well, look, it's not THAT bad, and I've had more female friends (good ones, too) since then, but a girlfriend? Nope. Sex, at all? LOL, no. A lack of experience with girls/women drove me into a kind of sexless public persona. I no longer thought of myself as a dude with ANY sexual prospects, and confined myself to "friend" status at best, with any girl I came across. Inside, of course, I was raging with sexual energy. All this turned into sexual frustration, and a curiosity regarding masturbation and porn soon enough became a full-on addiction. This was early high school. I've now graduated from college and am here, on the site, still figuring it out. I used PMO as fuel to further drive myself into loneliness. Funny thing is, not all of it was conscious. It became a refuge, where women existed only to satiate my sexual desires, and not as actual people you interacted with and respected. I've written about the lure of PMO, before, as a stress relief, but PMO can easily make you forget just how much you hate yourself. I'm not trying to say that I found the cure, but I started this thread just to say that being single, being in my situation or in a similar one, doesn't mean a life of isolation. This is common-f**king-sense, of course, but I'm just now finding out the truth of it. Being with women, hanging out with them, laughing with them, finding out their flaws and triumphs, befriending them - it's kind of a PMO-killer, I've found. When you put yourself into these kinds of interactions, as "purely" as you would with guy-friends, the porn-tainted perspective weakens. Life opens in fresh, engaging ways. You can be single, but you don't have to be lonely. Not all the time, at least. Say you're at a party. It's late at night, people are drinking and smoking by a pool. You're there with co-workers and strangers and suddenly someone approaches you. Someone pretty, but you're not really interested in that. She's talking about a movie that both of you like, and soon you're talking about other things, too. Soon you're laughing because of something awkward you said and she laughs too, but there's kindness in the sound. The conversation can't go on forever so you drift away and suddenly you look up and there's a few stars and a plane blinking towards the horizon. You feel elated and new and you forget about all the shit waiting for you at home and even the girl because a chilly wind comes through and you shiver, and you wrap your jacket tighter around you, and you look up again. The plane is gone but the stars remain and the sound of the party becomes as commonplace as the exiting breeze and the trees shaking their leaves down. You're surrounded, yet alone, and your heart beats, beats, beats, and music starts somewhere, and that familiar laughter rises behind you, and no, you're not alone, not at all.