(Closed) “Are You A Virgin?” How Friendly Would You Be To This Stranger?

posted 8 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
1850 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Sometimes I too suffer from too nice syndrome. I would recommend maybe next time just telling whoever is talking to you, that you have a test and really can’t talk. If they keep talking to you, just say again “I’m sorry, but it’s really hard for me to focus while talking.” Hopefully they’ll get the hint. Sometimes you have to put yourself first, and risk hurting the other persons feelings. And definitely inappropriate questions. I think you handled it well. Some people just can’t take a hint.

Post # 4
3601 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1992

Say, “I’m a half virgin.”

Post # 5
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

As long as you don’t get the “creepy” vibe from this guy, I’d try to let him down gently.  Maybe make up something about how much work you have and how you really have to concentrate.  Or find another spot at the school such as the library to work in.


Post # 6
1645 posts
Bumble bee

@EvaBostonTerrier: Weird and awkward but I feel kinda bad for the guy. I think I have Too Nice Syndrome, as well. If an American asked me some of those I’d be all creeped out, but I feel like there was a cultural difference going on. Clearly the guy is looking to marry an American girl so he can stay, but what part of “I’m already married!” did he not get!?

Post # 7
1124 posts
Bumble bee

I would just refuse to answer the questions. It may come off as rude, but clearly if he’s asking questions of that nature and thinks it’s ok he needs someone to firmly tell him it is NOT ok. Different culture or not, he needs to be told at some point. My response to the “are you a virgin” would have been “you need to f**k off now”. I know he might not understand why I would respond that way, but my comfort is more important to me than his. You were waaaay nicer than I would have been!

Post # 8
115 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’m always up for meeting new people…DEPENDING ON WHAT THEY WANT TO TALK ABOUT!!! If I feel comfortable with the conversation I will continue, but if the virgin question came up I think I would get a bit indignant… As women, if we feel uncomfortable we have a right to let the world know it…Being to nice is usually what gets women in trouble to begin with.. I understand that we don’t want to be rude because someone might be from another country and not have the same customs, but if I am being made to feel uncomfortable…ALL BETS ARE OFF! I dont care who they are….

Post # 9
1498 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I have the opposite plight — if a stranger comes up to me to chat, I am immediately suspicious, irritated, and dismissive of them. Guilty until proven innocent, if you will. I have had strange questions asked of me before, and in particular one man who often waited at two of the same bus stops I used to frequent would leer at me and then come up to me and make inappropriate conversation/gestures…and I’ve never been afraid to just say “excuse me” in the middle of their sentence and walk away. But even if someone comes up to me just to make idle, innocent chat, I am generally suspicious of their intentions, and I try to keep the conversation as short as possible.

In your situation I would have waited for a break in the conversation and excused myself, or else started packing up my things as he was talking and then said I had to leave. As far as going back there to study, I don’t see why not…but bring your headphones this time, haha! I am always wearing my headphones even if there’s no music playing because I find that they are a great excuse for “not hearing” someone, or for signaling that you’re busy and do not want to be disturbed. If he comes up to you again, unplug one ear, answer his question shortly, and plug back in…eventually he’ll get the hint. If he doesn’t, just plainly tell him that you prefer to study alone, or that you really need to get this work done, or however you want to phrase it.

Gosh I sound like such a hermit, haha! It’s just that I’ve had to navigate city life as a young female and I’ve had to deal with my fair share of creeps, so I have a lot of practiced techniques to deter them.

Post # 10
5118 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’ve dealt with this a few times, once someone even asked to take my photo (while they were already taking it!). I think you handled it well, and I like the advice the other poster mentioned about making yourself too busy/too focused to talk. Another thing I do in the law school is plug my headphones into my computer even though I’m not listening to music, it just makes it look like I can’t hear people because my iTunes are running.

The time someone asked about my ‘sexual status’ I was not shy putting them in their place and telling them that since they had just met me and were clearly not going to be affecting my ‘status’ that they had no reason to know. This was only after a line of inappropriate questioning, I generally am very nice and friendly, but that’s a line you don’t cross even if you are from varying cultures.

Post # 11
749 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I don’t know about Ghana, but in a lot of African countries, it is not uncommon to strike up rather personal conversations with strangers. The virgin thing though, sex is rather taboo in a lot of African cultures. Again, I’m no expert on Ghana, but I spent some time traveling in Africa and it was suprising to me that they were so forward with strangers. They just have a different sense of what is private and what is not.

Post # 12
249 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I think in this case, you got swindled into conversation with a guy who used the cultural difference to disguise his international creeper status.

Post # 13
3049 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

Oh, after I read that he was from Ghana my opinion changed. This was definitely an awkward situation!!! In undergrad, several men from various countries in Africa would approach me and ask the same type of questions. It was so weird, but I knew the culture was a little different. Especially the culture of these particular African men who came to the US for certain reasons. Anyway, I was a part of international life on campus so I began to see the pattern and was like… oh, I’m your friend but stop asking me this stuff. Or I would just nod my head and say random things to get out of the situation. But like I said, SO WEIRD! Baha!

Next time I would just make an excuse that you have to go, you’ve been studying for a while and it’s time to leave. Or I would just not answer the seemingly weird questions. You handled it pretty well though 🙂

Post # 14
7975 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

The US has one of the world’s highest privacy filters, so these questions will make you feel uncomfortable, even though they’re not meant to. When I lived in China, it was very common to be asked all sorts of questions that would have made me uncomfortable if I were in the States – how much money do you earn, hold old are you, and a lot of the questions he asked you. I’m not talking about my students or friends there – I’m talking taxi drivers asking if I was single, if how old I was, why am I not married yet, would I ever marry a Chinese man, did I have a boyfriend, etc.

90% of the time it was not culturally inappropriate from their side of things (once in a while it proceeded to the point where the guy asked me out or, once, propositioned me indirectly, which was not culturally appropriate there either).

I highly doubt this guy meant to be insensitive. More than likely, he is trying to understand American women, and since you’re married, you were a “safer” choice than a single woman who he might see as more of a potential wife.

If you encounter him again in the future, I think it’s okay to let him know that his questions are culturally inappropriate, as long as you’re polite and direct about it – try, “You know, in American culture, it’s not very polite to ask questions like that to someone you have just met. A better topic of conversation to get to know someone is [the weather, the news, sports, etc.]” and then change the topic to a culturally appropriate one. If he continues, just tell him, again, directly, “I’m not comfortable talking about that with someone I’ve just met. In American culture, those details about someone’s life are very personal, and not something we share with someone we don’t know very well.”

If he talks with you again, just tell him you need to study, and that you’re busy, maybe something like, “It’s very nice to meet you, but I need to get back to my work now.”

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