Anonymous Celebrity: Late-Blooming Comic Heather McDonald

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Heather McDonald, author of the New York Times-bestselling memoir You'll Never Blue Ball in This Town Again: One Woman's Painfully Funny Quest to Give It Up (Touchstone), wants you to know that she was nothing like Steve Carell‘s character in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. The USC sorority girl-turned-comedian liked to dress up, go on dates and, yes, indulge in the art of blue balling. At a party filled with porn stars, she was game for psychedelic mushrooms and cannonballs in the pool.

You probably wouldn't confused so from a woman who's pals with the Kardashian sisters and whose choice pull quote is “Can't a girl dress like a hooker, dance like a stripper, and kiss like a porn star and till be a nineteen-year-old virgin?” Her motivation for writing the book was “to shed a light on people who aren’t completely socially dorky,” and at this, the Chelsea Lately story producer succeeds mightily.

She recounts numerous boyfriends, including one who told her he’d get testicular cancer if she didn’t sleep with him (a call to Dr. Drew dispelled this myth). She joins a $2,000 dating service called Great Expectations, and dates the kinds of guys who ultimately only wind up being good for the stories they provide. Most girls will be able to relate—except most of us haven’t worried about our unshaven legs while Vince Vaughn was pursuing us.

The 40-year-old married mother of two never set out to be an older virgin. She wasn't against sex or waiting for religious reasons, but rather, waiting for love … or at least, something close to it. She didn't want to wind up screwing a guy and then having him ignore her the next day. “I worked really hard at looking for love, just as hard as trying to make it in Hollywood as an actor,” she admits.

She came close with a few guys, going on the pill but the relationships never made it past the one-month mark. As time went on, choosing who to tell and who not to became trickier as she got older; only four friends knew her secret when she finally did it. Her mother was thrilled, but guys, despite the conventional wisdom that they’d love to be with a virgin, were less so. “I wasn’t ashamed of it, but it was this secret. I didn’t want to walk around with this scarlet V; it wasn’t what made me me.” After one too many guys freaked out about the idea of taking her virginity, she stopped sharing that tidbit.

Heather wound up waiting until she was 27, finally putting her birth control pills to work and going all with Ray, one of only three men she’s slept with. That scene and her description of him as “really consistent” and “really great” is anticlimactic in both sense of the word; Heather was simply ready, and he was a good guy, and he was there. “I was just trying to do my best to appear as though I had done this monumental act before,” she writes. She follows this up, though, with a lively ending when the man she goes on to marry winds up becoming a dad from a one-night stand, making her an instant stepmom.

“My advice would be past a certain age, unless you feel like he can handle it, I don’t think you need to tell them. If you want to tell them later, you can: by the way, you were my first. But I think the way I did it was wise,” she explains. “I didn’t want him to stick around longer because of guilt.”

Now happily married, she does sometimes miss the good old days. “I love when the guy’s in his underwear and you’re making out, doing the dryhumping grind. Or when you spend the night and you haven’t had sex and then every two hours there’s a boner in your butt. Once you do it you can’t go back.” Heather knows from experience; she sometimes tries to get her husband to pretend that they’re back in that stage, but he’s quite not as fond of blueballing as she is.

“What I would preach is to anybody, to do what you want and don’t be pressured into something you don’t want to do. If you want to experiment with a lot of different guys, go for it—but be safe,” Heather cautions. “Not just in terms of preventing pregnancy and disease, but protect your heart. If you think you’re gonna fall for a guy who’s a player, be your own best friend and don’t get involved with him.”

While there’s a part of her that wishes she’d gotten it over with sooner, Heather is grateful for her busy dating life – the good, the bad and the crazy. “I was single at the right time of my life. Some of my friends had serious boyfriends throughout their twenties and then wound up single in their thirties. I got to date lots of different guys and know what I liked. I wasn’t in a situation where you’re dick-whipped for two years.”

You’ll Never Blue Ball in This Town Again is available in bookstores now. Follow Heather McDonald @mcdonaldheather on Twitter and catch up with her book tour here.