National Eating Disorders Association

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Best Friend with ED lost virginity

Hi I just found out that my best friend aka ex-gf just went on a first date with a guy and lost her virginity . My emotions towards the news don't matter , I just think it's very confusing cause she's not that type of girl . She did say she was depressed at that point but the I'm confused since people suffering from ED don't have sexual drives.
She broke it off with the guy right after sex and somehow I think she's feeling guilty.
This is confusing to say the least.
I don't know why she did it or if the guy took advantage of her and she's not revealing. Anyways any insight would be appreciated.
Thank you.

Hi jackh!

Hi jackh!

Welcome to the NEDA online forums! I am sorry to hear that you are going through a hard time with your best friend right now. While it is true that some people struggling with an eating disorder suffer a lack of sex drive, it does not hold true to ALL sufferers. Coming from my own personal experience with an eating disorder, particularly with anorexia and bulimia, when I was at a very low weight, sex was the last thing on my mind; however, when I struggled with bulimia, it was not that I did not have a sex drive, I was more ashamed of my body if that makes sense. However, everybody is different with their experiences.

Have you thought about calling the NEDA Information and Referral Helpline? You can speak privately to a trained volunteer and get more information and resources for your best friend. The telephone number is 1-800-931-2237. Please let us know how we can help or if you need anymore information.

I wish you the best of luck!


Hi jackh,

It's great that you're concerned for your friend's physical and emotional well-being. EDs certainly complicate matters, but it's important to remember, like Erin_Patricia1 said, that every individual is different. EDs can cause a wide range of symptoms and side effects, and each person's story is different.

Regarding your friend's recent sexual experience, if she's open to discussing it with you, you could try to initiate a conversation or at least let her know you're there to talk if she wants to share how she's feeling. If the sex was non-consensual or if she was otherwise coerced, you can encourage her to contact a resource like the RAINN hotline: . If it was her decision to have sex, then I think you should respect her choice. Like you said, your emotions about this decision don't matter. She's still the same person. If the two of you are comfortable discussing the subject, you could let her know that you're surprised and that you want to make sure she's doing well emotionally in light of the circumstances. If she doesn't want to talk about it, you can respect her wishes but let her know you're there in case she wants to talk in the future. EDs can have strong negative effects on a person's self-image and self-esteem, so I imagine she would appreciate you being a caring, non-judgmental friend.

It sounds like your friend is going through a lot right now, and I'm sure it's hard for you to see someone you care about deal with so much. Let her know that you're there for her, but don't forget to take care of yourself, too! It can be really difficult to help a loved one who is dealing with an ED, so remember that your well-being is important, too. Please keep us updated to let us know how things are going!


Who knows what the story is. Like Erin said, people with anorexia can lose their drive, but not always. Still, since she broke it off with the fellow right away, the drive may not have really been there at all. It sounds more like it may have been an impulsive thing. People can decide that they are tired of not knowing about those things, and then things like this can happen.

Things of the sort that she didn't really want to follow up on it sounds like. Maybe for some of the reasons Erin mentioned. Body concerns, or other matters relating to sex. Things from the past perhaps.

In any case, it sort of does sound like she found it unsettling, and that may be more what you're seeing in her.