There's a reason it took Ryan Seacrest such a long time to score a date with his new girlfriend Julianne Hough -- she thought she lacked the proper equipment ... genitally speaking.
Our spies in North Carolina tell us Hough was in town for her birthday dinner at a Morton's steak house the other night with a bunch of friends ... and at one point during the meal, she was asked, "How did you and Ryan get together?"
Julianne responded, "He was after me since I was 18 ... he totally wasn't my type ... I thought he was gay."
But Hough continued, "After a few years, he was persistent ... so I went out with him on a date and I realized how much I liked him."
We're told Ryan and Julianne have been together for a couple of months.