This article was originally published on The Epinal.
I once wrote an article about casual sex at university and the potential negative mental effects it can have on people. Many people engage in casual sex at university, and the proof is in the pudding because many of us will have seen someone doing a “walk of shame” through campus or town on a Saturday morning after yet another FND. However, there at some people who come to university a virgin and choose to remain one for whatever reason and completely abstain from the casual sex culture.
I spoke to one female student at Loughborough who says that the reasons for her not having sex “used to be religious” but now it is because “I want to wait until I’m in love with someone, so it is special”. She admits that this has caused some problems when it comes to romantic relationships as males tend “to lose interest when they realise I’m not going to give them what they want” but at the same time she is determined “not to be ‘used’ in a casual relationship”.
Another female student at Loughborough ,who is also a virgin, says she is waiting because “I just want to wait for one person so that it is special and means something more than just physical”. She admits that whilst she can feel “naïve and out of the loop,” she feels that it is “harder for guys as they are more likely to get stick from their mates”.
A male student at Loughborough echoes this sentiment of male virgins at university facing more pressure than females, and whilst he admits he “never felt the pressure” to have sex at university, he believes that “boys face more pressure than girls” due to “male pride”. This pressure is arguably more prevalent at Loughborough due to the high boy to girl ratio and the fact it is a sporting university. After all, it was only last week that I had a group of males outside of my window calling each other “dirty virgins” as they played football. Even casual comments like this between males, which are presumably said in jest, reinforce this idea that there is something wrong with a male if he has not had sex past by a certain age.
Interestingly, one female student at Loughborough who is not a virgin who says that whilst she thinks people who are virgins at university are “rare” and that she has “a lot of respect for people who are,” but also admits that she is glad she did not come to university a virgin because “I feel that being in Loughborough as a girl, it would have been too intimidating”.
This suggests that girls do face a pressure to have sex, although, one of the female students I spoke to admits that girls can face pressure from males as it is often males who initiate things so it is the girl who has “to outright say no”.
One male Loughborough student I spoke to who is not a virgin says that “I don’t think there’s any problem with someone remaining a virgin at uni – at the end of the day you’re there for yourself” and this is probably the key thing when it comes to deciding whether or not to remain a virgin. For some people, the prospect of being away from home and having the chance to explore their sexuality is what motivates them to lose their virginity. However, for others, even though they want to have sex, knowing how they will feel after engaging in casual sex overrides any desire to take part in it.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to losing your virginity. Society often upholds the idea of waiting for that “special person” but some people simply do not want to, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, at the same time people should not be pressured into having sex if they want to wait for the right person. Virginity and its value differs from person to person and whilst you may not agree with how much or little someone values it, you should not judge someone for it because what is casual sex for some people is a big deal for others.