Getting drunk, sleeping with complete strangers and catching Chlamydia is part of the university experience for many. Yet 20 year-old student Chloe doesn’t succumb to this lifestyle. She’s a virgin, and she doesn’t drink. Whilst that may not sound very shocking, Chloe says that among her peers she can sometimes stick out like a sore thumb.

Chloe explains that the main reason she is still a virgin is because she finds it hard to trust people: “I’ve been messed about by guys in the past, and this has led me to have low self esteem. Having sex would put me in a position where I could get hurt, so I’m waiting until I know I can trust someone completely.”

Chloe, who has recently started a relationship, says she isn’t a prude, or against sex before marriage: “As soon as I got into a relationship, my friends gave me ‘the talk’, and constantly ask me if I’ve lost my virginity yet. It’s a bigger deal to them than it is to me.”

“Initially, I felt under pressure to have sex with my boyfriend, but I don’t any more. I didn’t feel the need to tell him about my inexperience at first, but now I have and he’s revealed that he’s also a virgin,” Chloe said.

However, the maturity on the topic ends there, as Chloe and her boyfriend work together, an opportunity for many of their colleagues, who know Chloe is a virgin, to make inappropriate comments: “someone said to me that our relationship must be boring because we hadn’t slept together after two weeks of seeing each other. Conversation regularly turns to sex when I’m at work, but if I’m there, I’ll get teased and told I wouldn’t understand.”

Chloe explains that Secret Santa at work last year resulted in her boyfriend receiving “Sex Cheques” from their colleagues, to “speed things up a bit”.

However, Chloe does admit that she is worried about having sex when the time comes: “Because I’m older, it’s a bigger deal. Most of my friends have active sex lives so they can’t understand why I’m nervous about it. I probably could have had sex by now if I’d wanted to. I’ve noticed that some girls seem to have no self respect when it comes to sex, whereas I have.”

Chloe and her boyfriend have had a discussion about sex: “I am worried about my inexperience, but knowing that we’re both virgins definitely lifts the pressure off me. We’re both mature enough to have had an open discussion about sex.” However, Chloe says that she is worried about him lying about his inexperience to make her more at ease: “He’s the type of person to say something just to make me feel better.”

Despite her confidence in the decision to postpone sex, Chloe admits that leaving it so long to have sex has caused her to have a lack of self confidence in the relationship: ”I do worry about leading Peter on, and irrationally worry that he may leave me because of it.”

“I think sex is a big deal. I want my first time to be a good memory,” she says. Although the media’s representation of sex is often blasé, Chloe believes that the longer she waits, the more chance she has of it being a nice experience to look back on.

However, being at university makes Chloe’s decision that little bit harder to uphold: “The drinking culture that surrounds me does make things more difficult. If you’re on a night out and you’re single, guys they seem to assume that sex is on the agenda.” However, Chloe admits that even if she wasn’t a virgin, she would never consider a one night stand, suggesting that the drinking culture has a lot to do with promiscuity.