sex & relationships

It’s Okay to be a Virgin at Uni

Your university years will be some of the best of your life. They’re your first real, undiluted taste of adulthood. For many, that involves copious amounts of alcohol, early morning Starbucks, and, of course, sex.

Fuelled by TV dramas, and popular culture, sex has become associated with the “student life”. Society would have us believe that we spend more time in bed than in our lectures, with our attention less focused on our studies and more preoccupied with who’s doing what, or whom.

As a student, the issue of sex is hard to avoid- even if you want to. You’re told it’s just a bit of fun, you’re told not to be so uptight or so “frigid”, and you find yourself surrounded by a whole array of potential sexual partners, heck, there’s even apps designed to help you find hook-ups near you – it should be easy. After all, “nobody wants to be left a virgin”. But is being a virgin at university such a bad thing? Is it something we should feel ashamed about, or is it actually perfectly okay to be a virgin at university?

The pressure to have sex

In the midst of the pheromone filled cocktail of campus life, if you’re a virgin, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one not having sex- and that you’re abnormal for it. As your friends giggle with each other over their own illicit encounters, you feel yourself having to force out a laugh, unable to contribute and embarrassed about it- thinking to yourself that maybe it’d be easier to “just get it over with”.

The peer pressure students face over losing their virginity can have a detrimental effect on young people and their self esteem and can leave them feeling alienated from their other sexually active peers. However, this anxiety is irrational, even if it feels like you’re the only one at your university not “getting it” every night, there will be hundreds of students just like you who’ve just not found the right moment or person, and even more students who make a conscious decision to stay celibate for all manner of reasons, be it religious beliefs, or just personal preference.

Don’t rush into it

Losing your V card isn’t a race, and shouldn’t be treated like a competition. A large part of going to university is finding out more about who you are as a person, and an important part of this is respecting your own wants and decisions, as well as other peoples.

If the situation doesn’t feel “right”, if you feel pressured, or if you’re even the slightest bit unsure, you have the right to say no and wait. It’s your body; your choice. You don’t want to cringe at the hazy memory of your “first time”, with a nameless character against the bathroom door at a flat party because you were told you needed to “loosen” up.

“Virgin” shouldn’t be an insult, or a label to be afraid of; we shouldn’t be judging the worth of a person based on how little or how much sex they’ve had. Relationships and sexuality are no doubt a important part of student life, but they should be something we discover and experience in our own time, when we feel ready- not when we feel forced.