They cannot fathom why on earth she is so determined to remain chaste until the day she marries. She decided she would 'wait' when she was just 11 years old, but, well, that was quite some time ago.
Today, at 36, Charlotte is still a virgin; she hasn't so much as even kissed a man. So what is it like being celibate? Doesn't she wonder what it's like to have sex? And why, as her mother asks her from time to time, does she go on with it? People find it hard to accept, but being celibate suits me.
I am happy and lead a fulfilled life and I have never once wavered from my decision to preserve myself until I marry. A year-old virgin is a pure, unsullied young woman, but a year-old virgin, well, it's not quite the same, is it? But Charlotte is not one to be pressured into conforming to perceived norms. She also confounds expectations of what 'a year-old virgin' might be like. Charlotte isn't a frumpy spinster leading a lonely, eccentric life with her cats.
She is an actress turned theatre producer and also works as an artists' agent. After studying English, drama and theatre at Bedford College she spent three years at an acting school. When young she wanted to remain a virgin until the age of 11, but changed her mind later Charlotte, who lives in Leigh- on-Sea, Essex, has had a number of theatre roles and was in the movie 28 Days Later, and is writing a stage adaptation of an E.
She spends most weekends working on productions at her two local theatres in Westcliff-on-sea, the Palace and the Cliffs Pavilion, practises martial arts and is soon to take her black belt in Kung Fu. She has a full and busy social life. What makes her story so intriguing is that she is celibate by choice, not through lack of opportunity.
She has watched the growing culture of promiscuity with deep dismay. There is a lot of pressure on them to behave in a certain way,' she says. Telling people they can have contraceptives in school or giving them sex education at five just isn't enough. She admits that her parents' unhappy marriage was an influence to some extent. Charlotte, her brother and sister were raised by her mother, a veterinary nurse, and father, a caterer, in Brentwood, Essex.
Could you be fulfilled without sex? CLICK HERE to visit our chat room and have your say on the story yourself - and see what others think As a child, Charlotte watched with pain and anguish the silent antagonism between her parents, who separated when she was 14 and divorced when she was There weren't any big bust-ups, but they were effectively leading separate lives and there was a coolness between them when they spoke.
It was very upsetting to witness. It seemed so much trouble. I knew I had a long time ahead of me and I wasn't in a rush. As a child, Charlotte attended Sunday School and she continues to this day to attend church. At school at the Brentwood Ursuline Convent, Charlotte was taught the sanctity of sex within marriage. But they didn't force their views on us. It seemed a sound doctrine to me. Of course, my convent education had an indelible impact on my commitment to chastity.
Charlotte is an actress turned theatre producer 'We'd have the occasional disco at school where the boys from the local public school would be invited along and there'd be a smattering of nuns at the back to make sure everyone behaved themselves.
I was happy with the decision I'd made at 11 and saw no reason to go against it. It also instilled in me a sense of pride.
I just have a conviction that this is the right thing to do. It is often difficult for people to comprehend that a celibate lifestyle is a conscious decision and not the aftermath of a traumatic relationship or an in-between phase of the lovelorn or needy. Living a happy life is about what suits you, whether you are gay or straight or celibate or whatever.
And this works for me. Some of my friends at school, for example, have been with the same person for the past 20 years. Every time, she has informed the man on the first date that she is a virgin who does not believe in sex before marriage and that she is not going to be persuaded otherwise.
And she says that while the recipients of this information find it interesting and fascinating, they tend not to stick around for much longer afterwards. I feel it's important to make them aware of the situation at the outset,' she says.
But it's a lot to take on and it does put a man off if he thinks that sex isn't a possibility. But I like to be straight with people; it seems only fair. There has been the odd one who has thought I would change my mind in time, but when they realise I mean it they have disappeared off the scene. They move from one partner to another and don't feel secure in themselves.
Charlotte is still a virgin at 36 'When a relationship has ended there seems a real hurry to start a new one. I think to myself: I'm not dead from the neck down. I'm a normal healthy person. I just happen to believe that sex should take place within marriage. No one has ever been unpleasant or nasty towards me when I've told them.
Well, they don't know what they're missing! My mum does find it baffling, though, and says to me from time to time: It's a boring answer, but it's the truth.
It's becoming more acceptable, fashionable even. There are people from all walks of life, people who have turned celibate after marriage, young people, those with strong religious convictions. It is nice to know there are people out there who share my outlook. She says that as she grows older she feels the chances of it happening are diminishing.
Eligible men in her circle are now married off and she admits to being set in her ways. She is used to living alone and likes it. Indeed, you get the impression that Charlotte is quite happy with the status quo and doesn't really want a man in her life. One wonders whether she's left it so long that she finds the prospect a little scary now, but she insists she remains open to the idea.
You get people who have been married for 40 years and felt lonely all their life. I enjoy coming home from a hard, challenging day at work and having time to myself. And I have a huge circle of friends, both male and female. If someone came along who I felt I could spend the rest of my life with and wanted to marry me then I would do it. But I have to be realistic that the older I get the more unlikely it becomes. But if it felt right, I would certainly consider marriage.
I've just never met anyone I've felt that strongly enough attracted to. I would prefer to meet a man with the same outlook as me, who is also a virgin, but I realise it's unlikely because of the society we live in.
What will be, will be. I am very happy and feel fulfilled. Whatever anyone else may think, there is nothing missing in my life.
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