A 36-year-old virgin has never been on a date or been kissed.
Anya Panchal, who suffers from social anxiety, believes she's been "left on the shelf" because she'd rather stay in eating cake than heading out to the pub.
The introvert, from Ilford in Essex, suffered from childhood bullying and missed out on "core teenage years" as a result.
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She only started making friends aged 22 via a Facebook group for "fellow loners". And even now, she finds social gatherings "terrifying".
Anya said: "When I finally made friends it was amazing, I was able to start going out and getting my nails done with them and go to the cinema.
"We'd go to the local pub for drinks or sometimes a meal, it was nice but equally scary to put myself back into social situations.
"Throughout my twenties me and my small circle of friends would go on the odd night out at a local club which was terrifying – I'd glam myself up but I just couldn't seem to talk to lads.
"I'd never have the courage to get on the dance-floor – I'd just sway on the sidelines with my rum and coke.
"The men I was approached by were fairly good-looking but I didn't have the confidence to even have a chat, let alone kiss or even be intimate with them."
Anya tried using dating apps to meet people – but was put-off by men approaching her solely for sex. And while she's had the odd crush since, she's never acted on her attractions.
She said: "I've never had the confidence to even speak to a man, let alone go out on a date – I wouldn't know what to say.
"All my friends are married and parents, and it makes me feel like I'm living in their shadows.
"I've never had a romantic kiss that they show in movies. It feels strange to still be a virgin at my age.
"My parents have been married for 40 years – they only want to see me happy but with the right person.
"I want a connection with someone more than the physical side of things but in order to get that, you have to date and the thought of talking to a man gives me anxiety.
"I'm scared that I'll get to a certain age and regret not trying to find anyone but I'd rather spend my Saturday night at home than out drinking…
"The thought of being physical with a man makes my stomach flip because I wouldn't even know how to start.
"I think women my age who have had multiple partners are wrong because you should only have one special partner in your life. To me, sex should be between two people who love each other not a one-night stand or anything.
Anya, a self confessed "hopeless romantic", hopes to have more success in the future.
She added: "I know I need to change my ways or I'll never fully experience life. I feel like I'd like to meet someone because I don't want to be in my 70s with a load of regrets…
"I'm totally inexperienced with men but I do know I want someone kind with a good personality, who loves to take long walks in the park and with a bit of money.
"Above all, I want an emotional connection with someone because that's the most important thing – or so I've been told."
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