This article was written by Lynn Joseph on behalf of Sherley Altidor.
When I think about how much of a taboo any discussion about sex before marriage carries, I am left quite stumped. This is why it was important to write this article. Sex, even today, is a topic that we don’t like to freely discuss or feel comfortable talking about candidly. The reality is, sex is a part of our lives. Sex is a part of our relationships and therefore, sex is an important topic in our lives. Just as love is a beautiful thing in life, sex is a great thing and made especially great when you find the right, compatible sexual partner. It’s made even greater than that when you are in a healthy ongoing sexual relationship. But what happens when you bring up sex before marriage?
Well, sex before marriage can be a very sensitive topic for some people since it all depends on personal preferences. Much of these preferences and personal biases against sex before marriage are rooted in religion and not everyone is religious (and even religious people have questions and concerns). Hence the disconnect amongst many in a world that goes round and round because people have sex and produce more life, married or not.
In my honest opinion, just as being emotionally and mentally connected to your partner is very important, it is also incredibly important that you are sexually connected to your sexual partner of choice. When you think about it, when you’re choosing to spend the rest of your life with someone (at least that’s what we hope, right?), you want to make sure that you and that person are sexually compatible and connected. You want to make sure that the two of you are able to serve each other’s needs and that you want to and consent to doing that. You want to not only be someone’s partner emotionally but also physically.
What’s in this article is not going to be sugar coated in any way. At the same time, I am not writing this to change anybody’s opinion on sex before marriage. I am sharing my personal thoughts so that you can see another side of the benefits of having sex before marriage. I bet you weren’t expecting that! But let’s get into it…
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There are two things that I strongly believe should happen before marriage—sex and living with the person that you want to spend your life with before the vows have been exchanged. It is so important for two people who are going to be together to live together before marriage. The reason I say that is because I strongly feel that one really, truly has to know who he or she is going to be with day in and day out for the rest of their lives if the person plans to spend their life with that person until death do them part. Committing to live with another person for life is no small decision. Everyone is not compatible to live with. It’s best not to be surprised if you can avoid it. By living together before, you can gauge what you are willing and not willing to put up with and compromise on and learn a rhythm of living together so that there is harmony and no huge learning curve right after the high of the honeymoon.
For me, I want to know how my partner is when he wakes up in the morning. I want to know his routine when he goes to bed at night. I want to know how he goes about his day and uses his time during the day. I want to know what type of attitude he has when he wakes up and what attitude he brings with him to close out each day. For me, learning the sexual side of my partner is kind of similar. It is important for me to understand how the person that I am with makes me feel sexually and how to best make them feel when we come together. Sexual compatibility is a major priority in anyone’s romantic relationship, so taking the time to understand those needs by communicating is hugely important. Whether you have sex before marriage or not, you do need to know how to and be willing to communicate. Clear communication and consent will take your relationship a long, long way.
Now, I don’t see anything wrong with saving yourself for that one special person that you choose to spend the rest of your life with. Before I share with you my reasons of why sex before marriage is important to me, I would also like to mention one great positive thing about saving yourself before marriage, because I do see the benefit there as well. When you choose to wait to have sex until marriage, you have the peace of mind that when it comes to your sexual health, you’ve been with no one else, so you do not have to worry about any sexually transmitted diseases or infections. Being pure in this sense is wildly important and a huge advantage that some people may not have going into a new relationship. So that’s the huge benefit that I see. But let’s get back to the benefits that I see in sex before marriage…
My three reasons of why I believe in sex before marriage are:
While I am on team sex before marriage is okay, I do want to stress that it is always important to practice safe sex regardless of how many partners you have. Being safe and responsible allows you to be welcomed into a new relationship without having to disclose any possible harm to the other person and that is a beautiful gift that should not be taken for granted.
So safe sex, check. Saving yourself for that one person? This might be a great choice for some but you should also think about the flipside. What if there’s no excitement in bed and what you thought you were saving yourself for turns out to be an experience that you don’t want with the other person? Even if there is sexual chemistry outside of the bedroom, that does not guarantee that this will translate well in the bedroom.
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I also want to take a minute to say, ask yourself if topics such as having children, religion, finance, etc. are important when you decide to spend your life with someone. If the answer is yes to any of these questions, now ask yourself why the topic and the act of sex wouldn’t be important as well? Why is it that sex always a taboo subject? There is a learning curve to parenting, to accepting or conversioning to a new religion, to combining finances and learning how another person spends and saves (or doesn’t save) their money. Sex also has a learning curve. You have to get to know each other’s bodies, wants, and needs and not only that, be okay with providing this for your partner and enjoy receiving it from your partner. Why is this something that we don’t want to bring up or we don’t want to talk about?
It seems like we are doing ourselves a disservice by waiting until vows have been exchanged to dive into this stuff. I highly, highly recommend not only sex before marriage but pre-marriage counseling. There is so much that we do not think about before marriage until we are in it. The fact is, there is no one size fits all guidebook to marriage. But having a guiding light on your way to marriage and having a professional third party help with this can do wonders. It might even be fun to consider a sex therapist after the wedding to dig even deeper sexually with your partner, even if things are already going well for you in this department.
The first time you have sex with anybody is going to be a little nerve-wracking and weird, to say the very least. No matter what Hollywood tells you, the truth is that you don’t really start loosening up and enjoying sex until after a handful of times of practice. It will feel good, sure, but you’re only scratching the surface the first few times, especially if you’re having sex with someone inexperienced or you are both inexperienced. To begin with, you don’t even know what you like and don’t like. Maybe you know how to please yourself on your own (yes, I’m talking about masturbation). Maybe you can help guide your partner while they are pleasuring you. But it will take time to find your groove with a person and that’s completely okay. So take the pressure off of having to deliver on such high expectations on the wedding night (if you’re not too exhausted from the wedding day) and get to know your partner before “I do.”
Sex is a huge trial and error and it takes time for you to know what you enjoy and what your partner likes. It’s a learning process. Some might welcome this learning process on their honeymoon and see this time as a safe space to learn and explore. If that’s not you, that’s okay. If you really don’t want to wait for that one person you think you would want to spend your life with, they will understand. If someone loves you, they will love you unconditionally. So make the decision that is best for you and don’t be ashamed of the decision that you make because you know what’s best for you.
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