“Wait till marriage” 

When growing up in a sexually uptight Protestant culture, children are typically told that sex is for when you are married to your spouse of the opposite sex and to have sex before marriage is wrong. The idea of saving it for that special someone is romanticized and if you don’t do that you are going to really miss out on something special. The white dress on the wedding day can actually mean what it has traditionally meant. This sort of thing was told to me as a kid and I remember really clinging to it into my late teens. I can clearly remember one of my mom’s early sex talks with me basically just as “wait till you’re married”, and I think it was mostly out of fear of teen pregnancy she of course did not want to deal with.

I’m not passing judgment on the people that are waiting or did wait until marriage, but it was not right for me and I think it generally does go against human nature. Not accounting for asexuals, the human race is very much driven by sexual desires. That of course comes from our instinct to reproduce and it just plain feels good. If god did design people, why would he have sex feel so good but only allowed under a particular circumstance involving a ceremony? I don’t really see too much of a difference between people having sex before or after a wedding, only difference I can see is a ceremony and piece of paper. When people who are not married have sex, I don’t see how they could be doing anything inherently wrong because as long as they are practicing safe consensual sex they are not hurting themselves or anyone else. Fundamentalist Christians may answer that by saying they are at least hurting themselves spiritually and possibly mentally, and to that I say the spiritual thing just means it doesn’t match up with what the bible says and you can find plenty of sexually active mentally healthy single people, gay and straight.
The idea that people have to be married to have sex can be very detrimental because it can drive people to get married at a very young age because they don’t want to wait much longer. Their impatience can led them to rushing into a commitment with a spouse that is not right for them. In some instances, those rushed marriages can turn into domestic abuse cases. I don’t blame them for their impatience, it’s hard to deny one’s desire to have sex, but they wouldn’t have had to rush into marriage if they were comfortable and knowledgeable about the idea of safe sex. There is also a portion of those who are told to wait until marriage that don’t end up waiting but are far less likely to use condoms or other forms of birth control than those who are taught a more well rounded sex education.
Personally, I dropped the idea of no sex before marriage after I realized the only argument people had for it was it was what god wanted and that it was somehow more special. I didn’t have proof of the Christian god so I didn’t see how what he wanted mattered, and being awkward and uncomfortable on my wedding night didn’t sound that special to me. At first the Protestant guilt was a little hard to shake, but I’m very happy I did and did not turn out sexually repressed.

16 thoughts on ““Wait till marriage” 

  1. I think the whole waiting till marriage thing is all part of the destiny you are supposed to have as a Christian. I went to a Christian college and had no serious relationships at the place I was supposed to find my life partner. That’s pretty much when I called bullshit on the God has a plan for your life thing. If you are from a small sect the odds of finding someone who shares the same sectarian beliefs as you goes way way down when you leave college. Thankfully I ended up dumping the whole thing

  2. Most of the world’s major religions exert control over sexuality. It is the fingerprint of man trying to control his fellow man. If there were a god and he was so concerned about sexuality, he would not have given us such desires. Some may argue that he gave us Free Will, but that is another misdirection. No loving parent would purposefully set up their offspring for failure.

    Sexuality is part of our basic being. It ensures the survival of our species. Trying to control it is doomed to failure. I believe our best course is to understand and embrace our sexuality.

    I was raised Catholic, but luckily, my mother was not a very devout Catholic and I was allowed to question. My mother was always very open about sex with me and as a result, I went to her with questions instead of my friends or fumbling to figure out things on my own.

    Waiting until marriage might be right for some people and I would not dream of trying to dissuade them from their path. I would question whether they are doing it for themselves or for what they thought god wanted keeping in mind that god was created by ancient man as a means of control.

    If we pull back the veil and expose sexuality for what it truly is, we can mitigate most of the negative associated with it. We could control sexually transmitted disease. We could limit unwanted pregnancies. We could eradicate sex trafficking. Our current unease with sexuality has proven ineffective against these problems. It think it is about time we try a new approach.

  3. Funny how religious beliefs retain a certain hold long after you’d disavowed them. Those regarding sex may be the most pernicious, because those are the ones that make us believe terrible things about ourselves, and each other.

  4. I think very few know the origins of marriage as far as “holy-matrimony” go. In Roman, Greek, & Persian rule, marriage just meant a woman’s change chance to finally have sex, sometimes with multiple partners. Almost like a passage into woman hood like in Spanish & Mexican cultures when a girl turns 16 with a Quinceañera. Modern religions twisted it into something controlling and conforming for women & men in both Christianity & Muslim beliefs. It made sex “dirty” which it is not. It is a beautiful expression, and a deep feeling that some people forever look to replicate after experiencing just once.

  5. Where in the bible does it specify to “wait until marriage”? Most of the bible promotes immoral sexual behavior, such as concubines or rape or the taking of women as sex slaves but I can think of no reasonable moral or ethical approach to sexuality in a holy book.

  6. The seems to be a stopping rule for finding a the optimal partner. It of course involves lots of dating to test the water. If you’re inclined to spend your sexually active live with one person, it seems only sensible to make sure you are a good fit in that department as well. Hannah Fry has a nice TED talk about it: https://youtu.be/N37x4GgDVBM

  7. “The idea that people have to be married to have sex can be very detrimental because it can drive people to get married a very young age because they don’t want to wait much longer. Their impatience can led them to rushing into a commitment with a spouse that is not right for them.”

    ^^^^ Yes times a million to the above sentiment.

    On this topic I generally like to just say, “I don’t believe in marriage before sex.”

  8. Isn’t it crazy? It’s like buying a whole new wardrobe without trying anything on. So weird. “Hey, let’s make sure we are totally compatible, take marriage classes, and fully commit BEFORE we see if we are compatible in this huge portion of our relationship”
    I’m also going to go ahead and lump in people who marry their high school sweetheart. I now personally know 8 couples who married their “first” and got divorced. Some things you need to learn, try, and fail. It’s a huge part of growing up and maturing into a full person.

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