Waiting on the World to Change...

(Side Note: After I typed "Waiting" into the Subject, the John Mayer song popped into my mind. I had to type it out.)

This isn't just for Sir. I would like his reply, but I also think it'd be interesting to get lots of opinions in here.

I've got just a quick question. I'm fairly sure I will wait, but I would like to know everyone else's opinion on this.

What is everyone's opinion on premarital sex? On waiting for marriage?

If you did wait, why? If not, why not?

Forums: 
Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

when I was 15 almost 16. What I mean by that is that I turned 16 the following week. I had some deeply psychological reason for not waiting, and it took me years to realize this. If I had the chance to do it over again, I definitely would have waited. Waited for love, waited for marriage. For those who choose to wait, then I tip my hat to you. There is no reason not to wait. If you're not ready, you're not ready. There is nothing wrong with doing what is best for you. However, sex is a beautiful thing, and it can be even more so with the right person. The point this long ramble is, do what is best for you. I'm all about doing whatever makes you happy.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

I actually believe in not waiting for marriage. Waiting for love, yes. Waiting until you're older, yes. Waiting until you're absolutely, undoubtedly certain that you're ready, absolutely, without a doubt, please please do. Waiting for marriage, no. I think that if you wait for marriage it does a number of things that are not *necessarily* bad, but can be. First, if you make the decision to wait for marriage and you try to stick to it, that may hasten your wedding day (and night). I think that it's hard enough to know when you're ready to make that decision or already, but to put something you really really really want to do as your prize for making one of the most important decisions you'll ever make...it's like offering a 5-year old kid an ice cream cone as soon as he picks his university. It might make you speed up that decision.

I also think sex is very very telling. Not always, but often. If a guy is super sweet, but is inconsiderate in bed, maybe he's actually just inconsiderate. If he puts your needs first, or he has a good balance of what you want and what he wants, maybe he's a keeper. I really believe in making informed decisions, even if I'm just making a day-to-day decision at work. I can't imagine making such an important decision without getting to know the other person on as many levels as I can.

Perhaps least importantly, there is the question of experience. Maybe you want to learn everything with your new husband/wife together, but I don't think you can pick up as many tricks from the internet as you can from experience. It gives you something to draw from if you want to mix it up and try something that you don't necessarily know that they'll like, but it'll be spicy because it's different. I know my guy was awesome when I found him. I didn't have to show him what to do, but he knew enough to figure out what I liked as an individual person, and that was really nice. I was pretty inexperienced, and that was okay, but it was nice to have the little bit of experience that I did have to draw on. Obviously not all guys are the same, but there are some tricks you pick up along the way, and that's fun.

Finally, I almost wish I hadn't waited as long as I did. When I found out what I'd been missing, I couldn't believe I'd waited that long. I mean, wow.

Also, if you decide to make that sacrifice and wait, are you going to be a little irritated on the inside if the new guy/girl didn't? They were off having a good time, while you were waiting for your one true love? Maybe that's petty (and I don't know if I would feel that way or not because I haven't been there), but I wouldn't want to count on them waiting too. Maybe that's because I like adventurous people, but the odds seem slim.

That being said (wow, I didn't realize I had *that* much to say on the topic, sorry), please please please don't let me ruin your romance. I tend to be very practical, and if you want to wait until your prince charming comes to carry you away, I think that's pretty cool. Not for me, maybe, but pretty cool. I also think it's important to wait for love, wait until you're older, wait for the right person to come along. Marriage just seems like such a serious commitment (and it is), even if it is a joyful one. I can't imagine waiting until after I've made one of the biggest decisions and commitments of my life to find out...whatever it is you might find out.

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

what i was trying to say, but i got tripped up over my own tongue....keyboard...and all i got out was a ramble.

fairnymph's picture

Embodiment

Exactly my thoughts. And I feel like so many people I know (not everyone, just some) become very curious and unsatisfied if they've only ever had one or even couple partners. So much better to get that out of your system pre-marriage, IMO, unless of course you are not suited to monogamy at all (which one should of course also know in advance). Some people are very lucky and very very into monogamy and are happy with the one partner, one love EVER thing - but I think it's a minority.

thellieem11's picture

Petitioner

I fully intended to wait, and I did so until I was nearly 21 and with my first boyfriend. If I could do it over again, I do think I would have liked to have waited or at least waited a little longer - I wasn't ready, though I was trying to be and same with him. We should have waited.

However, I will be forever grateful that I shared my first time with him. He helped me heal some long hidden scars from sexual abuse as a child that I'd never had a reason to deal with before. I am a much better and stronger person for having been with him, and I value myself far more.

Waiting is the best choice, I do believe. I do wish I had done it. But I also have no regrets about my choice. In my estimation, that's the most important thing - that life is lived without regrets.

Someone's picture

Postulant

I have to preface the following with the fact that I'm not a fan of marriage as an institution. Likely because I've seen more bad ones than good ones.

I think waiting for marriage is silly. Moreover, a bad idea entirely. And note that I say this as a nineteen year old virgin.

Sex is a great many things. An emotional connection, a strong physical desire, and (by all accounts) quite pleasant. Smile

I think that going out of your way to not have sex until after a completely arbitrary ceremony makes absolutely no sense. I think that that is pretty much just robbing yourself of an important aspect of the human mind/body/spirit for no particular reason (if it's for religious reasons, consider that this is a commandment from the church, not the god).

That said, waiting for sex can be a good thing. I'm still a virgin. The reason for that is that I'm only just now with someone with whom I feel the deep emotional connection that I want to expand/strengthen/enjoy in this particular way.

However, I'm not sure that waiting is necessarily the right thing for everybody, even. Personally, I think that if you (and you. not the other person) want to have emotionally meaningless sex, all the power to you. I'll think you're kind of crazy, but madness is hardly a negative character trait.

so ... yeah. that's what I think at 9pm when I ought to be studying.

Slaxor's picture

I pretty much agree with this., Also a virgin, btw.

raecchi's picture

Devotee

For much of my life, I've been unsure if I will ever want to get married at all, so "no sex before marriage" would have equaled celibacy. If I had been raised with the emphasis on waiting, it might have caused me to do something idiotic like marry one of my early boyfriends, and THAT would have been the stupidest thing I've ever done.

As it is, I waited until I found someone I really, really wanted to have sex with, which happened to take me until I was almost 21. (A whole two days before my birthday.) I'd definitely had sexual contact with people before, though. I basically worked my way up the scale of sexual conduct, so I was fairly comfortable with what I wanted by the time I did have sex. I knew how to get myself off, which was a huge help, and due to some rather ungentle fingering, I'd lost my hymen already.

I'm glad I waited as long as I did, and I'm just as glad that I didn't wait any longer! Sex is really fun, and does all kinds of nice things in the stress relief department. If I meet anyone who wants to wait until marriage for sex, I'm unlikely to want to date them -- I believe that if I ever choose to get married, it's going to be after a heck of a long time and I'll want to know everything about the person in advance.

Also -- and I'm not trying to offend, here -- I've always been under the impression that "waiting for marriage" was generally a religious-driven idea. In fact, I've only met one exception, in the form of one of my friends who's a bit of the "assume the worst-case scenario" type. She wanted to wait until marriage so that she could be SURE that if she accidentally got pregnant, she would be able to take care of the child.

That raises one last issue that I'm curious about: preferred forms of birth control. I should probably go start a new discussion for that, though!

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

It's been implied here, but I want to state it bluntly: sex is not always good. So if you want to have sex simply because you've read one too many Romance novels, Maxims, or Playboys, please wait!

My caveat: I'm a person who very much needs to feel in control of myself/my situation. That said, I had sex with my first boyfriend after a year of dating which at the time I thought the relationship had a real chance of turning into "forever." I used the pill, and condoms, and was assured that the bf was STD-free, because I have never been and still am not comfortable taking chances with my life/health, much less with the possibility of creating a whole new human being I would responsible for and who dictate much of my life for the next ~20 years. This effected me so profoundly in college (when getting pregnant was so very much *NOT* an option) that after a year of occasional sex (long distance relationship = another form of birth control) with second boyfriend-now-husband, I actually asked that we stop having intercourse. It was to the point where I was having mini-freakouts in the bathroom the night my period was due, praying that I would start bleeding soon or at least feel a few warm-up cramps. Yeah. Amazingly, he agreed and was understanding about it (you're darn right he's a keeper!), even if he wasn't really thrilled about it ;-). I still stayed on hormone forms of birth control, and we avoided intercourse or any other form of sex that could impregnate me (i.e. no hands recently covered in semen allowed for fingerfucking - yes, I'm that paranoid).

Okay, sorry for the rambling. The reason I brought all that up is that I've talked to other female friends (and fellow Type As) who've had similar panics when their period is just a day late, despite their use of birth control measures, and it didn't occur to them until I mentioned it that they could stop having intercourse and switch to less risky forms of sexual joy. I'm sure many of the readers here already know that, but for some reason us straight-up hetero, mainstream-sex-knowledge-only gals don't always think of these things.

And that rambling is leading to this: I really recommend waiting. Not necessarily for marriage (I agree with whoever said that that is partly a religion-specific thing), but until you're sure - of yourself, of your partner, of your relationship, and of your willingness to accept the consequences. Consequences being specifically that you need to get tested for STDs at least semi-regularly even if you think you're safe (I know women who found out they were cheated on because the "yeast infection" that wouldn't clear up turned out to be a STD), and that there's a chance you'll be faced with the baby vs. adoption vs. abortion scenario (again, I know people who took the right precautions... and still got pregnant). Again, yes, I'm paranoid. Those risks were way too big for me to accept in college. Maybe they aren't for you.

PS - tangent on marriage: IMO, society is obsessed with marriage as an institution because that's how the society's next generation is raised. Which is why I suspect that so many religions & cultures do insist on waiting until marriage - because even with all our modern technology, the only way to guarantee that children are born in the more stable two-adult households is to demand that *sex* only exist inside stable two-adult households, i.e. married couples.

raecchi's picture

Devotee

You make a really good point that I think is underrated -- having forms of sex that aren't going to cause pregnancy! There are so many options for doing things with a partner (not to mention the array of awesomeness available to someone on their own!) that have no risk of causing babies, though people seem to think those aren't "really" sex. (There's a whole different ramble waiting to happen for me.)

Also, three cheers to your boyfriend-now-husband for agreeing to stop the riskier forms of sex for you. That is an incredible display of love!

As for me, I actually considered sterilizing myself for a while to stop the risk of having children. In the end, the IUD is almost exactly as effective, and gives me the chance to change my mind down the road if I want to. I feel a lot safer now than I did using condoms, in any case.

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

I came into the thread wondering what on earth good things there would be in here xD But what a great thread I find instead! ^__^

Personally, I wanted to wait until I got married. That...didn't happen Blum 3 Things changed. I met a guy my freshman year of high school and we were dating for about nine months before we had sex, and even then it was about two months before he left for Air Force Basic Training. In some ways, I sort of wish I had waited, even though it was a wonderful experience because we really were in love. It was both of our first times and that was something special too. Plus, it helped in some ways, us to deal with being apart for so long. It creates a kind of bond with the other person that is...irreplaceable. For us, it was important.

For other people, our situation would not have worked. My best friend just lost her virginity last month, and we're sophomores in college. It worked for her. I mean, her situation is much different. But she's taking the time to sit down and think about it--she has wide open options right now because she isn't attached to anybody. But you have to take things carefully and consider the fact that it's quite easy to get caught up sexually with partners when there is no attachment, and it can get to the point where you really do get that kind of a reputation. It's an incredibly enjoyable experience, so its quite understandable Blum 3

All I can say is, make sure YOU are ready, and that you're comfortable with your partner and your relationship is ready. Smile Nobody else can tell you when that will be. For some, it really is marriage. Others, it's not. I-m so happy

Stormy's picture

Supplicant

I lost my virginity on my 15th birthday. Whee! Actually, a pretty sucky birthday present because we were BOTH virgins and the sex was terrible, but it got lots better in the following months. I don't regret it. I do regret some of the people I have slept with since then, however (no, my Number actually isn't that high...so my ratio of good lovers to crap is less than ideal)

Of course, do what you feel is right for you, but my advice on the subject in general is to wait until you find someone you want to be that intimate with and make the decision at a time when you are clearheaded (i.e. not in a moment of passion). That way you are less likely to regret it. Also consider the side-effects (e.g. VD, babies) and understand that even with precautions, there's still a chance. Sex is as natural as eating and sleeping and pooping, but we have romanticized it to the point of ridiculousness and have fetishized virginity. That being said, I agree with kawaiikune to wait until an age when one can deal with the consequences (emotional and physical) responsibly. And I agree that 15 is not that age. Do as I say, not as I do Blum 3

This is coming from a polyamorous agnostic bisexual who has never actually believed there is such a thing as The One, so take it with whatever size grain of salt is applicable.

rdehwyll's picture

Devotee

Coming from a much earlier decade than most of the readers, (One that was very much sexually repressive) common mores required that waiting for marriage be the norm. If a woman (or girl) did not, she was labeled 'promiscuous', though a man who did not was usually lauded (by his male friends, at least). Not saying it was right, merely the way things were back then. As to my personal opinion -- one far outside of contemporary thought of the time -- I have always considered the act of coitus between two people should be a physical commentary of the need for love between two disparate individuals, showing their commitment to each other, irregardless of mores of the times.

V's picture

Embodiment

a very powerful one. It enhances what is already there. It won't make a bad relationship better. It won't fix or save one. If both people don't approach it with the same mindset, the same agenda, then it will amplify the discontinuity and that can certainly wreck one. At the right time, in the right circumstances, it can be a wonderful thing that brings you closer together and, let's face it, can be really fun. I was a virgin well into my 20s--that's just how things worked out. I haven't waited for marriage...I echo previous thoughts about wanting to know someone very well if I'm going to make the deep, lasting commitment marriage represents. This is one department where being incompatible is going to cause a lot of stress and heartache in a marriage, either overt or repressed.

Marriage -- intensely personal. Lasting, powerful, a serious commitment. Not to be taken lightly.
Sex -- intensely personal. Powerful, a serious commitment. Not to be taken lightly.

It will be what you make of it. It can still be a special, precious act with a very small circle of people even without waiting until the wedding day. I see no compelling reason that it should be restricted to only one.

Waiting until marriage for sex seems to have many more perils than the reverse, for me. I wouldn't want to hold sex out as the carrot for someone marrying me, and I wouldn't want to marry someone who really couldn't get along with me in bed.

Velvetackbar's picture

Most High

those were the days.

I "officially" lost my virginity when I was...erm...15. He was 19, decent looking, but with an oddly shaped cock: imagine an ice cream cone with a big fat dollop of smooth, creamy ice cream on the top, then attach the point of the cone to his pubis, and you the idea. In other words, once in, I was rather intent on it staying there.

The first time with a girl, I was 18, and we were very stoned. I am still friends with her.

Waiting. Hmmm...I am 1000% pro slut: wait until you want to (and are of legal age, of course.

I am not going to wade into marriage: it really has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with property, children, and fidelity.

In other words: once you have decided to have sex, just have fun, and play safe. Don't read so much into it...folks. Its not always about remaking the world. Sometimes its just about having fun.

Have fun!

Oddfish's picture

Postulant

Seconded. Sex can be a lot of things, but I'm not sure "magical instant perfect marital fidelity charm" is one of them. So, y'know, do what works for you and be responsible about it (Wrap up your bits and so forth), and that'll be the right thing.

Andrea's picture

Supplicant

If someone "finishing" with someone else ---> not virgin then I'm not a virgin, but I'm still waiting 'til marriage to go all the way. And by all the way I mean Temmin + Neya and/or Temmin + Nerr statue.

Before I was with my current boyfriend (in other words, before I knew that this sort of emotional connection even existed), I would have been ok with losing my official virginity to any boyfriend I felt close to. To be honest, though, waiting doesn't seem so hard now that we have each other. I guess it just feels right to me.. probably because 1) I'm apparently very inclined to be monogamous, 2) I'm scared it'll hurt, 3) he wants to wait too, 4) we know we're sexually compatible, and 5) there's a good chance we'll get married anyway, so why NOT wait?

So basically, I don't think people /should/ necessarily wait, and I don't think marriage is the only place for sex for everyone, but I'm waiting because I feel like it.

okie now ima go study Sad

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

I think you have excellent reasons for waiting, Andrea. Go you Smile IMO, there's nothing worng with polyamory... but there's also nothing wrong with monogamy ;-D

Also, contrary to popular belief, romance novels, and even our dear MeiLin's fiction, the first time does not equal hurt and/or blood and/or any other part of the hymen mythology. Hymen = membrane that probably tore when you were doing jumping jacks in elementary school gym. If your hymen was completely intact, then you would have had very serious problems when your period started. Sometimes there's still enough left that a little can tear the first time out - if you didn't notice it the first time, I bet you won't notice it in the heat of things either Wink Bleeding/tightness of first time is much more likely to mean that you & your partner are doing it wrong Blum 3 Lots of foreplay and communication promote relaxation/reduced nervousness, lubrication, and overall arousal, all of which will help make first-time, third-time, and thousandth-time sex better. Water-based lube is also helpful Wink This... is not quite a pet peeve of mine, but really, it's one of the most persuasive myths, that the first time of male-to-female intercourse *will* hurt and/or involves blood. My first time was totally "eh". His equipment was not very impressive and I was very worked up, so I could barely tell he was all the way in. Not the reason I stopped dating him, but it certainly didn't help his case any (he was just really good at foreplay, but really bad fucking apparently).

Defining virginity... depends.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

Let me give you a data point that may very well have been an outlier, but still happened: She had been doing gymnastics extensively for years, he was, and still is, very fond of cunnilingus, working her wayyyy up, and making her come. Repeatedly, if possible. They used lubed condoms and lots of foreplay, and she was very, very worked up. There was pain, oh yes there was. There was also a solid barrier that took them three nights to tear open (her going to her Ob/Gyn and having her hymen cut away with a scalpel didn't occur to them at the time). There was a little blood afterwards, too, but not a whole lot, certainly not enough to leave an impressive stain on the sheets.

As for the hymen, even an intact hymen does not normally completely close off the vaginal opening, precisely because the menstrual fluids need to have a way out. In her case, she only started using tampons after they had sex, because shoving those things past her hymen had been really rather uncomfortable before.

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

I don't know what language that was supposed to be o.o;
I had been having my period for YEARS before my hymen broke. And my hymen broke when I was 15, with some manual help from my boyfriend. Of that kind we'd been doing for a long time, so that was interesting that it did last so long.

Alternatively, my sister fell on a balance beam as a child and broke hers.

I also have a friend who defines the "holes" in her hymen as "boyfriend-sized" and "tampon-sized". It only broke fully this summer. -shrug-

As for the first, time, getting worked up is verrrryyyy important. -nodnod- I actually really enjoyed my first time. Eric was slow and gentle, and I was ready. I-m so happy Worked for us!

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

Re-reading my post after sleeping, I see now I was confusing two points. My first point is that how your first time (and any time thereafter) goes is a function of many things, and so you should not automatically assume your first will hurt. For one thing, expecting it to hurt could make you nervous and tense, which then inhibits arousal, and not being aroused/worked up enough *is* something that will make sex uncomfortable or painful.

The second point is more of a pet peeve of mine about how Romance novels or stories that contain Romantic elements always portray a girl's first time. It pisses me off how it almost always boils down to the same thing: girl & guy get it on, guy detects resistance, guy in his infinite wisdom/experience automatically knows that said resistance *of course* is the girl's hymen (as opposed to maybe her tightening up because whoa, something big just got shoved part way inside and *that's* a new feeling, or whatever) which Must Be Broken Right Now and proceeds to punch through in the heat of the moment, girl is always okay with this, they fuck happily ever after. Gah! We all know that sex is a highly variable experience so why the hell not show some variation in the female deflowering scenes??

...sorry about the ranting in the second part. Like I said, it's a pet peeve, not a rational, research-tested argument or anything Wink

MeiLin's picture

Most High

The guy I very much wanted to lose my virginity to, we were both very young and I don't think either of us knew what to do--think "Mystery Dance"--and it was a time when you really weren't supposed to be doing that in high school. REALLY weren't. The one girlfriend I had who was having sex with her boyfriend, they'd been dating for nearly two years and the only people who knew were me, her, and her boyfriend. It was a HUGE secret.

Basically, once I got to college it was the first guy who asked me. Which was stupid. He was a jerk and I was a jerk and we hardly knew each other and had nothing in common. And it set the tone for a quite miserable sex life until I met Sir. We are living proof that sex can get better over many years. Wink

thedisquietedpen's picture

Postulant

This garnered about the same reaction as I thought it would. I had expected lots of "wait until you're ready" and "wait until you love" from the crowd.

What I didn't expect was quite as huge of a take-off on this topic as I got.

I personally agree with all of these. I certainly think that it is (and SHOULD be) different for all people. As far as I am concerned, I think marriage is the thing for me. As for hastening the marriage day (and night), that isn't the case for me.

Perhaps, going against Sir's advice, I read too much into it. But I've idealized sex as the ultimate expression of love. Because of that (and my own slightly immature need for absolute reassurance of commitment), I am quite willing to wait until marriage. I say this because I also have idealized marriage far beyond what most people today do. I view marriage as a life-long commitment. Perhaps I am old-fashioned.

At any rate, I feel that waiting is, for me, the best "solution".

A HUGE thank you to everyone who replied. I certainly was not expecting this lengthy of a reply this quickly.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

If this works for you, then there's nothing wrong with it. Smile

raecchi's picture

Devotee

In the quest to be more sex-positive and break stereotypes like "women who have sex without getting married are sluts," sometimes we get carried away. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't have to defend your choice in this case! You're not "old-fashioned," or anything so negative-sounding; you're just doing what you think is the right choice for you. Knowing what you want is a very, very good thing in any situation. Smile Do what think is best, take things as seriously or not as you wish, and be happy!

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

and since you brought it up, are you with someone now? Or are you waiting for someone special to come along? Also, are you religious? If you are in a relationship or not, or you are religious or not, I was wondering how those things affected that decision. I guess I'm really interested to hear where you're coming from. I'm also sort of wondering where you draw the virgin line. Are you going to wait for all sexy things until marriage, or just sex itself? Anyone else can answer these too, but you've really piqued my curiosity. And forgive me (or just don't answer) if I'm asking too much. This is just a topic that is really interesting to me, since I've been in pretty much all of the positions I can think of on this at one point or another and I thought about it a lot before I made the decisions I've acted on (and some of the ones I haven't had to deal with yet). This isn't something I get to talk to very many people about in person, so this is really cool that we can do this here. Thank you!

thedisquietedpen's picture

Postulant

I don't think you're being too terribly nosy.

I am currently in a relationship. I think and feel that this is the "someone special to come along", although I could possibly be wrong. I am a self-described atheist and humanist, so no, I'm not religious. As far as defining virginity, we've decided together that the line is at anal/vaginal penetration. We won't go past those until marriage. As for the point of hastening the wedding day (and night), we have no intentions of that. We have talked at great length and want to wait until college is over and we both have stable jobs/careers.

There is something about the anonymity of the interwebz that seems to allow us to be a little more frank and open in our conversations, isn't there?

GreenGlass's picture

Supplicant

I just made a really long post below, but I wanted to add here, that your thinking is very familiar to me, only I finally came to the point where I thought to myself, "At this point, being as committed as I am, if I died tomorrow, I would be more sorry then glad that I waited."

Yeah, extreme, but sometimes important, even though I hope none of us die tomorrow! It took me awhile to come to that point though. I really wanted to have sex, but I always decided I would be more glad and proud of waiting before that so that I could be a virgin for whoever came after. At this point... there just was no after. I would never be the same, even if I could love another person "after" someday. That was the turning point I must admit. Not what I thought it would be, that's for sure. Smile It sounds so "Artisan." Blum 3

Shinjinarenai's picture

Postulant

When I was little, I thought I was going to wait, and when my parents gave me The Talk, I told them that I liked both boys and girls but didn't plan on doing anything about it until I found the right one. Which was shocking to them, as they both thought I should have lots of safe, happy, heterosexual premarital sex. Then I had a boyfriend in high school, who was an old friend and older but a virgin as well and two months into dating he blurted out that he wanted to have sex. I thought about it while we messed around in other ways, and went home and thought about it, and asked my parents what they thought. I was 16. They were both in shock, and eventually stammered out: "well, it's up to you, but be safe". Two days later I was at his house and we had sex or tried and his dad walked in. We dated for more than a year after that and the sex only improved. It was a really wonderful way to start. We were in love and our parents all knew and made sure we were healthy and not-pregnant, and we are still good friends now. I'm so glad that I lost my virginity when I did, and with who I did, but I wouldn't advise it for everyone. Simply to be safe and not rush into anything. I consider myself very blessed to have had such a good experience.

Paisleigh's picture

Devotee

An interesting topic. Lets see if I have any helpful advise.. . .
First off there are many differant takes on sex. Lets see if I can make this coherent (please forgive me, its 1:20 in the morning and I just finished reading this whole thread and would like to add my two cents in before going off to bed and forgetting)
First there is the "loose morals" approach to sex- Any one, every one, whatever.- Not the road I would suggest but hey whatever.
Then there is the approach that I've gleaned from the Heinline books I've read (yes part of theory on sexual relations is derived from a sci-fi author. . .and a a good one at that ^-^) If you feel it is right with that particular person then go for it. This approach is also along the lines of being polyamorous- have as many partners as you feel necessary, just as long as your safe and everyone else is ok with it (I really should re-read Stranger in a Strange Land again soon. My yearly visit to the book is swiftly approaching).
There is also the "If the time feels right and your prepared for it, go for it because you may never have the particular chance that is being presented presented again (boy I hope that made sense).
Then there is the other extreme "Nope nuh-uh, not at all. KEEP IT AWAY!! AAGGGGrrhhhh!!!"
Oh- then there's the apathetic veiw on it (eh, whatever) and asexual view (eh- not for me or some such, I haven't done too much digging into this one as of yet)
I know for me personally my "In Theory" view on sex is a mix of the "Heinline" and "take the opportunity" views even though in practice its not.
Hmmm. . . this is turning into a lectur of sexual. . . .ideas?. . . oh well, forward we go and I hope it makes sence.
The next thing to keep in mind is, as many others before me have said- the consequences. All of them- from the physical (pregnancy, STDs, pain [then again that may or may not happen with you- I only had slight discomfort at first], etc.), to the emotional (if there is a break-up, what are the attachment issues and regretful feelings From my understanding its hard to get over your first [No, I'm not speaking from experience, no not at all :-S])
*pauses to find train of thought again*
Ok, I think I have it. You need to do what is right for you and maybe that'll change over time. But just because you deside to wait doesn't mean you shouldn't stay knowledgeable about the topic. Make sure you know about the risks, birth control and various other things that I cannot think of right now, just in case you change your mind.
Another thing I would suggest is that if you have no partner you do /anything/ with you should take time to discover what you like (if you know what I mean Wink [sorry, had to toss that in there]) Even if your not sexually active until marriage I would suggest learning to please yourself so that way so can tell your lover on the special night some of the things you enjoy.
I know I didn't discover the joys of self pleasure until my ex and I started to get it on (The Guide to Getting it On is a book that I would suggest picking up as well- /tons/ of info presented in an entertaining manner Wink ) and since then I've held the opinion that I stated- learn to please your self so you can clue you lover into what you like to make the whole thing a more enjoyable experience. (then again, it was fun to discover all of those things with him but after the break up it was and still is a bit hard to rely solely on myself for pleasure- but thats another topic for another day Smile )
And I think thats about all I have for information, I am drained of anymore info that I can think of. Hopefully this all can be of some help to someone Smile
May you find your way safely and happily through the intreging world of sex.

TheFerret's picture

Devotee

That marriage (and sex, actually) is WORK. I'm not going to make commentaries on individual situations (my mom & dad divorced b4 I was 3, after 10 yrs of marriage), but deciding before hand that marriage is something that IS life-long goes a long way to realizing that it & the person w/ whom you will share it goes a long way in the necessary attitude of working it out. And then, having this one special thing to give to the new spouse, and share with them in maturing is way way way cool!

I won't fudge, there was plenty of fooling around b4 we got married, but no sex. No, not even the "but it's not *really* sex, right?" types. We dated for 4 years (silly us, waiting until we could "afford" being married), now we've been married 11. We've both changed, we've both grown a LOT, and this is something we grow in together. What we like, what's new. And Intimate History has planted quite a few ideas in my head that he has enjoyed the benefits of, so..... Wink

Does this have a religious basis? Sure, but psychological too. And all sorts of other, irritating and logical reasons. And the bonus is - we both came into this knowing that we didn't have memories to compete against, never any disease worries, and no oops kids while we were in college & broke.

No matter how special I was told sex is for man n wife - I never, never, never imagined how CLOSE how TIED and how SAFE I feel with him. When I need a pick me up, or we've been fighting, or it feels like we're starting to let life keep us apart.... sex time = renewal time of US as a couple that aren't just parents or employees. It's.... it's..... I dunno how to say it. It's a lifeline.

Marri's picture

Supplicant

I was very firm about wanting to wait until I was comfortable and until I found someone I was in love with. I started dating my freshman year of high school, took it reeeeeeally slowly and lost my virginity the summer before my senior year of high school at 17. My first time hurt a bit, but he was incredibly sweet about it and I don't regret it.

Since we've broken up, I've sort of settled on the following rule: I have to trust them. Love was important for my first time, and it's a nice bonus, but trust is what matters. Thus, my only two boys since I broke up with the first boyfriend were also already close friends. It's worked nicely.

Shade (can't sign into my act for some reason :()'s picture

For one thing, I'm just glad to see that this community is so receptive and un-critical of other's lifestyles and choices. It's really quite refreshing.

I'm one of the believers in waiting for marriage . . . because I am religious, partly, but mostly because I have pretty severe OCD and really hate the feeling of skin on skin. I am dating a pretty awesome guy right now, and he has helped me get past some of that - but even so, it's only him that can touch me and I have to know he's going to do it. I honestly think that if I have sex with more than one person my brain will explode, or I'll pull out all of my hair, or something. Touching is stressful - though less so when he does it. It kind of helps that we've got a fairly long distance relationship (US-Holland) so I have time to mentally prepare for ze touching. I'm actually en route to see him right now, hooray.

That being said, whatever anybody else does sex-wise doesn't bother me as long as they're not doing it with me or in front of me. It's something that should be a personal decision, and it's frankly not my place to put moral judgment on other people based on my beliefs :P.

For me, sex is a trust issue, and I want to be completely certain that whoever it is will be there for the long haul (and who won't run away when I have to go take six showers because I don't feel clean :P).

TheFerret, what you have to say gives me hope, hahaha.

sherinik's picture

Postulant

for creative play that doesn't include skin on skin! I'm sure you've thought of or tried alternatives for your situation, so I'm not trying to be all-knowing, but dayum! Did I get a zing from your comment. Not-skin-on-skin gave me immediate visions of silk scarves and feathers 'shiver'. Yes, it's been a while :-o What else? hhmm...water, various other fluids (warm oil yum), air, ice is not for me but others like it. Basically, girl, what you have is license to get creative!

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

Latex gloves, warm oil.

Shade (can't sign into my act for some reason :()'s picture

Hahaha

No, I haven't tried alternatives, actually . . . haven't even really thought about it. I'm very much not a sexually oriented or touchy person at all, so I don't really feel as though I'm missing much. The boyfriend is, though, so I try to get in touch with it for him Blum 3

On the note of oils . .. is there anything that's not so . . . well . . . oily? I can barely stand to use lotion because I loath the greasy feeling it leaves, and I've been incredibly hesitant about even trying massage oil for the rare occasion I'll let him touch me :P. It makes me uncomfortable and nervous and I need to run into the shower to get the bad feelings off. Wet skin to wet skin also gives me the screaming willies - made swim team quite interesting though, I can tell you :P.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

...with both wet skin on wet skin and oily stuff out of the running. After all, the object of a massage oil is to make things slippery - which usually registers as either a wet or oily feeling.

A water-based lube might do the trick, and if it doesn't it at least washes off more easily than oil. Which is something you can't say for silicone-based personal lubricants - that stuff is slippery without, in my opinion, feeling greasy, and you don't need a lot of it as it has lots of staying power.

Sora's picture

I'd prefer to wait until marriage only because at this point in my life, I'm not really prepared for a relationship, much less a baby or anything of that nature. I really don't care what people do with their lives though. Most of my friends are virgins, so I don't feel too alone. I just turned 20 and my life just barely started getting interesting, so having a baby would REALLY REALLY mess that up. (though I do have life planned out if that should occur). At any rate, I kind of wish I was the type of person who could just bring guys home and have sex with them, I'm not going to lie. I'm incredibly shy and moody and most of the guys I do happen to meet either A) treat me like one of the guys. B) is a complete asshole C) just friends. Maybe when I graduate college, I'll have more opportunities to do crazy things. Even though I am religious, my religion really doesn't guide my decisions. My sister basically had kids and didn't get married and things aren't looking to bright. Waiting for marriage seems kinda weird too, only because it seems like I have a lot of old friends who got married just so they can have sex. I'm not saying that there wasn't any love there, but then again a lot of my friends are desperate for companionship...

TheFerret's picture

Devotee

If you think life is just starting at 20.... wait till you hit 30, chicka!!!!

I am soooo happppyyyyy I'm not the idiot I was when I was 22! I'd read a long time ago that the brain isn't done developing until you're 25. BOY can I tell the difference! I'd love to have the energy, weight, and stamina I did at 22, but I wouldn't give up the stuff I've learned for nothing.

Katie's picture

Embodiment

That I really don't feel like going into. To make it short, I wanted to wait and we didn't. Prolly should go to therapy at some point...

Wumingde's picture

Until I didn't :P. Do I wish I had waited? Yes. But not until marriage (not sure I want that). Rather I wish I had waited till I was more comfortable in my own skin and that I could've waited to sort out all kinds of mental hash. It was nice, I don't regret it, but it did amplify several other problems I had in my life at the time. On a slightly related note, I have a (possibly) strange idea about the concept of regret. I don't regret mistakes I may or may not have made in the past because I believe that without those actions I would not be the person I am now. Nor would I be in the place I am, have the experiences I've had and the love that I've found. I very much like where I've landed and would not trade it for a happier past.

Paisleigh's picture

Devotee

On a "not quite related to sex"response. It sounds like your ideas of regret are along the line of what I hold. Its just nice to hear that there are others out there who view regret in a similar manner as myself ^-^

Wumingde's picture

Ok so maybe not so strange Smile Yay for not being the only one.

Andrea's picture

Supplicant

I feel bad about hurting the people I've hurt, but in general I'm so glad to be where I am today that I find it really hard to regret anything that shaped who I am and who I know.

Paisleigh's picture

Devotee

My thing is that if I didn't do what all I've done I wouldn't be where I am today, and all things considered I like where I'm at. If I don't like where I'm at or who I am currently, I have the power to change from this point on. Don't try to undue what is done, just be better at what you have yet to do. (or something like that. Philosophy is currently failing me at 2:40 in the morning)

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

"the truth is what is, not what should be. what should be is a dirty lie." -Lenny Bruce

Paisleigh's picture

Devotee

Where'd you find the quote at, I'm intrigued (an a side note, it kinda reminds me of a poem I wrote. But I shall leave the hawking of my own writings to another time and thread Lol

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

bought a collection of quotations on cards at a garage sale.

faile486's picture

Petitioner

I fully intended to wait till marriage. I was even engaged for two years (way to young), without having sex. That relationship eventually ended, and I believe it was partially because of my refusal.

I turned 21 right after meeting the man who is currently my husband. I had originally told him I wanted to wait as well - but three months into our relationship I changed my mind. I'm glad I did! He was the most wonderful person I'd met. I felt differently about him than any guy I'd dated. It was INCREDIBLY painful for me, and I'm not sure I could have found another guy who would have been able to put up with the tears and the almost two week of trying without being able to actually DO anything >.>

TheFerret's picture

Devotee

Which I did confirm w/ the OB, recently, btw. Being with one guy every and for 15 years now means no PAPs for me until I just darn well think I needs one (read: never again)!!! YAY YAY YAY!!!! (gloating will continue every time I remember that convo!)

Vandole's picture

Postulant

I'm planning on waiting for love & readiness, but I have a tendency to flipflop between irresponsible impetuousness and avoidant neurosis so it might not actually happen like that. I'm certainly eager, but I have a bit of a social anxiety problem so I'm not exactly sure when I'll be ready to enter a relationship again. (My last relationship actually kind of blindsided me. I had a rather unsubtle crush on her and she had an equally unsubtle crush on me that I had dismissed as being cuddly with friends. Unfortunately, she ended up choosing to reconcile with her ex instead of pursuing our relationship).

Marriage is more about ease of living and legal rights to me, and joint ownership of property. If you regard it as a permanent thing, it's also more ideal for raising kids. I don't plan on having any kids though. (They're cute little buggers, but they're tons of work and I don't trust myself to be a good father) To me, marriage comes naturally after sex since I view sex as an expression of love and marriage as a life-long promise.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

there's a chance you'll be an awesome father. Sir wasn't so sure about it, either, and he's awesome. But, you know, follow your bliss.

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

So if he thinks he'll be a good father, in actuality, he'll be horrible? ;P

MeiLin's picture

Most High

"if you think you're a horrible mother, you automatically aren't." Horrible mothers never think they're horrible. I don't know that the reverse applies--if you think you're awesome, you're not.

GreenGlass's picture

Supplicant

Did you still want more responses?

V's picture

Embodiment

We'd like to hear it. This isn't a bunch of people clustering around The Disquieted Pen shouting advice...it's a community conversation that has quickly evolved from the initial request. With the magic of the interwebs, it will also last as a resource for others who have the same question but might be too shy to start the subject. So please, share your thoughts Smile

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

it's FUN.

"be good. If you can't be good, be safe. If you can't be safe, name it after meeee!"
"If you can't be good, be good at it."

Velvetackbar's picture

Most High

Paisleigh wrote:

"First there is the "loose morals" approach to sex- Any one, every one, whatever.- Not the road I would suggest but hey whatever."

erm...this has nothing to do with morals. Morality is about right and wrong, not about sex. I am not recommending that anyone do anything *wrong.* Wrong is murder, stealing, talking in movie theaters. I am recommending that they fuck other people, if that is what they wish. This is never a wrong behavior, provided everyone is comfortable and happy doing it. No more so than breathing is wrong, or eating a great meal.

Sex is an exceptionally fun biological process. No, it isn't devoid of emotion. But it doesn't have to be all about emotion, either. Sometimes a cigar is just a...dildo. Wink

On a side note (not directed as Paisleigh specifically:)

What I find MOST fascinating about this conversation, tho, is that it is very very heterosexually oriented. Waiting until marriage only works if you *can* get married. I didn't have that luxury when I was gay, and only found that luxury in bisexuality due to the fact that I happened to fall in love with a woman.

Does this mean that those who's desire is directed at the same sex must remain forever chaste?

If you want my overarching take on this:

The ultimate expression of love isn't sex.

The ultimate expression of love is staying by the side of your partner, and making them laugh when they are dying in a hospital. The ultimate expression of love is making sure that a coffee is had in the morning, and a kiss is always there at night. The ultimate expression of love is staying with your partner even after they are crippled and unable to give you the physical intimacy they once did, or staying with someone after their face is disfigured in a burn accident. The ultimate expression of love is making your lover hurt from laughing. In bed. Naked. While not even touching each other.

Sex? Its just a fun thing to do between consenting adults. It just happens to be that much *more* fun when you love your partner(s).

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

To respond to a specific question... "Does this mean that those who's desire is directed at the same sex must remain forever chaste?"

Nope! It means we need to legalize homosexual marriage! Then we can make gays suffer premarital restraints too ;-D

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

What I find MOST fascinating about this conversation, tho, is that it is very very heterosexually oriented. Waiting until marriage only works if you *can* get married. I didn't have that luxury when I was gay, and only found that luxury in bisexuality due to the fact that I happened to fall in love with a woman.

Does this mean that those who's desire is directed at the same sex must remain forever chaste?

Given that between 90% and 97% of the population are more or less heterosexual, depending on whom you ask, I don't find it fascinating so much as The Expected Thing. Besides, I certainly do get the impression that many of those who ardently advocate waiting until marriage for everyone would indeed prefer those whose desire is directed at the same sex to remain forever chaste (and in the closet).

I find waiting until marriage to be wrongheaded on very many levels, one of which is the inability for some to marry those they love, be that because it's the wrong gender or the wrong number or whatever. My own position is pretty much a mix of yours and kawaiikune's: Don't necessarily wait for love (although it does tend to make things better) or marriage, definitely wait until you're ready to deal with the possible consequences and be sure to know what those consequences are as well as the risks/probabilities associated with them. Make damn sure everyone consents, then have fun.

Paisleigh's picture

Devotee

Thank you for pointing that one out to me. It was the only phrase that I could think of at. . . whatever forsaken hour of dawn I was writing that at. >.

And while I'm here I might as well agree with you on your statement that sex is a fun biological process and that it is not the ultimate expression of love.

Thanks for pointing out my. . .ummm error in "phrase-ology" (I thinks thats the word they used in The Music Man Smile )

(edit- forgot a letter >.

thedisquietedpen's picture

Postulant

I haz wun!

"The ultimate expression of love isn't sex.

The ultimate expression of love is staying by the side of your partner, and making them laugh when they are dying in a hospital. The ultimate expression of love is making sure that a coffee is had in the morning, and a kiss is always there at night. The ultimate expression of love is staying with your partner even after they are crippled and unable to give you the physical intimacy they once did, or staying with someone after their face is disfigured in a burn accident. The ultimate expression of love is making your lover hurt from laughing. In bed. Naked. While not even touching each other."

Thanks you!

Andrea's picture

Supplicant

"What I find MOST fascinating about this conversation, tho, is that it is very very heterosexually oriented. Waiting until marriage only works if you *can* get married. I didn't have that luxury when I was gay, and only found that luxury in bisexuality due to the fact that I happened to fall in love with a woman.

"Does this mean that those who's desire is directed at the same sex must remain forever chaste?"

I noticed that too. I basically consider "official hetero marriage" to be no different than two homosexual people deciding they want to be together forever, and I'm sure that most of the comments are applicable to homosexual couples if you read "waiting for marriage" as being "waiting for a real and true commitment to more than just 'going steady.'" If there's a homosexual couple that decides to save themselves until they're sure they want to stay together forever, that's the same thing as waiting until marriage. Should they wait until then? Only if that's what feels right to them.

That's actually why I asked how we're defining virginity. I mean, it's not really fair to lesbians if we consider penetration the only way to lose your virginity! Wink

Lis's picture

So, I didn't keep up with this thread because it got a bit long, but I'm so glad I came back. Thank you for that definition of love, you've managed to say something perfectly that I've only ever been able to incoherently mangle and mutter. Going to go grab my friend and re-open a past conversation....

Slagar's picture

Devotee

Sir seems to have my back on this one (or vice versa, he was here first).

I lost my virginity shortly after my 16th birthday, and, while I've only ever actually fucked a handful of girls (I use that term becuase I hate euphemisms with a passion), I've rarely turned down the opportunity to enjoy a night (or morning, or afternoon) with willing (female) company for lesser pleasures (excepting the times I've wound up in committed relationships). Sex isn't about love, it's about sex. Love is about love. Rubbing someone's shoulders after a long day is a greater demonstration of love than just putting your penis in someone. That's not to say sex can't be an expression of love, if it's meant to be, but only if that's how it's meant.

Love is about caring, devotion, about back rubs and breakfast in bed. Sex is about shared physical pleasure. I really do wish more people saw it this way, but I'll settle for stubbornly insisting I'm right. Wink

blwinteler's picture

Supplicant

I lost my virginity 2 weeks after turning 16. I remember the date (July 13, 1994), what I was wearing (before, not during Wink ) and how awkward it was. Mainly because I was expecting my mom to call, so had to answer the phone when it rang. It was across the room for the first call. I moved it closer so that I could get it easily if it rang again. It did. It was my very Christian good girl friend letting me know she wouldn't be at rehearsal (we were in a play together at that time). She heard me sounding out of breath and said "oh, are you busy now?" "umm. . . sort of."
Our second time was in an alley behind the bowling alley. Uncomfortable, but amazing. I guess that is when I started to discover that I'm an exhibitionist.
He moved away a few months later. About 8 months after that, I was at a party and met an amazing Australian guy. That was my first fling. OMG he was incredible! We still keep in touch. He just got married.
Ok, so, over the next 3 years, I was with somewhere around 20 men and fooled around a bit with one woman (my best friend).
Now, I am married. I'm married to the man I lost my virginity to. He has only been with one other woman. There is definitely something to be said about experience. Which I think is my whole point in telling you all so much. My husband has learned all he knows from me. Sure, I've learned a lot from the men I've been with, but I really miss the variety of different lovers. Don't get me wrong, I do love him very much. I have since before we were even dating. And we do have great sex. But he has a lot to learn. I actually think that it would be great if he was to be with another woman (with my knowledge, it wouldn't really be an issue). I have no problems with polyamory. It is certainly possible to love more than one person and in more than one way. I will say honestly that I have had some sense of love for most of the people I've been with, even the one night flings. I am still in touch with a few. But it was a different love than I have for my husband.
Anyway, that was a long way to say that for me, I am glad I had sex when I did and with the people I did. I learned a lot about myself and about others. I had an intimate connection with people that I will never forget, and some great memories. I know it isn't for everyone, and that is fine. Everyone has the right to make their own decisions about their lives, whatever the result may be, good or bad. Just be sure it is what you want and then you can look back without regret.

MsGamgee's picture

Embodiment

I lost my virginity under complicated circumstances about two months before I turned 18, and it was the best decision I think I've made, other than "don't screw up in school and go to the best college you can afford." We were both virgins, and we were both very ready. Almost two years later, we're still together, still monogamous, and still having what seems to me to be really, really good sex. The only thing that I DO regret is the fact that we were both incredibly foolish and birth control of ANY sort was painfully lacking, but the Powers that Be were merciful indeed and no ill came of it, despite the notorious craptitude of the withdrawal method.

The thing I have to say, however, is that we are both VERY mature for our age, in all honesty. I've been "old" since I was five years old, and it's only gotten more pronounced as I actually do mature. I think about the possible consequences of everything I do, from start to finish, and it's thus far served me well. Will I maybe change my opinions on the situation of the relationship ceases to work? I don't think so. Having dating a VERY conservative mormon who dealt with truckloads of religious guilt if my tongue even managed to make it into his mouth, I've seen the extreme of that side and I don't like it. But I also went to a school where we had 9 pregnant girls in my class senior year, so that side of the equation isn't appetizing either.

Honestly, as EVERYONE else has basically said... do what feels right to you. If you can look at the person and honestly say, "I trust you, and I want to remember being with you forever, no matter what happens in the future," then maybe sex is right for you now. If you can't, or you're not sure, then you should wait. Just follow your own inclinations, and tell everyone else and their opinions to suck it. Blum 3

Nye's picture

Supplicant

As always, Your Mileage May Vary:

I was raised in a hyper-Christian environment of the almost cult-like variety. Baptist school, Baptist church, chapel and Bible class every day, at church for something at least 3 nights a week and most of the weekend. Really, all I got from role models was "DON'T!!!!" No sex ed, no discussion, really sad explanations as to why.

Being an intelligent, mature younger person who had 5 working senses and a functioning brain, I managed to figure out the basics and make my own decisions. I'd never dated. I'd fooled around some with a classmate in the brief minutes we weren't under direct supervision. I wasn't (and still am not) an emotional person. I wanted experience, I wanted to get on with my life, and I didn't know if a boyfriend or husband would fit into that long-term. So, as soon as I went off to college I found a likely candidate, and I had sex with him. I was a couple months shy of 18. He didn't know he was my first. It was reasonably good, and I was pretty darn good at it. We continued enjoying each other off and on for awhile, and I was pretty satisfied all around.

The following summer and well into my sophomore year I learned about the relationship thing with someone else. That was a learning experience on so very many levels. I learned from my mistakes, though, and did not repeat them in the future. After that, I went on with what most would consider a reasonably "normal" sex and dating life for a college student.

I found my relationship and sexual identities, explored, enjoyed, etc. I found out other people were kinky in the way I was, and it was called BDSM. I enjoyed polyamorous relationships before knowing what the heck polyamory was. I learned that others had the same ideas that I did and how to tell the stable ones from the not-so-stable. I learned how to explain these things to others and answer their questions without freaking out the norms too much.

I'm not promiscuous, but I enjoy physical relationships, sexual or otherwise. More often than not, I'm not emotionally involved with others beyond a friendship. Those I've been most emotionally attracted to just don't work out as relationships, though they've been some of my longest and most dear friends. If I felt the need to be in love with someone I had sex with? I would be a very unsatisfied and unhappy person.

I never would have figured out a lot about myself if I waited for marriage. I wouldn't have the confidence and openness that I do. Hell, I wouldn't have the depth and breadth of knowledge that I do now.

For me? I wouldn't change a thing that I did with the opportunities I had.

NuanaIvy's picture

Devotee

I wanted to wait, as I was raised in a Christian household, and told that's what you do. In high school, my first boyfriend also wanted to wait, but as we spent more and more time together (after 3 more years) and getting engaged (yes, at 16, I was engaged), we decided it was time. We used protection (the pill and condom), and I had sex for the first time at 18. Well, we're married now, and have been together all this time. I'm 25 now, and do not regret having sex with him. I believe this is a special circumstance. I fully support people who want to wait until marriage, and those who don't. I just want people to be ready and using protection. I was and am in love, and I wish that for people who want it, but after some time, I've realized that it's not necessary.

GreenGlass's picture

Supplicant

To be honest, I wanted to talk initially, but I didn't know what to say. This thread is very valuable, but I am very sure that most of the comments do NOT apply to me. There are a few people who have talked about waiting for marriage, and I am glad for it. But of course, the opinions that stick out to me here are the one's I expected and used to fear. I used to fear them because they were so threatening and terrible for me to contemplate. I used to think the world was full of people who had sex whenever they wanted and that people who wanted to wait for marriage were going extinct. I knew there were people in the world who waited for marriage, but they seemed so much more traditional, unrealistic, out of touch, or in denial. I didn't know how I could figure out this sex thing, because I very much wanted an outlet for my sex drive, but I very much wanted it to be with one person.

My Story: The specific question was, did you wait? Technically, I didn't wait for marriage, but I sort of think I did wait for my one person according to my own commitment decision. Why? What happened was that as important as other aspects of life are to me, a lot of my drive was centered on finding a soul mate, as ridiculous as that sounds to me now (even though I in no way think loving one person is ridiculous =P). What happened is that i was lucky enough to find the person I wanted to marry long enough to hang on to my "virginity." I fooled around (no penis penetration but oral sex) with my first serious boyfriend and after some time in college of being single, pursuing and being pursued, but ending up no where, I met the man who is now my husband. I was sorry I went as far as I did with Boy1 because "I thought he might be the one," but I wasn't broken up over it. I wasn't broken over it, which I think I would have been if we had gone further at the time. I was proud that initially Future Husband and I stuck to making out passionately and didn't get under each others clothes, but as we became closer, the physical relationship eventually progressed again. Finally, months after my friends had dated and slept with their first boyfriends, I decided I was ready (but forgot to tell my boyfriend, though we had talked about "what ifs." Hah. So, as weird as that beginning was...). As strange a journey as sex has been for me at times, I don't regret it, and I wouldn't give it up. On the other hand I am very very glad that I did not have more experience than I already did.

My Perspective: I am glad because I like the idea of my vagina fitting one penis. Yes, it will be stretched out over time, but for some reason that bothers me much less if it's happening with one person. I am glad that I am learning with one person, as every person is different, and I am enjoying depth, not breadth. I have a hard time personally, with wanting to conquer everything, and so I cope with life much better when I'm devoted to one better defined and limited task, or in this case, one person. I don't think I would be able to handle multi-faceted romantic relationships because the one I have is already so challenging! I'm glad I did not have more sex because I think I would make it into a lot of issues for myself. I'm glad because I think sex would be disgusting with someone I didn't love... I enjoy the feel, the tastes, the sounds, the smells, but I can't even imagine them pleasurably outside of my context. In other words I cannot imagine me enjoying sex with other people, if only because the idea of sex with other people is still so wrong, yes wrong, for me. No matter how attractive a male may be to me as a heterosexual female, if it comes down to his penis and balls, to touching them in any way, I am thoroughly not interested and even repulsed. Gross! And I like men and I like penis! But only, apparently, my husband's penis. I can watch other people enjoying other penis, but I cannot think of the penis I am watching as desirable by me.

My Explanation: I am serious about what I said above, I truly feel this way about sex, very strongly, and very personally, in a way that cannot really be argued with, even though it has been challenged at times by outside perspectives. What I am describing is not religious, as these feelings have remained while my religion has failed. I truly believe I have a monogamous personality, more than only evolutionary predisposition or environmental pressure. More important, even, than basic instincts that make up my sexual drive, as I was often extremely conflicted and grieved about my desires and behaviors even though I enjoyed sexual pleasure with my boyfriends (all two of them IRL, lol). This made more sense to me when I learned about the different personality types according to the Myers-Briggs model. I learned that "Artisan" types can truly experience sex as just sex, and that it is not done with malicious intent or carelessness or selfishness or whatever. It just is. I then could accept that the types of people and relationships that threatened me so much could be valid, even though they were not mine. I could accept "Guardian" types as sexually inclined to do whatever was expected of them, and "Artisan" types as inclined to do whatever was good for the moment, and "Rational" types as inclined to do whatever was logical. I am an "Idealist" type. Love is a big deal to other people like me, and sex is not separable from love somehow. I don't know how. It just isn't, ok? Even if it's a big symbol of something that doesn't turn out as perfect as I imagined, it doesn't lessen the sacredness of sex for me. Sex has to be sacred to me to keep all the good things about it. Without sex being sacred somehow (which to me means protected within the bounds of a monogamous relationship as special, meaningful, and exclusive) it can't hold joy for me. If I had any other kind of sex, it would be an awful experience for me. Because I believe that it is. Because it IS, in my mind. Maybe it isn't for a bunch of the members who posted here, but for me it is. And I'm finally trying to put that into words.

I'm trying to put it into words because I think people like me are rare, but that they take these things seriously. We take sex seriously, love seriously, and other people's opinions and ideas seriously. When I first came across the concept of polyamoury (sp?) as a young teen and began to look at it as something that was not wrong, just another way of doing things, it challenged my thinking. I had to understand it somehow, because it messed with me, it made no sense to me, it scared me and made me sick and angry and I couldn't figure out why or tone down the intensity of my feelings. This happened for years! I even faced some of the leftovers of that here in this community, challenging myself to engage with others on the topic and face a community that would have terrified me a few years before. So maybe my reactions were twisted and crazy. But just by other people existing and being brave enough to say that loving more than one person sexually is okay (in any way, serial relationships, cheating, consensual sex outside marriage, whatever), I questioned myself and what was framed as my selfishness. Places that make it safe to be polygamous suddenly (without trying in the slightest) made it very unsafe for me to be monogamous, because my idealism kept piping up and saying, "But isn't the ultimate expression of unconditional love to love everyone? How could anything be wrong about sharing physical pleasure and love with other people?"

But everything can be defined as selfish if you just think about it long enough. There isn't a lot of meaning to that idea unless you go to extremes. I've finally figured out that for me, what I am doing and what I have done have been very important to my well being. I can desire self-growth without needing to push every single one of my boundaries. If I did that how could maintain a hold of my identity! In this area, I think I would make a horrible lover to more than one person, even if I got past all the sex issues, because of my romantic relationship dynamics. I need a lot of attention and adoration and loyalty from one person because I give a lot of those things naturally to one person. It's a beautiful thing in practice, but also it's just the way I work. I look forward to seeing how these aspects of myself will develop.

This is a really long answer, all to say what I really want to say. Because everyone is so different, the good answer across the board is "Do what you want to do!" And that implies, yes, even have sex before marriage, if you want to, if you're ready. But it doesn't imply, "Yes, even if that means struggling with your sexual desires and how young you will get married." Because waiting for sex is hard. I think if you have a sex drive at all, it's tempting, and if you have one that would like to get busy as soon as possible, then it's really hard. People tell you "yeah, but it's worth it," or "yeah, you can resist," but it's actually really complicated and to circumvent natural progression you have to really try to do so (in my experience). But guess what? I would always have wondered if I didn't try first! I respect myself so much more because I struggled with this and managed to put off penetration until I was ready (as in actively working towards) to marry the man penetrating me. And whatever the ritual, what mattered about it was the personal level of commitment I had reached and was throwing into the relationship, not the word "marriage." "Marriage" is just the general word that labels what I'm creating and redefining every day with another person. Sex followed because I gave everything of myself to this one person. It was a big deal to me. I can handle the complexities of life better because I did things this way. I don't know if this post is at all successful or clear. What I do know is that it is way too long.

An Artisan shouldn't be ashamed of being an Artisan. But we Idealists should not be ashamed of being Idealists either!

Marri's picture

Supplicant

I'm impressed Smile I'm personally a polygamous personality and I have no complaints with my lifestyle, but monogamy takes a lot of strength of will (which to be honest I have little of) so I greatly respect those who do have it.

One question I do have: do you think it's possible for an Idealist to be with a non Idealist- more specifically, someone less vehement about monogamy, saving oneself towards marriage, etc- and make it work? I admit to some personal interest, since that describes me and my ex, but also just sort of general interest.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

Possible? Yes. Easy? Not as likely. I agree with a lot of what was said above, although I'm not sure if it all applies to me. Since my husband was a virgin until I got a hold of him, sex wasn't the problem.

The problem for me was, and is, alcohol. I am an old fashioned prohibitionist. If alcohol never again existed on this planet, I would dance with joy and relief. In abstract, I don't mind if others drink. Heck, I went to boozy college parties (even joined a frat!) and most people don't know that I'm so profoundly against alcohol even if they've offered me a drink I've turned down. My husband, however, has a more typical mainstream American view of alcohol. My problem is that for any other person on the planet, I'm not terribly upset if they drink. I might not like, it might even bother me some, but I'll deal. My husband's drinking (while he was 'just' my boyfriend and we were both in college)? I flipped out on him on more than one occasion because it upset me so deeply as a direct corollary of how much I cared about him. The poor boy was a model of sobriety compared to a lot of college guys, but yeah. Any much was too much for me to handle.

Eventually we worked out a compromise that seems obvious now, but was still a big deal for me to accept, even knowing how selfish/unfair/restrictive most other people would probably think I was being. He doesn't drink around me ever and almost never even when I'm not there - the exceptions are significant occasions such as when his college track team came back from making it to the national competition, a friend's wedding toasts, his bachelor party, those kinds of events. And he knows that any time I can smell alcohol on him, he isn't getting kisses or loving until it's gone - he'll be lucky to even get close enough for a hug. In return, I don't flip out at him with big teary arguments or pile on the guilt, etc. (I'm so nervous, I'm sure you all will think that even this is still horribly unfair of me, but it's hard to explain short of writing a novel about what it's like to grow up/live in my skin). After years of dating and a half a year of marriage, so far the compromise works and looks like it will do so for the foreseeable future.

Sort of a tangential example, but I hope it explains my point. Someone who has very narrow, very dear-to-them expectations like your Idealist *can* get along with someone who is several degrees more liberal in whatever relevant area (sex/relationships/alcohol/children), but it requires communicating calmly, compromising, and patience with each other. The special challenge with sex is that it takes two to tango, but even then there's still enough room for compromise that you probably can find a solution if you both really want to make it work between you two (for whatever you two end up defining as "working").

MeiLin's picture

Most High

that you're the adult child of an alcoholic or two. no?

I've been sober more than 20 years, Sir almost as long despite our age difference. I miss the flavor of alcohol but not the buzz; I really hate even accidental buzzes now.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

Actually, no. As I grew up I did gradually become aware that there was alcoholism in my extended family, so yeah that's probably some of it, but it was never a major/immediate factor in my life. Some of it is just me being a quirky, stubborn little gal. I absolutely hate feeling out-of-control and I dislike in the extreme loud, obnoxious jerks. Alcohol produces both. And... I'll leave it at that for now because it gets rant-y from there.

Many, many congratulations to you and Sir on ~20 years! The social pressure alone to drink is ridiculously HUGE, I can only imagine how challenging it's been for you. Congrats again Smile

MeiLin's picture

Most High

The first year it was horrendously hard--the pressure, that is. The next five years less so but still there. Now, not at all. I don't even think about it, and so many people don't drink now at times for whatever reason--most people who don't know me assume I'm dieting--that it's just not the issue it was 20 years ago.

Andrea's picture

Supplicant

I'm somewhere in between Idealist and Artisan, and my boyfriend is totally an Idealist when it comes to monogamy. I'm maybe 90% on the same page as him, but every now and then I wish I could hook up with someone just for the heck of it - not to the point where I would ever cheat on him, but I do sometimes wish I'd had a chance to explore that kind of thing before I found "the one." We work, but only in the sense that he knows that I have another side of me that's curious about other people in a purely physical way. I pretty much suppress that part of myself because I know that as far as the emotional aspect of things, I could never handle anything but monogamy. In every other way we're a perfect match, and I don't think that my experimental polyamorous side would bring anything but trouble and heartbreak if I ever made it a reality... so I exaggerate the Idealist bits of myself because I think that will be better for us, both individually and as a couple, in the long run. What were you and your ex like?

Marri's picture

Supplicant

I was also extremely curious about other people- we started dating at 14, so I had zero experience with other people- and we'd had an open relationship (in that we'd kissed other people while he was in Beijing and I was at home) before and survived it. So I sort of pressured him into it again when we went to colleges on different coasts >.> I know I really shouldn't've, and a lot of it's my fault, but he was also so completely dependent on me that he would assure me he really DID want me to go experiment even when (as I discovered much later and with much anger) he was flipping shit about it and not telling me. Unsurprisingly, this ended not as well as it could've. A lot better than I expected, given the levels of emotional dependence and his history of depression and suicide attempts, but I still sit around sometimes wondering if it could've worked if I'd handled it better.

MeiLin's picture
GreenGlass's picture

Supplicant

Aww. That's sad. Sexual issues are not really separable from other relational issues, so in this case those were what really needed addressing. Maybe you could have, but probably for the purpose of ending the relationship in a better way, not necessarily forcing the relationship to work for the rest of your lives. The only more beneficial outcome might have been coming to a greater acceptance of the fact that the relationship wasn't going to work out. But life doesn't work out so neatly. As long as he survived it, you really shouldn't be torturing yourself about such a difficult situation. It happened. All we can do about our past is learn from it.

GreenGlass's picture

Supplicant

Yes and no. In terms of personality types because I am almost convinced that my husband would have come to the same conclusion on his own and he's a "Rational" personality type. Despite trauma that occurred during our relationship, his previous relationship was one in which he could easily have tried polygamous relationships and he decided against it both then and now.

But in that sense he did claim his own sort of "idealistic" viewpoint. So unfortunately, I cannot help you with any direct experience on this one. Anything I say is guess work, and I wanted to declare that right off the bat.

WARNING: What follows is not concise. I cannot condense well! I am basically saying what someone already said about the degree of the difference, only with more words! >.

My hypothesis about this is the same as my hypothesis on marriage between people of different religions and basically any dividing topic that is blamed for breaking up marriages or deeply significant relationships. It is very possible, but only if both (rarely does it work with only one) people work hard on the solution.

To do that, you have to see a solution as being possible. If one person comes to the conclusion that there is just no way to make some dissonant problem work, then it won't. They may be using it as their ultimatum because they actually do want out of the relationship, or they may just be too distressed about the topic to imagine the relationship being successful, but if there is no belief in a solution, then there is no solution.

The less strongly each person feels about a topic, the easier it is to compromise about it. This is just common sense. For example, with religion, if one person is a semi-practicing jew and one a semi practicing Christian, or whatever, it is possible for the to stress the commanalities in their beliefs and maybe even find a way to develop their own traditions and ways of worshiping together. No, it is not the easy route, since they will no longer fit nicely into one or the other religion, but the relationship is more important. If, however, a person is strongly religious and has very strong beliefs and feelings about how things should be and be done and be thought, then the only hope is that the other person will NOT have strong feelings against this perspective and be able to satisfy the requirements the strongly feeling partner feels are necessary. If those requirements include changing the way their partner thinks so that they agree on something completely, then... that is extreme and unrealistic. People may desire to change the ways other human beings think, but it is not something that works out very well in the real world and is often seen as destructive when trying at the same time to cherish and love who your partner is. If some person really believes that their partner needs to believe certain things exactly as he or she does, then they need to go out and try to find someone who already does, not transform the person they happen to be with.

Same thing with sexual compromise. The more strongly a person feels about an issue, the harder it will be for them to work things out with someone who does not see things their way. It's about conviction and passion for a belief/perspective (including beliefs about behaviors). A person who is only monogamous because that is what his past partners preferred has a much better chance at working out an understanding with a polygamist than a person who is monogamous because they feel that are better off that way (more comfortable, happier, safer, less scared, less threatened and jealous, whatever).

This does not make strong feelings bad, but people need to accept the facts of life in my opinion. When you come across something you feel strongly about, you need to grapple with it until you can live with it somehow. These things often come up in relationships. Sad I don't think it's a matter of sucking it up and putting the relationship first. This isn't entirely about having the right priorities. These kinds of issues DO matter to a relationship. Strong beliefs change the atmosphere of interaction and even trust. They have to be dealt with. The more flexible people can be about their beliefs, the more likely they are to find compromises that are rewarding. Everyone needs a worldview and opinions about what is important in life. But the more willing you are to allow other people their own worldview and opinions, the more you will be able to create something good out of your differences.

For instance, that may actually have been openning up a more daring and exciting sex life then I would have previously imagined. Very rewarding. Wink

Katie's picture

Embodiment

Thank you for sharing that! I share your perspective. As far as fellas that aren't my hubby go, I can appreciate a good looking guy much the same way I appreciate a good looking woman (I'm very straight) but there's zero chance of me bedding someone other than my spouse. Doesn't really have anything to do with morals or religion, it's just the way I am.

GreenGlass's picture

Supplicant

That is exactly why I tried to write that very difficult and long in developing post!!! Joy is mine!

Stormy's picture

Supplicant

It's very interesting and educational for me, as a polyamorous person, to read the accounts of those who are naturally inclined to monogamy yet who felt (and maybe still feel) that the society I view as supporting them actually pressured them to be other than they are. Not that I assume monogamous relationships are easy--all relationships take work--but I thought having the relationship style the society approves of would take a bit of the edge off. Apparently not Sad

OTOH, I can totally see where you are coming from feeling pressure to not wait until marriage. There are conflicting messages about that all over the place, what with the churches (and even government) saying "wait wait!" while our media keep sexualizing kids (especially girls) at younger ages.

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

about the whole question of ages and marriage and such, is that the average age to marry is much later than it was even fifteen years ago, and girls really WERE having sex at 12 some six hundred years ago.
Pah! Men. I hate men! (Get it? See what I did there? Musical reference? Eh? ehhhh??? Wink )

Sheyona's picture

Well I waited until i was 20. I am now married to the person who i gave my virginity to which was an issue of it's own. I can understand people who are poly by nature much as i can understand people who are bi, but i am neither.
I chose to wait until i found somone who i could trust with myself. I am typically a very private person (at least in RL) and very unlikely to speak up about stuff. My husband is one of the most gentlemanly people i know and he was rather surprised when i asked him to take it. It took several tries over more than three days and was painful, and this was after we had done everything we could think of for it.
I feel comfort in knowing that my trust in him was a good choice. it's been over five years since that event and we've been married for a year +. I don't regret waiting. But i also know that what works for me is not neccesarily going to work for others. Life is always a personal choice in what you do with it. I made the personal choice to wait, my husband made the personal choice to not wait, It made no difference to my love of him.

RandomScientist's picture

I guess I'm pretty far on the "wait" side of the scale, in comparison to most of this group. My husband and I intended to wait until marriage then reconsidered and began having sex during the last few months of our engagement. The commitment had been made, waiting for "the night" seemed arbitrary, and a deliberate decision to start having sex avoided the risk of a heat-of-the-moment decision for which we weren't prepared (ie we planned ahead and got condoms).

While we are both relatively religious, I wouldn't say that this had much to do with my decision to wait. In a lot of ways, I identify with GreenGlass's statements above: I'm evolutionarily built for monogamy. I've never found any appeal to sexual contact outside of a committed relationship and never really felt physical attraction that wasn't based on a strong emotional connection. For years (until I was in my early 20s), I really didn't understand the concept of physical desire, probably because I'd never been involved with anyone I trusted enough to relax and feel safe with. I'd only kissed four men before my husband, one of whom I dated for several years and one of whom told me immediately afterwards that he's gay. (First and last time I initiated a first kiss with someone I was interested in...)

Anyway, my disinclination towards pre-marital sex is not a moral judgement, just the way I'm wired. And honestly, in this hyper-sexualized society, I've always felt like there was something wrong with me for not lusting over strangers or acquaintances or being interested in casual sexual interactions.

One of the things I find amazing about this community is that it can be a non-threatening place for people to discuss topics like this, knowing that most people feel very differently but won't judge or condemn. So, thanks MeiLin, for letting us share your little soapbox here.

GreenGlass's picture

Supplicant

I may be monagamous, but I must admit, I was very eager to love. I discovered masturbation at... 4 or 5 I think. Oh how I wished I didn't understand the concept of physical desire. It was never exactly focused on a person, (because I was not successful in having romantic relationships until young adulthood), yeah the emotional desire was, but all throughout childhood I was sexually oriented in general, even as I was artistically or intellectually oriented or whatever.

But I couldn't DO much about it! I always wondered if people like you really existed! You and people like you must have often stayed virgins because it was natural to do so until much later! Lucky you! ^_^ That's so cool.

RandomScientist's picture

Petitioner

Didn't mean to sound like I was putting words in your mouth or thinking that you felt exactly the same way I do. (Can any two people really approach sex and related issues in -exactly- the same way, anyway?) I just meant that your comments kind of struck a chord and prompted me to offer my input since I wouldn't feel completely out of left field.

So, um, yes, I do exist. I think you're right that it was easier for me to stay a virgin until I was completely ready. I won't say that always made things easy in my relationships, though. My first serious boyfriend joined a frat in college and started pushing me for greater physical intimacy so he could keep up with his frat brothers. It was really difficult for me because I'd convinced myself I loved him, so I let myself get talked into things I wasn't comfortable with. It was pretty minor as far as sexual contact goes, but it was still more than I really wanted. After we broke up, his frat nicknamed me an Ice Princess, and I pretty much decided I was never going to understand physical desire. To the extent that I tried to convince a gay friend that we should make a relationship work because I'd never felt so emotionally close to anyone else and was completely willing to live without a physical relationsihp. Turns out he wasn't.

The happy ending to all of this is that it all changed once I found the man who is now my husband. I realized that what I had been missing was trust. I suspect I still have a much lower sex drive than most women, but at least I understand the concept now.

Why am I sharing all of this? I suppose because it's rare to have a forum where I can comfortably do so, since I've always felt like something of a freak for not getting the concept of lust. Also, at least GG seemed interested in my outlier data point, so I thought I'd elaborate a bit more.

GreenGlass's picture

Supplicant

I really enjoyed hearing it. ^_^

That is exactly the kind of thing waiting people will run into, and I guess that's why the people I've talked to who act like it's an easy, obvious thing to stay a virgin really didn't seem real to me. I couldn't stand to be or be thought of as "cold," so I went further than my conscience was happy with as well. I came to terms with it as many humans do to survive; learn, accept that you can't change the past, focus on the future. But it isn't coldness. That's just a manipulative term. Dang, humanity can be so hard on anything different! Even though I know this, when faced with it, the carelessness displayed never ceases to stun me.

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