Premarital Sex: It Can Actually be a Good Thing

Photo courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A lot has happened since my last post. My boyfriend, who I’ve mentioned in previous posts, is now my fiance. He proposed a few days before our college graduation.

After the announcement, my mother took me aside the next day to talk to me about sex as she sometimes does in the hopes of influencing me in that area. She said, “I hope you’ll continue with your previous promise to wait until marriage.” (A decision I’ve discussed in a previous post, and which I made under a lot of peer pressure.) She added, “I know you know who you’re going to marry now, but it’s really meant for marriage, and diseases can still spread.”

I didn’t argue, but I found it telling that her only argument in support of restricting sex to marriage was to avoid STIs. While that argument does have some merit for most people, when you’re engaged, it’s not as strong. Sure, people do sometimes call off engagements–but not frequently. More likely than not, two engaged people having sex are already monogamous, at least in this culture, and will continue that monogamy into their marriage. Ultimately, maintaining monogamy is what limits the spread of STIs when one waits until marriage, not the contract itself. The marriage contract is just a legal document. It’s not a condom.

That conversation with my mother reminded me of a fact that I would never have believed when I started college: I’m glad I didn’t wait to have sex,  mainly because of how difficult and even painful the first time really is for many girls–including me.

For this post, I’ll be sticking to a discussion of vaginal intercourse because that’s the type of sex that Catholics consider to be acceptable in marriage, since it can lead to babies.

If you don’t want to read about vaginal sex in detail, skip the next paragraph.

Vaginal sex can hurt a great deal the first time for many women, but it can also hurt the second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. You probably know all about hymens and how they need to be stretched (not popped–that’s a myth!) the first time. What not everyone knows is that for some women, it can take more than just the first time to stretch that darn thing. I did my research, so I went into it with some preparation, and it still hurt really badly for me. It wasn’t an issue of the other usual problems either. We were very thorough. We used plenty of lube, and foreplay, and went very slowly. It sometimes felt like someone was stabbing me down there. It took many tries on different occasions for the pain to finally subside to the point where he could stay in there for more than a minute. I made myself do it because I knew it was supposed to get better, but sex was varying levels of pain for the first month or two. We couldn’t even focus on figuring out how to make it feel good until the pain was out of the way, and that later task took some time too.

My reason for going into so much detail is to establish the length of time it took for sex to start to feel good for me, and why that was the case. I’ve looked it up online, and while this is not the case for every woman, it is a fairly common complaint. It’s completely biological as far as I can tell, and in my case was definitely not due to just not being good at it. We knew what to do; we just couldn’t actually do it for a really long time without putting me in agonizing pain.

Waiting until marriage would not change that for me. I would still experience a great deal of terrible pain every time I had sex for the first however many times. If we’d waited and had a week long honeymoon, sex would most likely hurt me every single time we did it that week, and even when the pain had subsided, it still would not feel good for months afterwards while we tried to figure out what works. I can’t imagine spending my honeymoon like that. Frankly, who would want to?

Growing up, I was sold the idea that waiting until marriage makes your first time special, but I now realize that even if I had done that, I would still experience the intense pain and the incredible frustration my fiance and I felt at the time, just during our honeymoon instead of while we were dating. Trust me: pain is not romantic. It sucks.

The only thing that waiting until marriage would change is the situation in which we were having sex, not the biological factors of sex itself. I don’t want to spend my honeymoon in agony. I don’t want to walk out of the wedding reception nervous about going to bed with my husband. And thanks to that horrible, forbidden thing called premarital sex, I now know I don’t have to.

But what if it isn’t special, you say! What if having done it before takes away the novelty of it?

You know what else takes away the novelty of anything? Agonizing pain. We’ll find our own way of making it special when the time comes, but trust me, at least in my case, that novelty was completely overrated.

I feel bad for women who are built like me down there, who wait until marriage. They’ve been sold this image of a magical first time, but for them, it won’t be magical at all.

This is not to say that having premarital sex is for everyone. I support the right of all people to decide for themselves what to do with their bodies, and that includes waiting to have sex if they feel that’s best for them. If you don’t feel ready, don’t do it. If you really want to wait until marriage, then by all means, wait. But be advised that for many women, that first time is completely overrated. If you’re going to wait until marriage, make it an informed decision, just as your decision to engage in sex should also be.

What are your views on premarital sex? Feel free to leave a comment. Just be respectful and think things through before posting.

Happy thinking!

-Nancy

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14 thoughts on “Premarital Sex: It Can Actually be a Good Thing

  1. That marriage has anything to do with when sex begins for a person is a grotesque influence that religion has had on society. This influence has harmed more lives than anyone can count. Premarital sex is natural. Only self pious virgins would dare to tell us that it is bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on your engagement!

    On Mak’s blog we were having a discussion on Mother Teresa yesterday, about her staunch stance against birth control. Leave it to the child-free, unmarried virgins (that are the catholic clergy and nuns) to take up that debate. *sigh*

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    • Thanks so much!

      Sounds like a good discussion. Mother Teresa is a very interesting case. Catholics absolutely love her and in my experience don’t accept any negative comments about her, but as you pointed out, like many nuns she readily took a stance on something she knew little to nothing about, and acted accordingly. It’s really scary that there are Catholic service organizations going to countries with widespread AIDS for example, and telling people condoms are evil.

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  3. I not only think premarital sex is OK, I recommend it! It’s not just about your honeymoon being free of pain, it’s about your whole marriage. You’re committing to spend your whole life with this person, you should know whether you’re sexually compatible first. What if that one kink that turns him on most is something you find disgusting and unacceptable? What if one of you thinks twice a day at a minimum is the right frequency, but the other one would prefer once every two weeks at most? Do you have similar attitudes to masturbation and porn? You should figure this stuff out long before you consider saying “I do.” You wouldn’t buy a car without giving it a test drive, right? Why give your future sex life less consideration?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those are all great points, and I definitely agree. Frequency and kinks are kind of hard to establish through chaste discussion. To play devil’s advocate, I think at least some of those things can be established through verbal discussion–one’s attitude towards porn and masturbation for example–but a culture that forbids premarital sex makes those conversations pretty taboo too. I once told a Catholic friend that I didn’t think bikinis were immoral and immediately regretted my words. I can’t imagine what it would be like to tell a deeply religious, conservative future spouse, “Hey–I masturbate. Are you OK with that?”

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  4. I know I’m late to this but I saw your comment on another blog and was intrigued so I’ve been reading through some of your posts.

    I wanted to ask if you were really aroused and comfortable when having sex the first few times? The reason I ask is because nerves, or not being physiologically ready, is a reason why so many women have pain their first few times (and beyond). I am not doubting what you say but I’ve heard conflicting data on what causes the pain.

    For me it was uncomfortable (not painful though) the first time but got better. I can’t remember how long it took, but it wasn’t very long before it was great.

    I hear what you are saying about the premarital sex thing. I think having this big build up towards waiting till your wedding day can lead to major disappointment! So much pressure.

    And by the way, I had lots of premarital sex before I got married (with different people) and never got an STD. There may be compelling reasons to wait till marriage but that’s not one of them.

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    • Hey it’s totally fine. Thanks for your comment!

      At the time I wasn’t as good at knowing when I was fully aroused, but I had a general idea, and we did everything we could to get ourselves to that point. While I can’t say with 100% certainty that I was 100% aroused every time, it wasn’t for lack of foreplay or lube. We knew what to do; we certainly had a lot to learn from experience, but it hurt so many times on different days that I’m positive it was a matter of my hymen having an extremely tight opening. It’s pretty plausible. I hadn’t even used tampons before then (the one time I tried, I didn’t put it in far enough and it was extremely uncomfortable, so I gave up.)

      About the STDs, it’s incredible to me how many people preach against contraception, and simultaneously claim premarital sex always leads to STDs and pregnancy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was a tampon wearer and I think that helped me. It hurt like hell to wear tampons the first couple of years so I didn’t usually, but if i hadn’t I can imagine sex might have been much more painful! It’s just sad that there isn’t more education about this stuff and an appreciation about the range of normal and how to prepare for it. I am very happy that you are doing the right thing for you.😊

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      • That’s interesting. I wonder if wearing tampons beforehand would have helped me somewhat. And about sex ed, it’s interesting, I’ve found more helpful information about it on YouTube than anywhere else, which is not the first place I looked.

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  5. Hey Nancy,
    I think the main issue is the lack of convincing arguments when it comes to remaining chaste prior to marriage. I feel there does need to be more awareness of the power and impact of sex and why it is best reserved for marriage according to God. The lack of proper teaching and “don’t have sex or you are going to hell” style is just eroding the understanding of God’s design for sex.

    Speaking of your honeymoon experience – I believe Christians and people emphasis honeymoon too much, causing dissatisfaction when it comes to the reality. For me, it is part of the journey of marriage (heck if my honeymoon sex is the best of my life, that is depressing news for the rest of my life! haha) it’s part of the journey as you explore with one another, build intimacy and comfort.

    Here is my study on the different approaches, think it will be interesting for you 🙂 – https://jamesmoody12.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/premarital-sex/

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts too 🙂

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