Recently, I have been doing some research on the Purity & Abstinence Movement. And by research, I mean a talk show and a couple of You Tube Videos. I find the topic fascinating. Even though I think waiting is a great idea, religious groups can get downright bizarre when it comes to purity and virginity. Unfortunately, it can have a damaging effect on young men and women. Although there were many damaging aspects in this video, I want to focus in on unrealistic expectations. There is this idea that the first time you have sex, it is going to be an amazingly, wonderful, spiritual, experience. That God is going to reward your efforts and bless you with a perfect wedding night. I am here to tell you, that is a load of crap.As a fairly young teen, I had decided that I was going to wait until I was married to have sex. I am not exactly sure why I came to this decision but I did and was determined to make it to my wedding day. And I did. Sort of. Kind of. I guess you would say that I was a Technical Virgin. For those of you unaware of the term, it is someone who has engaged in everything BUT intercourse. Now, my husband on the other hand, was a virgin in the truest sense. We somehow managed not to corrupt him to ‘technical virgin’ status before we were married. So, our honeymoon was interesting to say the least.
We were under no delusions that everything would go smoothly. We expected it might take the whole honeymoon to actually have sex. This was a generous time allotment in our minds… we really didn’t think it would take that long. On our second night, in a quaint bed & breakfast in Maine, we declared that we hated sex. This sentiment was expressed in conjunction with throwing a book called, “How to get your sex life off to a great start” across the room (Yes, we brought a sex book on our honeymoon). As we sat on the bed, our frustration with each other became obvious. We accused each other of being the problem. I thought he was ‘too rubbery’ and he thought I was ‘too tight’. I think there was some truth to both. After our confessions, we decided that the pressure we were putting on ourselves, was probably not helping. Technical sex eventually happened, although I am not sure when. It had to have happened somewhere between the summer of 2000 and the summer of 2002 when I found out I was pregnant with Nick.
Many, if not all, of the couples who remain virgins until their wedding night will experience similar challenges. Having sex for the first time, whether it is on your wedding night or with your boyfriend in the back of his Dad’s pickup truck when you are 17, is difficult. It is awkward and often painful. You are bound to feel self conscious and embarrassed.The teens in this video need to know this. They need to know what to expect. That good sex takes time. It takes communication. It takes work. And that waiting doesn’t exempt you from that. That God does want to bless their marriage and sex life, whether they were able to kept their virginity intact or not.
If these young men and women have people in their lives who will shoot it straight with them, who will be honest and open, then maybe they will be able to truly enjoy the wonderful gift of sex that God has given us.