Sex Is Only One Element
Of The Partnership
We Call Marriage
Sexuality is one of those issues we aren’t sure how to handle.
We know it’s a reality. We know it is really nice. We know it is meant for our good but it also presents many problems. The kinds of problems we are too shy to deal with openly and thoughtfully.
The easiest way to end the discussion is repeat an age old adage that is overused in the extreme, “wait till marriage.” It sounds smart, it doesn’t embarrass and it avoids dealing with myriads of other uncomfortable questions. It’s also more palatable than finding ways to disguise feminine allure. The thought is “Take this one piece of advice and all problems will be solved.” Or will they?
Let’s look at a few of the problems and see if “wait till marriage” is really the best advice.
Sex is not easy to deny
It takes very little to stimulate a sexual response and once the juices are flowing it requires a gargantuan effort to avoid the temptation.
This is probably the biggest problem and the best advice we can muster is “wait till marriage” as if marriage is synonymous with “wild uninhibited sex on demand.” Every married couple knows that isn’t true but honesty isn’t the point. Abstinence at any cost is.
This kind of shallow advice neither makes sense nor works. The adage doesn’t carry enough cerebral weight to overcome the passion of the moment so we need to think of another approach.
Sexual interactions are influenced by several different hormones
Sexual inclinations occur naturally. With curiosity and hormones reaching high levels in the early years, no special effort is required to “turn someone on” to sex. The problem is, there is more than one kind of hormone. Sometimes the hormones counterbalance each other, neutralizing the sex drive, and sometimes they don’t.
For example, fear hormones often counteract sexual hormones and young lovers prove this. Many have gotten “close” on occasions but backed away because they feared the unknown? If those two hormones were the only factors involved that would be the end of the story but it’s more complex than that.
Social issues create problems too. Fear may dampen biological responses but peer pressure dominates fear. “Wait till marriage” isn’t compelling enough to overcome social demands.
Sex can be just as devastating for married people as it is for singles
As pleasurable as sex can be, there is a down side. Risks are involved and the language we use to describe the risks is a little misleading.
Let me explain.
One risk is referred to as “unwanted pregnancies.” I put that in quotes because there is something inherently wrong with the terminology. Yes, single parents are not usually thought of as “prepared” for children but that assumes that marriage automatically solves the problem, that all married people are prepared and well suited for procreation.
Obviously, that’s not true. In fact, in some cases singles have proven more fit for parenting than the married.
It is also distasteful to refer to any human being as “unwanted” before or after they are born, however conceived. We need to change the perspective and the wording.
A wedding is just a public ceremony and it doesn’t automatically prepare couples for marriage. If all they did was “wait” they are in for a rough ride.
Sex isn’t a good reason to get married
I don’t think anyone really means it but telling someone to wait for marriage to have sex infers the following:
If you can’t wait to have sex till marriage then get married so you can have sex.
Suffice it to say that sex is not a good reason to get married. Marriage involves partnering on many levels and sex is only one of them. There is a lot of partnering that happens between sexual moments. Hormones make everyone interesting so make sure your attraction is more than sexual. If you don’t respect your partner for who he/she is you’ll lose heart once the sexual needs are pacified.
And this brings me to what I think is a solution.
Marriage is to be prepared for not waited on
The best way to marry well is to prepare well for marriage. And when I say “prepare” I mean become somebody, develop as a person, grow, define and hone your occupational skills.
And along with occupational qualifications each person should also learn how to manage life in general. The skills to manage a home, a menu, a savings account, recreational activities and time in general are essentials. Any skills you don’t develop before you get married will have to be learned after and it won’t get any easier following the “I do.”
Focusing on becoming a useful, productive, independent individual before you get married is hard work and requires time but it has a secondary benefit. It builds self esteem which makes you less vulnerable to peer pressure. Instead of following the crowd, you decide what’s good for you.
Also, and more importantly. The energy you use to build a life is the same energy you would otherwise use to sex it up with whoever happens to be in the way. That’s why sports for young people is such a great idea. It doesn’t have to be football, baseball or basketball. Any sport that exhausts will do.
What that means it this.
Not only will you develop a taste for a fit, healthy lifestyle, this approach is hard work and leaves you with very little energy for frivolous activities like casual sex.
And later, once you’ve developed a real life – and the esteem that comes with it – you won’t be as inclined to settle for any thing less than a quality mate and you won’t be as prone to relate to them only on a sexual level.
“Waiting” for marriage is negative. It creates a vacuum. So, instead of waiting for marriage, prepare for it. Make something of yourself. The sex will be better if you do.