Virginity – and saving it for marriage – is a delicate issue. It’s a question that people don’t usually ask other people. Some parents even hesitate to ask their sons or daughters about it. In most continents of the world generally, the assumption is that if you’ve been together long enough with the person you’re going to marry, you may have had pre-marital sex. The trend in some cultures is to live together before marriage and while this practice is frowned upon by some groups, it certainly is common currency.
Saving it for marriage is an attitude that results not so much from what part of the world one comes from, but what religion one practices. And then again, some can argue that while religious groups like Catholics impose virginity before marriage, many Catholics are no longer virgins on their wedding night.
For the sake of discussion, we’ll look at two sides of the coin. Since it’s a controversial issue, it could spark some resentment or disagreement, but to young adults, it is an important issue. Virginity has been known to make people unsure of themselves: questions like “am I being a prude or atrociously old-fashioned?” or “will my wife mock me if she finds out I’m still a virgin?” or “maybe I should have not kept my virginity – I’m going to be a clumsy and awkward lover on honeymoon night” often arise when discussing virginity and its merits (or demerits).
Saving it for Marriage: Advantages – A matter of principle
If you’re the kind of person who strongly believes that sex should be postponed until marriage, that’s your prerogative and you shouldn’t let others sway you into thinking otherwise. Sticking to one’s principles builds character. Saving sex for marriage is an entirely personal matter. Let’s face it, it really is more personal than religious. We have talked to virgins who say it’s not because they’re practicing Catholics, but a decision that was borne out of personal conviction.
Innocence is bliss
Innocence on your wedding night is a most refreshing thing. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a sense of anticipation and dread in the beginning and then become comfortably intimate later in the evening, enjoying the mutual pleasure of discovery? Experienced lovers on the other hand tend to scare a virgin away. Can you imagine the reaction of a virgin bride when on honeymoon night her husband brings a toolbox in bed with all sorts of sexual gadgets that she’s never seen before? Is her husband a torture freak? Has her husband been sleeping around and learning all these “exotic” tricks from others?
Wouldn’t it be so much better if both husband and wife were virgins so they could learn to explore each other’s bodies and slowly find out each other’s erotic zones?
Sex is healthy . Sex is a source of enjoyment and pleasure; husband and wife can go on a sexual journey, intensifying their love for each other.
Trust and respect
Trust and respect are essential ingredients for a successful marriage. Virginity is a sign that a person does not believe in having a dozen lovers before settling down. Virginity constitutes a good basis for trust-building. While virginity before marriage does not guarantee a spouse’s fidelity and faithfulness during marriage, instinct will tell you that one who has saved it for marriage is a highly principled person whom you can have confidence in.
Spread the word
We said earlier that keeping one’s virginity before marriage is an entirely personal matter. However, given the rise of sexual promiscuity and higher rates of teen pregnancies and children being born out of wedlock, preserving religious tradition can generate positive outcomes. If everyone started to believe that virginity is a sacred virtue and therefore uphold it, it could set a trend for future generations. Easy come, easy go is the kind of attitude we find nowadays. Pre-marital sex is a crucial factor in reinforcing this attitude.
Hooray – no sexual disease!
You’ve heard of virginity being equated with purity and cleanliness. Unless born with a genetic disease, a virgin couldn’t possibly carry around a gamut of sexually transmitted diseases. Nothing like starting a union with a clean health bill!
Let’s not be blind to the fact that postponing sex until marriage has disadvantages. This is gospel truth. The argument however is whether these disadvantages constitute sufficient grounds for not marrying a person who is said to have “been there – done that.” Just because a person has had multiple partners in the past doesn’t mean that he or she will be unfaithful. Just like what the stock experts say, past performance is not an indication of future performance – whether in bed or in the child-rearing department!
One disadvantage of saving it for marriage is finding out too late that your spouse is suffering from sexual inhibitions or sexual trauma. Frigidity and impotence are some of the possible problems people bring to the marital bed. When a spouse has sexual hang-ups, it becomes difficult for the marriage to survive. If snoring in bed is cause for divorce, what more impotence? A woman gets married because she wants to raise a family and if she is not aware that her husband has problems, this will definitely create a rift between them.
I was expecting more
A new bride said to us one day, “I thought it was something worth waiting for, but my honeymoon night – well – it was no big deal.” Newlyweds approach marriage with preconceived notions and they are infinitely curious about what their sex lives will be like. By not having any previous sexual experience, that curiosity builds up. When they finally engage in sex, the new experience turns into a disappointment. Many women, perhaps because of shyness, can’t achieve orgasm during their initial encounters, and this could lead to feelings of being “let down.”
It becomes a little awkward in bed when husband and wife do not have any sexual experience, or if one of them is a virgin and the other has lots of experience. Younger people usually have ideas about lovemaking, but the lack of experience can make them fumble and falter. Not that fumbling and faltering are a crime, but it’s nice to be able to be thought of as a “great lover.” As Doctors Metz and McCarthy said in their book, How to Regain Confidence and Enjoy Great Sex: Coping with Erectile Dysfunction (Raincoast Books, 2004): “You always have to prove yourself sexually, both to the woman and to your male friends. Your partner is not your sexual friend. She is someone to perform for, and you fear that if you fail, she will judge you as not man enough and tell other people you are a sexual loser.”
These arguments may influence your way of thinking but we’ll repeat: virginity still remains a very personal matter, regardless of what you’ve learned from your parents, teachers and peers. Saving it for marriage is a decision that others cannot impose on you.