In Defense of Having Sex Before Marriage

Rant 44

wedding ringsLast week, conservative blogger Steven Crowder wrote a holier-than-thou column discussing how "waiting 'till his wedding night" was the "right" way to get married. Women who said his wedding night sex would be "awkward and terrible" are, in his mind, "floozies," and apparently, men who said the same, "with their fickle manhood tied to their pathetic sexual conquests, felt threatened." Did he come off as judgmental? Condescending? Self-righteous? Hell yes! He even admitted it -- and was proud, using the defense that he's been judged his whole life. Womp womp.

Crowder isn't alone. Many who wait for marriage have been acting as if they know better than the rest of us heathens for decades. It's about time someone on the other side fight back, and thankfully, that's what writer Jill Filipovic recently did in The Guardian.

She put the truth out there, clear as day: "Having sex before marriage is the best choice for nearly everyone." She says that not only does sex bolster happiness, lead to a longer life, release stress, boost immunity, help you sleep, bolster heart health, etc., but people who marry early and/or hold traditional views on marriage and gender -- aka people like Crowder who think the only "right" way to marry is as a virgin -- tend to have higher divorce rates and unhappier marriages. Go figure!

It's incredibly heartening to see someone finally speaking out from a sex-positive place and touting the pros of premarital sex! In fact, for the majority of Americans (95 percent or nine in ten people in our grandparents' generation! who didn't wait 'til their wedding night), it's very, very right. Having sex before marriage means you'll have a better shot at sexual satisfaction, learning whether or not you're sexually compatible with your partner (a major key to a lasting marriage), and as Flipovic says, figuring out "what love is, what we like physically and emotionally, and how to negotiate our own needs with someone else's."

Yes, our country has a ridiculous and embarrassing number of unwanted pregnancies and STDs, but they aren't strictly linked to premarital sex. They're tied to our society's Puritanical "let's bury our heads in the sand and hope it all gets better!" attitude about abstinence-only education, family planning, and education. (Never forget the wise words of Donna Martin: "It’s like if you have a swimming pool in your backyard, you can tell your children not to go in it, you can even build a fence around it, but if you know that they’re going to find a way in to that water, don’t you think you ought to teach those kids how to swim?")

In the end, I'm all for people doing whatever they are most personally comfortable with. I could never imagine telling someone who wanted to wait 'til they said "I do" not to. That's their decision.  Similarly, I can't imagine being told what I did by having sex for the first time with someone I loved wasn't "right" -- just because it wasn't within the confines of a legally-binding marriage.

That said, I am all for calling out someone like Crowder for promoting a narrow-minded, antiquated idea as the only "right" way for ANYONE to go about kicking off their sex life. Just like the progress we've made with marriage equality, it's time to stand up and admit that "sexual morality" -- which is more about how you treat yourself and those you have sex with -- doesn't belong exclusively to either those who wait or those who don't.

Where do you stand in this debate?


Image via Rich Bowen/Flickr

love, marriage, sex


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jkm89 jkm89

If you wanna do it, do it. If you wanna wait, wait. Don't judge others for choosing differently. Simple as that.

nonmember avatar Sarah.S.

Seriously? You have just done what you claimed that this Crowder did. You have slammed people for waiting as antiquated and puritanical and claimed that those who don't wait 'know what love is'.
Are you kidding me? And stating that the divorce rate is higher with those who wait.... well HELLO they are almost the only people who actually marry now a days. Everyone else is out there living together and procreating without marriage so of course they aren't divorcing... they are just splitting up with no statistics!
BTW, it is very easy to get to know and fall in love with someone without having sex with them. In fact, without the act of sex in the way men and women are able to have a deeper and more personal relationship because they don't rush through getting to know everything about each other just to get to the sex parts.
A person doesn't have to 'try people out' to know what great sex is. Great sex happens when two people love each other and work hard to please each other instead of having sex once and saying 'oh well it wasn't that great so I won't even bother trying because I don't actually care enough'.
While I don't think someone is better for waiting, unless you have waited you don't know the pressure people feel they have the right to put on someone just because they waited or are waiting. Straight from you post... everyone seems to think you are puritanical or antiquated... so thanks for being just like every other judgmental person out there!

arlis... arliss123

As Christians, we are called to a standard that the rest of the world will never understand. I waited until my wedding night, and I have never regretted that. Neither has my husband.

fave82 fave82

I don't see how this IS a debate. Who cares what anyone else does? Worry about your own business.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

@arliss -- not sure if you meant it to come off this way, but your comment insinuates that people who aren't Christian can't have high standards. Obviously, that's incorrect and demeaning. Hopefully you didn't actually mean that. But I agree with the other posters, the only "right" way to do it is waiting until you're comfortable and you want to do it. That's a different point for everyone.

the4m... the4mutts

Who cares? If they didn't do ridiculious money wasting studies on who fucks & when, we would never know unless we live in a tiny podunk town where everyone is a 3rd cousin & knows everyones business.

Why do any of us need to worry about when or why someone else has sex?

Caera Caera

People can do and believe whatever they want. I believe those who have sex before marriage are morally corrupt in ways they may never quite understand. Sex before marriage is simply a symptom of that corruption that can be seen. That said, do I care what they do? Not at all. Not my place. God will deal with it when and how He sees fit.

Xiemeneh Xiemeneh

I think it's better to wait . 😍

Deann... Deanna2872

The blogger herself seems to have adopted the same holier than thou attitude she tries to accuse Mr. Crowder of having, to prove her own point in the fourth paragraph:

"It's incredibly heartening to see someone finally speaking out from a sex-positive place and touting the pros of premarital sex! In fact, for the majority of Americans (95 percent or nine in ten people in our grandparents' generation! who didn't wait 'til their wedding night), it's very, very right."

And does some name calling, finger pointing, and I would imagine there was a little foot stomping, fist shaking, and personal back patting to go with some furious key strokes.

This is when a chance at writing an informative article slips into nothing more than an emotional piece of opinionated drivel, lost in the blogosphere. Bleh-

GlowW... GlowWorm889

Though I'm a religious person (I'm probably the most liberal Christian you'll ever meet. Spare me the lecture), I actually feel that sex before marriage is a good thing. Love and affection are two pillars of a sustainable marriage. Sexual attraction and sex are their naughty, X-rated cousins. All are needed for a healthy relationship. I feel it would be much better to find out your own sexual likes and dislikes (both with boyfriends/girlfriends who don't last and your eventual fiance) than to find out on your wedding night that you are sexually incompatible. Love does not always conquer all. In many cases, when one is feeling sexually unsatisfied in their relationship, they feel tempted to (and some do) wander. And cheating opens up a whole nother set of problems. And even if they don't wander, it can breed resentment and feelings of worthlessness between couples. Though sexual relations can be improved, sex is unfortunately one of those subjects we don't like to talk about in a serious manner and many women are encouraged to simply grin and bear it. I don't advocate for casual, anonymous sex with everyone you meet, but I don't see anything wrong with protected premarital sex. Or sex within a committed relationship without marriage. But that's just me. You do whatever you want, I'll do what I like, and never the twain shall meet. :)

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