I waited until I married before I had sex.
Phew, what a statement.
Why, you may ask?
Good question. Most people nowadays don't wait. Those who do are usually religious or not interested. I was religious. Although my father wasn't into Christianity, he sent me to Sunday School. I became close friends with several Christian girls as a kid and became deeply involved in church youth groups. We had such fun, went on camps, played games, met friends, met guys. I had a ball and loved it. I became deeply entrenched in the religion and had a strong faith. We learnt as teenagers that you just don't sleep around. You save yourself for your future husband one day. I believed strongly in it. Yes, I was tempted. I didn't have any serious relationships except for one, but we were both Christians and eventually cut it off because it was leading down the wrong path.
And I was a nerd. Quiet, bookish, and my faith made me more nerdy as I was a goody-goody in many ways. If guys liked me, they didn't make many moves. I did have a really kind guy friend, but it just didn't work between us - the chemistry wasn't there (well, on my part, I can't say for him). After we broke up, he met a woman and married her shortly after. A good thing.
When I met Kevin (at church), we hit it off straight away. I had reservations about him - he was too years younger than me and seemed to like another girl. But then he pursued our relationship with great gusto. I fell headlong within a few short months. But we waited. There were times when we came close, and I tell you, the guilt plagued me. In the church, although it's not outwardly stated, you're made to feel guilty for your sexuality. Yes, in the contemporary churches I attended, they even preached about sex and how God made it good. But there was always this underlying feeling of guilt as a single for having a sex drive. It affected me deeply. I was ashamed of my sexuality and hid it away. I used to dress up really conservatively. It took me years, even after marriage, to come out of that. Writing romance has helped.
Anyway, about three years ago, I left the church. I didn't drop my faith and I still believe that the Bible is inspired by God (not flawless and faultless and not to be taken by the letter). Some people use the Bible as a weapon to push their views on others. I don't see it that way. I see it as a letter God wrote to the planet that's gone through an imperfect channel. It's still full of truth and it shows us about Jesus but it's not perfect. The writers' opinions cloud it in many ways. And it's not a big angry man's words shouting from the sky to the people in this world.
Since I left the church, I've felt free to be me. I've started writing erotic romance which would certainly be frowned upon by church-going Christians. I've read articles where they say reading erotica leads to dysfunctional marriages and can cause addictions. They say it's unrealistic (yes, I agree it can be.) But I've noticed something about a lot of the Christian articles about sex - many of them deal with women who have problems with their sexuality - they feel guilty about their feelings, even in marriage. I have a sneaky suspicion many of the church's views have led to that. Women are made to feel ashamed for masturbation or fantasizing. But I think those things can enhance a relationship. They're made to feel ashamed for experimentation and trying out new things. Sad.
Would I still wait now with my more mature thoughts? I hope so.
I still believe in waiting. Maybe because the moral code has been entrenched in me so strong. I see having sex outside of marriage as bad as stealing. I definitely don't judge other people's views on it, but I can't help feeling it's wrong for me.
And I also believe it's beneficial to wait. I know you don't get to see if you're sexually compatible before making that lifetime commitment and that's a huge risk. I don't deny some people have ended up in marriages which have caused them deep pain. But I also believe there's often a way out, even to end the marriage if it's too painful. Yes, from a Christian point of view that may seem wrong, but I think if there's no way forward, God's grace abounds.
I believe waiting until marriage brings a sparkle into the relationship. It did with us. There's something so special about spending the rest of your life with the only man you've ever slept with. Now, for men that may be a bit more of a difficult pill to swallow. I think men like more variety. I may be wrong. But it's still better for them to wait. You don't have that comparison game. You don't have all those sexual memories to bring into the relationship. You hopefully don't have any regrets. Your husband or wife is your first love and you truly cherish them for that.
Plus it makes the honeymoon so much more exciting! And setting up a life together holds that new promise, that adventure to explore not only your new home but also each other's bodies. That person who you've saved yourself for becomes associated with your first sexual experiences. They epitomize your sexuality coming to life.
Not that it's always easy. It can take years to adapt to one another's different needs. But isn't it safer to do that with the person who has committed to living with you for a lifetime?
Of course, we all have regrets. I regret having a steamy relationship with the wrong guy before I met my husband. I wish I hadn't taken that step because it profoundly affected and hurt me. I regret my reserve and not being free to be me at a young age. We should try to let go our regrets about past things. Let's look to the future!
I do find it hard to write stories where there are no morals. That's why my genre presents me with such a challenge. I don't push my morals in my books. I just write romance. But maybe they come out without me knowing.
I've written my first book without the couple being married or previously married. It was a very hard step to take and I second-guessed my decision. It's a short story on Smashwords. Here's the link: Lasting Impressions
I don't know if I'll always hold this view about sexuality. It seems my ideas are ever evolving. But I do think my upbringing has had a very strong impact on my life. Thanks for reading my very personal blog post.