Just read that in Week 11 of the Alpha Course, Nicky Gumbel says he has never met a person who said “I regretted waiting until my wedding day to have sex.”
Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet you Nicky when I attended Week 2 of the Alpha Course recently in London at HTB Church but, perhaps in these modern times of social media and Web 2.0, a blog in response to something you’ve said will suffice?
Nicky, I absolutely 100% regret waiting until my wedding day to have sex.
So… now you’ve met someone who has regretted it, I’ll give you the reasons that if I had my time over I would sleep with my boyfriend when I felt ready.
1. Your wedding night does not necessarily translate to “You are ready for sex” night.
If you’ve done it like the church says to (as we did), you’ll both be virgins who have never watched porn. I, personally, had never even seen a “happy-thing-thing” before. I was exhausted, nervous and believed sex was some magical unification of two spirits into one. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed.
2. It makes you get married very young without living together beforehand.
No sex before marriage = get married.
It’s unrealistic to expect someone to wait until they’re over 25 to have sex (especially as a bit of self-love is also banned!) but at the same time unrealistic to expect that everyone under the age of 25 has a proper understanding of themselves in order to choose a life partner.
There’s a number of studies suggesting it creates higher divorce rates, with all the emotional trauma and social stigma that goes along with that. I deal with this every time I meet someone new and we get to the whole ‘previous relationships’ part of our discussion. “Well, I’m divorced…”
3. A decade or so of sexual restraint is mentally difficult to get over.
This isn’t the church’s intent but it’s just how psychologically we work. You tell your brain for your adult life “Don’t think that, it’s bad”, “Touching that is wrong”, “Feeling that sensation is a sin” then, all of a sudden, in one day it’s allowed and the neural brain connections have to be changed.
Aside from the mental associations made between naughty = sexy (and therefore, not naughty = not sexy) what I learnt later is that good sex is about confidence. It’s difficult to be confident when you’re battling self-restraint and from a very unscientific survey of Christian and non-Christian friends alike, it breeds boringness in the bedroom.
I’m not for a minute advocating that if someone has sex before marriage it will be good sex. I’m just saying that sex, in reality, is not this mystical joining of two spirits even when used in the context and manner the fundamentalist church says it should be. And I’m speaking from experience.
If I was to live my time over, knowing what I know now, I would choose to have my first time around 18-20 years old with a guy I’d been dating for about 6 months. And preferably he would not be a virgin, so he would be able to guide it a little bit. I doubt we would stay together or get married but that’s fine, because then I’d meet other people who’d do it differently and hopefully a couple of particularly special ones on the way. I’d also get to, occasionally, frankly just enjoy a good shag without all the mumbo jumbo.
I don’t feel my soul is torn apart because I’ve had multiple sexual partners and I don’t have an empty soul I’m trying to fill with sex – I just genuinely like it.
At least… I do now that I’ve had it with more than one person.