Now that we're so enlightened and liberated, 'saving yourself until marriage' seems such a quaint phrase, even amusing. But I'd like to make the case for waiting until marriage to have sex. Or at the very least, I'll present to you my own rationales, and you see what you think.
This issue arises for me because last night, I got yet another call from a man who's been pursuing me sexually for a LONG time. I mean years. It's gotten to be a joke between us, but every once in a while he's serious. I tell him the same thing I've been saying since I met him: not until marriage. I've played no games with him, and I've been very consistent, which he admits.
Last night he jokingly proposed drawing up a contract that promised I wouldn't be hurt if we had sex. I told him there's already a contract out there and it's called a marriage certificate (not that you can't get hurt, but it was a good punchline).
During the beginning of my celibacy practice, I toyed with the idea of having sex before marriage. Just as long as the guy was good and faithful to me, that could be enough.
But that's not enough. I want everything. If I've got to wait this long, I want it all. That's rationale #1.
Rationale #2: The couple of times I jumped off the celibacy wagon, I had to climb right back on. Why? Because I'm not always the best judge of character. I can still be swayed by a handsome face, nice body, and slick words. But if a man actually marries me after going through celibacy with me, going to church with me, dealing with my kids, allowing me fully into his life, and submitting to the 3rd degree from my family, then I'll have a keeper. The man who can endure all that would be pretty special. I'll admit, this kind of a good man is hard to find (though some women tell me, not impossible). So celibacy provides a self-imposed boundary for me that helps me accept nothing less than what I want.
Rationale #3: Protection. I know the divorce rate is high because of infidelity, but I'd like to believe it's still possible to have love, devotion, passionate sex, and monogamy in a marriage. That's what I'm going for. For me, having sex outside of marriage is too risky to the heart. A dear friend has been crying her eyes out day and night because a 4-year relationship wasn't what she thought it was. Yes, betrayal can and does occur in marriage, but at least, if you've played your prenup right, you can take the scum to the cleaners. Without marriage, you have no recourse but to key his car.
Rationale #4: Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free? Yes, it's 2007, but men still believe this mess. We women want things to be different, which is why there's so much 'hooking up' and 'kicking it' going on. But wishing don't make it so. In this day of AIDS and STDs and unplanned pregnancies, this is foolish behavior for women. There's no free milk here!