love and heretics

It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness

Virgin Sex and the marriage bed : take two

Previously I wrote about my own virgin experience, HERE And though I think that being a virgin on one’s wedding night puts a lot of pressure on that “special night” I don’t think it was the “being a virgin” that ruined it so much, as the topic of sex being taboo. So today I run across a Huff piece which states that “No Sex before marriage is a bad thing”.

Earlier this month, Henriquez opened up about her “virginity mistake” in Slate, writing that the abstinence pledge she had taken when she was 14 ultimately ruined her marriage.
She elaborated on what she calls her “rude awakening” on HuffPost Live Wednesday.
“There were some issues that I wasn’t really aware of in our relationship that came to light in the bedroom,” she said. “There’s a different way of interacting during sex than you do in other aspects of your relationship, so let’s say for instance I give constructive criticism about his work or his hobbies, and that’s usually taken pretty well. But to say to a 21-year-old, 22-year-old male, ‘I don’t like what you’re doing, I think you should do it differently,’ there is an amount of defense that comes up and it strikes discord in your relationship.”

found HERE

There is a video discussion with Henriquez, another girl who has made the abstinence (wait till you are married) pledge, and a girl who found out after marriage that the reason sex wasn’t so good, was because her husband gradually realized the reason he had problems having sex with women was because he was gay, and a psychologist, and a couple of others.

The discussion is interesting with differing points of view. Don’t you want to test drive a car before you spend that much money on it, or get into a long term contract paying for it? “kick the tires” so to speak and make sure that is the right car for you?

I think the distinction was made that waiting for sex until you are older and more mature, and the realization that having sex does indeed do things like give an emotional bond between people, and is more than just “causally having a cup of coffee” as sometimes it is tried to be made out to be is an important observation.

The young lady who has made the pledge to wait for marriage asks some valid questions, Is marriage all about sex? Does “testing the sex out” make it all about sex? and devalue the other categories?

In the end I don’t think it elevates sex as the priority, but rather brings it to the forefront that as a definite part of marriage, it is something that should not be left…unopened , unexplored, undiscussed, or ignored. As an example, on the importance of discussing and understanding each others point of view If you get into a marital relationship, and do not discuss having children at all until after marriage, you could run into automatic deal breakers. One person could believe that having children is part of the whole reason to get married, another could believe that marriage can be about just two people, and not like the idea of even having children.

Sex can certainly be another deal breaker. If one has been a part of a purity pledge, one may not really know what works and doesn’t work honestly for that individual. Trying it out, one discovers what gives pleasure, what doesn’t. Of course satisfying one’s spouse is a big issue. But it cannot be all about that.

Talking through my own experience led me to believe that it wasn’t just “being a virgin” that ruined my wedding night, but rather a lack of ability to discuss and communicate what was going on, what wasn’t working, and leaving it such a taboo topic.

The psychologist in the interview explains that there is sex counseling available that really does help a relationship. But the couple has to be willing to talk about it, and work on it.
But he also admits that some things will not be “fixable”. If one finds out they are gay, or that they truly find sex with the opposing sex deplorable…. no matter how hard they try to make it for the one they love…Eventually dealing with such emotions is going to cause problems. What then do they do with these feelings of love they have for that person? The person that loved them even when they could not give them what they wanted? Torn with guilt, doubt, depression, …..counseling can do some things, but not perform miracles. It cannot make the gay person straight.

There are many others things, bondage, etc that two may not be able to reach a compromise one. Being able to talk about it, and reach across the taboo at least will cause a confrontation with honesty, and the “elephant in the middle of the room”, giving less chance for darkness and depression to breed. Let the light shine in, EVEN if it may cause a discovery of an irreconcilable difference. Some things with therapy will improve, compromises can be made, new heights reached together.

Leaving sex a taboo topic only breeds resentment, doubt, and barriers between a couple.
So tackle in premarriage. Look into it before making a “lifetime contract/commitment”.

Perhaps if we would learn to be so bold, about all the issues between us, there would be a much lower
divorce statistic.




  1. It is simply mixing up the concept between waiting until you are old enough and conscious enough about sex (i.e. not having premature sex at 12 for example), and abstinence because of a superstitious reason (religion or faith) or “honor” thing. If you have one of those symptoms, even worse if you have both of them, then most probably you are going to run into a trouble. Of course that doesn’t mean that premature sex or the absence of religious belief is definitely not going to get you in troubles.

  2. This is an interesting discussion you present here. Why is sex vilified or thought of in such an elevated way? Maybe I miss something or I have devalued many things considered important by the rest of the people. But really I don’t get the point about virginity pledge!

  3. Our school was brave enough to organise a full-day retreat for Grade 10’s (15-16 y/o) to some spot out in the bush to talk about sex and stuff. It was the first time they’d ever tried and our class was the test bed. It was a shambles. A complete and utter disaster when 10 minutes into the first session of the day a boy stood up and hollered, “Come’on, Sir… You don’t buy a cow unless you know its gives milk.” Even the teachers had to admit this was true and that was about it for the rest of the day.

    • LOL! were they trying to teach abstinence there?
      That is one of the programs they attempt here as well.

      • Not abstinence, rather an attempt to educate regarding all manner of things, including diseases. The idea was sound, I guess, but it was a hilarious debacle.

    • Interesting. We had sex-ed in eighth grade, around the age of thirteen. It was pretty dry and almost entirely about biology. It was two days a week for one marking period, which must have been about two-and-a-half months. Just when I was thinking that the entire thing was too elementary to be useful, I remember on girl raised her hand and asked, “Is it true that you can prevent pregnancy by douching afterwards?” Considering her question, I think it’s good that we had it. There was only a cursory discussion of emotions for which I’m thankful.

      • I agree, it is useful and should be mandatory… and completely honest.

      • oh agreed. So many myths and legends without sex ed…
        hence the many many …unexpected…pregnancies. oy.

  4. I think not talking is the elephant in every room of the house, to stay with your image. Say we were discussing learning to swim: not many people would ask you to jump in at the deep end and like it. Some of us may be natural swimmers, others may not be. You would not blame yourself for that. Why should sex be different?
    Not talking about it might have everything to do with not talking about all the other important things in a marriage/relationship. The bedroom would then just be the place where this is most graphically illustrated.
    Would you like some coffee, a hug? Let me just wish you a great Sunday, Holly! 🙂

    • Yes Lively! Hope you have a wonderful sunday as well!
      Indeed not talking IS the huge problem.
      But sex is just a bit more complicated.
      You have all these….ideals one feels one is to meet.
      I think if it is looked upon as part of one’s image (whether one is “good” at sex or not)
      it becomes harder to accept or render criticism. Even constructive criticism.
      I think the best way to approach it is LOTS of questions and talking. What do you think about this? do you think you would like this? is this good? do you know what I like? back and forth…busting wide open the taboo. 🙂
      But yes…at the bottom line…I think communication is the maker or breaker in every relationship.

      • Just reading your comment, a thought crossed my mind. The stuff about communication being essential is a truism that I’ve always accepted until now. However, when I think about it, after a lifetime of failed relationships and all the attendant discussions, I’m not so sure that’s true. Mainly, it has always come down to a point over which neither person was willing to compromise.

        I remember telling my last boyfriend that it would be over if he criticized my housekeeping or appearance one more time. He did and it was over. He cried. I pretended to feel torn to make it easier on him, but really that was just the way it had to be. Listening to his constant criticism had just become unhealthy. We communicated about it. There was just no solution that didn’t involve one of us doing something we didn’t want to do.

        • I would say, not that communication is key, but rather good communication.
          This involves asking questions, understanding why someone is saying what they are saying and why they are saying it. It also involves empathizing with each other and seeing things from their shoes. But you are right. If no compromise can be made that both are willing to enter into there is little more discussion that can be had.

  5. rautakyy

    Abstinence only is a method to protect youth from unwanted pregnancies, in a society that controlls the sexuality of the kids and all their lives untill their marriage. It does not even need any sexual education to back it up, if the marriage is such a holy system, the people are not allowed to divorce, if they do not find their partner satisfying. This type of society almost without exeption also demands the married couple to have children.

    In a modern world where sexual education is possible to make awailable to the young, we have contraception and means to stop sexual diseases, the abstinence only is obsolete. In a market economy where sexuality as a need is used and abused by the businessman the abstinence only is a totally impossible solution.

    If adults have some emotional problem to speak about sexuality openly to their kids, they should ask themselves, are they even fit to be parents. Sure, they themselves grew up “just fine”, even though their parents would have run red, if even the word “sex” was ever mentioned, right? Same as the parent who thinks that he grew up just fine though his dad used to beat him up, so it is only right for him to beat up his children…

    People should understand, that not telling your kids about sex is just the same as beating them up, or even worse kind of violence. The difficulty seems to be in that parents have trouble realizing that at some point their kid stops being a child and becomes a sexual entity. One that would be better off, if it had tools to understand that new part of her/himself. But I guess it is the fact, that this forces the parents to realize how old they themselves are getting, is what makes it so difficult to accept.

    The “abstinence only” ideology is just a sad and desparate conservative attempt to protect values, that belong to a lost world. Those values include such ideals: like women confined at home and not competing with men who have not been used to competition from the other sex. Women choosing to be confined at home because they come from culture that never gave girl children any tools to compete. etc.

    Conservativism is all about the protection of “them good old days”, when everything was peachy. It is a misconception of perspective. Middle aged people often suddenly realize, that everything used to be better when they were young, without realizing that this was only so, because they themselves were fitter and more on tune with the ever ongoing change happening in the society at the time. They may be very good at formulating arguments to prove their conservatism, and since it often is all about the need to feel safe, as they did, before they realized, that there are a lot of dangerous stuff in the world, their argumentation may even appeal to younger people, who are a bit scared of all the scary things presented to them by the older conservatives in the world. This kind of cumulative conservatism combined with superstition (wich often is just a form of ultra conservatism) causes people to do silly stuff and keep taboos, they really do not even understand reasons for.

    • This is an interesting article…I would like to see if there is any rebuttal to it, apparently it has been scooped up by the christian sites as proof that messing around before marriage is a bad thing. check it out…

      some extractions from it:
      “when a woman becomes intimate with a man, her body also releases Oxytocin and she becomes emotionally bonded to him. “Have you wondered sometimes why a woman will stay with a man who’s abusing her? We know now, it’s because she bonds to him emotionally, because of the Oxytocin release during sex,” the report said.

      Also referred to as the “monogamy hormone,” men produce Vasopressin which serves the same purpose as Oxytocin. “It bonds a man to a woman,” according to the report.
      According to neuropsychologist Dr. Tim Jennings in the Conquer Series report: “When you have premarital sex, your reward circuitry is bonded to them now, and it will be much deeper and hurtful. Oftentimes, in breakups of people who’ve been sexually active, they can’t tolerate the sense of emptiness, so they rush into another relationship. The neuro circuits did not have time to reset, and so they’re impaired in their ability to bond with the next person, and they may become sexually active with them. This is just a repetitive cycle, and there are real impairments in bonding going on.”

      “Knowing how these neurochemicals interact and change the brain help us understand why sex is meant [to be kept] within the boundaries of marriage,” the reported noted.”

      • Just wrote a long comment about how oxytocin is released while cuddling, hugging, using facebook, and watching tear jerker movies but it didn’t post and I lost all my words and stuff:( saying that to say, oxytocin is released a lot more then just dying sex and can be used as something just to relax the nerves by oneself without any sort of relationship

        • a very good point dazzle. I have seen some really cool stuff about oxytocin and hugging. 😀
          but thought it interesting how evangelicals can latch on to some science to use it for their benefit. 😀
          This is a fun one by Paul Zak on Trust, Morality and oxytocin.

  6. I just published a post prompted by this one.


  1. Sex, Marriage, Virginity and Related Mental Meanderings | fojap

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