I lost my virginity when I was 19 years old. I was a sophomore in college and hopelessly in love. The morning after, I found my first gray hair. They’ve been slowly multiplying ever since.
I’ve tried to regret it. I’ve waited for the tears, the shame, the feelings of remorse. It’s never come, not once. I’m not sure why. I was raised in a private school system that emphasized abstinence to the point of excess. In high school they even went as far as dragging in some poor 43 year old virgin to convince us it wasn’t all that bad. He was short and balding and trying too hard to be funny. The whole thing seems sort of sad now.
Austin didn’t wait either, and when I asked him yesterday if he regrets it, he responded with “no” and “I’m going to need to see that post before you share it.”
If you’ve read our love story, you’ll remember that we waited with each other. It was weird and I’m pretty sure no one believes us. The strange thing is that now that kids are in the picture, our ideas on sex have changed. All of a sudden it’s not just our perspective on waiting but Waylon’s perspective on waiting. I surprised myself when I realized I want him to wait for marriage. I want him to enjoy high school without the complications and (God forbid) negative consequences of sex. I want him to fall in love in college, but in a pure and magical way. I want him to have the perfect love story.
The problem is that we don’t live in a perfect world and no one has a perfect love story. Most people I know did not wait. This includes church-going, Bible-reading, abstinence-preaching folks too. Especially them. 80 percent of young, unmarried Christians have had sex. Two-thirds have been sexually active within the last year even though 76 percent of them believe sex outside marriage is morally wrong.
In my experience, everyone is pretty embarrassed about the whole thing; worried what others will think and paranoid their parents will find out and realize their perfect parenting wasn’t so perfect after all. That’s the thing with making sex scary or dangerous or a RED FLAG, all of a sudden it becomes this giant mystery to discover and a shameful secret once it’s had. That can’t be healthy either.
My thoughts on the subject get fuzzier and fuzzier the farther I’m removed from the issue. Obviously I don’t condone teens shacking up in the janitor closet, but college kids? Post college? What about some of my friends in their 30s who are unmarried? Are they supposed to abstain too?
Sex is complicated. It’s also very simple, which makes it all the more complicated.
What do you think? Is abstinence realistic? What will you tell your kids? Is sex worth the wait?
Please feel free to comment anonymously.
This post was inspired by this A Cup Of Jo’s post last week.
Sex stats found in Relevant Magazine