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Old 09-27-2012, 05:27 PM   #106
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(aka singing a pledge of purity or somesuch thing)
Well, this of course should say "signing." Although if someone wants to sing a pledge of purity .....
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:43 PM   #107
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Well, this of course should say "signing." Although if someone wants to sing a pledge of purity .....
Ladies and gentlemen, we have our newest off-Broadway musical
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:26 PM   #108
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I think it depends largely on the topic that we're discussing. It's very easy to say that generally speaking, certain things are better for most people (like being honest or not smoking, for example). But when you get to things which are essentially judgment calls or subjective calls without a quantifiable measuring stick, it gets a lot more difficult.
I see your point. But I also think that areas like honesty or not smoking don't generate a whole lot of discussion since the argument is so clear. It's exactly those less quantifiable areas where differing viewpoints matter. I would agree though that taking a harsh absolute stance in these less quantifiable areas is not productive.

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i think there are many reasons to abstain from sex before marriage especially if one holds that as a value -- religious or otherwise. in the same way that some people choose to be vegetarian or vegan.

i don't think, however, that abstinence should be recommended as a way to avoid unwanted pregnancy or STDs. as that doesn't work.

Teen births map shows conservative states have most teen moms. - Slate Magazine

fear is not a reason to wait until marriage.

i'm sure Sean, and others, have lots of reasons that have nothing to do with fear. and that, to me, is a much more compelling reason. do it because you want to, not because you're scared not to.
I agree wholeheartedly with all of the above.

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I completely agree with anitram.

But I can understand how someone would think that saving one's self for marriage is better for people/society in general, and to think so is not necessarily offensive and judgmental. If you're addressing a specific person and basically telling them "I don't think the way you live your life is okay because that's not how I live my life," well, that's offensive and judgmental because it's none of your business.

And I'd say if you're trying to instill these values into your children but make it so hard-line (aka singing a pledge of purity or somesuch thing) that they will feel like a crushing failure if they do not live up to such standards, I think that's not okay. Virginity is not the end-all, be-all of a woman's (or a man's, but no one ever talks about the men in these scenarios, Brothers Jonai aside) worth.
Agree also with this. I never had any of this kind intense pressure growing up, even though I was taught at home, in school, and at church that saving sex til marriage was the right thing to do.

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I'm totally going to judge you, Sean. Go ahead
Bring it.




Okay, so here's a different point of view. Apologies in advance if anyone finds anything to be TMI. I'm generally pretty open about myself, so it doesn't feel like the great personal revelation to me that it might to some other people.

I chose to wait until marriage to have sex and the only person I've ever been with is my wife. I feel good about the decision I made and I don't feel like it's given me an unhealthy view of sexuality as a result. I have a very healthy sex life (at least I think so. . .since one doesn't know what goes on behind everyone else's closed doors, and I don't have any other personal experiences to compare against I suppose I can't say for sure but I certainly feel good about where we're at), and have found that it's only gotten better with time (We just celebrated our 15th anniversary this past July).

My wife was also a virgin when we got married, but to be honest the fact that she was was not important to me. I did not feel that I needed to have a "virgin bride" and I know I would have married her even if she had been with someone else before I came along. (I do think, if she had already had sex, that there might have been more anxiety on my part maybe in the early years of our marriage though, where I might have been wondering how I "measured" up to the guys in her past).

The reason why I chose to wait was mainly because I truly believed it was the right thing to do and would result in greater net happiness and peace of mind for myself. Of course I was raised to believe this, but then so were my siblings, cousins, and all of my friends who were all brought up in the same very conservative religious denomination. Most of them chose to discard that belief (in fact, I'm the only one in my generation in my family that actually waited until marriage). Again I have no judgments about their moral worth in making that decision. I tend to feel that many conservative Christians make too big a deal out of pre-marital sex. I don't know that there is really a strong Biblical case against it (which in our faith tradition is a BIG deal, I know most of you wouldn't care much about that aspect, but it's important to mention is it is a part of my worldview). I see it kind of like alcohol (another taboo in our faith that a lot of people have dispensed with). I think abstaining is a better choice, but it's not the end of the world if you don't.

In terms of why I feel waiting was a better choice for me and why I would recommend it to my sons, my students, and whoever is because I believe that sex is best experienced in a committed long-term relationship, and the longer and more committed the relationship the better. And of course the longest and most committed relationship is marriage. I've always felt very safe and unguarded in my sexual experiences. Neither my wife or I have experienced a lot of the anxieties and insecurities that we hear about on TV and the movies. There's not a lot of pressure to "perform" or live up to past experiences with other people. I've never felt like I had to worry about things like "size" issues and things like that. When we first got married, I guess you could say we weren't very "good at it"--as we were both novices, and I remember thinking in the first couple of years "Is this really it? Is this what all the fuss is about?" Not that it was horrible or anything but it wasn't quite the mind blowing experience I'd built up in my head. But there was no pressure. With practice things got much better and mind blowing arrived around about year three, I think, maybe four? At any rate I feel lucky to have been able to have that learning curve with someone that I loved, trusted, and knew would be there for me rather than say, a regrettable clumsy experience with a girl when I was sixteen (though as a sixteen year old I concede such a regrettable clumsy experience sounded very, very appealing).

That's just one reason. There are others but I guess this is a good starting point for discussion.

Do I feel like I missed out in some respects but having sex with only one woman? Sure. I have what I suppose is a natural curiosity about what it might be like to be with other women. But then I imagine that would be there even if I had been more sexually experienced. Perhaps it would have even been heightened, I don't know.

I think there are some choices in life that most people make as a "given." They accept both the positive and negative consequences of those choices as a just a part of life. What I suppose I advocate is taking a step back and saying, "Wait a second, is this really a given. Or might I find making a different choice- one that granted, might feel weird at first--more personally rewarding." I'm advocating a cost-benefit analysis in areas where maybe they aren't usually applied.

BTW, if you're interested in a secular perspective on sex and marriage I highly recommend David Schnark's Passionate Marriage. It doesn't advocate abstinence outside of marriage as far as I can tell, but it is a fascinating perspective on the "long-game" view of sex. To hear him tell it, it takes like 20 years together before you get really good at it (I'm oversimplifying and exaggerating of course). I would recommend it to anyone in a long-term committed relationship.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:22 PM   #109
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Geez, that's all just so offensive.

KIDDING.

A lovely post.
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