Part 4-Waiting For What? Let’s Talk About Sex.
I didn’t realize when I began this short series that it would end on Valentine’s Day week. I promise that was unintentional, but I guess all things happen for a reason. Thank you for being a part of my thoughts, and if you ever want to talk about these thoughts in person, I would be happy to engage with you.
For the final conversation in this short blog series, we are going to talk about sex. I personally am unmarried, never have been; also, I am not a virgin. I lost my virginity at 16. That is the perspective that I am coming from. Some of you reading are still virgins in your single lives, and I applaud you. But that’s not me. Remember that in this talk. Again, this is my perspective, and I would love to engage in discussion if anything I say seems like something you would like to discuss in additional detail.
So let’s chat.
Many of us who grew up in the Western Hemisphere were taught from a young age that sex is something that we wait for. As children, we listened, many times without asking any questions. As we grew up, parents would have the sex talk with us, and it would answer some but not all of our questions about it. Some start to experiment with sex in their teen years, thus taking them through a journey about their bodies and reactions in a way that they have never experienced. Once they have done it once, they realize that it is enjoyable and more than likely do it again. For couples in relationships, sex is an interesting conversation. For some, they choose to wait it out, and not to engage in physical relations until the time is right (we will come back to that). Others play with the idea but never have intercourse (so is that sex or not?). No matter what the journey is, we all can agree that we have thought about the idea of sex, and what it means to each of us.
What is sex?
The question of what defines sex is one that sparks debate for some. By definition, sex is “sexual activity, including specifically sexual intercourse.” Activity? What defines an activity? Well, researching it further, the definition of sexual activity is the same as sexual intercourse. The definition of sexual intercourse is “sexual contact between individuals involving penetration, especially the insertion of a man's erect penis into a woman's vagina, typically culminating in orgasm and the ejaculation of semen.” Some would argue that any sort of physical contact can be deemed as sex such as heavy touching, orally pleasing a partner, or using other means. That argument typically is used by those who argue that people should wait for marriage before sex. On the other side are those who don’t feel as though waiting is necessary would most likely agree with this definition. Whatever you define as sex, hold on to that. The important thing about sex is that you must understand what it means to you, and what you will allow and feel comfortable with.
Waiting for What?
I personally was raised in a Christian home where my Christian parents would encourage me to make the right decisions. Religion was never forced on me, I found Jesus on my own, but there were certain ideas that were just understood. No sex before marriage was one of them. My dad is a pastor, and it would not be a good look to have his kids out here sleeping with everyone. Now to be fair, we never had the sex talk in my house. I never had a conversation with my parents about sex until I was an adult. At the same time, I knew where my family stood on the issue. Interestingly enough, premarital sex was something not out of the ordinary in my family. My mom was raised by single mother. My mother was not married when my older sister was born (my sis was at the wedding, which is the funniest thing to me). My older sister was a single mother. So the idea of waiting until marriage while taught to me seemed foreign to me. Everyone around me had children before they were married, which assumes that they were having sex. They all turned out fine, so I would always ask myself why the wait. Since I couldn’t find an answer that suited me, I subconsciously chose that I would not wait either. It didn’t seem like something that I needed to do. With that in mind, however, there is something I would say: make sure that you are ready for sex. Sex is an emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual experience that not every person can jump into. It takes time to know yourself, know your partner, and understand that the relationship you have with that person will never be the same. It has to come with the understanding that if you and your partner fall out, that it will possibly get awkward and hurtful and all of those things. There is a huge side of risk that comes with it. Once emotions are involved with anything, it gets like that. Marriage doesn’t appease that. Just because you say “I do” doesn’t mean you’re ready either. There are married couples every day that still struggle with those same issues. That’s a reason why waiting until marriage doesn’t make 100% sense to me to do. People will wait their entire lives for this experience with someone that they marry, only for it to possibly not work out. Can you only love someone that you are married to? No. Could you fall in love with somebody, and that not be the person that you marry? Yes. So what’s the difference? One is an internal emotion (or feelings, as they say), the other is a physical representation of that same emotion. So again, what did you wait for? I am on the other side of that argument where I think that no one should have sex until they know in themselves that they are ready. For some that will be when they are married. Others it may come when they are in a relationship. Even still some will grow to know self during their time of singleness, and then meet a partner. Sex is not predicated on a relationship status. It shouldn’t be. We spend too much time worrying that. With relationships in general, to be honest. We think about the status, and the other person, but forget ourselves in the process.
So, waiting for marriage is a no for me, but making sure that you are ready is. Once you are ready, you will know.
Sex and relationship
Everyone thinks differently about sex and relationships. I never pushed sex, but if I was asked, I always give my thoughts on the matter. I can respect someone’s decision, even if I don’t agree with it, or even if I think the reasons are invalid. It is possible to give validity to a decision someone makes, even if their reasoning doesn’t. People make decisions every day, and it is not your job to agree with them. It is your job to respect them. All that to say I never pushed the issue but discussed it respectfully. Typically, over time, as I become more comfortable with the person, we would find ourselves in that place, and we start a physical relationship. It can be beautiful. It is simple. It is just us. That’s what I believe it to be. A private intimate moment between 2 consenting people. It really isn’t that deep. If people are in a relationship, they should have the freedom to express that with each other without fear of judgment. What’s private is theirs, and no one else’s to debate. Many people are afraid of the idea, but the thing that I have learned is that if you truly love the person, all of the awkward things that come with sex are endearing and fun. Maybe you aren’t the most experienced. You and your partner can figure that out. Maybe you are scared of what happens next. You and your partner should be discussing that. Those fears, while valid, can be easily taken care of. It seems that there is another reason why though, and this is one that I am not a particular fan of. Many times, people base decisions in relationships on what others around them will think. This circle, sometimes friends, sometimes parents, can sink their place into a relationship, and control it from the outside in. Because of this influence, people don’t make choices for themselves, but instead for what they feel will appeal to them. Frankly, that’s dumb. Think for yourself. There is only one you on this planet, and it is so imperative that you think and feel what you want for yourself, and nothing else.
Speaking of relationships, I think about marriage sometimes, and what that would mean in preparation for that. Me personally, I do think you should know if you are physically compatible with someone if you plan to spend the rest of your days with them. I wouldn’t want to wake up every day with someone that I didn’t want to touch. Some argue that sex shouldn’t be the important thing, and I agree. I also think that not having sex shouldn’t be the important thing. Why focus so much time and energy on the surface? I think it should go deeper. Understanding your partners wants and needs are important. If they can’t give you that time for conversation, they most likely shouldn’t be with you at all. It’s all about personal choice. My assumption is that people have the sex talk before they jump into a relationship, during that "dating" phase. It's simple really. There is nothing to lose at that point. Tell them where you stand, and allow them to make their decision. I personally always have. Based on the outcome of that conversation, you move forward with your choice. Another funny story. I remember a time where one of my homies was dating this girl who was a virgin waiting for marriage. He liked her, so he got in it in spite of the fact that he wasn’t a virgin, and had no intentions of waiting. He said one they were talking and she thanked him for understanding and not pressuring her to have sex. He said he smiled and gave a response like “I wouldn’t force you, I could go to jail for that.” He says inside he wanted to scream “I understand, but I hate it!! And these blue balls hate it too!!” He found a blue ball GIF online and put it in the text group message as he was live-texting this conversation to all of us. That’s a real reaction. Unfortunately, they broke it off shortly after that. The reason? She felt like there was something she couldn’t do for him, and she didn’t want to be in the way of that. She made a choice about her life and her body, and since he wasn't looking to change his thoughts, they realized they were incompatible. Interesting, it was because of him that she met the man that would eventually be her husband, and they all have remained friends (he is married now too). Take that story however you will. In conclusion, I would make a bold statement: if you and your significant don’t agree on sex, you might not be the one for them. Changing your position to make the other person happy is not wise to do on either side of the conversation. If one of you wants to wait, and the other doesn’t, then why waste each other’s time? Let the person who wants to wait to find someone who agrees with that, and the other can go on with life as well. Because sex is such a sensitive subject, it does help to be with someone who disagrees.
Simple. Think for yourself, and follow what it is best for you. No one else can live your life. Honestly, I am not sure what people wait for when it seems that it’s something that they want to do. Sex is a wonderful thing when done in the right way, and in the correct capacity. Find your lane, and stay there. Don’t let other people define it for you.
And hear this, just because you have had sex before does not mean that you cannot start your celibacy journey again. Do what is best for you, and don't let anyone else define that for you!!!!