Thursday, February 27, 2014

Having Sex

"So, you have a partner, right?"

I panicked a little...because, yes, I think that I do...but not necessarily in the context she was referring to.

"Well, no. I'm engaged, but we're not sexually active."
"Oh. But you've had partners before this, right?"
"No...I haven't ever had sex."
"Oh...?" She looked up from her notes a bit alarmed by my answer, almost in disbelief.

This, my friends, is how a gynecologist appointment starts when you're a 29-year-old virgin.

For as long as I can remember, sex has been this thing I couldn't wait to partake in....I'd giggle about it with friends, push the limits with past boyfriends, talk about it, think about it... it was something I was sure I would never get enough of. I'd be that wife who wanted to have sex more than her husband. It was going to be awesome.

But now, as talk of honeymoons, birth control, UTIs, and lingerie surface... I find myself asking: what do I really think about sex? Before it's always been this thing to talk about, but never anything that was a possibility. Having sex before I was married was never a thought that crossed my mind as something I would or could do...but now that I'm getting married, sex is something that I can and will do.

If you've read my blog at all, you'll know that I'm a huge advocate of acknowledging the fact that we are sexual beings with sexual desires and to deny that or ignore that can be incredibly detrimental to how we function and how we think about things. But, I'm also a huge advocate of abstinence until marriage and I'll stand by that stance until the day that I die.

I grew up with the mentality that sex was wrong outside of marriage. I grew up not talking about it very much, except in situations where I knew I could get in trouble if I were caught. It was covered by guilt, shame, secrets. If movies I saw at a friend's were too sexually explicit, there was no chance I'd ever tell my parents about it. If someone passed around the health books (you know, the ones that informed us about sex and puberty and all the joys that come with our body changing) on the bus and told me things the books never would... I kept those new facts to myself. Because... sex was bad.

Don't have sex.
Don't have sex.
Don't have sex.
Okay, okay. I get it. It's been hammered into my brain for decades now.
And so now, when I think about having sex, I'm not 100% sure I can erase the embossed "Don't" that's always been attached to least when it comes to me actually doing it. I don't know how, in one night with one ceremony, that I'll (a) even feel like I'm actually married and then (b) let that brand new status sink in enough for me to move away from the NO SEX rule that I've abided by for so long.

How do you immediately take something that you've associated with sin, guilt, shame for your entire life and then suddenly absorb the fact that it's now okay and good. Because, it is. And I'm still excited about it...

But when I take a look at what I really think about it? I recognize that it's not going to be as simple as just "doing it". There's stuff to talk through, to sort through. There's something important to being willing to take the time to search out how I feel about sex and why I feel that way. There are hesitations and concerns that I have and I want and need to be willing to openly have those conversations with my fiance, even if they feel humiliating.

I've waited to have sex.
I've waited, knowing the intimacy that occurs and only wanting to share that with one person for my entire life. I've waited, knowing that it was something I needed to do out of obedience. I've waited, because that's what I was taught to do.

I'm so so glad that I have. I can't yet tell you how awesome that it is or how I truly can't get enough of it... but I do know that I want to know the fullness of how sex was intended to be. And I do know that, while I've never had sex, there's still baggage to sort through before I can know that fullness. And while I'd much rather be on this end of the spectrum than the other end, it isn't this thing I want to take lightly.

Sex is a big deal.
My fiance told me last night that sex has always been presented to him as a good thing. A good thing that he was encouraged to wait for.

I don't know much about the best way to inform youth about sex in a healthy, positive way that encourages abstinence without hammering in such a negative, guilty view of it....but maybe he's onto something. A mindset of waiting for this really incredible thing without the secrets, the guilt, the shame that's too easily attached to the "Don't Have Sex" mentality. Just waiting. Patiently waiting for the good when it's the right time.

If there's one thing I've been learning in life lately?
Waiting is always worth it.
The Lord is faithful and good, even if it feels like a slow (and painful) process on our end.

Keep waiting, friends.
And if you haven't waited.... start.  It's not too late.

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  1. So encouraging to hear someone else voice this difficulty. It is really hard to go from NO SEX (any sex related thought/question/information immediately coupled with guilt) to OK- we said I do and now sex is good. :) Having been married 8 months now, it is easier, but an attitude held for 26 years does not disappear overnight! Waiting is so well worth it, but obediently waiting for this goodness doesn't mean it's all sunshine and chocolate. :)

  2. Heard it once in youth group that we as Christian young people are presented with sex like it is in a little box that we keep locked until our wedding night. Then all of a sudden, we are allowed to open it. The problem is, we have no idea what to do with it. Women especially bring in a lot of inhibitions and have trouble actually enjoying it. Not sure how it could be approached better in the Christian community but the focus should be on waiting for something special (like your fiance mentioned) rather than condemning something that God created for us to enjoy in the confines of marriage. I would recommend a few books: Intended for Pleasure by Ed and Gaye Wheat, and Sheet Music by Kevin Leman. The first gives a lot of basic but important information, and Sheet Music would be a fantastic read with your husband after the wedding. Enjoy!