Anyone who has been in a romantic relationship knows that it isn’t easy to postpone sex. Romance ignites in the human heart a desire for ever-deeper intimacy; the more a lover knows of his beloved, the more he wants to know. This desire to know one another ever more fully leads enamored couples to pursue activities of increasing intimacy which eventually lead to sex. It might seem counter-intuitive, but there are a number of good reasons why it is a good idea to save sex for marriage. Below, I’ve outlined 5 simple reasons for doing so.
1) It’s the best way to avoid negative consequences.
I generally prefer to avoid this argument. I find it more productive and fruitful to talk about the benefits of saving sex for marriage. That is, I like to talk about why it is positively beneficial, not why it isn’t harmful. Nevertheless, given the many possible negative consequences that extra-marital sex can entail, this section is worthwhile.
Staying faithful to one sexual partner, and having sex with that partner only in a committed relationship, effectively avoids STDs (or STIs, if you prefer) and surprise pregnancies. With regard to avoiding STDs, it, unlike contraception, is 100% effective. Also, having sex only within marriage, that is, only after the husband and wife have made permanent, binding vows to one another, is the only responsible way to have sex. Like it or not, babies are a real consequence of sexual intercourse, and one should not engage in sexual activity unless one is prepared to bear the responsibilities necessitated by creating a new life.
2) It’s the best way to prepare for a monogamous relationship.
If you want to get married, don’t you want your future spouse to be faithful to you? Wouldn’t you also like to be faithful to him/her? If monogamy is your goal, then saving sex for marriage is best way to prepare for it. If you spend your life saving yourself for one person, it will make it effortless to remain with that person. For one, the sex that you have with your future spouse will be all the more special, but you will also have been training yourself for fidelity. If you spend your youth having frivolous sex, then sex will have lost its unique character for you. You will learn to treat it as something that you use to have fun, not something that you use to express loving commitment. Even if you save sex only for non-marital committed relationships, you’re still not using sex to express the level of commitment that is necessary for marriage.
3) It’s the best way to prepare for abstinence during marriage.
Abstinence during marriage!? You bet. There will be times in anybody’s married life when it will not be possible to have sex. I need not get into details here; I hope that everyone knows what I am talking about. The point is that, by learning to refrain from sex when necessary by building self-control (another positive benefit of saving sex for marriage!) you will learn to easily content yourself with watching a movie or doing something mundane with your spouse when sex isn’t an option.
4) It’s the best way to avoid useless hesitation.
In my day, I have seen many couples spend years and years dating each other and even living together only to break up. Why does this happen? Shouldn’t we expect couples who have been dating for three years to have already figured out that they weren’t compatible? What happens is that the couples enjoy the benefits of the relationship, and that’s why they stay in it. It is clear that they are not in the relationship for the sake of the other person, otherwise they’d have committed themselves to one another. They are merely interested in the emotional satisfaction of being in a romantic relationship. A relationship built on mutual emotional satisfaction will last only as long as the satisfaction does. Even more shallowly, couples like this who have sex on a regular basis might be staying together just for the sex.
Furthermore, sex can easily blind people. The passionate feelings that it creates can cause one to idealize his lover. People might think that they love each other but are instead merely infatuated. Once a lover goes through a disillusionment, his beloved will lose his (or her) charm and the relationship will crumble to the ground.
Getting back to the main point about hesitation, what I mean is that I have often seen couples hesitate about whether or not they should make a permanent commitment to each other, i.e., get married. This is easy to avoid for couples who practice abstinence. The passionate feelings that they have for each other that they are not able to fully actualize serve as a constant reminder that their relationship is headed in a certain direction. Furthermore, abstinence is difficult. By abstaining from sex for the sake of the relationship, a couple can be confident that they truly love each other and are not in a relationship for the sake of sex.
5) It’s the best way to learn to express intimacy in non-sexual ways.
Abstaining couples are going to have passionate feelings for each other that they are not going to be able to express via sexual intercourse. They are going to have to find some other ways of expressing their intimacy. This is an important skill for a married couple to have. Not only will it be important during the times when they won’t be able to have sex, but it will allow their romance to develop some serious variety. Variety is, after all, the spice of life.
Furthermore, I think that it is very easy, especially for men, to make sex “the whole show.” Instead of developing a multitude of techniques to express romantic feelings, expressions which will require some creativity and an ever deeper understanding of the beloved, a man can easily turn towards sex as his only means of expressing himself romantically.