Saturday, June 8, 2002
Coordinated by the Philadelphia chapter of the Urban Family Council
Published Sunday, June 2, 2002 on the Philadelphia Inquirer Commentary Page
I’ve decided to save sex for marriage. I’ve seen pregnant girls in my neighborhood. They don’t look happy, or confident. They look scared. Where is that guy who only a few months ago promised he’d care for her, would always be there? Even when he does stick around, the respect is gone. It didn’t mean enough to her to save such an important adventure for one guy. There are so many frogs out there, each one swearing that if you kiss him he’ll turn into Prince Charming. It’s a shame so many young girls fall for this trick.
A few Christmases ago my parents bought me a poster that illustrates this so well. On it, a hideous frog wearing a golden crown is stating these words: “C’mon, baby, just one little kiss. I swear, I’m a prince. Trust me. Look at this face, would I lie? No, I don’t have a girlfriend. I love you. Of course I’ll respect you. I’m not like all of the other guys. I swear. I’ll call you. Really. Please, baby, please.” Someday I’ll find a real prince. But until then, I’m going to avoid the slimy-lipped frogs.
As a senior in high school I know it is hard to remain abstinent. There is a lot of pressure that comes with having lots of friends, but keeping myself from having sex is an important decision I have made. I have too much going for me to mess it up with something I don’t need at this point in my life. With school, baseball, getting ready for college, and working, I already have too much to worry about. There is no reason a teenager should have to worry about having a child with all that goes on in their lives. Diseases and pregnancy are always concerns – but I know for a fact that it has a direct effect on your relationships and feelings. I’ve seen too many people mess up relationships with others because of sex. If you have to rely on having sex with your girlfriend or boyfriend to keep a good relationship, then there is something wrong with your personality. I know this sounds pretty stupid to most people, and many people would think I’m being ridiculous and having sex is no big deal, but the truth is that getting a girl pregnant will mess up your life. Everyone knows this deep down, and it’s pretty unwise not to face this fact.
“So, how’s your sex life?”
My answer shocked and amazed them.
“You’ve never had sex? Why?” they asked, their mouths agape.
Surely, 19 years on this earth should translate into at least one sexual encounter. Unbeknownst to sexually inexperienced saps like me, sex was an immutable prerequisite for graduation. Apparently, even in a traditionally asexual environment such as Harvard, high expectations abound. Most students view sexual experience as an academic discipline: The skills one learned in previous years were building blocks for future “learning” opportunities.
Maintaining abstinence is not easy. The pressure of conformity can weigh heavily on the non-conformist. Despite the norms, I understand the benefits of waiting overshadow the costs. Besides, I could not imagine explaining my past sex life to my wife. It would be embarrassing.
Because our sexuality greatly influences our spirituality, abstinence is a lifestyle rather than a single choice. When I hear my friends say that they can choose what they want to do with their own bodies (with a reference to sex), I find a weakness in this logic. The choice to have sex not only involves one person (or one body), but potentially includes two more people: one’s partner and a possible baby. But beyond such worries, I feel my sexuality is a gift. In a world where truth is compromised and true-love relationships are trivial, sexual purity is virtually frowned upon. In fact, sex becomes lowered to the role of “that thing girls and guys do to have fun.” I feel that this cavalier approach is unjustifiable. I feel my gift should be reserved for my life-partner, my lover, my wife.
Often people are surprised that I’ve made a commitment to abstinence until marriage. They wonder how I can possibly know a person is right for me if I don’t take that person on a physical “test drive.” Some ask, “What happens if you marry someone who is a horrible sex partner?”
If my spouse is my only sex partner, he’s going to be my best sex partner. I’ll be confident that our relationship was never based on my physical performance, but on a deeper kind of love.
I have made the commitment to abstain until marriage. I made that commitment for practical as well as moral reasons. At this point in my life, I do not want to deal with the consequences of premarital sex. I have decided that I have enough things in my life to worry about without having to worry about getting a sexually transmitted disease or becoming pregnant. I don’t have to worry about my parents finding out I’ve been fooling around. I don’t have to worry about what my future husband would say if he found out about my previous sexual activity. I don’t have to worry about my boyfriend leaving me when I find out I’m pregnant. Finally, I don’t have to deal with the heartbreak that would occur if I have sexual relations with a boyfriend, then break up with him. Each time two people have sexual relations with each other, each gives a part of himself or herself emotionally, and I don’t want to experience the pain that would result from breaking up after such intimacy. By remaining abstinent, I can concentrate on my education and work instead of spending time worrying about these things.
Abstinence until marriage is real sexual freedom. I am free from regrets of giving my virginity (only given away once) to someone who does not truly love me and free from pain that could come after a sexual bond is broken with that person. Sex is an awesome thing that should be shared within a true love relationship. Love is not guaranteed until I say, “I do.” It is sealed by commitment. I will be able to give my husband all of myself, not just pieces. I will be able to give him something I’ve saved just for him because I loved him before I knew him.