Sunday, May 2, 2010

People have sex before marriage, really?

I hung out with some fellow virgin friends of mine this weekend. Well, I can't say with 100% certainty that they are all virgins because I never asked them, but I suspect they all are. At the very least, they have "virginal" personalities, if that makes sense.

They fit a lot of the stereotypes I think people have of virgins.

One of them made a statement that made my stomach sink. First off, let me mention we're both in our mid-twenties. Even though I'm planning until at least my engagement before I get my cherry popped, I realize that my lifestyle is not the norm. Most people in their mid-twenties are not virgins. So it doesn't surprise me when people my age talk about premarital sex like it's no big deal and don't consider waiting until marriage. I thought all folks in their mid-twenties, virgin or not, knew this.

Well, not one of my virginal friends. She commented on a recent episode of "Glee." I don't watch the show so forgive my vague description. Anyway, she talked about how she was disappointed that the characters were so eager to talk about (and have) sex, and was especially disappointed in how one character was having sex. She didn't think he would do so because he seemed "strong." I guess that means she thought he wasn't the type to give into peer pressure. Even the characters who weren't having sex in that episode talked about having it in the near future. There was no talk about waiting until marriage, and she was saddened about that.

I said nothing, but thought, "For real? This shocks you?" I can't recall any teen sitcom promoting "no sex til marriage." How many teens make that commitment? And how many teens who make those commitments, a la True Love Waits, actually stick by that?

In all honesty, I don't know this girl all that well. She's a mutual friend who I've only hung out with occasionally. Perhaps she's lived a very sheltered life, where the norm amongst her circle of friends or acquaintances was "no sex til marriage." She's a very prayerful person. She's very into praying the Rosary and has a very nun-like spirituality. She likes the traditional Catholic prayers. She also has a very calm demeanor and is uber-humble. I discovered the depths of her humility this weekend, and it's almost unhealthy (Catholic guilt?), but anyway.

It made me wonder if this sort of mindset is actually the norm for virgins, if this stereotype is true. Are most virgins, even ones in their twenties, so naive? They are surprised that mainstream television presents/suggests premarital sex and never throws in the option of abstinence (or at least not in a positive light)?

Maybe I'm the outlier. Truly, though I plan to wait until engagement if not marriage, I really don't think premarital sex is a big deal...necessarily. Not every unmarried non-virgin is premiscuous. Some people are actually responsible and don't have sex outside of long-term relationships. For me, the preference is "not til marriage" because I've seen what drama can enfold once sex comes in, and a lot of that drama can be avoided if people just waited until marriage (and were serious about doing marriage right). There's just too much at stake. Maybe the Church's original reasons for telling people, "not til marriage" were more about subduing women, or demonizing sex, or only focusing on marriage=childrearing, but for me, that's not what it's about (and the Church, I think, is starting to give better reasons now).

But I know other people are on different journeys. So I can't make assumptions about all non-virgins. Maybe they do "get" what sex is about even though they didn't wait.

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