My experience is different to mainstream culture, where sex is staged and laden with expectations; a Tinder culture of perfect, disposable sex and one I believe is deeply damaging. This article is about my experience of sex, shared to encourage you as you navigate your way through this messy topic.
Often, when we hear talks about waiting for marriage and the conversation stops there. We waited, it was difficult but we made it past the mark in the end. I want to point out that the emphasis is not simply on ‘crossing the line’; just because you wait doesn’t mean your sex will be perfect, confetti wall not rain down from heaven, nor will you enjoy sex any more. Contrary to the myths you may have heard, abstinence is all about what happens in the time you spend waiting and how that impacts the journey following it.
I first had sex when I was 21 years old. It was in a fancy hotel room, the day after our wedding with my husband: the man I’d just promised my life and everything I have, and he had made the same promises to me. We had decided that we were going to wait for marriage before we had sex. We had made this decision as individuals, and also as a couple. The wedding day was not merely the day we had waited and prepared for it was the beginning of a shift in our relationship. Once we were married we went from saying “I love you” referring to our current feelings, to “I’ll always love you” referring to the promises that we made to each other.
Contrary to what you believe about sex, sex is not the only intimate thing that a man and wife will do. My husband and I were deeply intimate before entering the bedroom. In getting to know each other we laughed and cried together; we exposed our deepest insecurities and we were vulnerable before each other. In joining one another in marriage we have been invited into each other’s families, the people who love us and know us most intimately throughout our lives. By the time our wedding night arrived we were treasured and adored by one another and this lays the foundation for sex that is so much richer than a physical act.
An offshoot of his commitment to me is that my husband has accepted me just as I am and this is so important. I feel beautiful when I am naked (even when I’m wearing no makeup and have a bloated tummy from pigging out). I don’t feel pressure to perform or to look especially sexy. I like to, and sometimes I’ll put in the effort. But I know that my husband already loves me, and my body is just a bonus.
Because we have a strong foundation of true intimacy, my husband and I have sex for the sheer joy of having sex and an expression of our love for each other. Sex is now a complement to our already intimate relationship. By the time I walked down the aisle we knew the nuts of bolts of commitment; we had learned how to talk to each other, how to avoid and resolve conflict, we knew each other’s weaknesses and strengths.
We were deeply in love and we were already intimate.
In reading my experience of sex within marriage – in a trusting and already intimate relationship – I hope that you can see that sex has the opportunity to be a wonderful complement to the intimacy you develop before marriage. The promises, trust and honesty in our relationship give incredible freedom to us both. It poses a powerful contrast to the shallow and selfish sex that is shown in mainstream media. It means that we can enjoy sex for the sheer joy that it brings to each other and irrespective of the physical act, our intimacy is developed first by what we do relationally; connecting in our emotional, mental and spiritual selves together. This is reflected in our total acceptance of one another, in our seeing each other, warts and all, and choosing to love each other regardless.