Being honest about sex (without bringing God into it)

I’m a Christian.  (Shocking, I know.)  I waited a long time to have sex, in fact I waited for my husband.  I realize that in some circles this makes me seem uptight and prudish and irrelevant.  Understand:  I didn’t wait to have sex because I was scared,  I didn’t save my sexuality as a precious gift, I didn’t sign a promise card when I was a teen and hold myself to it as if breaking my promise would mean immediately burning in the pits of hell.  I’m a practical person, and thus I had practical reasons.  Today I will share those with you instead of my regularly scheduled programming.

It’s a big issue- it’s important- and it deserves more frank conversing than just saying “save yourself.  Because.  Or else.”

  1. Sex may be “earth shattering”, but that’s not always a good thing. Having sex is about more than just physical pleasure- it’s about boundaries and knowledge.  It’s about revealing yourself wholly to another person, it’s about allowing them complete and uninhibited access to yourself.  The first time you go on this journey is a pulse-racing experience- not because it feels awesome, but because it can be absolutely terrifying.  What if he/she laughs at my birth mark, thinks I’m too fat, is repulsed by my private areas… do I have an odor?  Should I have an odor?  Is everything working the way it ought to?  And it’s not just about the things that are potentially embarrassing, it’s about (hopefully) the first time someone sees you as you are, and embraces you.  This first journey should be taken with someone worthy  of being that first person- because if you’re going to climb Everest you want to have the right guide.  Your memories of those moments will never be able to be altered.  Your first sexual experience could very well color every subsequent one- whether it is with fear, embarrassment, shame, or pleasure.  Set yourself up for success- for a sexual life that is full of grace and hope, pleasure and fulfillment.  It probably goes without saying that giving (or getting) a handjob in the car while terrified of someone you know finding and exposing you is not the best way to go.
  2. Your first  sexual experiences will look nothing like what sex will be like in the future. It seems contradictory, doesn’t it?  In order to illustrate my point, let’s talk about learning how to knit.  When you first start learning how to knit (or any new craft) first you have to take little steps.  You have to learn the broad strokes of terminology and craft.  You have to make something stunningly stupid, like a flat scarf you’ll likely never wear.  And you have to keep making dull and unimpressive things until you get good enough at it to do something really amazing.  Sex is the same way- your first time will be clumsy and awkward.  Your second and third time will be, too.  For some women it takes years of learning their body’s language before sex consistently has a “mind blowing” effect.  It also takes a partner who listens to you, communicates openly, and is willing to set aside their own pleasure in an effort to find yours.  Good sex requires a level of maturity, compassion, and respect for others that isn’t commonly found.
  3. Sex is a privilege, not a responsibility. Overheard at a local mall:  “I’ve been dating him for like a year, I feel like I kind of owe him sex.”  Sorry, sister, but no. You don’t ever *owe* someone else the privilege of seeing you fully, of being given total access to your body and heart, the honor of receiving you completely.  Anyone who pressures you into giving yourself before you are ready doesn’t deserve you.  Sex isn’t something that is earned by buying you dinners, giving you gifts, or sitting through a certain amount of dates or phone conversations.  It’s not a “stage” of a relationship that is reached after climbing steps in the proper order.  It doesn’t go, “proper amount of dates, kissing, meeting each other’s family, sex”, or any other order.  If relationships are built on a “pyramid” model like dietary suggestions, sex doesn’t even appear on the pyramid.  It exists on it’s own plane, separate from every other stage of a relationship.  (<sarcasm> It doesn’t even have to come prior to having kids- you could always adopt! </sarcasm>)  What I’m saying is that sex is not something your partner earns- it is something you choose to offer based off of nothing other than your desire to have complete intimacy.  Any partner worth sleeping with will understand this, and will wait for you.
  4. Sex isn’t just about physical pleasure, it’s about intimacy. You will likely never hear a preacher say this from the pulpit, but:  If what you want is an orgasm, masturbate.  Sex is not just about achieving orgasms.  Sex is about so many other things.  It’s about power and submission, it’s about requests and obedience, it’s about sacrifice and acceptance.  It’s about forging a bond with another human being, about creating a world that exists nowhere other than between two people.  It’s about learning to love, about being loved, about offering and accepting love.  If all you want is to feel good, you can do that on your own.  If what you want is someone else adoring you- let them by you flowers and write you a sonnet.  If what you want is to have them show their commitment to you (or for you to show your commitment to them) get married.  Sex is something far too important, too precious, to waste on a relationship that won’t last.  Trust me on this one- the sex you have with someone who you’ve been married to for seven years, someone you’ve suffered with and rejoiced with and loved and hated, makes all sex that came before seem not worth having had.
  5. Having sex means taking responsibility for your life. The world of sex is a world that has a lot of pitfalls.  I’m not going to exaggerate the failure rate of condoms or other birth control, but let’s be honest.  If you’re not having sex you don’t have to worry about pregnancy.  You don’t have to worry about STDs.  You don’t have to wonder when in a relationship you need to disclose your sexual past or tell the person you’re interested in that you have had genital warts.  Having sex complicates things- and life is already complicated enough.  Waiting to have sex means having one less thing you need to be concerned with.  I know precious few people who did have sex as teenagers who don’t confess that the sex they had as teens wasn’t worth the extra worries.  Before you have sex, you have to ask yourself if you’re ready to deal with the risk of disease.  If you know what you would do should you happen to get pregnant.  If the person you are considering having sex with is the kind of person who will be forthright with you about their own health and sexual past.  If this relationship ends- are you ready to be honest with your next significant other about the sex you’re thinking about having now?  It’s not as if you can have sex, go to your local church, sign a new promise card and pretend you’re still a virgin.  Some people do this, but it’s dishonest and petty and shows just how unprepared for sex they really were.
  6. Having sex means doing your homework. I’m not talking about vocabulary or biology- except inasmuch as learning about birth control and your own biological rhythms is about biology.  Sex may be as simple as stripping naked and inserting A into B, but there’s a whole lot of background information that needs to be absorbed.  Like, what kind of birth control will work for you?  Condoms are an easy first choice, but some men don’t like the way they feel and they can cause discomfort for women (especially those first few times).  A girl can always go on the pill, but it won’t protect you against disease.  That means there are a lot of choices to be made, choices that absolutely should not be made in the heat of the moment.
  7. Sex is like glue. It is.  It’s one thing to look at another person and think, “I like them.”  Or, “they matter to me.” Or, “I want to have them in my life.”  It’s another thing entirely when the night before that person was completing you, was giving you pleasure, was seeing you naked and accepting you fully.  The intimacy sex brings makes it harder to part from your partner.  In a marriage this is a good thing.  It means that you’ll be quicker to try to resolve a fight before nightfall because you want to go to bed happy.  It means that compassion comes easier, belonging is more desirable, intimacy more refreshing.  But outside of marriage?  It can make you want to blind yourself to flaws that you ought to be more concerned with.  Don’t glue yourself to someone unless you’re sure you want to be stuck to them.

That’s all I have to say.

Note:  I realize that everything written here is rhetorical and based off of only my observations.  I never pretended this blog was about more than just one girl’s opinions.

28 thoughts on “Being honest about sex (without bringing God into it)

  1. This is the most sense I have heard about sex…I work in an ob/gyn clinic and I see many teen pregnancies, std’s and people just going through hard times. I would love to share this with just one of these people and help them out.

    • My mom is an OB/GYN, which is one of the reasons my parents were so honest with me about sex. There’s a lot of heartbreak and cruelty in the world.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. That was very well writen.
    Sex just changes everything in so many ways. Sex is giving your heart, sole, and everything to the one you want as a sole mate. And it the partner is not wanting or ready to be your sole mate it can scar you for life.

    • I know a lot of girls who ended up scarred. They thought it was forever and lied to themselves so they could believe it was. But “true love” takes a lot of work from both parties. It doesn’t just happen because a girl wants it to.

      Thanks for your comment!

    • Thanks so much! I hope you guys can have some good conversations. It’s awkward and embarrassing, but it’s totally worth it. My parents were really frank with me about sex, and it saved me a lot of heartache.

  3. This is the best rationale I have ever read or heard to wait for sex. I’m totally printing this out and saving it for The Talk, years from now. It’s much better than the “you better want to marry him/her because if some gets knocked up, be aware this is a shotgun wedding type of family” speech. It slowed us down for a few years.

    • I know a lot of parents who tried to scare their kids into abstaining- it mostly backfired. It’ll work for a while, but once the kid has a driver’s license and friends whose parents aren’t always home…

      The biggest tragedy in modern attitudes about sex is that most kids don’t realize there are practical, realistic reasons to wait that have *nothing* to do with their parents trying to keep control of them. Having sex too young is more than just an act of rebellion, it’s an act of self-sabotage. (And yes, when my parents said that to me the first time I rolled my eyes. And then a few years later when my first boyfriend was practically demanding sex, I remembered it and understood.)

  4. 3. Sex is a privilege, not a responsibility

    This one is brilliant. I think that teenage girls feel that they owe a guy sex after a certain amount of time and effort (which teenage boys are well aware of and they try to pull the ‘oh, but i’ve done a and b for you’ guilt trip). A couple of guys tried to put that on me and luckily I was smart enough to tell them to get fucked.

    5. Having sex means taking responsibility for your life.

    This one is also good. It ties into 3. Since a lot of girls don’t really want to have sex when they first do it, they don’t tend to do the proper research on STD’s/pregnancy. They are ashamed and they know they aren’t doing the right thing by themselves, so they aren’t going to go to the chemist and talk about condoms. Obviously, this leads to mega pregnancy.

    6. Having sex means doing your homework.

    Also a good point. Doing homework properly requires a great deal of maturity, often which is lacking in the younger crowd.

    Sex is like glue.

    I agree with you in part. I think that having sex makes women more likely to put up with bullshit. Every time the guy does something unacceptable they turn back to ‘but he really cares about me deep down, he showed me that in bed last night’. I think it makes it harder to tear away from someone, which in turns leads to hanging onto a potentially emotionally abusive relationship longer than one would you hadn’t had sex.

    However, if one has a strong will this ‘glue’ can be good for the short term, even if the person doesn’t turn out to be ‘the one’. It’s all about being an adult; you have to train yourself to be strong enough to walk away from people and demand better of them, even if they made sweet sweet love to you two nights ago.

    1. Sex may be “earth shattering”, but that’s not always a good thing.
    2. Your first sexual experiences will look nothing like what sex will be like in the future
    3. Sex isn’t just about physical pleasure, it’s about intimacy.

    I can’t really agree with the points you made in these three. I understand that you put a disclaimer at the end of the post, but I’d like to talk about some of the concepts here.

    Firstly; you mention that losing your virginity will probably be awkward therefore try to do it with someone you trust. This is fairly straight forward. You then go on to say that the rest of your sex won’t be like this. This raises the question of ‘if all the rest of your sex will be different, why does it matter whether the first couple of times isn’t with someone you trust?’

    I happened to have had an awesome time losing my virginity at 18 with someone I loved and trusted. I’m pretty lucky in that respect. The thing is, I don’t trust many people (in fact only four; mum, dad, sister and boyfriend). If I hadn’t met my boyfriend and I wanted to wait till I met someone else I could trust, I would probably be 33 by the time I had sex.

    I think that dealing with sucky sexual encounters is part of maturing and strengthening. Obviously, we’re better without them, but is waiting till 33 better than cutting your losses on one crap lay and trying again with someone else who may be better?

    People need to suck it up. So what your first proper boyfriend commented on your tummy (all because he wasn’t obviously ‘the one’, but you decided to have sex anyway). Think to yourself ‘What a fucking assface, he obviously doesn’t deserve me again and next time I’ll smarten up and make sure I watch out for signs of his behaviour in other men/women’.

    Also, ‘sex is about intimacy’ is true – if you’re with someone you care about. People can have great sex in a gang bang or they can have bad sex in a gang bang. This is because sex isn’t about intimacy except when you want it to be. Sex has many more functions and trying to teach young people that intimacy is the only legitimate reason for sex is a little close minded and reminiscent of ‘babies is the only real reason for sex’.

    To summarise my yacking; tell your children that sex is simply about living. It is an experience – good or bad. It is generally more enjoyable when intimacy is involved. However, a good hard shag never did anyone harm (unless they don’t address the first couple of points about std’s and pregnancy)

    • “a good hard shag never did anyone harm”
      You think? Even if one party believe that the other really loves them (and only them) and then promptly dumps them, or claims to love them but goes off and has said good hard shag with someone else (i.e., cheating), or is emotionally abusive, or ends up being a truly unsuitable partner for all kinds of other reasons, or one partner really is too young for a sexual relationship, or….. I could keep going, but I think you get my point.

      And to be really honest, nobody’s ever died from being abstinent. (Written by a longtime abstainer, though not abstaining from lack of desire – rather from lack of the right kind of person with whom to do the deed, which leads to many of the other, non-sex-related things Lindsey wrote about above.)

      I hate to have to say it, but… every one (every single one) I’ve ever known – of any/no religious background as well as those who are Jewish, Christian, etc. – of my women friends who had multiple sexual partners in youth has lived to regret it very deeply. Every single one. (“Multiple” here can mean 2, btw.) I hear similar things from therapists about women clients who are the same age as me, or nearly. Could it be that Linsdey’s really hitting on some important points regarding love and intimacy? 😉
      *
      Brava, Lindsey!

      • You think? Even if one party believe that the other really loves them (and only them) and then promptly dumps them, or claims to love them but goes off and has said good hard shag with someone else (i.e., cheating), or is emotionally abusive, or ends up being a truly unsuitable partner for all kinds of other reasons, or one partner really is too young for a sexual relationship, or….. I could keep going, but I think you get my point.

        Yes, that stuff happens. That is life. Your abstinent – and for what? So you don’t take the chance of being hurt?

        I would rather go through any amount of pain then sit in comfortable self imposed prison.

      • I’m abstinent at this point in my life because i feel pretty much the same way Lindsey does about context for relationships that are sexual… that there’s *much* more to it than nice chemistry. (Though chemistry – when it’s good – is, of course, great! ;))

        What would be the point of just getting laid with someone whom I don’t truly love and care for? For me, sex is part of an overall relationship – there’s so much more to it than the physical aspect alone.

        Lie is life, and life can be very, very hard. But I would far rather be with the right kind of person than with someone who’s there for the sake of filling a gap, you know? Those kinds of relationships usually don’t work out too well….

        I also think you’re one of the rarest of the rare, in having had a wonderful experience the 1st time you had sex. For most women, that’s not the case. (I know my thought was “Is that all there is?” What a huge letdown! It wasn’t exploitative or bad – just pretty empty.)

    • Sex is absolutely about living. But I think saying, “crappy things may happen so I’ll just allow myself to settle for crappy experiences” is a pretty lousy philosophy. The reason I made the point of talking about how awkward the first experiences can be and about how the rest of your sexual life likely won’t be the same way is because a lot of girls hear people talking about awesome wonderful sex and then when theirs is painful and awkward they feel like freaks. There’s a lot of pressure to feel the right things and do the right things. (Especially if your partner has had sex before).
      Waiting until you’re sure you’re ready isn’t about fear, or avoiding the risk of pain. It’s about setting high standards and not accepting the norm just because other people do. I, personally, feel that sex (for me) is something to save for your marriage partner but that’s a personal conviction I wouldn’t foist onto anyone else. (See, I so emphatically want you to understand this is an expectation I have of myself alone that I said it three times!) I’ve nothing against other people having different kinds of sex, even the kinky stuff. Sex is fun, it is pleasurable, absent of a deep conviction to behave otherwise why wouldn’t people pursue it for that reason alone?
      I, on the other hand, see it as a deeply spiritual metaphor. If I were to have sex solely for pleasure I would feel like it was an act of self-gratification sort of like masturbating. I would feel like I was using the other person. That’s what dildos are made for, right?
      So I guess my personal opinion does color the post pretty heavily- but I never pretended otherwise.

      And I would second a good bit of what e2c said. I understand your response was that these things happen, coping with them is a part of life- and I agree. Bad things DO happen, and coping with them is a part of life. Avoiding bad experiences out of fear alone isn’t always rational. At some point everyone needs to take the risk of pain.

      But avoiding bad sex for the sake of being better able to enjoy good sex doesn’t equate to being the same thing. I’m GLAD that my memory of my sexual life solely spans my relationship with my husband. I’m GLAD that every good and bad sexual experience I’ve had in my adulthood is shared with him. My sexual world involves only two people, which is pretty awesome. If I’d said, “screw it, bad things happen, might as well get this over with” and had sex with my ex-bf just to have sex, I would have deeply regretted it.

      Anyway, I sense I may just be rambling now. I’ll stop myself.

      • I, on the other hand, see it as a deeply spiritual metaphor. If I were to have sex solely for pleasure I would feel like it was an act of self-gratification sort of like masturbating. I would feel like I was using the other person.

        Exactly.

        BTW, I’d say go for a good vibrator, not a dildo. 😉

      • But I think saying, “crappy things may happen so I’ll just allow myself to settle for crappy experiences” is a pretty lousy philosophy.

        That wasn’t what i meant, but I can understand how what I wrote came across like that.

        I am not saying that people shouldn’t wait until they are ready to have sex. Being ready mentally is vital. My point was that I think a lot of people are waiting for the perfect union, which rarely, if ever, comes along. I’m asking people to live in reality, where sometimes things aren’t as awesome as they are meant to be. Sometimes risks are required. If people understood this, I don’t think sexual mistakes would be quite soul destroying (particularly to women).

        I, personally, feel that sex (for me) is something to save for your marriage partner but that’s a personal conviction I wouldn’t foist onto anyone else. (See, I so emphatically want you to understand this is an expectation I have of myself alone that I said it three times!)

        I hear you and I know that you’re not trying to cram it down anyone’s throat. 🙂 I deeply respect your point of view.

        I’d like to bring in another point which has been at the back of my mind.

        Subconsciously, I’ve always been against waiting for marriage because I feel that the risk is too high (great from someone just going on about how people need to take risks, but let me explain).

        Lindsey, what would have happened if you and your husband had been completely and utterly sexually incompatible? I feel that people should ‘know’ each other before making such a huge commitment, because it can lead to some very serious fuck ups when they don’t. I think that sexual incompatibility is why divorce is so high amongst the bible belt.

        I see it as a responsibility for both partners to sexually understand each other before they legally tie themselves together for life.

        Sometimes two people can be utterly in love with each others intellect, but have such opposing needs and desires sexually. It’s not their fault.

  5. Yikes! I posted before proofing – please forgive repetition and grammatical errors!

    My other observation: It really is difficult for most women to have sex just for the sake of having sex than it is for most men. While I’m not a big fan of biological determinism, I do think that men and women are not only socialized differently, but (in some ways) wired a tad differently. (Just enough to keep life really interesting in the best of all possible circumstances – and life is rarely lived on that plane for very long, no?)

  6. @ Goldnsilver: I can see how someone like e2c could come across as “waiting for the perfect union.” In a way, that’s what it is. I think people are entitled to doing that if they want to, even if it means that they never achieve that union. After all- trust in God often gets thrown into the equation, which is an argument that you understandably wouldn’t be swayed by. The question is if they are TRULY content with their choice. I know many who are. I even have a relative who didn’t marry until his mid-forties, was still a virgin, and married a virgin in her mid-thirties. Neither of them was upset with their choice or with the end product of it.

    The question of sexual compatibility is an interesting one. Here’s my opinion: No one is fully compatible. If it’s not sex, it’s another area of a person’s life. Marriage isn’t about finding your perfect fit, it’s about learning to give and take regardless of differences. I know couples that waited until marriage and had to deal with areas in which they didn’t mesh perfectly sexually- but they learned to offer each other grace and give and take and found a great deal of happiness. And what would have happened had they made sexual compatibility one of their deal breakers, and lost their life partner because of that? I’m not talking about marriages that fell apart, either. One that I can think of is going on something like forty years.

    I don’t think sexual incompatibility is what breaks marriage, I think it’s hard hearted people who won’t learn to live in grace with each other. In the Bible Belt there are a lot of people with wrong attitudes that use God as a justification. It’s no wonder things go awry.

    • @ Goldnsilver: I can see how someone like e2c could come across as “waiting for the perfect union.” In a way, that’s what it is. I think people are entitled to doing that if they want to, even if it means that they never achieve that union. After all- trust in God often gets thrown into the equation, which is an argument that you understandably wouldn’t be swayed by. The question is if they are TRULY content with their choice. I know many who are. I even have a relative who didn’t marry until his mid-forties, was still a virgin, and married a virgin in her mid-thirties. Neither of them was upset with their choice or with the end product of it.

      That story is heartwarming (I don’t mean that with any trace of sarcasm). And I guess that is the point; if someone is truly happy to wait patiently, then the choice is theirs. I concede that 🙂

      I don’t think sexual incompatibility is what breaks marriage, I think it’s hard hearted people who won’t learn to live in grace with each other.

      I do agree, in part. I think that most people, if they love each other, can bridge a lack of sexual likeness. However, there are couples that will never be fufilled by each other, and its neither of their fault. If they had tried before they tied the knot, they may have realised that they couldn’t have worked long term.

      This is where I think a bit of personal responsibility has to be excercised; to put it crudely, ‘try before you buy’.

      However, I can see how the ‘try before you buy’ method, even though meant to be a preventative measure, could be non compatible with some peoples ideals and sense of virture. Therefore, they take the risk of it not working out, rather than go against something they feel strongly about.

      On, another note, I do enjoy our chats Lindsey, because you are one of the few intellectually honest people on the internet. You should be proud of that.

  7. @ Lindsey: Well, that’s what I hear, at least. I have my own ideas about the subject, but will refrain from discussing them publicly (LOLZ). 😉

    @ G&S: I hear you – text-only communication is *so* hard sometimes. And I do agree with you on people who are intent on finding Mr/Ms Perfect, because there’s no such person out there. (Not on this planet, or probably in this universe, for that matter.) That’s really not what I’m doing, which is why I’ve used the phrase “the right kind of person,” rather than “the right person.”

    I’m middle-aged, and I think I’m far less likely to hold out for the illusory Mr. Right than I might have been at, say, age 25, when I still believed such creatures existed. 😉 (A girl can dream, can’t she? 😉 ) I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ll tell you this – I could have “settled” for what would have been a horrible marriage if I’d made certain choices. IMO, far better to not be married (and be abstaining) than be married to/very involved with the wrong kind of person. (God knows, there are a lot of them out there, of both genders and all orientations!)

    So it’s not as if I’m unwilling to find and settle down with a nice guy. It’s more like… I want/need someone with whom to build a life, not just someone with whom I can have nice rolls in the hay. If I wanted *a* man, I’m sure I’d have absolutely no trouble finding one. But I highly doubt he’d be the right kind of man, y’know?

    I’m at an age where many of my contemporaries are divorced, and AFAIK, sexual incompatibility had little to do with *any* of those situations. I seriously doubt that it figures very highly in most cases for couples who are separated, divorced, etc. (Though the figure is probably fairly high among some who married simply because it was a way to get “legal” sex, and there definitely *are* people like that out there….)

    There’s a sonnet by Shakespeare that (somewhat) encapsulates *some* of what I’m trying to say – click here. The 1st line is especially important, I think – I mean, a couple can have all the chemistry in the world (in bed), but if there’s nothing on which to base a relationship (no shared interests, values/ideas, desires in life, etc.), it seems like a no-go as far as any kind of long-term relationship. I mean, if you plan to live with someone over the long haul (married or not), I’d assume most folks would want a lot more than a good time in the sack. (Though having that over the longer term would be very nice, of course! 🙂 )

    We change as we age, and as we experience more of life. I know I’m not the same as I was a year ago… or 20 or more, for that matter. That would likely be true of a husband/partner, I’d suspect. So, did I ever want a knight in armor on a white horse? Yeah, for a while, when I was 15 or so. Now, I want someone who’s pretty down-to-earth. (Which is something knights on white horses aren’t)

    Cool? 🙂

    • I could have “settled” for what would have been a horrible marriage if I’d made certain choices. IMO, far better to not be married (and be abstaining) than be married to/very involved with the wrong kind of person. (God knows, there are a lot of them out there, of both genders and all orientations!)

      I wholeheartedly agree with you on this. It is far better to be by ourselves, than with another and miserable. I applaud your strength of character for realising this – there are too many married couples who hate each other but are scared of the concept of being alone.

      If I wanted *a* man, I’m sure I’d have absolutely no trouble finding one. But I highly doubt he’d be the right kind of man, y’know?

      I’m actually a little confused. What is your definition of the right kind of man?

      I’m at an age where many of my contemporaries are divorced, and AFAIK, sexual incompatibility had little to do with *any* of those situations. I seriously doubt that it figures very highly in most cases for couples who are separated, divorced, etc.

      Are you worried that divorced people are immoral in nature? I don’t mean to come across as accusational, I just want to understand. Also, what does AFAIK mean?

  8. The question of sexual compatibility is an interesting one. Here’s my opinion: No one is fully compatible. If it’s not sex, it’s another area of a person’s life. Marriage isn’t about finding your perfect fit, it’s about learning to give and take regardless of differences. I know couples that waited until marriage and had to deal with areas in which they didn’t mesh perfectly sexually- but they learned to offer each other grace and give and take and found a great deal of happiness. And what would have happened had they made sexual compatibility one of their deal breakers, and lost their life partner because of that? I’m not talking about marriages that fell apart, either. One that I can think of is going on something like forty years.

    I don’t think sexual incompatibility is what breaks marriage, I think it’s hard hearted people who won’t learn to live in grace with each other. In the Bible Belt there are a lot of people with wrong attitudes that use God as a justification. It’s no wonder things go awry.
    Yep!

  9. I’m actually a little confused. What is your definition of the right kind of man?
    Honest, faithful, intelligent, compassionate, cares for others before himself, funny, well-read, loves music, interested in nature and animals, passionate about life and living, sensitive and unafraid of emotions, enjoys conversation and is a good conversationalist… I could keep going, but I think you get it. (As opposed to selfish, not really concerned about other people, etc. etc.)

    And no, I’m *not* meaning that divorced people are somehow “immoral”; my comment was predicated on the complexity of relationships + what Lindsey said about being willing to give of oneself and work at a relationship over the long haul. I think a lot of people find that they make choices that undermine their relationships with spouses/longterm partners, rather than building those relationships and those are mistakes *anyone* can make.

    But this is a HUGE topic, far too big to try and tackle in blog comments, IMO.

    And last but not least, my apologies for any confusion my wording might have caused.

    Cheers,
    e.

  10. To further clarify, if all I wanted was someone who has the “correct” genitalia, i’m sure I’d have no problem finding such a person. But I don’t think that’s a good basis for a relationship. There are personal qualities that matter to me a great deal, so any serious relationship is going to have to have a *lot* to do with building a life with someone who has many of those qualities. (I’m not expecting any one individual to have *all* the qualities I’d like in a life partner; that’s completely unrealistic!)

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