Sexual Anxiety

Return to the Dark Ages: No Sex Before Marriage

Before I got married I was a full-on advocate of abstinence.
This didn’t mean I organized ‘True Love Waits rallies’,
attended purity balls or brandished a purity ring.

But it did mean that I took the decision
to save sex for marriage very seriously.

I was determined to heed my mother’s early admonishments
not to “make the same mistakes she did.”

I would learn from the heartache of her unwanted
pregnancy at 19. I would protect my heart and my body.

My commitment to chastity also became entrenched
due to the highly sexualized nature of youth culture.

What Price Purity?

It disturbed me that remaining a virgin past the age of 16 was deemed an unrealistic goal. I took it upon myself to be the exception. I would show that it was possible to remain “pure.” It is here that the seeds of pride were sown in the fertile ground of good intentions.

I embraced the image of myself as the radical abstinence practitioner until I became engaged at the age of 24. Up to this point, my pride had deluded me into thinking that I had a balanced, Godly view of sexuality.

I assumed that because I had “fought the good fight” to remain chaste, I would be able to seamlessly transition into a healthy sexual relationship with my husband.

But, as the wedding night approached, I found myself reluctant to have sex and growing ever resentful at the idea that I had to surrender 24 years of hard-won virginity.

I didn’t see sexual intercourse as a gift from God or a wonderful way to gain intimacy with my husband. Instead, sex signified a loss. To me, it meant nothing more than deflowerment.

The fact that I would even view my husband as a “deflowerer” should have been the sign that something was seriously wrong about my attitude toward sex. But my pride did not allow me to challenge this viewpoint.

And so I spent a very disappointing honeymoon trying to have awesome sex but just feeling empty. I tried to be sexy (wear lingerie, etc.) but it felt extremely hollow.

I was going through the motions but not owning my sexuality. I knew that I was blocked inside somehow. I couldn’t recognize that it was my own pride that had twisted my commitment to chastity into chains that confined my married sexuality.

My dedication to chastity was egocentric. It centered on the steeling of my will, and the impressiveness of my ability to have a serious relationship without physical intercourse.

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