Post # 1
My first post got marked as spam for some reason. I wrote it again and added a poll.
Everything I’ve read so far seems to indicate that it’s rare for couples to wait for marriage to have sex. Those that do tend to be religious, and marry young.
From what I’ve learned, it seems that waiting for marriage first is rare even amongst the religious demographic.
I’m not sure if most of those in the “waited” category avoided all sexual contact, or if they just avoided penetrative sex. Would anyone have any data on this?
I feel like I’m weird sometimes because even though I’m not avoiding all sex, I’ve been avoiding penetrative sex for over two years since being with my Fiance. It was mutual decision.
We are both heterosexual, albeit likely on the grey-A spectrum, but we both have very healthy drives with each other.
He attends religious services, but has very liberal views, and I’m an atheist from a culture that is very sexually conservative, but is also almost entirely secular.
We’re both tolerant of each other’s beliefs. We’re both over 30, and waiting for marriage to have intercourse.
Are there any other atheists waiting for marriage to have sex? If so, I’m curious about the culture/ethnic background.
I’m curious about how rare (or common) my situation is.
Post # 2
We both identify as Christian but we aren’t church goers and I’m more likely to describe myself as spiritual than religious as I’ve got some issues with organized religion.
We originally intended on waiting until marriage to have sex. But we also didn’t want to rush into marriage or get married super young just to have sex either. We actually waited 4 years into our relationship before having sex. We talked about it a lot beforehand and made sure we were both 100% certain and would not feel any guilt after. It worked well for us. Neither of us have any regrets about having sex before marriage.
I do know quite a few people who waited. They were all very young, very religious, and married very quickly after meeting.
Post # 3
I only [personally] know 2 people. One got married at 17, one at 18. Both very religious.
I personally don’t know any atheists waiting for marriage. But I run in a pretty liberal circle.
Post # 4
According to the CDC/NCHS, in 2011-2015, 89% of women and 90% of men surveyed had had pre-marital intercourse.
I didn’t look too deeply into the validity of the data or how it was collected, but there are a lot of different categories about sexual activity which might answer some of the questions you have.
I personally know 0 people who waited until marriage to have sex (although maybe my grandparents and more people from their generation did? Not that I would have the courage to ask!)
Post # 5
I one person who waited for sure (and perhaps another, although I never actually asked her). Very religious all around.
I’m an atheist. Had sex at 15. About the same for DH (agnostic).
Post # 6
hikingbride : jellybellynelly : sapphire27 :
Thanks for your thoughts on this! Your observations seem to confirm mine.
I think I’m in the odd situation of belonging to a culture that is very secular, yet sexually conservative, which is very rare here. Growing up, pre-marital sex was considered very bad, and taboo. No one ever talked about sex. I never saw any hugging or kissing between couples in my family. Those who were sexually open were called derogatory terms, even the men.
I’m actually lucky that I escaped feeling guilty about being a sexual being. I’m quite open. My Fiance and I are waiting for mostly similar reasons. It is mostly a form of contraception for us, which is a bit ironic because we both feel very strongly that abstinence doesn’t work for preventing pregnancy. It does in our case, but we both agree that abstinence doesn’t work for most people.
Post # 7
I don’t personally know anyone who waited.
Post # 8
- Wedding: April 2021 - City, State
I am waiting and I am agnostic. Basically we are waiting because we basically don’t have any privacy really and honestly, we aren’t really super big on sex. My medication kills whatever sexual desire I had and my bf is one of those rare males that have no interest in sex except for the emotional aspects. So yeah, we have been together for about 5 years and still waiting. A lot of people who have waited got married relatively young, but not me!
Post # 9
I am a Christian, though not active in church. DH is more Agnostic than anything, he is not sure what he truly believes. We started dating 5 years ago. Coming from a religious family, I was always taught to wait until marriage, which was my plan. I got my first “real” boyfriend when I was 13. This guy and I dated off and on throughout high school and in between I dated another guy also. Those were both some-what serious relationships. One of the guys was an Atheist, and I happened to lose my virginity to him at 19 years old. I had always wanted to wait until marriage for sex, but then when I started dating guys who didn’t care to wait, I ended up giving in basically because like you, we were doing “other” things that weren’t penetrative sex.. So, I basically blame it on me letting go of what I once believed was right and falling into the path that most teenagers take, which is messing around with boyfriends that will eventually lead to penetrative sex. When I started dating my now husband, I was already used to having sex once the relationship got serious, so it became no longer important to me to try and refrain from it or become celebate.. I would have thoughts that what I was doing was wrong, because the Bible does say it’s a sin, but it was like I just kept on with my now husband while dating, because we were in a long distance relationship and we would miss each other so much that we couldn’t resist when we would spend weekends together. So, I basically just always told myself that my inentions for having sex with him were righteous, since I was in love and committed to him and we wanted to marry one day. I have to admit, when we did finally get married, I felt a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders because it was no longer considered “wrong” to have sex with him and live together. My family was big on us getting married before we moved into our first house, but we ended up just getting engaged first, then got hounded by my family about when we would actually tie the knot. We got married in June and it finally shut everyone up. We had a traditional, Christian ceremony. My family assumes my husband is also a Christian and I’m sure they would freak if they knew he really didn’t know what he believes.. So there ya go!
Post # 10
This is actually a very interesting topic, I’ve never really considered any other reasons other than religion for waiting until marriage (though if you want to wait, by all means do!)
SO and I were both raised secular, I’m athiest, he’s agnostic and neither of us are each other’s first sexual partners (by a long shot) I’d been having sex for about 9 years before we got together and a little less for him.
I don’t think I know anyone who waited until marriage. I’m very curious about your ethnic/culture background.
Is the main reason you’re waiting due to fear of pregnancy? Your posts are a little unclear. Does this mean if you get pregnant right after marrying you’re good with that, or will you move to other forms of birth control?
Post # 10
I’m really glad that you feel able to overcome the sex-related-guilt from your upbringing, I think that it can become really confusing and damaging to people who are raised to feel deeply ashamed about something so completely natural.
If you don’t mind me asking, what culture do you come from? I can’t personally think of any cultures that are very secular but anti-sex, so I’m just curious to know!
ETA: And reflecting on one of your initial questions, I know of a girl who was recently married and raised catholic. When we were younger she had wanted to wait until marriage, but then lost her virginity before meeting her now husband. However, while her and her husband had sex previously, they decided to abstain for 6 months before the wedding, but did “everything else” (i.e. oral sex). Not sure how common this is among other people who abstain though!
Post # 11
I don’t see that as “waiting”…. Allowing a penis in any orifice except the vagina and/or engaging in oral sex …IS having sex.. no waiting involved. …
Post # 12
studies have found liberal leaning/blue areas raise their kids with more internal locus of control, therefore they have more self discipline when no one is watching as compared to the external locus of control that is the belief behind abstinence only.
If that kind of thing interests you, Red State Blue State is a great book.
Here’s a mind blower: “According to Add Health data, evangelical teen-agers are more sexually active than Mormons, mainline Protestants, and Jews”. (More on this here https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/11/03/red-sex-blue-sex)
this seems like it touches a bit on what you’re talking about (from link)
Some of these differences in sexual behavior come down to class and education. Regnerus and Carbone and Cahn all see a new and distinct “middle-class morality” taking shape among economically and socially advantaged families who are not social conservatives. In Regnerus’s survey, the teen-agers who espouse this new morality are tolerant of premarital sex (and of contraception and abortion) but are themselves cautious about pursuing it. Regnerus writes, “They are interested in remaining free from the burden of teenage pregnancy and the sorrows and embarrassments of sexually transmitted diseases. They perceive a bright future for themselves, one with college, advanced degrees, a career, and a family. Simply put, too much seems at stake. Sexual intercourse is not worth the risks.” These are the kids who tend to score high on measures of “strategic orientation”—how analytical, methodical, and fact-seeking they are when making decisions. Because these teen-agers see abstinence as unrealistic, they are not opposed in principle to sex before marriage—just careful about it. Accordingly, they might delay intercourse in favor of oral sex, not because they cherish the idea of remaining “technical virgins” but because they assess it as a safer option. “Solidly middle- or upper-middle-class adolescents have considerable socioeconomic and educational expectations, courtesy of their parents and their communities’ lifestyles,” Regnerus writes. “They are happy with their direction, generally not rebellious, tend to get along with their parents, and have few moral qualms about expressing their nascent sexuality.” They might have loved Ellen Page in “Juno,” but in real life they’d see having a baby at the wrong time as a tragic derailment of their life plans. For this group, Regnerus says, unprotected sex has become “a moral issue like smoking or driving a car without a seatbelt. It’s not just unwise anymore; it’s wrong.”
Post # 13
DH and I were both spiritual/leaning agnostic when we got together, and started out not waiting. We decided to become Catholic together after about 1.5 years of dating, and through that process decided to wait from then until marriage, which was about a year after that. That involved abstinance from everything, except kissing.
Post # 14
Cool! It’s neat to not be the only non believer who is waiting lol. My partner is also one of the rare males who needs the emotional aspects more than the sexual.
We’re both waiting, but neither of us are virgins. I don’t have much experience with penetrative sex though. I’ve had that kind of sex probably about 10 times in my almost 36 years of life. We’re waiting now because we don’t want to be pregnant outside of marriage. I don’t like the idea of taking pills, and neither does he. I’m getting older, and I have decided I want a child, so yes, we are planning on trying to conceive right after marriage.
I won’t say what my culture is, but I will say that it’s one of the largest and most stable cultures in humanity. Their entire way of thinking can be very foreign to westerners, and I experience quite a bit of culture clash with my family. The modern version of the culture is probably much more open, but the culture my family left with was still traditional.