How common is waiting for marriage before sex?

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
  • poll: Which group do you belong to?

    Very religious and waiting

    Liberal believer and waiting

    Atheist/agnostic and waiting

    Very religious and not waiting

    Liberal believer and not waiting

    Atheist/agnostic and not waiting

  • Post # 2
    Member
    10555 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2016

    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
    Member
    8212 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    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
    Member
    3349 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2017

    View original reply
    anonymous65 :  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. 

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nsfg/key_statistics/p.htm

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nsfg/key_statistics/s.htm#sexualactivity

     

    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
    Member
    960 posts
    Busy bee

    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 # 7
    Member
    1612 posts
    Bumble bee

    I don’t personally know anyone who waited. 

    Post # 8
    Member
    531 posts
    Busy bee
    • 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
    Member
    32 posts
    Newbee

    View original reply
    anonymous65 :  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
    Member
    1003 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2018

    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
    Member
    3349 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2017

    View original reply
    anonymous65 :  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
    Member
    3331 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2017

    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
    Member
    11389 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2015

    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
    Member
    916 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2017

    View original reply
    anonymous65 :  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. 

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