I have a friend who was raised a devout Catholic. When she was in high school, her boyfriend pressured her to have sex. She resisted, but ultimately wound up having anal sex with her boyfriend to keep her virginity intact.
I would argue that once you take it up the ass, you are no longer a virgin, but what do I know? Why, why, why would someone do this?! Because from the time she was old enough to understand English she had been told over and over again the pre-marital sex is a sin. This dogma led her to find another way to satisfy her boyfriend and her needs and try to fool God. I have said it over and over again that even if the OT/NT God could be proven to me, I still wouldn’t worship Him. However, even this atheist would think that God would not be deceived by such trickery.
Sex is one of the most powerful human urges. Unfortunately for most, religious dogma has an enormous impact on sexual behavior. In some ways, I even think that the religious rules around reproduction made a lot of sense a few millennia ago. In ancient Greece or Rome, the average life expectancy was a mere 28 years old. Getting married at 13 or 14 and reproducing right away makes a lot of sense with these kinds of odds. It’s not like our ancient ancestors were cramming for the SATs, trying to get into good schools, competing for a well-paying job, buying houses, and then having kids. They were dying at 28! They only had a few years to find a mate and start reproducing.
The emphasis on female virginity makes sense too (in a weird sort of way). If your bride was not a virgin on your wedding night, how could one be sure that if she were to get pregnant right away that the child was yours? Let’s have a show of hands from the men reading this column who really want to raise another man’s kid… That’s what I thought.
So, telling children to wait until marriage before having sex made sense. Since men don’t even go through puberty until they are 12 – 14 years old and they could be married to a woman as soon as they were even aware of their sexuality, it wasn’t really asking a whole lot. And if they made the wrong choice in mates and their wife made them miserable, they were only going to live another decade or so anyway.
Does this make sense today? Most states won’t even allow marriage under the age of eighteen. Birth control is (or should be) readily available and so are paternity tests. It takes years for a new adult to establish themselves in society. How is a 21st century is teen supposed to resist the most basic human urge for over fifteen years? Is this even healthy? I’m sure the religious folks would say they should find an imaginary friend, name their friend Jesus, and pray to Him for strength against sin. I think I have a better idea…
The Wagerist idea is to really understand what sex is. It’s a decision. Wagerists always strive to make good decisions. Sex can be unbelievably fun. It is an important part of a relationship. It comes with serious consequences including pregnancy and STDs. One in four sexually active Americans has the Herpes virus! It can make a relationship far more complicated and last longer than it should. Women (and men) are more likely to put up with abuse when in a sexual relationship.
Whether or not you have sex shouldn’t be a question of sin. There is no sin. It’s a matter of respecting your partner(s), protecting yourself, and understanding the consequences of your actions.