hi everyone! this isnt a question that i came to on my own but my friends brought it up and i wanted to hear everyone else’s opinion in case it comes up in conversation again. one of my friends was talking about how she didnt want to wait until marriage because she was afraid that when it came down to it, she wouldnt enjoy it and/or she and her husband wouldnt be sexually compatible. and if that is the case, then a huge part of marriage and relationship would be out of the question, but youre married… so its like youre stuck. my first thought was if shes basing a whole relationship off sex instead of relying on their love then that isnt okay but then i remembered that sex is super important for a relationship. this is just something thats been on my mind a lot and i wanted to hear everyone elses take!
You can try to figure out sexual compatibility without actually having sex. People discerning marriage should absolutely have frank discussions about attitudes and expectations surrounding sex.
Also, as far as “I won’t enjoy it” that’s something for the couple to work on. Most people aren’t good at anything, whether it’s sex or baseball or folding a fitted sheet, the first few times they do it. With open communication and the right attitude, they can make sure sex is mutually enjoyable and fulfilling.
Trust God. Fall in love. Let nature take its course. Don’t get weird or anxious about the details-you’re partner will never be perfect anyway and sex is truly only somewhat important as a sort of peripheral aspect of life even though we idolize and worship it in our pitiful modern pursuit of happiness in whatever material thing we hope will fulfill our sadness and emptiness at the time. Take the good with the bad. Both will come. We don’t need to test people’s sexual abilities in order to decide if we like, or more importantly, love, them-a bit shallow.
Why is sex super important in a relationship?
This is the way people think. Not God.
But your friend is “people” & not God. So this is “normal” & not anything to despair over. It would be good for your friend to pray on this, pray on her marriage & bring all that to the confessional & offer it up to God.
Because sex is a pretty powerful human impulse, and it’s a big component of marital intimacy and unity. It’s not an odd thing to value in the context of a marriage.
I’m not sure how old you are, so I’ll keep this clean. Developing a rapport in this area is not a static event, but a dynamic process. Trust me, if you’re attracted to someone before marriage, you’re going to be just fine after the wedding.
CAF is not the place for this, but many (not all) Catholics need to face this topic head-on and stop being weird about it. We need to cease this mentality of, "Never ever ever ever ever EVER do it before marriage. And after that, never talk about it . . . . "
I mean, we shouldn’t do it before marriage, but we should recognize that it’s important and if someone values sexual fulfillment in their marriage they’re not being weird or dirty somehow.
That’s not my mentality.
^^ this. A thousand times this. If you do the mutual work of having a healthy, supportive emotional and spiritual relationship, your sexual satisfaction will be great. If you don’t, it won’t. There’s no downside to waiting, and many serious downsides to not.
I get what she’s driving at but here’s the thing…
She just reduced sex to an audition or job interview.
And here’s the other thing…
Say they have sex before marriage and the one person finds it so beautiful and meaningful and an act of high joy.
And the other person is no more impressed than “meh”.
Who’s right? Who’s wrong?
The rejected person just got majorly played, no matter how you slice it.
If the person is worth waiting for then the act will be worth waiting for because of that person.
Having sex with your boyfriend is not an audition.
The pill has given this freedom that sex is recreational. You have a boyfriend, you have sex. You break up, you meet someone else, you have sex. That’s like practicing divorce and remarriage. Any concern about that?
Ask her if her and her boyfriend would like to discuss how things are going to be managed if she gets pregnant. Pregnancy is a natural course of events when you’re sexually active. What is going to happen to her school, her job, her health insurance, her living situation, etc if she should get pregnant? Another question for your friend. Is she willing to take on that risk for a guy she’s dating. A guy who can walk away. Really these are important conversations to have, and can impact her life more than ‘are we sexually compatible’.
There is something superstitious about this whole “sexual compatibility” thing in our culture, like trying to match up astrological signs. Even many Christians and Catholics have internalized a lot of pagan thinking, like the Kama Sutra (or at least popular interpretations). Sure there is some truth in it but it can also create profound confusion and cause us to lose sight of the essentials in marriage. We’re also not trying to seek maximal raw pleasure in our lives, either. If we were we’d all end up addicted to opiates.
This is the correct point of view.
I’m speaking from experience when I say this… it doesn’t work that way. When you have sex before marriage, you will always compare and contrast subsequent sexual partners with previous ones.
Unless your spouse is the best sexual partner you have ever had, in every single “category,” then your spouse will always be compared to past experiences.
When one saves himself for marriage, they are never compared to anyone (unless the spouse is watching porn)
Also, just because a couple has a great sex life before marriage doesn’t mean that the sex life is still going to be amazing 15 years into the marriage. One would hope it would be, but there are MANY reasons why it wouldn’t be.
When a couple has premarital sex, it can also hurt the marriage, when/if the sex life dies down. Reason: many mistakenly view the marriage itself as the reason why their sex life died down.
Finally (as you alluded to): when you have sex before marriage, you will not know if you properly discerned marriage properly or if you simply married the person you were sexually bonded to. As you stated, the couple will not know if their marriage is based on their current sex life, or if it’s stronger than just the sex.
Premarital sex is the root cause why up to 50% of marriages (in the US) end in divorce.
& we don’t want to be slaves to these impulses, correct?
Of course not, but no one is claiming sex is the only thing that matters in a marriage, just that it’s an important component. Doesn’t mean we should value it to the exclusion of everything else.
A widowed person can remarry morally.
Yes, of course. But this is a strawman. My post has nothing to do with the validity of marriage.
It would be human nature for a widow/er to compare his/her new spouse to his/her deceased spouse (even if only subconsciously)
If sex before marriage was actually an indication of sexual compatibility, why did I grow up hearing jokes that sex ends at marriage?