Conservative considers coitus

Originally Published: September 19, 1997 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: October 30, 2009
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Dear Alice,

I'm a Christian, very conservative in upbringing, and I'm having difficulties in discussing sex in an open and casual manner. I told my male friends that sex should be done within the parameters of marriage. But they told me that I should have a first sexual experience so as to satisfy my wife or maybe a girlfriend (I don't have one yet). Should I follow their opinion regarding this? Should I first know the sexual dynamics of sexual intercourse before doing it with her?

I would appreciate your kind response.

Thank you.

GentleKid

Dear GentleKid,

Conservative or liberal, talking about sex can be awkward and confusing, as well as exciting and fun. Considering, and communicating about, sex can be just as important as "doing it," as you have shown with your thoughtful question.

Ultimately the right answer for you is the one that satisfies your beliefs. The choices that make you feel most comfortable are the ones that are right for you. Of course, sometimes you can't know what's best for you until you sample your options. Sure, what you learn from past sexual experiences can add to the pleasure of future ones; but, for many, the energy and excitement of the "first time" is unrivaled by the sex that follows. And when it comes down to it, your partner at the time is the best teacher of all, as each of your partners will be turned on (and will turn you on) in different ways.


You mention that you don't have a girlfriend now, which gives you some time to think about your feelings. There is no need to put pressure on yourself to make a decision now, or even when you start dating someone. In fact, feeling unsure about having sex may be a great way to start the conversation with your future partner(s). You can explain to your partner, just as you have here, that you have been brought up to wait until marriage to have sex, and you would like to hear their thoughts on the matter.


In the mean time, it probably wouldn't hurt to do some research on your own. You may find it helpful to talk with a religious counselor, or simply a neutral party. If you're at Columbia you can make an appointment at Counseling and Psychological Services, where the counselors are trained to help people work through these very issues, by calling x4-2878.


Finally, keep in mind that sex is just one part of the picture — your future partners will want you for so many other reasons, not the least of which is your "gentlekid"ness.

Alice

October 29, 2009

21301
I feel very strongly that people's obsession with the "first time" is unhealthy. While of course I respect any religious opinion that believes sex should be reserved for marriage, the...
I feel very strongly that people's obsession with the "first time" is unhealthy. While of course I respect any religious opinion that believes sex should be reserved for marriage, the constant emphasis on virginity can feel very devaluing, and for women — because, let's face it, people care far more about this for women than for men — it makes them feel that their virginity is the only thing that matters about them.

I usually think Alice is dead-on, but I have to disagree with her statement that "for many, the energy and excitement of the 'first time' is unrivaled by the sex that follows." Among my heterosexual friends (because I assume from your letter you are straight) I don't know anyone who enjoyed their first time. For women, it was usually scary and painful; for men, it was usually scary and embarrassing. It was only afterward, with practice and effort, that I learned how to enjoy sex, and that my male partners learned to relax and last for more than 45 seconds. Regardless of how they show it in the movies, no matter how in love you are, sex takes a lot of communication and effort to make it work. Love doesn't mean you can read your partner's mind.

If GentleKid decides to postpone having sex because he believes it should be saved by marriage, he should be able to feel happy and confident about his decision. However, if he decides to wait because he thinks it'll make his first time that much more spectacular, I think he is very likely to be disappointed. There is just too much pressure and so many expectations involved in the "first time." Personally I'm just glad mine's over with...

—It Takes a Village

May 7, 2008

21143

Dear GentleKid,

I think ultimately you have to decide for yourself, but I would like to give you a couple things to think about. Once you have sex you cannot undo it. While there is...

Dear GentleKid,

I think ultimately you have to decide for yourself, but I would like to give you a couple things to think about. Once you have sex you cannot undo it. While there is secondary virginity/born again virgin, you may always remember your sexual experience you had before you meet the one. While the one would love you anyway, in spite of whatever your past may be, she may wonder if she is as good as your previous partner(s). She might also wonder if you are thinking of previous partners when you two are having sex. There are ways to learn about sex and human anatomy without having sex. Websites like this one, books, and other people can provide a wealth of information.

Can you think of any better way to learn about sex then with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with? Being a gal, I can tell you there are those of us who find it very sexy, manly, and strong to find out the guy we love is a virgin. In regards to talking about sex, I had a rather conservative upbringing myself in my family we did not talk about sex. I still do not know much about it hence  I read stuff on my own. I found I could not talk about sex with most people even though I kind of wanted to, but when I met my boyfriend we discovered we could talk about it. Point to my story is it may be a matter of finding the right person(s).

Christian Catholic Gal

August 29, 2007

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It's completely possible to be willing and ready to satisfy a partner without having personal experience! Read some books and magazine articles, pay attention, listen and learn. Someone once told...
It's completely possible to be willing and ready to satisfy a partner without having personal experience! Read some books and magazine articles, pay attention, listen and learn. Someone once told me that two virgins can't have good sex. They're extremely wrong! My husband and I were both virgins when we had sex for the first time, and it was fun, fabulous, and satisfying. Besides, what can be more fun and romantic than exploring your own tastes and pleasures together? Just remember one thing: talk about sex with your fiance before you get married! You're not doing anything wrong by discussing what things you may or may not enjoy. Imagine if you commit to someone for life and then you find out you're both extremely submissive and not willing to change! You can work out kinks like that (pun intended) before you hop in bed.

March 25, 2005

20873
Dear Alice,

Gentlekid should not have to worry about compromising his values. If he thinks he should wait for marriage, any girlfriend he should find should respect that. A lot of girls (...

Dear Alice,

Gentlekid should not have to worry about compromising his values. If he thinks he should wait for marriage, any girlfriend he should find should respect that. A lot of girls (especially a lot of Christian girls with similar values) would in fact admire it, and value that in a boyfriend/husband. So good for you, gentlekid!