The Great SEXtember Debate: Waiting for ‘The One’

WHY do some people wait until they’re married to have sex? Marcella Purnama shares her reasons for abstaining.

Graphic: Danielle Kerr

There are countless views about sex in this world. Some choose to use the three-date rule. Others wait for a year. Others don’t mind doing it on the first date, while some won’t have sex until they’re married.

I remember coming home from school one day with all these questions in my head. I was 10 and had just been to a “Love, sex and dating” seminar.

To be honest, I don’t remember what we were told. I just remember how the seminar never encouraged further discussion. We had acquired this new-found knowledge, stored it and put it somewhere in the back of our mind.

Fast-forward a few years to the time when we all began actively exploring our sexuality, identity, and attraction to the opposite sex.

I remember being given a stack of Christian books about not having sex before marriage. Two I would remember for life. One is Joshua Harris’ I Kissed Dating Goodbye and the other one is Shannon Ethridge’s Every Woman’s Battle. 

When I read those books, they confirmed the decision I had made at a young age – to wait until I was married to have sex. Why? Because I believe in its beauty.

I remember watching Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago. In it, an old man tells his wife she is the only woman he has ever been with. I can still see his eyes beaming with happiness. He had this sense of satisfaction that came from being committed to only one person. I want that.

I really, really want that.

If I fast-forward my life to 50 years from now, I want to be able to hold my husband’s hands, look him in the eye and tell him that he is my first and my last.

Graphic: Danielle Kerr

Last July, I got together with my friends at a bar and we stumbled on this topic. I have seen a lot of their values change – sex before marriage was one of them.

While I know some of my friends don’t hold my view, I’d like to know if they have given this much thought.

I know one of my friends has – and he has made the decision not to wait. But what about everyone else? Sometimes I wonder if our inability to talk about sex impacts the decisions we make.

What if people think they don’t have a choice? What if they do it just because everyone else seems to be doing it? Are they being safe?

Having sex or not, it’s a choice. And every choice has its own consequences.

I believe that by abstaining from sex before marriage, I am guarding myself.

Some people say sex is an act of love, but I believe it’s more than just an act of love. Things could go wrong – unwanted pregnancies, STIs, HIV, AIDS and a whole lot of emotional baggage if you break up further down the track.

By choosing to wait, I am avoiding all of these things.

I remember reading an article by young writer Alexandra Adornetto. She wrote:

“While each person should decide for themselves, my recommendation would be to wait. Wait for the right moment, the right person and the right situation.Becoming sexually active is not to be entered into lightly. I have seen too many girls damaged by a decision that was not carefully considered. The results are usually confusion, loss of self-esteem and a cynical view of relationships. My problem with casual, random sex is that while it might be physically pleasurable, it cannot possibly be meaningful or allow for personal growth.”

The Great SEXtember Debate: To wait or not to wait?

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This is one side of the Great SEXtember Debate. Read Elisa’s side here.

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This article is one of many different views we hope to share this Sextember. Find out more about the campaign and how you can contribute here.

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