This article is from the archive of our partner. We've all heard the schoolchildren's chant that goes, basically, "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage," or some iteration thereof. Of course, in this day and age, that's not always the chronology at all, and sometimes whole bits are missing, sometimes there are whole new ones. Maybe there is a baby and no marriage, maybe there's no baby, maybe—and this would be the saddest option—there's no love. Jill Filipovic has an excellent piece in the Guardian today in which she explores "The moral case for sex before marriage. But even as the abstinence talk would seem to be an obvious line for some evangelicals and staunch conservatives, "sex-positive liberals hesitate to say that having sex before marriage is an equally valid — if not better — choice for nearly everyone.
The Benefits of Having Sex More Often
The moral case for sex before marriage | Jill Filipovic | The Guardian
Culturally, America's attitude toward women and sex is pretty screwed up no pun intended. Society tells us that it's dirty, filthy, and wrong, and women who have it are sinners who have to pretend that they don't know what a dick looks like. Then, on that magical day at some point in their adulthood, those formerly dirty women get married if any guy will still have them and their tattered hymens and the sex act, a thing they've been doing in a dirty way for years, suddenly transforms into an amazing and blessed experience. Sex, you see, is a very bad, dirty thing that you should only do with someone you love very, very much. This is ridiculous.
Hey, I'm all for people putting off sex until they're adults and can handle the ramifications. Because even with safe sex, sex comes with responsibilities. It does tend to emotionally bond you to someone, and that can mean getting emotionally attached to the wrong person. Once sex enters the equation, a relationship is never the same.
A mericans love to tout the value of waiting until marriage to have sex. We teach abstinence-only education in schools across the country, and even comprehensive sex-ed programs often point out that "abstinence is best. There's a booming "purity industry", complete with jewelry, elaborate events, books, t-shirts and DVDs. Our state and federal tax dollars have long been spent promoting "chastity". While conservative commentators are happy to assert that waiting until marriage is the best choice for everyone and people who don't wait aren't doing marriage "the right way", sex-positive liberals hesitate to say that having sex before marriage is an equally valid — if not better — choice for nearly everyone.