Have been catching up a bit today on some articles I had bookmarked over the last week to read, and the one that caught my attention the most was one by conservative writer/comedian/actor Steven Crowder on the issue of abstinence.
First, you’ve got to give credit to ANY guy who will admit he is in a happy, fulfilling long-term relationship and is abstinent. Not trying to be stereotypical (keep that in mind as you continue to read this, please! ), but most guys who are in long-term relationships do not talk about their’s and their girlfriend’s sexual relationship at all around other people, let alone the fact that they aren’t having it. It is just “assumed” it is taking place when conversations turn to that particular topic. So for Crowder to say, yeah, I’m not having sex but I’m still in a great relationship earns him major props in my book. He writes:
Listen, one doesn’t need to be religious (nor a rocket scientist) to see the value of abstinence. Let’s disregard the immediately eliminated risk of increasingly popular STD’ and STI’s. Heck, let’s even discount the statistical data showing that sexual exclusivity seems overwhelmingly conducive to a successful marriage. Abstinence also provides an incomparable bond of trust in a relationship.
Yes, I admit it, I’m in a long-term relationship and I’m abstinent. Scandalous, I know. It’s an incredibly difficult thing to do (mostly for me, because she’s way out of my league), and that’s what makes it so important.
I can tell you beyond any doubt, that my lady is able to control herself and stick to her values regardless of circumstance. Just as surely, she can say the same about me (Ben&Jerry’s benders notwithstanding). It is that display of self-control, that tangible example of living your principles through your life’s walk that ensures her that I won’t be jumping on the first well-proportioned opportunity that comes my way.
By the same token, I can rest easy knowing that my dame won’t be trying to bed Jersey Shore’s “The Situation” anytime soon. — Though he does have great abs.
Strong trust is the result. Constantly we hear cries of women aimed at their supposedly overly jealous boyfriends, “What’s the matter? Don’t you trust me?”
No, he doesn’t. You slept with him on the first date and there is no reason for him to think that you wouldn’t do the same when a better offer comes along.
Exactly! And that goes both ways, of course.
What Crowder is getting at here isn’t even so much not having sex at all before marriage but instead being in a long-term committed relationship before deciding to make love for the first time. Even though I’ve written on the concept of abstinence many a time on this blog (example here) and feel that, ideally it’s better to wait until marriage, I’m practical about the issue and realize that even those who don’t treat sex as a casual matter probably won’t do that. But, thankfully, most people who don’t treat sex as a casual matter won’t sleep with someone they are dating after just the first few dates. They’ll wait a while to assess the relationship before taking that leap of faith by sharing their body with their significant other.
My issue when it comes to casual sex is how our culture promotes it as something that shouldn’t be frowned on, that there shouldn’t be any responsiblity associated with just “having a good time” by hopping into bed with someone whose name you don’t even know, and then moving on. This is, to elites, the “mature” and “progressive” way to be in modern times. As you’ve probably guessed, though, I’m not a member of this “elite” group, nor am I “progressive.” As I wrote in July 2007:
As [Mona] Charen noted, women’s magazines promote the casual sex lifestyle in the name of ‘maturity’ for women, but as I’ve said before, there’s nothing mature – nor responsible – about sharing your body with someone just because you feel like ‘hooking up.’ It takes more maturity, and a more responsible person, whether they be a man or a woman, to say, “No thanks” rather than, “Cool! Your place or mine?”
Our ‘progressive’ culture promotes this type of self-esteem destroying behavior for both sexes, but more so on women than men since men have traditionally been known as the more sexually aggressive since – well, the beginning of time – thus these ‘progressives,’ including large numbers of uber-fems, have vigorously sought to promote a guilt-free lifestyle of casual sex with a de-emphasis on parenthood and/or the two parent family, a lifestyle that women are not hardwired for. Also, society’s demand for ‘instant gratification,’ whether it be for swinging through a Wendy’s drive-thru for a burger in the evening rather than coming home and cooking something more savory or getting your ‘groove on’ with the person you just met at a friend’s party rather than finding long term fulfillment – emotionally and sexually – in a serious, committed relationship, is another contributor to the moral decline we witness more and more each day.
Don’t believe me? Well then listen to actress Raquel Welch, one of the few women in Hollywood who “get it” when it comes to men and women both being responsible with their bodies and waiting a while before they begin the sexual part of their relationship.
When conservatives talk about issues like this, the assumption from the left is that people who advocate that a couple be in a long-term committed relationship before having sex are frigid, prudish, and backwards. I admit to none of the above, but I will admit to being just a little bit old-fashioned (and unashamedly so) when it comes to sex and relationships, and I suspect a fair number of men and women out there agree with me. Though there may be a “sexual spark” there when two people first start seeing each other, it’s still wise to wait a while and really get to know the person before you decide whether or not share yourself with that person, because when you share your body with someone else, you are sharing everything with them. You aren’t just naked physically, but you’re also naked emotionally and you should be very particular about who you reveal this side of yourself with because if you’re not careful, you could get burned in the end. Sure, you can still get burned even when you have been in a long-term relationship before you decide to have sex, but the instances of it are much less in a long-term relationship than one that is just dipping its toes into the water.
I understand that in today’s society we are stressed to the brink, have a lot on our plates, don’t want to put in the time and effort it takes to develop a relationship into a sexual relationship, and sometimes need a quick outlet for “release” from every day pressures, and some use one or more of those excuses to form strictly sexual relationships with others. This is problematic for numerous reasons, namely there is always the issue of disease or pregnancy in the event that one person didn’t properly protect themselves. Also, it’s not uncommon for at least one half of the sexual relationship to become emotionally attached to the other – who does not return the favor, which leads to resentment and bitterness. Also, it presents the human body as little more than a dispensable “commodity” of sorts to use as one pleases until they tire of it.
Isn’t a sexual relationship with someone you have known, trusted, and loved for a long time so much more fulfilling than that? Yes, it takes effort to build the relationship and build the trust, but as Crowder suggests in his article:
I’d also have to imagine that sex with someone whom you share trust, loyalty and open communication would be far more liberating than the thrill of any one-night stand you could enjoy.
Absolutely! And you know what? I’m even not crazy about using the term “sex” to describe what people in long-term committed relationships/marriages do when they’re in love. I prefer the term “making love.” Isn’t it so much more rewarding to make love? To “have sex” with someone you barely know is easy and provides only temporary enjoyment. Investing yourself in a long-term relationship with someone who you see yourself as having a future with, and that relationship developing into so much more makes the eventual consumation so much more fulfilling. Think about it: When you are in the throes of passion, which is more exciting for you to have in the back of your mind? That your partner completely trusts you and you completely trust them, or that in the morning you and your partner will go your separate ways to never see each other again?
All that said, just because you don’t start out having sex in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in the process. I shouldn’t have to explain this. We are all adults here. Of course, the “fun” I’m talking about doesn’t all revolve around intimate activity but it’s certainly a part of it.
Right. So now that I’ve turned about 17 shades of red from writing this, I’ll wrap this up on that note, and say that I look forward to your comments on the matter. :”>