*This article is written from a heterosexual’s personal point of view, regarding the sexual relationships between heterosexual couples
Idealising Sex After Marriage
In Singapore, our Asian values of chastity and modesty still prize the ‘purity’ of girls. Aided by the dominant religions of Singapore, abstaining from premarital sex is still seen as ideal.
Now, before y’all hate on me, I don’t have an issue with people who practice abstinence. What concerns me is the perceived moral superiority when individuals ‘save themselves’ for marriage.
Virginity: A Social Construct
Personally, I think sex is a big deal and shouldn’t be taken lightly; it should always happen safely with consent.
Sex doesn’t occur just for procreation. After all, most people engage in sexual intercourse for pleasure. Unless you tell me that your mum and dad only had sex twice in their lives to make you and your sibling, then fine, you win that argument.
In essence, virginity has no definite biological and medical definition. Preserving your virginity is a social construct. It was likely created to control female sexuality or influence sexual repression associated with romantic love.
The Perception Of ‘Saving Your Virginity’
But what happens when sex is placed on a pedestal? Or if it’s seen as an untouchable and hyper-sacred gift that should be reserved for marriage?
Isolated as something ‘dirty’, sex becomes an uncomfortable conversation topic. In return, this hinders our ability to teach our children about safe sex and the prevention of unwanted pregnancies.
Accompanying the physical transition from childhood to adulthood comes the gradual maturation of one’s sexuality. While I’m sure teenagers will figure it out with Google, having a mentor minimises the risk of misinformation and unsafe sexual experimentation.
Furthermore, putting sex on a pedestal creates unrealistic expectations for sex.
When you have sex for the first time, chances are it’s not going to be great. You don’t really know what you’re doing with your body and what you like or dislike.
And if someone has a fear and panic toward sex for his/her entire life, is it possible to switch on one’s sexuality once married? You don’t want to be that person who eats a raw potato every time you have ‘sexy thoughts about your spouse’.
Placing Abstinence On A Moral High Ground
By presenting individuals who ‘save their virginity for marriage’ as the ideal, it puts being a virgin on a moral high ground.
But in reality, should your sexual preferences affect your self-worth? ‘Saving sex for marriage’ is simply a choice, not the only choice or the right choice.
We should start seeing sex as a natural and seamless part of our lives that we need to ease and grow into. This means we need to be more open and honest when we talk about sex; we need to stop feeling ashamed about sex.
I believe that sexual compatibility is an important component of a relationship. While I respect those who wish to hold out for that one ‘forever’ partner, it’s not for me. I need to know if I’m sexually and physically compatible with my partner before I marry him.
As for slut-shaming, I believe it says a lot more about the person trying to slut-shame me, than who I am as a person. Does having multiple partners devalue my character? After all, what I do in the privacy my bedroom shouldn’t be of anyone’s concern.
Say I was a virgin who only wanted to marry a virgin, does this mean I have to discount a wonderful man just because he enjoys premarital sex? More importantly, I’d like to know my partner’s sexual preferences before spending my life with him. What if he pulls a 50 Shades but I only want to do missionary?
Make your own choices
The concept of virginity is useful for teaching our sons and daughters to respect their bodies and to love and treasure themselves. But having sex before marriage shouldn’t make you or anyone else feel inferior.
As a sex-positive person who respects free choice, I encourage people to make their own choices; this includes waiting for marriage to have sex.
If you choose to wait till marriage, make sure it’s because you want to, not because of some moral standard you ‘have to abide to’. Ultimately, no one can decide for you.
Cover Image: Adapted from source