After my piece on celibacy and following the decision to become celibate myself, I have become inclined to support those who make the decision to stay celibate or in extension those who support the cause. Celibacy can be one hell of a lifestyle considering the weight it lifts off our shoulders from the pressure we are mostly under from society and friends and of course the sexual expectations from our partners. So much pressure that we can’t stop to breathe in a world where everyone is experimenting. With that weight of your shoulders, a redirection of your time and energy into something more meaningful ensues. In recent weeks as I was watering the garden of my mind, I came across this particular piece that I found worth sharing. I would be doing nobody any good if I kept this knowledge to myself.
Read more about my previous article here: On Celibacy
WHY YOU DON’T NEED TO EXPERIMENT SEXUALLY BEFORE YOU MARRY: A RESPONSE TO ANNE MUIRURI’S ARTICLE ON STANDARD’S CRAZY MONDAY BY ERNEST WAMBOYE WAKHUSAMA WEDNESDAY,13 JUNE 2018.
I read Anne Muiruri’s piece on the Standard newspaper on Monday. It was in the Crazy Monday section. The article was titled, “Why you should be sure of sexual Compatibility before saying I do.” In the article, she tries to build a case against the concept of maintaining one’s virginity before marriage. The article is laced with several falsehoods and enough subjective claims that try to dissuade any virgin from waiting until marriage. Nothing written is empirical or worthy of trust, especially when she says “I’m not advocating for teenagers to have premarital sex.” Since Anne began with the subjective, I will too; my wife and I got married as virgins and we have never regretted it. Still on the subjective; given the chance, we would wait all over again. Muiruri’s plane did not take off because she ignored some hard reality. And that’s where I will differ from her rationale. I will stand on the objective.
Anne Muiruri states that a lot of marriages are going down the drain because many couples got married without experimenting sexually. This is one of her subjective and empirically unsubstantiated claims. But there is some good in it; I would first like to state that it is a good thing that she acknowledges that some couples get married as virgins. In fact, she uses the words “a lot of couples,” meaning that these virgin marriages are many, in her estimation. I don’t agree with her statement. I don’t believe chastity is popular. However, her truth-deficient statement has one fact right-waiting for sex until marriage is a possibility. The meat of her statement implies that these virgin-married couples are suffering for their chastity virtue. She even asserts that many of them are having divorces? Would Anne care to share the source of her information? It is yellow Journalism at best. Where is this intelligence that virgins are sighing with regret under the bed-sheets on their honey moon and beyond? Not only are the article’s claims fictitious but their premises are based on popular subjective myths concerning marriage.
Sex is not an audition for dating
I must note that Anne’s advice is not new; in fact, it is no different from how high-school boys push each other to have sex. The hormonal boys often jibe, “What if you get married and you have a horrible marriage because you did not test drive?” My first response to that (and consequently to Anne) is very simple; sex is not an audition for dating. In fact, the 26-year-old virgin lady that Anne met, given a chance, may have more to say; she may add that for her Judeo-Christian beliefs, sex is a gift for marriage. In Anne’s world, sex is a performance test that will prove whether a marriage will thrive or not; and in this auditioning process if you fail, you won’t get casted. If you pass, you get the role. The overt problem with Muiruri’s line of thought is that you can’t stop to breathe in a world where everyone is experimenting. To Anne, marriage is the tick-tocking bomb that will explode and you had better get a bomb-expert who can survive the blast in the mattress. Since Anne treats sex as an act of merely experimenting she must be aware that when experiments fail, we move onto new better experiments. But let’s assume Anne is right; let’s assume that you use sex as an audition process and you do get casted without any hitches. You are elated! And since she was addressing virgin girls in her article, I suppose that the elation is in the fact that they bagged a man after kissing several frogs. The problem ladies, is that now you must memorize all your lines and keep the performance on the up and up. If you don’t, you could be replaced with an under-cast who seems to have more potential (often a bigger derriere). If you do not show up for practice, the play must continue. And continue it shall, with another willing and “better” thespian of the bed sheets. In doing so, comes the excessive pressure women put on themselves to merely please a male; it’s not worth it. Remain a virgin. In all my counseling and teaching on sexuality, young people who have experimented with sex often have more anxiety concerning the health of the relationship than their celibate counterparts.
Her next fatal assumption is addressing the virgin girls whilst conveniently ignoring the problem of the men she is advocating them to sleep with. Anne states “Being a virgin only means you are sexually inexperienced and in today’s world, no man is dying to be with a sexually inexperienced woman.” Her clarion call to virgins is clear; have sex or else men will reject you and not marry you! Bring experience to the table so that the men of today will accept you, Anne cries. To that I respond, if the man you will marry rates your usefulness by how you spread your legs then you are unfortunate to marry a fool; a boy who claims to be a man. But if the fool’s rejection will kill you, well then go on! Virginity will derail you if you marry such a brute. Anne Muiruri’s line of thought is the very belief system that drives those very men to objectify girls. Those very men whom she subtly praises by saying, and I quote: “…no man is dying to be with a sexually inexperienced woman” are the same ones she is pressuring our young girls to sexually submit to. And once these men find out that their “experiment” is now a single mom, Anne maybe forced to write another article forcing the former virgins to abort than keep the child of a man she once praised. Anne’s article deceives her readers; sexual experimentation to avoid the rejection of these virtue-intolerant men does not bring experience to the table; it brings baggage. Virgin girls do not owe men any experimenting. They can honorably wait until marriage whether it’s 2018 or 1701. In doing so they will discover that there are better men out there.
Good sex in marriage
Another gross assumption by Anne Muiruri is implying that sex inside marriage will be limiting especially if you didn’t get the right candidate through practice and experimenting. This is not true. In their book, Our Sexuality, Robert L. Crooks and Karla Baur site work by the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS) concerning sexual enjoyment. In chapter 13 on page 414 on a diagram titled “Table 13.2” they explicitly show that married people have greater sexual satisfaction than dating and cohabiting couples. The women specifically experience way greater sexual satisfaction through having more orgasms than their counterparts having sex outside of marriage. This greater satisfaction is not dependent on having prior practice and experience. Even the virgins who waited until marriage are having this greater satisfaction. They are not divorcing enmasse as Anne falsely put. Well, if this greater sexual satisfaction does not come from practice and experimenting, where does it come from? Crooks and Baur state that sexual interest and intensity is maintained by the safety of long-term relationships. It is the safety of a commitment that fuels the sexual fire; it is not the fear and uncertainty of pre-marital experimentation.
Anne Muiruri’s article is speaking what the culture falsely believes; that you can correctly rate the health of a relationship based on the frequency and ecstasy of sex you are having. Nothing could be further from the truth. You could be more sexually active than your friends but have the worst relationship on the planet. There is a difference between having sex and making love; Anne’s article knows no distinction. If you have been married for a while, you must understand that good sex does not make a good marriage. It is the other way round. A good marriage produces great sex. Sex does not regulate the temperature of a marriage. A marriage regulates the temperature of sex. The idea that the way to fix a potentially bad marriage in one’s future is to go to the bedroom and lose your virginity is simply to try justify a hedonistic craving. The truth is that the way to fix a disappointing sex life is to fix your marriage. Why? Because good sex is a product of a healthy relationship; it is not an independent variable. You experience greater sexual satisfaction if you and your spouse are kind to each other. If you are patient with each other. If you are considerate to each other. Sex that makes you want to cry tears of joy is a by-product of a working marriage. It is not the producer of great marriages. Anne has put the cart before the horse. Against her knowledge, marriages break even with copious amounts of pre-marital sex.
Sex is not a marathon
When it comes to sex, I often see that those who coerce others into doing it seem to almost believe that sex is like a leaking bottle of water that is running dry. So they rush the populace to abandon the ship of chastity and swim to the island of the leaking bottle quickly before it runs out. And Anne’s article was no different. It was almost as if she is telling the virgins to act quickly lest they will miss on this “life-saving” experience. We shouldn’t be rushed by this panic. The fear of these proponents is often that we need to have sex ASAP lest we end up with someone who is bad in bed and we can’t divorce them. Such reasoning makes a gross assumption that this world is divided into two people: good in bed and bad in bed. They imagine that the world has tantalizing sexual beasts who will give you apocalyptic sex and on the other hand it has weak dwarves with a poor CV between their legs. And their end game is to warn you lest you end up with a dwarf. They caution you to better test drive before you ride so that you can locate a beast that will ravish you until you are weak with pleasure.
But that is just not true. Sex is not a marathon with few people who are very good at it. Sex, like any other art is learned. It is practiced, it is polished, it is talked about and it is improved on. You don’t need experience to do this. You can start your lessons as a virgin the day you get married. There is no need to impress on the mattress on your first day, unless the person you are getting married to only tied the knot for the jumpy ride. But Anne’s article implies you must show up in marriage with karate kicks. You need not; sex is not a marathon. Sex is more like taking a walk with your lover. There is no competition to win because you are in the same team. You take a stroll through the park, hand in hand. You run a little in the meadow. You tickle one another as you sit on the bench. You take his jacket when it feels cold. You run down the hill. You wait for the rain to pass as you stand under a shelter. You splash the water on each other and you eventually get home to a warm fire. This is the kind of sex that doesn’t need a beast; it needs a friend. Sex with a friend is the lasting romance behind a godly marriage. Sex is a not a marathon because marriage is not a competition. Virgins who choose to wait can wait and can do so patiently and for those that hold religious views, you must understand that the fermentation of your feelings right now is a test of patience and an establishing of your character and you will not regret it in the marriage bed.
Anne reaches the tail of her article by rebuking the virgins waiting for marriage. “It is not like waiting for marriage is going to make the experience more pleasurable for you,” she states. Anne ought to know that waiting for marriage will not have any loss to the experience either. Prior to her ending, she equates sex to a mere physical need. She describes the act of sex as meeting one’s physical needs. Many people, especially women, will disagree with Anne. For women especially, sex is not just about meeting a physical need. A woman will not open up sexually if she has not opened up emotionally. To relegate sex to a mere flesh encounter is belittling and objectifying. The very prejudices she claims to counter are her key virtues. Even if you are not religious; you don’t need to know that beyond the physical self you have an innate self that is concerned about more than the physical word. I’m not talking about heaven and hell. I’m talking about emotions of your soul like joy and bitterness. I’m talking about things like respect, honor and ecstasy. These are things that this physical world cannot contain but we experience them every day. Sex goes beyond the physical and falls into that beyond-physical realm.
Reduce sex to only a physical need and you have no moral authority to fight sexual offenders who were merely meeting their needs. They are offenders because we have souls and our souls feel. Our souls feel sex even if we try to use protection; there is no condom for your soul. People have hearts that break and not engines that break down. We cannot test drive a soul because it is more valuable than a simple vehicle. A human being has a heart not an engine. The idea of test driving reduces a human being to an object. This is the heart behind pornography and the rape culture in many societies today. To consent to the test and drive idea is to further this agenda.
Any virgin out there may as well continue waiting. Whether that decision came after starting to live out your faith or for any other genuine reason, you may as well continue waiting. For many of us that chose that path, it was a fight of lust versus love. May your pursuit of love be fanned even further by this poem from Winnie Waruguru:
Lust wants the here and now because it burns up and out like a thirsty fire;
Love wants the forever and always because it shines on and on like the sure sun.
Love is patient.
Lust tells me: hurry up, before anyone knows.
Love tells me: wait until everyone knows.
Love is patient.
Lust strips my body and soul naked and leaves me out in the cold;
Love covers me up and keeps me warm. It awaits the time it will strip me, only to shelter me in its assuredness.
Love is patient.
Lust overdraws on an uncertain tomorrow to pay for unnecessary expenses today; Love
Invests in a sure tomorrow while avoiding unnecessary expenses today.
Love is patient.
Lust stages a coup on my heart, threatened; because it knows it is not its rightful ruler;
Love waits patiently as a Crown Prince waits for years, confident; because it knows it’s the rightful heir.
Love is patient.
©Cooper Jose Njoroge (The Philosopher King)