If you haven't already read Part 1, which is my story as a virgin, you might want to have that perspective before hearing what I am about to share.
First, I love that I can share openly with you here because my husband is the most genuine and open man I know. What you see is what you get with him. In fact, with him, what you see is often not as good as what you get. While most are the best versions of themselves with others. Chris is the best version of himself with those he is closest to. He is all about letting our lives be lessons learned for others. So if you had any concern, I have his total blessing to share these details with you (which isn't every detail, some things should remain private and sacred) and he has proofed both of these posts before they were published.
So the big question: Was it worth the wait?
As you can see from the title of this blog, yes! Yes it was totally worth the wait.
But for different reasons than you might think. We weren't masters of sex the first time. For us it wasn't like the movies. There was no swinging from a chandelier. Or when Harry Met Sally restaurant scene.
It was better than anything the movies have ever lessened sex to be.
That first night together is honestly one of my favorite memories of all time. We still talk about it. I can't help but to smile when thinking about it. It was so sweet. So intimate. So right. It was amazing to be together. Not just together when it came to sex, but together period. We'd never slept in the same bed. All of it was so very exciting and each moment so very special. There was so much freedom and acceptance.
Looking deep into his eyes I'd never felt as honored knowing he had been unlike so many other men: he waited for me too. He loved me that much. I knew I could trust him to be self-controlled in marriage because he was self-controlled before marriage.
And now, four and a half years into marriage, Chris and I just were saying yesterday that sex has never been so good. We weren't masters of it right away and we aren't masters of it now. But I've learned that sex isn't about technique it's about connection.
Listen, I get why those adults used to joke about not having sex. When life happens, it can easily become something you have to work towards. And unfortunately most of our society jokes about the things we feel uncomfortable with. And then when we hear a "me too" that is our excuse to stay in a bad behavior (not having sex, not working out, not eating right, etc.). For us we've found as long as we keep it a consistent part of our lives then it doesn't feel like an obligation. It feels like a joy.
So on to what I'd recommend from what I learned...
Disclaimer: I know all our stories are different. Mine isn't perfect. Your's isn't perfect. There is no judgement among us for our stories being different. I pray there is no shame. My hope in sharing all this is to help you, the way I wish someone would've grabbed me way sooner and said all these things... even if it did make me uncomfortable. It needs to be talked about. I know some think this is too private of a conversation to have on a blog. But that just isn't me. For me I have always been able to reach more people by choosing to put the most of me out there, the good & bad. I felt like it was time to share this part of my journey, even all the details I would've been quite happy to not share with the world wide web.
#1: Make it your choice and know why you are making it. If you are just choosing to do something because your parents said to or your minister or your BFF, that is the wrong reason. Yes, listen to them, they are there as (hopefully) amazing counsel for you. But you have to know what you believe. Do your own research. Make your own decisions.
#2: Define the grey by setting some boundaries. You need to determine what is grey. If virgin is white and not virgin is black, specifically define what is grey (which I believe is temptation). Whatever could tempt you into the black should be avoided. To be specific here, I know for me I can't kiss with the tongue and not want to do more. So that was something Chris and I put off till engagement and then only did a few times when engaged. In the big perspective we have the next 50 years to make out. Waiting a few months or years to us was worth it compared to what we knew could come a few more steps into the grey. Whatever is your point of temptation make your final boundary a few steps before that. Does that make sense?
"I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others." 1 Corinthians 10: 23-24
#3: Ask others what worked for them and what didn't work. Find some relationships you admire and ask them to be willing to share the details. From that point learn from their lessons and form your own boundaries. Some things that I knew were dangerous for me: kissing with the tongue, kissing on the neck, laying down together, being together past midnight. Did I still venture into these things sometimes, yes. That's how I learned they weren't recommended.
"let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance" Proverbs 1:5
#4: As awkward as it is may be, share your boundaries right away with the person you are dating. If possible ask them to share first. Who ever has stricter boundaries, go with those. Both of you need to be best protected. At Chris and I's first d.t.r. (define the relationship), I specifically said to him, "We will not mess up. It's not an option. My life and my calling mean too much to me. I am out if this becomes unhealthy." And he immediately responded, "I agree." That was our talk. You have yours, it will look different and that's OK. Also, don't pull the Christian girl card and say, "I'm just going to let him lead this." Don't just let him lead it. You are called to submit to your own husband, not to your boyfriend. How can you submit to your husband now in this current relationship?
"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord." Ephesians 5:22
#5: Give people permission to ask how you are doing physically in your relationship, and choose to be honest with them. Y'all this is huge. Community is huge. We weren't meant to go at this alone. When we are in a relationship we aren't thinking clearly. We have all these emotions and desires clouding out our clarity. Give others permission to call you out. And listen to them. Oh there are so many times I wish I would've listened. I wish I didn't have to learn the lesson myself, I wish I could've learned it from them.
"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17
#6: Give yourself lots of grace and receive lots of grace. This is the biggest point of all. Note that I did not say take advantage of grace. But those times you are tempted and fall, run back to the cross in repentance as fast as you can. It's OK. Your life isn't ruined. There is grace to be had.
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:1-2
#7: Believe that you can change and that you are worth it. I so wish I could say this to you face to face. Because then I'd know if I need to say it again. Probably I do. You are worth it. You can change. It seems impossible now, but I promise you, as a former relationship wreck, you can.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 1 Corinthians 5:17
#8: Finally, remove all the things you can that tempt you. Does that make sense? For me I had to cancel some magazine subscriptions (goodbye Cosmo). I had to stop watching some shows that numbed me to what wasn't a reality about sex (even if it was reality TV). I had to walk out of some movies (P.S. They will refund you your money). I had to say no to a few first dates because I knew off the bat that mans character didn't line up with the standards that were already in place. I'm sure there were more things. This point has to be reevaluated constantly. Some things will tempt you in 3 months that never bothered you before. Be aware and remove the temptation.
"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
Question: What is the best advice you've been given or learned?
Check out some of the other 2012 relationship guest posts:
Erin DuBroc (Why things had to change: Part 1 & Part 2)