When should you start having sex? I was reading through a question posed by a 16 year old young lady. Here is what she asked this online community of relative strangers, “My friend is wondering what other people think. She is 16 and so am I. I think that its fine around the age of 16 if you use protection. She thinks that its fine when ever.”
She titled her post “What age should you start having sex?”
I have a 16 year old daughter myself and imagined that these people were responding to my daughter. That was pretty disturbing to me from the young lady who says she started at 13 and has loved it ever since to another 16 year old who confirmed that yes 16 is indeed the perfect age.
While there were a few cautionary responses to this young lady, I began to wonder to myself what would I tell this young lady myself. In fact, I personalized it more. What would I tell both my 16 year old daughter and my 22 year old son?
Rather than giving them a specific age or situation (e.g., “when you find the right person”), I would tell them why I remained a virgin until I got married. Yes, despite biological urges, social pressures, and even some “close calls” on my wedding night at the age of 22 I had my first sexual experience. I’m proud of that.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I mentioned some “close calls”. I wasn’t an angel. Honestly, there were some heavy petting episodes that I am not particularly proud of. But, there was something in my mind that would not allow me to “go all the way” to consummate the deal. Based on my religious convictions, I just didn’t think I could live with myself if I just let go.
Why did I wait? Some might call it fear. Others might say avoiding shame or guilt. I’m sure all of these are true at some level. But, looking back, I really do think God was protecting me in some ways. I didn’t want God or my family to be disappointed in me. I didn’t want to give away something that I could never undo. That is about as sophisticated as my thinking was during those years.
Now with many more years of experiences and knowledge, I can better articulate (even making a Top 10 list) why I am so glad that I was a virgin when I married. And, most of these same reasons explain why I have stayed and expect to remain faithful to my wife alone.