Premarital sex is a fairly controversial topic. Based on our best research, it's exceedingly common (95%, based on this pretty good study.) Yet we still have a cultural tendency to vilify it. Maybe it's that Puritan heritage. Maybe it's our schizophrenic view of religion. Maybe we just like being rebellious, and frowning on premarital sex gives us a rush.
Regardless, here are seven reasons to kick the tires before buying the car:
1. You get practice. We don't learn to ride a bike during the first stage of the Tour de France, do we? Of course not. Why should sex be any different? We could probably solve a lot of our world problems if only people learned to be better lovers.
2. You can assess sexual compatibility. You like sex four times per week and enjoy some light bondage. Your partner wants sex one per month in missionary only. This is a problem. Post-marriage is not the time to discover this.
3. You can explore your own sexuality. This is related to the previous item. We never really know what we like until we try some stuff out. In the absence of experimentation, we have to rely on guessing. Getting to know what YOU like is a prerequisite to a fulfilling sex life.
4. Abstinence is much more difficult than it used to be. Back in the day, kids reached puberty (ad the accompanying drive to have sex) around age 15-16, then got married around 16-17. Premarital sex was easy to resist because they didn't have to wait long... maybe 10-15 months. Today, kids reach puberty around 12-13, but don't get married until mid-to-late twenties. Is it realistic to resist that drive for 10-15 YEARS? Of course not.
5. Abstinence promotes an association between shame and sex. Abstinence vilifies our sexuality by associating it with shame. I'll let Kristen Howerton speak to this one.
6. Abstinence promotes a sense of ownership over your significant other. The idea of "saving" virginity for our spouse has traditionally been a function of our religio-partiarchal heritage and encouraged a sense of ownership over our significant others. We could solve a lot of relationship issues if only we saw our spouses as autonomous beings that aren't bound by a contract.
7. Life is short. Sex is fun. No explanation necessary.
There you have it- seven reasons to test the milk before you buy the cow.