The decision to have sex or not before marriage is a deeply personal issue, not just for an individual, but for a couple as well. There is no right or wrong decision and it should ultimately not be decided by any outside opinions telling you what to do with your body. Some people make this decision based on religious beliefs, life experiences, and ultimately, their heart.
While I don’t think anyone should ever decide what to do with their body based on someone else’s opinion, there are some pros and cons of having sex before marriage. We want to walk you through those pros and cons today as well as provide conversation starters and questions for you and your partner to answer to help you make the best decision for you.
There are many reasons why people decide to have sex before marriage both while they’re dating/engaged and before with other partners. There are clear benefits to not waiting until your wedding night to have sex with the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. Here are some reasons why having sex before marriage can be a good thing:
You’ll be more connected with your sexual identity
Every single person on the planet has a different sexual identity, both in who they’re attracted to, but also what they enjoy the most sexually. It’s important to know that and to have done that discovery work before settling down.
Some of this has to do with someone’s sexual identity. In many instances, individuals don’t start thinking or questioning their sexual identity until they actually have sex. Your sexual identity is an important thing to figure out before marriage.
Plus, it’s important that what you like sexually is a good match for what your partner likes sexually. If you’re not sexually compatible or don’t voice what you need sexually from a partner before a marriage, it can be a source of contention once you’re actually married.
You’ll have sexual experiences
Another reason why having sex before marriage is good is that it’ll strengthen your confidence with not only what your partner may desire from you, but what you desire and how to ask for it. And although you’ll ultimately have to work with your partner to communicate both of your wants and needs, it’ll give you a much larger head start to already know what you want and need before you’re married.
You’ll find out if you have sexual chemistry
Sexual chemistry isn’t something you can force. No matter how much you love a person, it may turn out that you don’t have any sexual chemistry together. If you don’t discover this until after you’re married, it can be absolutely devastating. If you’re not sexually attracted to your partner, this can bring a large amount of conflict and pain into your marriage that wouldn’t be there if you had discovered whether or not you were sexually compatible before saying “I do”.
You can have the time to work through sexual problems with your partner
We’re not perfect. And sometimes you or your partner can have problems involving sex. These can be biological issues, medical issues, mental health issues, or trauma-related issues. It’s good to work through and talk about these issues before you’re married so you don’t spend the time doing it once you’re married.
It’ll strengthen your relationship with your partner
Sexual intimacy is a form of intimacy like any other, it helps you connect on a deeper level with your partner. This connection will allow you and your partner to connect even deeper on an emotional level which will help you two communicate easier and better.
You could be happier
There are many studies out there that show that romantic relationships with a healthy sex life are happier and healthier relationships overall. With a healthy sex life, partners feel more comfortable with each other and more content.
Sex also helps decrease stress and anxiety, which you’re probably feeling if you’re planning a wedding. Sex releases dopamine and endorphins which are natural chemicals that reduce stress.
You could be healthier
Along with mental health benefits that help increase happiness, there’s also physical health benefits for having an active sex life.
Health benefits for an active sex life include: a stronger immune system; increase of your heart rate (yay, a way to exercise and have fun); lowers your blood pressure; orgasms are a natural pain remedy; and it can help you sleep.
Just like there are many pros to having sex before marriage, there are also cons. Again, for many people choosing not to have sex before marriage, they’re making that decision based on religious beliefs. Because religious beliefs vary so much, let’s focus on the cons of having sex before marriage that aren’t related to religion. Here are some reasons why having sex before marriage may not be great:
You might get bored of each other
This depends on how long you and your partner are together for, but if you’ve been together for ten years and have been sexually active that whole time, there’s a large chance that your sex life might be losing its spark. This is a normal thing for all couples who have been together for a long time. Sex becomes repetitive and routine rather than an emotional and physical connection. This can even result in people becoming disinterested in having sex with your partner. You don’t want to lose your passion for your partner before you’re even married. That takes away from a lot of excitement and celebration.
You might be afraid of repercussions
Sex does sometimes have consequences, it’s the way biology works. You should talk with your partner before you’re sexually active and discuss your thoughts and fears about having children before (and even after) you’re married.
You might be afraid that you’re incompatible
Like I mentioned before, a reason why you should have sex before marriage is to see if you’re sexually compatible with your partner and if you’re sexually attracted to them. However, this comes with a big fear. What if you’re not? What if they’re not sexually attracted to you? If this happens, there is a real possibility this could end in hard conversations and even a break up.
You might be happier if you wait
Yes, I know that I said earlier that you’ll be happier if you have sex before marriage. But there’s always conflicting studies. One study showed that couples who waited to have sex until after they got married were overall more satisfied in their relationships than couples who didn’t.
Dr. Caleb Jacobson, Psychologist and Podcaster, recommends having, “a serious talk with your partner and ask them, what are your values of sex before marriage? Take away what yours or theirs religious views are or yours or theirs family’s beliefs, but get to how they feel about the subject of premarital sex. Until you or your partner can answer this, there may always be a sense of conflict in your relationship. Be honest with them and yourself.”
In the end, the decision whether or not to have sex before marriage is a deeply personal one that should be decided between you and your partner. No one else should have a say over what you two decide to do with your relationship. There are pros and cons for whatever you decide, but if you’re informed, educated, and have a healthy communication with each other, no choice is the wrong one.