Monday, 7 April 2014

The 'S' Word: Sex

Olga tests by NerySoul
Olga tests
by NerySoul

I grew up quite naive, innocent... pure-minded... Ever since recently,
 I always thought sex before marriage was something I would
 never be able to handle. It was a 'no' from me. But as
 I progress through life, I learn that there are always 2-sides of an issue. 

I was raised to think that sex can only be for after marriage, and that's not because my family is religious. It's more a culture thing. Being raised in a quite traditional Chinese family. But I am born in Australia, and raised in Australia. So as I'm progressing through life, growing, and maturing, I realised that I don't live in China, I'm not a traditional Chinese girl. The Western culture has inevitably been rubbed off on me. I am a Chinese girl, born and raised in Western Culture. 
So up until I reached university 2 years ago, I used to judge those who decided to have sex before marriage. I mean, the portrayal of sex during high school was highly negative. I still think it is wrong. They were in their young teens, how would they know any better, than to just throw something away like that. But after reaching uni, I've matured, I've met people and I've learned from them. People in their twenties having sex is different. They are mature enough to know. 

sensual by zieniu by zieniu
by zieniu
And changing from being judgmental towards those who have lost their virginity, to now accepting them for the choices they've made... I have come even further. In the past few months, I have questioned if I, too, would consider losing it before marriage. And this is a huge change in me.  
I don't have a boyfriend right now, and I will definitely, not in a million billion cadrillion years, be the promiscuous type who hooks up with people and give it away just like that. So I won't have to decide any time soon, thankfully! But this issue of waiting for marriage has really got my head in a knot.

So let me list down my personal reasons for wanting to wait, and not wanting to wait. This has nothing to do with religious matters, nor raging hormones. This is pure clear-minded thoughts on the issue.So let's begin. Reasons for waiting for marriage: The biggest reason is this, it's just the way I've been raised. It's been programmed in my mind. I have been raised to view is as 'dirty'. I don't think I will be able to face my own mother after having done it. I would feel guilty and dirty. And I cannot help it, because as I have said, it's been programmed into me. Second reason would be that I worry that the guy I lose it with won't end up being the one, and so when we break-up, not only will I be heartbroken that he didn't end up being who I thought he was, but I would be even more heartbroken because he would have taken away something very precious to me. 
Now finally, a reason linked with the second one... would a new guy see you any less knowing that you have lost your virginity to your ex-boyfriend. If it did matter, and that is what stood between you and your future... wouldn't you hate yourself? And no, none of that nonsense of 'if he loves you, he would accept everything about you, including your past'. Because honestly... Sometimes some things in our past cannot be erased and will have a continuing presence and effect well into our future, and this could be one of them. If would be fair, though, that if you hope that he would accept you for not being a virgin, that you can accept him if he's not a virgin. And that's the thing, most guys sleep around, because society these days put all the pressure on the woman whilst the men can just fly free and sleep around. It's not viewed as such a condemning act for men than it is for women. 

Soft by ownroom
by ownroom
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So here's the thing. I 'feel' one way about the issue, but I can also 'think' another. I can feel as though losing my virginity would be 'dirty' but the other opinions out there make sense to me too. There is nothing 'dirty' about it. We only think it is dirty because of how society portrays it. You do not lose your purity because of it. You don't change. You don't suddenly become a horrible person, or something that sleeps around. And a bigger misconception is that virginity is almost tangible, it's something you 'lose'. 
It's just an experience. It's not an object. You don't lose anything. If put that way, we lose something huge everyday. Because we experience something new everyday, we are enlightened with amazing knowledge everyday and what we lose is our ignorance. There is so much pressure in viewing out virginity as something 'precious'. In all honesty, this view of it being precious is fast diminishing in society. How many people out there in their mid or late twenties are still virgins, they exist but there aren't many I would assume.

someone who could catch me by tokarchuk
I guess in a sense that makes them rare then? And so they are precious? But the biggest question is, what do the guys think. Do they really value chastity? Because at the end of the day, the one person that it affects the most would be your partner. Everything else is just self-confidence and self-acceptance. And this is why I've become so conflicted, because both views, both sides of opinions make sense to me. There is nothing wrong about either choice. At the end of the day, I guess it depends on what type of person you are. For example, you can't expect your partner to accept that you've lost your virginity when you wouldn't be able to accept a man who's lost his. I used to struggle with this. 
The possibility that the man I love has shared an intimate experience with another woman. And as far off into the past that may be, it would haunt me. But now I think I'm being more open-minded (but not wild... or loose).  Still, it would bug me, not sure how much or how long... but my views are changing day after day. Taking different sides of this issue each time. And because I'm so indecisive, risk facing regret, I'm going to stay with waiting for marriage until I am 100% sure that I've got nothing to worry about anymore. Plus, that's the beauty of being single. No expectations and no need to worry about the future. Thank god for being single! But after hearing about my own opinions, how about you read what I've read:
hearts hunger II by laura-makabresku

Mandy Velez - The Problem With Waiting For Marriage
I remember the exact moment that I decided I wanted to lose my virginity.
It was in college and I was in love. But being an over-thinker, I wasn't 100 percent sure. That changed, however, after I attended a sex-positive event on campus where a fun lesbian speaker told us that sex needs to be something good, something we have control of. She must have been super convincing, because as the stage faded to black and we all filed out of the auditorium, I decided then and there that I wanted to have sex. Not because I was raging with hormones, but because it's something I wanted to do, and my body and mind felt ready to experience it.
I was lucky, though. My parents would have preferred me to wait, but they understood that as an adult, I was free to make my own choices. So, instead of fear-mongering, they armed me with education about condoms, a birth control prescription and knowledge that I needed to be safe and give consent. And I'm glad they did. Because I didn't have the pressure to wait until marriage, I felt no shame about my sexual choices. Instead, I was proud. I did the research, took the necessary precautions and made the decision myself.
When relaying what happened between my then-boyfriend and I to my mom several months later, not once did she refer to my choice as a "mistake." Yes, the guy and I eventually broke up, but having sex with him was what I wanted at the time. And I learned from it. I moved on and felt no regrets.
I wish more twenty-somethings could say they had the same rewarding experience as I did, and that's why I find the phrases "wait until marriage" and "save yourself" problematic. While a seemingly well-intentioned plan, the concept is inherently flawed. As a straight, cisgendered, reasonably privileged woman, my problem with "waiting for marriage" stems from the fact that some religious communities pose "waiting for marriage" as the right choice, instead of just a choice -- and it's detrimental to women and their relationships.
While pushing the waiting for marriage agenda can hurt men, it especially sets women back. The idea that women, and women alone, should be "pure" for their husbands puts all of the responsibly on them. This pressure makes women more likely to feel ashamed, or worse, damaged, if they "fail" to remain chaste. The concept makes it seem like this so-called "purity" is worth more than sexual autonomy.
Don't get me wrong; If people feel compelled to wait, that's their choice, and as a sex-positive person, free-choice -- regardless of whether I'd make the same decision -- is important to me. But spreading the idea that physical love must wait for marriage puts a restriction on the way people express love. It makes women and men seem like they're incapable of making their own sexual choices and being happy with them. Or that it'll be impossible to pick themselves up if and when a long-term relationship doesn't end up as they'd planned. The argument to "wait until marriage" puts sex so high on a pedestal that love and exploration -- what sex is truly about -- are lost to fear and uncertainty. It makes any kind of sex before marriage experience (good, or bad, or ugly) look like a failure when, in reality, those experiences can teach us a lot about ourselves, our wants and our desires.
I live with my boyfriend of two years now, and if we decide to get married, I can go into our lifelong bond knowing exactly what I like or what I don't, and can be 100 percent sure that we have a connection beyond just our sexual needs. Because deciding to have sex and getting married are two different things. Sex is an aspect of marriage, but you also need love, commitment and trust.
Those of us that chose to have a sex life before marriage need to stop being made to feel ashamed. We need to be able to stop justifying our choice with the fact that we're progressive or not religious, and just start thinking of it as just another part of life. And maybe those that believe that waiting is better need to understand that, too. As long as it's safe and consensual, choosing to have sex before marriage for whatever reason doesn't make you immoral. It just makes you human.
This isn't to say that we should throw all caution to the wind when it comes to sex -- Protection and mutual respect are key. However, we need to reframe how we view sex. When it comes to sharing an intimate experience with someone, regardless if it is everything we dreamed about or not, we shouldn't have to apologize for it -- just learn from it and move on.

Ashley Campbell - There Is No Problem With Waiting For Marriage

A blog post recently appeared in Huffington Post titled The Problem With ‘Waiting For Marriage’ and I am here to say, there is no problem with waiting for marriage. The author of the post, Mandy Velez, spoke of attending a “sex-positive event” on her college campus. She said that was the moment she decided she wanted to lose her virginity.
I can tell you about the exact moment I decided I wanted to lose my virginity, however, I’m not one to kiss and tell, so I would rather keep that private. I will tell you I am a firm believer in waiting until you are married.
Young adults today grow up hearing messages like the one from Mandy Velez. Messages that say there is no shame in not waiting, that having sex before your married should just be looked at as another aspect of your life. That sex is something that was rewarding for her with her then-boyfriend when she was twenty-something. You know what? Waiting to have sex can be even more rewarding. And that is what our young adults need to know.
Sex is serious business. Most people who say there is no need to wait cite those of us who do say we should wait as religious fanatics, so let’s go ahead and leave religion out of it for now. Let’s just talk about the basics.
Sex gives you the power to be a co-creator with another individual. A co-creator. Think about that for a minute. What else gives you the power to create another human being? Another little person, who will grow up and have their own personality, but be a mix of you and your partner? A baby requires a lot from you, in fact, I am writing this on a Friday night sitting in a squished toddler bed with my two-year-old who is currently saying she wants to see her Uncle Jimmy, singing ‘No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed’ and beeping like a car, simultaneously. You know what I want to be doing right now? Eating ice cream and watching Anchorman 2, which I couldn’t finish last night because my five-year-old woke up and wanted to discuss the philosophies of preschool with me in the middle of the night. Then my three-year-old woke up screaming about wanting a drink from his specific Ninja Turtles cup, which had to first be washed before he could drink out of it. But that’s okay. I can handle all of this, because I want this, and I want this with my husband. I couldn’t have handled all of this in my twenties with some guy I slept with just because I had decided I wanted to lose my virginity.
Mandy Velez also spoke of how the “waiting for marriage agenda” especially hurts women because it demands of them pureness and puts all of the responsibility on them. Where does “wait until your married” say it is for women only? No way sister, this message is for our boys too. You know how my night’s going…you want to hear about how Kelly, my husband’s, night went a few weeks ago? He got thrown up on, multiple times, by a three-year-old. There is a two-year-old who adores him and follows him everywhere screaming “my Kelly” and insisting to be held every second he is home. And there is a five-going-on-sixteen-year-old who demands his attention at all times, meaning that he has learned to carry on multiple conversations about “this little piggy” and riding bikes, and why we couldn’t catch a leprechaun all at the same time. And you know what else? He loves it. Would he have loved it as a twenty-something with some girl who he had wanted to lose his virginity with? Probably not. But this is real life. This is parenting. And this is what comes from having sex.
Sex is not something to be taken lightly. I personally believe that sex is something that is best when shared with someone who you share a marriage commitment with, and I feel like this message that there is no problem with waiting for marriage is valid and deserves as much attention as the message not to wait gets. The guy I always thought I was going to marry, the guy who I would have lost my virginity to if I had not made a decision to wait, he isn’t the guy I married. Not only is he not the guy I married, he isn’t the guy I thought he was, and he isn’t someone who deserved to have sex with me.
So here’s the secret. Here is what waiting for marriage is all about. Sex is commitment. Mandy Velez said “Because deciding to have sex and getting married are two different things. Sex is an aspect of marriage, but you also need love, commitment and trust.” Call me old-fashioned, but don’t you want love, commitment and trust with your sexual partner as well? Those adjectives are for marriage, and they are for sexual relationships as well. They clearly show how marriage and sex are meant to be enjoyed together.
So here is my message to all young people, girls and boys, are you ready? Listen up. It’s okay to wait. There is no problem with waiting for marriage. I think that if you stand up for yourself and say you choose to wait, you are making a brave and bold choice. I commend you for it. I applaud you for saying, “I know what I want, and I want to wait.” I more than applaud you, I give you a freaking standing ovation! And when you hear all these messages of people who didn’t wait, it may seem like you are the only person in the world who is choosing to wait. But you aren’t. There are plenty of people who are choosing to wait for marriage before having sex. There is nothing wrong with you if you choose to be one of them.
This is not to say that everyone who has sex before marriage is a horrible person who is not “pure.” Having sex before marriage does not mean you lose your worth. Having sex before marriage does not mean that you won’t have a successful marriage. You do not deserve less if you do not wait. There is nothing wrong with you if you do not wait, and you are still amazing, and wonderful. You are still special, and your sexual relationships are your business. You can make you own choices without being judged or looked down on. I have some amazing friends who have decided to not wait, and that is their right and their choice. I don’t love them any less for their decision. In fact, I don’t even think about their decision unless the topic comes up. My problem lies with people who make the choice to wait for marriage to have sex seem like a ridiculous and horrible idea. This is just saying, stop trying to make it difficult for those who want to wait! Stop looking at those who make this choice as “religious fanatics” or “naive” or “sheltered” or whatever adjective you feel like hurling in this direction. And it’s also saying that sex is a big deal.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Velez mentioned that if she and her current boyfriend get married she can go into marriage knowing what she likes and knowing that she and her boyfriend have a connection based on more than just a sexual need. If you marry someone who you have never had sex with, you will also know that you have a connection with that person that is based more on your relationship than sex, seeing as how, you know, you haven’t even actually had sex with this person. There really is no problem with waiting for marriage. As far as knowing what you like regarding sex, learning that with your spouse is so much more fun than learning that from a variety of lovers.
lovers by MartaSyrko

I remember the first time I saw 'About Time' and Rachel McAdams just jumps straight into bed with her date on the first night. She was portrayed as such a modest girl, it really shocked me. But society is changing, everyone is losing it, and doing it like it's nothing out of the ordinary too. Whatever type of people. And don't get me started on the French culture who think the absolute opposite to the Chinese, that not having sex is looked down upon. One thing for sure, this is a conflicting issue among the people of our generation. Another thing for sure, it's not fair for this burden to be placed on solely the women (and the men not only go about having their fun, being carefree and burden free, but sometimes add onto our troubles by pressuring us).

in the room where you sleep by gokturkayan

Oh, and another personal thing to add. I won't have to worry about sex because I'm such a timid girl when it comes to being intimate. I don't even know what 'making-out' is like despite having had a boyfriend for 6 months. And a 'hook up' I had with a guy I had a crush on only consisted of cuddling and holding hands. At this rate, I'd be waiting until marriage whether I consciously chosoe to or not.

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