Break The Premarital Sex Rules, Win Valuable Prizes

Reader:  Hi Athol, I’ve reading your blog for a few months now and I’ve gone through some of the archives but I have not seen this question addressed although I’m sure it has.  Do you need to have sex before marriage in order to know you will enjoy sex with that person later?  To know that you have “chemistry”?  Or is all that is needed is two willing partners willing to work towards pleasing each other?  So that in essence, you could have good sex with anybody.

Thank you for your time.

Athol: In short, most penises fit into most vaginas, so it will probably be just fine. If you’ve kissed each other a ton and you feel you have chemistry when you do that, you’ve got chemistry.

But… day-um marriage is high stakes poker these days. So I’m just going to go out on a limb and assume you have, or are about to have, a fiance, and you’re from a conservative religious background.


Rather than reach into the morality bag for a large stick to beat you with, let’s just say that the plan to wait until marriage is called the Virginity Strategy. The basic plan being that if you wait until marriage, you arrive unsullied, without baggage, without bad experiences and with all that pristine sexuality, you and your bride merge easily and happily into a really high quality sexual relationship.

The good news is that really can be all true. The Virginity Strategy really can work out really well for a couple. But it’s not a perfect plan and some people end up with dramatic sexual failures as a result. Sometimes you discover some kind of unknown sexual incompatibility. Sometimes the Virginity Strategy is purposely used by one half of the couple as a smoke screen to hide a known sexual dysfunction or non-heterosexual orientation. I know of several couples where the husband was discovered to be gay after the wedding, one case of micropenis, multiple cases where the wife refused nearly all sexual contact with her husband after the wedding due to prior undisclosed rape trauma. All pretty major problems resulting in the marriage being an epic fail. I’d love to be able to stay that the Virginity Strategy is a perfect strategy, but it’s only a pretty good one.

So my advice is to adhere to the Virginity Strategy, but cover the risks inherent in it by having sex during the engagement. If you want to save intercourse for the wedding night, that’s fine by me, but you should at least have an understanding of how to get each other off before the wedding. You should see that each other has a working set of bits and you’re not marrying into an obvious sexual failure.

The Teachman study suggests the primary benefit of “not having sex before marriage” is the low partner / cohabitation count as opposed to the waiting for marriage part. So if your partner count is just one, whether your wife became your sex partner before or after you married her, has no real effect on the marriage outcome. The benefit is that you married your one and only.

With Jennifer and myself, we did have sex before marriage. Frankly I think that was absolutely vital for us to be bonded to each other to have survived our long distance courtship. To be quite blunt, I think a number of my girlfriend relationships fell apart because I wasn’t having sex with them. I’m pretty damn sure that my first serious girlfriend and I had that as a issue. So sexual activity with Jennifer was I think a key part in making it to the wedding. Yeah we broke the goody-two-shoes rules and it worked out just fine for us.

I also know of a few couples that “did the right thing” and waited during the engagement and one half of the couple simply became impatient with waiting and started having sex with someone else. Yes indeed they cheated and were in the wrong for doing so, but I also think if the other set of rules were broken and they were actually getting laid by their future spouse… it all was much less likely to have turned into a cheating situation. To be blunt, it’s a highly unnatural situation for a young couple to not have sex together for an extended amount of time. There’s a fine line between being “sexually moral” and “modeling sexual dysfunction.”

Bearing in mind that I am an atheist when I say this… a wedding ceremony provides a trivial amount of genuine bonding compared to your biological response to each other during sex. Or as the bible puts it, when you have sex together you become “One Flesh.” So if you want the religious viewpoint, One Flesh trumps anything that happens in the church. Not just by a little bit… by a lot.

What happens in a church wedding, legally bonds you to your spouse in multiple and serious ways. With some degree of irony, what actually happens in a church wedding is simply the frosting covering over a quite worldly contract and you really should have a lawyer present for before you sign. The actual spiritual connection between a couple happens in the Holiday Inn when you told everyone you were going out to see The Avengers again. (See what I did there?)

So maybe I’m just cynical, but I think you should figure out whether or not the One Flesh routine actually works for you both, before you sign the paperwork to change your tax filing status and become co-responsible for each other’s debts.

But don’t misunderstand, I think it’s a very strong benefit that Jennifer and I have only had P-in-V sex with each other. That’s a huge factor in our marriage and a reason why Jennifer is okay with me doing everything I do with MMSL. It’s no secret that I struggle with monogamy on a Body Agenda level, but rationally I know it, and she, has been the making of both me and so much of my overall happiness. That being said, I kinda like that Jennifer was so into me she was willing to break the rules to have me. She kinda likes that I was the sort of guy who made her want to break the rules. Being Alpha is more fun, so you may as well establish you’re a force of nature during the engagement.

Mood music lol…


  1. “dont have sex before marriage was a good idea before birth control”. After it, its a bad idea. Its due to the consequences of having children before you’re committed that the previous generations (rightly) warned against it. Nowadays, the sage advice is that its better to find out sexual compatibility before marriage and committing to a life of no sex.

  2. This whole sex and marriage thing is another example of how modern Christianity has changed wrongly in response to the modern world. The bible talks about sex and marriage as if they were synonyms: ‘and she went into his tent and he wed her’. As Athol says what happens in the church is more a legal than a spiritual thing. As modern society has normalised casual sex, it has blown the church ceremony of A wedding up into a big deal: after all, if they both have multiple prior sexual partners, what is there left that they can do to show they love each other? Spend a shit tonne of money! Yay for capitalism!

    The age of marriage keeps going up but what I see amongst my friends is a lot of people in marriage-like long term monogamous relationships. They’re not married, but they migh as well be, and 50 years ago they would have been.

  3. Meh maybe I’m different because I’m a Christian…but I’m not nearly as cynical. I do have trust in God that he would bring me a lady who is not crazy and have a good head on her shoulders. I know that it’s basically a minefield out there caused mostly by the feminazis changing the rules so to have trust in someone above does help out a lot. Plus the fact that sex before marriage can blind you to seeing the problems the other person has.

    Besides if she cheated on me during the engagement period or we didn’t connect with everything else besides sex before marriage…what makes you think marital sex will all of a sudden fix the problem? I look at it as any problems she has during dating is magnified at least 10 times in marriage (same with me). If you do a good job of testing, communicating, and seeing them in different situations over a decent length of time while staying objective…you could probably figure out if they are hiding some sort of baggage. People who have been raped or are hiding a secret love of the same sex have tells.

    Different strokes for different folks though. That’s how I choose to live my life.

  4. I think in the the world of Marriage 2.0 you better figure out every angle in your marriage BEFORE you get married. Not everyone has the same sex drive and some like more kink than others. You better figure that crap out before you walk down the aisle! Last thing you want to find out is that your newly minted spouse finds out they like BDSM and you could care less. That will open a can of worms pretty quickly!

    (As an aside, I started dating a girl when I was about 30 and she was 28. One night after about the 4th date we were in bed having a good time and I had almost all her clothes off and I was diving in for victory! She tells me she is a virgin. What a boner killer… You’d think it would be the opposite. Things never worked out from there. I had multiple LTRs before that and frequent sex and she had had nothing)

  5. Thank God I’m a pagan.

    In Wicca there’s this interesting innovation/reclamation of the old English custom of handfasting. It’s kind of a super-engagement that may or may not precede a marriage. Nor is it traditionally exclusive (although few Wiccans handfast with more than one person). And while it’s not explicitly sexual in function, it does represent that kind of close and intimate relationship. Mrs. I and I were handfasted for four years before we wed. And no, neither one of us pursued the Virgin Strategy. I would never, ever have married a virgin, nor would I have bought the barrel before sampling the vintage. We each had comparatively low numbers, however, and so we essentially knew just enough to know what we liked, but not much more. That’s how I will counsel my kids, too. In paganism sex is a sacrament, not just marriage. I would be appalled if any of my kids made it down the aisle (or, for us, to the center of the circle) as virgins. Not that I’m trying to over-sexualize them — quite the contrary. But they need to learn to have sex like responsible adults long before they commit themselves to one person.

  6. Trying not to sound like a man-slut: In the process of transitioning from my first wife (and first sex) through “dating,” I had enough bad sex, virgins and awesome sex to learn that there is most definitely a difference between partners. I brokeup with someone I was pretty serious about because the sex was bad and was not improving. I suppose that if both never knew any different then they would assume “that’s sex” if it were bad and decide if and how much of “that” they wanted in their relationship. Maybe that’s the ideal scenario the Church is shooting for – virgin spouses not knowing that there is bad, good and Great Sex. But for me Great Sex is FAR too wonderful to take a chance on never happening in a marriage because of sexual mismatches, or whatever.

  7. @Sconzey – I know a couple who have been together for over fifteen years. Their running joke is that when they get really mad at each other, they think about divorcing each other… but then they realize they can’t, because they’re not actually married. So they just have to stay together.

  8. Newequilibrium says:

    Kudos for your excellent post. I am very glad, as is my wife, that we decided to become intimate BEFORE we got married. Choosing a life partner is the most important decision that most people will EVER make. The sexual compatibility of your prospective spouse is right up there with personal temperament and shared values in determining the likelihood of a successful marriage. It is in the interest of BOTH partners to establish their mutual compatibility in the bedroom before the rings are exchanged.

    So many writers have lamented the prevalence of premarital intercourse and opined on how this is bad for marriage and, especially, “bad for women”. Do they REALLY believe the days before the Pill were so wonderful? Many of them were not alive then. They are yearning for a past that they never experienced and which never really existed as they imagine it.

    Of course, there are counter-examples. My brother-in-law and his wife NEVER EVEN KISSED before their wedding and they are still married 13 years (and 3 kids) later. But that is a path I and his sister (my wife) could never even imagine taking. Some people close their eyes, jump off the cliff and miraculously land in the water. Many others, however, get dashed on the rocks below. It just makes so much more sense to look before you leap. And I can also report, premarital sex with the right person can be really, really good.

  9. Oh yeah the no kiss before marriage thing is beyond stupid. I can think of two girls I was really into before I met Jennifer, and when I kissed them, absolutely nothing. No passion. No rush. No sexual interest whatsoever. Just the whole relationship dead in the water.

    I can’t imagine what getting married to someone like that would be like.

  10. @Athol Kay

    In response to your joke:

    In Texas (I’m sure other states are similar) you don’t have to be married to get a divorce.

    It is not uncommon for cohabitants to file for divorce, though never married, to have the court split common assets.

  11. I recently attended a Church sponsored seminar where it was pointed out that the Ten Commandments forbids adultery, but not fornication specifically. It is the laws of the Church that forbids fornication.

  12. RedPillNewb says:

    @DanG, this was a presentation by a scholar of classical Hebrew?

  13. So my advice is to adhere to the Virginity Strategy, but cover the risks inherent in it by having sex during the engagement.

    There are some inconsistencies in this idea that need pointing out. First off, it’s an odd juxtaposition of terms. Isn’t a “Virginity Strategy” just what it means? I don’t think it ought to be confused or conditioned by what’s better described as a “Virginity-unless-you’re-engaged strategy.” Second, and most importantly, the success of this idea is completely contradicted by the data quoted elsewhere in this post. I’ve re-analyzed Teachman’s data going all the way back to the NSFG raw data sources. (Readers can find some of this re-analysis over at Social Pathologist’s blog: The data are clear on how the true “Virginity Strategy” compares.

    In short, divorce risk is lowest among those who follow the full “Virginity Strategy”–lower than those who follow merely a “Virginity-unless-you’re-engaged strategy”. Women who engage in sex just with their future marriage partners (e.g., virginity up until engagement) have a 10-point higher divorce risk compared to women who show more patience. (See the SocialPathologist’s blog for the data tables).

    The statistics are all the more remarkable if one follows the belief that sex before marriage is important in order to verify sexual compatibility. Presumably, the “Virginity-unless-you’re-engaged” couples who indeed go on to get married have weeded-out those couples who were sexually incompatible. Yet this group–in spite of being purged of the sexually incompatible–still shows a higher divorce rate than those who stay virgins and take the incompatibility risk. This tells me that if a couple is passionate and compatible enough in all other areas of life in order to get engaged, then the risk of their being horrifically incompatible at sex is likely blown out of proportion. While there’s the occasional odd story that gets told (and exagerated and re-told) about someone’s strange honeymoon surprise, the data simply say otherwise. Data beats anecdote on this one.

    The true virgin strategists–in spite of not “taste testing” their betrothed beforehand–do much better at avoiding divorce.

    …And besides, if one samples sex with one’s soon-to-be-spouse and then the engagement breaks-off for whatever reason, one’s risk divorce risk (in a later marriage to another person) goes up even higher still. Clearly, the Virginity Strategy, is the lowest risk option.

  14. @Intrepid – I don’t believe you had access to the raw data. Some summary data sure, but not the raw data.

    I certainly don’t see how you have access to data to determine if a cohabiting or not cohabiting woman who then marries her first husband, also had any prior sexual experience with men other than her husband. Those stats don’t exist in the summary data on the web. Digging into that, in the real raw data, was what Teachman did. That’s the genuis of his study, yet you make no mention of it.

    Seeing you come up with different results than Teachman did, what was his methodological weakness that gave him the wrong results? He was quite firm on the effect that I discussed.

  15. To be blunt, it’s a highly unnatural situation for a young couple to not have sex together for an extended amount of time. There’s a fine line between being “sexually moral” and “modeling sexual dysfunction.” Dalrock has a good article pertaining to this:

  16. @RedPillNewb – “this was a presentation by a scholar of classical Hebrew?”
    > No. A presenter on Christian Morality. Interestingly enough, she explained that she went through a rebel-like period in her life when she had multiple partners – prior to returning to a state of Grace. Time did not permit getting into “taste testing.” But to her credit she did quickly make mention of “recent reach” finding the exchange of male/female bonding chemicals exchanged during sex.

    @Intrepid – “Presumably, the “Virginity-unless-you’re-engaged” couples who indeed go on to get married have weeded-out those couples who were sexually incompatible.”
    > If so presumed, it should not have been presumed. Maybe they just didn’t know the sex was bad and kept going in the engagement process. Or, they sucked it up because they felt locked in and hoped it would get better.

    Regardless, there is no way I would get married without “taste testing,” nor would I recommend it to one of my children.

  17. I ‘ve lost several women by not sleeping with them (one after proposing to her, she told me bluntly later. Admittedly, she had turned me down, so I didn’t see her as interested.) Another one agreed I should have (got as far as a “maybe” from her.

  18. Thanks Athol. I’m a longtime admirer. Some time after swallowing the red pill myself, I discovered your site. You’re doing a great work. Hats off.

    The raw data files for quite a few past cycles of the HSFG survey are available on the CDC’s FTP site. Note by “raw data” I mean the ind’l respondent-level answers–the 1’s and 0’s–to each survey question. I use the SAS versions of these files, both the 2002 and 2006-2008 survey waves. Teachman used the 1995 survey. There is no respondent-identifying information in these files; only the non-identifying survey responses. Some of the key variable names here include PTSB4MAR–for premarital partner count, and SAMEMAN–which indicates whether one’s first premarital sex partner later became one’s husband. Without revealing too much of myself, my PhD is in the social sciences and I read and process files like this for a living. As part of my work, I regularly conduct analyses of the kind Teachman ran (proportional hazard models).

    I respect what Teachman’s done. He finds that pre-marital sex with one’s later husband was not a statistically significant predictor of later divorce using the 1995 data. I risk treading into nerd territory here but from a statistically view this statement is different from saying pre-marital sex has no effect whatsoever; and certainly wasn’t a statistically significant aid to marital endurance. In reality, the 1995 effect simply wasn’t strong enough to scream out at the researchers either way. In contrast to Teachman, when I combine the two more recent survey waves–the 2002 and 2006-2008 files, I then find a significant negative effect. This may be due to the larger combined sample sizes. It may be due to more casual sexual attitudes since the mid-1990’s. Using the most recent HSFG data, first-time pre-marital sex for females–even with one’s later husband–leads to a 10-point increase in divorce risk down the road (compared to the Virgin Strategy). FWIW, a lot of other research (e.g., Alan Booth’s work at Penn State) sides with this more recent data.

    Frankly, I might feel more comfortable with a “Virginity-unless-you’re-engaged strategy” if it didn’t carry yet another sort of risk: If one’s courtship fails, if the person one is convinced is your one-and-only for sex… (and who hasn’t believed that on more than one occasion!)… turns sideways and one goes through a break-up instead, then one gets thrust into the Teachman’s statistical grouping of “first pre-marital sex with other”. That is, you’re now a sexually experienced woman who is no longer marrying her first sexual partner. For divorce-risk researchers, that’s the worst group of all to be in. This is true in Teachman’s (1995) data AND in the 2002, 2006-2008 HSFG data sets.

  19. @Intrepid: Your analysis of the results doesn’t consider “happily married” or not. And though there may be a higher divorce rate amongst those who had sex during engagement than those waiting until marriage, the IMPORTANT part is how happy are those still married under each arrangment? IMHO just using divorce rate to imply happiness is a stretch. It seems quite logical to me that those who follow “all the rules” and wait until marriage to have sex, would follow the “you don’t get divorced” rule as well, even when quite unhappy, and I’d purport that THAT may be more causal to the results.

  20. @Intrepid – are you able to account for the length of cohabitation being a factor in divorce. I.e. A five year cohabition + fifteen year marriage = twenty year relationship. No cohabitation + twenty year marriage = twenty year relationship. Are you comparing similar length of relationships to each other for divorce outcomes? In general the longer the relationship lasts the greater the total failure rate, so that’s an important factor.

    I think no matter how you slice it, these are all sexual strategies with risks and benefits. Obviously there is risk in that a partner can back out of an engagement and you have a +1 to your partner count, but I also have seen relationship failure because of lack of sex during the engagement… not to mention cheating as well.

    I don’t think we have disagreement that total partner count is an increasingly bad stat to have going into a marriage.

  21. @x1134x … Marital “happiness” is a different and more complex variable. It’s another thread topic entirely. I seem to recall some studies on premarital sex and levels of marital sexual satisfaction later in life. But I don’t know enough to comment.

    @Athol… the 2006-08 NSFG data has a variable on length of time of cohabitation but I’ve not looked at it and I don’t see it in Teachman’s paper either. As for “length of relationship” issues, we are indeed looking at similar-sized time intervals but we are, however. looking at the data slightly differently. In Teachman’s math, he’s looking at the effect of premarital sex or cohabitation on the timing of first-divorce over the 1970-1995 time period. Do those who pursue the sex-before-marriage strategy divorce sooner (if at all) vs. those on the virginity strategy? By contrast, I’m looking at the data in a more binary fashion: whether or not someone experienced a first divorce at all during a similar-length interval. Teachman’s is the more precise method. It’s possible he could find significance where I don’t. But it would be very, very strange to see the reverse. I think there’s something else going on that’s different over the more recent vs. older time periods.

  22. I married my HS sweetheart and we were both virgins, but had sex FINALLY after being together 8 mo (I was the “everything but” girl), then proceeded to live together although we were basically living at each others’ parents’ houses in HS. We hit it off fast emotionally and still are lovey-dovey BUT sex was a huge issue and though much MUCH MUCH better still a point of contention. We both came from extremely dysfunctional families and so sex was difficult though we were both very eager. However he didn’t want to overly “burden” me so turned to porn which was pretty much his addiction; I didn’t orgasm AT ALL for years. We were in couples counseling the summer I graduated HS despite rdg everything I could on sex and trying most everything. We went to a ton of different counselors b/c frankly most suck, with the last one seemingly helping but ironically not until after I quit seeing her. We finally figured out how to get me off after being together for over 3yrs (and doing things that should have lead to orgasm- and almost did many times- for almost that whole time). We were engaged for over a yr at that point. I can’t imagine how much MORE difficult the first few yrs of our marriage would have been had we not worked through some of those sex issues. I planned to wait and even met hubby at a church party, but eventually said what the hell? We both thought I would figure out how to orgasm after we went “all the way”, but imagine that didn’t work either, not surprising when neither did masturbation nor oral sex nor fingering. While I know losing our virginity to each other helped a ton to bonded us, I can’t imagine how much of a let down our sex life would have been had we waited. I suppose we could have gotten married while I was still in HS like one couple I knew did (and is now divorced) instead of halfway through college like we did. Oh and the whole no kissing until the altar Duggar thing IS stupid! A lot of sexual temptation can be tamed with good make out sessions. We actually moved fairly slowly physically for as fast as we went emotionally (and it’s fun to later admit how soaked your panties would be after necking in the back seat for hours lol). Here’s a fun blog to read all about the ill effects of that sort of lifestyle: I also agree with the idea that though divorce rates are down with the virgin couples, it’s probably correlative to their being religiously motivated to be more “moral” and both wait to have sex as well as be less willing to divorce, not because they’re happier or it’s causative. I would think that they would be less likely to act on their attractions and remain in a martyrdom marriage. Ironically divorce is the same and some say higher within the church than the secular community. It’s also known that men’s Christian conventions bring local prostitutes lots of business. So body agenda tends to take over even if it’s not openly admitted (which could also bring into question the honesty of study participants). Anyways, hubby if you’re rdg this kudos- see me for a blow job:) You should know who you are…

  23. ‘To be blunt, it’s a highly unnatural situation for a young couple to not have sex together for an extended amount of time. There’s a fine line between being “sexually moral” and “modeling sexual dysfunction.”’

    Part of what that would might imply is that it’s unnatural to have really long engagements. Probably the Virginity Strategy is largely employed by the religious, generally people who take the Bible seriously. We’re talking a period of thousands of years of Biblical history, but by and large I wonder if long engagements were common in ancient Hebrew society. I’ve been a church goer for a long time and don’t really know, but I tend to doubt it.

    Of course you then get into the question of having a long enough relationship to be really sure. But I hear about people planning their wedding many, many months in advance and wonder about the value and wisdom of the whole production.

  24. A presenter on Christian Morality. Interestingly enough, she explained that she went through a rebel-like period in her life when she had multiple partners – prior to returning to a state of Grace.

    Ah, so it was a woman and her hamster that gave this seminar claiming that God loves fornication. LOL Simply fascinating!

  25. P.S. To the woman and her hamster claiming that since fornication isn’t specifically addressed in the 10 Commandments, it’s not a sin: If it’s not a sin, why would you need to have been “returned to a state of Grace”? It’s amazing how a hamsterising woman can make totally contradictory statements and believe them both. Either you sinned horribly, or you didn’t.

    As far as engagement sex goes, I’d bet this was once quite common among engaged couples. I’m not sure I like the “test drive” mentality though. It’s one thing if you are certain you want this person – they smell good and you burn for them, but you also are able to be honest with each other and can imagine spending the rest of your life with each other. But if you’re kind of waffling and thinking well, let’s see if the fucking is good then decide or simply trying to find an excuse to have sex with someone you’re not sure of; probably not such a great plan.

  26. Holding my own 2006-08 stats aside for a moment… The interesting part of Teachman’s 1995 research is that he didn’t find a significant effects either way. The coefficients for pre-marital sex and/or cohabitation with one’s future spouse were neither statistically positive nor negative. He shows that the divorce risk is neither increased nor decreased. Based on this, the proponents of pre-marital sex can say, “Look, living together doesn’t INCREASE one’s risk of divorce. Let’s go for it!” Those against pre-marital sex can say, “Look, living together doesn’t REDUCE one’s chance of divorce. We should wait!” His 1995 data is a kind of an Rorschach (inkblot) test for both the sexually conservative and sexually liberal.

    But regarding your comment here, Athol:

    I think no matter how you slice it, these are all sexual strategies with risks and benefits. Obviously there is risk in that a partner can back out of an engagement and you have a +1 to your partner count, but I also have seen relationship failure because of lack of sex during the engagement.

    Teachman, however, appears to contradict this. What he does find (with statistical significance) is that divorce risk is actually asymmetrical following failure of either strategy above. Teachman finds that those who postpone sex (and possibly suffer “relationship failure because of lack of sex during the engagement”) actually have a lower later divorce risk than those who suffer relationship failure following pre-marital sex and now have a +1 partner count. The risk cuts differently.

    One can think of it as a two-by-two matrix or decision tree. Put the two sexual strategies across the columns. Put courtship success or failure on the rows. Then fill the four boxes with the future divorce risk according to Teachman. The column and cell with the highest divorce risk is the “premarital sex strategy” + “courtship failure” column and quadrant.

    …But let’s not lose sight of the goal: I’d say that if one partner is pushing very hard for sex during courtship while the other is digging in their heels to wait, then that’s a red flag right there. That might signal a fundamental difference in values. The two are pursuing opposite courtship strategies.

  27. People who adopt the virginity-until-marriage strategy (which I agree with) should be aware that it should be a very difficult thing for both partners. If it isn’t difficult for your fiance/fiancee, you should investigate that and be very cautious. A fiance who appears to be “a gentleman” may actually be gay, or have very serious issues related to sex. And a fiancee who appears to be “a highly virtuous young woman” may actually be “not in the least bit interested in sex.” So the combination of wanting to be true to one’s religious beliefs and finding it very difficult to do so is what you want, it seems to me. I have two friends who should have looked into this further; their husbands turned out to be gay.

  28. @Intrepid – I’d say that if one partner is pushing very hard for sex during courtship while the other is digging in their heels to wait, then that’s a red flag right there. That might signal a fundamental difference in values. The two are pursuing opposite courtship strategies.

    I would lean toward it being a difference in baseline sexual desire. High Desire vs Low Desire. Which whether or not the relationship is consummated before or after the wedding, is a stressor through the life of the relationship.

    There’s also the question of toleration of long term sexual dysfunction / sexless marriages. Which is as much as 20% of the marriages. Do couples that cohabit simply have less tolerance for sexless marriages when they occur? Which would make sense if High Desire people seek cohabition at greater rates than Low Desire people do. You would think High Desire people would react more negatively to long term sexual dysfunction in their partner and have higher rates of mariage failure.

  29. @Athol… I have a hard time thinking that Virginity Strategists have a lower baseline level of sexual desire per se. Perhaps so. But I seem to recall (and my apologies for not referencing) some research showing that Virgin Strategists have as much or more sex post-wedding as do non-Virgins. So, it’s not on the desire side where they’re different.

    Have you read Roy Baumeister’s book, Willpower? Most on the red pill or in the manosphere would like him. (His 2007 speech to the American Psychological Association annual meeting, Is There Anything Good About Men is a classic)! I side with Baumeister that those who don’t scratch their [pre-marital sexual] desire “itch” may do so as a result of early learning to resist other related desires, practice or habit, and cultural norms. Baumeister refers to the learned resistance to desire as a “muscle”–something subject to training (and also to atrophy).

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