Chapter Four: Before Marriage
The Sexual Meltdown
Who's vulnerable to sexual meltdowns?
It sometimes happens that casual friends get some physical contact started and get into a sexual meltdown, but that's rather rare. What's extremely common is for two people in love with each other to get into a meltdown. A couple in love can be quite blind to real-world issues - they're usually looking at life through rose-colored glasses where only good things can happen. And engaged couples are especially vulnerable… they're already planning to get married and have sex, it's just a matter of time, so what's the big deal about a few weeks, or a few months? (We'll address that question in a minute.)
So, any two people who could possibly develop sexual feelings for each other are potentially susceptible, but the most vulnerable are the couples who are the closest emotionally.
And the most vulnerable of all? Couples who are convinced that it could never happen to them. Couples who know it could happen to them can do what it takes to avoid it; those who think it can't happen to them won't take any precautions.
What starts a sexual meltdown?
Touching. A touch that causes a sensation that is pleasurable, which makes them want more, which leads to more touching, and the touching becomes more and more intimate to keep increasing the intensity of the pleasurable feelings.
Any kind of touch can ignite a firestorm. What's meant as a simple peck-on-the-cheek kiss can linger a moment longer than intended, which leads to an embrace, a full-body hug, full-on kissing, and more. Simply holding hands can set physical passion to simmering, which can lead, perhaps subconsciously, to sitting or walking a little closer together, which leads each person to become more aware of the other's body, how close it is, and how good it feels.
This is touching that causes sexual arousal. It may seem minor at first, but it can heat up with amazing speed. The closer a couple is emotionally, the more susceptible they are. For a young couple in love, passions can come so easily and so fast, any kind of physical touching can spark sexual arousal.
There's a term for physical touching that causes sexual arousal: it's called foreplay, and it's exactly what married couples do to get their bodies and minds ready to have sexual intercourse.
Once touching initiates sexual desire, it progresses rapidly from "innocent" touching, to more and more intimate touching, and physical passion begins to overwhelm the couples' ability to reason. A complete meltdown of moral restraint results in the couple having sexual intercourse.
How long between first touch and sexual intercourse? It can be as little as mere minutes if the couple is alone and their sex drives are at peak hunger. It can be hours if at least one member of the couple has great willpower or they are not alone when the meltdown starts.
How to avoid sexual meltdowns:
If you're dating casually, the following discussion will help, but for you it won't be as urgent for you as it is for a couple in love, and it will be less urgent for a couple in love than it is for an engaged couple. For all couples, and especially for engaged couples, there are 2 simple rules that will keep you from having a sexual meltdown:
- Don't touch each other.
- Don't spend time alone in a place where you could be physically intimate.
We must be kidding, right? No, we're completely serious, and if you're serious about avoiding sex until after you're married, following these two rules is the only way to ensure your success.
Don't touch each other at all, and you can't start a sexual meltdown. Don't spend time alone together in a place where you could be intimate, and you'll be much less tempted to touch each other.
What if you're having a really, really, hard time waiting? Well, you've got 3 options: you can wait anyway, you can go ahead and have sex, or get married right away. If you're engaged and already have a wedding date, you can move up the date.
Change your wedding date?! Are we crazy? Well, those 3 options are your only alternatives. Wait, have sex now, or get married sooner. Yes, choosing to get married sooner might mess up your extremely elaborate wedding plans. But if you don't get married sooner, you're down to 2 options. If you do start to move up the date, you'll have to tell friends and family that you're getting married sooner. They'll ask why. You'll say it's because "we just don't want to wait."1 Everyone who's already married will know exactly what that means. And the ones who remember their own courtship will sympathize with you. Oh, you could also tell them it's to save money - that sounds a lot less like you're about to rip each other's clothes off.
If you decide to wait, it's not hard to wait for sex if you don't touch each other and don't spend time alone where you could be physically intimate. Yes, you want to touch each other, and yes, you want to be physically intimate. But if you have an even stronger desire to wait until your wedding night, then keep plenty of other people around you whenever you're together. No, that doesn't mean someone else is in the living room while you and your lover are necking in the den. Sorry, you have to be in the same room with your escorts or it won't help. If you're engaged, don't spend time alone together or you'll be drawn together like two irresistible magnets.
If, wherever you are, you suddenly discover that everyone else left and the two of you are now alone, one of you run away. Seriously. Unless you secretly want to go ahead and have sex and pretend it was an accident, one of you leave immediately.
There's one other technique that has helped some people who are casually dating. By casually dating, we mean couples with little or no interest in a physical relationship, at least not in the current stage of their relationship. For people dating casually, masturbation can periodically reduce their sexual urges, and that can help avoid a sexual meltdown on casual dates where emotional levels are relatively low. Is masturbation okay? We've got a whole chapter on that coming up.
For a couple in love, and for engaged couples, periodically masturbating alone to lower the desire for sex while you're together might be of some help, but don't count on it. With the strong hormone levels of teens and young adults, a young person can get sexually recharged very quickly, so it would be unwise to depend on that.
Not allowing yourselves to touch each other and not allowing yourselves to be alone together are the best techniques if you really want to succeed in preserving your virginity until your wedding night.
Why avoid sexual meltdowns?
God says to have sex only with your spouse. That means you'll only have sex after you're married and only with that one person. And if both spouses do that, it means you'll both avoid sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy out of wedlock. It also means you'll be obeying God.
Isn't the week before marriage close enough?
The first time you have sexual intercourse, it will probably feel amazingly-fantastically wonderful. If your first sexual experience is before marriage, it may feel just as good physically as it would if you waited until your wedding night, but that good physical feeling will be offset by lots of emotional negatives such as disappointment, disillusionment, regret, shame, etc. If your first sexual experience is on your wedding night, it will be untainted by emotional wounds. On the contrary, your success in waiting for your wedding night will magnify the physical pleasures and emotional intimacy!
1 Holy Bible, NIV, 1 Corinthians 7:9 "… if they cannot control themselves, they should marry…"