Q and A: How soon do you tell your date you’re saving sex for marriage?

The Q: “With our society as it is today and everyone expecting sex outside of marriage, how (or how soon) do you let somebody you’ve started seeing know that you practice chastity (and that therefore, you abstain from nonmarital sex)? -a reader

The A: How I tell a guy I’m saving sex has varied, and — let’s face it — Google usually beats me to it. But if an interested guy hasn’t Googled me, that I’m saving sex inevitably comes up when he learns that I’m a writer and asks about what I write. How I disclose that I practice chastity, however, has more flexibility than when I do it.

When do I disclose it? ImmediatelyHere’s why:

On if not before a first date, I’ll bring it up if he doesn’t. I’m a proponent of discussing it early because what a person does with what I divulge during that conversation is important. A person who is resistant to discussing chastity is probably a person who is resistant to practicing it. If, in response to your disclosure, he or she lists the reasons it’s a “good” idea to have sex while you date, he or she likely will list them again and again, until you break down or break up. If he or she agrees to grin and bear it, you get part of what you want: to practice chastity. But he or she doesn’t bring to a relationship what a person does who practices chastity, too.

[callout]Q&A is an occasional feature. If you have a Q, I can come up with an A (and if I don’t have an A, I’ll find somebody who does). To submit a question, click here. No topic is taboo (although I can’t promise I will answer every question).[/callout]

A version of this post originally appeared on the blog in 2013.