[callout]This post is one in a series designed to combat the belief that it’s “impossible” for men to save sex (or sex from now on) for marriage. Each edition features a man who was a virgin at marriage, who proves that belief wrong, who uses his experience to encourage both men and women who practice chastity.[/callout]
Shane, who was married at 25 and is 32 now, is gracious to help prove that chastity IS for men:
AS: What, if anything, concerned you about your decision to save sex?
SB: Waiting was difficult, I’m not going to lie. My wife (fiance at that time) and I knew we wanted to wait, knew it would be better for our marriage and knew that marriage was God’s designed place for sex, but that doesn’t necessarily make it less difficult in the day to day.
That being said, we made it, and it was worth it. No regrets. The argument that “you need to know before you’re married that your sexually compatible” has always seemed a little thin to me. When people raise this concern, the inference is that you’d want to know if you’re ‘sexually incompatible’ so that you can break it off before you get married. Think about that. What kind of person do you have to be to end a relationship because one piece out of many isn’t 100%?
I don’t want to minimize some of the struggle that couples with uneven sex drives might experience, but real relationships require dealing with each other quirks, flaws, and differences of all sorts.
AS: What would you say now to a virgin who worries about what saving sex could mean for the wedding night?
SB: This may be a little crass and very cliche, but that saying about sex being like pizza (even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good) is very true. This idea that being two inexperienced lovers figuring things out together is a horrifying and scarring experience certainly wasn’t my experience.
AS: How did you manage to save sex for marriage in a culture that doesn’t think that’s possible for men?
SB: I remember a few years ago, when an order was issued in the military to end the policy that prevented women from serving in direct combat roles. Some were saying that this would lead to female soldier pregnancies and basically an all out orgy for soldiers in combat. John Stewart had a field day with that on the Daily Show and rightly so. John pointed out that those assumptions made men out to be animals with no self control over their raging hormones. Still this idea persists that men ‘need’ sex. In reality, saving sex is difficult, yes. Impossible? Not by a long shot.
AS: What piece of advice would you give to a single man who wants to save sex (or sex from now on) for marriage but doesn’t think it’s possible?
SB: I’m not one to persuade people to live in a Christian bubble of isolation, but if your only peer group sees chastity as an oddity, then it will be more difficult. Find friends who practice chastity, too. If your girlfriend isn’t interested in chastity (yours and hers), then it will be more difficult. Date women who care about chastity. And remember: men before you have practiced chastity and men after you will, too.
AS: And what would you say to a single woman who is saving sex but struggles to believe that men exist who want to save sex, too?
SB: I really feel for women in this camp. It’s not that guys can’t have the same worry, but in the misogynistic culture we live in, we’re told it’s less acceptable for guys to wait, and so it seems more guys than girls don’t wait. My guess is that if a guy doesn’t want to save sex (and you do), then you’re just seeing the very top of an iceberg of spiritual incompatibility in your relationship, and that incompatibility will not correct itself once you get married.
[callout]More about Shane: Shane is a Jesus follower, blogger, speaker and host of the podcast Seminary Dropout. He likes comic books, theology, and growing beards. He lives in Austin, TX with his wife, Kate, and their daughter, Margot. Click here to read his blog and listen to his podcast, here to follow him on Twitter, and here to like him on Facebook.[/callout]