3 Myths people use to promote premarital sex

• Myth 1: "You should have sex with the people you date because you
wouldn't buy a car without test driving it first."

It is true that one would not buy a car without test driving it. It is
also true that cars are objects, and that a person who owns a car is
supposed to use it. But people are not cars. We're not objects. A
married person is not supposed to use his or her spouse. A married
person is supposed to participate in "total mutual self-giving" (CCC
1644), and to exemplify the "absolute and unfailing love" God has for
us (CCC 1604). The need for a test-drive, when the quest is for a car,
exists because we have to see that the means (a car) serves its
purpose. The need for a test-drive, when the quest is for a spouse, is
a myth, because a person who treats a spouse like a means to an end is
a person who doesn't love.

• Myth 2: "You should have sex with the people you date or wedding
night sex will be awkward."

Or underwhelming. Or just plain bad. This myth—that we ought to have
premarital sex so sex isn't uncomfortable on our wedding
nights—implies that the quality of wedding night sex is paramount, and
that how immediately sex is pleasurable is what determines its
quality. This myth requires a person's focus to be on preparedness for
a wedding night. It perpetuates the misguided belief that physical
pleasure is what makes sex good. It isn't. Unity makes sex good.
Procreation makes sex good. That it feels good is an added bonus. Sex
that isn't immediately pleasurable requires a couple to use teamwork
and communication and patience—skills a couple uses to practice
chastity while they date, skills fostered when we prepare for marriage
rather than just for a wedding night.

• Myth 3: "You should have sex with the people you date because you
need to know you are sexually compatible."

This myth wouldn't be a myth if sex were static. But it isn't. Even
secular sex columnists agree ("Most people don't start out very good
(at sex)," one wrote; sex "skills" are learned, wrote another.) And
indeed they are, with communication, practice, and patience. Which
outs what actually underlies this myth: The quest isn't for sexual
compatibility. It's for effortless sexual compatibility. Sexual
compatibility can be achieved within a marriage over time, but our
culture seeks compatibility that's effortless because that sort of sex
would not require what we are far too quick to avoid: work. A marriage
doesn't have to be doomed for newlyweds who discover that the sex
isn't effortless; instead, it can be fortified, when a groom and a
bride agree to learn together.

Bigi Benson,
Contact: +233579090453

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