Close encounters of a dangerous kind

When passion dictates your actions,

you are in trouble

Petting is risky because it leads many couples to intercourse. Such couples believe they can handle themselves and their emotions, so they begin and find petting delightful. They also discover that in spite of all their good intentions, they have reached a point where they want to go on.

Therefore, persons who have never developed inner controls can find themselves back at home plate without ever having touched the bases. It may take weeks or months, but those who begin a serious petting relationship will find out sooner or later how progressive it is.

Since young people today remain unmoved by pious preaching, some frank and honest answers supported by sociological studies and medical evidence are presented here. In my book The Compleat Courtship or We’ve Only Just Begun I list nine advantages to premarital sex (yes, there are some!) And twenty disadvantages. Only a few of these can be shared here, but do consider all the evidence before making a decision. One thing I know: never again will you be able to say, “If only someone had warned me!”

The Advantages of Premarital Sex

1. The more premarital sexual experience women have prior to marriage, the more likely that are to experience a full orgasm during intercourse in the first year of marriage. But, in spite of their ability to reach orgasm, far more of the wives in these studies had sexual difficulties during the early days of marriage, and significant numbers reported long-term difficulties.

2. Premarital sex can be fun. Sex is one of the most pleasurable experiences given by God for men and women to enjoy. His infinite mind conceived the idea of sex – the union between male and female that brings more physical pleasure than any other activity. Whether sex fulfills a desire to have children, satisfies the sex drive, reassures each other of love, or relaxes the nervous system, it all adds up to providing the most exciting physical experience known to humans. God created sex for our pleasure, and He wants us to delight in it. Sex is an enjoyable experience whether the couple engages in it prior to marriage or after.

The Disadvantages of Premarital Sex

But before you think I’ve put my stamp of approval on sex before marriage, and before you rush out to indulge yourself in sexual pleasure, read on:

1. Studies show that couples who have sex prior to marriage are more likely to break up than those who do not. Even engaged couples break up more frequently. Why? One reason is that the male’s need for marriage lessens when his sex needs are being satisfied outside of marriage. Another has to do with the biological forces that attracted the couple to each other in the first place. Once those forces have been relieved, the power that drew them together diminishes. Once the “ultimate” in a relationship has been reached, interest levels off rather than deepening. Such couples continue their pattern of sexual relations, but they both sense something is different. When breakups occur they are far more painful than for couples who have not engaged in sex.

2. Research also indicates that couples who have premarital sex are less happy in marriage and are more prone to divorce. Furthermore , the more premarital sex they have, the less likely they are to have a happy married life. This can be explained in part because their previous sex experiences often rise to haunt them later on when they least expect it. And obviously there is also a tendency to compare sexual performance with that of previous partners.

3. Premarital sex also increases the likelihood of extramarital sex during a marriage. Studies show that those who have had premarital experience are twice as likely to have extramarital affairs as those who are virgins at marriage.

4. Premarital sex increases the risk of cervical cancer among young women who engage in sex with multiple partners. About the time menstruation begins, the entire endocrine system is being stabilized, and the finishing touches are completing the intricate development of the uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries. The cervix is extremely vulnerable during this time. If it is exposed to semen, whether from one or multiple partners, it can set the stage for carcinoma (cancer) of the cervix later on in life. Research shows that the younger a girl becomes sexually active, the more partners she has, and the more frequent the sexual exposure during those years, the higher her chances of contracting cervical cancer during ages 40 to 45.

5. Premarital sex masks areas of concern until after marriage. One of the most frequent complaints I hear from married couples is “We just don’t communicate anymore.” In many cases these couples never communicated in the first place. Once their sex glands were set in motion they focused on settling all problems through physical thrills. Chances are they never communicated well prior to marriage, but sex held them together. So they couldn’t find out the communication problem until it was too late. Premarital sex covers up serious difficulties. Couples who are engaged in intercourse tend to “neck their way” out of problems rather than to formulate a plan for solving them. Sex, for many people, often replaces verbal communication.

Do you want to take these kinds of chances with your future?

But, in spite of the chances, let’s say that you plan to take advantage of the next situation that presents itself (and you know in your heart whether or not you will). If this is your intention and you insist on indulging in sex outside of marriage, please protect yourselves against STDs and unwanted pregnancy. This means that both of you should use contraception. When you take the time for double protection it gives you time to think. It isn’t very romantic. But then neither is pregnancy, birthing, poopy diapers or sexually transmitted diseases.

How to Keep From Going Too Far

If you want a healthy relationship with a member of the opposite sex, a relationship that does not commit you to a sexual involvement, how should you go about attaining it? Often couples rely on the fact that they are both deeply religious, and therefore they feel that they would never engage in such activities. This attitude has led to many unplanned pregnancies and premature marriages! The fact that you have high Christian ideals does not inoculate you against sexual desire! Here are some concrete suggestions on how to keep from going too far.

1. Develop positive feeling of self-worth. Having positive feelings about yourself, along with choosing your own values and living by them, will free you of many inner conflicts that tend to tear you up inside.

2. Continue with an education after high school. Studies show that college-educated young people have a lower incidence of premarital sex than those who do not pursue higher education. An unwanted pregnancy or forced marriage does not mix with dreams of successful careers and rewarding accomplishments

3. Set up rules for conduct in advance of your dates. Talk these things over with your dating partner. Develop a specific plan to follow for changing the mood or behavior whenever either partner approaches dangerous ground.

4. Choose your dates with care. Your dates should be carefully selected from those persons who are similar to you in age, interest, and ideals.

5. Plan your dates carefully in advance, avoiding situations designed to stimulate sexual pleasure. Dates should be creative and interesting, avoiding parked car situations, being alone at home, and similar temptations.

6. Know the facts about sex. Since sexual curiosity and experimentation ranks highest among sexually ignorant persons, it is only wise to become informed. My books, Smart Love, Highly Effective Marriage, To Have and To Hold, Dear Nancy, and We’ve Only Just Begun, provide detailed information young people should possess during the dating years.

7. Learn to control your sexual desires. Your sexual desires were created by God Himself, but this does not mean that you must give in to your urges just because you have them. Sexual energies can be redirected and sublimated toward interests and activities that will give you personal satisfaction.

8. Learn how to form an intimate relationship without sex. Really becoming intimate with another person will mean more than jujst having sex with him or her. Intimacy develops over a period of time as two people relate to each other in an atmosphere of caring and warmth, one in which trust and honesty are evident and where both do not fear undue criticism of thoughts, feelings and worries.

9. Ask God for guidance. Ask your heavenly Father to help you find his will for your life. If you and your date discuss and pray about your future together, it will produce a bond of conscience between you that can serve as a barrier against temptation. Discuss your relationship in terms of “we three – God, you, and me.”

God’s Plan for Sex

Sex by itself would be little more than animal appetite. Genuine love combines sexual desire with all the other components that build the highest kind of relationship between husband and wife. Love is friendship, tenderness, self-control, selflessness, kindness, and loyalty blended with sexual desire.

The sexual urge, separated from other aspects of a relationship, selfishly desires to dominate, conquer, or force, or asks for surrender. By itself it is animal. Love, on the other hand, craves an intimate sharing with another person.

If you want to be a winner you will have to give up some immediate pleasures for the sake of ultimate benefits. You will look away from wickedness rather than accept it as normal. Just as others have found and followed the law of chastity and purity, so you can find and live by a code of decency and morality in a world that places little or no value on these attributes.

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