By Chelsea Tirrell, Columnist
My friend said something to me the other day that kind of got me wondering. "You have to have sex before you get married. If you wait until marriage and the sex sucks, you're screwed for the rest of your life." Okay, he sounds like an overly conceited male whose only primate concern is sex. But he raises an interesting question. Does waiting to have sex until you're married ultimately hurt you or help you? With so many different vantage points, it's hard to say which is better. In the end, it's a choice that only you can make. However, weighing the options is both effective and necessary and can lead you to a decision that may change the way you view your relationship status.
I get it; you have a reason for waiting. Whether it be because your religion calls for it or because you think that if you do have sex with your partner he'll lose respect for you, you need to look at the flipside of things. Having sex with your man requires trust. You must trust that no judgment will be forged, that they're clean and they will appreciate you just as much as they did before you did the deed. That being said, having sex opens many doors. You let someone into your life—your very private life—and expand upon the already existent relationship. An attachment begins to form and the next thing you know, you're like rabbits and you can't keep your hands off each other.
So maybe that's a bit much. But seriously, sex does create more than a physical closeness. It is mental as well. Not only is sex in relationships positive in this aspect, it's also advantageous in that it has many health benefits. According to Kathleen Doheny, a features writer for WebMD, sex boosts immunity and self-esteem, and improves cardiovascular health, amongst other things.
Studies performed at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. showed that samples drawn from students who had frequent sex had higher levels of immunoglobulin A, which is an antibody that protects you from getting infections, compared to those who had sex less frequently.
While having sex with an unknown partner may be risky and lower your self-esteem, being intimate with your significant other improves it due to the fact that you're forming a connection with someone who wants one in return. You feel wanted and therefore feel better about yourself.
It's obvious that intercourse increases your heart rate; after all, you're performing an all too glorious exercise. However, what many people don't know is that the more frequently you have sex, the less likely you are to have a stroke or heart attack. Studies published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that those who had sex twice or more a week were less prone to heart deficiencies.
With these health benefits and more, it's no wonder so many people are taking advantage of their relationships and bringing their intimacy to the next level. However, there are many people who choose not to and that's a choice that should be respected.
My friend had it all wrong when he said that if the sex is terrible when you're married, you're out of luck. No sex is bad sex. You can learn from one another until you finally find something that works for the two of you. Sex has a lot to do with experience. If you're married, you've got the rest of your life to experiment and work out the kinks.
Also, abstinent women benefit because they don't run the risk of contracting an STD (that is unless their partner decides to cheat, which would be a different issue in and of itself).
And you can't forget that seventh grade fantasy of wanting to make that first time a special time. This desire has become more unpopular as time has progressed but believe it or not, those women do benefit. They have the satisfaction of being able to withstand the urges and keep the man who was willing to wait with her, no questions asked (except maybe for the occasional "Please, baby. For me?" argument that's inevitable). Now, you can't really mess with a relationship like that.
Whatever decision you choose to make, it's one that could go either way; you just never know. It's dependent upon your spouse, the type of relationship you've established and so much more. Sex sure is a beautiful thing. However, waiting can be just as beautiful.