Not Losing, But Giving

Sex.

This post is going to be about sex.

Phew, I said it. If I can say that so bluntly, then this next statement shouldn’t be too difficult, right?

I’m a virgin.

You know, for a few more hours, anyway.

Wow, okay, turns out that was difficult to write. Like, really difficult. Like, as I type these words, I’m considering dumping this post completely because who on earth would want to read this unless they plan to mock me mercilessly about it?

But no, I’m not going to delete this, I’m going to write it—not because I think you need to read it, but because I need to say it.

I could give you a really in-depth look at all off the reasons why I’ve decided to wait until marriage and all of the reasons why Mr. Potion has made the same decision, but there is literally no way to write such a post without it sounding preachy or judgmental, no matter how hard I try to avoid such overtones. (Trust me, I just wrote it three times.) I’ll share part of it, however, and try my best to avoid the preachy-ness:

When you love someone, you want to give him things—you want to cook his favorite dinner and surprise him with a copy of that video game he’s been looking forward to and take him to your favorite museum. You know that you really love someone when you want to give him everything, and you don’t expect anything in return.

Having sex with someone is giving him everything.

Sex is sometimes referred to as “the marriage act” not because it is an act which occurs within the context of a marriage, but because it is literally the act of marriage itself—the exchange of rings is just a symbol of giving yourselves to each other, but having sex is quite literally giving yourselves to each other. It is the purest, deepest way to express your love for someone—to surrender your body, your emotions, your fears, your needs, your desires to that person, and to receive those things from him in return. This would be an utterly terrifying and in no way pleasurable experience if you didn’t whole-heartedly trust this other person—if you didn’t love him with all that you are.

That kind of a gift—the gift of yourself, in every meaning of the word—is only truly meaningful if it’s only given to one person. If sex is the act of physically marrying someone, it’s not quite so special if it’s done with just anyone, or if it’s done with a ton of people—if I marry everyone I meet, and turn marriage into something that happens every day, then when I finally Get Married the word has lost its meaning. When I’ve finally met the person I love with all my being, if I’ve already given all my being to another, or many other people, what makes this guy any different? What makes my love for him better than my mere esteem for someone else?

Not gonna lie, it’s been tough holding this viewpoint. In high school, I was That Girl whose boyfriend dumped her because she wouldn’t “put out”; the day after the breakup, this was the reason our mutual friend gave for why he so abruptly let me go, and I had to ask what that phrase meant. Yeah. In college, I felt like I had to preface nearly every flirtatious encounter with, “I’m a virgin, so…” just to keep his expectations in check and give him an easy out so he wouldn’t have to waste his time on me if he wasn’t going to get what he wanted. On the plus side, this frankness helped to weed out the real jackasses before I wasted any time on them. On the minus side, one said jackass took this conversation as a challenge rather than a rule, and his persistence coupled with my naivete to put me in what turned out to be quite the terrifying situation one slightly-drunken night—I’m almost certain that if he’d had one more beer in him, he would’ve quite violently forced what he wanted; as it was, I had to result to crossing more boundaries than I was ready for as a sort of peace offering when my “no” wasn’t being accepted. And then I finally found Mr. Potion, and the difficulty comes from restraining myself!

As hard as it’s been at times for me, I know Mr. Potion has had it 10 times worse; whereas a woman may still be desirable nowadays if she is a virgin—as with the douchebag described above—a man is scorned as a failure by society, his peers, and his love interests if he’s chosen to wait until marriage.

For all the negativity we’ve had to put up with, there are certain negative side-effects we’ve never had to experience—unplanned pregnancies, STD’s, and awkward mornings filled with hungover regret. (I mean, sure, we’ve both been hungover and regretted events of the night before, but not that kind of regret.)

Anyway I think maybe I failed at being not-preachy, but what I wanted to say is that today, I’m not losing my virginity; today, I’m giving everything to the man I love more than anything—I’m marrying him in word, in symbol, and in action.

BLOGGER

Mrs. Potion

Location:
Herndon, VA
Wedding Date:
November 2012
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comments

  1. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:01 am

    Mrs. P, I hope you and the Mr. had a wonderful wedding, and I thank you for writing such a brave post (knowing that it would be controversial). As others have posted, I’m sure that those who can relate to your situation find strength in reading about those who chose a similar path.

    That being said, I have a difficult time relating to you in most of your wedding planning, and definitely here. At one point in my life, I planned to wait for marriage. That ended up changing when I found someone that I loved and curiosity got the best of us as teenagers. We didn’t end up getting married, and that’s fine. I don’t regret it at all. He’s a great person and we were in love, and I know that I shared my first (and many more times) with someone I cared so much about. Now that I am getting married, FI and I are far from each other’s first, but as other posters have said, sex is special with a person (or people) that you love, whether it’s your first time or your 1,000th time.

    Your post did end up sounding slightly preachy, but I hope everyone recognizes that it came from the right place and you were trying to share and support those who chose your path, not judge those of us who didn’t!

    While I chose a different path for myself, I commend you both (and the Armadillos!) for staying true to your values and I hope that you both enjoy each other, as everyone in love does. Happy honeymooning!

  2. Member
    paw 871 posts, Busy bee @ 7:15 am

    Congrats and thank you for being brave enough to share such a personal topic that clearly many people can relate to! I do perhaps think this post could have used another edit in that I completely appreciate this is your opinion on what is best for your relationship, but it does come across rather preachy in posting a blanket statement that your choice is the only meaningful relationship. I completely respect and agree that you are giving everything, but I think there are many people who choose a different path than you and still have meaningful relationships.

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Nic, Guest @ 7:36 am

    @emileekay:
    I think why people are getting upset is because it isn’t her own personal blog, it’s Weddingbee. And she isn’t simply talking about her choices, she’s implying that those that make a different choice have less meaningful relationships. I support her decision, it’s hers to make with her now husband (congratulations!), but she made it clear she doesn’t support the opinions of others on this topic if they’re different from hers.

  4. Member
    buffalo 178 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:55 am

    Great post Mrs. (yay!) P! I think posts like this are important because for every person who DISagrees with you there are a few who see it the same way you do and may not be brave enough to share their stories! Ignore all the posts filled with negativity! Everyone is entitled to their own viewpoints and opinions and that includes YOU!

  5. Member
    anjanette.thomas1 166 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:55 am

    We all have our own beliefs on what marriage means. I truly believe that everyone should reread her post and understand that these are her beliefs and in no way is she condemning or judging anyone else and their beliefs. This is her opinion on what marriage means to her and her husband.

    I have never seen so many women who proclaim to be offended by the words of another person that was written to describe her journey through life. Mrs. Portion might not ever have some of the experiences other Bees have had so she will not ever be able to relate to some of the Bees. However, as a woman seeking to share and find support look at how well we did as a community. It seems as if she struggled with this on numerous times and shared tears along the way.

    I wish you nothing but success in life and in marriage and as you grow you will understand that you will never please all but as long as you stand for what you belief nothing else matters!

  6. Member
    msarmadillo 497 posts, Helper bee @ 8:35 am

    Hey Miss (MRS!) P,

    I’m sorry about the huge amount of backlash you received in your comments here, but as a fellow couple who is waiting until we say “I Do” to give that one last piece of ourselves to each other, Mr. A and myself just want to say we get you! And we’re there for you! And I hope your wedding was everything you imagined it to be.

    I considered writing a post like this one, but in the end I wasn’t sure what I would be achieving or what the ultimate result would be or how I could eloquently express my opinions and personal beliefs without inadvertently condemning others for the choices that they make. However, that being said, I don’t think one could have written a post like this with any more finesse, humility, conviction and respect than you have, and for that, all I have to say is “you go, girl!”

    I know points of view like ours aren’t the most popular, but that’s the beauty of it all. We each have a choice and the ability to think and feel how we want. I just wish some of those who posted in the comments would have been able to express their opinions and points of view without personally attacking others, as I highly doubt you wrote this post with the intent of saying to the world, “This way is the only way and the rest of you are awful people!”

    This comment is already way longer than I wanted it to be, but you get the general idea. Hang in there, and congrats to you and Mr. P on your newlywed status! Can’t wait for all those awesome recaps! :)

  7. Member
    anemonie 1578 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:38 am

    @Nic: “she made it clear she doesn’t support the opinions of others on this topic if they’re different from hers”
    Did she? I think you, and a lot of other commenters, are projecting because you see the word “sex,” which is a sensitive subject, and automatically perceive perspectives other than your own as judgement. If judgement was indeed clear, there wouldn’t be any debate about it, but there clearly is.

    By writing this post, Mrs. P gave us the opportunity to discuss how sex fits into modern marriages and the many different choices women make for themselves today, not draw dividing lines in the sand. If someone mentions that they chose not to have sex before marriage (and I use the word chose purposefully because some unfortunately do not have a choice due to violence or coercion), then it does not automatically make her sanctimonious or preachy just because she has the audacity to talk about it in public (cue fainting Victorian woman). She was discussing her own relationship and her own wedding, as she has done with her blogs for her entire time as a Bee.

    We are just a diverse group of women with different worldviews, experiences, cultures, and relationships, and we should be able to share these with each other without accusing anyone. We should be able to talk about sex like adults. If you don’t think sex is an integral part of marriage and weddings or you think it’s inappropriate, the back button is in the upper left hand corner of your browser.

  8. Member
    debeachgirl 536 posts, Busy bee @ 10:52 am

    Mrs. Potion, I have no idea if you will even read to the end of all these comments, but Congrats on your wedding. I hope it was all perfect. And I applaud you for not only holding true to your beliefs but also being brave enough to post about them.

    I didn’t find it to be at all rude or condescending. I don’t think you think less of other people’s marriages. You stated up front that you were sharing some of the reasons YOU made your decision so clearly they were your opinions. Ignore the rude posts b/c many were far worse than anything you had to say.

    Again Best Wishes!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Kyann, Guest @ 12:07 pm

    I thought about keeping silent on this one, because you’ve already gotten a fair bit of feedback. But something kept bringing me back.

    Direct quotes:
    “This would be an utterly terrifying and in no way pleasurable experience if you didn’t whole-heartedly trust this other person—if you didn’t love him with all that you are.”

    “That kind of a gift—the gift of yourself, in every meaning of the word—is only truly meaningful if it’s only given to one person.”

    I think these two statements are where things went wrong. Particularly the second. And for every person who’s said “Oh, she was talking about herself, all of you can calm down” I point to the above statement.

    It’s fairly clear that statement was meant as a blanket statement to cover all sexual relations. And, honestly, that’s the one that unnerved me the most.

    I think that if these statements had been reworded, prefaced with “I believe” and changed out of the blanket you to “the gift of myself, is only meaningful to me…” you would have gotten less backlash. Well, I also would suggest avoiding phrases like “only meaningful”. Also:

    “…there are certain negative side-effects we’ve never had to experience—unplanned pregnancies, STD’s, and awkward mornings filled with hungover regret.”

    You know…I’ve also avoided these things by choosing my partners carefully and being responsible for myself. I understand that, maybe, not everyone makes the same decisions when it comes to the responsibility of having sex, but I’m a little offended again at the blanket statement here.

    I’m sure you got caught up in the moment though, and it’s very obvious that this connection with your husband means almost everything to you. I can’t fault you for that, but I would encourage that perhaps, next time, you really think about the people on the other side of this argument and weigh the impact of how your words are phrased.

    That being said, I hope you had a wonderful wedding, and I wish you and your husband all the best in life.

  10. Member
    MissCanyon 212 posts, Helper bee @ 2:45 pm

    I haven’t gone through all the comments but just in case it hasn’t been said, it’s fully possible to get STIs without actually having sex (of all sorts). Unless you’re fully clothed at all times, it’s possible to catch something. Molluscum comes to mind. So, please please please do not assume that you’re ‘safe’ if you’re not having vaginal intercourse. Oh, and in your conversations with potential loves, please define what ‘sex’ means to each of you.

    Just because you aren’t having sex doesn’t mean you don’t need to know all the ‘ins and outs’ (haha) of protecting yourself.

  11. Member
    BabyBlueEyes 235 posts, Helper bee @ 9:36 pm

    Way to go Mrs. Potion. I know you are going to get a lot of negative feedback from this post, and I think you knew it when you were writing it. I stopped reading after the first page, but I just wanted to commend you, not only for upholding your values, but for having the courage to write this post. I am also a virgin, as is my FH, and we have never regretted that choice. Don’t listen to what other say, and don’t ever let them make you feel bad for what you have said or what you have done (or actually, not done!). Congratulations on making it all the way to your wedding a virgin, and congratulations on your marriage!!!!!!!!!

  12. Member
    funnelcake 1171 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:34 am

    As a person with different moral beliefs and a sexual history before marriage, I was not offended. These are Mrs. Potion’s beliefs, not mine.

    IMO not every sentence containing an opinion on WB needs to be prefaced with “But this is just what it means to ME,” because it gets a bit dull to read that over and over and over again, especially when Mrs. P already prefaced that these are her views and she doesn’t want to offend. This is coming from Mrs. Potion, so obviously it’s her personal views about her virginity and what it means in relation to her marriage.

    Thanks for posting this. I am sure it will be helpful for all the virgins who do have a tough time remaining chaste and who face lots of peer pressure over their decision.

    Wait or don’t wait. We all try to have a happy, healthy marriage no matter what we do.

  13. Member
    scone 184 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:46 am

    Thank you for posting this… it was very brave and I hope that you are enjoying newly married life!

  14. Member
    hawk 1117 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:41 am

    Like many other Bees have said, you are incredibly brave for writing this. Although I admit I did not follow the same path as you, I wholeheartedly respect your choices. Congratulations on your marriage, and I’m hoping your enjoying every minute of your honeymoon! :)

  15. Member
    highwire 1021 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:15 am

    We really open up ourselves to a wide range of differing opinions by blogging on here. Props to you for being willing to stand up for what you believe in and writing a thoughtful post about your decisions and why you made them. I don’t feel like you were ever insinuating that other people’s choices are the wrong one or less valid than yours, quite the opposite. You obviously have reasons for why you made your decisions! Thank you for sharing them.

    And now, the wait is over! I hope it was everything you dreamed it would be and congrats on becoming a Mrs!

  16. Member
    ladybunnylot 203 posts, Helper bee @ 11:26 am

    I only just read this post! Congrats on your marriage!!!

    This really resonated with me. Thank you so much for writing this.

  17. Member
    thimble 857 posts, Busy bee @ 4:21 pm

    Can’t help myself…. I have to add to the comments!

    I don’t understand anyone being offended by this post… Can’t a virgin have a voice? We hear/read about/see sex everywhere and I don’t think virgins feel like it’s an attack on them for NOT having sex. Just the direct comments and compromising situations (been there! xo). Women have fought (and continue to fight) for sexual freedom. We can choose what to do with our bodies- amen- so women who feel that sex is a huge deal are free to feel that way. Free to talk about it. Mrs. Potion sees sex as a gift. Clearly we all don’t see it as a gift, and if you do not then the quote “That kind of a gift—the gift of yourself, in every meaning of the word—is only truly meaningful if it’s only given to one person” clearly doesn’t apply to you.

    Potion: I loved this post- I felt like I was reading my story… I didn’t wait until our wedding day, but I have only ever had 1 partner and in my heart and soul I knew (and told this to myself to feel better about my choice) that we were married in a way. I made the decision 9 years ago that I wanted to stay with this man forever and that I wanted to give him everything. And I have to tell you, girl to girl, it took a while to figure out the best way to do it! So the whole pro-sex before marriage theory about “what if the sex isn’t good?” is bullshit because if you love and trust each other, you’ll get to the point where it’s great- emotionally and physically.

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    Daio, Guest @ 5:16 pm

    “Anyway I think maybe I failed at being not-preachy.”

    How very astute.

    “That kind of a gift—the gift of yourself, in every meaning of the word—is only truly meaningful if it’s only given to one person.”

    Hmmm. If you don’t want to sound like self-righteous know-it-all, try to avoid words like “only,” “always,” or “never” when discussing something so very personal and–when it comes to someone else, namely your readers–completely none of your business.

    By the way… since you brought it up… my husband and I have meaningful (also: super hot) sex all the time. Just like we did before we got married. And our wedding night? Oh man. It was epic.

    Good luck with your blossoming sex life, heh.

  19. Member
    village_skeptic 1861 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:17 pm

    @Mrs. Thimble: I could be wrong over six pages of comments, but I don’t think that anyone on here has said that Mrs. Potion, as a virgin, shouldn’t have a voice. No one, or very few people, have criticized her decision to remain a virgin. In fact, lots of people, even those who wish that she would have phrased things differently, have congratulated Potion for her bravery in writing this very personal post, and for having the self-control and perseverance to retain her virginity to her wedding day, because that was a thing that was important TO HER. That’s cool.

    But the statement about the the gift of one’s virginity only being meaningful if it’s given to one person was just that — a statement presented as fact, not a statement presented as opinion or belief or personal experience.

    If I were to say that “sexuality and sexual behavior is so important to our identities and our happiness as functioning adults that it is irresponsible to enter into the lifetime commitment of marriage without having first explored those issues concretely with our partners,” I would get a lot of blowback from people who had chosen to remain virgins before marriage. And I would deserve it, because who am I to decide about other people’s identities or sexual choices, and to predicate their readiness for marriage on those choices? Most people to whom their virginity was important would not take “oh well I didn’t mean YOU, I was talking to sexually active people” as an excuse in that case. Additional qualifiers about to whom that advice or interpretation applies need to be present, whether it’s “I think” or “For me” or “Lots of people who think like me agree that…”

    Potion, for what it’s worth and if you ever read this, I don’t believe that you wrote this intending to insult or belittle other people’s choices about their sexuality — as you said, you revised the post a bunch of times. I hope that you’ll take from it NOT that people thought that you were wrong to be a virgin on your wedding day OR that you were wrong to talk about what that meant for you. I hope instead that it can be chalked up to experience — what happens when you (unintentionally) present your experience and perspective as a universal or should-be condition.

  20. Member
    msgiraffe 4248 posts, Honey bee @ 8:46 pm

    As a fellow wedding-night-waiter, let me just assure you that it gets better ;-). hahahaha

    I know waiting is supposed to equal romance and perfect sex (okay, that’s what I had assumed), but it was totally awkward and weird for Mr. G and I for a little while (…longer than I expected haha). Take time to relax and enjoy yourselves. It gets better!

    And kudos on the post lady. I know from personal experience how hard it is to share with the hive about being a virgin. You are brave and that is awesome!

  21. Member
    msgiraffe 4248 posts, Honey bee @ 9:03 pm

    Oy. . .I just realized that my comment may have been completely inappropriate.

    Telling someone that sex is awkward and then gets better via internet comments? Only on WeddingBee!

    But really, what was I thinking? I am sorry if I just made you feel incredibly uncomfortable.

    Anyway, I love you, Potion, and I hope your honeymoon is going amazing!

  22. Member
    thimble 857 posts, Busy bee @ 9:54 pm

    @village_skeptic: Thank you for calling me out- that’s fair. I wasn’t commenting on the thoughtful opposing comments like yours or the supportive ones, just the catty ones that had me seeing red. Adding more qualifiers wouldn’t have made those readers happy.

  23. Member
    thimble 857 posts, Busy bee @ 9:56 pm

    @Mrs. Giraffe: lol I basically told her the same thing.

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    rebecca, Guest @ 1:48 pm

    @village_skeptic: +1

  25. Member
    ashleighxcult 173 posts, Blushing bee @ 3:33 pm

    @Kyann: This 100%.

    I wasn’t “offended” by this post, but I can see how others were. I applaud Mrs. Potion for sticking to her convictions, but I did find the phrasing to be somewhat degrading to others who have have not waited until marriage, and the implication that sex can “only be truly meaningful” with your spouse is not correct. FI and I are sexually active and not each other’s firsts, but I don’t feel that I’m giving him any less of myself because of this.

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    Hannah, Guest @ 8:47 pm

    And one last piece of advice:

    I suggest you (and your new husband) pick up a few books for light reading.

    She Comes First by Ian Kerner
    He Comes Next also by Ian Kerner
    The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti

  27. Guest Icon Guest
    tessa, Guest @ 12:43 am

    I really do admire that you know what’s important to you and stick to it. That’s great, and I’m happy for you!

    However, you do come off as pretty preachy and judgmental. Just because someone has sex with more than one person before marriage does not mean that their bodies or the sex they have with their husbands is any less meaningful to them, and it sounds an awful lot like you’re putting yourself on a high horse. It’s a little offensive. Maybe there isn’t really a point in me saying this, since you clearly realize that you have probably offended people, but I think there is probably a much better way to convey your beliefs that is empathetic and understanding.

    Also, while I do understand that our culture is very sexual and that this is a difficult environment for those who wish to wait for sex until marriage (especially for guys), decent people really don’t care about your sex habits, and if anyone gives others a hard time for being a virgin, then they are idiots who shouldn’t be paid any attention. The only people I know who do this are immature young men who heckle people about sex regardless of sexual activity or lack thereof.

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    tessa, Guest @ 12:59 am

    Ugh the comments section makes me angry. No one who was offended by this post (with the exception of a very few rude posters) was offended because of her choice to wait. No one disapproved of her choice. What they were offended by was the sanctimonious tone.

    Another commenter said it best: “If I had come on here and said what I shared with my groom was far more special than those that waited because we know each other’s bodies and were able to have a truly sexually satisfying magical encounter would be deemed inappropriate.” THAT is why people are upset and offended.

  29. Member
    farawayviolet 1463 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:25 pm

    “had posted about deciding to become a homosexual instead”

    It’s not a decision.

  30. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:02 am

    Good on you! My hubby and I have only had sex with each other, but we didn’t wait until marriage! It feels special knowing we only gave each other to each other! Some of my friends judge me when I talk about sex because they know who I am talking about, but just because I have only had sex with one person doesn’t make my opinions and thoughts any less valid! Hats off to you for sharing this with us, I think it took immense courage and its good to know that you have such strong morals! I don;t believe you were preachy, you were sharing with the hive as you have countless times before!

  31. Guest Icon Guest
    whitecat, Guest @ 10:02 pm

    My biggest question is: Who cares?

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