This is why I want you to have sex before marriage.

I often fantasize about what kind of reader reads my articles. What are they thinking? What impressions do they have? And are they really going to take my advice and find the nearest shag-pad to indulge in profanities?

I’m thinking about what’s going through your mind right now, and I want you to hold that thought and hear me out. I’m not writing today as a doctor nor am I scribbling as a Christian. I’m writing as someone who is connecting dots and one who intends to guide you ever so gently through my thought process.

Before we begin, let’s be clear. Since it did not happen to you or anyone you know, doesn't mean it cannot happen to someone else. Because you have a steadfast belief in faith and culture, doesn’t mean one cannot be condemned to the harsh realities of the aftermath of the belief itself.

Let’s start with my reflection on a story on the ever-so-popular InstaBlog. A story of a lady who could not be intimate with her partner because of a medical condition, one with deep roots in the psyche, and roots that grow on the fertile grounds of religious sexual purity, cultural sexual purity, and in extreme cases sexual trauma. Something hit me after reading that story — she said she was going to advocate for premarital sex, leading me to believe she blames that singular fact, in some way, for what she’s going through. I’d always thought about it, but could it be true? Could the unrelenting desire to abstain from sex until marriage make the body involuntary tighten up to prevent any form of penetration?

Naturally, I did some digging, and boy, I wasn’t alone in this thought process. In fact, this hypothesis is so common I wonder why it has not yet become a pro-sex agenda on social media.

Dr. Misty Smith is a sex therapist in Birmingham, grew up in Walker County, Ala., in a strict religious household. She currently works with patients who face various degrees of sexual dysfunction. She says many of her patients are women raised in strict religious homes and as adults, they are unable to have sex without experiencing debilitating physical pain. (1)

“They’ve had this in their head for so long that [sex is] this bad thing that they can’t switch that off,” Smith said. “So when they’re experimenting with their husband, or just even having sex with their husband, it’s really hard for them to kind of get in the mood or to think about initiating because it feels like something that’s dirty.”

Could Dr. Smith be up to something? Conventional research hasn’t yielded concrete evidence, but is it really a far-fetched idea that sexual purity is a recipe for a painful sexual experience?

A writer, Lauren, published a very thought-provoking article in 2017. When she was 15, she signed the pledge to wait to have sex until marriage. Yes, there was a physical piece of paper that she signed in church (I remember hearing about that in Sunday school when I was young). She did not even kiss him up until the wedding day, and to be fair, true religious sexual abstinence means you desist from ALL forms of sexual activity until marriage, so in a way, she was biblically justified. As you would have guessed by now, she experienced a terrible honeymoon and things went downhill from there. Unlike the first story, however, she still would have waited, but for what it’s worth, she did go through quite a lot (2)

‘A few years after ending my betrothal, I lost my faith altogether. With the loss of my faith came the freedom to finally have sex. After so many years of keeping myself pure and saving myself for one man and one man only, I was free to sleep with anyone I wanted. I tried. But the teachings of purity culture were deeply ingrained in me. I began having anxiety attacks after sex. These anxiety attacks left me crying and hyperventilating in my bed as I desperately tried to remind myself that there was no devil to fear and that I had nothing wrong to be ashamed of. But two decades of programming is hard to undo.’ was a point that got to me while reading an article authored by Alice (3) as she questions ever so boldly ‘Is purity culture a form of sexual abuse?’ The title of this article left me pondering deeply, just how many people experience this? Why are the stories like droplets of oil in the vast ocean and are people aware of what is going on?

‘Millions of women are suffering a painful medical condition in silence because they are too ashamed to seek help’ a leading gynecologist, Dr. Geetha Venkat says. (4) Could it be possible that millions of people brought up with the belief of sexual and cultural purity are in fact having a terrible sexual life as married partners? We’ve already seen people voice out, but what is the true prevalence? Just how many people are suffering in silence because of a preconceived notion that sex is bad? and what does this mean for the young generation? Could sexual liberalism be a better alternative than the enclosed culture we embrace here in this country and religion?

Vaginismus is a sexual pain disorder involving recurrent or persistent involuntary contraction or spasm of the muscles surrounding the distal third of the vagina (perineal and levator muscles) that interferes with vaginal penetration. Patients commonly describe this as the feeling that their partner is ’hitting against a wall’ when penetration is attempted. (5) While it is caused by many reasons, a certain dark cloud of culture and religion hovers over this definition, out of the vicinity for people to notice, but just close enough to descend on whoever is unlucky at any time. I have put links to the stories for you to read more and ponder upon. Like easter eggs, these links would open when you press those numbers.

I have two final questions for you my reader before I leave the floor open for you to tell me what you think.

Can it happen to you or your spouse?

I wonder what must be going through your mind now. If you’ve had sex before you must be relieved that it is not something in your to-be worry book. If you haven’t, you’re probably clinging to your faith in the supreme being that it’s not your portion, which fair enough, should not be anyone’s burden. BUT YET IT IS AS REAL AS THE FLOOR YOU WALK ON, and you’d never know, until a few hours after you wed.

What is the way forward?

Like a boomerang, I believe the title of this very article has come right back to the starting point. The title which brought you here in the first place. This is why I want you to have sex before marriage. But I must confess, the title was only crafted to get you to read this article, to get to this very point, and to understand the reality of things. I don’t really care whether you have sex before marriage or not, nor is it my place to dictate what you should or should not do. As with the trend of all my articles, it is to give enlightenment while allowing you to dig deep and see where your own thoughts lie, and I really hope in some way, I have been able to do that.

I dropped my stethoscope and my bible at the beginning of this article, for it is the only way I could have crafted such a controversial piece, but I’m afraid that I must pick them up now.

Now, as a Christian brother, I must encourage you not to indulge in pre-marital sex, and as a doctor, I must tell you that the specialist can help you if you ever encounter anyone in need of help.

Kindly leave comments, and follow. Dami.

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