I don't remember when I first heard the idea that the best sex in marriage comes from saving yourself until your wedding night, probably because it's been repeated again and again in church circles over the years. True love waiting rewards the strife of abstinence with a world of pleasure upon saying, "I do."
This mentality gets perpetuated by a well-meaning evangelical culture that I believe genuinely wants what's best for its young people. We hope they will hold out for the better portion, so we tell our single brothers and sisters how unmarried sex doesn't live up to the gratification of sex saved for the marriage bed.
In an article last year in The New York Times, "In Hook-Ups, Inequality Still Reigns," Natalie Kitroeff found that the majority of sexually active females were not experiencing orgasms during casual sexual encounters. While the article showed how much the hook-up culture has shaped their understanding of their own sexual expectations, it also highlighted how they can feel disappointed with sex outside of committed relationships. "We've been sold this bill of goods that we're in an era where people can be sexually free and participate equally in the hook-up culture. The fact is that not everyone's having a good time," one doctor noted in the article.
To counter hook-up culture, Christians remind young people if they follow God's good design, it will actually be better for them. The hook-up culture promises freedom, excitement, and the occasional orgasm, Christians promise something more. Within the confines of a loving, committed, marital relationship sex is actually the most satisfying and enjoyable.
In some ways, they're right. ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more