Tag Archives: premarital sex

Q&A with J: How Will I Know What to Do?

Today’s questioner has not had sex. In fact, she feels completely unprepared to have sex in a future marriage. Here’s her story:

I’m a 22 yrs old mega-virgin and the concept of intimacy is new and kinda scary to me

My mother and I never had the talk, mainly because our family is very conservative when it comes to this stuff and she always tell me to refuse any physical interaction from guys until i got married and that’s it. (also i had found out that she and my grandmother never had the “talk”, figures right?)

o.k so i know what i’m NOT to do…but how do i know what am i SUPPOSE to do?
the only thing i look up on google is what happens to my body physically when aroused in wikipedia (pathetic, i know)

but i don’t know what else to look up, the world is dying to show me what they know but i don’t want to learn from that. i’m against porns!!! where do i start? What should i read? Please i need your advice!!!

Q&A with J: How Will I Know What to Do?

First, let me reiterate how important it is for parents to step up and talk to their children about sex, infusing those conversations with godly values. And notice I said conversations — plural — because one talk ain’t gonna cut it. Here’s more on that:

Talking to Your Kids about Sex: No More One & Done
Is “Don’t Have Sex” Enough for Teens?
Teach Your Kids the Correct Words for Body Parts
How to Talk to a Teen about Sex
Top Ten Things I Want to Teach My Teens About Sex

And now . . . Wikipedia. I wonder just what kind of information you get from there on this subject. It’s likely accurate, but it obviously can’t tell the whole story. And you won’t get the godly viewpoint of sexuality.

Which is why I wrote Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design and keep up with this blog: I believe our world desperately needs the truth about God’s gift of sex to marriages.

Our world desperately needs the truth about God's gift of sex to marriages. Click To Tweet

While I primarily speak to marrieds, specifically wives, let me tackle this question with some ideas of what you should know before marriage.

Your sex drive. Song of Songs, the Bible book about sex in marriage, warns three different times: “Do not awaken love until it so desires” (2:7, 3:5, 8:4). The charge is given to the “daughters of Jerusalem,” presumably unmarried women looking forward to the promise of sexual intimacy. This means we shouldn’t poke and prod sex, thinking it won’t wake up until we say I Do. We shouldn’t awaken it until the time is right — in a covenant marriage.

But have you ever watched babies, or maybe a dog or cat, sleep? They don’t just lie there sleeping like the dead; there are twitches and stirrings, moments when it looks like they might be waking up, but then they quickly return to sleep.

I think that’s where the Church and many Christians have gotten this wrong: We tell premarrieds to not awaken love, to shut down any possibility of sexual contact, and expect their sex drive to lie there completely dormant until they cross the marriage threshold. And then it’s supposed to leap from sleep. But after all that time of shoving their libido down, it can be hard for many wives to flip the switch.

Here’s what I’m going to tell you instead: You will have stirrings.

Your body will be aroused, likely many times over, before it’s the right time to engage sexually. And trying to shove those sexual feelings back in a box and tape it down isn’t the best approach. Rather, recognize those feelings for what they are—reminders that God created you as a beautiful, sexual woman who will one day be ready to fully awaken that love in marriage.

Now if you want to know why you should wait until marriage, and how, check out these posts:

Sex Before Marriage, Part 1 (Guest Post) on Preengaged
Sex Before Marriage, Part 2 (Guest Post) on Preengaged
How Much Should You Learn about Sex before the Wedding Night? from Heather & Eric Viets
The Premarital Sex Felt Great
How Premarital Sex Affects the Marriage (Guest Post) on Preengaged
Q&A with J: What To Do with Sexual Desire Before Marriage

Your anatomy. We don’t all respond the same way, but there are some fairly universal sensations. Let me describe a bit of anatomy and then discuss what happens.

Your privates are comprised of several basic parts: vagina, outer and inner vaginal lips (labia majora and labia minora), and clitoris. (There’s some other stuff like G-spot and Skene’s glands, but you don’t need to know that until you’re having sex. ) When a woman gets aroused, her vagina lubricates, her vaginal lips swell, and the clitoris enlarges. Not all of those have to happen together. Sometimes you’re just “wet,” and usually the clitoris becomes more visible with direct stimulation. But these are things that happen to our bodies when we’re sexually stimulated.

When you start having sex in marriage, the thing to remember is to take it slow and let your body become sufficiently aroused with lubrication and swelling (especially the inner vaginal lips) before engaging in intercourse. But for now, know that if your panties get wet from time to time, that’s normal. It tends to happen more frequently while we’re ovulating, but it can also happen just when we’re attracted to a guy or feeling more sensual in general. Consider it a reminder that God has created your body to engage in sexual intimacy with your husband when the time is right.

Your body image. Having heard from so many wives on this topic, this is something you can work on right now and for the rest of your life. Learn to love your body!

It’s going to be hard someday to bare it all for your husband if you don’t have any confidence in the beauty that God gave you. But He really did make you beautiful! Practice positive self-talk, noticing what your personal assets are and celebrating those. Don’t bat away compliments, but learn to say “thank you.” Take care of your body with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Don’t sweat the stuff you don’t like so much. Cherish those aspects that make you feminine — your softer skin, your curves, your private parts.

If body image is a struggle, mark this verse in your Bible or memorize it and remind yourself:

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Psalm 139:13-14

Someday your husband is likely to adore seeing your body — your gorgeous, naked body — and it will be easier to engage in sexual intimacy if you believe his assertion that you are a beautiful woman. Not to mention that it’s God’s assertion as well, so believe Him. Remain modest, but appreciate the body you have — the body that will one day be used for sexual intimacy.

Your sexual baggage. You don’t only have sexual baggage if you had premarital sex. Sexual baggage is anything you drag into your marriage that is an obstacle to true physical intimacy. Even a poor theology of sex can be a load that burdens your marriage bed.

Even a poor theology of sex can be a load that burdens your marriage bed. Click To Tweet

What I wish I’d deeply understood before marriage was how pro-sex God was. Just in the right context. I had internalized the prevalent stance that Christianity believed sex to be a carnal activity and women to be the gatekeepers regulating oversexed men. But when I personally had experiences that conflicted somewhat with that teaching, I was confused and I strayed. I basically rejected the whole thing because parts of the theology I’d been taught weren’t true. While I bear all the fault for not seeking the real answers in the Word of God, it would be easier for young people if we told them the real deal: God wants you to have sex and enjoy it immensely, but in His sovereign wisdom He reserved it for marriage.

It’s worth asking yourself what messages about sex you’ve internalized and whether those really comport with what God says about sex. Some well-meaning Christians can present erroneous information, oftentimes because it’s what they were taught. We need to seek real answers from God’s Word.

Develop a healthy theology of sex, so that you understand it as (1) a blessing, (2) intended for reproduction, pleasure, and intimacy, and (3) reserved for the covenant bonds of marriage. By the way, that last one is not because God wants to deny us anything; rather, He wants us to enjoy the full measure of His gift and He knows that sex outside of marriage can easily damage one or both people. As Deuteronomy 10:12-13 says: And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?”

Find a godly mate. Finally, my best advice is to find a godly husband. I’m not talking about a perfect husband, that man who doesn’t exist except in romance novels and imaginations. Rather, if you want a great sex life someday, your best bet is to marry someone who also seeks God’s will — in everything.

Listen, whatever challenges you have in the marriage bed — whether it’s just wedding night awkwardness, or medical issues that create obstacles to sexual intimacy, or past sexual encounters that left wounds — having a mate who also understands the importance of sexual intimacy in marriage and who is loving and respectful of you will make everything smoother. Most marriages have ups and downs in the sex department, but being a team to work through those peaks and valleys is a far better situation than being at odds with one another.

The people who write me with major issues typically have one spouse who doesn’t want to tackle the problem head-on or who stubbornly pursues their own selfish ways. If you’ve got a guy, though, who’s committed to 1 Corinthians 13 love, you can weather all kinds of stuff. Of course, you should also be committed to that kind of love as well. I’ve often said that single women should spend less time looking for Mr. Right and more time becoming Mrs. Right.

I haven’t read it, but I understand The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas is an excellent book for singles on finding a godly mate. (I did read Sacred Marriage by the same author, and it was really good.) I’m also rather partial to The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After by Elizabeth Kantor, which is not a Christian book but still a good resource for mate-picking.

One final note: When you do find The Guy, get some premarital counseling. And make sure it covers the topic of sex. Preengaged has some great resources in that regard, and I guarantee Heather and Eric there can talk biblically and honestly about sex.

Q&A with J: What To Do with Sexual Desire Before Marriage

Today’s question is from a single woman and involves lust.

“I have a strong desire to have sex, and most girl friends I talk to can’t seem to relate. I want to have sex with my future husband and no one else, but what do I do with my physical desire in the mean time? I’m sure you can understand that these type of feelings aren’t like your desire to eat a piece of cake where you can just ‘be strong’ and say no. It’s not that easy.

“I don’t want to just be physically pure when I get married one day, I want my mind and heart to be pure for my husband. But every single day I struggle with my desires, and I can’t just ‘turn off’ how I feel until I get married and then turn it back on again. And because of my struggle, it’s really hard for me to view sex in marriage as pure and holy when right now, I feel like I have to push those thoughts away.”

I took a very personal look at this one, because I’ve thought a lot about what might have changed my premarital promiscuous behaviors. I also had a strong sex drive that did not go away just because I wanted to do things the way God said. But don’t worry, reader: We’re in good company (see Romans 7:21-25), and we can overcome (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).

What To Do with Sexual Desire Before Marriage

Here’s what I believe would have helped me.

A belief that the best truly was yet to come. I tended to think the sexual pleasure I had outside of marriage was so good, how could it be any better inside marriage? I know differently now. But I wish I, and others in the church, had been taught regularly that the marital intimacy was worth waiting for — because it truly was more holy and more hot.

A strategy for remaining pure. I had nothing, nada, zero but my own willpower, which was not strong enough. I swore to myself I wouldn’t cross the line, but then I put myself in scenarios that set me up for failure.

Instead, I would not be alone with dates unless there was a strong possibility of being seen or walked in on. I would have a mutual commitment with my boyfriend/fiancé to stop and do something else if things got heavy. I would recognize that I was weak and needed to set myself up for success in this area by keeping my dates about something other than my strong sexual feelings (which, of course, will happen anyway…but less so if you’re, let’s say, bowling than making out).

Simply saying you won’t isn’t enough. It’s like saying you want to own a software company, but you have no plan for educating yourself in computers or learning how to run a business. If you set a goal, you need a strategy — a statement of how — for meeting your goal.

Someplace to channel those intense emotions. It isn’t enough to say what you won’t do; it’s better to say what you will do. For instance, what if when I got all hot and bothered, I took a run? Or went to a dance class? Or even punched a punching bag? I’d be looking for positive outlets for the stress that builds inside when you don’t have a sexual outlet.

Too often we focus on the don’ts of Christianity without paying attention to all of the do’s. Think about it in terms of the recovering alcoholic who ends up a table of people drinking cocktails. Instead of sitting there empty-handed, most will order a ginger ale or a club soda — they have a plan of what to put in their hands instead of the thing they don’t want. Likewise, figure out where you can channel that excess tension and energy.

Affection that doesn’t rely on the romantic. Speaking of positive outlets, sometimes we get all, or almost all, our affection through our romantic attachment. Since our bodies thrive on touch and connection, it’s tempting to shortcut all that, have sex, and get super-rushes of Oxytocin.

But we can find other ways to meet social/emotional needs, like holding babies at your church nursery or hugging the elderly at a local convalescent home (they could really use affection) or sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with friends or family. Long touches with others can keep us from having too long and too heavy touches with our romance partner.

Prayer and scripture. I’d pray more often, more fervently, and more openly to God. I’d also find a few scriptures to memorize, that I could bring to mind at the snap of a finger. I believe these are God’s weapons against spiritual temptation. Not in the moment of sexual temptation (that prescription is to flee — see 1 Corinthians 6:18), but in preparing ourselves for day-to-day life.

As you can see, I really don’t have easy fixes. I think the big issue here is that as long as we’re trying to not do something, it’s especially hard. We’re likely to have greater success when we try to replace that something with a better something.

So get off the couch where you’re reading romance novels and thinking how much you want to have the sex that protagonist is having and start reading scripture and working out on your treadmill. Stop heading into private places with guys you’re just dating and start hanging out in public places with friends. Quit looking at “man candy” and spend time as a “candy striper” at a local hospital.

Don’t kick yourself for having God-given sexuality, but channel your energies in appropriate ways. And if need be, repeat to yourself Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5, 8:4: “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” It will desire someday — when you are in a covenant marriage before God.

What are your tips for this single woman and others?

“How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.” — Psalm 119:9

Waiting for Sexual Intimacy

Photo Credit: Microsoft Word Clip Art

Photo Credit: Microsoft Word Clip Art

I read a very interesting article last week from The Art of Manliness. Being thoroughly female, I still enjoy many of the posts from this male-directed blog. Last Monday, the article How Delaying Intimacy Can Benefit Your Relationship looked at studies on why it’s not such a good idea to jump into bed willy-nilly and why one should wait until the relationship deepens.

Now this wasn’t a Christian-based article, and I strongly advocate waiting until the real commitment of marriage vows. However, the studies cited support the church’s position that couples should wait. Here are two interesting findings.

Old Habits Die Hard

Repeated behaviors “train our minds to think and act in certain ways” — even to the point of rewriting our brain circuitry. The way you act over and over becomes a pattern that is very difficult to change. So the notion that you’ll settle down later, when you get married, and keep to one lover, and focus on deeper intimacy, etc., that’s not so easy to do. As researcher Dr. Busby says, “Every relationship we have, however brief and insignificant, influences every other relationship we have, and the patterns that we repeat across relationships become very difficult to change.”

If you pursue casual sex before marriage, it’s hard to make that shift to deeper intimacy in marriage. That’s not the message we usually get from sources around us. The romantic version often espoused in our culture is that something just shifts inside you when you meet “the right one.” But old habits die hard. It may not be personal — you may love and adore your mate — but you can have a hard time shutting off the way you’ve trained your mind to think about sex and introducing a different perspective.

The best option is to start right here, right now, establishing the habits you want to carry into the rest of your life and your marriage.

Oxytocin: It’s Not Just for Sex Anymore

I, and many others who write about sex, have mentioned the importance of Oxytocin in lovemaking. Oxytocin is a bonding hormone that reduces stress and fosters trust. It’s best known as a substance mothers release when they nurse their babies.

However, it is also released in men when they climax. For this reason, many believe that Oxytocin is key to the argument that sex is a bonding activity. But that’s not the whole story.

Oxytocin comes around during sex, but it also appears in non-sexual but affectionate activities, like hugging, touching, smiling, listening. Moreover, right after sexual climax, Oxytocin apparently takes a nosedive. So if the sex-made Oxytocin is all you’re working from, those bonding feelings will go pffft as soon as you’re done. Essentially, you need ongoing non-sexual Oxytocin-producing behaviors to really feel connected to your lover and then experience sex as an outgrowth of that bond. That’s what should happen in a marriage — ongoing interaction and bonding that makes the sex all the more meaningful.

From Martin Robertson, researcher: “Frequent, comforting feelings are important in maintaining strong bonds . . . . The more dependable the flow of Oxytocin via daily bonding behaviors, the easier it is to sustain a relationship. In contrast, a passionate one-night stand allows lovers’ innate defensiveness to snap back into place pretty much as soon as Oxytocin drops after climax.”

While else should you wait? I wrote posts for Preengaged some time ago explaining other reasons why couples should wait until marriage: Sex Before Marriage Part 1 and Sex Before Marriage Part 2.

The Premarital Sex Felt Great

How’s that for a title you didn’t expect from me?

Sheila Gregoire at To Love, Honor and Vacuum recently had two opportunities to be interviewed about sexuality by the Huffington Post. Not surprisingly, Sheila was outnumbered in her moral perspective…FOUR to one. I suspect those are better odds than we firm-stance Christians have in the secular world as a whole, though.

Sheila's interview - TV still

Sheila’s the one with the beautiful smile on the big screen.

In this last segment, the subject was about having premarital sex in one’s 20s and whether that’s a positive thing for your sex life as a whole. Of course, Sheila took the biblical stance of keeping sexuality in marriage, but she didn’t have to cite scriptures on a secular program; God’s truth is consistent, and the case for sex within marriage is supported by statistics. She did a terrific job and showed that she cares deeply about people experiencing God’s best for their marriages and sex lives.

At one point, the interviewer (not on her side) tried to support his point that sex doesn’t have to be a deep, emotional connection by attempting to quote Woody Allen: “The worst sex that I’ve ever had was still pretty good.” I couldn’t find that exact quote, but I believe this one from the famous actor/director is what the interviewer meant: “Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go it’s pretty d–n good.”

Which brings me to my point. We Christians who encourage people to remain sexually pure until marriage need to admit what I knew when I was living the wrong lifestyle: Premarital sex feels great.

It is physically satisfying and entertaining and exciting. We don’t do our cause and our children any favors when we say that sex outside marriage isn’t good . . . and people hear that it doesn’t feel good. So when your teenager gets in the car with a date and goes too far, and it feels awesome and powerful and deep, might they discount the Christian message that waiting is better?

They might . . . because, as I’ve now said three times now, the premarital sex feels great.

BUT the married sex is SO MUCH BETTER!!!

Sex outside marriage is like having a Chips Ahoy cookie. I happen to like those. If someone brings a bag of them to a church potluck, I will scoop up a cookie or two and add them to my waistline. BUT what if you’re looking at a bag of Chips Ahoy versus Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies? (For those of you outside the Girl Scout realm, they are To. Die. For.) No one in their right mind would pick a hard store-bought cookie over a thin mint that delights the senses and supports the Girl Scouts.

If that comparison doesn’t speak to you, pick any of the below:

Sex Outside Marriage

Godly Sex in Marriage

Smart car
Hot dog stand
Emeril’s restaurant
Hershey bar
Godiva Chocolatier truffles
Faded Glory
Christian Dior
Metal washtub
Jacuzzi bath
Leaky rowboat
Cruise liner

You get the point. If you had no idea about the second column, you might be happy having a hot dog from the street vendor. (This is just an example. Hey, the best tamales where I live come from a truck.) But if you slip into a Lamborghini wearing your Christian Dior outfit and eat a meal at Emeril’s, you know it’s worth a lot more.

I didn’t know I was in a rowboat when I was having sex before marriage. My boat was leaking, but I figured I was doing it wrong somehow, or that I merely needed a better paddle partner. I finally figured out that the only way to get it right was to get out of the rowboat and board the cruise liner!

When I teach my kids about sexuality, I plan to be honest. I tell them that the physical sensations of sex in any consensual context can be very pleasurable. God made sex to feel great. However, He blessed us with marriage to give us the very best. That’s just how our Father is. He loves us enough to want us to have the cream of the crop, the icing on the cake, the thin mint cookies . . . because we are the apple of His eye.

So yeah, those preaching multiple sex partners and 10 New Ways to Orgasm are right in saying that their prescriptions may give your body a real high. But I not satisfied with climbing a hill and whooping it up anymore. I want Mount Everest, baby.

In marriage, there is a blessing from God and a connection of life commitment that provides the foundation for the best physical intimacy one can have. Studies show those most satisfied with their sex lives are married . . . and married for a while.

Sheila beautifully described it in her interview: “It is a beautiful thing. And to say that you can have intimacy with all kinds of people, yeah, but there is nothing like a marriage.”

There is truly nothing at all like a God-centered marriage that pursues His holy plan for sex. I pray that for the couples who read my blog — that you will not just experience physical satisfaction, but spiritual and emotional connection through this deeply personal, physical act.

Do Colleges Need a Sex Week?

At this particular moment, I have a strong desire to thump my head against the wall a few times in exasperation and disbelief. What prompts this response? I read an article that Harvard University would be hosting its first ever (and dear God please, last ever) Sex Week.

Harvard University Memorial Hall

Harvard University
by Jacobolus via Wikimedia Commons

During the week, there will be speakers, seminars, and movies “that explore topics such as love, sex, sexuality, gender, gender identity, and relationships.” Moreover, a student organization will handing out free “safer sex supplies” and educational materials and providing peer counseling. In case that description doesn’t excite a co-ed, there will be daily drawings for “sex toys, t-shirts, books, lotions, and sunglasses.” I admit to being slightly perplexed by the sunglasses.

However, I am very perplexed that Harvard is now following Yale’s example of having a whole week featuring sex to largely unmarried students who do not need sex education so much as they need — oh, I don’t know — education. Having gone to college myself, I guarantee that no one was clueless about the birds and bees at that point; everyone knew how to get safer sex supplies; and the last thing we hormonally charged young adults needed was a whole week devoted to copulation. We were already devoting 52 weeks a year to the subject in our minds and, for some, bodies.

There continues to be an outspoken perspective in our world that great sexuality is having a specific set of information and tools to do it well. So why not a seminar and some handouts? Surely, that will make for a fabulous sex life!

Now I’m obviously not opposed to sexual knowledge, since I dispense some of it myself on this blog. And a tool or two (e.g., lubricant) can be a lovely addition to the marital bedroom. However, none of what Harvard Sex Week teaches will result in the best sexuality. The best sex comes from a loving, committed marital relationship that has ongoing discovery, layers of intimacy, and giving to one another as its core. (See Do Good Girls Have the Best Sex? from Intimacy in Marriage.) It comes from following God’s Word on what perfect love looks like and taking that attitude into the bedroom as well. (See The Gospel in the Bedroom.)

So how should Christians combat the wrong messages out there being pushed by not merely the porn industry, film makers, and Cosmo magazine — but now by higher education institutions? We must present the right message. We must speak up and present a better way.

What should we teach our young adults and singles instead?

Sex is not merely a physical sensation. Sheila Gregoire made a great point of this in her book, A Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex. You can also check out her post on The Act of Marriage, in which she insists that there are three components to sex — physical, emotional, and spiritual. Stripping it down to the physical components only may create some feel-good moments, but you won’t reap a good sex life. That comes from relationship, connection, intimacy.

If it was only about the climax, most of us gals could get there faster with a bottle of KY and a battery-operated device. Treating sex like it is merely a method to reach physical nirvana is essentially treating your partner like a sex toy. You keep him around as long as he pushes all your buttons just so. That attitude completely misses the very best part of sex — the deep connection between two individuals in love and doing life together.

Sex is an emotionally bonding experience. The phrase “casual sex” is an oxymoron. God designed sex by its very nature to be intense and intimate. You can’t experience that with another person at the same level as a casual handshake or even kiss. You’re naked, for heaven’s sake! When we have sex, our bodies secrete Oxytocin, a bonding chemical. Men have a huge surge of this post-coitus, and women experience it with stimulation as well. This is the same chemical that mothers’ bodies secrete when they nurse their babies.

As soon as you have sex in a relationship, you have upped the stakes. You have intimate knowledge of that person that other people (largely) do not have. You have physically experienced an intense connection, and that emotionally impacts your response to the person. One, or both, of you will feel invested in that connection now because sex has an emotional component. That emotional intensity is best saved for marriage.

There is no method that is 100% guaranteed to keep you from getting pregnant or contracting a sexually-transmitted disease. I have known couples who conceived while on the pill — yes, taking it correctly. There is a failure rate for every form of birth control, even if it is small. But if a method is 99% effective, that 100th time you go at it, you’re unprotected, darlin’. That’s basic math.

Despite years of touting the glories of slapping on a prophylactic to prevent the spread of disease, the Center for Disease Control reports about one out of six people, 14 to 49 years of age in the U.S. have genital HSV-2 infection. Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease, and in 2010, 1,307,893 chlamydial infections were reported to the CDC; however, this bacterial infection is substantially underreported because most people aren’t even aware what they’re dealing with and don’t seek testing. Then there’s syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV, etc. My point is that STDs spread with sexually active people — through genital-to-genital contact prior to the barrier being applied, through mouth-to-genital contact, through digit-to-genital contact, etc. Unless you put your whole body in a prophylactic suit — or better yet, stick to one partner — you are at risk.

Sex is better when you practice long-term with the same partner. I read a great book a few years ago titled The Talent Code about what distinguishes the incredibly talented among us. It cited a wonderful study showing that to truly master a skill, you need 10 years or 10,000 hours of practice. Hey, hey! Wanna get really good at physical intimacy? Pick a long-term (marriage) partner and get to practicing!

Seriously, there is something to this. Movies often depict that first night of lovemaking as the most passionate, ideal interaction between a couple. Often, however, the first time is intriguing but awkward. As you grow in your relationship and knowledge of the other person through ongoing contact, sex gets better. You can figure out what pleasures your mate, try new things, and be more open and free as you grow in your comfort level. For most couples, sexual satisfaction goes up after being married for a decade or more.

Sex is worth waiting for. Take note, Harvard U and singles: It’s worth the wait. We do a lot of waiting in life — for traffic to clear, for our food to arrive, for the main performer to take the stage, for our turn at the doctor’s office, for the roller coaster ride, etc. When you finally get what you were waiting for, some things are worth it and some aren’t. This one is. I love what a friend’s son said after getting married: “Believe me,” he told a group of singles, “Now that I’m married, I am not thinking, ‘Boy, I wish I’d done this in high school.'” He was content, or rather enthusiastic, about making love to his wife after the vows. It was worth waiting for.

What do you wish singles, especially collegiates, knew about sex within marriage? Why should they wait? And what do you think about “Sex Week” being sponsored by universities?