Say yes to sex

Despite growing up in Utah, a state structured around the LDS religion, I never held the same conservative values regarding sex and marriage as others in my community.

In the eyes of the church, having physical relationships outside of marriage is considered a sin “more serious than any other sins except murder.” If you conducted yourself in this type of behavior, consequences would include repenting until one was considered holy again. If you did choose to have sex before marriage you would experience many feelings of guilt.

I’m thankful to have not been a part of this religion. If I were one to believe in hell, I would most certainly be damned there for all of eternity.

My parents hold the old-fashioned values of the Catholic Church, another religion that has inspired abstinence until marriage and views sexual expression as deviant. I never found myself believing the claim by St. Paul that “those who fornicate will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”

Sex before marriage defeated the point of a white wedding dress, but I never felt fearful of the consequences despite the values my church tried to instill. I would not have been remorseful even if I did believe in this so-called kingdom of heaven.

It becomes easy to condemn a person’s choices on rebellion or a lack of desire to conform, but I have very little belief that anyone chooses sex for the sake of going against the wishes of their parents or religion. I also have a hard time believing that society coerces people to not engage in sexual acts—I highly doubt it comes down to a lack of morals.

Sex is a choice, and it is a beautiful one.

It is an act so personal and powerful that it should not be condemned or rejected by any person, any society or any religion. In order to stop the negative stigma, we have to change the way we talk about it. Stop teaching no sex before marriage!

As rates of cohabitation continue to rise, sociologists have found that sex before marriage is rising as well. Today, 41 percent of American teenagers believe that premarital sex is “not at all wrong.” Studies show that, like cohabitation as a form of “testing the waters” to avoid divorce and strengthen a relationship, sex has become yet another important quality of successful relationships.

Premarital sex may decrease rates of divorce not only by allowing sexual expression but by offering a trial in which a person is able to find what type of partner they desire most. It is important to know that you can breathe, cook, sleep and live with someone who is worth committing to. Why should it not be just as important to know that this is the same person who can kiss you, please you and love you on the highest physical and intimate levels?

What if there is no spark? And what if, unlike previous beliefs and thought processes, practice never makes perfect? What happens if things fall short and the type of love that is promised and sought after marriage never makes an appearance? How unfair would it be to commit to a person while feeling anything less than absolute craze, desire and feelings of love.

Even more so, how scary would it be to enter a marriage without knowing absolutely everything about the person who is supposed to know every corner of your mind, your heart and your body. If marriage is about spending forever with someone who knows absolutely everything about you, how could you commit yourself without knowing someone in one of the strongest and most powerful ways possible?

If marriage is truly as sacred, special and intimate as religion makes it out to be, I want to know my partner in the deepest of ways possible. And yes, that includes sex.

I may have no chance in receiving God’s greatest promises, but at least I’ll have my own piece of heaven in my arms and bed.