FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is not a new buzzword but rather an age-old insecurity. When it comes to sexuality, it can be a strong force for some very damaging decisions. This blog is for those who are wondering, “What’s the point in waiting to have sex?” or “Why stop if I’ve already started?” My hope is to give you some clarity as to why it matters, even though it may seem every message says it doesn’t.
This is a feeling I relate to in a real way. Let me give a little context to my story: my childhood experience was very rare compared to most. Sexuality was something I wasn’t introduced to until later on. As a kid, I came across pornography a few times but never spent time watching it. I went to a public school my entire life, but I didn’t know what masturbation was until 10th grade. I have to admit when I first found out about masturbation, I was humiliated I didn’t know. I found out one day at track practice when the seniors told me all about it. At the time, my innocence felt a lot more like naive ignorance than a blessing.
As I continued on through high school and into my college years, I was able to keep abstaining from sex. I was twenty-two years old and a virgin when I married my wife, Caitlin, in 2006. Throughout my life, I never felt like I was missing out, and I have to give credit to God for guarding my desire for purity. Even though I didn’t experience this feeling when I was young, as a youth pastor I now come across questions often about missing out and feeling the need for “practice.” I wanted to share some perspective from my story by addressing these thoughts.
As a side note, righteousness comes from Jesus, not doing the right things and avoiding the wrong things. I don’t share my story to act as if I had it figured out but rather to be an inspiration for what is possible. My heart is not that my story would cause condemnation for those who haven’t had this experience, but that it would ignite hope and that Holy Spirit would help bring truth as you read.
Question #1: I feel like everyone is having a great time, and I am concerned I’m missing out on something that is really awesome by not having sex, am I?
My answer to this comes from the married side of life as well as many people I have counseled in this area. I can’t count how many people I have talked to who were hurt because of their sexual experiences. Some felt pressured to please and others gave themselves to someone who didn’t follow through with their commitment.
I will tell you this: I have talked with person after person who battled shame because of their sexual experiences. I have yet to meet a person that could truthfully say sex has no meaning and is just a fun activity with no strings attached. Those that have engaged in porn or premarital sex seem to always have a significant healing process to go through. The cost on the soul is immeasurable.
On the contrary, sex has always been an expression of love for me so that is the only context I know it in. To my brain and spirit, it is only for deep intimacy, not just for instant pleasure. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good quickie, but even that in the context of marriage speaks of love, passion, and sacrifice. I have never once thought to myself, “I knew I should have had more sex before I committed to one woman forever.” Oftentimes at the conclusion of our intimate moments, I thank God that He saved me and she is the only one I have experienced this with!
Question #2: What if I don’t know what I am doing? Shouldn’t I get some practice before marriage?
This is a very interesting question to me because the very nature of practice in this area requires giving yourself away to people. Let me be upfront about something, I had absolutely no idea how to have sex on my wedding night. As a matter of fact, we never even had sex on our honeymoon for various reasons I’m sure we will share in a future blog.
Our first few years of marriage were filled with awkward sexual moments that didn’t turn out how either of us would have liked. We often would start to get frisky and end frustrated with nothing happening. Even with these moments, I wouldn’t want to learn with anyone else. Who better to be awkward with than my best friend whom I am in love with? I am safe with her, covered by her and discovering with her. These moments have bonded us, and we have learned together. As a matter of fact, we are still learning. Besides, if I really meant, “Till death do us part,” I have a lot of years to learn how to have great sex, and let me tell you, it really doesn’t take that long 🙂 .
There is so much more to say on this topic, so feel free to send any questions or insight our way. We would love to help you process as you struggle with your innocence, restored purity, or desire for the unknown.