I married at 24.5, and my wife was 21.5 years old. We were both virgins until the day we got married—so yes, it is possible, and worth it. I believe that had either or both of us not been virgin prior to marriage it would have been that much more difficult to abstain from sex until marriage (it was difficult enough as it was), because once you know what it feels like, and you know the right buttons to push, and you have overcome some of the initial tentativeness and natural inhibition that protects you, the drive and facility to make it a sexual relationship becomes that much more powerful.
"After we were engaged, my wife and I had to set up rules for ourselves to make sure we made it, and I am glad we did."
After we were engaged, and the longer we were engaged the more powerful the sex drive became. I was happy when we finally did get married because for about 2 months before our wedding date thinking about sex became that much more real and it felt like the sexual attraction grew more intense the closer we got.
To make it to that point in my life as a virgin I had to set up some guidelines for myself, and after we were engaged, my wife and I had to set up rules for ourselves to make sure we made it, and I am glad we did.
If you are a virgin and would like to remain that way until marriage or until you feel like you have met the right person I do have some tips that helped me avoid crossing that line before I was ready. These tips are written with teenagers in mind, but with some modifications would apply equally well to the more mature crowd and to those who may not be virgin, but would like to avoid getting too physically involved too soon.
Principle #1: Avoid situations in which sexual activity is possible & likely
1) Avoid having a steady relationship while you are young. Date a lot of different people, but don’t become too tied down to any one before you are ready to deal with the consequences of a serious committed relationship and before you are ready to explore the possibility of a permanent relationship. The longer you are paired off with just one person, the more comfortable you will become and the stronger the physical attraction will become.
You will also be presented more opportunities to cross boundaries that you didn’t initially want to cross. I used to try to follow the rule about not going out with the same person more than twice in a row. When you are getting into a serious relationship you should also ask yourself a few key questions:
- Is this the kind of person I can see myself with for the rest of my life?
- Is this the kind of person I think would be a good parent for my children and a good companion for me?
- Am I ready to settle down and commit to just one person?
If you are ambivalent about the answers to these questions you should probably avoid getting too seriously involved at this point in time.
When you are young, becoming exclusively involved with just one person has additional drawbacks. While it is nice to always have somebody to go out with, it gives some security, and facilitates becoming more emotionally and physically involved, it also limits your opportunities to get to know other people. It also creates a lot of extra unnecessary drama because you will in most cases end up breaking up, find yourself wanting to get to know other people, be confronted with jealousy and variety of other relationship traumas.
I used to follow the two date rule. I wouldn’t go on a date with the same girl more than twice in a row until I had gone out with a different girl. It made for great fun in my dating life and I got to know a lot of really great people that I wouldn’t have known as well if I had been tied to just one girl.
2) In general, don't make a habit of hanging out at other people's houses when there are no adults around. Seeking to avoid adult supervision is usually a sign of trouble.
3) Don't make a regular habit of trying to be secluded from everyone else. You are much more likely to cross the line when you are all alone in a place where it is unlikely that somebody might see you.
4) Never go into a bedroom together, especially if you are alone. Stay out of his and he should stay out of yours. Just like number 3, you are much more likely to start fooling around when you are alone somewhere private. If you start fooling around it won’t be long before you are pushing the boundaries further and further.
5) Date in groups and try to avoid being alone too much.
6) Make sure the groups you are with share your standards. While peer pressure can lead you to do things you don’t want to, it can also be protective. If you have friends with high standards they will help you avoid and overcome difficult situations.
7) Stick to a curfew. Whoever said nothing good happens after midnight was right. The more tired you are the less well your brain functions, and it is not uncommon to run out of “other things” to do late at night.
8) Always let your parents know where you are at and who you are with. Also let your parents meet the people you hang out with and bring them around the house often. I know it seems like parents are the enemy, but they have been around the block a few times and probably can be helpful. Believe it or not, they were in the same kinds of situations you are now in when they were your age. Other adult role models can also be of help.
Principle #2: Avoid intentionally stimulating the sex drive
1) Don't do things that stimulate the sex drive like simulated sex (grinding, dry humping), touching or rubbing each others' privates above or below the clothes, talking dirty and fantasizing together, etc. In general avoid lying down together, especially lying on top of one another. Starting to explore each others’ bodies is nice and exciting, but should be reserved for a serious, committed relationship.
2) Technical virginity alone is not the goal. If you start fingering, giving hand jobs, oral, anal, etc., you really aren’t inexperienced any more and you haven’t saved much. Virginity, or chastity rather, is about more than just the technical status of a hymen being traversed by a penis. Engaging in other “substitute” activities will not keep you any more sexually pure than engaging in vaginal sex. They are still sexual activities so don’t fool yourself into thinking they are alright.
3) Try to keep yourself busy and avoid excessively thinking about or fantasizing about or stimulating your own sex drive when you are by yourself. Eliminate porn consumption and questionable media. Just remember “Junk in, junk out.” In other words, what you spend your time filling your head with will influence your attitudes and desires and eventually the activities that you choose to engage in.
4) Avoid heavy make out sessions. Keep kisses short and respectful and limit the hand and body contact, especially with respect to private areas. Again, don’t lie on top of each other. Horizontal is hazardous. Kisses show affection, but they can also be very sexually stimulatory. At this stage I think I think it wiser to stick to kisses that show affection and save the arousing kisses for later when you are ready to enter into a more intimate relationship.
In conclusion, recognize your own limitations and the situations in which you feel the strongest temptations, and make plans to avoid those situations. Set up some ground rules for yourself and your relationships. Date people who share common values and seek the advice of trusted adults, including your parents, religious leaders, and successful married couples you trust. Talk about the rules you have established with your parents and friends and rely on their help.