I'm not a big believer in abstinence. And by "not a big believer," I mean I think it's pretty silly in the grand scheme of things. I'm not saying I advocate copious amounts of promiscuous sex, but not having sex until marriage is a little like allowing someone to teach you skydiving because they stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Bad business.
I could go on and on, but I'd probably just end up coming off as a typical guy who wants to sleep with women (I am, but that's beside the point), so I'll just retell a story that encapsulates my distrust of all things abstinence.
Bob and Julie were like a lot of the people I went to college with. If you've ever read this blog, you know that I went to a conservative Baptist university in The Great State of Texas. The student body ran the gamut from heartless, pagan wild children to first century throwbacks intent on ruining the fun for everyone else. Bob and Julie were neither of these things, but fell more to the first century side than the pagan wood nymph side.
Bob and Julie were, in most ways, a delightful couple really, truly in love with one another. They were on the path to marriage weeks into their relationship and had that glow of young romance and the security that they had found The One in one another. As a newly minted couple wanting a Christ centered relationship, they decided to wait until they were married to have sex. Although Bob had done the deed in a previous relationship (Julie had not), he gladly accepted the no sex stipulation as he was confident Julie was the end all be all of his romantic life.
Fast forward one year.
Bob and Julie had just made it back to their hotel on the night of their wedding and were both anxiously anticipating consummating the marriage. This was the main event. Julie nervously went into the restroom to slip into something more comfortable and prepare herself for what she had built up in her mind as the most earth shattering, consequential moment of her entire adult life. Bob, as the cagey veteran in this equation, knew that his new wife was nervous and he anxiously fumbled around the wedding suite thinking of what he could do to take the anxiety out of the situation for them both. I can't say that I would have formulated the same plan of action that he did, but I give him high marks for thinking outside the box.
What was his plan of action? Bob stripped down to just his socks and laid stark naked on the bed with all the lights on. His big plan to break the tension was, as Julie exited the bathroom, to grab his ankles, roll onto his back, and fart. Like I said, not what I would have done, but who am I to judge? I imagine at this point in the story you're calling bullshit on any of this ever happening. All I can do is assure you that this is entirely true and that although you may think there are some embellishments, I heard this from Bob himself and when you read how this romantic mastermind's plan of action actually plays out you'll ask yourself, "Jesus Christ, why would he make that up?"
Back to the scene. Julie is finally ready. She's purchased classy lingerie for the evening (Think more La Perla and less Frederick's of Hollywood), redone her makeup, brushed her teeth, redone her hair, and whatever else women who have never ever had sex before do to get ready on their wedding night. She affects her most alluring and graceful posture as she sweeps into the wedding suite, rounds the corner, and sees her betrothed rolled onto his back, holding his ankles, and giving her the most unadulterated view of his asshole she's never wanted to see. There's a two beat pause and then a giggling Bob lets rip with a fart he's been holding in since they got to the wedding suite.
Except it wasn't just a fart.
As Bob was explaining later, the rich wedding food, wine, stress of the event, and anxiety surrounding having sex for the first must have all conspired to create what we call in Texas "a rumbly basement."
Bob shit all over the bed.
Julie screamed, burst into tears, ran directly back into the restroom, and locked the door.
Bob lay shocked on the bed wondering what exactly just happened. As he said to me years later when recounting that awful evening, "I saw things going differently in my head." Indeed.
After a hurried attempt at some sort of clean up, Bob donned a hotel bathrobe and spent the rest of the night talking to Julie through the restroom door. Part mortified, part concerned husband, part crisis negotiator, Bob was finally able to convince Julie that his actions had a sincere and caring intent and that he was not in fact a sexual deviant bent on doing God-knows-what to get himself off. Just before dawn, Julie finally left her restroom sanctum, hair down, make up off, lingerie put away for another time. They both went directly to bed and apparently didn't even try having sex with one another until nearly a month later.
Abstinence: Nice idea. Crisis of expectations. Can be messy.