Of course I’m all for doing whatever makes you happy. If not having sex makes you happy, then by all means keep on not having sex. But you probably shouldn’t waste your time convincing me to join you in not having sex; after all, I don’t try to convince you to have sex.
In a recent New York Times article titled “Students of Virginity,” about college students who choose to abstain from sex, one founder of the Harvard abstinence club said, “We wanted to make abstinence look fun; interesting.” OK, I understand how abstaining from sex can be safer than actually having sex. But abstinence is fun? I wasn’t aware.
Choosing to abstain from sex until marriage is a personal choice you make, and I’m not quite sure I understand the need for abstainers to work on convincing others that their way is best. On Valentine’s Day 2007, members of the True Love Revolution sent out valentines to freshman girls saying, “Why wait? Because you’re worth it.”
So, you’re telling us we need to save ourselves for marriage because we’re worth a lot…and by not waiting, we’re lessening our worth? Whoa. Will men not want to be with us because we’re, gasp, tarnished? This year, they sent the valentines to both freshman women and men. So, now it seems we’re all lessening our worth by having sex.
Janie Fredell, president of the True Love Revolution at Harvard asks, “Why bond yourself so intensely when you’re not sure you’re going to spend the rest of your life with this person?” which is, to some, a valid point. But to others, sex does not necessarily mean intense boding. And in this day and age, let’s be honest, marriage does not always mean forever. Is there ever a time when you can be sure you’re going to spend the rest of your life with a person? Should we be so cautious in life that we pass up every chance to love as fully as we can because, this might not last forever? Or should we live in the moment, enjoy our sexuality smartly, and learn to deal with our broken hearts and bruised egos?
Then again, Fredell seems to have a way of dealing with her sexual urges that the rest of us could maybe learn from. According to the article, “Whenever sexual urges struck…she was able to manage them by going on a long run and assumed that everyone should be able to do the same. ‘The biological drive can be overcome,’ she said. ‘It’s not like it reaches a peak, and you have to go out and have sex.'” Wow. I wasn’t aware you could repress your sexual urges and didn’t absolutely need to have sex. Maybe I should try that whole running thing when the urge strikes me.
According to Fredell, “It takes a strong woman to be abstinent, and that’s the sort of woman I want to be.” I tend to be more on the side of Harvard student and Sex and the Ivy blogger, Lena Chen who says, “For me, being a strong woman means not being ashamed that I like to have sex…to say that I have to care about every person I have sex with is an unreasonable expectation. It feels good! It feels good!”
Really, I think being a strong woman means making your own choices. Being a strong woman means having sex when you choose to and not when some guy is pressuring you to. And being a strong woman is choosing not to have sex because you don’t want to, not because some organization is pressuring you.
I would never look down on someone’s decision not to have sex and hope nobody would look down on my decision to have sex. And really, if you have ways of showing me not having sex is fun, by all means, bring them on.
Just as soon as I get back from my run.