What was your favorite alcoholic beverage when you first started drinking? Mine was Zima, the 5 percent alcohol Sprite version of malt beverages. For years I thought Zima was the nectar of the gods, until I tried a proper cocktail, beer, or glass of wine. If I had chosen to drink Zima until the end of my days, so be it, but I didn’t and it didn’t make my subsequent trials less valuable. Now go back to think about the first few times you had sex (which may or may not have involved Zima). It was all you knew and therefore, hopefully it was fun, but not the pinnacle of your sexuality.
Which is why I find the research that says premarital sex leads to a less happy marriage to be such utter and total horse shit. Six hundred couples, from Cornell and Brigham Young Universities (no surprise there), who reported waiting until marriage described their marital sex life higher than those who started having sex before the wedding night. When Zima’s your only option for life, I guess it tastes pretty damn good because it’s depressing to think about, and never have, a Dark ‘n Stormy.
The Cornell study suggests, “A strong sexual desire may thwart the development of other key ingredients of a healthy relationship, such as commitment, mutual understanding or shared values.” Let’s debunk this “research” with a few solid concepts. Some of the most honest conversations I’ve had with lovers was solely because we were getting naked. Asking when his most recent STI screening was and answering if I’m on birth control can lead to discussion about multiple partners and high risk sex activities. These are all related to shared values and the level of commitment you’re willing to put forth. These studies seem lazy because they replay the one-dimensional landscape of a finite time to find your partner sexually attractive. Even more aggravating is that sex won’t allow for further growth and intimacy.
I discovered rye whiskey about five years ago and that relationship is built on the fact that I know what I’ve got. I’m not trapped in a loop of endless liquor options any more than I’m trapped in emotionally defunct romantic relationships. Through my research on alcohol and dating I learned firsthand about what is actually important to me. And because I have tried all the alcohols (and, you know, had lots of sex) I know for sure just how good or lacking these are in comparison to all my past experiences.
Stop trying to convince us that sex before marriage will leave us void of happiness. Just stop it. We have very few pleasures in this life that are free, don’t ruin it. And by the way, Zima went out of business in 2008.