April, the only character on Greyâ€™s Anatomy who identifies as Christian and the only one who has conflicts about sex, has inspired another blog post for me. On Thursdayâ€™s episode, April and her fiancÃ© took a compatibility test in their premarital counseling session. The test revealed they were like two peas in a pod, but Matthew, the fiancÃ© and a virgin, was worried about performing well his first time on their wedding night. They decided to solve the problem, take the pressure off and have sex beforehand but changed their minds, opting instead to stick to the promise they had made, or in Aprilâ€™s case, remade, to God.
This got me thinking, would I marry a virgin or a â€œsecond-time virgin?â€ At this point in my life, the answer is no, unless I end up with someone at least seven or eight years younger than I am. Iâ€™m 33. Virginity would just be weird for a man my age or older. Thatâ€™s not â€œthe worldâ€ talking. (Itâ€™s just sexist.) I think of this in terms of Christian numbers logic, and I assume all characters are Black and able-bodied, because that what I want. A Black man whoâ€™s such a committed, church-going Christian that heâ€™s a virgin at 25/26? When I was in college, the fantasy of that man had us promise ring-type girls reciting purity verses to keep ourselves from lusting. Thatâ€™s a man who gets snatched up or paired off via church matchmakers, and he would be married by 24, maybe 27 if he wanted to earn a PhD before getting married. If heâ€™s not, then yes, either something is wrong with him or nothing is wrong and he doesnâ€™t want to have sex with a woman. (Again, sexist. Also judgmental, making generalizations, all of that. But I stand by it.)
And a man whoâ€™s had sex before but has recommitted his body to Christ and isnâ€™t going to have it again until marriage? Itâ€™s been within the past two years that I had convinced myself this is the type of man I should hope to attract because he would present less risk. Iâ€™m about to get what I call â€œgood-memoir-honestâ€ on this blog and just state: Iâ€™m not good at sex. If a man I was dating were to discover that early onâ€”and â€œearlyâ€ is relative (and by posting this Iâ€™m not helping myself, am I?)â€”he would bail. I havenâ€™t practiced much because no one has asked for my number in 18 months or so and itâ€™s hard to connect with a vibrator at that human, â€œLetâ€™s talk and touch and find out what the other likesâ€ level. If we wait until marriage to discover weâ€™ll have to work at making sex satisfying, I figured, at least he canâ€™t break up with me easily.
But what if weâ€™re both bad in bed or just bad for each other? What if heâ€™s a 10 on a 1-10 freak scale and Iâ€™m a three? Sexually incompatibility for life feels like a much bigger risk now that Iâ€™m 33. It also seems a much more probable risk now that I knowâ€”from reading and experienceâ€”sex doesnâ€™t just flow naturally and sexual incompatibility is real, even for Christians. Sometimes you practice more and get to know more about a partnerâ€™s preferences, but it never makes perfect or you find out you donâ€™t like the same things. Then what?
I used to believe God would never direct me to marry someone Iâ€™m sexually incompatible with. â€œGod designed you. He knows what you like. Experimenting before marriage shows your lack of faith in him, your lack of trust that he knows best,â€ religious leaders and religious friends told me. Of course, that means you also have to believe you have a soul mate, that thereâ€™s a â€œoneâ€ designed specifically for you as opposed to one of many you could choose to marry and choose to work through your issues with on a daily basis. Now that I know loving someone every day is a choice, I know I could choose to live with bad sex in marriage for life and enjoy my partnerâ€™s other wonderful characteristics, or choose to leave the marriage.
Or, I could choose to find out beforehand. I desire companionship and want to share struggles, triumphs and household chores, but I also want good sex, and I want to married only once. So to me, following Aprilâ€™s lead is too great a risk.