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The Thirty Year-Old Virgin

What do you do when your partner's religious regulations aren't as clear-cut as they seem? The 4-way relationship panel weighs in on sex before marriage and what that actually means.

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Dear 4-Way,

My girlfriend is turning thirty in two months and she’s never had sex. We’ve been dating for about seven months and she was honest with me from the beginning that having sex was something that conflicted with her religious beliefs. The thing is, she’s perfectly okay with having oral sex, anal sex, and masturbating together (sometimes to porn)—just not vaginal sex. I know most guys would be fine with these alternatives, but I’m starting to feel a little guilty about corrupting her. She’s someone I can see myself with long term and I want to do the right thing, but I’m only human and I get horny. Should I go cold turkey all together? Or be okay with it if she is? —JF, Arlington, Virginia

 The gay woman’s perspective: Jody Fischer

JF, I’m a bit confused by your letter. Which is causing you more angst—corrupting her or not getting to have vaginal sex? Let’s start with the so-called corruption. Are you watching porn and having anal sex against her will? It doesn’t sound like that to me. It sounds like she’s a willing partner in your sex life as a couple. It also sounds like you have different religious beliefs than she does. This may be contributing to your uneasiness about your sexual experiences with her. She may be in line with what I’ll call the “letter of the law” in terms of no sex before marriage, but she certainly has violated the “spirit of the law.” Somehow I don’t think her church/synagogue/mosque would lovingly accept anal sex before (or after) marriage into their hearts.

But that’s really between her and her religious institution. You’re not responsible for her actions, but I do suggest an honest heart-to-heart conversation about how she sees all this. You’ll learn more about who she is and how she thinks and it just may alleviate feelings of guilt on your part.

As for your lingering horniness, I don’t get it. It seems to me that you guys are certainly engaging in activities that will allow you to have a full release. So what’s with the build-up? Perhaps I’m missing something here. Or maybe you just like what you like, which is fine, but why would you throw away a wonderful and exciting relationship? If you’re both interested in marriage, you’ll be able to have all you want sexually. It seems like you’ve thought about this already. Perhaps it’s time to start having conversations in that direction.

The straight man’s perspective: Chris Kennedy

What kind of church does this girl attend? Whichever it is, apparently, it’s okay to enter through the back door, but not the front.

She’s holding on to a puzzling and narrow definition of what it means to be religious. I mean, what religion says “Thou shalt not enter the pink, but feel free to go for the stink!” I’m sorry, but this girl’s got some pretty significant inconsistencies. She’s basically making up the rules here, or at least giving some religious tenets quite flexible interpretation.

Since she’s okay with your bedroom hijinks, you can be too. She’s not asking you to stop, so why stop if you like it? I would caution you to get her to explain her thought process further on this. I think she’s misunderstanding her religious faith—and you think she is too. You can ask her to reevaluate your sex life if it’s really bothering you. If she’s living her life under some deluded idea of what it means to be religious, it’s a bit of a red flag for her overall thought process. What Would Jesus Do? I think he’d sit down and have a talk with this girl. So should you. Good luck and God’s speed.

The straight woman’s perspective: Rebecca Brown

It’s interesting that she’s the religious one, yet from your depiction of the situation, you seem to be carrying all the guilt. If she’s a willing participant, why do you feel guilty? Are you worried that someday she’ll wake up and recognize the error of her sinning ways and resent you? Or maybe you’re more observant of your faith than you’re letting on and you feel guilty about your less-than-Godly behavior? Maybe you’re also worried about being the Lucifer responsible for leading her down a path that her church might frown upon or that she’ll eventually regret. If she’s as devout as you say, I don’t think I’d want that burden either.

But get over all that, because she’s a big girl and she’s made her decision. I recommend talking to her—before you bend her over the dining room table again. Clearly, she’s already rationalized in her mind what she’s doing. So ask her how she reconciled all of it to get some insight on how you can. The key here is to get an understanding of her position on right and wrong as it relates to her religious beliefs so you can stop feeling like you’re corrupting her every time you guys rub one out. Also, don’t be afraid to share your version of right and wrong based on your religious beliefs, or just your beliefs in general. If you have strong views that differ from hers, it could be that you need to re-think your activities so they’re more in line with both of your beliefs—not just hers.

The good news is that you’re having a lot of consenting, mutual, sexy fun with someone you care about. Pretty much everyone in the world is looking for that, JF. So relax and have fun, whatever kind of fun that may be.

PS: That whole “I can’t help it I’m horny” excuse is so 10th grade. I’m sure you know how to keep that snake in its cage if you need to.

The gay man’s perspective: Darren Maddox

JF, it’s her body and you have to respect that no matter what. However, it’s a little confusing to me that she’s willing to go anal and masturbate to porn with you, yet she lacks the desire to have vaginal sex due to religious beliefs.

You aren’t corrupting her. She’s already corrupted. It sounds like she’s just saving something special for one special person. If that’s you, then you’ll know it in time. If not, respect her wishes and thank God for porn.

Keep in mind that there are tons of options to vaginal sex and she sounds open to trying them. Rejoice, my friend! We hear from so many people with the exact opposite of your problem. They want to explore topics such as anal sex or porn with their partners and they don’t even know how to bring it up. Take this opportunity to explore yourself and your own creativity, as well as those of your girlfriend.

 

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