I believe the attitude about sex within American society has caused a shift in perspectives about intimacy. Respect for abstinence has shifted to bewilderment of how such a choice is possible. Sex is seen as something casual. Sex has been force fed through the media as an act that everyone does and should not be ashamed of. Sex infuses into everything, ranging from television, books and movies. Women, especially young women, have been encouraged to flaunt their sex appeal without shame. If she can, she is encouraged to use sex to her advantage. With these high expectations comes pressure, and as a result, girls who have chosen abstinence have become the minority.
I personally have chosen abstinence until marriage. By no means am I arguing that the choice is better than any other, nor am I hoping to get sympathy for the struggles that come along with such a choice. Instead I hope to shed light on the pressures of a sexual society on an individual who has chosen to wait until marriage by incorporating my own experiences. I hope to offer those like my self someone to relate to. Someone to relate to when it seems no one understands. I believe the sexual pressures within our society have helped create obstacles for those within it regardless of the choices made.
As a college student at the age of twenty one, I have run into a lot more obstacles pertaining to sex then I ever thought possible. I have told very few guys about my decision to wait until marriage. The first guy I ever told engrained a fear in my mind that any guy I told would not respect my choice to wait until marriage. One of the questions he asked me was, “How can this relationship move to any level of seriousness if we aren’t having sex?” Over the years I have learned the definition of “a serious relationship” is subjective and there is no right or wrong answer. Despite popular belief sex is not vital to such a relationship.
I have had my choice for abstinence until marriage exploited and as a result of my choice there came a number of struggles. A struggle involving one constantly pushing and pressuring me to give in to an expectation of what I should do or be. There came a time when an inward struggle of inadequacy and self doubt took over. I experienced times of loneliness because I believed no one else understood how I felt. I wanted to give in to pressure so I did not feel so ashamed for believing in my choice. The fact that sex was promoted all around me only validated that feeling. I have learned from these experiences that the difficulty to talk about abstinence will never disappear under the pressures of an openly sexual society.
Abstinence until marriage is a struggle that I face but it is a struggle I choose. Despite my previous belief, there exists a minority of others outside of myself who choose the same. There exists a population who has met someone who has chosen abstinence and have either praised or challenged such a choice. Regardless, it is important for all to understand in any situation that ones’ choice is their own to live and not another’s opportunity to question, add pressure to or exploit them.
To those in the minority, do not be influenced by the media, society and other people around you. With such a choice comes some sort of struggle. Believe your worth is not defined by the respect you get from others, but the respect and esteem that you hold for yourself and the choices you make. I firmly believe it can make almost any goal attainable.
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