Deciding when you're ready to have sex for the first time is a deeply personal decision. It should go without saying that there is no "right" or "wrong" time for two consenting people to do the deed. As with most things, both sides of the argument present points that can feel valid, depending on your perspective. For some people who waited for marriage to have sex, their religious views played a huge role in deciding to hold off.
As someone who grew up in a family that was generally religious but not very serious about it, any expectation that I would wait until marriage was definitely not something I ever considered. However, I did attend a religious school after my mom had a mid-life crisis-esque panic that made her think I would surely turn to a life of crime and sin without god in my life. (JK, sort of.) During my time there, I had countless conversations with teachers and various adults who frequently sang the praises of waiting to have sex.
While I knew that that was definitely not the right choice for me, there are a surprising amount of married couples who waited and didn't regret it, just as there are plenty that waited and wished they hadn't. There are also plenty of people whose decisions to wait for marriage had nothing to do with religion, but rather, they just wanted to wait for someone who sex felt right with. Religious or not, when you decide to have sex is no one's business but your own. Below, perspectives from people on Reddit who held off on having sex, and how they feel about their decision now.
People often waited to have sex for religious reasons
I waited. 10/10 would not do it again. It made sex this other thing in our relationship. Instead of a part of what we did. It also had to go from "that's bad" to "that's good". It's a very difficult transition to make mentally. It can take a long time.
If I could do it over, I would not wait. But not so much because I think sex is great but because I would have wanted sex to be a normal thing adults did. Instead of a "don't do that until you can. It's dirty and bad now, but later it'll be good". For lots of couples, the later never really comes.
Yeah. It was weird but good. We read advice and got tips. We also knew that it was important to us because of our personal values, so the awkward/difficult stuff was easier for us to put up with and work on.
I would much rather have lost my virginity/ learned how to have good sex with my husband whom I love than with some guy in high school or (as my friend did) someone she met at a party.
We both were virgins because of our Christianity. 12 years later, we both regretted it. Tried an open relationship, polyamory, lots of strippers, etc... That all sucked whilst still being married, so now we are divorced and I'm living with my girlfriend who has made my life 1000% better. In case you were curious, I am now Atheist and my ex-believes that rocks heal you or some shit.
Some people waited for other reasons
I did, my husband didn't. Not for religious reasons, I just had some hangups and he was willing to wait until I was ready. By the time I was, we were already engaged and decided, "Fuck it, we'll do things the old-fashioned way."I was super nervous and really shy, but otherwise things went well. I do wish I had the courage to go through it earlier with him, but other than that I'm not upset I waited.
My wife and I both waited. I do regret waiting sometimes... She does not regret it. We've been married just over two years and I'm pretty sure her drive is almost non-existent. She'll do it to please me; but it is a chore. Also, it physically hurts her still to penetrate, yet she'll never play with her 'toy' and we've had penetration sex twice this year so far. I'm hopeful it will get better but I'm struggling inside. My mind constantly wonders what a healthy sex life would be like.
My ex-wife and I were virgins when we got married, I do have regrets. Sexually we just weren't on the same wavelength and it added a lot of stress to the marriage. If I ever get married again there will be lots of sex and a long period of cohabitation beforehand.
My wife and I waited to have sex. We got married when she was 19 and I was 21. Then after a few years, I started wishing I had "played the field" before getting married... because now I was stuck with the same person forever. This went on a for a few years, during which time our sex life wasn't bad... but it also wasn't great. Mediocre (in my opinion) sex a few times a month was normal.
Then, for a variety of reasons, we made the decision to start being really really really honest with each other. Even to the point where it might hurt to hear the truth. We committed to being excellent communicators with each other, no matter what. And it was the best thing we could have ever done. We're now married 17 years, and our sex life is pretty awesome. We regularly fuck other people in threesomes and do our best to fulfil each other's fantasies and kinks.
As you can see, the "right" time really varies from person to person. For some, marriage was the right time, and for others, waiting for marriage is what led to their relationship's end. Making your own decisions about your body is personal, but it's important to remember that there is no right or wrong answer. Some people never have sex at all, and that's OK too. Everyone is different, and everyone deserves respect, no matter their choices.