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No sex please! I'm single
Sarah Ribak |
July 31, 2006
A few weeks ago, we carried a poll on sex before marriage. 57% of the respondents did not approve, 7% said it must be encouraged, 35% said it is a personal choice.
Get Ahead reader Sarah Ribak tells us why it is a no-no for her and invites other readers to share their opinion. Do read her views and tell us whether you agree with them.
I just turned 30. Last week.
Completing three decades seemed significant to me, so I threw a bash for my friends (and select family).
Just as I cut the cake and was about to blow out 30 candles amidst cries of "Make a wish," a friend leaned over with a wide grin and whispered, "Wish for a hunk whom you can have an affair with."
I did wish for something -- I am not going to disclose what it is -- but certainly not what was proposed. I cornered my friend later and asked her what made her come up with such a wild suggestion. Her response, "It's fun. No long-term commitment. No being tied down. You go your way, he goes his."
Though it sounded flippant and light, I could not reconcile myself to sex being a mere transaction or activity, however enticing the pleasure. Being the die-hard romantic that I am, sex and a relationship go hand-in-glove (at least in my mind). One-night stands, flings and affairs are certainly not part of my lifestyle.
But my friend refused to let me off. "Sex is just an act that all animals (even we, as social animals) perform. So what is the big deal?" she challenged.
When I gaped at her, she immediately threw some facts for me to swallow and hopefully shut up. Check these out:
Did you know that bonobos and dolphins are the only animals, besides humans, who engage in sexual intercourse for sheer pleasure and not necessarily to procreate?
I was too embarrassed at my lack of ignorance to ask her what bonobos were and later found out that they were a species of chimpanzee.
Did you know that the human breasts of a woman begin to grow during puberty and stay all her life but in other primates, the breasts grow only when the female is pregnant and producing milk (lactating)?
Did you know that the human male has the largest penis of any primate in comparison to his height?
When I asked her what the point was, her exasperated reply: "We are geared for sex. We need to have sex."
Despite the fact that I could not contest the information thrown at me, I still vehemently disagreed with her. Being human does complicate matters. And I am not just referring to social customs and traditions.
If it were as natural as eating and breathing and sleeping, why do we not do it as the dogs and cats and prefer privacy?
Why is it that we copulate face-to-face, look into each other's eyes and have full body contact?
Why is it that we continue to have sexual intercourse long after our child-bearing years?
Why is it that we do not have a mating season like my dog who is desperate to mate when on heat but is pretty fine the rest of the year?
Why do we not run after any human being of the opposite sex and are picky and choosy, unlike my dog who is happy with any male from her species?
Why is mutual consent so necessary?
No matter what anyone says, I cannot reduce sex to just a biological act, when it is such a personal and intimate encounter. One that touches your soul, draws you closer to another human being, and can even leave you shattered and heartbroken.
My aunt, who is a psychiatrist in Manchester, UK, and specialises in dealing with sexually abused and rape victims, tells me that physically, a rape victim heals rapidly, but the mental and emotional damage does not. The sense of shame, hurt, betrayal, depression, nightmares and even sexual dysfunction can continue for years. If sex was just another act, why such deep trauma?
A friend of mine (not the flamboyant one mentioned above) did once have a fling with a married man. He was honest enough to tell her upfront that he would never leave his wife or children. But she felt strongly attracted to him and decided to take her chances and 'snatch moments of happiness'. When he did have his fun and later tell her not to call him again, she was left picking the pieces. She told me that, despite knowing it would never last, she felt totally "used and wasted."
My rationalisation has forced me to admit I can only have sex when I have a relationship with an individual. I need the trust, the commitment. And since marriage attempts to provide that, I would rather have sex with the confines of marriage, be it court or religious. I am not saying that my marriage will be successful or that I will live happily ever after, but I am for the commitment that marriage brings and the faithfulness it advocates.
In my mind, sex has a sure place in marriage, not outside it.
Maybe I am old-fashioned.
Maybe I am a prude.
Maybe I am naive.
Maybe I am just plain stupid to be waiting for Mr Right or Prince Charming.
Maybe I am all of the above (or none of them!).
But I would rather be all these than go against my very convictions.
After all, I will be the one paying the price for my mistakes, not anyone else.
What do you think, dear reader. Do you agree with me or not? I would really like to know your views. Go on, pen them down.
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