Sex – once almost exclusively reserved for married couples – is now, for the most part, seen as an essential part of the life partner decision-making process.
So what about those couples who in the 21st century, are still waiting until their wedding night to have sex for the first time? What’s it like to remain a virgin until marriage?
Well, according to those who replied to a juicy Reddit thread asking the same question, it can be good, it can be bad and it can be just plain awkward.
‘We didn’t quite make it… and then we made up for lost time.’
Hansvanhengel explained that he and his ex-girlfriend had “practised abstinence” on religious grounds for years, but couldn’t quite make it to their wedding day. When they did have sex, however, they made up for lost time.
“Now imagine a young couple having spent literally years of teasing each other…
“I can still remember one weekend (Friday evening until Monday morning) in which we literally had sex 28 times. We did not leave our bedroom. It was marvellous.”
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However, that relationship later ended when his partner cheated on him.
Once again Hansvanhengel chose to wait, and he and his now-wife managed to make it to their wedding day. Unfortunately, it wasn’t great.
“Not for religious reason this time, but because we felt it would be better for us. We waited for 1.5 years, the married and then had sex the first time.
“The same kind of teasing as with my ex. But it was… incredibly underwhelming,” he said, adding it’s since gotten better. Kinda.
‘They had zero chemistry.’
My-alter-ego-Melody writes that her decision to wait until marriage to have sex worked out perfectly fine, but her sister, on the other hand, had an entirely different experience.
“My sister also waited until marriage with her first husband and she says despite all the chemistry and sexual tension leading up to the wedding once they were actually married that all disappeared.
“They had zero chemistry and had a dead bedroom within about three months of marriage.
“They divorced two years later and the lack of sexual compatibility was a heavy contributing factor.”
‘We had to wait until two years after marriage.’
Gumpfanatic says his wife and he married as virgins after dating for four years. Unfortunately, their chastity didn’t end there.
“We were all hot and horny our whole relationship so we were very much looking forward to our first time, in Maui with a view! It was going to be magical!”
“Turns out she had vaginismus. Not only was there no sex on the honeymoon, but it took us another two years to get through it.”
The man says once his wife overcame her vaginismus – an issue of muscle tightening that makes sex painful – it was “absolutely mind-blowing”.
So all’s well that ends well then.
'My wife's never really gotten over the guilt.'
For Tosstheflotsam, he and his wife's Christian upbringing caused problems when they could finally have sex as husband and wife.
"Our wedding day arrives. I’m pumped for the evening. But we don’t do it. Sadly, our hotel room air conditioning didn’t work, the hot springs exit was outside of our hotel room door, so lots of noises. Not ideal. We finally knock one out of the park the next evening for the first time.
"But here is the thing. The guilt was reeeeally hard for her to get over. That feeling of, being told it’s so wrong for so long, then to have it lifted and be ok?
"It’s been hard. I can count on one hand how many times we had sex this year and can keep track on hands how many times each year it’s been on the last three years."
The man says he's still glad he's waited, adding that there was a funny-side to their first-time.
"My wife was a nanny for two boys for the longest time. So when we were getting ready to do it, she wanted to see my manhood.
"I said sure, so she pulls the covers off and goes , 'Holy crap!' Mind you, I am average in every way down there, nothing huge or long. And I asked her why she said that, feeling rather manly.
"Her response was hilarious, 'I thought they stayed the same size as when you were a child like the boys I nannied.'"
'It was terrible.'
Tivia says they wished they hadn't have waited.
"Well, the first several times it was terrible. Twenty years later we both regret not experiencing someone else before we got married as now with two kids we just don't have time for that nonsense.
"A few other experiences would have been nice. Also quite frankly anyone who is a virgin and says first time sex was "amazing" I call bullshit on."
'We waited, and then three weeks out...'
You know you've waited a long time when a fractured pelvis doesn't stop you.
Poster Edselmonster said she and her partner were dating eight years before they had sex - which isn't as long as it sounds when you take into account they started dating at 13 years old.
But it was still long enough, so when three weeks before the wedding she was in a car accident and fractured her pelvis, it didn't change her honeymoon plans.
"I cracked it down one side. Couldn't walk on my own, couldn't take care of myself. We still got married.
"Had a short ceremony cause damn it, I waited for so long. We had sex for the first time that night.
"It was incredibly painful, but enjoyable."
However, fate had one final thing in store for the woman.
"I found out that I was allergic to the condoms we bought. So that was fun. Part of me is glad we waited, but another part is mad that we had no idea what we were doing and we had a rough first time."
'We don't compare ourselves.'
Derwood43 says he and his wife's first few times were not great, but their sex life soon improved.
He says there are certain advantages to waiting.
"I think it made [our relationship] easier in the long run. No comparing ourselves to their past lovers leaves room for a really open relationship."