Sexual Opinions and Values
Too many couples fail to address important sexual issues that may be troubling them before deciding to get married. Don't include your future marriage in the failure statistics.
Do you believe the great quality of sex you're having now assuming you are in a great sexual relationship will continue the same way after you are married? That may be true...then again, it may not. Many halves of couples report later that the level of sexual intensity had significantly decreased over time. And they were not at all happy with those changes.
Are you feeling dissatisfied with the quality or quantity of the sex you're experiencing at this time? Are there some sexual issues troubling you that you have not brought up for fear of "rocking the boat?" Don't make the classic mistake of assuming there will be a dramatic improvement after marriage. Without making an attempt to talk about or resolve the issue(s) bothering you now, they're still going to be around after the wedding. And they could destroy the marriage in time.
Below are a few questions you should consider for yourself, and discuss with your partner, should there be one in the picture at this time. It is important that you know what each of your views are regarding the issues, and whether they can or cannot be resolved.
Q. Does the double standard apply in your relationship?
At least once in a woman's life, she'll probably meet a man who believes in different rules for her sexual past from what they are for his. It is commonly known as the double standard, and men who believe in it will be far less tolerant of a woman's sexual past than others who are able to let it go. They might even go as far as to imply, if not directly state, that if a female has more than a certain number of previous lovers -- that number can vary widely also -- she is somehow "loose" or "promiscuous." It isn't true of course, but he firmly believes it anyway.
What are your different views on the subject of the female partner's sexual history? If a male partner cannot let the past remain where it is, and never misses an opportunity to bring that up to you, this issue must be resolved before a wedding is even planned, let alone takes place, even if it means that a wedding won't take place after all.
Q. How often do you each expect to have sex after marriage?
If your partner wants sex twice a day, but you only want it twice a month, you are not as far apart as Mars and Venus. The distance between Earth and Pluto would be far more accurate. This might seem to be an exaggeration to you, but it isn't. When sexual expectations aren't met, disillusion with marriage and disappointment in each other will surface very quickly. Talk about your differences before the wedding, so you are able to decide whether or not an acceptable compromise can be worked out beforehand.
Q. What are your views on pornography?
There have been increasing concerns over how much time women's boyfriends or husbands spend looking at porn lately. Objections from female partners are based on either moral outrage or personal ego. Women who are morally opposed may tend to see any sex acts outside the spousal relationship as being wrong on principle.
The second, and more delicate reason, often comes from a sense of being threatened. A woman who feels this way is likely to see her boyfriend's or husband's interest in the women on-screen as "cheating." Of course it isn't, since viewing a woman perform sex acts on camera is hardly the same as doing them himself. In her mind, though, she is unable or unwilling to make the distinction.
However, there is a third way you could look at it. Personally, I as a person and as a woman sum up my opinion of porn in one word: boring. If I were dating a man who viewed it occasionally, I would simply look at it as a silly, non-threatening hobby. If it had no effect on our sexual relationship, there would be no reason to even raise the topic. What if that same man increased the time he spent looking at women in magazines and on the internet? What if he started chatting with unknown women online in a box rather than spend time making love with me? Then I'd begin to find him a bore, and very quickly. At that point, I would also be thinking of ending the relationship altogether. What attractive, intelligent woman wants to stay with a man who spends all or most of his time on those silly activities rather than making love to her? Not I. And neither should you.
Q. Do you or your partner have religious views about sex without marriage, sex without love, or sex without procreation? What are they?
It is very hard to overcome the views about sex drilled into children and teenagers by parents. Some parents, unfortunately, had beliefs that prevented their kids from having healthy sex at all when they matured into adults. What was your background, and that of your partner? Anyone who was raised in a strict religious environment where sex is concerned may have a lot of sexual baggage to ship out. Sometimes, it does not go away, at least not all by itself. There is no shame in seeking out professional counseling to help you or a partner begin to enjoy a healthy sexual relationship without guilt. In fact, it could improve the quality of your sex life tremendously.
Q. Should sex, in your opinion, be strictly reserved for marriage?
Your answer will be a simple yes or no, depending on whether you have a conservative or progressive mind set. Conservative or religious men and women are more likely to say yes to this question, while those with more relaxed and liberal views on sex will tend to answer no. However, you might have a real dilemma if your answer is no, but your partner's is yes. Do you place sexual compatibility as one of your top five priorities for maintaining a good relationship? If so, make it a point to discuss your differences with your partner. Should he decide that he cannot or will not compromise his ideals, you need to evaluate your ability or willingness to live with them.
Q. Have one or both of you read any books or visited any websites concerning sexual philosophy?
One of the best ways to find out if you and your partner are on the same page sexually is to read one or a few books on sexual philosophy. The two I recommend highly are Marriage and Morals by noted British philosopher Bertrand Russell, and Sex Without Guilt by the well-known psychologist and author Albert Ellis. Once you have each read the same books, you can discuss how much of the author's viewpoints you agree and disagree about. If one of you agrees with 90% of the content, but the other disagrees with the same 90%, you may need to do a lot more talking before deciding to marry.
Since sex will presumably be a big part of marriage for the majority of couples getting married, it makes perfect sense to find out where you each stand on the topic. It doesnt make much sense to leave such an important part of your relationship to chance by hoping everything will go well after the wedding. After that, its really too late.