Will waiting until marriage to have sex as a non-Christian severely limit my dating pool?

I am most nearly agnostic in terms of religion.

Point being, if I was to choose to wait until marriage, it would not be on the basis of religion or even culture, but various other personal reasons.

But I am worried this choice, if I make it, will severely limit my dating pool, especially due to the fact that I am not Christian, and many people who practice this are Christians and THEY would likely disqualify me because I am not Christian (I’d be fine dating one and wouldn’t try to influence her views).

The other side of this is that this is something I have been worried about in general. This was something I posted in another question on another forum:

I am 17, so of course, I still considerably struggle with insecurities at times.

I see all these people with all these dating “dealbreakers” around here.

I sometimes wonder if something about me will always be a dealbreaker for a girl.

For example:

I am short (I don’t really ruminate on this anymore because I know it’s something I can’t control, but just to illustrate the point).

If it’s not my height, then it will be because I don’t drink.

If it’s not that, then it will be because I am not into any sports.

If it’s not that, then it will be because I like to listen to Indian film music which is too weird for her.

If it’s not that, then it will be because I like to sleep with a teddy bear (of course, if I was to sleep with a girl, I wouldn’t, but for some women, that mere practice at all is a dealbreaker). Though, I have heard of even tough athletes that do. Still…

Now, the height, of course I can’t control so it’s a waste of time to worry about that, but most of the following things are things I can control and could stop doing if I wanted to, but the problem is that it’s just a part of who I am.

To alter this would violate my integrity with myself and identity.

I am not against change necessarily, and I am all for self-improvement - for example, being more outgoing, working on my social skills, strengthening emotionally, working out, being more productive, etc (these are all things I am working on).

However, I don’t want to change the things I listed above simply because it’s a part of who I am and altering those would cause me to lose my identity. They’re not things I really want to change…

… however, at the same time I fear something about me will always be a dealbreaker for every girl, especially seeing everyone here and on the internet in general, listing their dealbreakers.

Also, it’s not that I am repressed or have repressive views on sex or lack drive or anything like that either. My sex drive is through the roof (as expected for my age) and I see absolutely nothing wrong with casual sex or people engaging in it.

This would merely be a personal choice.

You’re still young, don’t worry about this kind of thing so much. Worrying contributes to the problem.

Sex isn’t as big a deal as you are making it out to be. There’s nothing all that important about it. Your first time is best to be in a friendly and loving environment, but that doesn’t mean it requires marriage or even commitment. Once you’ve had sex for the first time (and some people don’t even enjoy sex all that much) you will look back on it with a very different attitude and kick yourself for waiting so long. It gets better with experimentation, which requires a variety of partners over time. It really is preferable if you don’t get hung up on it as some kind of magical sacred thing.

And finally, yes, your approach will definitely severely limit your dating pool.

*disclaimer: I really don’t know what I’m talking about, my sex life has been sparse and pathetic

Well, here are the reasons I have been considering waiting:

  1. NO STD’S (or pregnancy concerns)!!!
  2. No parental conflicts/having to hide to do it
  3. Possibly higher quality relationships (aspects of romantic relationships other than sex may be more focused and developed).
  4. As a result of #3, you don’t get involved with anyone merely on the basis of lust.
  5. STATISTICALLY, less chance of prospective marriage ending in divorce.
  6. Having to test and sexually deny ourselves for so long can be hot in a way (this is sort of a personal kink).
  7. Breakups slightly easier to cope with.
  8. Feels good to have a sense of self-control (tying in with #6).
  9. Possibly less likely to cheat (won’t be used to having multiple sexual partners).
  10. Overall, things become somewhat simplified and some stresses (i. e. STD’s) are no longer problems.

I also see some cons:

  1. I want it, so bad! <- strongly
  2. may feel like i am missing out.
  3. sexual compatibility not ensured going into marriage.
  4. i may not have the self-control.
  5. dating pool limited (for some this is a dealbreaker).
  6. may make me over-eager to marry in the future.
  7. could possibly lead to a temptation to cheat in marriage, especially me and my prospective wife turn out to be sexually incompatible.
  8. what if i want to experience sex with multiple partners (potentially causing #7)?
  9. sexual exploration limited.

Though, numbers 3, 5, 7, and 9 in the pros are probably debatable.

I realize I may be sounding way out of line here or overthinking things way too much here (a tendency of mine), and I am interested in hearing your opinions regarding this.

Based on my experience and environment when I was 17, yes, your decisions will definitely limit your dating pool. I’d be amazed that unless you are loaded with money or have incredibly good looks that you would find someone to date. Not because of your height or taste in music or sleeping with a teddy bear (although I’d probably not mention that last one to a potential date if I were you), but just that in my experience, anyone that chose to abstain from sex was also religious and would probably only go for other religious types.

Yeah, that’s what I thought: especially the religious contradictions.

Same deal with condoms — which you should be doing regardless.

I don’t recall this being all that difficult, but to each their own.

Ah, no. The quality of your relationship is based on how compatible, considerate, and generally awesome you are.

Fun fact: most lasting relationships began as lustful attractions.

I’m sure the religious purists are skewing this number if its even correct. Also, be aware that “no divorce” doesn’t equal “happy marriage.”

For you maybe. Talk about limiting your dating pool.

The difficulty of breakups are primarily emotional attachment.

Self-control is great, and will get you a lot further with regards to focusing on things like homework, working out, and diet.


See “condoms,” #1

What Bserum said.

Thank you for your feedback. Makes sense.

Listen, R3d Anonymous, it sounds like you’re having some challenges with relationships that extend beyond sexuality. And, no offense, but you have a great number of mistaken ideas about sexuality. But that’s cool — we all start somewhere.

My best advice to you is to get on a steady diet of Savage Love. Although it’s a little old at this point, Savage Love: Straight Answers from America’s Most Popular Sex Columnist is a great place to start. In all honesty, his podcast is the best: informative, entertaining and free. I would even encourage you to call into the podcast and ask him about your “no sex till marriage” question directly. Or you can write in to his column.

Here’s what he’ll tell you though: it’s a really, really bad idea.

Sexual compatibility is a significant part of nearly all lasting relationships and if you don’t know if you’re sexually compatible before you get married, you are flirting with disaster. It is better to take your partner out for several test runs before you commit to something that will be problematic and/or expensive to back out of if things go south.

Wouldn’t deliberate abstinence from sex be a far greater limiting factor for a woman (in terms of how big the dating pool would be) than it would be for a man?

To a point, for sure. But when you take that state to “until marriage,” I’ll put money on the ratio being practically 1:1.

Man. I weep for the OP and hope this is just a phase. I firmly believe in the concept of sowing one’s oats before marriage.

For some, sex is like bungee jumping. You take one look at it and say “Aw, hell no! I’m not doing that!” But then after you cave to pressure and finally do it, you’re all like: “Oh hell yeah! Let’s do this shit again!!”

The OP, ironically, is full of a boatload of religious malarky. Conservative religious folks who don’t want people having sex like to scare people with talk of scary STDs and pregnancy.

Fact is, straight sex is actually one of the safest activities you can do(some of the gay stuff is dangerous). Some evidence suggests it may have a positive effect on lifespan, that is, engaging in it frequently increases how long you are statistically likely to live more than the risks decrease it.

It’s much safer than traveling by car.

Pregnancy is obviously completely preventable - especially if the female partner isn’t infected with religious malarky and doesn’t have trouble with the concept of an abortion, at least at a stage when the fetus is the size of a gummy bear. The higher quality birth control methods are extremely unlikely to fail in any case.

There’s a variety of STDs that are an embarrassed grin and a few pills away from fixing. The 2 main lethal STDs - HIV and Hepatitis C - now have treatments that are quite effective, and both are extremely rare. And condoms provide considerable protection - so much protection that the risk of getting an STD from a literal whore (a prostitute) is apparently lower than that of getting it from that “committed relationship” girlfriend in college you never used a condom with…

One more thing I just thought of sharing, R3d Anonymous:

I too am short.
I rarely drink.
I’m not into sports at all.

While I’m not into Indian film music, I am into comic books, (so whereas your thing is a multicultural world music thing, mine is inescapably nerdy).

I don’t sleep with a comfort object, but here’s the thing: relationships are not depositions. You are not required to divulge everything about yourself right away. And since it sounds like the teddy bear might be a substitute for a lady friend (in a manner of speaking), you can simply stow it away when that special lady friend does want to spend the night.

You shouldn’t have to change yourself to deserve love, you only need to be the best version of yourself.

I say all this to say that after many short- and long-term relationships, I have found the love of my life with whom I have been with for 8 years now. And in retrospect, I’m glad I had the failed relationships beforehand to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t work — and that includes the sexual stuff. I credit all of those failed relationships as the necessary ingredients (alongside of my SO who is f#cking amazing) to make the relationship I have now so successful.

If I can do it, so can you.

Explain, please.

Anal sex is extremely dangerous and one of the major drivers of HIV infections in the United States. Fisting between lesbians also has some risk of injury (though not nearly what anal is)

Gay men also tend to have a lot more partners. So if you combine a common sexual practice that has a higher probability of spreading disease (colon walls are thinner and weaker than vagina) with a far greater network of partners among gay men, you end up with exponentially higher spread rates.

Please don’t misunderstand. If you’re gay, have fun doing what you like - but if you want to do the dangerous stuff, it needs to be with a tested partner.

Gay sex ≠ anal sex. I would say the same thing about fisting, but I wasn’t even aware that was unusually popular with lesbians.

Many gay men do not like anal. Many straight couples do. And given the ratio of hetero couples to straight couples, this affects straight women as much (if not more?) than gay men.

You also mentioned:

So by your own information the real factor isn’t number of partners so much as whether those partners were practicing safe sex.

I make these distinctions not to be PC or pedantic, but to be accurate with what we’re talking about, because the distinction is actionable, especially since the OP might be somewhat new to all of this.

Pretty much everything B. Serum said was on point, but I wanted to address some myself:

No no no no no no no no no.

Seriously, not to bang on this point too hard, but this is a really, really bad idea.

Think about what you’re doing for a second. You’re committing yourself to, in the ideal case, only ever having sex with one person. And you’re doing that before you know if you’re sexually compatible, and also before you’ve “tested the waters” to see what sex is like. That’s a terrible idea. Sexual fulfillment is a big deal in relationships, and also…

…The number one reason to cheat.

(I’m assuming that’s a typo, as it makes no sense otherwise.)

Seriously, sex can be amazing, it can be kinda “meh”, or it can be awful. And in the latter case, it can be a serious strain on relationships. I’m sexually compatible with my current SO, and we work hard to ensure that we please each other. If I wasn’t, I don’t think I’d want to stay in the relationship, and I would hope she’d have the good sense to find a man who could actually please her. This may sound callous, but sex is kind of a big deal, and being doomed to shitty sex or no sex for the rest of your life is… Well, like B. Serum said, listen to some Savage Love. There are a lot of people with stories to tell. It’s awful.

There’s a difference between self-control (stopping yourself from doing something bad you want to do) and self-denial (stopping yourself from doing something good you want to do).

Seriously, I wouldn’t worry about it limiting your dating pool, because it’s a terrible idea in the first place. Don’t wait. Find out if you’re sexually compatible with your partner reasonably early in the relationship (if you’re a year in and you still can’t say “We’re good in bed together” or openly talk about what kind of kinks you’re into, then something has gone wrong), and if you can’t fix it, leave it be.

(Unless you don’t actually care about sex, but seeing as you seem to be saying you’re a virgin, and that you’re 17, that’s a really, really, really early judgment call to be making.)

I agree with B. Serum that none of your “pro” points are very good.

I also agree with GuanoLad in that this isn’t something you should worry about. Being a 17 year old who is waiting for marriage for sex is almost exactly the same as being a normal 17 year old.

In both cases, you’re extremely likely to have sex the very first time you have the opportunity.

If you felt guilty afterwards and decided to recommit yourself to chastity, then you’d have a problem. That won’t happen though. You’ll say “oh boy I’m glad I was weak willed and had sex with that girl.”