Saturday, March 29, 2014

First Week of Sex & Marriage, After 2 1/2 Years of Love!


It's hard to believe that Beau and I have already been married a week! We have been overwhelmed at the outpouring of love and support not just from our friends and family in person, but from the online community we have discovered in the last 2 1/2 years.

Since I haven't spent the last five months sharing our wedding planning details, y'all can look forward to at least a few months of scattered posts on the proposal, our engagement, the wedding, and our receptions! (Yes, receptions, plural--I hope y'all didn't expect us to celebrate our marriage normally). 

Not to mention that with our week in Puerto Rico, I have quite a few travel posts planned as well. Our honeymoon has been AWESOME so far!

Puerto Rico, Old San Juan, history, honeymoon
Colorful buildings in Old San Juan
We've also already done a follow-up interview with Therese Schechter, director of How to Lose Your Virginity. Clearly all our "fans" who saw us in the documentary are dying to know about MARRIED SEX! Keep your eyes peeled for that video, coming soon!

But getting married and having coitus for the first time is bigger than all the blog posts I have planned. I am deliriously happy and head-over-heels in love with Beau. Making our wedding vows in front of our families and God was such a beautiful, intimate moment, a formal recognition of how our relationship has grown over the years. Then allowing our bodies to entwine as one, in a way neither of us had ever experienced before, was just... perfect. Beau and I are both so glad to have made the sexual choices we did.

Since I am on my honeymoon, and Beau is in bed next to me, looking as cute and snuggly as ever, I think it's time to cut this blog post short.

wedding, marriage, love, San Antonio, Little Church of La Villita
MARRIED!
P.S. On Thursday, we discovered a very mutually-pleasurable position, and our second time in that position, we even had near-simultaneous orgasms! So, yeah, obviously I'll be blogging about that in the near-future too.


Friday, March 28, 2014

I Was a Virgin on My Wedding Night--The Best and Worst Thing for My First Year of Marriage (A Guest Post)



love, sex, marriage, virginity, relationships, Christianity, abstinence

I am THRILLED to feature a guest post by the Vintage Housewife herself. Christine and I are basically opposites, except for that whole "saving sex for marriage thing," but we totally respect our differences. She has undertaken the unique project of learning what housekeeping was like in the 1950s, straight from vintage guides themselves! You gotta respect a woman who understands the importance of primary sources. Today she's writing about one of the failures of purity culture--the lack of frank discussions about sex. Just a gentle reminder to my readers that I actively seek out guest writers with opinions different from my own. I absolutely love what Christine has written today, and I'm honored to feature her on my blog.

I was a virgin on my wedding night, and a pretty “virginal” one at that.  My new husband and I had never seen each other naked or done any of the activities that would follow that step (blow jobs, hand jobs, etc.), so most sexual activities were new to us in this union of “Holy Matrimony.”  The main factor for us in this decision was religious reasons – we felt that God wanted us to be as pure as possible for our wedding night.

Looking back, this is one of the best decisions my husband and I made in our relationship, and we both agree on that.  There would have been a lot of guilt and resentment if we would have gone against our consciences to do something we knew was wrong.  It was definitely the right decision for us, so perhaps the “worst” part of this title is a little misleading.  The reason why I put that there, however, is because being a “hard-core virgin” on my wedding night presented some problems for my marriage that I never anticipated.  I wish that people would warn other dating, abstinent Christians of these things.  They need some sort of disclaimer, like, “This is what’s right, and it will be very advantageous to your relationship, but here is what you’re going to struggle with because of this choice.”  I’ll go through the pros and cons of our decision so you can see what we went through on the “other side” of that magical wedding night – we are now almost four years into a happy, fulfilling marriage, so I think I have some authority to speak on the topic. 

wedding, marriage, love, bride, groom

BEST THING EVER 

(I’ll gloss over these quickly because they’re the ones that are preached to everyone on “why to remain abstinent”).

1.        An obvious benefit of being virgins on your wedding night is that neither of you have been with anyone else.  You don’t have to worry about being compared and thinking, “Oh no, am I the best he ever had?  Does he regret this decision?  Am I good enough?”  He has nothing to compare it to, so you’re obviously the best.
2.       Beyond the comparison issue, neither of you bring the emotional baggage that comes with having multiple sex partners.  Any exes are pretty PG, so no one has to harbor the anger and jealousy that can come with the thought of your partner being with someone else. 
3.       STDs are clearly not going to be an issue.
4.       Saving yourself for marriage builds a lot of self-control, and this is a quality that carries over into the marriage realm too.  I’m not worried that my husband will cheat on me.  I’m sure that this is mostly because we’re in a good relationship, however I also know that if he were ever tempted to stray, he has the self-control to “keep it in his pants” and not just go with how he’s feeling in a moment.  It takes strength to be passionately with someone for years and not sleep with them just because you don’t believe it is right.  That strength we built is useful in other areas of our marriage too.

WORST THING EVER 

(I’ll go into a little more detail on these, because I don’t feel like people talk about them enough).

1.       There is a huge mental/emotional block that comes with suddenly becoming sexually active.  There is nothing else on earth that is completely forbidden one second, and then with a few “I do’s,” it’s suddenly not only permissible, but essential to the health of your relationship.  That is super strange.  I was supposed to be “pure pure pure” one night and then a veritable porn star the next.  That’s impossible.  I definitely struggled with this.  For a long time, sex felt “dirty,” and I felt guilty for doing it even though I knew it was okay.  I really blame society for this: they’ve set up this virgin/whore dichotomy where women can’t be righteous in God’s eyes and still enjoy a healthy sexuality.  Why is this?  The Bible is full of sensuality (Um.  Have you read Song of Solomon?), but I couldn’t seem to grasp that concept.  For the first few months of our marriage, that made me feel like an extremely inadequate wife.  My husband is great and was obviously more than understanding (after all, guys are “supposed” to be sexual, so he didn’t really have the same block but understood why I did), but I still felt like such a loser for not being able to do an instantaneous mind switch on this topic.
2.       For a while, you’ll have no idea what you’re doing.  People make jokes about “awkward honeymoon sex,” but for real – it’s so strange.  I mean, prior to my wedding night, no one had seen me naked since I was in diapers.  Now I was supposed to confidently stride around a honeymoon suite naked and jump my new husband every chance I had?  Weird.  Also, there’s just the mechanics of sex in general.  I realize that sex itself isn’t that difficult (after all, teenagers do it), but I would argue that good sex takes time to figure out.  Especially when I’d never “explored myself” or my husband prior to this – how were we supposed to know what felt good and what didn’t?  In short, we didn’t know.  So we just kept trying different stuff.  The awkwardness is cute on the honeymoon, like, “Oh, look at us, so new to all this…ha ha ha!” but as the months roll by and orgasms aren’t easy and mind-blowing, frustration sets in.  It starts to cause tension – is something wrong with me?  Him?  Both of us?  Do we “practice” more often or just give up for a while?  And it can cause division in your relationship.  Sex was the #1 reason my husband and I fought in our first year of marriage, which is something I never would have expected!  Fights about sex?  What?  But apparently that’s one of the top two causes of marital discord in the country (the other one is finances).
3.       The idea of “sexual compatibility” is pretty deceiving.  This one will link to #2.  People talk about making sure that you’re “sexually compatible” with your partner prior to marrying them, and this was something I struggled with a lot at the beginning.  I felt that if two people were “sexually compatible,” then they would quickly understand each other’s preferences and rhythms (because theirs were the same, right?), and sex would become mind-blowingly fantastic after a handful of tries.  When sex wasn’t instantly amazing, I started to wonder if maybe my husband and I weren’t “sexually compatible.”  That was frustrating.  I would never cheat on him, obviously, but I started to wonder if maybe I had given up a chance for better sex by marrying him.   I wondered if maybe I should have slept with more people to learn who was really best in bed.  Ugh – I feel so horrible even typing those words because they’re so ridiculous and selfish, but that’s how I felt.  I’m sure other new brides have felt this way too.  Now, four years in, I can say that our sex life has gotten consistently better from Day 1 until now, and I anticipate it will continue to get better in the future.  It’s not about finding the person who knows all of your exact sexual preferences immediately; it’s about finding someone who is so emotionally and mentally committed to you that they’re willing to put in the work to learn what you like and do it for you.  That’s going to produce some amazing sex.

Being virgins on our wedding night has, overall, been a great choice for my husband and me.  I just wish I would have known the struggles that come along with that decision before I made it.  It wouldn’t have changed my decision, but it would have made me more ready for my first year of marriage, and it would probably have saved some fights.  I think I had this subconscious notion that because I was doing things “God’s way” that He would bless me instantly with amazing sex.  That’s not really a mature viewpoint, but it’s one that I think a lot of romance-stricken abstinent Christian have.  “It will be different for us” or “We know each other so well…it will be amazing.”  I’m sure that’s true for some people, and good for them.  For the other 99% of us, though, I want people to know that there are struggles with getting used to your new sex life, but that going through those experiences with your new spouse brings you closer together and ultimately will produce a great sex life – just maybe not on Night Three of your honeymoon.

Beau and I just finished up Night Three of our honeymoon last night! This post has obviously been scheduled in advance, and no, I am not interrupting my steady stream of sex, sleep, alcohol, books, and the beach to update my blog. So here's hoping that all our preparation got us ready for great sex! If not, Christine is right. We  have the rest of our lives to communicate our desires and become closer every day.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mexican Urbanite Catholic Virgin: A Guest Post


Tina Matilde blogs at piedras y chuparosas, mostly about herself, or music, or something empowering to the female spirit. Basically, she’s a Christian feminist after my own heart! She’s not a fan of capital letters—she thinks they’re oppressive—so I’m making an exception for to my otherwise perfect grammar and punctuation for her post! She is in Round 2 of graduate school hoping to integrate spirituality into trauma healing, learning to meditate, and spending way too much time on Instagram. You can also find her on Twitter as @tinamatilde

Trigger Warning


i have always been a bit of a procrastinator, never in a rush to do anything, well certain regards, a bit of a late bloomer. it’s at my core, i stayed in the womb an extra month, why not right? no, this post isn’t about taking your time, at least not entirely. as a 27-year-old virgin living in an urban city, finding Belle’s blog was a Godsend. to be honest, i’ve been questioning why i even decided to contact Belle. i’m in the midst of a difficult healing process. i was sexually molested as a young child and assaulted more than just a few times while growing up. last year, i got brave and dated a lot, at least for me, and although the guys were nice, those relationships didn’t last too long. i just wasn’t ready to take THAT step. and so he, or i, or we both decided to end the relationship, however short-lived. i’ve been completely single for about 6 months now and absolutely not ready to get into a relationship. i guess i’m just trying to accept it. after the longest introduction ever, what did i tell Belle that i wanted to talk about? it was the intersection of culture and her theme of “Love, Sex and Marriage.” so here goes my take on all of that.

via


growing up in a traditionally mexican household, where you were to be seen and not heard, do as you’re told, be a good girl and a good catholic. yeah, no pressure. that wasn’t the point, at least not growing up. i was na├»ve and just accepted it. as i got older, it, remaining a virgin until i got married was something i embraced. i thought of it as a beautiful thing. it would be evidence as to how much i was loved and valued as a person rather than what was in between my legs. here’s the thing—i still am remaining a virgin, just for different reasons.



i was in college when i decided that i would remain a virgin until i got married. if anyone asked, i never said i was "saving myself." i called it “celibacy” simply because i didn't want a lot of questions. i was involved in progressive student activism where it was all about empowerment. choosing to be a virgin until i got married for religious, cultural or personal reasons simply meant i was “oppressed.” what made me feel oppressed was feeling that i didn’t have a choice in the matter. i absolutely believe that a woman’s worth is defined by more than whether she chooses to have sex or how much or what she chooses to engage in sexually. there is strength in choice.

choice is something that can so easily be taken away from you. i’ve been close, and that’s what has scared me. to be honest, i do question whether my choice is primarily due to the pressures of my faith tradition or culture, but when it comes down to it, it’s MY choice because its what’s right for me. regardless of how many times my friends explain in disbelief how i just need to wait for that magical guy and that magical night instead of offering their support for my choice or many times my mother tells me “cuida tu floresita” “take care of your little flower” i continue to push to remind myself that no matter what happens i have to do what is right for me and if my partner loves and respects me, he’ll wait until i’m ready, ring or no ring until this late bloomer is ready to offer him her great big catholic mexican urbanite virginity.


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