This is part one of a three part series on The Damage of Sexual Promiscuity
Giving People the Full Story
Not everyone who has sex gets pregnant. Not everyone who has unprotected sex gets AIDS or other STDs. Yet enough do that we take great lengths to warn people of the potential dangers. Sadly, little has been said of the danger of how pre-marital sex can negatively affect people for the rest of their lives.
The Potential Damage
Some years ago, while doing some video taping of cranes in the wild from a helicopter, I learned of how these birds "imprint" when they are first born. In other words, whatever creature they first interact with after birth, they assume it is their mother, even if it is a human. I immediately thought of what first-time sex does to a man. This overwhelming new experience IMPRINTS on him and he connects the context with the experience. Those who have their first sexual experience outside of marriage imprint on the lust of illicit sex - those who have their first sexual experience in the context of marriage imprint on the girl.
Consider scenario A:
Boy gets girl to let him fondle her in the back seat of a car. Soon he is undressing her. His heart is pounding as it becomes clear that she will allow him to have sex with her. The windows are steamed, he is now in a major hurry (lest she changes her mind or someone catches them). He experiences an adrenalin rush not unlike a thief experiences when he first steals or a thrill seeker gets when jumping from an airplane. He then enters her body and experiences his first sexual experience with a woman.
This incredible experience leaves a major "imprint" on him. Now (possibly for the rest of his life) he is likely to view sex in the context of "lust" and "naughtiness". This is the man who will constantly be pushing his wife to try some outrageous new behavior, take sexual risks or constantly role-play - all in an attempt of re-living that experience that has had such a profound impact on his psyche. This is the guy who wants to "do it" in the elevator or in the backyard or in some semi-public place. This is the guy who needs his wife to pretend she is a cheerleader or a naughty nurse before he can get excited as he tries to re-create his sexual imprinting. He is not really interested in the girl; he is interested in the sex.
Now consider scenario B:
A man falls in love with a woman and asks her to marry him. His friends approve, his family approves, his co-workers approve. They all join in a concerted effort to make the event a success - planning, showers, and parties. They all come together in one gigantic effort to celebrate their approval of what he has chosen. They now gather in the presence of God, under the approval of his minister. They commit themselves before God and are then off for what will arguably be the biggest party of his life.
Then, with the joyous approval of every person important in his life, he takes his bride to their honeymoon suite and for the first time in his life - without the rush or fear of a back-seat encounter - he experiences the most wonderful sensation of his life as he enters his bride's body and reaches his sexual peak.
He now ties EVERYTHING I just mentioned to that one girl - all the approval of his family, friends and coworkers, the church, the celebration, and most importantly, the incredible sensation he has just felt. All these elements join together and he IMPRINTS on the girl, for it is because of her and only her that he has just experienced the most wonderful day of his life.
Many would argue that this wedding day scenario would have the same effect with a guy who had already been having sex, but they would be wrong. NOTHING impacts a man like his first sexual experience.
If a man has his first sex outside of marriage, what he imprints on is the SEX - indeed, it becomes as if any woman willing to have sex with him would suffice. Many of these men later turn to illicit affairs or porn, fantasies and masturbation in a pathetic attempt to re-visit the experience to which they have forever imprinted upon. Women who marry such men can sense this and try desperately to get their man to focus solely on them. Sadly, it is a battle that most will lose. On the other hand, when a man has his first sexual experience in the context of marriage, he imprints on the GIRL, for she is the sole reason for his incredible experiences. Indeed, these men tend to marry once for life.
When I was growing up, boys were told to marry a virgin because the other girls were "damaged goods". It very well may turn out, however, that it is the girls who should be careful to marry a virgin because it is sexually experienced men who can become the most "damaged".
This is part one of a three part series. Please check back for parts two and three.
Mark Gungor is one of the most sought-after speakers on marriage and family in the country. Each year thousands of couples attend his Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage® seminars. His take on marriage issues is refreshingly free of both churchy and psychological lingo. Mark is pastor of Celebration Church in Green Bay, WI. He speaks for churches, civic events, and business meetings and is even a speaker for the US Army. Mark has been featured on national broadcasts such as Focus on the Family and ABC News. His daily internet radio show is heard on over 250 radio stations nationwide, and his television show Love, Marriage and Stinking Thinking is available nationwide on TBN and Sky Angel.