SEX IN THE 'SEO: Virginity: outdated or understated?

College is all about immediate gratification. There are drawbacks, however, to this attitude - especially when it comes to sex: Virginity is incredibly undervalued. Some people are probably laughing as they read this, at the very absurdity of anyone waiting until marriage to have sex.

I don't think sex is "evil" or that it isn't "fun," but when did that become the green light for doing anything and everything? No one plans on a sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy; the only way to completely avoid these things is to abstain.

I'm not advocating abstinence; that's unrealistic. But we do have a choice, and we are capable of responsibility.

Weekly hookups can be fun, but are they really fulfilling? Having dozens of sexual partners won't help you find your soul mate - that's equivalent to banging in the dark and hoping to hit a bull's eye.

Staying a virgin isn't easy, but then neither are relationships, marriage or life. Everything that really matters to us comes with some sort of struggle. Is it any surprise that marriage has mattered less as premarital sex has become more acceptable? Trust me, there are other ways to have fun in college.

I don't deny that sex makes people feel closer; it does. It takes longer to feel close to someone without sex, like you would with a friend. But this doesn't make the relationship less valuable. From observing my friends, sex tends to harm more relationships than it helps as people forget to connect with their minds rather than just their bodies.

I haven't heard of anyone regretting waiting, but many people do regret losing their "v-card" to someone they didn't care about. Sex is important to a relationship - and worth saving for the right person.

Don't take this article as a judgment, because it's not. This isn't the perfect plan that applies to every individual, because there is no such thing. It's just me telling you that if you choose to, saving your virginity until marriage is not just okay, it's wonderful, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

You are an entirely sexual being. If it wasn't for sex, you wouldn't be here, and neither would anybody else.

In having sex, you connect to the deepest part of who you are and to the deepest part of the one you're with. It is the highest expression of human intimacy.

Having seen both sides of life, I would never want to take back my virginity. Healthy, consensual sex is an integral part of the fabric and texture of adult life. Whether you're blowing off steam or cementing a precious moment, sex is a pure and rich outlet for your mind, body and soul.

I'm not compelled to restrain natural drives.

The notion that sex complicates things is deceptive. Bonding on a sexual level opens a relationship to new dimensions of connection; new conflicts are just a byproduct. On the other hand, the friction of a relationship without sex can be like driving with the emergency brake on.

Sexual history is arbitrary. If your partner has kids or diseases, that is a matter of sexual present and calls for your serious attention in the present. Beyond that, your lover's past has nothing to do with you.

If anything, someone with experience in bed has more self-awareness, less self-consciousness, refined skill and reduced ambiguity, thus better positioning them to share an enhanced sexual connection when they arrive in your life.

Social conditioning is also extraneous. It's time we recognize words like "slut" for their archaic, inhibiting and hurtful implications. Societal precepts that frame sex in a morally negative light are outdated; having evolved at a time when contraception was not an option and the maternal death rate was astronomical.

Even if these precepts still had merit, your sex life would still be your own.

Having sex is a radically and exclusively personal decision, to be made with mature consideration of the realistic risks. I wouldn't encourage anyone to have sex who doesn't want to.

I would, however, encourage those who do want to enjoy sex, but who hold themselves back in order to uphold superficial social standards, to unapologetically join a treasured tradition 300 million years in the making.

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