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” Cue giddy screams and squeals of excitement, squeezed hands of congratulations, and tight hugs of celebration.At 23, she was the last one in our group to lose it—besides me, of course.When one doesn’t see sex before marriage as a form of cheating on one’s future spouse, the existence of premarital sex does not cause suspicion or resentment.(I’ve written about this before.)It’s sort of like the social construction of gender, actually.I recently sipped a mint julep at a new bar in Hollywood, during a meet-up with close girlfriends. They’d been “dating” unofficially for a couple of months.She huddled us together and declared, “Oh my God, gals, I lost my virginity!She then leafed through Bible verses, pointing out that the Scriptures never clearly define a stance on premarital sex.Yes, the Apostle Paul urged the faithful to flee “fornication” and “sexual immorality,” but what does that mean, exactly?
Mary, 23, told me she lost her virginity when she was 18 to her first boyfriend.And for this reason, I think it actually is true that having premarital sex, whether with each other or with someone else, can be damaging to the marriages of many conservative evangelicals. The suspicion and distrust born out of the past existence of premarital sex can and does get in the way of conservative evangelical couples’ building of true and genuine intimacy. The existence of premarital sex is only a breach of trust if people believe that it is sexual sin and represents a failure to truly love and respect one’s future spouse.