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Sorry Not Sorry I Decided to Take a Sexual Hiatus after 17 Years of Play

by Julie "US Writer" Anne about a year ago in humanity

How I think a year-long break from sex will help me be ready for marriage: Audio with captions are provided to accommodate all viewing preferences.

I find it hard to believe that my “ho” phase lasted more than a decade and a half. Would I say I’m proud of it if you asked me? It depends on what you classify as being a “ho.” I’m using this term to describe me not adhering to my strict guidelines of not going past second base unless I am married. However, I’m also referring to losing my vaginal virginity.

According to my childhood upbringing, I would say I’m ashamed of the sexual things I’ve done. Almost none of my elders waited until marriage, but many of them would tell me that “true love waits.”

For the longest time, I stuck to that ideal of waiting for my “soulmate” – until I didn’t.

My “ho” phase was long after high school or college age when most people had theirs. If I hadn’t done some of the things I did at the time I did them, I maybe wouldn’t have missed out on my chance to get married before I am too old to have biological children. On the other hand, I perhaps wouldn’t have had quite as much fun, which is what I felt like I needed at age 29 and having a broken engagement.

I ended the relationship with my original ex-fiancé because he didn’t want to keep it in his pants until marriage. Ironically, I lost my virginity about two months later to someone who said he was in love with me after three weeks. For the first person to ever enter me, I felt nothing except the usual first-time pain in my vagina. I also felt depressed after because I wondered what I had left to give to my husband when I was married. I eventually grieved the loss of my virginity and carried on, but it wasn’t easy.

Getting Back with Ex-Fiance and Admitting What I’d Done

I didn’t have any obligation to tell my ex-fiancé anything I did before he and I got back together, and I almost didn’t.

I knew he might be hurt even though he wasn’t a virgin. However, I feared that we’d get back together, and he would wonder why sex was so easy for me on our wedding night. This is one of those times when I question if honesty is always the best policy.

My ex-fiancé took it well until it sunk in after a few days. I still remember him saying, “You’re the one who screwed that guy.” Then, he broke up with me and married someone else four months later.

Why I Went “All the Way” the First Time

I didn’t want to be a 30-year-old virgin.

For a long time, I held dear to my principles about not having intercourse while single. In fact, I didn’t think I would ever go past second base until marriage. Anal, I wasn’t much into that, so that was out of the question for the longest time too. Then, I realized, I didn’t want to be a 30-year-old virgin. Not waiting for marriage to have sex gave me opportunities to not be alone even though I wasn’t planning on getting married anytime soon.

When I say “I didn’t want to be a 30-year-old virgin, so I decided to have sex,” I really mean I was afraid I might be alone for the rest of my life. If I never get married, l’ll never have a chance to have sex, I thought. To make matters worse, I was at a youth retreat once when a woman speaking said she didn’t get married until she was 40. I couldn’t imagine being a virgin after age 30 let alone age 40.

I got tired of saying “no” to my own desires.

My ex-fiancé said to me things about being a “tease” I won’t repeat to you out loud. I felt hurt by it at the time. However, more than 17 decades later, I understand why he did say the things he said. After all, we never did anything besides kiss on the lips and cuddle for the first two years we dated. I believed that was what was appropriate while still single and the best way to avoid temptation.

Having gone no more than eight months without sex since 2004, I would say my ex-fiancé was sexually frustrated. I know that now, and that made it easy for me to forgive him for the nasty comments he made. After all, I know how irritable I get when I decide to even try to stop masturbating for a while. He also later understood I wasn’t trying to intentionally drive him nuts. Even though I had more self-control than he did, it wasn’t much less frustrating for me, however.

All things considered, I went “all the way” for the first time because I grew weary of saying “no” to something every fiber my being wanted to do. Do I regret it? I don’t know.

I feel because of being taught that premarital sex is wrong, I should regret it. However, a part of me doesn’t dwell on the past after having grieved the loss of my virginity. What I most feel bad about is that my first time was not with someone I loved. On the other hand, my coitus debut was more physically hurtful than emotionally painful, and that I could handle.

Advice I’d Give to Other People About Sex

When my youngest brother was 13, I caught him through the side car mirror tonguing his fingers. I chuckled a little from the front passenger seat while riding around with his former babysitter and friend. Then, I gave him a 15-second talking-to real fast.

I told my brother, “Doing that leads to other things, and other things could lead to having babies."

I added, “If you’re going to do that, make sure you have a job and a place to live. Because you will have to be able to deal with the possible consequences of doing other things.”

By “doing that” I meant oral sex, and by “other things” I meant “intercourse,” and by “consequences,” I meant “unplanned pregnancies.”

I myself didn’t have sex in high school because I wanted to focus on my career. What is more, the thought of becoming pregnant before 18 – or even 25 for that matter, terrified me. I didn’t want that. Ironically, I’m sad I never had children. However, I knew that even if I didn’t wait until marriage that I didn’t want to have sex until I was ready to deal with the possibility of having a child out of wedlock. If I did have an unplanned pregnancy, I wanted to know that I would rise to the occasion to take care of the child.

Other Advice I’d Give About Sex

If you’re going to screw around, screw around in your 20s and/or settle down by your mid-30s. Otherwise, just don’t do it if you’re planning on getting married and having a family someday.

Even if you think you want to wait until marriage to have sex, try to make your first time with someone you do love if you give into temptation. Either that or just postpone the wedding and elope. At least your friends and family can watch it online, unlike in “ancient times” before the Internet existed.

In Case You're Wondering

The ex-fiancé I speak of and me did have a chance to try again after he got divorced. However, I chose to just let him go for good because I was afraid to put my family through the on-and-off roller coaster that was most of our relationship. I also felt that our indecision to just get marriage over with was hurting his daughter, and I didn’t want us to hurt her anymore than we already may have.

Now, if my ex-fiancé and me still had feelings for one another, we probably would have gone to the courthouse. Even though I’m over him and he’s moved on too, I learned from that situation. Part of the reason for things turning out the way things did is that I’ve always been terrified of marriage. It never had anything to do with at least most of the people I dated as immature as they were sometimes. If I’m 100 percent honest with myself, I never dated anyone with marriage as my intention – not ever.

Almost 20 years later and three years shy of 50, I figure the only way I’ll probably ever get married is if I just “go do it” and have the wedding later. If I do, I hope my friends and family will eventually forgive me if they can’t be there in person. Either way, they’ll still be a part of it if I ever actually do it.

Will I wait until marriage for sex this time?

Some days, I feel so hurt by the fact that I do have feelings. That’s what happens when you try to keep things casual if you’re not dating to get married. This has caused me to revisit the possibility of waiting until marriage to have sex. Will I abstain this time?

I told someone once that I’m not sure anymore if I could ever wait until marriage. For me, it would depend on how well I know the person, and how long it will be until we get married. LOL

My Attempt to Make it a Year Without Sex (at Least Not Sex with Other People)

If I can, I feel like I would be more ready for marriage if I wait a whole year -- 12 months, 365 days -- to have sex. Can I wait that long?

The longest time I went since 2004 has been eight months, so we’ll see. I’ve got about six months to go until it is a year. I think I can because at least I have a good toy that’s almost as good as the “real thing.” Plus I’m building a strong support system that I haven’t had for more than 10 years and am finally on my own for the first time since the early 2000s.

By the way, I forgot to tell you a period of seven years in which I did have a live-in partner. At the time, I felt like I had to because I didn’t want to keep sleeping around but wasn’t ready for marriage yet.

Just a quick aside about my live-in situation: That had consequences too.

This is my first run-in with the importance of a “piece of paper” to officialize a marriage.

In 2018, my significant could no longer stay at the house with me because he ended up having dementia. If he and I would have proven that we intended on committing together for life, I would still possibly be allowed to see him. It would at least had been less easy for his family to deny me those rights.

I finally had no choice but to move on without even being able to see him as a friend. In the end, it probably is for the best because even though I miss joking around with him, I think his family knew that he might have had stronger feelings for me than I had for him. Still, I was devastated that I lost his companionship because of no “piece of paper” to make our lifetime commitment official.

In my defense, I almost did marry him “for real.” All he would have had to do is use some of his beer money to by the license. I at least stayed with him long enough to reach out to his family for help with him. About a year later, I started dating new people because I didn’t want to be alone but was still not ready for marriage.

The Only Way I can Resist Temptation Right Now

Okay, so I should also tell you that certain teachings about purity mandate that I not even masturbate or fantasize about people. I don’t care for phone sex or adult videos, so that’s out for me. However, I admit going without masturbating is much harder than going without sex with another person or watching adult videos. The longest I’ve ever managed to not play with myself is probably 2-3 months. Oofta.

In any case, the only way I can resist temptation is if I don’t touch myself or touch others for a while. Just hugs. No kissing, no making out, and no extended cuddling sessions that will arouse me. Some days, I feel like this choice to take a sexual hiatus is just a way to punish myself for no longer being a virgin. However, not involving anyone else in my sex life right now does have an upside.

This year-long abstinence period helps me remember life before heartbreaking and meaningless hookups. It also makes me feel like a virgin again.

Now let's just see by October how ready for marriage I actually am!

If I do make it until then without having sex, it will be the longest I’ve gone without it since before I had intercourse for the first time. There’s so much I want to do now – hang out with friends more and pursue my creative passions. Marriage and sex can wait at least that much longer. By the time I finally do know who I’m supposed to be with, I believe my sexual hiatus will help me be ready.


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Julie "US Writer" Anne

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