… In terms of happiness, sex is better than money, and having sex once a week instead of once a month is the “happiness equivalent” of an extra $50,000 a year. People with active sex lives live longer. Sex releases stress, boosts immunities, helps you sleep and is heart-healthy.
Sex is good whether you’re married or not, and certainly folks who wait until marriage can have a lot of sex once they tie the knot. But waitinguntil marriage often means both early marriage and conservative views on marriage and gender – and people who marry early and/or hold traditional views on marriage and gender tend to have higher divorce rates and unhappier marriages. We know that, on the other hand, there are lots of benefits to marrying later and to gender-egalitarian marriages. Couples who both work outside the home and also share housework duties have more sex. Financially independent, college-educated women who marry later in life have extremely low divorce rates.
It turns out that feminist values – not “traditional” ones – lead to the most stable marriages. And feminist views plus later marriage typically equals premarital sex.
… Sex, of course, isn’t all ponies and rainbows. The United States has one of the highest unintended pregnancy rates in the world. We have one of the highest abortion rates. We have one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections. But our problem with sex isn’t that we’re having it before marriage; it’s that we’ve cast it as shameful and dirty. And when our collective cultural consciousness says that sex is shameful and dirty, we don’t have the incentive – or the tools– to plan for sex, to see it as a positive responsibility and to make healthy sexual choices.
We’re obsessed with sex on television, in music and in advertisements, but we somehow lack the ability to talk about sex as a positive, moral, pleasure-affirming choice that, like any other adult decision, comes with a set of responsibilities. And when government money is going toward telling people to just wait until marriage, we are literally funding an idea that has never worked in all of human history, instead of supporting tried-and-true policies that could mitigate the harm of a sex-obsessed, but pleasure-starved, culture.
— Jill Filipovic, The Guardian
I like this article not only for the argument against abstinence-only teaching, but for the broader implications of sex being a good, healthy, and moral thing. I got in some argument on some forum recently (I know, I know, someone was wrong on the internet, step away from the keyboard) regarding reproductive rights, where it was suggested — as it often is — that if you’re not willing to have a baby right now, you should just not have sex, and that that is the only moral choice.
Not to be too blunt about it, but fuck that. Sex is my moral choice. Sex has been my moral choice since I was 18 (and sex-related activities were my moral choice way earlier). Sex is awesome. Sex makes me feel better. Sex makes me happier. Sex makes me a way nicer person — ask anyone who’s had to deal with me after a few months of involuntary celibacy. I prefer to have sex as often as possible, not only for my own sake, but for the sakes of everyone around me as well. Sex preserves the harmony in my world.
And no one gets to tell me that’s immoral.