I am a 20-year-old virgin. I already know what you probably think about me.
I am also the president of Love Saxa, a group dedicated to healthy relationships and sexual integrity; we often get the reputation as the abstinence club or the anti-same-sex marriage club, depending on whom you ask. At the Council of Advisory Boards Fair this past Sunday, a few students snickered at the word “chastity” on our promotional materials, exchanging telling looks with their friends.
I am not surprised that people often have a negative opinion about those of us who advocate for abstinence, dating and marriage. Today’s popular culture often portrays virgins as prudes who never have fun. I hope to dispel some common myths about people who wait until marriage, using personal examples from my life and the lives of my friends.
While people commonly believe that abstinent people fear their own sexuality or intimacy with members of the opposite sex, the reality is that many of us are in physically fulfilling relationships. My boyfriend and I will not have sex before we are married, and we have a completely normal, respectful and healthy relationship. Even my friends who are waiting until marriage might still occasionally need to apply concealer to a hickey. One might expect us to be sexually repressed, but my abstinent friends and I feel sexually liberated in our relationships.
Not only do we value our relationships with our significant others, but we also have a good time in general. I enjoy going to a party, dancing with my friends and singing a little karaoke when the time is right. Those of us not having sex are not plodding miserably through life. In fact, we are jamming to The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” and Macklemore’s “Downtown,” just like the rest of Georgetown.
We are not waiting until marriage because we fear the opposite sex, or because we can’t find someone to love. People who abstain from premarital sex have good reasons for doing so. Some of us have religious convictions, but many of us find it to be the most logical choice for other reasons. According to a study in the Journal of Family Psychology, delaying sex leads to a more satisfying relationship in the long term. Putting off sex until marriage also correlates to more stable marriages. Moreover, a Cornell study indicates that waiting to have sex leads to happier relationships.
Now that I have hopefully convinced you that Love Saxa folks are not sexually repressed, I will address another highly-debated topic: same-sex marriage. Love Saxa’s definition of marriage does not include same-sex couples, as we believe that marriage is a conjugal union on every level – emotional, spiritual, physical and mental – directed toward caring for biological children. To us, marriage is much more than commitment of love between two consenting adults. That being said, I think that there are members of the LGBTQ community that agree with Love Saxa on the issues that we hope to address this year: pornography and the hookup culture. Some LGBTQ people wish that the hookup culture was less prevalent, including 2013 GU Pride President Thomas Lloyd (SFS ’15), and LGBTQ communities are disproportionately victimized by revenge pornography.
Some might also question our ideas about gender complementarity. However, just because we believe that gender differences exist does not mean that we believe one gender is better than another. I identify as a feminist: I believe that men and women are equal in human dignity and should always be equal before the law. Men and women each have unique qualities to contribute to society. It devalues women to try to make us act more like men, rather than embracing our own qualities and characteristics. Of course, gender differences exist on average and not necessarily in every person. The average woman is a better nurturer than the average man, but a particular man may be better than a particular woman in this respect. It is not sexist to believe in gender complementarity, but it is sexist to insist that women conform to standards set by men.
If you are interested in joining a fun community of people who care deeply about love, relationships and marriage, check out Love Saxa. In the coming year, you can expect social events as well as speaker events on the topics we are hoping to focus on this year. We are hoping to initiate discussions about pornography, which has been proven by research to increase aggressive behavior, and the prevalence of hookup culture, which has contributed to the sexual assault crisis faced on college campuses today. As students across campus continue to face the same issues related to sexuality and relationships, Love Saxa can be a group that unites us, rather than divides us.
Maybe you are questioning your own sexual choices, or maybe you just want to learn more about our beliefs. You can judge us for our ideas, but do not think for a second that we come from a different planet. We have fun relationships, interesting social lives and big plans, just like you. Do not believe the stereotypes, and come see for yourself what Love Saxa is all about.
Amelia Irvine is a junior in the College. She is president of Love Saxa.