Waiting for Sex: An Honest Look at the Price of Patience

When I was young I made a decision to begin waiting for sex until marriage. I don’t remember a specific time or age when I made this decision. For me, there was never another option. I always planned on waiting for sex because in my mind, it was the right thing to do. Waiting for sex is an easier choice to make when you are in your early teens, but it’s not so easy when you are thirty and still unmarried.

waiting for sex

In my teens I was introverted, awkward, and purposefully avoided being cool. I’ve always had an aversion to following the crowd or taking the same path as everyone else. It’s a difficult trait to have as an adult, but as a teenager it’s a huge problem. Still, I managed to start dating in my mid teens and most of my relationships were long-term, or as long-term as relationships get in high school and college. I was never one to date around, and I’m not sure if this made waiting for sex harder or easier, but dating girls of character helped me more than I can say.

Sometime towards the end of college a friend of mine referred me to his agent and said I should look into modeling for some extra money. I didn’t love being in front of the camera and didn’t think of myself as particularly good-looking but I gave it a shot. Several years later I became one of those people. “Those people” being the people that stuff clothes in the back of their car and set off across the country to live in Los Angeles, CA. If there is any place on this planet that makes it hard to wait to have sex and least understands people who choose to wait, it’s Los Angeles.

I wasn’t always in a relationship. There were long stretches when I was alone (in the relationship sense of the word) in Memphis, TN and Los Angeles. Waiting for sex while I was alone was harder because when you are not in a relationship and you are waiting for the right one, the months and sometimes years tick by and you start to lose hope. I’m being honest when I say I had times when I wondered why I was waiting. There were times I thought about how stupid it was to wait when there seemed no end in sight. There were many moments in my late twenties when I lost hope that there was someone waiting for me. It seemed everyone else was having all the fun and my long shot bet wasn’t going to pay off.

The camera thing kinda worked out for me and I’ve been lucky enough to do some fitness modeling. When I have a shoot coming up I train really hard and watch my diet closely which is hard because I like to eat. One thing that makes it bearable is that there is an end in sight. After a great shoot I give myself a reward treat (usually donuts). For me, one of the hardest parts of waiting to have sex was there was no end in sight. When I was younger I thought I would be married by twenty-three. By the time I turned thirty I hadn’t had a relationship in two years. I really had no idea how long I would have to wait, or if I was waiting for something that would never happen.

Fortunately, the story doesn’t end there. Five years ago I moved to Los Angeles with no job, no home, and no prospects. Five months ago I got married to the most wonderful girl I could imagine. It’s funny to me that after thirty-two years of waiting and imagining what my life would be, nothing turned out the way I imagined. My imagination wasn’t good enough. I have an amazing wife and marriage. I wouldn’t be so naive to tell you that waiting for sex is the only reason for those things, nor would I lie to myself and promise it’ll be a cakewalk from now on. But I know that waiting was part of it, and I can tell you that when it’s right, it’s right. It’s worth waiting for what’s right.


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Here’s an honest look at the price of patience:

Waiting for sex isn’t easy

It isn’t easy for a lot of reasons and most of them I don’t have to tell you about. In fact, not only is it as hard as you think it is, it’s harder. I can’t begin to tell you the opportunities for sex that came my way while I was waiting. Crazy opportunities I’ve never heard of people having and opportunities I would never have imagined I would have to turn down. So just know, if you decide to do what is right the world itself will conspire against you. Waiting absolutely won’t be easy but it will build strength, hope, and patience; all traits that make you a better human. Taking the hard path is always difficult, but remember, comfort zones don’t build character.

People won’t understand

I waited because I’m a Christian and firmly believe it’s what God wants. However, in the age we live in, people don’t understand a choice like that, and the sad truth is neither do most Christians. In my experience sexual atheism is incredibly common in the Christian community. The fact that I was waiting wasn’t something I shared with a lot of people. Some of my closest friends didn’t know for a long time and that’s because I felt it was a personal choice I wasn’t going to push on anyone else. Even though I didn’t go out of my way to share it, I wasn’t hiding it either, and sometimes word got out. When it did, I was surprised how often people either wouldn’t understand and/or would make fun of me. Even the girl who became my wife admitted when she first saw me, she thought, “There’s a guy who sleeps with every girl around.” When she found out I was waiting, she wondered, “That guy must not even like sex.” The point is, if you are doing it to impress people, don’t bother. You won’t.

You have to make the decision beforehand

Deciding to wait is a big decision that takes a lot of willpower, discipline, and help to pull off. Once you decide to do it, the option of sex has to be taken off the table at the very beginning of the relationship. If you wait until you are in the moment, your chances of success are negligible. It must be a firm, predetermined position. On a side note, it helps if both people in the relationship are committed to waiting. It is too hard already without adding a partner who isn’t committed as well. If you are in an unmarried relationship with someone who pressures you for sex, get out.

There are benefits to doing things the right way

The world will tell you that waiting is old fashioned and only for a few religious people, but what they won’t tell you are the benefits of waiting to have sex until you get married. I can count the number of people on one hand (and still have some fingers free to grab a donut) that I know who are waiting to have sex, so I have far more interaction with people who are sexually active. I can tell you that waiting removes so many insecurities and problems that arise in a relationship through sex. When I got married I gave my wife the gift of not having any insecurities about my past sexual life. I gave her a blank page to fill in herself, and I know that means the world to her. Despite what people tell you, sex isn’t cheap and it isn’t emotionless. It involves giving part of yourself away and bonding with another human, and you can choose to do that as often as you want, but let’s stop pretending it’s meaningless.

It won’t turn out like you imagine, but it will be worth it

If you asked me when I was fifteen to write out how I imagined my wife, marriage, and life would turn out, I could have taken a million sheets of paper and I still wouldn’t have come close to describing it. Like I said before, it’s way better than I could have ever imagined. I can’t promise that’ll be true for everyone, but it’s true in my case. If you decide to do the right thing, I can promise it will be an adventure.

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20 Responses to Waiting for Sex: An Honest Look at the Price of Patience

  1. Kate February 27, 2015 at 1:45 am #

    Girls, you are being LIED to. Don’t be fooled into feeling shame if you don’t wait until marraige. Don’t be afraid to explore your sexuality because someone on a high horse says it’s the “right” thing to do. You and ONLY you get to decide when the right time is. Use protection, be responsible and safe, and try to do it with some you love. I lost my V-card to my partner at 17, and we are still together today 9 years later. No regrets.

    • Ryan Jones March 17, 2015 at 9:48 pm #

      Kate’s right. All the movies, TV shows, magazines, and university propaganda telling women to stay chaste until marriage are lying to you.

      And don’t be fooled into feeling shame if you want to explore your sexuality with other people after you get married either.

      The Wild Oats Project: One Woman’s Midlife Quest for Passion at Any Cost

      So long as you’re responsible and safe, which I understand to mean wear condoms, you have nothing to regret. And yes, try to find partners you either love or think are very exciting. The important thing is that you decide what’s best for you, no matter how old you are or what stage of life you’re in.

    • gyoza May 14, 2016 at 3:37 am #

      This man’s article was written from the perspective of religion. Religious commitment requires COMMITMENT. It’s a contract with God. Your comment doesn’t seem to be religiously based, so it’s a different perspective altogether. It’s neither about shame nor female agency, but spiritual holiness. If that is a concept that is foreign to you or which you disagree with, then you would not understand it no more than understanding the existence of priests or nuns or faith itself.

  2. DEKKER March 2, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

    What would be interesting is what you think about all of
    this in ten years, when you can really assess the impact it had on your
    sexuality and your marriage. You are writing it five months after getting
    married so you’re obviously really happy about yourself (and I’m happy for you
    too). The parts on the difficulties of waiting are indeed interesting, but
    don’t you think it is a bit early to conclude that “it’s worth waiting for
    what’s right” and that you “have an amazing wife and marriage”? And I
    agree with Kate’s comment, you can’t possibily be so affirmative when you say that it is the right thing to do.

    • Notbuyingit3337 May 19, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

      By then, it will probably be better for them. There is a purpose for abstinence before marriage, it is the corner stone of a sound committed relationship. Research reinforces this, those who have sexual partners before marriage are much more likely to go through a divorce, the more partners, the higher the chance. Also, those that wait for marriage also report the happiest, fulfilling, and sexually satisfying relationships.

  3. Booker April 1, 2015 at 8:40 am #

    WARNING: Existential forks in the road may cause comments to extend far past the socially acceptable length. My humble apologies. Peruse at your own peril. … However, if u do, thank you for listening!

    First off, I have the utmost respect for anyone who • 1 • makes a decision like that, and • 2 • STICKS with that decision. You obviously must have a very robust sense of “self.” My comment/question is a 2-parter… First, did your wife (oops… before I forget to say so like the schmuck I am, heartfelt congratulations to the both of you!) follow the same pre-marital path as yourself? Obviously, there aren’t many MORE personal questions than that one so please do forgive my crassness, but any answer could be of great help/appreciation to myself (and probably more than a couple of folks out there). Finally, part 2 shall be quick… I waited until I was 19 to have sex for the first time. It was craaazy hard waiting just that long, (and this is going to sound braggy, but it’s the truth) because as a tall, kinda-handsome, grounded, captain of the basketball and track teams, National Honors Society member, and lead singer/songwriter/guitarist of a moderately successful Midwestern rock band, there were no shortage of opportunities, let me tell you! Yet, at the same time, the waiting wasn’t hard at all! If that makes ANY sense. so, when I did finally find her, it was absolutely perfect. I was 19, she was 23, and she was the sweetest, most beautiful, most perfect thing I could have ever imagined! sadly, our romantic relationship did not last very long, but we are still the best of friends today and she is married to an amazing man and has the most beautiful daughter in the world. I guess what I am trying to say is that my plan didn’t quite work out like yours, but it is still going pretty darn well. Now, as far as the Virgin thing goes I am obviously past that. However, I have since adapted it to saving myself for having unprotected sex until marriage. does this sound stupid or lame or should I just shut up? I have always used a condom and had safe sex with a partner that I trusted. it just seems to me that now the only thing left for marriage is to have unprotected sex. Obviously, not in the “I don’t want to use one because it doesn’t feel as good” sleazy kind of way, but in the “this is the only way that I can be closer to you than I have been with anyone else and I want to feel that way for the rest of my life… with only you” kind of way. I haven’t shared this way of thinking with many people at all including some of my closest friends and family, but even those few whom I have shared my opinion with have given me a very mixed bag of responses. I know, & I apologize, that this response as dragged on for much much longer than I thought it would, but something in your article really connected with me and I figured you just might be the person to bounce this idea off of. if not, no big deal, but I thought it might be a decent shot in the dark. Once again, congratulations to you and yours on the wedding, and thank you for writing such an honest and unique – and yet somehow so easily relatable – article.

  4. SapAuthor May 4, 2015 at 12:57 am #

    Waiting till marriage is not easy but the best way. My wife went into our marriage a virgin, I had made the mistake with one other years ago, and I know the scars of having a history. But God’s grace is great, and I’m so glad we did it the right way. Almost 5 years of marriage and it’s been blessed! Doing things God’s way opens the door for his blessings.

    • Moi January 2, 2017 at 4:42 am #

      Thanks for sharing your experience! It’s encouraging!

  5. William May 15, 2015 at 11:37 pm #

    Kudos, sir. Especially, as I made a similar choice as you. It turns out that being an autistic comic book geek with no driver’s license has made waiting until marriage a bit easier, though dating is as hard for me as anyone. Not that I’m complaining. I’ve spent the past 8 years in a committed relationship with my first novel.

  6. Matt September 17, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

    I didn’t even have my first relationship until I was 21. I spent most of my 20’s alone, and only a couple relationships lasted a couple months. I spent far too much time trying to find someone but had terrible luck. I did finally have sex at 28, after dating someone for a month, but I wasn’t really into them and gave up after about 2-3 minutes without really getting anything out of it. About 6 months later I found someone I really liked and we had an on/off relationship for 4 years, but no sex, because she wouldn’t. Things ended and I dated someone else for about 3 months, and there was something between us, but wasn’t wonderful. We tried one time, but I wasn’t really into it, didn’t really get anything out of it and went limp. About a year later, I got together with the one I dated for 4 years and we did have sex, but the feelings were no longer there, things were no longer emotional and the first, what I feel was my best attempt at sex, really failed. I went home disappointed.

    At 34, I’m not looking, and don’t really care anymore. If someone just suddenly dropped out of the sky, we might get together a few times, but it would likely because she would feel ignored. I would have done so many things for a woman when I was younger, but now I’d rather just relax, alone. I think if I had gotten involved with someone and got married in my early 20’s I could have bonded with someone, learned what each other liked in bed and been able to perform well. I just feel its too late for me since the drive is no longer there.

  7. Jane February 3, 2016 at 9:24 am #

    Thank you so, SO much for this article. It is so incredibly, ridiculously hard waiting (though I am committed and sure as hell plan to see it through), in large part because, as you said, there is no foreseeable end. I’m 24 and have been struggling with the feelings of hopelessness and wondering if I’ll ever find someone. I am (forgive my vanity) very attractive and yet have never had a relationship longer than 3 months because I can’t seem to find anyone who shares my values. If I had a timeline it’d be so much easier, like if I knew I’d get married at 32 I’d be able to relax and just wait it out no problem. It is especially hard as I am a woman and it seems there are more women waiters than men waiters. Seeing an attractive male who waited successfully gives me a bit of hope that I can find a husband with my values who I’m attracted to.

    I get so frustrated going on date after date with low expectations because I know that inevitable conversation where I tell them I’m waiting will most likely result in things being broken off. May I ask where you and your wife met?

    Anyway, I wish you and your beautiful wife a wonderful and happy life together. 🙂

    • Erik March 17, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

      I’m 26 and still waiting, true enough though, it’s very hard to wait especially if you work in an environment like me where ~ 90% percent of the personal are girls around 20 give or take. Calling me to clubs and such. Very attractive offer to be honest but sometimes i don’t even know how to decline it. My family doesn’t understand me either, especially my father but to be honest as a christian i don’t care, i love my family but neither they or anyone else have any saying in my personal life.

      I would love to find a christian girl who would share the same idea as me, but just as the author said it’s harder and harder nowadays to find someone like that, but then again i guess it’s even harder for the girls, considering my friends if nothing else, most of them speaks about girls like some kind of commodity that you pick up from the shelf.

      • Tictok June 1, 2016 at 10:05 am #

        Hi Erik it is really hard but with the help of God we would all make it. I am 21 years of age and i recently made the decision to wait but when i told my boyfriend about it he asked the point of it since we have already had sex i explained to him and he says its cool that i should give him time to think it through but i know him he wouldnt last very long so am kind off preparing myself for a breakup lol.

  8. Aff March 29, 2016 at 7:27 pm #

    But how did you control your urge for a sex? Did you masturbate? If you did, did that harm your married life?

  9. K. Martin September 16, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

    Not a religious bible thumper but I agree with this article from a respect and responsibility level. The media (tv, videos, music, internet, propaganda, etc.) glorifies random sex to the point that either no feelings are involved, guys will fall in love with or marry a girl who gives great sex; living together having sex; teens & adults experimenting with sex; to “test drive”; and etc. Truth is that this has led to more abortions, “baby daddys”, paternity testing, sexual transmitted disease, foster kids, disrespect towards women & our bodies because guys refer to women as “hoes” “THOT” “Becky” “groupie” etc…”Test drive” is something you do to a car that is an object without feelings & easy to replace & dispose of…Cars deprecate in value once you drive them off the lot…Save yourself for marriage which clearly displays love & a true commitment to love for yourself…Leave the random to themselves…

  10. Alice February 21, 2017 at 6:44 am #

    This was really inspiring and gratifying to read. Thank you so much.

  11. Patience April 29, 2017 at 11:06 am #

    Respect to John and every other person who has made the commitment to do what is right for them.

    Yes, we may be the minority but who wants to be part of the masses anyway?

    • Kris Wolfe May 7, 2017 at 9:19 pm #

      One of my friends waited until marriage, and used to speak about it all the time, but has lately stopped because he felt people thought he was a freak. I’d encourage anyone who’s waited to stand up proudly. It’s an honor!

  12. D'Andre Herbert December 28, 2020 at 8:19 am #

    I’m 18 and I’ve only ever been in one relationship. At the time, I was too caught up in self pity and many of the bad habits that resulted from that. I made a lifestyle of seeking whatever I could to ease the pain. For some reason, nothing has ever come to me. Friends, good family life, girls, social standing. So I spent a very long time feeling sorry for myself and choosing to feel depressed over it. As a result, I made it so much worse. I started talking to one of my few friends sister, and we got along well. But I knew from the moment I began that I wasn’t ready. I was depressed 24/7. I barely knew how to even hold a conversation with someone I knew let alone a girl that likes me. I knew she’d disappointed when she figured out the person I really was. So I changed. I changed as quickly as I possibly could. I’d say I did a good job, but there’s only so much that you can do over the course of one summer. After months of waiting to be with her, she finally decided that she was ready for a relationship, and I was ecstatic. However, I fell into the neediness trap, and I made the mistake of not talking about my Christian faith. It’s not as if I agreed to staying abstinent, I knew it was wrong to have sex outside of marriage, but I didn’t care. We entertained the idea of sex often and there were a couple times that we almost did. Not to be graphic, but on one of those occasions, if had even 10 more minutes, it would have happened. I’m ashamed to say that I lost myself in desire. Not long after, she broke up with me for obvious reasons. I was needy, too attached, inexperienced, and hardly even my own person. I had made a bag it of trying to set up the circumstances to have sex, and that turned her off. I’m ashamed to say that as well. Long story short, I messed up big time. I spent the next 4 months going through multiple mindsets of blame and supposed purpose in my life. Trying so hard to just figure out a way to justify sex. I couldn’t. Even though this girl and I have been talking again and hanging out, Im slowly growing apart from her and I’m honestly not emotionally attracted to her anymore. She’s physically beautiful, yes, but her character is something else. Not too long ago, maybe a couple weeks ago at most, I decided on abstinence. I still haven’t told her and I’m not entirely sure how she’ll react. It’s so hard. It brings me to tears and I’ve hardly even started. Especially since I was this close and so know God was just trying to protect me and he really was there for me that day, but man, the thought of having to tell her I’m waiting for marriage hurts. There’s no other woman in my life like that. I went on a date with another girl and I learned first hand that there was better, so it’s not as if I’m attached to her, it’s more so the idea that she is all Iv Egypt. It’s a struggle, I know that God is preparing someone special for me, but sometimes I doubt it. Especially these days with what’s going on I think the world. Woman aren’t the center of my life, but it would be so nice to have one to lean on. So many people my age have girlfriends and boyfriends and it’s all they ever talk about. So I might be set on abstinence but there talk breaks my heart every time. I have bad social skills and am having 0 luck online. Anyways, just my experience. It definitely feels like it’ll be worth it to wait, just really really hard.


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