To honor her husband-to-be, one woman stays chaste before her wedding.
Griff and I had very different backgrounds. He was always committed to not having sex before he married. He grew up in a Christian home in a small town in the South. It was never a question for him. And certainly if you’re committed to not having sex, it’s easier to do that with someone who is also committed to it. You just don’t have to argue with them. If, in the heat of the moment, one of you wavers, there’s another person there to pick up the slack. On a level beyond the pragmatic, even though I had recommitted my life to chastity several years before, I don’t know that I had ever dated anyone who was as articulate about why he was committed to chastity. We were able to have very helpful conversations about sexuality. When we got engaged, and had conversations about what it would be like to have sex—
Wait a minute, you had conversations about what it would be like to have sex?
Yeah. Would we actually have sex on our wedding night? Would we do the deed? And what were our expectations? Some of Griff’s friends would say to him, “Well, you know, Lauren’s had sex with other people. Aren’t you worried that she’ll be comparing you to these other people?” And he wasn’t worried about that at all. I found that I was actually more worried, because he had never really seen a real woman’s body, with cellulite. He had only seen, like, movie stars and the cover of Cosmo. And you know, I have love handles. I don’t look like Julia Roberts.
I was also worried that Griff would have a lot of hang-ups. I mean, here he’d steeled himself against sexual desire for 15 years. And there’s a story I tell in the book of a friend who had been chaste for her whole life, and she just had a really hard time flipping the switch once she was married. In fact, Griff’s been raring to go. Having had this premarital sexual history, though, I had really trained myself to think that what is exciting and erotic about sex is the newness and instability. And married sex, while great and erotic and exciting, is not exciting because it’s unstable. It’s exciting and good precisely because it’s stable and even routine and habitual.
So, ironically, if we’ve had challenges in our first year and a half of marriage, they’re not coming from Griff’s “lack of experience.” They’re coming from certain lessons that I learned about what I think is sexy.