I Didn’t Lose My Virginity When I Got Married

weddingBY JACKIE ANGEL

I’ve never punched someone in the face, but there are definitely times I wish I could ignore the virtue of self-control and let a fist fly.

A few months before my wedding, someone asked me (knowing that I was a 29-year old virgin by choice), “So, is your fiancé a virgin, too?” I replied, “Nope.” She responded, “Well at least someone knows what they’re doing.” I pretended not to care about this ridiculously ignorant statement and switched the subject quickly.

But, really? Really?! My brain was reeling with anger and annoyance, while my will did all it could to prevent Jackie Francois from turning into Jackie Chan.

 That stupid response irked me on a few levels.

First, people have been having sex for thousands and thousands of years. It’s not like the mechanics of sex are difficult to master, even when it’s two virgins, God forbid! (note the sarcasm).

Secondly, do you really think I’m happy that my husband’s first experience of sex was with someone else because he got to “practice?” Um, let’s think here for a second….NO! I don’t know any girl who just hopes and wishes that her husband has memories of another girl (or girls) he’s been sexually active with or a harem of porn stars he’s been sexually aroused by. Memories don’t just vanish when you start dating someone new or put a ring on your finger or say wedding vows. It takes grace, prayer, time, sometimes counseling, and a lot of healing to rid oneself of these memories.

Thirdly, if my husband had been there to hear this ridiculously insensitive and crude “insight,” he would’ve been even more offended (and maybe tempted to throw a punch, as well). His loss of virginity was never something he boasted about. In fact, he shares his witness here and in the talks we give together about the regret and shame he felt after that moment of weakness and lust. While the culture says that sex is “no big deal” and that people are meant to be “test-driven” before marriage, there are a lot of good Catholic men and women who know sex to be holy and beautiful and worth giving to your spouse alone. Those particular men and women who had sex outside of marriage truly felt that their virginity was lost. One woman described it as a loss of innocence. Another described it as a loss of an idea of what it should’ve been to have sex for the first time when she said, “It wasn’t like the movies. My boyfriend didn’t even hold me afterwards.” Others have said, “I felt used.” Others have felt the loss of pride, because they were the ones who would’ve “never” committed the sin of fornication. Others have felt that their dignity was lost, because they gave themselves away just to hear the words, “I love you,” or “You’re beautiful.” Virginity was never meant to be “lost.” Sex was never meant to be a mistake or a flippant act.

While the world around us in TV, movies and music makes virginity look ridiculous, I knew in my heart I never wanted to “lose” my virginity to some boyfriend in a nasty college dorm room or in his parents’ house or in his apartment just to have some practice for my future husband. I wasn’t taught the Puritanistic view that “sex is bad.” In fact, I learned the Catholic view that sex is good, beautiful, and holy. Sex is the consummation of the wedding vows, and your body is making a promise of those vows (even if you do not). The vows you make with your heart and voice on your wedding day—to love freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully—are then expressed with your bodies later on that night. Sex makes the vows incarnate. So technically, you’re not married if you haven’t consummated your sacramental marriage, because the vows have not yet been fulfilled bodily.

That’s why on my wedding night I didn’t “lose” my virginity. I freely chose to give myself—body, mind, heart, and soul—to my husband who promised to love me ‘til death do us part. I definitely didn’t feel shame or loss. I didn’t feel dirty or bad. I felt beautiful and holy and child-like. And my husband? You can bet that he did the same and felt the same. Even if virginity has been “lost” at some point in the past, it is still possible with Reconciliation and God’s grace to be able to, for the first time, give oneself freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully. And trust me: when sex includes all of those things, that’s when someone really knows what they’re doing.

  One thought on “I Didn’t Lose My Virginity When I Got Married

  1. lara.fleurette
    September 23, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Thank you so much for this, Jackie!! I will keep these words in my heart. Thank you.

  2. Toniko
    September 23, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I think the experience is different for everyone. Mine was not so he would say I love you, or to get him to hold me, or anything in this ‘tone’ I loved him so much and he loved me. We knew we should wait (ps why such a strong emphasis on catholic…last I checked pretty much all forms of Christianity consider sex before marriage a sin…) our teenage hormones got the best of us. The temptation was VERY strong and Very real. It was not a one night stand or some desperate situation. I married him pretty much as soon as I could(years after). Anyway with my experience I tell young girls the temptation is very real and for many VERY strong. Wait until marriage because sex truly does bring you into a unity with that person that should not be entered until marriage. Those who lost their virginity in the one night stand, desperate for love way maybe did not get that strong unity feeling but for me being in a relationship for so long before sex but still too early, the sense of this is the only man for me(which has turned out fine and God has blessed our marriage greatly, but for many girls it keeps them with a not so great guy). You really are giving each other a piece of yourself.

    • September 23, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      I think her emphasis on Catholicism wasn’t necessarily looking at the fact of Christians viewing sex before marriage as sinful. That’s an obvious fact. She was simply saying how the “Catholic view that sex is good, beautiful, and holy” within a marriage, not something that is dirty and shameful, which some people grow up believing.

    • Sarah
      September 24, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      She emphasizes the Catholic view of sex and marriage because 1.) she is a Catholic and 2.) the Catholic Church has extensive writings in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and documents written by Popes (particularly Saint John Paul II, who wrote Theology of the Body) which go into detail about the theological reasoning behind the sacredness and sacramental nature of sex. It’s just her personal reference point, and the reference point from which Lifeteen, a Catholic youth organization she has ties with, teaches teens about about sex.

    • Leigh Grames
      September 29, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      I would agree. For her, her viewpoint is probably Catholic but the one shift I would make would be “biblical” … learning that a biblical view of sex …. vs. “Catholic” because what Jesus calls us to through relationship is a changed heart and different life style that spans religion and church leaders. So glad she is sharing her heart and desire for purity so openly :)

      – A happily married woman who waiting for marriage to honor myself and God.

      • March 29, 2015 at 11:52 am

        FYI: It was the Catholic Church that wrote, compiled and authorized the Bible via several Councils, St. Jerome and Pope Damasus I in the 4th century. The word “Catholic” means universal and was first used in and around the 2nd century in Antioch, the first place the word “Christian” was termed. And yes, Our Lord calls us to change our heart and life choices, but sadly it does not span all “religions” and “church leaders” since each of those religions and leaders create a church for themselves rather than following the Church Our Lord gave to us via Peter. Please research the Early Church Fathers. You’ll find all of them doing and believing what the Catholic Church has always taught and still teaches today i.e. the Eucharist as the actual Body and Blood of Our Lord (John chapter 6), the Sacraments, Primacy of Peter, no divorce, no contraception, no abortion, no sodomy, no fornication. “If you love Me you’ll do my commands.” A great blog to follow is “Shameless Popery”:+) God bless~

  3. September 23, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    This was a great explanation on this topic. Thank you for your words. I wish you and your husband a beautiful and holy marriage.

  4. Joycelen
    September 23, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    My 20 something son told me he went into a church and cried afterwards. However, he has not turned back to celibacy that I know of. Yet. He is a wonderful young man but very attractive to women and it seems this generation of women make the first move a lot. Still praying for him as I know God is in his life.

    • Steve
      September 24, 2014 at 7:42 am

      Like st Augustine.. Lord free me from list.. Just not yet. : )

    • Eugenia R
      September 28, 2014 at 8:24 am

      I do not know if this would give you any comfort, I will try anyways. I am 20 as well. I have a lot of friends that have turned back to celibacy out of a realization that God wanted to give them more than what they were getting, and for all, their journey of conversion started with a simple cry. It sometimes take a little bit to strengthen the soul, and leave behind, but with God, and your prayers, I am confident that he will make his way around! Don’t lose heart!

  5. September 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Thank you, Jackie, God bless you and Bobby! I fell, too, and was so ashamed, not to mention self abuse since i was a small child. It is a struggle

  6. September 23, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Well thought out and written. Glad you mentioned the grace of God too.

    Perspective is huge, and it seems you got it right.

  7. September 23, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    I am glad I am not the only one who was a virgin bride. :) Strangely no one believes me when I say that. They think it can’t be done. :( Nice to hear it put out there for what it is. The greatest gift you can give your spouse! Thanks for your blog and spreading the Word!

    • Elizabeth
      September 24, 2014 at 7:54 am

      I know exactly how you feel. No one seems to want to believe that (in my case) a couple can date for 9 years and both remain virgins till their wedding day at age 27. It is great to see women (and men) standing up and saying you are not alone in your virginity till marriage. NOT everyone is lieing with their bodies, promising things they don’t truly mean and are going to regret later even if they don’t want to admit it.

    • September 24, 2014 at 10:00 am

      I found that funny as well. When I was getting married no one believed that my husband and I were both virgins. It’s not impossible! Temptation is 100% real, but Christ 100% defeated sin and in His power we can be 100% successful in fighting our temptations! Praise the Lord!!

  8. September 23, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Great blog post! I went with the flow and lost my virginity to some guy I barely knew in College two decades ago, then had an abortion, then another one… Now I’m writing to educate and hopefully spare girls the same fate. May God bless your marriage always!

  9. Johanna Van Liew
    September 23, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Loved this, so insightful and honest! Thanks Jackie (and Bobby)!

    Blessings, Johanna Van Liew

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  10. Aline
    September 23, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Thanks for this Jackie. I love this. :) My love to baby Angel. :)

  11. September 24, 2014 at 7:12 am

    “I didn’t “lose” my virginity. I freely chose to give myself—body, mind, heart, and soul”

  12. Marie
    September 24, 2014 at 7:32 am

    On the cusp of my 26th birthday and still being a virgin, this was such an amazing and much appreciated read. I am Catholic, have recieved all my sacraments, etc., however, I will fully admit I am not overtly religious, which to some is surprising because I am still a virgin. Your post embodied so much of how I feel in regards to sex and “losing” it. Such a comforting read and solidifies my choice even more. Thank you : )

  13. Steve
    September 24, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I remained a virgin till my wedding night, the vows the sacrament, put the act into a beautiful context. I’m sure I was terrible at it! That’s half the fun. If your really good you don’t need practice…. You may go down hill..
    It only gets better and better being married, sharing in love, expierences, children. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to be faithful if sex was a means to an end.

  14. John Harden
    September 24, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Excellent article! Thanks for this. When I help prepare couples for marriage the topic of “test drive” comes up. I always tell the couples, “You can and SHOULD test drive a car. And if you don’t like, you should get a better one. But you are not cars. You are not made to be compared to, discarded, or replaced by something better.”

  15. September 24, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Jackie, this really spoke to me. Thank you so much for sharing it. I really needed to hear it/read it.

  16. September 24, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Preach. It.

  17. September 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    My wife and I were both virgins and we managed to figure out what went where just fine!

  18. September 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    beautiful.

  19. Rachel James
    September 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Jackie Chan will cut you if you make stupid comments! Brilliant blog Jackie. I absolutely love you.

  20. September 24, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Thanks and same here, as a man, it was something that I wanted to give me wife, and we were both blessed that we gave each others virginity to one another. I always say, I didn’t lose my virginity, I know who has it, and she is my wife. :)

  21. September 25, 2014 at 7:05 am

    “patience is virtue”, my mother said, I wish I had listened to her, young people today believe that virginity is outdated and old fashion. but am here to say that ” it is gold and treasure” save it for that special someone …..

  22. Clara
    September 25, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    I was a 29 year old virgin bride too. The journey was not easy, it had it’s temptations, lots of them. Honestly, I managed to preserve that jewel by God’s power and mercy. My resolution alone couldn’t stand the temptation. When you trust in Lord’s grace, It’s amazing the works He can do in you.

  23. September 26, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Reblogged this on Jason Elizondo [dot] com and commented:
    This is a great post that I’ll need to save for the girls later on down the line.

  24. Michelle
    September 26, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Dear Jackie,

    Thanks for this blog. It is SUCH a relief and a great comfort to me that you did not feel like you “lost” anything on your honeymoon. I think that for some of us who are waiting until marriage, there is a fear that the enemy puts into our hearts that even if we are married and virgins, we’ll feel a great and deep loss of a part of us and we will mourn that loss. It’s a scary thought. And, I’m not going to assume that no one has ever felt that way as a virgin bride or groom. But it seems like from what you are saying and what the comments below read, you never felt like you “lost” anything but gave it as a gift to another person who will have it always and cherish it. Praise God for such beautiful witnesses! Thank you for giving this world hope!

  25. rosella marry
    September 27, 2014 at 2:00 am

    this is great post, please share most important to faith on GOD who make usa good christians, amen,,,

  26. Andrea Koballa
    September 27, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Amen! God will Bless your Marriage Tremendously. PS Catholism is the original Christian Church, Implemented by Jesus Christ himself. NO wonder the Devil continues to try to tare it apart in many secular ways. Including “Feel Good” Christian Non denominations. “Satan will come as an angel in white”

  27. September 27, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Reblogged this on Daniel Lovett and commented:
    loved this

  28. Eugenia R
    September 28, 2014 at 8:06 am

    I am a college student, sex is not seen with such beauty and its sad, I wish more people would see the whole picture and allow themselves to
    find the real meaning of sex in the eyes of God. And I pray for those of us that struggle, and that we are able to stay true to our beliefs.

  29. October 1, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Great article. I very much relate!

  30. October 2, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Thank you! I think that the idea of “losing” my virginity made it difficult for me to discern my vocation to marriage. But in marriage, I’ve certainly discovered that it is a gift and no loss. I want my daughters to grow up with a better understanding of this!
    I linked to this post on my blog: http://mrsf3andfamily.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/marriage-and-chastity/

  31. MattKim
    October 2, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing Jackie! I really appreciate your level headed-ness, wisdom, faith, and reason. You took on a difficult subject with finesse and skill. My wife and I were virgins when we got married (both at 28). Yes, it’s difficult, but with God all things are possible!

    Keep preaching it!
    #faithandreason

  32. October 3, 2014 at 8:52 am

    This is a wonderful piece. I have been married for 37 years. My wife and I saved the marital act for marriage. So glad we did. She was worth it. She would say the same about me. I think those who honor the Church’s teachings on chastity and the Sacrament of Marriage need to be prepared with responses to the insufferable, snarky questions hurled at them by those who want to drag them down to their level. You should write such a piece. For example, you could have responded to your interrogator with a simple, “why would you ever want to know something so intensely personal as that?” Or, with a twinkle in your eyes, “I am so happy to hear of your interest in chastity! I’m sure you understand that if I talked about sexual intimacy within anyone other than my wonderful fiancé, it would no longer be intimate. You see that, don’t you?”

  33. October 7, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Thank you for this beautiful blog post. May God bless your marriage

  34. October 11, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Reblogged this on emilyanewsom and commented:
    There is so much beauty in this truth!

  35. October 26, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Great post. Thank you for sharing!

  36. November 6, 2014 at 5:25 am

    YEEEEEES THANK YOU JACKIE!!!!

  37. March 28, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Reblogged this on The Girl In The Veil and commented:
    THIS. Amen.

  38. That One Mom
    May 22, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    *epic mic drop*

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