If it wasn't for sex

“I’d marry you tomorrow if it wasn’t for sex.”

I told him, during conversation with my boyfriend chatting about our future together, and what our timelines for marriage looked like.

Just a couple of months later, I sat with him and the pastors who were giving us “pre-marital counseling” and cried as I confessed that I was terrified of having sex, and of being naked with my future husband.

I wanted to call the entire wedding off, and postpone it until the following year. I felt so much guilt, and thought I was terrible wife material.

Other single women attending my church would be triggered by any mention of sex, because they were looking forward to it. I felt triggered by it because the thought of allowing a man inside my very body left me feeling petrified. The though of a man seeing my body, naked and stripped bare, made me queasy. And yet, I was the woman who was engaged to be married.

The invitations had already been sent, the future in-laws had multiple car loads of relatives routing their way to the mountains of Virginia where we were planning to be wed.

My pastors gave us the best advice they had. Rather than upset everyone, and reach out to everyone we had invited, I was asked if I could trust my fiancée when he said he didn’t mind waiting for sex.

I hesitated and looked at him, searching his face.

My pastor said that he thought my fiancées offer to wait for sex was extremely Christ-like and sacrificial and a beautiful example of Jesus laying his life down for the church. He said he had confidence in the love we had for God, and the love we had for each other that we could get married and plan to not have sex for a while until I felt safer. He said it may be rough for a few months, but he thought we’d come out stronger for it. "I am confident in your love for each other, and for God." he said.

Through tears and guilt, I decided that I would accept this extreme sacrifice: my soon-to-be-husband offering to blue his balls for me.

I believed I was asking my husband to endure nearly unbearable physical pain, and pressure. I believed I was asking him to try to hold back urges and instincts he’d struggled to fight against all his life. I believed that his offer was truly a sacrifice in every sense of the word, it was putting himself on the altar chopped into little bits, set ablaze and offered up into smoke — simply because I was terrified of sex.

The phrase, "modest is hottest" is funny. And yet it's not. Modesty did not give me any desire to be seen as "hot." I was petrified of being seen as hot. I was so terrified by years of conditioning that I wasn't even excited about my honeymoon.