Tisha O’Neal dreams of gliding down the aisle in a v-neck, laced wedding gown. It will be sleek, elegant and most importantly, white.
To the 18-year-old freshman education student from Miami, wearing white will be more than just a tradition – it will be a statement of purity.
O’Neal believes only married people should engage in sexual intercourse.
“It is morally wrong to have sex before marriage,” O’Neal said. “You should have more respect for yourself to wait … you only can give (your virginity) away once.”
With increasing media influence on sexuality, many members of society have moved away from abstaining from sex until marriage, to a “try it before you buy it” attitude. Some even prefer experienced sexual partners in order to have a more gratifying sex life after marriage.
“I would like my partner to be experienced,” said Jamel Slaughter, 25, a graduate political science student from West Palm Beach.
“She would be able to satisfy my sexual needs.”
Like Slaughter, other people use sexual performance as a determining factor when seeking and choosing a potential mate. Others use it as a way to strengthen their relationship and limit cheating.
“I feel you should have sex before marriage because you can find out what type of sexual partner you will end up with for the rest of your life,” said Gerald Brown, 26, a senior graphic arts student from St. Petersburg. “In a lot of cases, men are less likely to cheat if they have a partner who fulfills their sexual needs.”
However, abstinence is not in danger of becoming entirely extinct. There are individuals who practice the tradition and favor it to the “bed-hopping” lifestyle often seen in music videos and other entertainment mediums.
These individuals want to share their first sexual experience with someone who has saved him or herself for marriage.
“You should wait until marriage to have sex,” said Ankit Patel, 21, a senior pharmacy student from Fort Pierce. “It makes the experience between a man and his wife a more intimate bond.”
The Rev. Cassandra Sheppard of Bethel Full Gospel Baptist Church in Miami advises those who are having sex to stop because it was not intended for single people. In addition, Sheppard said the most valuable thing you own is yourself.
“When you have sex with a lot of people you carry that around with you.” Sheppard said.
“You have ties to each and every person who you have had sex with mentally, physically and spiritually.”
“It [sex] was created for married people … as a bond between man and wife.”
Contact Teandra Delancy at firstname.lastname@example.org