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7 Reasons Why Atheists Wait Until Marriage

August 14th, 2011 by

Why on earth would an atheist ever choose to wait until they were married to engage in the wonderfully pleasurable world of sex!? Well I happen to be an atheist and I happen to have decided to wait until I’m married. Does this make me crazy? Maybe. But here’s a list of 7 very sane, very logical reasons that suggest otherwise.

1. Logic

Logic might seem like a strange reason for a person to wait until they’re married but when we examine the statistics it makes much more sense. Couples that do wait have only a fraction of the divorce rate that others do. I personally think divorce would be a miserably unpleasant thing to experience and would like to increase my chances of a successful union wherever I can. Couples who wait also enjoy better communication, rank their relationships as more fulfilling, and even claim to enjoy BETTER SEX. If I’m being perfectly honest, anything that even slightly promises better sex in a lifelong partner seems worth pursuing. So looking at things objectively it does make sense to wait.

2. Setting an Example

Although sex is a private thing, your decision to wait doesn’t have to be. In fact you can use your decision to influence others you care about. According to the statistics mentioned above anyone who waits has a better chance at a successful marriage. I personally want my own children and even my siblings and friends to have the best shot at a happy marriage possible. I have a little sister and I don’t want her to grow up seeing her brothers sleep their way through the local population. Others that are inspired by you will hopefully go on to inspire their own children and friends. It feels good to set such a positive example!

3. Healthy Self Image

Does sex make you feel better about yourself? I have no idea. What I do know is that many people do look for sex for the self-esteem boost it can provide. Knowing what you want in life (such as a strong relationship) leads to higher self-awareness and in turn a higher self-esteem. If you know yourself then it’s highly unlikely that you’ll feel the need to seek out sexual relationships for a pick me up. Having control over your image is a powerful thing indeed. It gives you the razor sharp focus you need to pursue other goals like education, a career, and meaningful relationships.

4. Rebellion!

I personally love this reason. In a culture that is steeped in cheap sleazy dime-a-dozen sex I like to be the one that smirks at everyone else. I go to the same bars and clubs as everyone else does but when I see them all grinding like rabbits in heat I can take pride in the fact that I am not one of them. Nonreligious individuals are already rebelling against something so it’s only natural that they would withdraw even further from the majority.

5. Respect

Respect goes two ways. The first is the idea that I respect my future wife (even though we’ve probably never met) enough that I want her to take solace in the knowledge that I am all hers. I think most girls would agree that a guy who has waited for them is pretty cool. That goes both ways. Guys will think it’s pretty awesome too! The second reason I abstain out of respect is because most girls are going to be someone’s future wife! I respect those will-be unions enough to not interfere. Plus I don’t want guys pushing themselves on my wife to be!

6. Idealism

One definition of idealism states, “conforming to an ultimate standard of perfection of excellence; the idea of something that is perfect; something that one hopes to attain.” While idealism is a highly romantic notion, it is universally shared by people that are waiting, religious or otherwise. We all are seeking that perfect union, that ultimate standard of perfection. The idea of ‘the one,’ a single person that will compliment you better than anyone else is highly idealistic. While a person may experience love in many relationships throughout their lives reserving physical intimacy for only one of those loves places it above the rest.

Dedicating one’s life to an ideal — especially one that aims to make another person feel so special — is a very unique and selfless choice. It will make whoever chooses to follow this path feel like they are on a quest. While it will not be easy eventually the person they wind up with will love them all the more for it.

7. Poetry

While this may seem very similar to idealism it is really the essence of the ideal mind. Poetry is the heart and soul of waiting. It is the romance, the true love, the life partner; these things all sing poetry. Living a poetic life is to live for beauty itself. When we see elderly couples holding hands we can’t help but sigh. It is comforting to see two people, so in love, after so much time. Beauty is inspirational and for this reason more than any others on this list is why someone who is nonreligious might choose to wait. Without the ideal of heaven, and the everlasting love of an eternal father there isn’t a whole lot of beauty left in the world. Except for one thing. Love.

79 Responses to “7 Reasons Why Atheists Wait Until Marriage”

  1. she who shal not be named says:

    ^^^^ symbol of the church of the flying spaghetti monster 😀 X) lol

  2. FlowerBee says:

    I love this, Leo! They are perfectly adequate reasons for one who is nonreligious and waiting. Even though I’m Catholic, God plays a very little role in my decision to wait. So, I really hate when people think the only reason people wait is because they’re ‘Bible freaks’. It’s annoying and a bit ignorant of them. They try to belittle us that way, have you noticed? It’s not about God, though. That’s one of the reasons why I love this site. People can get to finally realize that people from every single religion and non-religion are waiting. For the vast majority of us, it’s a personal decision. We have our own reasons. I wish those who are not waiting would be more mindful of that. They are making a choice to have sex. We are making a choice not to. It’s a choice. No one should have to have sex, just because the majority of the population is pressuring them to. Some of them probably wish they could have waited, so that’s why they pick on us so much. The whole ‘car’ analogy is stupid, because who wants a used car? lol I want a brand new car. One that doesn’t break down in the middle of the road…

    I think my favorite reason you listed is number four! Rebelling feels liberating.

  3. Anna says:

    This is brilliant Leo! Really interesting and quite sentimental. You did a great job!
    I agree with flowerbee with rebellion and the James Dean picture is perfect haha.
    And also Flowerbee a lot of my guy friends make fun of me for my belief in God and say I’m part of the ‘God Squad’ just because I want to wait but religion only plays a small part in my choice to wait too but they just don’t realise it. In no way am I a bible basher I just enjoy having something to believe in and put my faith into.

  4. Jegsy Scarr says:

    Great job, Leo!
    I agree with FlowerBee: it feels great to be a rebel! Does anyone else think it’s really ironic that people who don’t wait will often say that waiting till marriage is just “conforming to religion” or whatever? When, in actual fact, it’s often the case that people who don’t wait have sex before marriage do it just because everyone else is doing it?
    FlowerBee: “used car” lol!
    The poetry reason is really sweet! I often feel there’s not enough poetry or romance in the world…

  5. Claire says:

    This is beautiful. Very well done! I also love #4 :) I often go to the bars and clubs with my friends, order a ginger ale (people don’t give me a bad time because it looks like gin and tonic :D), and watch the same thing unfold. I find morals and virginity among atheists extremely encouraging for the sake of human nature– just the fact that it exists speaks wonders for the idea that our species does have some amount of ingrained virtue that doesn’t come solely from religious influence.

  6. ThatGuy says:

    Such an incredibly powerful article. Really shattering the stereotype of the only people who wait are the “radical, religious” types. Numbers 4 and 6 really stand out!

  7. E.M says:

    Well I’m an atheist, waiting till marriage. Hasn’t turned out so good for me. The only other people I know who are waiting are all christian, and do not want an atheistic husband.
    When I do find a girl I like, she turns out to be another one who sleeps around. Then I can’t bring myself to even kiss her.
    I’m not going to lie and pretend I believe in the christian dogma, what kind of relationship could I possibly have, when it’s based on a lie.
    I’m 27, have almost given up hope…. I don’t think there are many people like many.

  8. Leo says:

    Hey E.M, glad to hear from you. We’re definitely not in an easy position. Most of the people I know that are waiting are very religious. In my lifetime I’ve only known maybe 3 or 4 that weren’t religious and were waiting. I hope that someday there is an easier way for us to connect with like-minded people but for now we have the internet!

    I know well the pain of finally finding someone that I like and then eventually learning of their previous sexual escapades. I have also learned that condemning someone on that fact alone can definitely be a mistake. I’m going to refer you to an excellent article by Mike:

    He points out that dating someone is just that, you’re dating. It’s healthy to date and it should be fun. Don’t make it serious before it needs to be. Yes it can be hard but I don’t think people who are waiting should be completely opposed to dating someone who hasn’t. After all there are far more important factors in a relationship. Shutting yourself off from the majority can make things vastly more difficult even though it IS the ideal path in all of our eyes.

    I definitely don’t recommend lying about religion. While I haven’t done this I have dated some incredible christian women albeit honestly. I think that rift between us made things that much more difficult. No matter how compatible we were we knew things would never work out in the end. : (

    Definitely don’t give up hope! Yes it is an excruciatingly difficult and brutally unfair road to walk but the end will be so very rewarding.

  9. xanadux says:

    E.M. and all future posters, do not give up hope

    I’m a 21 year old, attractive, single, educated, socially intelligent woman who is an abstinent agnostic. I don’t need to be abstinent, but I chose to be. I told myself this at age 10 and again recently when I just turned 21.

    We are out there

  10. Leo says:

    Where are you all hiding!?

  11. wanderlust says:

    I’m agnostic and in my first year of university. Waiting has never been so difficult, considering the majority of my friends find it entertaining to have sex with three different guys every weekend. I nearly lost my virginity during the second week of school, and since then, I’ve really re-committed myself to waiting. Guys, don’t give up hope. There are attractive and non-religious girls out there who are waiting for marriage.

    Leo, being non-religious but still waiting is NOT something I advertise hahaha. I’m assuming most don’t advertise it either which is why we’re sort of a rare breed. Hell, my friends assume that I’m not a virgin, but they respect my privacy enough to not ask about that part of my life.

  12. a1b2c3 says:

    I have been debating about if I should wait or not but your post helped me to decide that I think I do want to wait. Thank you for being non-religious and still having morals. It gives me a little hope about the world.

  13. Leo says:

    I’m glad I could help! The world can be a strange place so I do what I can to make it a little friendlier. :)

  14. skeptical says:

    Everyone, including the author of this link, has not given a single good reason to wait. For claiming that this is from an athiest it really only shows a one sided religious perspective. Good try though.

  15. D says:

    This makes no sense.

  16. Leo says:

    Actually skeptical, I’ve given 7. They’re even numbered to help you out. Not sure where religion comes in, I don’t mention church or god once. :)

    And D, I’m not sure if you’re referring to the article or to skeptical’s comment.

  17. Alex says:

    I’m also an atheist, but the reason I’m here isn’t for me, it’s for my girlfriend.
    She was raised by her devout Haitian mother, even though she may not be devout herself.
    In short, she wishes to wait, whereas I don’t really care. She however does have strong sexual urges, whereas I don’t find it that overpowering. I’m thus trying to find my way through religious dogma, opinions, half-truths, guesstimates and approximations, personal anecdotes, to see what really is the advantage of waiting.
    In order
    #1 I have nothing to say about that, except that perhaps we are not the typical couple. I dunno if being university students (and intelligent ones too :p ) sets us apart with the statistics of waiting versus non-waiting wedding, but is that really something we wish to chance? I dunno.

    #2 I am unclear on whether waiting or not is a ‘good’ example or merely a choice, though I understand the different values (and stereotypes) attached to easy sex versus religious abstinence. All in all, sex or no, to me the real issue is respect of both partners for each other and their bodies. This is sorta moot for me.

    #3 I know what I am capable of and what I am not, even though I always try to discover more about myself. This is moot for me, because I know my worth has to do with who I am, not necessarily how often I used a certain appendage.
    For my girlfriend though this could be a compelling point. I honestly do not know. She does not have a terribly high self-esteem, but I love her anyways just the way she is. Sex wouldn’t change how I feel towards her (I think), but it might change the way she thinks I think of her.

    #4 Rebellion. While that does have it’s attracts, I consider myself my own person. I’ve always been sort of individualist anyways, so for me this is also moot.
    For my GF, I do not know. On the one hand, not having sex would be conforming to her parent’s (and her culture’s) wishes, so for her rebellion would be to have sex.

    #5 Respect. Respect is extremely important to me. On the one hand I respect another person’s choice enormously. If my wife were to have been a very ‘active’ young lady and had seen many people, I would either love her no matter how many people she had seen, or I would not and we would not marry. I personally find the analogy of ‘used car’ somewhat insulting to women, because that would be comparing them to something that’s been used and is broken/less functional/less attractive. I love a person based on who that person is, not what’s been going on with their privates. As for respecting future husbands, yes I would respect them, but do I respect these hypothetical future people more than I respect the wishes and desires of someone whom I love standing before me?

    #6 Again, my definition of idealism deviates from yours here. To me, idealism would be more akin with being in touch with oneself and to be happy with oneself, no matter the amount or lack of sexual activity.
    I don’t know what her definition of idealism would be, but I do think it would lean towards celibacy until marriage.

    #7 Again, our definitions diverge. One can have sex and zero poetry, and one can have tons of poetry with zero sex. However, they are not mutually exclusive. To me, there is a difference between sex and love. When you have sex with someone, it is a carnal act of pleasure. I do not want sex, I want love. To love is to share your body with another person, to try to make the other one feel bliss through one’s body. Is there not some sense of romantic poetry in that?

    I find it odd the way many people are obsessed with sex. Some are obsessed with having it, others are obsessed with abstinence, for whatever reason. I heard a saying, something to the effect of “In America, sex is an obsession. In Europe, it’s a fact of life”. Perhaps we should treat sexuality as less of a sacrosanct taboo act, and more like a preference. Some like to drink beer. Some like to drink wine. Some like to drink gin. Some don’t like to drink. It would be possible for an alcohol-lover to drink with a non-alcoholic, they don’t have to drink the same thing. Similarly, one may have sex with someone while remaining virgin. It would involve the creative use of sex toys, but hey, if that is what you wish, so what? To each their own.

    All in all, I would say this hasn’t helped me decide very much. I do appreciate the attempt, and you have made me think, but I have reached no valid conclusion from what is here. I’ll have to search more. Thank you for your efforts anyways!

  18. Olivier says:

    @ Alex — Thank you for taking the time to provide constructive criticism.

    A.) Studies control for a variety of things, including education. So the fact that you’re “intelligent” or go to a university is controlled for in the research.

    B.) I’m of Haitian decent. I’m unsure what you mean by devout Haitian. Haitian is not a religion.

    C.) You missed the point of the article. This article, and the site for that matter, is not to make people “decide” to wait until marriage. The goal of this article was to invite you into the mind of an atheist who decided to wait until marriage, and the reason why it’s such a strong article is because an atheist practicing abstinence is an anomaly to many.

    Check out the “About Us” page. We provide encouragement to those who have already decided. Sure, sometimes a “fringe benefit” may be that we present abstinence as a realistic choice, and inform people of its benefits, but that’s not the primary goal of this site.

    D.) While I certainly respect your opinion concerning how Americans treat sex, I can’t help but view it as flawed. I agree that it is dangerous to be “obsessed” with anything, but look at what you’ve written.

    Just think about it, you’ve compared sex to drinking alcohol. IMHO sex is more than that. It’s a physical, emotional, and spiritual union… where you give yourself to someone. Whether or not people wait till marriage, it might be a lot more beneficial to society/culture if people took sex a lot more seriously.

    Thank you for your time.

  19. Alex says:

    @ Oliver
    You’re very welcome :)

    A) I know, and I am aware of that. I do not know the specifics of how the study chose their sample or how well their conclusions represent the population as a whole vs one of two extremes of very well educated (which I am not) versus not educated (which I am even less). Would the ratio shift in any significant direction if such a study were made exclusively for one of these groups? I do not know. If I were to rate this point, I’d say about 60/40 for me, so far from not being convinced at all, I’m not totally sold either.

    B) Pardon me, what I meant to say is that her family is Haitian, while mine is of European descent, and her mother is devout (attending the Roman Catholic church from 2 to 4 times a week). I did not mean to imply anything between coming from Haiti and being religious.

    C) I did not take this article as one purposefully trying to change my mind on whether or not to wait, but that is what I am trying to do. I am trying to see which way I should go. Is there any valid reason in waiting, and if not should we become as intimate as we both wish to be, or would such an intimacy degrade our relationship and ruin the love we feel for one another? I am trying to see what from your experience also applies to me in the hopes of helping me make a better decision.

    D) I don’t make distinctions based on what nationality a person is and draw conclusions on how they view sex. However, it does seem to be a trend (especially in the very conservative south of the States) that some groups of people are more obsessed about sex than the rest of the world seems to be. I cannot apply this to any individual in particular without meeting them first and assessing if they follow the perceived trend or not.

    I agree that sex is more than drinking alcohol. However, I disagree with the view that sex is ultimately a sacrosanct experience over which religion should have control. I do not believe in the soul, am I correct in assuming you don’t either and by spiritual experience, you mean something that is more than simply physical and emotional? If so, I would agree with you. However, I disagree that people should take sexuality more seriously than they already do. I disagree that what needs to be changes is the intensity with which we regard sex, instead of the way which we think about it.

    Some people do take sex too lightly, and do it as often and with however many people they feel like it. Instead of taking sex more seriously, should we not teach them to have sex more respectfully, both of themselves and of others?
    On the other hand, many are absolutely obsessed about remaining pure until wedding, and are unable to consider a non-virgin in any other way than a dirty person who’s been promiscuous with god knows how many people. That is not good either. Instead, should we not teach them to respect the choices the other person has made with his/her sexuality, just as that other person should respect the virgin’s choice?

    No problem at all, and thank you for the quick reply!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Rebellion! >=D

  21. noelle says:

    really awesome article — i agree with every single reason.
    i just hope this works out…emotionally, it’s not a struggle for me. i’m not comfortable any other way, and i know this is what i want. i’m just a ridiculous, hopeless romantic who wants a true, pure love.

    i just hope it all works out…i feel like a non-religious waiter guy is already too much to hope for, without adding a compatible personality to to his specs. but i know that if i marry a non-waiter it’s going to bloody my dreams, and i’ll always prefer my fantasies to that man. here’s to hoping that at 18, my chances are still somewhat real.

  22. M says:

    @ EM,

    I’m 24 and I’m an atheist. I’ve recently decided to wait until marriage before I have sex again for personal reasons (I’m not a virgin). Don’t give up hope or give up and marry a religious girl if that is not what you want. There are atheist girls out there like myself who have decided to wait. And thank you for your post – I was worried that there were no atheist guys out there who would wait, but now at least I know there are some.

  23. Leo says:

    Hey M!

    I’m really glad you decided to post. What made you decide to wait? I’m always interested in hearing from like-minded individuals.

  24. ChaChelleChi says:

    #3 and #5 are more than enough reasons to make me wait for that one person I should give myself to…. good read!

  25. Alice says:

    I made this personal decision a few years ago, and out of curiousity, I Googled to wonder if other atheists did too. This page came up. I’m happy to know that I’m not alone in deciding this, haha!

    I guess I decided to wait until marriage because I believe sex is meaningless if it’s not with a person that you love and care deeply about, and that a lot of young people my own age don’t place enough importance on meaningful relationships. (Not saying everybody, of course, but priorities are different for the majority of young people.)

    So, I suppose I personally want to wait because I don’t want to give myself to somebody until I’m completely and utterly sure that I’ll (Probably) spend the rest of my life with him/her. (And even that is pretty unrealistic, with the increasing rates of divorce and all. I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic.)

  26. Azara says:

    I too made this decision without the thought of religion in my mind. But I didn’t know if anyone else made this decision without religion as a factor. When I made my decision, many of these reasons were the reasons I had. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  27. Kelley says:

    Nice article. I definitely would not lower your standards or be made to feel too specific or guilty for having a strong list of qualities than you want in your future life partner. You are marrying them or committing to them for many, many years. Why set yourself up for disappointment?

    I truly believe if you are waiting then already you are a deep thinker and take relationships seriously, to a certain degree, so why not do something properly.

    While some people fall in love with a man or woman with a past and learn to accept it, I do not share that moral or sentiment. To each their own… but you better believe that I have not spent my entire life waiting, preparing, and working hard to fall in love with someone who “messed up” or has a past.

    If you are atheist and can’t stand religious people… open your mind and heart to marrying another atheist. Move to another continent if you have to. Do whatever it takes to make your life long dream come true. It all comes down to how much you want something. Do you want children? Do you ladies want a husband and father to your children that really didn’t have his stuff together from the get go? I don’t. I’m sure this may come off all or nothing but it’s really not too much to ask. The media has been shoving b.s. down our throats for far too long about what is normal and acceptable.

    You can have it all. If you want someone who is totally pure and totally gorgeous (whatever your version of that may be), believe you will eventually receive that and you will.

    The whole point is you wouldn’t want something so much if there wasn’t a good innate reason for it.

    I have many friends who share none of my morals and that is fine, but there is a definite line drawn and a lack of intimacy. I can’t tell you how many people told me I’d never find what I want… they were wrong.

    Love to you all!

  28. Kelley says:

    p.s. I just want to add a little side note… the whole point of what I wrote is that we all have personal decisions to make… even if you believe in pre-destiny or fate, etc. it is still up to you to decide what you will and will not tolerate.

    You do get what you settle for or are “okay” with. Many people are negatively influenced by the media and others. You have a right to be fulfilled and safe in the most powerful relationship of all (as an intimate couple).

    Most people will tell you you are too specific or uptight because they don’t have integrity or the strength to wait. We are literally not all made for the same life path, and that is okay. But since when did it become okay for the weak ones (who are less evolved and intelligent in my book- call me self indulgent but I keep it real) to bring down the strong ones? Us virgins have to keep quiet way too much. It is a personal choice but there needs to be way more attention in the mainstream media about this. God willing the world will hear my true love’s and my story someday.

  29. r.t. says:

    Hey Leo, thank you for this post.I am a person that does believe in God but when people say they wait because you will go to hell and the Bible says so I feel it is just ignorant because they are not using their own judgment to make their own choices. I have had sex before but I have recently made a guy friend that has inspired me to wait and this article basically gave me my is not easy, my old therapist was even against me waiting! But I feel that out isthe best voice.thank you again :)

  30. Waiting says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I’m 19, in college and I’ve never had a boyfriend and I’ve always figured I’d wait until marriage to have sex… not because of some religious thing people keep throwing at me (I still don’t get why Jesus would care if you drink or do it…) but because I think it’s just common sense! I don’t want to get intimate with someone and just have them leave, or feel like the entire dynamic of a relationship will change because of it. But there have always been so many questions… what if I never find the right guy? What if I find someone who’s really amazing, and he doesn’t understand? How much do I compromise? My parents were on the older side when they had me, and I’m their only child. I don’t want to end up like that, waiting until I’m in my late 30s or 40s to finally have a family, or have sex. And what if you’re so attracted to someone waiting seems impossible? I wouldn’t want to rush and get married too fast. And it’s so hard to find someone who has a similar ideology to you… non-religious, liberal, and respectfully waiting. I have such strong beliefs in other areas I don’t know which beliefs will win over if I find someone who only has half of the package. But anyways, thank you so much for writing this because it’s given me hope that some guys (who aren’t super religious) ARE waiting until they find the right girl. You’ve helped strengthen my resolve.

  31. Tricia says:

    I’m an agnostic gi, 17. I want to wait until marriage. This World is getting crazier, most religious people are not waiting anymore, I’m glad I found people that think like me… It’s rare.

  32. English Rose says:

    I’m 22, agnostic and waiting until marriage. I’m quite a liberal, “live and let live” sort of person, but personally I view sex as a sacred expression of love, desire and passion, something to share with someone you love, trust, respect and care about and feel totally comfortable with. I chose to wait mainly because I have no real desire to sleep with men I don’t know or care anything about. I can’t imagine doing something so intimate with someone I don’t view as good enough to be my husband. Sure I have fantasies about hot men I don’t know, but my sexual urges are more fueled by how I feel about a man’s personality rather than just looks. In my job (I’m an actor, model and dancer) I meet truck loads of really hot guys, but it’s only when I get to know a guy and really like him that it becomes harder to wait. I think the best sex would be with someone that I not only love and want to spend my life with, but someone who I know respects me and knows me as a person. That way I can feel truly comforable to express myself sexually with that person and not feel any need to hold back or surpress myself out of fear of being judged or thought of as ‘too freaky’, not to mention I won’t need to worry that the guy will lose interest after he gets what he wants and if I fall pregnant at least I’ll be in a stable position. A lot of people argue that if you don’t have sex first, how will you know you’re sexually compatible but the best way around that is to talk openly with your BF/GF about your likes and dislikes, what turns you on, what you would/wouldn’t be into, things you’d like to try, your fantasies etc. You can find out a lot that way. It’s up to the individual when they want to have sex and with whom, but I just wish people would respect my decision without deciding that just because I’m not religious, that must mean I’m keeping my virginity because I’m either a closet lesbian, afraid of men, not interest in sex, was abused as a child, repressed, pressured to stay pure by “Bible freak” parents, or my all time personal favourite: There’s something wrong with my vagina!

  33. Jen says:

    Great article. I’m thinking about becoming an agnostic or atheist sometime in the near future. I always wondered if atheists had their own set of morals. Now, I know that some do. Of course, it always depends on the person. I do feel that sex shouldn’t just happen between anyone. It should be with someone you really feel special about. I hope that if I do have it’s with someone I really care about and vice versa. And if I do get pregnant, I hope that the man will have enough courage to marry me.

  34. torn says:

    Okay, well i am religious, but only mildly so, so do not mistake me as a “bible freak”. Howevr, I am dating a very atheist guy (the whole ‘sweetie, youre worshiping a zombie…’ Type). see, for me I want to wait for marriage, but he is not too keen on it. for me, the decision to wait for marriage is not based on my religion, I honestly just want to save myself for my husband, for many of the reasons you have mentioned above. we already do many physical actions, search us kissing, hugging, and oral. I suppose that by already doing these actions I might be considered a “goner” by some of you. for me I see these as a sign of love. however, my boyfriend believes that we are ready to have sex, even though I insist upon waiting. honestly, I do love him;however, he thinks waiting is a silly idea. he believes that we already love each other enough to be mature enough for sex. it is not that I do not love him, I would just prefer to wait until marriage. yet I cannot convince him that this is the right thing to do. I know, I know, I should not allow a boy to pressure me into having sex, and he is not. we love each other very much, but I am Not sure if I can continue to date a guy who does not respect my boundaries

  35. torn says:

    Okay, well i am religious, but only mildly so, so do not mistake me as a “bible freak”. Howevr, I am dating a very atheist guy (the whole ‘sweetie, youre worshiping a zombie…’ Type). see, for me I want to wait for marriage, but he is not too keen on it. for me, the decision to wait for marriage is not based on my religion, I honestly just want to save myself for my husband, for many of the reasons you have mentioned above. we already do many physical actions, search us kissing, hugging, and oral. I suppose that by already doing these actions I might be considered a “goner” by some of you. for me I see these as a sign of love. however, my boyfriend believes that we are ready to have sex, even though I insist upon waiting. honestly, I do love him;however, he thinks waiting is a silly idea. he believes that we already love each other enough to be mature enough for sex. it is not that I do not love him, I would just prefer to wait until marriage. yet I cannot convince him that this is the right thing to do. I know, I know, I should not allow a boy to pressure me into having sex, and he is not. we love each other very much, but I am Not sure if I can continue to date a guy who does not respect my boundaries. please give me your opinion on what I should do :/

  36. torn says:

    sorry for posting that twice. I suppose that is what happens when one tries to comment with a slow phone…

  37. BM says:

    Torn, look at it from his opinion. Maybe he wants to marry you also. But what you are saying is that you do not trust him enough to be your husband. He is just a boyfriend to you. Is he someone you would marry? In his head he might think that you do not think so since you are unwilling to treat him like you are married. What is the most meaningful part of a marriage? Devoting yourself to someone you trust? Or the document and ring?

    He may want to further the relationship and bond with you. But you are saying you do not trust him and he is not husband material. It must be painful for him.

  38. Darteous says:

    Love the article and thread,I know about half dozen abstinence believers but their all overly religious. Its cool to see a few atheist abstinent believers all in one place. I’m with you on quite a bit there kelley, I haven’t spent so much of my youth waiting to be with someone who hasn’t. If both sides don’t wait it seems so pointless to me, thats what bothers me about a large portion of the religious community, most of them don’t care if their lover waits too. Though I’ve been more intimate than I should have with someone I’ve had no sex. It does become pretty tough after getting close to someone for close to a year. And Leo that linked article was ridiculous its basically instructing you on how to deal with yourself because your settling for less than you desire. Where is the logic of waiting if they don’t too? Best of Luck to all in their Aspirations

  39. Z234 says:

    Thank you so much! So glad to find like-minded people out there.

  40. Aychetee says:

    Fantastic article and very insightful points. As a non atheist (but non religious) person I found this article very helpful in not only confirming my own moralities and thoughts, but also as an great argument for my non waiting friends, and more importantly, boyfriend.
    Thank you, I enjoyed reading very much!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Im Mormon and I comety agree with this. Its common sense to wait till marriage. God had very little reason why I chose to wait. This list is exact.

  42. Dorothy Jane says:

    Love this article, I personally would like to see more focus on communication and less on sex in the world. Unfortunately most people I meet/see seem to focus on sexabove anything else :(

  43. Dawkins says:

    50 bucks says this is written by some morbidly obese ogre that needs an excuse for not getting fucked!

  44. Mike says:

    @Dawkins – You might enjoy myth #1 on the Top 5 Myths about People Who Wait Until Marriage. Also, I’m one of the few people on this site who knows what the author of this article (Leo) looks like. To the extent that I can judge such things, he’s a good looking guy. Definitely not morbidly obese.

    So…yeah…I’m going to need you to PayPal me that $50.

  45. Jegsy Scarr says:

    Yeah, and I’m another one who’s seen the writer of the article. And I can confirm that he is pretty darn hot…


  46. Madz says:

    This article and comments gave me a lot of hope. I’m 27 male and an atheist. I’m a virgin too and is waiting for that 1 true love that I will spend the rest of my life with. I thought I was the only atheist out there who was abstinent. Thanks for giving me hope.

  47. Tabby says:

    I think you’ll find that the “rebellion” reason is why people despise both religious people and people who act like religious people. Contempt breeds contempt. You want to “smirk” at people who look like “rabbits in heat,” and that in turn makes people want to smack that smirk off your face. At that point you don’t have a personal ideal, you’re disrespecting others– others who feel they have a heathy relationship with their bodies and sexuality and don’t attach some grave meaning to a pleasurable act. As someone who did have sex before marriage but got married very young, even that was excrutiating because there comes a time when you realize that sex is interesting and fantastic and different with each person. If you deprive yourself of having more than one person for 50-70 years you are missing a huge part of the human experience. Frankly, as I’ve had confirmed by many others who have waited, you’re also depriving yourself, especially as a woman, of learning whether you’re, well, a good “fit.”

  48. Zain says:

    Atheist 18 and “will” make it till marriage, hopefully my girl will also be a virgin.

  49. Dec2076 says:

    You people are morons. You’re missing out in a wonderful thing that life has given us, and for what? Those weren’t “reasons”…they were vague, repetitive responses that you have come up with because you’re too scared to get it on. What do you say to the people that “waited” and died in a car crash at age 25? What an absolute waste. That person missed out because why? There simply isn’t a good enough reason. Or like my brother…who decided to “wait”, but was paralyzed when he was 26. Now all he has is regret. For what? You people baffle me. At least religious people have a more legitimate reason. You have spewed nothing but garbage. Enjoy your life alone, or with another bumbling idiot who doesn’t have a clue. Rebel…please…you’re a scared little bitch.

  50. Health says:

    Incurable STD’s like HPV and HSV are why a rational atheist would not have sex before marriage.

  51. Lee says:

    Personally, I’m a pretty devoted United Methodist. Because logic and experience are just as important to us as scripture and tradition, the official UM stance on pre-marital sex (that you shoulddddd wait until marriage) plays only a small role in my decision to wait (especially considering that God loves us and isn’t gonna send us to hell if we rebel a little bit :) ) Also, note that I said “devoted” and not “devout” so while I tend to be enthusiastic about my church, religion isn’t a gigantic deal to me. I’d be just as unhappy marrying a super conservative religious person, as I would be marrying a super hardcore atheist.

    Anyway, to make a long story short, given my own preferences, I like using non-religious reasons to support my choices. Thank you for this article. It will make my decision to wait a lot more satisfying to defend.

  52. AP says:

    This is amazing, I actually wanted to cry with joy when I saw that there are men out there that are non-religious and want to wait till marraige! Personally im not athiest, or particularly religious, just brought up in a liberal household that believe theres something but not a major god. (much more nature based spiritual beliefs) But I have chosen to wait for marraige for just penetrative sex, has anyone else decided on this also? For me I loved thevidealistic and poetry reasons :) the respect also but you should respect the person your with regardless of whether they’ve had sex or not. (I was with a guy that made me “confess” my sexual experiences- alot of which were unpleasant for me- and then judged me on them and i dont think anyone should have go through that!!

  53. AP says:

    oh and i think its incredibly unkind to assume people that want to wait are ugly!! Im definitely an unusual character but both men and women have told me im quite good looking! so there 😛 !!

  54. K says:

    Thanks for this post. I am glad I am not the only one who thinks like this. I always thought I was considered to be old fashioned. Well, that’s what people have always called me. They are quick to assume to things when I don’t sleep around with guys. It’s either I am religious or gay. People can be so judgemental. You don’t have to have to be religious to have morals. I know religious people who have had sex before marriage. Each to their own I guess. But for me personally, I choose not to have sex before marriage for various reasons. I want to let the gentleman that I love and care so dearly to know that I am committed to them and they are my everything. I am not one for wanting short term relationships. I want my first boyfriend to be my last. Sex shouldn’t play a main part in the relationship before marriage. It is so much more than that. It’s letting that special someone know that you care about them and love them by knowing when they need their space when they are stressed by work and doing things together like going out for dinner, watching a movie, going fruit picking, going for bush hikes, and even doing simple household chores like working in the garden together, helping when his fixing your car (I like to think guys think that there is nothing cuter than a girl who accidentally gets car grease on her face, a girl who is with a guy that appreciates a girl that is not superficial and that is not afraid to get dirt on their face or flour in her hair while you and her make a pizza dough for your Saturday pizza and dvd night). It’s these things that will continue onto married life when living together and that you can see each other growing old together. Sex can wait till after marriage.

  55. D.Rae says:

    I’m far from an atheist,(due not to religion, but by my own experiences)but I love this! Instead of the bs home-grown dose of guilt and shame at an entirely natural act, this post uses logic. Logic, and not religion, is my reason for waiting.

  56. Paul says:

    “Respect”. You get it! I don’t know why it seems like such a tricky, abstract concept. You put it into words so frickin’ well. That’s the reason I’m waiting. I just hope that my wife has waited for me, or at least doesn’t have enough (or the kind of) experience to ruin that union. It should be all-giving.

    Thanks for being so eloquent.

  57. Red says:

    Good for you guys for being open-minded about a very beautiful concept. This shows a lot of respect for people’s bodies, and is a wonderful move toward gender-equality. It’s sad, because when you do the math, what ends up happening in our culture is a group of women will “sacrifice” their bodies and become unmarriageable, so that society’s men can gain “experience.” The men end-up settling down with women who have been less-active than they are. When you wait until marriage, you’re taking action against this backwards way of doing things.

  58. LG says:

    While I respect your choice to wait (I am an atheist but I am not a member of this site), I feel like the title implies that all atheists wait until marriage to engage in sexual intercourse. It should be something more personal, like “Why I wait….”.

    I also don’t think your marriage success statistics add up. Can you back them up with a source please? Many unhappily married people do not divorce simply because of their religion. And how do they know they’re having better sex when they’ve never been with anyone else? How do you learn what you like with one partner? How do you know it’s your favorite movie if it’s the only one you’ve ever watched?

    A healthy self-image comes from your mind. Not whether or not you’re sexually active. If someone’s self esteem comes from sex, then they have other problems to worry about. For a lot of people, sex is about pleasure and pleasure only, with no strings attached. It’s natural and perfectly normal to want to have it. Married or not.

    Being non-religious is not “rebelling”. If it is to you, then I think you should rethink the reason you feel the way you do. Having sex is not rebelling either, it’s a natural thing that is perfectly normal. Not everyone is humping each other in the club, as you describe.

    I’m not here to promote promiscuity, but I personally believe that you learn much more about yourself when you experiment safely and when ready. I found your article to be a bit condescending (is this entire website like this?) and the title alone an insult toward atheists as a whole.

  59. Google@MissChristiLuv says:

    Interesting lol…

  60. Bob says:

    if i waited until i got married i’d be as shitty a lover as everyone else who waited.

    boring world!

    its just sex, people!

    if you don’t practice it, you suck at it.

  61. Jegsy Scarr says:

    @Bob: But can’t you practice sex once you’re married instead? Wouldn’t that be a better idea, since you’re practising with the person who you love most in the world and who isn’t going to judge you at all?

    Also, your view of what being a “lover” means is kind of depressing. You’re reducing it to just having sex. Most would agree that a lover is someone who is willing to sacrifice anything for their beloved, and for the good of their beloved would walk trough fire. Not just someone who has sex.


  62. sine8181 says:

    Firstly, COMPLETELY agree with with what Jegsy Starr above has said!
    Further, I know it’s a religious taboo so I don’t know about religious people but the non-religious can definitely masturbate & find out a thing or two about themselves so they are at least in a position to instruct their spouse on the wedding-night; and if both partners believe in communication & reciprocation then sex should be pretty good for both. Besides, penis & clitoris are, in essence, the same thing so if you know one then you’d have a little bit of an idea about how to work the other.

    And yeah, great article. I’m 27yo male, agnostic-atheist waiter who’s done NOTHING so far because I believe that sex something very personal that is only to be shared with someone you love & have committed yourself to be with for the rest of your life.

    It’s great that religious people at least a have pool to choose from & know where to find such people but when one is non-religious & waiting for true love, it’s WORSE than trying to find a needle in a haystack. It’s really depressing how difficult it is to locate someone like that. I always thought online would be the best option as you get SOME information upfront about people but so far the only website I’ve found, which is somewhat useful for people like us to locate similar individuals is okcupid. They have clear questions about virginity, waiting till marriage, etc. Does anybody else know other websites where you can get such information upfront? You know, it’s not really feasible to go around asking girls if they are a virgin waiting till marriage LOL

    As far as broadening our criteria is concerned, like a couple of others above have said, if waiting is something that matters to you, then I don’t see the point in settling for someone who hasn’t.
    I am open-minded about being with a girl who’s a non-practising theist, if the rest of our important values match.

    I know it seems a little too desperate, (maybe I am LOL but it’s so difficult to find non-religious waiters) so if there are any non-religious girls out there then you can find me on okcupid as “sine8181″. If nothing else, we could become friends for having something so rare & unique in common.

  63. Matt says:

    I think that waiting is intelligent reasoned approach to this issue. I am glad I stumbled upon this viewpoint from so many atheist/agnostics. I am well beyond the twenty something crowd but I enjoyed reading the article because I feel much more at ease knowing that there are atheists out there that would respect my religious point of view because of sound reasoning. There is a talk by Janet Smith that has transformed my thinking about this issue. The only way this talk could had changed my mindset earlier in life is if it were a college credit or if I had to debate on the subject. Then and only then would I actually had to do some research on divorce and understand what can lead to promiscuity. I know this talk may make some roll their eyes but if you bare through it and understand what she is saying it actually might start to make sense. It’s called Contraception Why Not? by Janet Smith.

  64. C says:

    Thank you for this. Coming from a woman in her thirties who has waited, still waiting in a culture where so many people make fun of people who are not sexually active, calling us freaks etc, this is a breath of fresh air. I am religious but I’m glad to find those without faith thinking along the same lines. It’s not that I don’t want sex. I do. And I have made out with a couple of boyfriends enough to know I am pretty healthy in that regard. I’m glad I didn’t “go all the way” with them, though, because both ended up being selfish and promiscuous. I just want sex under circumstances where I can trust my partner unconditionally and know that we both have the same goal of growing old together. That he wants me and respects me enough to marry me in order to have that intimacy. I want the ideal. And despite the common refrain in popular culture mocking virgins, I don’t think there is anything stupid about that.

  65. Yal says:

    As a believer I want to wait, but it’s not solely bc I believe in God. God has his reasons for telling us to wait and they’re most def logical. God doesn’t tell us to wait just bc. These reasons are in fact a few of the reasons God tells us to wait.

  66. ww says:

    How will you ever know? Once you’re married, then you’re stuck, right? I’m going to find out.

  67. […] 7 Reasons Why Atheists Wait Until Marriage … – 7 Reasons Why Atheists Wait Until Marriage August 14th, 2011 by Leo. Why on earth would an atheist ever choose to wait until they were married to engage in the …… […]

  68. Anonymous says:

    Thanks to the corrupting influence of feminism on the modern woman, most atheist men who want to wait will have to marry a religious woman (which is potentially a problem for an atheist), marry a teenager (similarly, potentially a problem) or else never marry at all (obviously a problem).

  69. Blek says:

    Hiya shipmate! I am 28 and waiting.

    The society always said sex isn’t a big deal.

    Yeah, it is also isn’t a big deal for me, to the point that I don’t find it so hard for someone, like me for example, to wait. It is not a big deal, waiting itself is not a big deal then.

    Yet, the society laugh at me.

    I smell a stench called hypocricy…

  70. NW says:

    @Anonymous You are SO right. As a woman, I completely agree about the influence of feminism on the modern woman…

  71. Patty says:

    I’m not super religious. I believe there’s a god, there must be a master mind behind the beautiful universe in which we live.
    Aside from beleiving there’s a god. I have no church affiliation, nor do I want to have one. I made the same choice to wait, for the logical reason. And because of idealism, I like to think sex its an act they bring two people closer together, it’s the ultimate expression of love, and it would be nice to experience that with one single man. In addition, what I gathered from my gf’s I don’t want to be comparing my ex-boyfriends genitalia to my current one. And I wouldnt certainly be the subject of discussion among a group of male friends… So yes, I think there’s many people like us, we are hard to find, but we exist.

  72. Bryan says:

    I’m choosing to wait because I’m a Christian. First of all, y’all keep saying that there’s plenty of nonreligious girls waiting for marriage but I would love to meet one reguardless of the reason. The only person my age that is waiting is not a Christian and she told me she just wants to be sure she gives her virginity to the man she’s spending the rest of her life with. Other than her, who I just met, I haven’t met anyone waiting. To be honest I might have sex outside of marriage if it wasn’t a sin. Maybe that’s just how I feel because I’m only sixteen and that’s the age for the most sexual excitement in men as they grow up. I understand God’s reasons for protecting us from fornicating but like I said I don’t know what I’d do.

  73. LucieBear says:

    Thank you for this marvelous post!
    I’m 31 (female) and still waiting. I’ve never had a real bf and want a man with my morals and commitment.

    I chose to keep myself for my husband but didn’t know it’d take so long for me to meet a real gentlemen.

    Purity proves a person values him/herself and society, has patience, is logical, thinks ahead, has self-control and commitment, and is strong!!

    People these days don’t have love because they don’t create it… virgins like us have it because we create it with our patience, respect, and commitment; we know loving a spouse begins before we meet him/her.

    I also agree that I don’t need to forgive a fornicator of his past bc he denied me with his past actions!!! Don’t lower your expectations!! Why should we end up with people who were the type from which we were running away because all they wanted was to get in our pants?-now that they’re ready to settle down and have changed, some want a virgin or a true lady/gentlemen but they haven’t worked for us and our love! IF a virgin chooses to marry a non-virgin, it’s 100% up to the virgin! All non-virgins should know they aren’t worthy of a “clean” person.

    How can I expet a former fornicator even if he just had sex with 2 people to value me and my purity if he obviously couldn’t even value his oen?!… Obviously, he didn’t prove he thought about me, wanted me, and waited for me so I defintitly don’t want him!!

    People with purity have treasure and can seek and obtain their desire of a pure spouse because WE ARE OUR DESIRE!! Our standards aren’t “high”.. to us they are normal because we are our standards!!! Fornicators have difficulty understanding this because they lack love (patience, genorisity, commitment, self-lessness, long-suffering..etc characteristics that we possess and motivate/help us to wait).

    I believe actions such as long-term purity and not religious labels are proof of a good heart!! ♡♡♡

    I neither party, smoke, drink, nor date… morals are important and unfortunately, immorality reigns and morality is scarce; however, we must strive and be strong… don’t copy the masses! They can’t see what we see… it’s the truth so please don’t be dismayed and stay pure for your spouse!! :)) ♡♡♡

    Btw, purity = no type of sex (hearing non-virgins say they are virgins?!-they’re lying to themselves and other people… shameful!)

    I hope my fellow long-term virgins (late 20s+) meet their spouses soon!! :)) We have endured long enough and already have characteristics to maintain a healthy and long-lasting marriage. :))

  74. I agree- and I'm Catholic says:

    I was hoping to find someone on the web that had non-religious views for saving sex for marriage! I’m frustrated that some of my Catholic friends are making excuses for friends that are living together before fully committing their lives to each other. I think it’s very unwise. Like you said, I want what is best for them– and I’ve seen people who I thought were good Catholics get divorced because they made unwise choices when they got engaged…

    Thank you for this dialogue seeking truth (ie #1) and not treating virginity that one suddenly realizes they have in puberty. I can’t imagine how many young men and women spend their time, energy, and emotions on having sex instead of working to become better people, having fun with friends, etc.

    What I struggle to articulate is how to approach the topic with people who seem to be happy, yet aren’t married. I do believe that the closer a relationship is to a life-long commitment (though not calling it marriage), the more likely the couple will be.

  75. Not a moron says:

    The amount of misogyny and Madonna whore complex in this post is ridiculous

  76. Jegsy Scarr says:

    @Not a moron: Really? Like what?

  77. making wise choices says:

    I think it’s refreshing to see that non religious people also decide to wait. Sex is something that is incredibly trivialized nowadays, and people treat it as just something you do when you have a boy/girlfriend, not depending on love. Sex can be less meaningful, sometimes even mechanical or empty without depth of feeling and commitment. Yes, there may be attraction and sex can be satisfying but many times only on the physical level, not on that deep emotional level that so many of us wish for. However, when people elevate it to that amazing act that can happen between 2 people that are crazy about each other – and if they are, they are very likely married or going to get married, than the kind rare earth shattering sex is very likely. I would prefer one amazing experience with that one person, that 20 Ok ones with 20 people.

  78. Isabela says:

    Love the article!

    I am an agnostic and waiting until marriage :)

  79. Juliette says:

    Wow and I thought I was the only one. I believe there is a god and I suppose that got me to think about the whole abstinence thing but I am not a religious person.
    It just seems like a smart thing to do as well as being a beautiful, poetic sentiment.
    Call me crazy but I only want to be with one man if I can help it.

    Unfortunately in this day and age it seems like your’e an alien if you choose this and it’s almost un-heard of for someone outside of religious reasoning to do so.
    But I’d still rather do what makes me happy and makes my life feel more meaningful and if other people think it’s strange…who cares.
    I don’t want to make decisions based on others.
    Truly, without religious bias, this seems like a very logical, beautiful and smart thing to do <3

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