Saturday, July 20

Redefining bounds of sex, love

Jonathan Lopez is a sophomore majoring in
geography/environ-mental studies.

I am writing in response to Jeanene Harlick’s article on
premarital sex (Oct. 3, "Sex before marriage: Why we should wait").
I want to make it clear that I am not in any way knocking those who
wish to save themselves for marriage. However, I find fault and
take offense to many of Harlick’s arguments for the abolition of
pre-marital sex.

Harlick, I agree with you wholeheartedly in the beginning of
your column when you discussed the sacredness of making love and
your disdain for those who take sex lightly. However, you lost me
when you went off the deep end and said that, "If you have sex
before marriage, sex no longer has any special significance. It is
just another physical activity." You are saying that if I have sex
with someone I truly love and care about, but not my wife, when I
do get married the act of making love will have been forever
cheapened into "just another physical activity." I find that line
of thinking appalling.

Who are you to make that determination? You are not a factor in
my relationship with my wife. How in the world can you know that
our lovemaking does not have all the significance and meaning it
should – and more? It is true that the first time having sex has a
special meaning for everyone, but that does not diminish or lessen
the significance of making love when it is done with someone else
later in life. What if, for the sake of argument, I did abstain
until marriage and I then got divorced, or my wife died. Are you
really trying to tell me that if I should meet someone else, when
we make love it will be just another physical activity without any

In a monogamous relationship, when two people are deeply and
seriously in love, making love is still the ultimate symbol of how
the two people feel about one another. The act of making love is
not cheapened just because I may have had another serious
relationship in my life and sex was involved. It would be
cheapened, however, if I was not loyal and had sex with other women
while I was in that relationship.

In addition, you stated that if one participates in pre-marital
sex it "makes it harder to form a special bond with your spouse."
Well, as far as I’m concerned, if you are married, you should
already have that special bond. Making love is a symbol of that
bond – not a factor in forming it. Furthermore, I don’t believe you
have to be married to have that special bond, just in love and

What irks me most is your comment that "if you’ve done it with
different people in the past, what’s to prevent you from moving on
to another person like you’ve done before?" This argument may apply
to nymphomaniacs, those who believe in multiple partners or
one-night stands, but don’t be so hasty as to lump everyone who
believes in pre-marital sex together. How dare you question the
loyalty of someone just because they may have had sex with someone
in the past? Are you saying that the divorcee or widower will
forever be promiscuous, even if they remarry, on the grounds that
they have had sex before marrying their present spouse? Moreover,
just because I may have had sex in my last monogamous relationship
does not have any relevance or impact on my loyalty to whomever I
may fall in love with in the future. In my view, sex is a symbol of
loyalty to one another, not a sign that infidelity is near.

Harlick, your article does not seem so much as an article
against pre-marital sex as it does an article saying we are all
destined to be with only one person in this world; and we should
save ourselves for that person. However, if we should make a
mistake in choosing that person, all the intimacy and meaning of
making love is forever cheapened, and is now just a "physical
activity" to our new mate. I, for one, cannot see into the future
to find out who my perfect mate is, and will not sit silently by
while you try to diminish the deep significance many people who are
not married feel when they make love to their partners.

Jonathan Lopez is a sophomore majoring in
geography/environ-mental studies.

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