Debate: Should You Have Premarital Sex?

By Jake & Glenn 

"Is it okay to have sex before marriage?" This is a question everyone - Christian, Atheist, Farmer, Muslim, Jew, Hindi, Scientologist, Catholic/Pedophile - asks when sex finally becomes more than just fantasies you have while reading a JC Penny catalog. This debate is primarily for young people who are not yet married, but is relevant to anyone finding him/herself outside the sacred confines of marriage. The covenant of marriage is one of the most sacred we find in our day-to-day lives, with the possible exception of that between a Mormon man and his wives or a priest with the children he has raped and molested. Should sex - the most sacred act two people commit together - exist outside of the marital realm?

Jake: Out of the more moderate sins, I feel the most strongly about pre-marital sex. Making love is glorious and brings new life onto this grossly underpopulated planet. If you're having sex and it's not an attempt to bring a new life into this world then you are a sex criminal. I live in Michigan, and am a father of five great children. One is with Jesus and four are still here. So I'm happy that I can go on the internet and find out where all the sex criminals are and can tell my children not to go anywhere near their homes. I don't want them to think having sexual intercourse before is the cool thing to do. It most certainly is not. It's about as cool as Billy Crystal's stand-up special You Look Marvelous. The Catholic Church looks down on using birth control-- probably because condoms ruin love-making-- so I encourage my children to not use them. If they don't want HIV then they better not have sex until they're married. Marriage is the only known cure for AIDS.

Glenn: I appreciate Jake casually referencing the Catholic Church since their relationship to "facts" about pre-martial sex makes the American Sociopathic Association look like our famous Sojourner. The idea that people cannot have sex until marriage is incorrect for many reasons. The first and most powerful to me as a gay American is that some people do not even have the OPTION of marriage! It is like laying down a moral edict saying people should not be allowed on airplanes unless they can grow a tail. What would Jake say to a homosexual, bisexual or even asexual Americans who cannot get married? That they should just forget about ever having sex? That doesn't seem very fair and in fact rather counter intuitive. It is after all those who have been long time marriage participants that stop having sex. Unmarried people can't get enough.

Jake: Nobody is saying that pre-marital sex should be outlawed. I'm saying that it's immoral. In this post-Ryan White world. Humans should know better than to have unprotected pre-marital sex or get a blood transfusion. Obviously gay people can't get married, although it's not from a lack of trying. If you can't get married then you can't have pre-marital sex. You're trying to use smoke and mirrors to distract us from the true point: Christianity is against pre-marital sex somehow. If the religion that discusses God tells me that I shouldn't be making pre-marital love, then why would I go out and do it? It just doesn't make any sense. Even an atheist like Glenn has to be worried about going to hell, right?

Glenn: Not really. I'm more worried about the emotional degradation experienced by people who believe that it is wrong to have sex before marriage. If someone wanted to go around preaching morality that you shouldn't have sex until you "love" the person you're with, I'd be a lot less upset. In fact, I could even get on board with that being taught in schools as long as "love" was defined for what it truly is: the desire to have sex with someone. Dropping Ryan White is a pretty outrageous thing to do here since he contracted AIDS from having non-marital sex with another man. That was the only way to get AIDS in the 80s, as we all well know. My other big concern with this kind of morality is the kind of marriages it will lead to. If you've NEVER had sex with your partner before you get married, what happens if you two don't align physically? I don't mean that literally, as if someone's penis would be growing out of his back or a vagina growing out of her calf, but rather the intimate give and take needed to have a healthy sexual relationship. You can't tell that sometimes until making love and by the time you've married it's too late.

Jake: Maybe marriage should have a two week return policy, if a blender has one then why not? It's the ultimate compromise. Love and marriage are synonymous. You can't get married unless you're in love and you can't be in love unless you're married. A lot of what I know about love is from the song from the opening of Married with Children. That song also taught me a lot about horses, but that has no real baring on this debate.

I'm afraid of the America that we're going to hand over to our children. One where you are arrested for not having health insurance, where pharmaceutical companies are in charge of the water companies and everybody has STD's because pre-marital sex is a-okay according to rappers like Warren G and Nate Dogg. I'd rather hand them the America where Richard Nixon is president but only three weeks away from the onset of the Watergate scandal.

Glenn: Suffering through Richard Nixon's presidency is a lot like suffering through life before marriage without sex. College students at Kent State are murdered, inner cities are destroyed with riots and America finally lands on the moon. If pre-marital sex had been a part of the aforementioned historical events, no one would have gotten hurt and the video of the moon landing would have been more erotic than it already was. In America's overly sexual culture it is a natural response to encourage people to wait until marriage. But just because something is natural, like heterosexuality, doesn't mean it's right. We need to encourage non-married people to explore their sexual identities in a healthy, sustainable way and there is nothing healthy nor sustainable about marriage. I've never had sex but I have been married twice. There is no greater morality and certainly none that demands people wait until marriage to make love for the first time. Sex should be a gift to be shared whenever you feel the time is right - and that time is right now.


  1. This is one of favorite debates. Mention of Ryan White really makes anything great.

  2. married twice and never had sex? son, you're doing something wrong.

  3. Gr8 Debate! I'm with Nate Dogg & Warren G, on everything. "Marriage is the only known cure for AIDS." Is a protest sign that should be taken to a tea-party.