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We Haven't Had Sex Yet!

Updated: Apr 24, 2019

How to tell if you are sexually compatible if you are waiting to have sex until marriage

Q: My boyfriend and I are waiting to have sex until we are married, but I am curious about our sexual compatibility. How can we know without crossing our boundaries?


Others may disagree - especially within the therapeutic world - but I’ll give you my honest perspective. I think it is possible to get a glimpse of your sex life without having sex. It’s all in the special sauce.


  • Character: you and your partner have trust and respect for one another. You are comfortable being your full self with him/her, and you make room for them to do the same with you.

  • Communication: you are both willing to overcome pride and discomfort to talk about the more vulnerable things.

  • Attraction: HECK YES! Your physical appearance will change throughout life, but having some sort of drive for your partner (whether fueled by their glimmering eyes, the sexy way they walk, their natural scent, or their brilliant mind) is kind of (definitely) a big part of wanting to have sex with them

  • Movement: How do you move together? When you’re cuddling...when you are dancing together...when you’re playing Twister… what is that interaction like? Do you feel comfortable with them? Do your bodies naturally respond to one another’s flow?

  • Values: What you see as most important in a relationship aligns. (For example, if one of you would enjoy sex three times in a week and the other prefers only once, is that something that you are both flexible on or are you unwilling to budge for this partner?)

Attention Points:

  • Physical or sexual trauma: Past experiences can be stored within the body's implicit memory. Sometimes touch can trigger those things, and the body remembers by becoming rigid, recoiling, extremely anxious, or any other number of things. If you or your partner have a history of trauma, consider incorporating this into your pre-engagement counseling. Awareness helps begin the healing process!

  • Repressed sexuality: If you’ve been accustomed to burying or attempting to erase your sex drive for your entire life, it may take an adjustment to move into the more physical aspects of your relationship. Yes, you may be having a lot of fun making out right now and can’t imagine difficulty moving into full freedom… but the stop-start psychological conditioning can sometimes remain. It’s just something to be aware of; and something that can be overcome together.

  • Sexual orientation: Important conversation. Are you and your partner each other’s preferred sexual orientation partner? Have you heard of the Kinsey scale? Could be a good conversation-starter. Some couples do enter mixed-orientation marriages or relationships. Others may reconsider and seek more suitable partners.

  • Preferences: Whether because of pornography, past partners, or preconceived notions, you may have some expectations about what intercourse with your partner will look and feel like. Work that out in individual counseling and/or talk about it with your partner.

Sexual connection is important! It can be exciting, grounding, bonding, comforting, many incredibly appreciated things. And, also: sex isn't perfect. Life is full of expected and unexpected twists and turns: childbirth, medical emergencies, change in desire, hormone changes… You and your partner may have different intensities of desire, or you may be a bit off in your chemistry. You, as a couple, decide what can be worked through together - and what may be too important to risk losing. Talk openly and honestly about your negotiables and non-negotiables, and decide if you'd still like to commit to one another!


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