For the record, I was 15 … footnote that, please, with the added statistic that I have been with the same man since 16. And going strong.
Well, let me first say that I won’t lambaste the Cosmo girls, because the reality is they do call out the researchers of the notion by saying they don’t agree with the evidence.
“Sociology professors … found that women who first had sex before age 16 were more likely to get divorced than those who had waited till after turning 16,” says writer Zoe Ruderman.
“How much more likely? Of the female subjects who'd had intercourse at 15 or younger, 31 percent divorced within five years of marriage, and 47 percent split up within 10 years. While the women who had waited till at least 16 had divorce rate of 15 percent at five years, and 27 percent at 10 years.
The lead researcher offered one potential explanation: ‘[It's possible] the women who had sex as adolescents were predisposed to divorce. The attitudes that made them feel OK about having sex as teens may have also influenced the outcome of their marriage.’ Hmm, we're not totally sold on that theory, professor.”
While divorce is extremely prevalent these days, I doubt it is tied to the age at which a woman lost her virginity. I’m certainly not a trained sociologist, but I do feel confident in saying that divorce is a lot more prevalent today because it is too damn easy.
We live in a very disposable society, and the idea that we can toss aside relationships as easily as old underwear is a very common notion. What isn’t as obvious – or celebrated – is the hard work – in the bedroom and out – required to keep a relationship together.
We’re a selfish bunch. I listen to my bitter coworkers – male and female – carry on about how their spouses are more like roommates than lovers. Sometimes I think I should ask what it is they do to keep the flame alive, then I see that they really don’t want to put forth the effort themselves, they just want to be treated to the attention. It’s a disturbing concept.
It’s the same when I listen to some of them go on about sex – and lack of it. They go on about how their partners never seem to want to get busy, and they must be cheating, and “he hides his Internet stuff”, and I think, “Did it ever occur to you that your attitude may be what puts them off?”
Hell, I know in my house we’re both guilty of it on occasion. And there are times when solo sex is one of the most wonderful moments you can share with yourself. But it isn’t a predictor of bigger issues. It’s a predictor of “damn, I’m horny and need to get off right now.” I do it (often); my husband does it (I know you do!)
My husband and I have been together, as a couple, for 21 years this summer. This year was our 17th wedding anniversary. What stuns me is when people I know say “Wow!” when they hear those numbers. And I know they’re not yanking my chain about being a child bride, etc.
We had our dark days. We had days when we weren’t sure if the other would come home that night. But, lucky for each of us, even in those dark moments, there was greater reward in the sacrifice to work through it than the quitting of walking away.
Our lives are far from perfect … but if you want to ask my husband for his input, you’ll find him in the chair in the corner, the guy with the goofy grin on his face like a teenage boy. He looks that way because we spent the commute home Friday night texting each other very dirty messages about oral sex. Then I made sure he would think fondly of the evening until next Friday night – and pretty much nothing else!
You sociologists out there should study that perspective: how oral sex can prevent relationships from falling apart. As those of who of us who enjoy the act say, it’s hard to argue with your mouth full!