I'm an ex-Christian agnostic non-virgin girl who recently started seeing a Muslim guy who is a virgin. I like him a lot—he's smart, funny, treats me well, and is a lot more open-minded than I've come to expect from religious people (he sees no problem with gay marriage, un-ironically describes girls who sleep with a lot of people as "liberated," etc). But of course, there is one thing: the most recent time he came over, we'd been rolling around naked for a while when I suggested getting a condom. There was a long awkward pause, some stuttering, and he told me he was planning on saving sex for marriage (although apparently everything "up to that point" is fine).

I could have guessed, but the whole being-naked-in-bed-already sort of through me off. Still, I like this guy a lot. And it's not a big deal for me to not be having sex with somebody I've only been seeing for a couple of weeks—but the everything-but-penetrative-sex thing just seems silly to me, as well as pretty unrealistic. And he's not a silly person or one who never changes his mind—in the six months or so since I've known him, he started drinking (in his senior year of college) despite previously deciding not to for religious reasons. Part of me thinks—or wants to think—that this pre-marital sex thing is the same. But it doesn't really seem fair to date somebody who doesn't believe in sex before marriage knowing that I'm going to want sex a long time before I want to get married. What do you think? Should this be a dealbreaker, or should I just take it slow and see how it goes?

Frustrated Under Chaste Killjoy

My response after the jump...


The only way to find out if your boyfriend's premarital sex thing is the same as his booze thing—a thing that's gonna change sooner rather than later—is to stick around for a little bit. Decide how much time you're willing to invest in a fuckless relationship with this boy, FUCK, and resolve to enjoy the hell out of everything "up to that point" without pressuring or guilting him. Let him know that the vaginal-intercourse invitation, like your legs, remains open: you're up for vaginal intercourse whenever he's ready. But you're happy to keep seeing him—for a while—regardless.

You know what doesn't count as pressure and/or guilt? Letting your boyfriend know that, as much you like him, as much as you can picture a future with him, you're unlikely to go without vaginal intercourse for the amount of time it would take to go from dating to engaged to married to honeymooned. Emphasize that premarital sex doesn't necessarily preclude marriage—barring the emergence of other deal breakers—but a long wait for postmarital sex definitely would. He may decide, in the amount of time you're willing to invest, that keeping you in his life is more important than keeping his dick out of you. Or he may not.

Only time will tell.