This article originally appeared on VICE Alps
Sarah (21) and Stefan (25) are two students from Graz in Austria, who decided to wait to have sex after marriage and actually managed to pull it off. The couple got together in 2013, but only had sex after their wedding in the summer of 2015. I had a chat with them about love, the limits of intimacy and their moments of weakness.
VICE: How did you guys meet?
Sarah: We've actually known each other for most of our lives. Stefan: We have been running into each other at church events since we were little. We had been together for a year and a half before getting married.
Sarah: We both had other relationships before getting together though. The last time we both found ourselves single, something seemed to finally click.
Why did you decide to wait before having sex?
Stefan: Our views on love and relationships are very much influenced by our religious beliefs. Of course we didn't talk about marriage right away. But what was clear to us was that if the relationship worked out, then the next step would be marriage.
Sarah: At the beginning, marriage didn't really play a big role for me. But we did talk about it before we officially became a couple, as well as about our thoughts regarding physical love. We always agreed that we would wait until marriage before we had sex.
Stefan: Generally, I let my beliefs and the Bible help me with important decisions. I'm convinced that sex should be saved for marriage, and think that it's just even more special that way. Sex is something we only share with each other.
Sarah: I also think that it's reasonable to wait. That way, you concentrate more on the relationship, on building trust and on getting to know each other well before you get close.
Did you have sex with other people before you got together?
Sarah: No. Our ex-partners were people, who also wanted to wait to get married. So we lost our virginity to each other.
Did you ever sleep over at each other's place before getting married?
Stefan: Sarah stayed over at mine a few times, but we always slept in separate rooms. Early on in our relationship we spoke about what our limits should be and decided to avoid kissing too. We did give each other little kisses on the cheek or the forehead, but never a real French kiss.
Why did you do that?
Stefan: We decided to wait with the kissing, because we worried it could mislead us into going further physically. Kisses are powerful and one thing can lead to another, so we wanted to prevent this.
How did the relationship between the two of you differ from a friendship [before you got married]?
Stefan: I would say the only difference was that we never got as physically close as other couples might. Apart from that, our relationship was like anyone else's: We were in love, spent a lot of time together and talked about everything. I tell Sarah things no one else knows. Sarah is the person, who knows me best and is most important to me. But we also expressed our love physically.
How did you express your love physically before marriage?
Sarah: Like any other couple would. We cuddled, we held hands, we leaned on each other, we hugged each other, stroked each other's backs – things like that.
Stefan: We just didn't kiss and didn't sleep together. Apart from that we were like any other couple in love.
Did you have any moments of weakness?
Stefan: Hardly, but only because of the separate bedrooms. It would have been very difficult if we had shared a bed.
Sarah: You did have some moments, when you really wanted to kiss.
Stefan: (Laughs) That might be true. I can't really remember now. But we were never really weak.
How was your first time then? Did you go all the way on your wedding night?
Stefan: It all happened in stages. We had our first kiss at the registry office. That was two days before the church wedding.
Sarah: Yes, those two days were pretty exciting.
Stefan: On the wedding night, we were too tired so nothing really happened. But the next day it did. We both approached sex as something to learn – mostly because you have to figure out what the other person likes.
Sarah: I think we went about it wisely, though. We spoke about sex and exchanged ideas and read about it a lot, beforehand. You also hear from a lot of people that the first time isn't always so great. That minimised our expectations so we were more relaxed. We knew that no matter what happened the first time, we'd work together to make it good. And we don't regret having waited. If I had to do everything all over again, I wouldn't change a thing.
Why did you marry so young? Was it at all about wanting to have sex as soon as possible?
Sarah: Once we both realised that our relationship was working out so well, it only made sense to take the next step and get married.
Stefan: We know we got married earlier than the average person but we felt the time was right. There was no reason to wait any more. We'd found out what we needed about each other.
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