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I’m glad I abstained before marriage

Dear Bunmi,

You recently advised a 20-year-old man that when he’s with a woman he cares for, he shouldn’t hesitate if they both wanted to know each other erotically; that making love was the most natural thing in the world. I agree with you that it is – with love and commitment in marriage.

I feel sad that these days love-making is regarded so lightly and, as a result very few relationships or marriages last; young girls get pregnant, and teenagers who are not mature face problems. When I was younger, I was in love with many boys. If I had indulged in love-making with all of them, I would have regretted it by the time I met my husband. He and I were friends first, and our love developed slowly. We knew a lot about each other before we got married and only then did we embark on our desires and then to fulfil them in the security of marriage was the most wonderful, lasting and satisfying experience. Consequently, our marriage lasted 40 years and our love and respect for each other was deep. Sadly, I’m now a widow.

I pray that the sanctity of love and love-making could return. Instead, love- making seems to have become cheap and tawdry. I respect your view. But please tell young people to hesitate before engaging in love-making. Casual love-making is a disaster.

Beatrice, by e-mail.


Dear Beatrice,

I respect your view too. Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience of love-making and marriage. There are no rules of erotic behaviour by which we may an live happily. Love-making within or outside marriage, or a committed relationship can be ugly or beautiful. We need to respect our instincts. Men and women who have erotic experiences before meeting their partners for life do not in any way diminish their great joy when they eventually find one another.

It’s been proved that resisting our desire to make love with someone we love does not improve our chances of building a strong relationship. Rather, it reflects our natural fear of love-making and what was drummed into us as children that love- making is somewhat shameful. By encouraging people to think of love-making as taboo, we increase, not decrease the probability of guilt, disease or unwanted pregnancy.

Intimacy is the core oflasting love and companionship. By making love, as you and your husband discovered, we reveal ourselves more completely. I thank you once again for sharing the joy you found during your marriage. Your story should be an inspiration to us all.


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