Quick Take: Are You Really Going to Take Your Future Bride for a Sexual Test Drive?

You’ve probably heard more than one person justify pre-marital sex with the cliché, “you wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it first.” This is superb advice if you’re marrying a car. But are you really going to tell your girlfriend that you won’t marry her unless you test out her sexual abilities? And what if she fails the test? Do you break up with her?

Sexual compatibility as an indicator of relationship success is a myth. Many people have had great sex with those they could never imagine marrying, and I’m sure many couples begin their married lives with somewhat awkward and non–mind-blowing sex. Like everything else that’s good in life, sexual compatibility takes practice. It takes time to build the trust that openness in such an intimate relationship demands and it takes time to understand each other’s preferences and physical needs. Sex is not a miracle cure for a bad relationship or a magic elixir that will grow a relationship out of sand. If a relationship is not working without sex, it won’t work with it.

Demanding a sexual test drive of your future wife is callous and selfish. It makes the marriage about how she can please you rather than what you’re willing to sacrifice for her. If you’re not willing to give your life for your bride, all the mind-blowing sex in the world won’t make your marriage work. And if you do love her enough to give your life for her—to love her “as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her”—the sex will be wonderful anyway because it will be an expression of the deep and true love you have for her, and that can’t be bad.