Good Catholic Boy

18 and looking for more than just sex

I want to have sex.

There I said it; it is out in the open, loud and clear, true and honest.

My girlfriend wants to have sex.

We have been in a relationship for a month now, quite happy together. We click, she and I. She has been giving me hints for a while now, and lately she’s been coming close to flat out saying it.

So if I want to have sex and my girlfriend wants to have sex… then what’s the problem?

The problem is that I’m a Good Catholic Boy.

On the outside, my religion is what holds me back. It is what makes her so angry. She can’t understand why I’m behaving this way, why I don’t just give in to our passion. I can’t understand why this is such a problem for her.

Being a Catholic isn’t the only reason why I want to wait to have sex, right? Surely not. It can’t be just church law. Sometimes it seems so clear to me: lust for lust’s sake is meaningless. Despite all the stereotypes that say all guys ever really want is to get a girl to sleep with them, I don’t want a shallow relationship based on physicality. I don’t want some one-night stand. I want something real.

Yet it is so difficult to resist. She’s there, beautiful, and wild, simply ready and waiting for me. No, correction, not waiting, she is demanding it; I mean, this is the kind of girl most boy’s dream about! If my friends knew that I was resisting this, I would become a social outcast in a second. “You did what?!” they would cry. “You were the one who wanted to wait until marriage?!”

I’m confused, fighting hard against too many things; I can’t take it. Why wait? I ask myself over and over. Why?

Because of true love. Because of happy families and no regrets. Because of searching for perfection. Because I know what is right and wrong. Because of my faith; yes, that too, because I am Catholic and believe in all that my religion has to offer. Because I am boy. Because I am not ready.

I say no to her.

No sex?

No girlfriend. She leaves, the unspoken deed that we never did the reason for her parting.

Good. … Catholic. … Boy.

I strive to be good.

If my friends knew that I was resisting this, I would become a social outcast in a second. “You did what?!” they would cry. “You were the one who wanted to wait until marriage?!”

I am Catholic. There is no denying my faith, my religion. It is a part of me. I wear my cross around my neck; I try to thank God for all that He has given me; I go to church and sing and pray there (though I don’t sing very well); and I believe in some higher plan. And so I set some higher standard for my life, a code of morals.

I’m 18. I’m an adult, legally. But I don’t feel like an adult. Not yet. I don’t feel like a man. For me, manhood is bound up in one’s ability to declare your values and stand by them. I have to earn that honor. I’m close to it, maybe on the very edge of true adulthood, but I am not there yet. I am a boy.

Good. … Catholic. … Boy.

That is what I am.

It isn’t the easiest thing to be when you are a freshman in college. There are so many changes, so many crazy things to do, so many impulsive and reckless choices to make. Many of my peers seem to be living these four years as if the second they get out of college they have to grow up and start acting responsibly; as if this is their last real time of fun. Maybe they are right. I don’t hate them or condemn them; in fact, sometimes I envy them. But I also wonder if some of them feel the way I do? Surely some must. I can’t be the only one who sees no difference between acting irresponsibly in serious matters at age 18 or 38 … or 68, can I?

My life is great. Make no mistakes about it, I love who I am and what I want to become. Yet sometimes the path from here to there can look rocky. It was what I told my first college girlfriend. In the bluntest terms, it is how I try to explain a snapshot of my existence to peopleā€”of why I act like I do. I don’t want to lie or cheat or steal. I don’t want to be cruel to my friends and crueler to my enemies. I don’t want to have premarital sex.

Or do I?

I do. And I don’t. I mean, who isn’t tempted? Who doesn’t have such thoughts? I don’t want to be separated from those around me. I don’t want to be an outcast in this or any regard. But I have convinced myself to strive for something higher, something more real, to find love, to find a serious relationship, to find marriage; at least eventually.

The journey might be long and difficult, but I know I can persevere. I know that with the help of my family, my friends, and my faith, I can proudly stand by my morals and beliefs. I can become a Good Catholic Man.