Actress, Meagan Good recently wed studio executive, DeVon Franklin. Nothing noteworthy about an actress getting married, except the fact the newlyweds made it clear that they were waiting until their wedding night to have sex. It’s definitely a changed time because more people thought it was more ludicrous than virtuous. It begs the question whether, in this modern society with evolved notions of relationships between men and women, how important is sex?

The wedding sparked a discussion between one of my best sisterfriends and a brotherfriend regarding the issue of waiting until the wedding night. Surprisingly, my sisterfriend was the most adamant about it not being a good idea to wait. In her, words, “You wouldn’t buy a Mercedes without giving it a test run; sex is too important to a relationship not to know.” On the other hand, my brother-friend found it romantic and refreshingly traditional.

We were then joined by another brotherfriend who thought it was completely preposterous that they’d waited that long to have intercourse. In fact, he didn’t believe them. In his mind, he found it impossible for a man in 2012 not to want to have sex with his fiancée prior to getting married.  

At first, I was on the side of giving your intended a test drive or two before saying I do. But, as we talked further, I switched sides. I think Meagan and her new husband might be onto something. I couldn’t help but think of the lyrics of a Mary J. Blige’s “Enough Cryin’”: “Cause the sex was good you had my mind and I let you back in every time…” Sex can be a major distortion in a relationship; both good and bad.

For many years, women were not supposed to openly enjoy sex and weren’t socialized to seek quality in a sexual partner like men were. Progress has rightfully made women a lot more outspoken and demanding when it comes to sexual pleasure. Hence why my sisterfriend believes in the importance of knowing whether her husband is going to be able to please her in bed.

I get it, and I agree with the concern. However, I presented the scenario of her finding a guy who fit her requirements in all ways except that he was a mediocre lover. She said that would be a deal breaker for her. And, the vice versa of a man who was an excellent lover, but lacking in all other areas might get a bit of extra consideration due to his prowess. Her response actually disappointed me a bit because I believe that as important as sex is, it is one of the least important ingredients to a long lasting, fulfilling relationship.

Anyone who has been in a long-term relationship will tell you that, in most cases, the frequency of sex decreases as time and life goes on. Yet, truly important characteristics like compatibility, friendship, sense of humor, mutual respect, trust, etc., can save a relationship when sex cannot. Yes, good sex can be the glue that prolongs the inevitable, yet rarely can it save a failing relationship.

I don’t propose to have an answer to my own question. But, the discussion with my friends has me thinking about the “evolution” of our relationships and whether it’s for better or worse. I would love to know what you think. Is sex really important in a relationship?

Wishing you love and ceaseless joy! Follow @NathanHWilliams on Twitter.

Nathan’s book INSPIRATION: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World is available now.

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