Sex and Marriage

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“One Improved Unit” is an original column appearing sporadically on Monday at, by the founder and editor Skyler J. Collins. Archived columns can be found here. OIU-only RSS feed available here.

After the aerobics class, her husband would take her to brunch. As they sat waiting for their order, her husband remarked, “I read an article recently by a guy who wanted his daughter to experience amazing sex.”

Her eyes went wide as she stared into his eyes. His lips curled into a smile.

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“Well, he wrote that, for him, sex with his wife was one of the most enjoyable and amazing things he experienced. He came to the realization that because it was so awesome, he wanted their daughter to also have that experience. He knew that as a father to a daughter, society expects him to frown at the idea of his daughter having sex. As a father to a daughter, I can understand the expectation. I mean, she’s my little girl. To think about some guy inserting his pecker into her private part is very difficult, almost abhorrent. She’s my little girl, and will always be my little girl, right? But that’s a little selfish, I guess. We share this amazing experience, so why wouldn’t I want her to have that with someone else?”

She listened intently to what he was saying, and thought about it for a few minutes as their food arrived and they began eating.

“Yes, I think you are right. It is an amazing experience. But we can’t just tell her how amazing it is or she’ll want to have sex all the time, as soon as she feels the impulse. Won’t she?”

His brow creased in the middle and his lips pursed, as they always do when he’s thinking. He took a few bites of his omelette, and then answered, “Well… we don’t want her doing anything that will diminish her opportunities in life, like getting pregnant too soon. Sex is amazing, but it’s also a very powerful act. Any message about sex must include the fact that sex is the power to create life.”

He thought some more as he continued eating. He then said, “Because sex is so powerful, you must be willing to bear the consequences. Perhaps sex, then, should be taught as a commitment. A commitment to the consequences. Actually, I was reading recently that marriage, before the Church or state got involved, was entered into as a commitment to one another and to the raising of a family. Maybe that’s the missing piece. We can teach our children how amazing and beautiful sex is, but also that it’s a commitment. A mutual commitment by each partner. If either partner is less than totally committed to all possible consequences, they shouldn’t be having sex.”

She considered his answer and said, “It certainly is a commitment, and it’s quite amazing.”

He went on, “Maybe that’s why fornication is considered a sin, because it’s having sex while disregarding the consequences. It’s sex without commitment. The sex isn’t the sin, because sex is beautiful. The sin is the lack of commitment to each other and to the possibility of creating life. If we teach our children that sex is a sin, and that’s it’s also amazing, which message they receive from other sources besides us, then they are receiving a conflicting message. When they experience it for themselves, and how amazing it is, they’re likely to resent the idea that sex is a sin, and those who insisted it was, like fearful parents and priests. I don’t want my kids resenting me, nor do I want them to receive a conflicting message about something so important as sex.”

By now they had both finished their food and received their check. They stood up. Her husband grabbed her coat and held it open for her. He then put on his own. They walked to the cashier, paid, and then left the diner. The air was brisk. Her husband put his arm around her and snuggled her close. He planted a kiss on her cheek. She thought about what he said as they walked to their car. He opened her door, she sat down, he closed it and then walked around to his side and got in.

“Yes, I think that’s how we should approach it with our children. They need to know how powerful it is, and what a commitment it is to both their partner and the life that they may create. But they should also know how much we enjoy it, and how that time is so important to the both of us. How much it amplifies our love for each other,” she said as he started the car and began the drive home.

He responded, “That sounds good to me. We still have a few years, thankfully.”

They smiled at each other. She grab his right hand resting on the gear shift and gently massaged his fingers. She knew he loved that. “I love you,” she said.

“I love you, too.”

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Founder and editor of and, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.