Alex Blaze

Break traditions, have sex, tell everybody

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 24, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: advice column, lesbian, marriage, sex

I'm actually enjoying Kirsten Palladino's column on gay wedding etiquette at, mostly because of the bizarre questions she finds. Please tell me queers like this don't actually exist.

Question: My wedding's coming up in a few months, and my partner and I have agreed on everything except how to spend the night before our wedding.

I think that since we've been living together for five years already, it's not bad luck to stay together the night before we commit to each other for the rest of our lives. She completely disagrees, saying that not only is it bad luck, but it's also tradition.

I'm already going to be nervous enough about the big day--I think spending the night apart will make it even harder! What do you think?

The letter writer seems too concerned with "luck," in which case writing to a wedding magazine editor doesn't seem appropriate (was the local lady with tarot cards busy at the moment?).

If we're suddenly concerned with tradition, then why not find a couple of dudes to marry?

Since few straight couples (contemporary or otherwise) actually hold on to their virginity until marriage, the whole thing seems to be more about making other people feel comfortable than about being honest about what they've done. Marriage doesn't limit sexuality to one partner - it just allows us to keep on deluding ourselves into thinking sexuality can be limited that way. And if a straight couple doesn't sleep with each other the night before, it's probably because, with family visiting and helping plan the big party, they're under stricter scrutiny than usual.

Frankly, marriage's bizarre traditions around sex that everyone breaks but then uses to look down their noses and scold other people over is the most nauseating aspect of the institution. A couple that's been sleeping together for five years is now going to spend one night apart to pay tribute to the sex-phobic and sexist idea that virginity is something to be given away on the wedding night? Give me a break.

Some traditions are bad and we're supposed to be at the forefront of breaking them. Which is basically what Palladino replies (before discussing "mystery" and "anticipation"):

Answer: I think that it matters what you two think, and that's it. Don't give into pressures of society, well-meaning friends or relatives. That being said, you two will most definitely have to come to some sort of agreement before nightfall on wedding eve.

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Actually, given the stress and emotional rollercoaster many people go through in the last 24 hours before the ceremony (it's a huge, wonderful, scary commitment, all at the same time), I always thought it was an excellent idea to keep the couple separated right up to the moment of the ceremony. But then I'm naturally neurotic, so that may skew my views.