If two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? — Ecclesiastes 4:11 NAS

Lord, give me chastity — but not yet. — Saint Augustine

I have a theory: Singleness is a product of the fall of mankind. Think about it. Everybody who lived before the Fall was married!

Granted, my hypothesis is a bit of a theological stretch. Yet for many of us singles, that’s exactly the way we feel. Being unattached in a world made for couples presents some real challenges — especially when it comes to dealing with our sexuality.

For me — a thirty-seven-year-old virgin — I desire to one day give my mind, soul, and body to a spouse. I long for intimacy, and yearn to experience the pleasure of God’s gift of sex. There are times when every cell in my body cries out for a loving touch. Yet I may go days — if not weeks — without a hug or warm embrace.

At the same time, the intimacy I crave is nothing like the trash that television models. Take, for example, the sex-charged ad campaign by Dejaiz — a national clothing outlet. In one sequence, a handsome guy applies the sexual advance on seven different girls — one for each day of the week. In similar fashion, Merry-Go-Round showed what appeared to be an unmarried couple intimately engaged. As he removed her shirt, she aggressively yanked his belt out. The slogan? “Clothes that are as fun to take off as they are to put on.”

Casual sex, multiple partners? No thanks!

How about you?

Do you feel like the average high school student knows more about sex than you do, primarily because you’ve elected to play by God’s rules? Has the carpet in your apartment become threadbare from your nightly pacing — waiting for the phone to ring? Do you think God has withheld something good from you for no apparent reason? Are you tempted to compromise your standards in order to “find out” what the rest of the world seems to already know?

I completely empathize with you.

Or perhaps you’re single again. Your spouse may have died, but your body certainly didn’t. Maybe your partner walked away from your marriage, but your hormones are very much at home. In both instances, death or divorce brought an end to the intimacy you once shared. Now what?

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These situations are complicated in a number of ways. For starters, we live in an over-sexed society, one where sexual purity is pass頦amp;#151; even among a number of Christian singles. Josh McDowell, author of the “Why Wait?” campaign, noted, “Contrary to what I had assumed, Christian young people were as sexually active as their unsaved friends.”

And, if you’re like me, you’ve yet to find a practical book on the subject of single sexuality written by an unmarried author — someone who is actually living it! This book corrects that inequity.

A similar condition often exists in ministries to singles. My friends and I used to privately snicker when our singles pastor (who, I might add, was married) would talk with us about abstinence. “Right! You can engage in sex anytime, and you’re going to talk to us about chastity?”

Understandably, you might think reading — or, in my case writing — a book on the subject of single sexuality will be about as much fun as having your fingernails pulled out. So why should you join me for the following discussion?

Simple. In the pages that follow, we’ll discover that marriage and sex should not be our objective — rather, becoming a godly lover is the goal. Along the way, we’ll explore sexuality for singles and acquire appropriate ways to express and enjoy intimacy this side of marriage. And, thanks to dozens of singles who have responded to a special survey, we’ll eavesdrop on the experiences of others who share our feelings and learn from their insights.

A unique feature of this book is a chapter tackling the tricky situation that dating in the nineties presents. To borrow an advertising slogan from Dodge trucks, “The Rules Have Changed.” With the reality of AIDS, the way we singles select a potential mate has been permanently changed — for the worse, I’m afraid. Properly equipped, there’s no reason for us to withdraw from the human race!

On a personal level, I’ve made an invaluable discovery. I’ve learned that as a single adult, I regularly experience an emotional cycle — one that has dire consequences if I fail to address it properly. Identifying and understanding the way this cycle can potentially wreak havoc on my sexuality has enabled me to say no to sex for thirty-seven years, and say yes to becoming that awesome lover God would have me be. I’m confident you’ll find that discussion most helpful.

So, put down the personals page … cancel the computerized companion service … hang up the 900-HOT-DATE line. Instead, pour yourself a cup of coffee. Find a quiet spot where you and I can lean on each other’s shoulder to share a few private moments. I have a hunch our examination of this rather personal subject may surprise — and encourage — you! I look forward to what God — the Author of sex and all human intimacy — would have us discover together.

From Sex and the Single Person, Copyright © 2004 by Bob DeMoss and published by Zondervan. Used with permission.

Bob DeMoss served as a youth culture specialist for Focus on the Family for seven years and is one of America’s leading authorities on pop culture. He is an internationally acclaimed speaker and has authored ten books, including four novels co-authored with New York Times best-selling author Tim LaHaye. Bob and his family live in Franklin, Tennessee.