Active Givers and Passive Takers
Marriage is a covenant and I believe that, more important than the certificate given by the court house, is the covenant between the couple. I believe this covenant is signified by the biological covenant marker that God created...SEX. I believe God is very particular about covenants to the extent that the virginal bleeding is a blood covenant of sorts, which I believe He takes very seriously.
I believe God sees the sexual act as part of marriage so you can't really 'test the waters' without getting married. I also wouldn't be surprised if God saw some other not-so-committal things like living together as part of marriage but let's not belabor that right now.
Sex is about giving and taking. I believe God's intent was for the giving to be active and the taking to be passive.
Sex is a symbol that represents marriage, which is a symbol that represents the way God expects us to live our lives...without selfishness, taking utmost care of the other person's needs. In marriage you become God's earthly representative to that person, and that role is more important (as far as you're concerned) than what you get from the other person. You just do your job and let God do His, through the other person. When selfishness comes into sex, we pervert it in some way.
Even if you don't believe in God, you have to admit that sex that first gives is of a higher virtue than sex that first takes. You may, however, not believe in virtue and that's fair enough but our debate on that will have to be saved for another post.
I know there is a place for one's happiness but I'm not convinced anyone can have true joy by himself. One might as well devote his life to making others happy. Somehow I suspect that therein lies the true secret of happiness. If God didn't create us to be communal, he would have given us compound eyes so we wouldn't need anyone to watch our backs.
I pray that God someday makes me a true selfless giver. If everyone in the world was an active giver, then by default, we would all become passive takers...everybody would win! It truly is more blessed to give than to receive!