When I was in college, the best book I could find on sex and dating was titled: How Far Can I Go?
A decent question.
Their answer could be illustrated this way. Take your left hand. Form a circle with the fingers and thumb. With your right hand, close the hand and stick out one finger. Bring the right hand as close as you can to the left hand without touching.
A few problems come up with this approach. First, the law of diminishing return. At first holding hands seems great, then an arm around the shoulder, a kiss, a kiss holding each other close — whatever the progression, each step is exciting and new, and then when it isn’t as new it is less exciting. To reach the same level of excitement, you need to progress to the next step.
Then, it falls into the category of abstinence. The absence of doing something. It is like being on a diet to lose weight. I won’t each that chocolate cake, but I can look at it, smell it, maybe bump against it with a finger and then need to lick it off. Or walk away from it and tell yourself, I won’t eat that chocolate cake, I won’t taste the sweet taste of chocolate, I won’t pour a class of milk to drink as I eat just a piece of that chocolate cake. You need to have strong reasons why you are on a diet to have a chance of it working. You need to have strong reasons for abstaining from sex to have a chance of that working.
An answer to the question How Far Can I Go?
You can go all the way, and totally enjoy each other’s bodies. You can drink your fill of love. You can have sexual relations until your brains fall out of your heads.
A better question would be, When Can We Go as Far as We Can Go?
That is the answer Song of Solomon is trying to give. That takes the right timing between the two of you, the right commitment that let’s you both give yourself totally with no regrets or worries. And you don’t get that without totally committing yourselves to each other, publicly before all of your friends and the world (marriage), without being able to give up yourselves to each other (the guy needs to take the lead in sex and in other areas),
If you can do it, it is worth the wait.