No Small Thing
Look around this site. You'll notice that we don't normally address things in terms of sin. We don't talk about "angering G-d" or "eternal damnation" and the like. It can be very off-putting and, unless one is observant, probably moot. We all know that there are certain things that just aren't permitted by the Torah and there's really no need to overstate that case. Instead, we focus on bettering ourselves and getting closer to G-d. But that doesn't mean that those other things aren't also true and, in this case, it may be necessary to point out just how serious a matter this is, religiously as well as personally.
There are a number of different punishments described in the Torah. If someone steals something, they have to pay back double. A murderer might get the death penalty. Manslaughter would get some exiled to a city of refuge. There are also spiritual penalties. For example, tzaraas (usually translated as "leprosy," but really not the same thing) was a spiritual punishment for speaking lashon hara (gossip).
There is a spiritual punishment in the Torah called kareis. It is often translated as "excision." It is usually expressed at "that person’s soul shall be cut off" or some similar expression. (The commentators differ on exactly what it means. Some say that it means dying prematurely or childless. Whatever it means, having one's soul cut off sounds pretty serious.)
Kareis is the spiritual punishment for violating some really important mitzvos. Bris milah (circumcision) is the sign of the covenant between Jews and G-d. If someone refuses to allow himself to be circumcised, that is deserving of kareis (Genesis 17:14). Eating on Yom Kippur is a kareis-liable offense (Leviticus 23:29), as is eating chametz (leaven) on Passover (Exodus 12:15). These are some of the most basic and substantive mitzvos in Judaism.
So why are we talking about this? Because there's a very relevant mitzvah whose violation is also punishable by kareis. It's taharas hamishpacha, the laws of family purity. (See "Abstinence - It’s Not Just for Single People." ) After a woman has her period, she is what's called a niddah. (This is generally translated as "menstruant." ) A woman remains in this status until she observes a certain number of "clean days," makes special preparations and immerses in a mikva (ritual bath). If a girl gets her period when she is 12, she will remain in a state of niddah until she uses the mikvah, even when she's not actually having her period.
Having relations with a woman in a state of niddah (or, if you are a woman, having relations while in a state of niddah) is liable to kareis (Leviticus 18:29). It's not just a pastime. It's not a Rabbinical law. It's not a small thing. It's as basic and as important a principle in Judaism as bris milah, Pesach and Yom Kippur.
The answer is not for single people to start using the mikvah. That is prohibited specifically to prevent promiscuity. Even if one were to consider that the "lesser of the two evils," it would be ill-advised. Going to the mikvah is not like taking a bath or a shower. It's a religious act, complete with its own bracha. Going to the mikvah specifically to commit a sin is like putting chalav Yisroel cheese on glatt kosher meat, then washing and bentching on the cheeseburger.
If you wouldn't serve a big bowl of pasta at your Passover seder, you shouldn't use the mikvah in order to have sexual relations until you're married.
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