When I was younger, I thought I was a revolutionary. Like most other people in my generation, I was encouraged to be different. I was encouraged to challenge the status quo for my own good and take control of my life. The third-wave feminists behind magazines like Bust! and organizations like “VOX” (aka Planned Parenthood) told me to reclaim my own sexual freedom and identity from a lifetime of sexual oppression. I didn’t think about how organizations such as this make some serious profits off of sexually active females. They convinced me that I needed to overcome a lifetime of sexual repression…long before I was even interested or even ready for sexual activity. They told me to challenge my religious beliefs and the morals my parents had taught me because it would liberate me. Smart as I thought I was, I fell for it. I fell for just about every single one of their lies.
They convinced me that I, still a virgin at age 20, was a victim of a male chauvinism. They fed me stories about the oppression of women through the years. They used the suffragettes as poster children for a movement that, in hindsight, would have probably shamed, shocked, or disgusted most of these women. These “pro-female” organizations presented themselves as a support line. They made themselves seem like they were intent on saving girls like me from a life of male oppression and outdated religious views that seemed to favor men. These people seemed so concerned about my well-being. I had no idea what they were all about. Comfortable as I was with these people, I soon started realizing that I was not completely like them. Supportive as they made themselves out to be, I began to notice how they reacted when they found out that I was a virgin.
Unlike promiscuity, virginity was not a choice for these people. Virgins were virgins because they didn’t know any better. They were virgins because they were victims to a sexist culture or religion. They were virgins because they could not make decisions for themselves. Who in the world would choose virginity, when there was so much fun you could have sleeping with anyone and everyone you wanted to sleep with (as long as “protection” was involved…).
Being a virgin meant that I was on my way to becoming a victim. My new buddies made me believe that I lived in a male-dominated world where men could be as promiscuous as they wished before marriage. According to these people, losing your virginity on your wedding night meant that you had failed as a woman. You had failed at trying to seek a man who could best satisfy you (because marriage means nothing to these people if the sex isn’t great). Saving yourself for marriage was turned into a game of Russian Roulette. You would never know if your husband really was “good enough” for you in bed and you would never know how many women he slept with before he married you. The only thing you would know was that you had saved yourself for a man who could turn out to be an unfaithful weasel (because that’s not sexist thinking). They never told me that there were good guys out there worth waiting for. They only told me that I could use sex as a tool to assure that I could control my own life…and any male I made the misfortune of marrying.
I listened to them and found myself sleeping with someone I had only known for a week. I didn’t think about the consequences when it happened. I didn’t even care that I barely knew him. As bad as this sounds and as much as it shames me to admit this, I thought only about myself. I thought about how I had just one-upped that loser I would one day marry. I thought about how I had just triumphed in the battle for sexual liberation. You see, by that point, these feminists had pretty much brainwashed me and I was doing exactly what they had taught me to do…using sex as a tool of empowerment. Forget about love. Forget about chastity. Forget about morals. This was my way of showing the world that I was not some mindless female. This was my way of getting back at my future husband for all the women he slept with before marriage. That is how twisted my mind had become following years of indoctrination by the media and this feminist movement.
After falling for the lies about sexual liberation, I fell for the next big lie. I fell for the idea of “protection.” As pro-life as I considered myself to be (pro-life as in “besides abortion, anything goes), I started doing the same things that often lead to abortions. I started thinking about pregnancy as a “risk,” rather than the creation of life….rather than a blessing. I used protection, but still found myself praying to God that I wasn’t pregnant. I still found myself racing to the local pharmacy for pregnancy tests. As much as the world seems to be convinced that condoms work 100% of the time…they don’t. They break. They are used improperly. Latex breaks down over time.
After a few runs to the pharmacy, I decided to be even more “responsible.” I decided to go on “the pill.” I convinced my worried conscience that I needed to take these hormones to correct some minor issues such as acne, amenorrhea, etc. I told myself that I was not using the pill to prevent pregnancy, but that’s really why I wanted to take it. I still remember going to the college health center and sitting down with a nurse practitioner. They were more concerned with the types of sexual activities I participated in than they were my own health. I was never told about side effects. I was never told about the risks because the pill was harmless. They told me that the pill contained natural hormones, that it was “safe and effective.” The safety of the pill, like that of any other drug, is based on the effects it has on the “average woman.” I was young and because of my young age, I was told that I had nothing to worry about.
I was told that I only needed to worry about the side effects when I turned 35…which was ages away. They never once considered double checking to see if I really was an “average woman.” They told me not to worry when I started getting migraines and massive bruises on my legs. They never bothered to look up the side effects to the pill when I voiced my concern. They never once checked my cholesterol levels, which turned out to be extremely high. They never even mentioned that the pill could affect cholesterol levels. I ended up finding all of this out myself. The health center didn’t really seem to care about my health. They were more concerned that I had enough pills during summer and winter vacation than they were of all these symptoms that started appearing. After all, they assured me, taking the pill was my way of ensuring that I would one day be fertile when I was ready to have kids.
Yes, the pill made my cycle regular…but it did not solve the problem. It only masked the problem. Aspirin may ease your aches and pains, but it does not fix a broken bone. In the same sense, as much as these pro-femme nurses tried convincing me otherwise, the pill wasn’t fixing anything. If anything, it was making things worse! Yet, I kept taking it. Who was I kidding? As much as I had tried in the beginning to convince myself otherwise, I had never taken the pill to take care of any health problems. It was a lie from the beginning. Therefore, even after suffering all these side effects and coming across lies that were too blatant for me to ignore, I kept taking the pill. At this point, however, I was more honest to myself. I did not even bother trying to convince myself any longer that I was taking the pill for health reasons. As much as it pained my conscience, I accepted the reality that I was taking (and had been taking it) simply to avoid pregnancy.
My conscience cringed at this realization. Therefore, I started to find any source I could to support the idea that I was not interfering with the life of any unborn children. The pharmaceutical companies selling me the drugs told me that I wasn’t interfering with any lives…because life required implantation. No implantation = no life= I’m still okay. Okay as I thought I was, my conscience knew better. Yet my conscience seemed to be no match for the moral relativism that had been ingrained in my mind since I had picked up my first “Cosmopolitan” magazine. Using birth control wasn’t as bad as abortion, right? It didn’t count as a life if the fertilized egg was unable to implant itself, right? Life doesn’t really start at conception, right? I’m only sleeping with one guy…it’s not like it’s the whole football team, right? It’s not like I am cheating on this guy with someone else, right? I love this guy, so it’s not wrong, right? It can’t be that big a deal in God’s eyes as long as I end up marrying this guy, right? This will be the last time, right?
Nothing changed. I just kept finding better excuses for what I kept doing. Sure, my conscience was getting louder and louder…but I still refused to change my life.
Then one night, everything changed. That night, in the middle of the night, I had a powerful experience that still remains a vivid memory. I am sure that it was a warning from God. He must have taken pity on my tortured conscience and seen some potential in a soul wounded by so much sin, indifference, and lies. I remember experiencing, for a dark moment that seemed like an hour, I felt true agony and despair. In that moment, I felt what it was to be unloved by God. I FELT a separation between me and God that was irreversible. Forget fire and brimstone, this is what Hell was like. I felt like I was a hole, surrounded by nothing. Something was missing from within me and something was missing around me…something central and irreplaceable….something I needed. I felt like I was trapped in some void. I don’t remember if my eyes were open or closed for this moment, but I remember seeing nothing but blackness. There was no color. There was no light. I saw nothing. I heard nothing. I felt nothing. I felt detached from the world, detached from my boyfriend sleeping beside me. I felt detached from everything, and yet, I felt an intense longing for what I was missing. This yearning would have destroyed me had it lasted longer. I knew instantly that God was that central element missing from that moment.
I don’t know how long I lay there, re-evaluating my past decisions, the lies I had accepted, the lies I had lived. However, I do remember, at one point, shooting up from my bed and going to the bathroom. There, I cried and begged God to give me the strength to do what I had to do. I knew that I would have to tell my boyfriend. I knew that I would be making some drastic changes to my life that would impact him as well. I was, however, afraid to love him. Still, there’s nothing like a warning from God Himself to help you overcome your trepidation. I resolved to tell him in the morning and I played the words I would need to say, over and over again in my mind. By the time morning came, I was still convinced that my boyfriend would leave me after I said what needed to be said.
Ladies, the moment my boyfriend accepted my decision to strive for chastity was the moment where I knew he truly loved me and the moment I realized that I truly loved him as well. Not all men would be willing to give up an active sexual life for their girlfriends. Then again, not all men are capable of truly loving and respecting the women they are with. On a similar note, not all men deserve the women they are with. Sometimes it’s tricky to tell who is who…but the selflessness my boyfriend showed is something I’ve never forgotten.
I can’t say that it has been an easy road for us, but it’s been worth it. The “Sex and the City” culture out there may tell you that you need a sex in order to enjoy a healthy relationship…but it’s a lie. There are far more important things to a relationship. I am living proof of this. Since I became committed to chastity, I’ve given up the pill, I’ve given up condoms, I’ve given up living under the same roof as my boyfriend, and I’ve given up sex. Giving these things up these things has made me more free than I was in the years where I was either a slave to third-wave feminist ideals, the years where I had to pop a pill every day at a certain hour, and the years where I had to rush off to a pharmacy for another pregnancy test. For the first time, in a long time, I am comfortable with myself. I don’t need sex to be empowered. I don’t care about the “perfect sex life” advertised by all those magazines. I don’t care about how “conventional” I am. Furthermore, I don’t have to worry about my health (cholesterol decreased, bruises gone, and migraines disappeared once I got off the pill). I don’t even have to worry about proving myself … I feel great, self-confident, loved, and happy. I feel like my conscience is at rest. I no longer have to play with the double-edged sword of moral relativism….nor do I have to continue debating with my conscience every time I see my boyfriend.
Since incorporating chastity into our relationship, my boyfriend and I have matured quite a lot. We are more empathetic and understanding of one another when it comes to particular matters (the small, but essential things that are often ignored in a typical relationship). We have grown to better understand one another and communicate with one another. We no longer have to worry about trusting one another. We have grown to better appreciate our time with each other. I know that I am happier with him now than I ever was before because I no longer feel the self-disgust and fears that I used to feel when we were sleeping together. I no longer feel many of the things that forced me to keep secrets from him and forced me to keep lying to myself.
It’s been quite a few years since I started tearing apart all of the lies I had been fed by all those “feminist” groups. In these years, I have come to learn quite a lot about myself and my boyfriend. He treats me with respect and selfless love, which is more important to me than the ideas of “sexual liberation.” Sex has become more than just a tool for empowerment or “something else to do when you’re bored.” It has turned into a beautiful act that should be cherished and saved for the right moment. There are few things that I regret as much as my decision to not wait until marriage. I can’t take this decision back, but I hope that some of you out there may learn from my mistakes.