The Purity Culture and “Sex Is Beautiful”

Did you know that Michael Pearl wrote a book called “Holy Sex”? Yes, he wrote a book about how awesome sex is. It’s not just Mark Driscoll. There are lots of evangelicals and fundamentalists who have hopped on the sex bandwagon. They see themselves as “sex positive” and believe that it is depraved modern culture that is actually “sex negative.” And it’s true that I was taught to view sex as a beautiful, sacred thing (within marriage) and that I was taught that once married I would find sex so pleasurable and amazing that it would be well worth the wait.

But. These rosy ideas have a dark underbelly. This is why I write about the problems of the purity culture.

Premarital Sex Makes You Impure

If you’re taught that premarital sex is something that is unholy and sinful, and if you spend years believing that if you have sex right then you’ll suddenly become “impure,” well, switching gears when you hit marriage can be wrenching. After years of saying “no, no, no” switching to saying “yes, yes, yes” isn’t as simple as one might think. It’s almost like the message is “sex is dirty until you’re married, and then it’s beautiful.” The thing is, there’s no physical difference between premarital sex and marital sex, which makes this dichotomy…confusing. You’re told “sex makes you impure” and then suddenly, overnight, it changes to “sex is pure.” After years of pushing away every sexual thought as polluting, you’re suddenly supposed to see sex as something that is holy. That didn’t work for me.

The Amazingly Awesome Vanilla Sex

I was given the impression that when I got married sex would automatically be AWESOME. Without, you know, even talking about things like sexual preferences beforehand. I was woefully uneducated about sex (largely because, you know, all that mattered as a single was abstinence, so that’s all I needed to know about). I totally didn’t get why people said you should have sex before marriage to make sure you’re sexually compatible because, well, I thought sex was just…sex. I didn’t realize there were different preferences or different types of sex. I didn’t know there were different sex positions. I didn’t even know it was something that took practice! This does not make for a healthy sex life!

Now, there are more and more evangelicals and fundamentalists out there preaching about how to have a healthy sex life (within marriage), and they do talk about things like oral sex and the ins and outs and how tos of pleasure. But this stuff isn’t for singles! Presumably it’s for the disillusioned married couples who are wondering about that magically awesome sex they were expecting that didn’t suddenly appear on the wedding night.

Sex as Profoundly Gendered

Next, evangelicals and fundamentalists talk about sex in an unbalanced and gendered way. Sure, I was told that sex would be pleasurable and amazing for me, but I also got the message that men *need* sex while women don’t. That men can’t live without sex but women can. That guys have a hard time controlling themselves and that we, as their “sisters in Christ,” need to help them out by dressing modestly (nothing about men dressing modestly because, again, there is next to no acknowledgement of the female sex drive). That if a husband goes for too long without having sex, he’ll be tempted to cheat, and that it’s the wife’s duty to make sure that doesn’t happen.

And I want to be clear that it’s not just Debi Pearl who says things like this. Here’s an excerpt from a sermon by Mark Driscoll in which he recounted a conversation with a female parishioner, a conversation that eventually resulted in this parishioner’s husband joining Driscoll’s church:

She [the wife] says, “I’ve never performed oral sex on my husband. I’ve refused to.” I said, “You need to go home and tell your husband that you’ve met Jesus and you’ve been studying the Bible, and that you’re convicted of a terrible sin in your life. And then you need to drop his trousers, and you need to serve your husband. And when he asks why, say, ‘Because I’m a repentant woman. God has changed my heart and I’m supposed to be a biblical wife.’” She says, “Really?” I said, “Yeah. First Peter 3 says if your husband is an unbeliever to serve him with deeds of kindness.” [Laughter from audience] How many men would agree, that is a deed of kindness. He doesn’t want tracts. Those won’t do anything. What we’re talking about here could really help.

Sex is spoken of as a way a wife can serve her husband again and again in evangelical and fundamentalist marriage manuals and advice books. This means that no matter how often these manuals emphasize that sex will be wonderful and awesome for women too, it’s always going to be slightly more about the man than about the woman.

It’s All about Sex

When I was growing up, so much emphasis was placed on the idea that being a virgin on your wedding night will ensure that you have a perfect marriage that, well, that’s basically the only thing I was taught about how to have a good relationship. (Well, that and “practice wifely submission.”) For people who claim to be appalled with modern culture’s “obsession with sex,” evangelicals and fundamentalists do a very good job of reducing everything to sex on their own. How do you have a good dating or courting relationship? Don’t have sex. (Also, have the guy ask the girl’s father’s permission to date her.) How do you have a good marriage relationship? Have regular sex. (Also, the wife should submit to her husband’s leadership.)

I never heard the terms “healthy relationship” or “unhealthy relationship.” I was not taught anything about the importance of communication. Or cooperation. Or compromise. The emphasis when looking at a guy-girl relationship is not “is this a healthy relationship” or “are they practicing good communication skills.” No. It’s “are they having sex? no? are they french kissing? because that’s dangerous territory to enter.” It’s all about staying pure, and if you do that, you’re set. It’s easy to become so fixated on purity, on whether or not you’re having sex, that things like how to have a healthy relationship takes second place or becomes pushed under the carpet entirely!


This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but it’s easy to see that while many evangelicals and fundamentalists see themselves as “sex positive” and laugh in the face of claims to the contrary, their attitude and approach toward sex is actually highly problematic and not at all healthy. Of course, evangelicals or fundamentalists would likely respond to this by saying that “the mainstream view of sex, with young women coerced into sex by their boyfriends and young teens with low self esteem sleeping around to find love is highly problematic and not at all healthy – it’s God’s way that is healthy.” The thing is, abusive sexual relationships, well perhaps common, are not the alternative people like me want offer to evangelical and fundamentalist sexuality.

The alternative is to teach young people to respect themselves and their bodies, to think about their actions and weigh the potential consequences of their actions, to know how to carry on a healthy relationship and how to leave an unhealthy one, and how to make their own decisions. The alternative is to teach young people to find their value not in whether or not they’ve had sex but rather in themselves and their own beliefs, values, and dreams, and to value others in the same way. The alternative is to see sex as a normal part of life and to educate young people about it, and how to make sexual choices responsibly and ethically. That is the alternative.

A Matter of Patriarchy
On Orgies, Bisexuality, James Dobson, and Evangelicals
My Kindergartener Knows What It Means to Be Transgender (and the Sky Hasn't Fallen)
Red Town, Blue Town
About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Bee 6

    THIS. I was taught that the value of a relationship lies not in compatibility, friendship, problem-solving, communication, or any of those other skills, but in whether or not my purity was compromised. I could also add that my fiance’s “stance with God and the bible” was the only other thing that shared 1st place with the purity concerns. When I first fell in love with my fiance, I wanted so badly to tell my parents about how wonderfully sweet and kind he was, and all the interesting conversations we’d had. All they wanted to hear about was how closely we were following “proper” conduct and how carefully we were monitoring my purity. The other thing they were interested in hearing about? “Does he believe the Bible?” (no) “Is he going to church?” (yes) “What kind of church? Are you teaching him about the Bible? Is he listening to you? Why don’t you have him come over so we can teach him?” (uh…) And this was the extent of their interest in him. Period. If he did not successfully fulfill those requirements, they didn’t want to hear about anything else. It hurt so badly to know that the one person I had finally made a connection with, the first person I was excited to tell them about, was of no interest to them unless he kept me “pure” and showed progress in believing the bible Their way (in his case — they would have preferred that he already believe the bible in the first place). So frustrating.

  • gustovcarl

    Excellent post. You mentioned in your post “Wearing your virginity…” 2 days ago that you had had no idea how all this looks from outside (when you were young, I mean). I’ve been a fascinated watcher of this subculture for a long time, & from my perspective they’re REALLY obsessed with sex. Far more than mainstream hetero males usually are. As far as gays go, to quote a Facebook friend about Rick Santorum, “He spends WAY more time thinking about gay sex than WE do.”

  • Paula G V aka Yukimi

    Completely agree!

    You might want to bold the It’s all about sex title and put father in “(Also, have the guy ask the girl’s permission to date her.) “.

  • Kacy

    Oh wow! There is a Catholic “Holy Sex” book too. Actually the full title is “Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving,” but it is very much in the same vein of glorifying this unhealthy worship of purity, including purity in marriage, which involves not using contraception and only using Natural Family Planning (NFP). The gender unbalance is similar there too in that husbands are expected to lead, but the couple needs to come to a mutual agreement about when to have sex and when to abstain. Of course these cycles of abstaining revolve around the woman’s fertility cycle, so the woman becomes something of a sexual gatekeeper in the marriage. The guilt comes because a woman wants sex the most during her most fertile times, which is when she must abstain if she wants to avoid pregnancy. She feels guilty for saying “no” to her husband and then torn and conflicted when she really wants sexual relations. And having an orgasm apart from vaginal intercourse is strictly prohibited as being “unnatural.” (I don’t think I need to go into details about how this limits sexuality.) And yes, when there are so many rules regarding “godly sex” outside marriage and then within marriage, what you do with your sexual organs becomes a Christian litmus test.

    Without going into too many personal details, I bought into the purity culture as a young evangelical, and then the Catholic version which included purity in marriage through NFP as an adult. I was also completely clueless about sex when I got married. In fact hubs and I went out and bought a book called “A Celebration of Sex,” which is basically a Christian how-to sex manual, because we were both completely clueless virgins. We knew the ideology, but not the how-to. And we were so caught up in the ideology of doing it right and keeping it godly that it caused a lot of unnecessary strife in our marriage. My de-conversion has been freeing, and now that Hubs and I have finally overcome the shame and fears surrounding (“holy”) sex, it’s as if we are going through a whole new honeymoon period. :-) This has been a long process, but it is so incredibly freeing.

    • Judy L.

      Interesting…the NFP method allowance in Catholicism is like the “except in the case of rape or the life of the mother” allowance that anti-abortion proponents make (my sense is that mode and consequence shouldn’t affect their core belief that killing unborn babies is not permissible, and that it reveals that such a core belief isn’t entirely genuine and certainly isn’t absolute). I’ve never understood why abstinence practiced for the specific purpose of preventing conception is allowed, where hormonal or barrier methods to achieve the same goal isn’t. The result is the same: avoiding conception that might otherwise occur.

      • Eamon Knight

        We have a devout RC friend, and we’ve gone round that conversational mulberry bush a few times over the years. You can only have sex if you’re “open to the transmission of life”, so you have this elaborate system of charting/temperature-measuring/mucus-observing devoted to making sure you can locate the times when having sex (probably) won’t create a new life, but somehow this is “open to the transmission of life” in a way that barrier, hormonal or surgical methods is not.

        No, Cathologic[tm] doesn’t make sense to me either.

      • Paula G V aka Yukimi

        One point I have always thought to debate with someone claiming them was that since for example condomns aren’t a 100% effective either, aren’t they being open to pregnancy more or less the same way than NFP XPP

      • Bix

        Yup, it’s an oddity. The 1flesh people (the ones arguing that contraception ruins sex and everyone should use NFP) have an argument on their website using Aristotle’s concept of telos to explain why sex is for pleasure AND procreation, and that decoupling them hurts people because it thwarts the best natural end of sex. But if you’re using NFP to avoid conception, you’re still decoupling pleasure and procreation! It does the same thing!

      • Jayn

        One argument that was brought up in our pre-marital counseling was that NFP forces you to continuously re-evaluate whether or not you want to have a kid. Which is the biggest reason I have for not using it, actually–I’m afraid that with that knowledge I’d be unable to turn from trying not to conceive to being open to pregnancy. Frankly, I don’t want that burden.

        I’m really not sure what I think of this particular argument, but a lot of the theology surrounding sexuality feels tortured at best anyways. (Also, it was rather amusing to have NFP touted by a nurse with a double digit family)

      • Rosie

        Jayn, I’d think that would be an excellent argument *against* using NFP. I recently heard about a psychological study in which people were found to have less stress once they’ve made an irrevocable decision, regardless of which way they decided. Deciding again, and again, and again (especially about something as life-changing as having a child, or another child), is very stressful, and stress is hard on relationships.

      • Christine

        It doesn’t matter what kind of contraception you use – the effectiveness rate goes way down if you want more kids. However, without seeing any numbers, I’m going to guess that the difference between typical use when people don’t want kids and typical use when they do is larger with NFP than with other methods (with the possible exception of condoms).

    • Anat

      It comes down to not letting people have fun without ‘paying’ for it.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        I agree. It seems to me that having it be a giant pain in the ass is part of the point.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    YUCK!!!!! I almost threw up in my mouth when I read that Mark Driscoll quote. It’s just so incredibly degrading to…everybody! Also, I’m pretty sure that they guys I’ve been with (mostly very nice ones) and just the guys that I’m friends with (again, nice ones) would feel super icky and and turned off by the idea of a woman giving them oral to “serve” them out of repentance. Most guys I know say that part of the fun of receiving oral is the woman’s own enjoyment of doing it. Why kind of creeper (Mark Driscoll, I guess) could enjoy it if he knew that the woman hated it but was doing it because she thinks that if she doesn’t Jesus will be mad? Can you say “not sexy?” Ugh! Every time I see any quote from Mark Driscoll, I’m more convinced that he’s a total sleaze who wraps up his frat boy misogyny in bible talk.

    Also, in this evangelical move towards acknowledging that other sexual activity besides vanilla missionary intercourse exists, do women get in on any of the fun? Is there any discussion of oral sex or foreplay for women? Or of the importance of clitoral stimulation and the fact that most women do not achieve orgasm from penetration alone etc? Or is it just all about the guys, as usual?

    • Emily

      To the questions in your last paragraph: in my experience, yes! The female side was a big theme of the “sex talk” of our Christian premarital counseling and in a stack of sex books we read during our first year of marriage. There was a lot about making it enjoyable (and avoiding physical and emotional pain) for women, lubrication, oral and manual clitoral stimulation, and LOTS of communication from the woman about what is pleasurable or not. Major themes included both partners in communication about sexual likes and dislikes, how to figure out your likes and dislikes, women and men initiating and responding to each other’s invitations, foreplay, and dealing with past sexual abuse. A major theme of the “Boundaries” book by Cloud and Townsend (a popular relationship book) is “each person in a relationship must have the freedom to say ‘no’ in order to say a wholehearted ‘yes.’” This was stressed in our premarital counseling with regard to everything, including sex.

      • Libby Anne

        What denomination? I am trying to visualize this and it’s so foreign to my experience that I can’t!

      • Emily

        Haha — churches of Christ. (Surprised?) It’s a hard group to make generalizations about; if I had gone to a different flavor of churches of Christ the discussion probably would have been different (or more likely, nonexistant). That said, this all gets talked about deep in the Bible Belt, in a solidly conservative evangelical group, especially with regard to gender in worship. Gender relations in the home are (in my observation) more complementarian in name and egalitarian in practice. I came across these books and teaching in my Christian college Marriage and Family classes and again in premarital counseling. Books: Sheet Music by Kevin Leman and a whole series by Ed Wheat (he’s a physician, so it’s pretty clinical, but big on women’s sexual response nonetheless). I like to give Sheet Music as a wedding present to couples I know well and it has always been positively reviewed. :-) Interestingly, Debi Pearl’s book is starting to get passed around, too. Homeschooling has opened up the Quiverful/CP door in my faith circles, which is mostly why I follow your blog.

      • Eamon Knight

        Another data point: Tim LaHaye’s (yes, that Tim LaHaye) The Act of Marriage, originally published, well before 1980 anyway, is also big on all the foreplay stuff (including oral — though IIRC it’s still supposed all lead up to PIV). He lays a pretty strong emphasis on the husband’s duty to give his wife orgasms, anyway. Contrasting that with CP attitudes? When Tim LaHaye looks like a voice of sensible reason….wow.

        BTW: I went to Church of Christ (in Toronto, where it’s a distinctly obscure sect) during high school, summers during university, got married there, and then never again.

      • Christine

        Aside from having more or less detail on what exactly to do, I’m curious as to what else the pre-marital sex talk would cover. The differences in the (average) response and cool down times for the male and female sex drive is rather crucial. The speech at ours (it was taped, because the guy was apparently just that popular, so they wanted to keep doing his version) opened with the doctor explaining that he used to discuss anatomy and what it did, but now that you got it in school people weren’t listening to that part, so he skipped the details on that. His talk stated that he considered it to be abuse if the husband expected his wife to be up for sex at any time, without any foreplay, and then to be done and lose interest quickly, and then frame it as a problem with her that she wasn’t interested. The mental aspects were really heavily emphasized. (Not the spiritual ones, just the “the brain is the largest sex organ” type).

    • Judy L.

      Yeah, sounds to me that Mark Driscoll gets off on women’s submission, but perhaps more especially when it degrades them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving your partner pleasure through an act that you might not be tremendously keen on, but if it doesn’t turn you off or hurt you, it’s a nice thing to do for your partner and they should reciprocate and give you pleasure that doesn’t necessarily ring their own bell. But I grew up in a secular family culture that regarded sex as egalitarian, fun and valuable in its own right, and not only the purvue or privilege of married people. The whole Christian Patriarchy and Purity alternative lifestyle is an alien sub-culture to me, which I find endlessly disturbing and fascinating.

  • Ashton

    As a teen, I heard a lot about “respecting” yourself and your body. Unfortunately, in the eyes of the teachers and pastors saying this, this meant not having sex before marriage. It’s taken me a long time to realize that the way that they taught about sex was in no way respectful to anyone’s self. Trying not to acknowledge my sex drive was entirely disrespectful to my body and mind. I respect my body now by doing what I can to stay healthy (most of which has nothing to do with sex). This include knowing that there’s nothing wrong with sexual urges and that a healthy response to an urge can be to go have sex.

    Many of the religious teachings that I was brought up with cause me a lot of anxiety. In retrospect, the people who taught those things were not being at all respectful to me and it certainly wasn’t respectful to myself for me to voluntarily attend things that made me feel that way. In the defense of anyone who taught anxiety inducing things, they had no idea that I felt that way, but maybe religious leaders should consider the impact of their words more carefully (on any subject, not just sex). I’m so tired of hearing about “respect” in the context of not having sex. I don’t thing that those sex “educators” understand the irony of it.

    • Rosa

      ditto. Respect your body by doing what I tell you!

  • Niemand

    There’s an old joke about this: Q: What do you learn in Baptist Sunday school? A: Jesus loves you and you’re going to burn in hell. Sex is dirty and awful and you should save it for someone you love.

    Also, this statement disturbs me immensely: “Sex is spoken of as a way a wife can serve her husband again and again in evangelical and fundamentalist marriage manuals and advice books.” Sex is not a way to serve your partner. I serve my partner by doing the dishes, taking out the garbage, and taking the kid to school when he needs to be in early. He serves me in much the same way. Sex is something we do together for mutual pleasure not something one of us does to serve the other. Ever.

    • Nathaniel

      Last bit is another slice of evidence for my hypothesis that the people creating these doctrines are closet s/M’ers.

      • Niemand

        Unhealthy S/Mers doing it without explicit consent and safe words. A healthy BDSM relationship leaves the domination at the bedroom door and is all about using power exchange for mutual pleasure.

  • Daniel Fincke


  • Emily

    About the “sex is the most amazing thing in life” theme: I remember praying as a teenager for Jesus not to come back until I had gotten married and had sex.

    • Kacy

      Hahahahaha!!! You weren’t the only one who prayed that prayer.

  • Sarah

    I feel like this would make for some interesting conversations at the Pearly Gates.

    St. Peter: “And why are you here, my son? Did you admit that you were a sinner, in need of the grace of our main man, JC?”

    Generic Patriarchy Guy: “Um, sorta, I mean, I conned a woman into giving me BJs every time I felt my faith slip. That counts, right?”

  • smrnda

    I think that the basic thing is for a lot of people in movements like this, they think “ick” when they think the other person had sex with someone other than them. It’s such a big ‘ick’ that they can’t get past the sexual element in relationships into anything deeper. It almost sounds like some kind of OCD compulsion.

    As I’ve said before, it degrades marriage into just an outlet for sexual feelings that have to be controlled some way. The whole ‘relationship’ side seems invisible.

    • Schaden Freud

      I completely agree. However, I think it’s more about domination than OCD. The man sees the woman as a posession, and doesn’t like the idea that another man may have encroached on his territory.

  • Karen

    I spent teen years in the ’70s being instructed by my Catholic mother that sex was strictly for procreation and for keeping a husband happy; she believed it was a sin for a woman to enjoy sex. What a miserable sex life my parents must have had! (Unless my mother was an excellent actress — which I doubt.) Despite me consciously dismissing this, the teaching took root, and it took my adult self quite awhile to get past it. I’m eternally grateful for a patient and caring husband!

  • A Reader

    I love reading your posts, but I almost barfed when I read that Driscoll sermon quote. It sounds like some kind of Jesus porn. If someone doesn’t want to give their partner oral, don’t make them. If they do, they don’t need Driscoll to instruct them on on the script!

  • perfectnumber628

    Wow, there is so much good stuff in this post. Particularly the part about how Christian purity culture doesn’t teach about what is a healthy or unhealthy relationship- the only think that’s talked about is being “pure” and “how far is too far” and “saving yourself” (ie not having sex, not kissing, etc, because that is meant to be “saved” for your husband) and staying out of situations where there is temptation.

  • Arturs

    Its unfortunate how humans have persisted to make life more difficult for themselves. There is no possible way to have a healthy life without acknowledging your sex life.

  • Adele

    Your last paragraph could almost be a brochure on the Sex Education that was developed as a joint project by the Unitarian Universalists and United Church of Christ. The curriculum is called “Our Whole Lives” and is referred to as OWL. My daughter is taking the class this year (she is twelve). The class is just getting started, but so far I’m really pleased. Here is a link to the real online overview of the program:

  • jwall915

    Ugh, THIS!!! The whole “sex is beautiful once you’re married” thing is so destructive. Like Libby Anne said, sex is sex. Being married or not doesn’t remotely change the physical nature of it. Likewise a marriage license doesn’t make sex into something it’s not. It requires a lot of communication, basic anatomy knowledge and some practice to make it good.
    Here’s something else. My church did what I’ll call a hybrid sex talk. Not only were we given Bible verses as admonishments not to have premarital sex, we were also preached at about the consequences of sex, e.g. STI’s, pregnancy, etc. We were told lies like condoms don’t work and no birth control is 100%, blah, blah, blah. But we were only told those thing as pertaining to PREMARITAL sex. We were taught that once you got married, sex was wonderful, beautiful, etc. It gave the very distinct impression that married sex was also always safe. Not true! You can contract or spread an STI within marriage. You can have an unwanted pregnancy that totally screws up your life and possibly your marriage if you’re not careful. I did grow up in a bent of Protestantism that was okay with most forms of birth control, but I have to wonder if these sex talks we received led to people being careless about it once they were married. Those talks really built up marriage sex to be something it’s not: that it just magically works, that you have no fear of unwanted pregnancy or STI, that it’s always beautiful…
    Not true!!! I never had any pregnancy false alarms before we were married, but I’ve had a couple since we got married, and they were terrifying. A marriage license did not alleviate the fear of my life being turned upside down one bit! Being married does NOT magically make sex into a consequence free zone, as my church leaders would have had us believe.

    • Rosie

      You said it! I also had this experience with the sex teachings I received either from church or from my parents, or maybe both. I was taught that it’s ok to have sex within marriage because it’s ok to get pregnant and have kids once you’re married. (Also, it was assumed that we’d both be virgins on the wedding night, and therefore STD-free…which is true as far as it goes, I suppose.) But what I found is that being married didn’t make me any more willing to have a child. It might have been ok with my mom and church if I had a kid once I was married, but it wasn’t ok with ME! And those purity teachings gave me no help at all when it came to figuring out how to “fulfill my marital duty” AND “take responsibility for my decision to have sex” at the same time. Abortion has to be an option if I’m going to have sex with my husband. Ever.

  • john gentile

    First of all i want to say that the majority of christians are mindless pricks who follow their own wills while continually talking about Gods will. Next i want to say that God gave the example of the son that says yes to his father and doesnt do what he was told and the son that says no and repents and does what he is told. I mention this part of the bible to basically just say that i have seen so many non-christians who are doing the right things while christians are still fucking trying to be guided by some blind hypocritical pastor. Next i want to say that it is sad how crippled christians are and that they need a fucking book on how to feel,breathe,and generally fucking exist!!! I had a friend snatch a christian sex book out of my hand when he had just gotten married and said this isnt for your eyes….AND I WAS FUCKING 25 FOR CHRISTS SAKE!!! Here are some words of wisdom.. do the fucking opposite of whatever the fuck a christian says and you will be just fine. hail satan :)

  • Paul

    As a man raised catholic I am extremely grateful to see you break down the religious arguments about sex so clearly in this article. I finally was able to find happiness in my own relationship with my boyfriend once I got over the idea that premarital sex is all bad. Afterall, the Church doesn’t think I should be allowed to marry a man anyway so why save myself for marriage? I really hope that the Church as a whole (all religious denominations) can get past these silly contradictory rules and find a way to teach kids about sex properly. Sadly, there are still plenty of people pushing for abstinence only education in schools and that is not going to help the situation one bit.

  • Nebuladance

    What I have noticed since leaving the faith is how highly sexualised everything in the Evangelical world is, despite their protestations about sexual purity. I grew up as an evangelical in Toronto which is extremely different from evangelicals in the Mid-west where I went to Bible college. Once there I was dismayed that women could not be friends with men for fear of appearing inappropriate. NOT that they feared for their own conduct. They were reasonably sure they could control themselves if alone with a random person of the opposite gender. No, they were concerned with how it might look to other Christians, and most especially how it would affect their “witness.”
    While doing a summer missions internship in a country my parents had been missionaries in while I was a child, I tried to arrange a meeting with another missionary friend who was still living there. He had felt like another Dad to me, so it hurt when he said I could not come by for a visit and coffee because his wife was out of town. Having a single, unmarried young lady in his home without his wee as chaperone, that just could not been done. What if the missions boards back home in the States heard about it?!
    That experience percolated through my mind for years before I realised what was wrong. The Evangelical world is so sexually charged they cannot have rational relationships. Girls cannot play with boys, men cannot be friends with women, so as a consequence they have very limited ability to have real relationships with each other. My best friends growing up were boys, an experience my sister also had. You can imagine her confusion when she was in Bible college in the mid-west and she received a note under her dorm room door, asking her to ‘please choose one of the guys’ to date rather than hogging them all. How naive of her. She just thought she was hanging out with friends (publicly of course, in the cafeteria or similar venues). Growing up in Canada, sex was not a big deal, so people were free to relate to each other based on their own personality, not on their gender. But American evangelical christianity does not allow that. Too much temptation.