Dear Little Girl: Jesus Doesn’t Want Your Sex Life

This little girl is pledging her sex life to Jesus:

The O2 Experience is an organization that goes around the country giving talks on “Life, Death, Sex, and Romance”—which of course is code for “how to avoid both hell and sex before marriage.” On their webpage they describe their conferences as “an opportunity for young people to hear the life-changing message of the gospel and understand God’s plan for their sex lives.” From a reading of the group’s webpage, it looks like you take sex and hell, and throw in a little shame, guilt, and fear tactics on the side, and you’ve got the perfect formula for winning converts. After all, I suppose, you’d be hard pressed to find a teen who doesn’t think sexual thoughts at least once in a while, and if the group shares the views of the Josh Harris book they promote on their website, all they have to do is tell teens that those thoughts are sinful and will damn them to hell unless they recite the sinner’s prayer.

This promo video offers a flavor of their style:

This is a blatant attempt to make virginity hip. Note that this isn’t girls with long uncut hair and denim skirts—it’s ordinary teens with baggy pants and spikey hair. They want to make virginity trendy.

Look, I don’t have a problem with people deciding not to have sex. In fact, I don’t even have a problem with people deciding not to have sex based on their religious convictions. I also don’t have a problem with teens who want to ensure that virginity is a socially acceptable choice, and not something that is ridiculed. I think that every sexual choice (provided it doesn’t involve nonconsensually harming someone else) should be seen as okay, and not as something to be put down or made fun of.

What I do have a problem with is the use of misinformation, shame, and threats of hellfire to manipulate children’s sexuality and sexual choices. I mean for goodness sake, one of their slogans is “Hold Out for Honor.” Because apparently, if you have sex you lose your honor. Way to encourage virginity, there.

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.

  • Darkling

    What the hell does Honourtm even mean? Is it just a fancier way of saying that if they’re not virgins then their value in the community is reduced? Shouldn’t their value in the community be based on something more than what they do with their genitals? /idealist

    • Jolie

      Sounds like worshipping a divinity who doesn’t care much about the poor and needy of this world facing starvation (since they may be all lazy foreigners, for all we know); but on the other hand cares very much about what you do with your genitals.

      • Darkling

        True and add to that the worshipers of this divinity don’t have the patience to wait and allow it to pass its own judgement, they have to rush in and judge individuals themselves.

  • Jolie

    The concept that someone -supernatural being or not- has “plans” for my sex life creeps the &%*^$&% out of me.

    • Nancy Shrew

      He sees you when you’re she-bopping…

      • The_L1985

        He sees you when you’re screwing,
        He hears the sounds you make,
        He knows just what you do in bed…
        He’s a voyeur, for goodness’s sake!

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        Well, what would _you_ do with omniscience? ;D

      • The Other Weirdo

        Voyeurism can’t be that much fun when you’re omniscient. Part of the thrill is not knowing what will happen next, and you would already know ahead of time.

        Or so I am told…

    • Hat Stealer

      Remember, God has special plans for your hymen.

    • smrnda

      Totally. That is just way too creepy for me.

    • Miss_Beara

      There are a lot of people think they have plans and the appropriate punishment for women who have sex.

    • A Reader

      Seriously. This guy’s supposed to be in charge of the whole universe but the state of my hymen is his biggest priority?

      • Ahab

        You’d think a being who created galaxies, black holes, quasars, and the fabric of space-time wouldn’t be so obsessed with Earth-primate mating habits.

    • Fanraeth

      Basically the fundie God is Ceiling Cat.

  • http://atheistlutheran.blogspot.com/ MargueriteF

    “…and if the group shares the views of the Josh Harris book they promote on their website…”

    “Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is)”? That’s a horrifying book. Just awful. Like you, it’s fine with me if people *choose* to remain virginal till marriage or forever, but I really hate the kind of thinking that tells people that all sexual impulses are bad, bad, bad and that even an “impure thought” should make us feel wracked with guilt. This is especially destructive to kids, who don’t need to be loaded down with guilt and shame for having normal thoughts and impulses.

    • Miss_Beara

      I think emotional virginity is even creepier and more bizarre than sexual virginity. Everyone has crushes and making teens feel guilty about that is really really sad. It isn’t enough for them to control their physical desires, they go after their emotional desires as well. And of course it is always centered around the purity, emotional and physical, of girls.

      • Samantha

        Seriously this ^^. I have always been a sexual being, and because of teachings like Joshua Harris’s I felt guilty and dirty most of my life because I had a sex drive. Events like this would’ve made it even worse as a teen for me, because I would’ve had massive crush’s on the musicians in their tight pants, and probably had sex dreams about them after the services. Then I would’ve spent the next few months feeling ashamed and repenting and begging god for “healing” from my sexual desires all the while being confused as to why I couldn’t control my lust and why my body reacted physically to people I found appealing. As a girl that grew up in a slightly more “hip” purity and homeschool culture (read no long jeans skirts for me, but still obsession with modesty) I felt ashamed of my body and my natural desires for years into my adulthood. It took dating and eventually marrying someone with a really healthy view of sexuality to work through all of that, and I still have trouble with my body and desires sometimes–and that is as someone whose been an Atheist for 5 or six years.

      • Miss_Beara

        It is difficult to get out of that mindset after it has been so ingrained inside of your mind. I still have hangups about sex after being told that girls who have sex outside of marriage is like a used piece of gum. I don’t remember if I was ever taught emotional purity, if I did I blocked it out because of the stupidity.
        I am fully aware that my sex education was complete bs, but it doesn’t help how I feel sometimes. It is great that you have a husband that worked with you through that stuff. I have a boyfriend who is very patient with me.

      • Stev84

        That’s exactly why religions made sexuality a sin in the first place. It’s a great way to control people, because everyone is guaranteed to “sin”. Invent the sickness and sell the cure – with the perfect knowledge that people are soon going to be sick again.

        The mental issues it creates also serve to break people down and easier to control and coerce with other things.

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        Not quite “everyone”, but close enough.

      • Ahab

        This is why unhealthy messages about sex make me so angry. Fundamentalism’s obsession with making sex dirty and sinful has created untold misery for believers and former believers.

      • onamission5

        Not to mention, the emotional virginity doctrine tends to translate into “permanently infantilized.”

      • Frank

        Actually its those that succumb to the fallacy that sex can be whatever you want it to be that never grows up.

      • Ibis3

        Uh, no. You’re the one with the imaginary parent standing over you to make sure you stick it in the “right” place (i.e. your sanctioned property) for the “right” purpose (i.e. breeding more child-slaves for that parent). That’s not grown up at all.

      • smrnda

        I’ll agree that sex cannot be whatever you want it to be. It isn’t a means of proving mathematical theorems or a way to launch satellites into orbit, but it can be both casual fun or an emotionally intimate experience.

      • Whirlwitch

        Hmmph, maybe YOUR sex doesn’t launch satellites into orbit…

      • smrnda

        I need to read more ‘how to’ manuals I think :-)

      • Little Magpie

        I’m not sure that comment justifies a complete internet… but definitely a good portion of one. :D

      • Snipe

        This is so true. My older sister is 34, and she bought heavily into the emotional virginity doctrine. She read Josh Harris, went to the Gothard seminar as a preteen (we all did), is not married, has never really dated, and has never been kissed. Last year, she finally declared that she would like to find a spouse, but she has a lot of hangups and still wonders if it’s best to wait until the altar before the first kiss. It’s unlikely that she will ever find what she’s looking for, and it’s sad that she doesn’t see how unrealistic her expectations are.

      • Jitterbits

        lol, Gothard? I presume that isn’t supposed to be pronounced “Got Hard”, but it really is a terrible name for an abstinence program because of that,
        Got hard for abstinence. hahaha

    • brightie

      Harris isn’t the only place people can get that view. Taking one particular quote from Jesus at its bluntest possible face value practically made me panic as a kid…

  • AAAtheist

    Libby:

    You’re right about the attempt to make the O2 Experience seem cool. In his bio, the founder, Mr. Levi Lusko, mentions he loves to “snowboard, surf, cycle, read[,] and drink coffee” and describes his teaching style as “real, relevant, and raw.” Ironically, though, he’s “never known life outside the church.”

    Tellingly, as you pointed out in Manly Modesty?, their type of message promotes a double standard. On his blog, five of the six pictures suggesting pledges being taken are mostly of girls, with the one exception being a boy buying the literature.

    I also agree with you that virginity is a valid choice, as long as it’s not shame-based. Visits to local Planned Parenthood chapters or the Scarleteen website would give these pledgers much needed options they’re most likely not getting.

    • Carol Lynn

      Mr. Levi Lusko, mentions he loves to “snowboard, surf, cycle, read and drink coffee”

      He reads coffee? or just thinks Oxford commas are also a Satanic plot?

      • Jolie

        Let’s organise an event about sexuality and invite the strippers, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney. Eeeek.
        (And a binder full of women too)

      • AAAtheist

        Carol Lynn:

        Nice catch.

        Yes, as posted in his bio, Mr. Lusko does indeed drink coffee as well read it … like tea leaves or palms, maybe?

        Witchcraft! (*smile* ☺)

        Making the correction in the previous post.

  • Mel

    I love that avoiding hell and premarital sex have the same weight. That’s hilarious.

  • ZeldasCrown

    Like most things, as long as an individual made that choice for themselves, and wasn’t brainwashed or coerced into, I have zero problem with that choice (provided that it’s not something that is harmful to others, like deciding to have sex with somebody whether or not they consent). It’s the bullying, shaming, guilt tripping, and underlying messages that I take issue with for many of the topics Libby Anne discusses in these posts, not the actual choices themselves.

    • Jayn

      Once you take something out of being a choice and into a requirement, I think it loses most of its meaning anyhow. These kids aren’t really given the option to not be virgins (or at least to not pledge to), so what does it really mean beyond “I follow the crowd”? (Which is kind of a funny way to put it, given how it seems to be framed by adults as a way to rebel against cultural norms.)

  • Jolie

    Just saying…

    “Some people are gay, some people are straight and anything in-between. This does not make any one of us a better or a worse person. It is part of who you are; and only you can discover whom you’re attracted to. Whatever you find and whatever your body tells you, do not be ashamed of it.
    This is why it is very wrong to pick on this to hurt each other: “gay” is not a dirty word, don’t use it as such. Don’t call gay people “faggots” or “fairies”, it’s very disrespectful. (Just like, if you’re gay, you shouldn’t call straight people “breeders”). Don’t refer to other people’s feelings or choice of partners as “weird” or “gross”; as different as they may seem from yours. Whether you’re gay, straight or bisexual, be proud of who you are, but remember to respect those around you: your sexual orientation does not make you better or worse than anyone else.”

    According to fundamentalists, this message promotes the homosexual agenda and threatens to turn all of our children gay.

    “Some people are comfortable with having sex as soon as they feel they can trust and respect their partner, some choose to wait until a greater emotional intimacy builds up and some choose to wait until marriage. This does not make any one of us a better or a worse person. It is a very personal choice; and only you can decide whether you want to begin your sex life with a consenting partner. Whatever you will choose, do not be ashamed of it.
    This is why it is very wrong to pick on this to hurt each other: “virgin” is not a dirty word, don’t use it as such. Don’t call people who choose not to have sex yet “boring prudes” or “ugly virgos” (just like, if you’re waiting untill marriage, you shouldn’t call people who don’t “sluts”). Don’t refer to other people’s decision to have or not to have sex as “weird” or “gross”; as different as it may be from yours. Whether you’re virgin or sexually active, be proud of who you are, but remember to respect those around you: having or not having sex does not make you better or worse than anyone else.”

    Far from promoting the virginity agenda, this text is apparently offensive and oppressive to those who choose to wait until marriage and totally violates their right to freedom of conscience.

    Fascinating ;)

    • ZebulaNebula

      I hate Fundie logic …

      • Alice

        That’s an oxymoron, but I agree.

  • j_bird

    So the little girl in the top picture is taking a purity pledge? Putting little kids on stage in front of a crowd and making them talk about their sexuality, even if they use words like “purity” and “waiting” instead of “sex”, just seems wrong. Especially since at that age, they probably have very little idea of what they’re promising. And as Jayn points out, how could they possibly refuse if their parents pushed the issue?

    Also, in the video there are clips of a man (Levi Lusko, I think, the leader of the O2 Experience?) giving a kiss on the cheek to a teenage girl and a kiss on the hand to a younger girl, on stage, presumably as part of these purity ceremonies. I know that sometimes the ceremonies can be modeled on weddings (to Jesus, the church, whatever) but really? Does he kiss the boys who take purity pledges? Do they get a woman up there to do it? It just seems gross.

    • Frank

      So putting little girls on TV and in movies dressed sexuality and acting sexually is ok though?

      Remember girls, what you do with your bodies matters to God. Stay pure until marriage.

      • Miss_Beara

        No, it doesn’t. If a girl/woman wants to believe that, fine. I don’t believe in a god. Many people here don’t believe in a god.

        And, what about boys? Are they not suppose to be pure? Are women considered used and men considered experienced if they have premarital sex? And couples who have no plans on marrying. Why should they be celibate forever?

        You and your god is not the sex police. Women are people and are completely capable of making their own decisions.

      • Frank

        Of course boys are to be held to the same standard but this was an article about girls.

        And we can see what not believing in God leads to. Bad advice.

        Everyone is capable of making their own decisions but they are often not the right decisions.

      • BobaFuct

        “And we can see what not believing in God leads to. Bad advice.”

        Citation needed.

      • Frank

        Look around. Proof enough.

      • BobaFuct

        I see four white walls, a computer, a bookshelf, and a map of Yemen…what is that proof of?

      • Frank

        Proof that you have no idea what you are talking about.

      • BobaFuct

        I think you mean it’s proof I have no idea what YOU are talking about.

      • Frank

        That would track. I mean if you don’t know what you are talking about how can you possibly understand what someone else is talking about.

      • phantomreader42

        You and Frank are living proof of that. You babble idiotic nonsense and then whine that your lack of clarity and your allergy to facts is somehow everyone ELSE’s fault.

        EDIT: Did Frank change the name on half his comments, or is Disqus being idiotic as usual?

      • BobaFuct

        He said “Look around. Proof enough (that not believing in God leads to. Bad advice)” I looked around and reported back what I saw. I don’t understand how what I observe in my office leads to “bad advice”.

        Now presumably, he meant “look at the world today and you’ll see the decline of civilization into godless anarchy, just as the scriptures describe, and all due to our denial of god’s goodness.” Well, based on my observations, this is patently and demonstrably false, and it is the standard trope rolled out by Christians for the last two thousand years to demonstrate the imminence of Christ’s return and evidence of the truth of scripture.

        So when I “look around” I don’t see godless anarchy…I see humankind slowly embracing sexual equality and social progress and leaving behind the poisonous and outdated ideas–like small children publicly pledging their sexuality to an imaginary man in the sky–of some holy book written by a bunch of crotchety old misogynists a couple dozen centuries ago.

      • phantomreader42

        And when Frank looks around, he sees his own hatred and evil, which he cannot admit is part of himself, so he projects it on everyone else. Frank’s determination to see the world as ugly and bad leads him to dedicate his life to MAKING the world ugly and bad.

      • Frank

        You certainly have the right to have an opinion not based in facts or truth. And I have the right to see it as the BS it really is.

      • phantomreader42

        Did Frank change the name on most of his comments, or is Disqus just fucked up as usual?

      • Jayn

        I think Discus just effed up. Try reloading the page.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Out of curiosity, why the map of Yemen? It seems a bit random.

      • BobaFuct

        I work in foreign policy…

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Cool. I ask no more questions then :) Yemen’s a place we do things that are very classified.

      • BobaFuct

        And also things that are very boring :)

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        I’ve gotten worse advice, on average, from religious people than non-religious ones*. Know yourself and your body, have safe sex only if and when you want to, don’t be a dick, boys who don’t listen to you on small stuff won’t listen to you on big stuff and aren’t worth dating: that’s not the advice I got from religious people, yet it’s been the most accurate and useful. Anecdote != data, but yeah …

        *Non-religious = atheist, agnostic, and spiritual-but-not-religious friends and family

      • Alice

        Fundamentalists give crappy advice because they believe reading a certain magic book and repeatedly thinking magic words will make all problems under the sun go “blippety, boppety boo.” Two paintbrushes is not a good toolbox.

      • enuma

        Proof of what, the world improving? By all the standard indicators of human well-being, the world today is a better place to be than the world was 50, 100, 500, or 1000+ years ago. Our awareness of war, family violence, rape, murder, and genocide is higher today due to mass media, but the actual per capita incidence of those things is at an all-time low.

      • smrnda

        Secular nations seem pretty nice to me. Religious parts of the US seem more like third world countries. Highly religious nations tend to be pretty socially dysfunctional.

      • Jayn

        “And we can see what not believing in God leads to. Bad advice.”

        Being human leads to bad advice. Believing in God just provides justification for dispensing it.

      • Miss_Beara

        Tell that to the children who were raped by men who believed in god.
        Who cares if you don’t think it is the right decision? People make right and wrong decisions all of the time. That is life.

      • Frank

        Children are raped as well by those that do no believe in God.

      • phantomreader42

        Not anywhere near as often, and atheists do not defend child rapists like the catholic cult does.

      • Frank

        Actually its probably more so but I don’t have the stats. Yes certainly there was a coverup in the Catholic church and they have to answer for that and d whatever they can to make it right and make sure its stops.

      • phantomreader42

        So, you admit that you don’t have a speck of evidence to support your claims, all you have to offer is a desperate attempt to libel atheists. Isn’t that imaginary god of yours supposed to have some sort of problem with bearing false witness?

      • Miss_Beara

        You just said that not believing in god leads to bad advice. Catholic priests who believe in god raped children and the church looked the other way for decades. So, please explain how not believing in god leads to “bad advice” while men who believe in god who were in a position of authority over children managed to rape them, despite their devotion to their god.

      • Frank

        Those catholics who abuse others were not following God thats for sure.

      • Miss_Beara

        Hello, No True Scotsman.

      • Lucreza Borgia

        Gotta love it!

      • Hat Stealer

        Nothing bad can come from God, because God is good. Why is God good? Because nothing bad can ever come from God.

        Now repeat that for a decade and a half and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what Frank’s childhood was probably like.

      • Olive Markus

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

        Whoa. And Wow.

        And yet you still put all of your faith into the institution that vehemently stands behind, supports and aids the priests who raped children while blaming the victims themselves.

        Fascinating.

      • Frank

        I am not catholic.

      • smrnda

        You should check out stats on how well atheists do when married. They sure beat the religious folks.

      • Frank

        No the stats are the same. Which is a sad testament to Christian married people.

      • Kristen

        [citation needed]

      • phantomreader42

        The very idea of evidence is against Frank’s religion.

      • smrnda

        So obviously I should reject Christianity and anything it says about marriage, right? After all, if the Christian philosophy was worth anything, it would get results.

      • Seeker

        Ah, there’s that reality thing you hate so much, rearing its head. The fact is that fundamentalist Christians have the highest rate of divorce.

      • enuma

        I’ve always wondered what would happen if a non sequitur and a false dichotomy had a baby. Now I know.

      • Frank

        An yes another intelligent comment from the atheist community.

      • eamonknight

        Actually, that would be a dead accurate comment on your first sentence. Not surprising, though, that a grandstanding ideologue wouldn’t get that.

      • Frank

        Thanks for supporting my point.

      • Kristen

        You haven’t made any points. Go away.

      • Composer 99

        Why is it cranks always think other people are supporting their points right after the cranks get rhetorically drubbed with a halibut to the head?

        I mean, really, I see this all the time: Frank here, global warming denialists, boosters of homeopathy, pi=3 cranks… the list goes on.

        Is it something in the water?

      • Kristen

        Enuma aptly pointed out the logical fallacies committed in your previous comment. Instead of supporting your claim with arguments supported by evidence, you respond with sarcasm.

      • Frank

        When something cogent and worthy of a real response is presented I will give one.

      • phantomreader42

        No, you won’t, you’ll just lie through your sockpuppet’s teeth as always. You’re incapable of saying anything cogent, all you can do is spew bullshit and lies, and the only way you can pretend you have support is to reply to yourself using phony identities.

      • Kristen

        troll

      • smrnda

        It would be wrong to encourage the sexualization and sexual exploitation of girls on TV or wherever. We shouldn’t be raising kids as media commodities.

        However, if we’re looking at say, a fictional story about a teenage prostitute, we’d be getting a gritty, realistic drama that tells us a story that is true to life but not necessarily a factual representation of the actress’ own sexuality. Something like that might actually be kind of enlightening.

        In these purity ceremonies, this isn’t acting. It isn’t pretend. It’s taking the actual real, lived sexuality of all the participants and making it into a public spectacle.

        Why is what I do with my body some god’s business? It shouldn’t be the president’s business.

      • j_bird

        This is a great response that actually manages to relate Frank’s apparent nonsequitur response to my original comment. I’m impressed! :)

        And for the record, of course I think child actors should be given age-appropriate roles. I think a child being pushed into a highly sexualized role at a young age* has the potential to be pretty gross too. But purity ceremonies are, as smrnda points out, not make-believe at all.

        *or, for that matter, some of the reality shows that put young children’s lives under the microscope

      • Frank

        God created you whether you believe that or not.

      • Hat Stealer

        Well he certainly did a shitty job. I mean, if you had to give a species an immortality inducing enzyme that repairs DNA, essentially allowing an organism to live forever, why on earth would you give it to LOBSTERS. I mean, we eat lobsters. It seems like such a chemical could be better spent on humans.

        And don’t even get me started on squid.

      • brightie

        Lobsters have a what? How can we synthesize this?

      • Hat Stealer

        That was my first reaction too. My second was the realization that if there was a god, then would be a colossal dick.

        I mean, even morose than before.

      • smrnda

        God or gods were conspicuously absent from both my conception and birth.

      • Sophie

        If that’s the case then he did a supremely shitty job, seeing how I ended up bedbound at age 27 after suffering from chronic back pain my whole life because of a malformation of part of my spine. And I’m not alone, there are most likely billions of other people who your god created that are suffering because he didn’t do a good enough job. Personally I’d rather believe in science than in an arsehole who would bring people into the world just for them to suffer.

      • Olive Markus

        I’m so sorry you went through all of that :(. I’ve had my fair share of physical ailments at a young age. Believing in a god that either made it happen or allowed it to happen is so not helpful.

      • http://volunteer11.blogspot.com/ VollyfromtheBlog

        Nope, the converse is true.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Actually, what I do with my body matters to me. And that’s it. There is no God, no gods, no spirits, no Heaven, no Hell. I matter because I exist and I have consciousness and I am as valuable as every other human being. My choices matter because of how they impact me and the people around me. No invisible sky wizard voyeur could possibly be as important as my life, my self-esteem, and my own personal autonomy and dignity.

      • Frank

        You have the right to believe what you want whether its true or not.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        I also have the right not to be shamed for it, told I’m wrong for it, or lectured for it. That is where you fail, Frank. My body is not a temple to God and when you tell me to save it for “Him”, you set up purity culture which is rape culture which is bad.

      • Frank

        Huh? How is purity culture rape culture?

      • Kristen
      • Frank

        Thanks for replying to my legitimate question. I don’t buy the comparison though.

      • Kristen

        I’m sure you have done extensive reading in the 15 seconds it took you to dismiss the entire internet.

      • Frank

        So what you are saying is that purity is about control. I reject that assertion. Rape however is most certainly is about power and control.

      • Kristen

        You reject it on what grounds?

      • phantomreader42

        On the grounds that his faith is too weak to survive contact with any facts, so he must reject all reality.

      • Frank

        I don’t see respecting sexuality and saving it for the proper time and place is about controlling women. Its about respecting women.

      • Kristen

        You have already been told by others that purity culture has nothing to do with respecting women. You don’t respect women. The women who grew up within this culture can speak to their experiences. You cannot. I know from experience what it’s like as a girl growing up in this culture. You do not. Kindly fuck off with your bullshit claims and your mansplaining. I’m done with you.

      • Frank

        I do not discount anyone’s experience. To them that’s how they received it. And yes religion is known for shaming and that’s damaging. But that just means that some are misguided as to what purity means and what it represents. It doesn’t detract from the value of sexual purity.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Sexual purity = not having sex until marriage, right?

        If you have sex before marriage, what does that make you? In a world where women and women’s choices are respected, that makes you a person like any other, because what you do with your genitals doesn’t define you. In Frank’s world, it makes you a worthless slut because what you do with your genitals defines your worth. And that’s why purity culture and emphasis on sexual purity is bad; people are so much more than the action their genitalia has or has not seen/experienced.

      • Frank

        You might want to work on your bias so you are not controlled by it. Its a terrible way to live,

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        What bias is that, exactly? The one where women are people with full mental, emotional, and sexual capabilities who deserve respect for their humanity?

      • phantomreader42

        Feminerd, the “bias” that Frank hates so much is called “reality”. It’s his sick death cult’s mortal enemy.

      • Miss_Beara

        Duh, us wimmin folk are not capable of any of those things! I better lay down. This thread is giving me the vapours!

        walks to fainting couch

        faints

      • Lucreza Borgia

        Here you go

      • Miss_Beara

        :)

      • Miss_Beara

        Lol.

        How on earth is that biased? I don’t think it means what you think it means.

      • Frank

        I know what it means. Bitterness and resentment fuels bias. And its a lousy way to live.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Bitter and resentful? How do you figure?

        Angry? Oh hell yes. Very angry and passionate. But that’s how anything ever got changed in this world- directed anger and passion. How else am I supposed to react when you tell me that I’m somehow worth less (or worthless) because I had sex before marriage? Should I be all sweetness and light and fluffy bunnies, or should I let you know that what you’re saying is offensive, wrong, and hurtful?

        Part of acknowledging that women are full people is to stop trying to control their emotions and let them be angry without calling them bitter and resentful and then ignoring their complaints. Maybe, just maybe, they have something to be angry about.

      • Frank

        I never said you were worth less. I am sorry if someone said that to you. You are not. Christians who say that have forgotten the centerpiece of their faith, grace and forgiveness.

        Anger is a double edged sword. Righteous anger inspires change but anger also hurts and damages, no one more so than the one who is feeling it. Getting angry doesn’t have to mean becoming bitter or resentful. It doesn’t mean being biased.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        You’re right, it doesn’t. And I am not bitter or resentful. I am merely angry, and I have a lot to be angry about.

        You never called me worth less? Bullshit. You have said that virgin until marriage makes the bestest women. Well, I wasn’t a virgin when I married. Thus, I wasn’t a bestest woman. Ergo, you have said I am not worth as much as a “pure” woman, which is the same as saying worth less. That’s what purity culture is all about.

      • Frank

        I never said those words. I said that sexuality is important and the best expression of it is within marriage. You see this is what I mean when I say bias. You hear what you want to hear or your hear a past voice in a present voice. You may have a lot to be angry about but you are only hurting yourself by letting it control you.

      • Jolie

        “I said that sexuality is important and the best expression of it is within marriage”. Maybe, IF you are monogamous by nature, that is. I can’t imagine that-one working out for poly people :)
        (Also, I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here in hoping that your definition of marriage does not exclude same=sex couples)

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        onamission5 said:
        Virginity has no inherent value, and sex doesn’t make a person “impure.”

        Frank said:
        You are entitled to your opinion even if its flawed and incorrect.

        Tell me again you’re not sex-negative and you don’t judge non-virgins.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Actually, that’s not what bias means. Bias in this context merely means partiality. You are clearly partial to a certain perspective. Other commenters here are partial to another.

      • Mary C

        oooh he threw out the “bitter” card. I’m surprised it took so long.

      • Olive Markus

        All women with an opinion are bitter harpies! I’m very glad that he pointed out that very obvious Truth so that we can learn to keep our emotional bitterness in check, shut the hell up, and let the men do the discussing.

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        I don’t know, Frank. You sound pretty bitter and resentful to me. Even more so when you tried to cry a river for the poor, poor fetuses.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        LOL! Oh the “bias” trolling. Guess what, Frank: You have bias. I have bias. Everyone has bias on this issue. Believe it or not, the idea that sex outside of any context but marriage is damaging is not some objective reality. It is an opinion you have. It is bias.

        The object here is not to eliminate bias but to justify your particular point-of-view with coherent, logical arguments that make actual sense. You have utterely failed in that endeavor thus far, mostly because you seem to think that your views are so self-evidently true that defense is unnecessary. This is what happens when you live inside the Christian bubble.

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        Most Christians are not as self-deluded as Frank, I think. More like the fundamentalist or authoritarian bubble.

      • brightie

        Um… Even for many people and churches influences by purity culture, I think “worthless” is an exaggeration of the case. Although my churches may not have gotten the worst of it.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        There are definitely degrees of harm done. I think “worthless” is a pretty valid word to use, given the link below, many other blog and semi-scholarly articles I’ve read, and a lot of commenters’ stories.

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2013/05/sex-and-chewing-gum-the-danger-of-purity-culture.html

      • Ahab

        “In Frank’s world, it makes you a worthless slut because what you do with your genitals defines your worth.”

        Unfortunately, purity culture also implies that what others do TO your genitals without your consent defines your worth. Purity culture is extremely dehumanizing to sexual abuse victims because it cruelly depicts them as damaged goods. This is another link between toxic purity culture and rape culture that we need to remember.

        A few weeks ago, Elizabeth Smart gave a talk in which she explained how purity messages exacerbated her captivity and abuse. I recommend listening to it for a glimpse into how purity culture harms sex abuse victims.

        http://republic-of-gilead.blogspot.com/2013/05/kidnapping-survivor-elizabeth-smart-on.html

      • Jitterbits

        I was raised under these conditions, and after I was raped (which is how I lost my virginity), I really saw no reason to say “no”. The feeling that my body was my own just didn’t exist, and as a result, I ended up being far more promiscuous and less discerning than I would have been were I raised differently. I viewed myself as damaged goods anyway, and there was nothing I could do to change that, in my mind.

        The worst thing, though, was when I told my aunt, who was also fundamentalist, how I lost my virginity, her response was, “Well, you always DID have the spirit of Jezebel.” That was so effed up on so many levels, and it was a direct result of her religious beliefs. When people support this sort of purity culture, they are totally blind to the real damage they are causing. Teaching girls to respect themselves and that what they do with their bodies is their concern and theirs alone is so much healthier.

      • Trollface McGee

        What value is sexual purity? Does sexual purity make you a good person? No. Does it make you financially secure? No. Does it make unicorns appear and produce magical glitter bacon rainbows? No. Sexual purity is a completely useless, harmful by-product of antiquated patriarchy where the woman property needed to be kept with a freshness seal to ensure that her owner would be the father any children produced.
        Sexual responsibility, waiting until one is ready (which isn’t necessarily or usually at marriage), learning about safety in sexuality, learning to own one’s sexuality instead of treating it as a thing to give others – those the things we should be teaching instead of some outdated, misogynistic mythology.

      • Frank

        You have a right to your opinion.

      • smrnda

        I also have a right to agree with said opinion. Sexual purity is worthless. I support someone’s decision to wait until marriage. I support my own decision to avoid using credit. That doesn’t make me better than a person with a charge card.

      • Olive Markus

        “learning to own one’s sexuality instead of treating it as a thing to give others…”

        You know, I think this is such an important, and underrated point. Catholicism teaches that your sexuality [emphasis on a woman's sexuality, of course] is a gift for your husband. It isn’t “fair” to your husband if you’ve been “used.” Your only use for your sexuality is in pleasing your husband or giving him children. My mother was a huge advocate of this line of thinking. Your sexuality is your own only in the sense that you are responsible for suppressing it and saving it for your husband’s needs.

      • onamission5

        Virginity has no inherent value, and sex doesn’t make a person “impure.”

      • Frank

        You are entitled to your opinion even if its flawed and incorrect.

      • onamission5

        Merely stating that something is flawed and incorrect does not make it so, sweets.

      • Frank

        Of course not its only flawed and incorrect when it is flawed and incorrect.

      • Jolie

        OOOOOOOO rly?

      • Trollface McGee

        Frank is afraid of facts. Facts lead to citations, citations lead to an argument being backed up by facts which leads to reasoned discourse, which leads to the dark side.. which we all know is full of irresistible cookies.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Can’t we have cake and ice cream with our cookies?

      • Olive Markus

        I’ve never once seen you defend your position. Only pop in, tell someone they’re wrong, and move on. You shouldn’t have the slightest bit of trouble explaining exactly how we are wrong, if you’re so certain of it.

      • Frank

        I believe I already have you just don’t accept it which is your right,

      • Hat Stealer

        Hear that guys? Frank has got us on tenderhooks! He’s deftly refuted all our arguments with his witty verbal repartee! He’s provided studies, citations, statistical analysis, shown us the errors in our logic, and defenitly NOT just said ‘I’m right you’re wrong’ over and over.

        He’s got us right where he wants us. Time to throw in the white towel.

      • Jayn

        If the focus on purity is routinely causing such negative outcomes, maybe the issue isn’t the presentation but the idea itself.

      • Miss_Beara

        Lol.

        It is controlling women. You and others like yourself think you know what is best for us women folk because we just cannot think for ourselves. Each woman knows what is best for herself whether it is to have a healthy sex life or wait till marriage.

      • Frank

        Obviously not. otherwise we would not have over 27000 unborn children killed each week but that’s a whole other discussion for you to get angry at me for.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Oh for fuck’s sake, leave abortion out of this. It has nothing to do with purity.

      • Frank

        It has everything to do with sexuality, the role of sexuality and the consequences of sexuality.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        No, it doesn’t. 17% of abortions are requested by married women. Clearly, purity has nothing to do with it; lack of sex education or access to cheap/free contraception has a lot more to do with it.

      • Frank

        Of course it does. What about the other 83%?

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        What about them? They either didn’t have access to cheap/free contraception or it failed them too. Contraception doesn’t work differently based on marital status.

      • Frank

        According to the Guttmacher institute fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant.

      • Hat Stealer

        Used in the same month == used when pregnancy occured.

      • Miss_Beara

        I guess Frank here would like to go back to the “good ole days” when women died after filthy back alley abortions or died when they tried to induce an abortion themselves.

      • Frank

        Your bias is showing again.

      • Miss_Beara

        How is this bias? Women died before abortion was legal. That is a fact. That is reality.

      • Jolie

        or… they wouldn’t use contraception, because, while still engaging in sex, they wouldn’t prepare for it by doing something as simple as buying condoms or taking a pill every day; because that would be admitting to yourself that you want to have sex- rather than taking the “oops, it just happened” approach; because of instead of being educated about contraception as a part of life, they received only horribly objectifying metaphors about how if you have sex once you become gross and used-up and ruined for everyone else, by being compared to an object; then, because the same authority figures who decided sex education should consist of keeping you utterly ignorant about sexuality and ashamed of your body are the same-ones that, should you decide not to have an abortion, will support laws that will give you little to no access to welfare and social services, will allow your employer to fire you arbitrarily and will yell at you at the grocery store about how you should be ashamed of yourself for being a single mother. That’s why.

      • onamission5

        Children cannot be unborn by definition.
        Words, why do they mean things?

      • Frank

        Ok I fixed it for you:

        Obviously not. otherwise we would not have over 27000 children killed each week but that’s a whole other discussion for you to get angry at me for.

      • onamission5

        Again, children are already born, they cannot be aborted, and if something is being aborted, it is a fetus at best, or most likely zygotes or blastocysts.

        Why insist on accurate medical terminology, why skeptics not accept emotional arguments. Frank has a sad.

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        That’s called a red herring. It’s used as a trick of misdirection to divert the conversation from the original topic of interest.

      • onamission5

        You are the one telling another person what the proper time and place for them to explore their own sexuality is. Add to that the gendered dynamics and it’s nothing if it’s not about control issues.

      • Frank

        You also are telling people what the proper time and place for them to explore their own sexuality is. “anytime”

      • onamission5

        At their own consensual and informed discretion. See me with no hands in other people’s business, not telling people I know what is best for their sex lives.

      • Frank

        You are telling them what philosophy of sex to follow.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Yes we are. The best philosophy of sex is the one that says you should pick your own philosophy of sex. We’re just so into controlling sexuality here that we tell people to decide for themselves.

        Man, we make the worst totalitarians ever.

      • Olive Markus

        No, we are telling them that they get to decide what the proper time and place for them is. Nobody else gets to tell them. That is entirely different from “us” demanding that the proper place and time is anytime. Wow.

      • Frank

        You are still telling them how they should view sexuality There’s no difference.

      • Olive Markus

        That they have a choice?? We believe they have a choice to believe to wait until marriage. Or not. Or a million other things. I’m not trying to force them or shame them into anything else. You are. You have serious comprehension problems.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        This has to be the most ridiculous bit of non-logic I’ve seen recently. If you are telling someone “You must cook spaghetti tonight” and I am telling them that they can cook what they want for dinner tonight, according to what they want to eat, is there “no difference” between what we are telling that person about how they should view dinner? You are saying there is one acceptable thing to do. We are saying there are many acceptable things to do and one should not be judged for what they choose. How is there “no difference” between your view and ours?

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        Yes, the lack of a restriction is the same thing as a restriction!

        UP IS DOWN!
        BLACK IS WHITE!
        SLAVERY IS FREEDOM!

      • Olive Markus

        Not allowing a woman to decide for herself what the proper place and time is is absolutely nothing but an attempt to control women. Taking away her right to choose what is appropriate for herself is monumental disrespect.

      • Frank

        Who is taking away anything? Everyone still has the right to choose what they do.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        It’s true, you don’t want to take away anyone’s right to choose. You just want to shame people for not making the only choice you find acceptable.

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        When you indoctrinate children into a world view that attacks, marginalizes, shames, and frightens them for making any other decision than the one you’ve isolated for their life, you are absolutely taking away all meaningful choice on the matter. It’s rule by fear, one of the clearest attributes of authoritarianism.

      • Jolie

        “The proper time and place” is when women choose, together with a consenting partner. It may be marriage, it may be after two months of dating or four hours after first meeting. It depends on your sexual persona- what kind of emotional needs you have and how you function as an individual. Regardless of what each individual woman consider as “the appropriate time and place”, as long as they practice good consent, they’re equally deserving of respect.Therefore, no-one should be virgin-shamed or slut-shamed. Is that what you meant? ;)

      • Miss_Beara

        “The proper time and place” is when women choose, together with a consenting partner.

        I really don’t understand why this is so hard for a lot of people to understand. Bodily autonomy is completely lost on many.

      • Sue Blue

        Really? Are there ceremonies, rituals, and big hairy-assed productions over what boys and men may do with their penises? How they may dispense or dispose of their semen? Are women constantly adjuring you to keep it “pure” and dedicate it to Jesus?

        Of course not – because boys and men are fully-fledged human beings with brains and rights and bodily autonomy, who think they run the world and that they’re God’s representatives on earth, here to tell the rest of us what to do with ourselves!

        Funny how they don’t like to be disabused of that quaint notion.

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        The fundamentalists are actually quite big on anti-masturbation tirades, too. Even for the boys. They may not go into excessive detail, but the message is clearly there.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        If you respect women, respect their capacity to know themselves well enough to make the best choices about sex for themselves. This will not be the same choice for every woman. I am a grown adult, capable of looking out for my own wellbeing. I find that my wellbeing is not harmed by choosing to have sex outside of marriage with partners I like/love, trust, and respect and who like/love, trust, and respect me. Actually, it is generally enhanced by choosing to do so.

        Funny you should say that teaching that saving sex for marriage is about respecting women. Some of the greatest disrespect, degradation and humiliation I have ever experienced was at the hands of Christian men who believed this and who therefore believed that if I “tempted them to sin” in any way (say by doing such brazen things as walking a particular way or wearing a sundress when there was sun) I was unworthy of respect. Clearly a woman who wanted to be “respected” would not be such a hussy as I.

      • brightie

        I’m sure there are women within your subculture who have a similar definition of the right time, and would appreciate being respected in that way.

      • Jolie

        If you, personally, choose to remain pure until marriage- without stating everyone else should; without shaming people who don’t and, generally, without using it to be judgemental of other people’s sexualities, it isn’t. However, in many cases, that’s not how I see it done.

      • phantomreader42

        This has been explained many times on this blog. The fact that you’re too lazy to read doesn’t change reality.

      • Olive Markus
      • Jolie

        Take your religious hands off my sacred body ;)

      • Kate Monster

        Frank, what you believe might not be true. Yet, nobody disputes your right to believe it–what’s being disputed is the right of you and those who share your beliefs to coerce young children into hating their own sexuality.

      • Frank

        Its about teaching young children to respect their sexuality and give it the highest honor it deserves. Its a very special thing in the right context. A very damaging thing in the wrong context.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Bahahahahaha *gasp* hahahahaha. No.

        When you tell children, especially prepubescent children, that their sexuality is wrong and gross, you’re not teaching them anything other than that sexuality is wrong and gross. When you teach them that being a virgin means being pure and holy, you teach them that not being a virgin means being impure and unholy. When you tell them their worth as human beings is tied up in their hymen, you teach them that those who don’t have a hymen anymore are worthless.

        Those are awful messages to teach anyone, let alone impressionable children. Instead, teach them that their bodies are theirs. They get to decide who touches them, how, and when. If someone touches hir when ze doesn’t want it, it is not the child’s (or adult’s) fault and ze is not worth less than someone who has never been touched. Teach consent, not purity.

        EDIT: For pronoun matching in first paragraph. I made everything plural because I’m an editor and that sort of thing bugs me.

      • Frank

        Teach both.

      • Kristen

        NO

      • Frank

        YES

        see how helpful that is?

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        I thought you were big on saying no, Frank. Multiple personalities?

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Not possible. Purity teaches that it’s all on the girls/women to dress and act “modestly” so that boys/men (who are otherwise insatiable rape monsters) don’t attack them. Consent teaches that all people have inherent dignity and you should get permission before doing anything with anyone else.

        Purity teaches that what happens to your body defiles your soul. Consent teaches that owning one’s own actions is empowering.

        Purity teaches that virginity is super special, personal autonomy is besides the point, and non-virgins are impure whores. Consent teaches that personal autonomy is super special, virginity is besides the point, and all people are people.

        So yeah. Can’t be done. They’re diametrically opposed paradigms of human sexuality.

      • Jayn

        You cannot teach a person that their body is theirs do with with as they please AND that there’s only one valid form of sexual expression. Not coherently. Because what you’re saying is “It’s okay to say no, and only no.” You’re not really empowering kids to make their own choices if you only present one choice as valid.

      • Frank

        We teach kids to make the best choice but the choice is till theirs.

      • Jayn

        No, you’re teaching kids to make ONE choice. And for a choice to have any meaning there needs to be more than one option to pick from. You’re not teaching them to make decisions, you’re telling them which decisions are right. That’s not how we prepare teens to be functioning adults.

      • Frank

        Your comment is illogical. So we should not teach them about science and how the world works because that gives them no choice? No its gives them a choice whether to believe it or not. Kids deserve the truth but they can choose to reject that truth but they need to know what it is first.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        The truth is, your worth as a human being is not based in your genitals. The truth is, virginity is exactly as meaningful as you choose to make it. The truth is, waiting for marriage for religious reasons isn’t a bad thing, but shaming people for not waiting is a bad thing. The truth is, there are choices and lots of them when it comes to sex, and the only immoral choices involve nonconsent (there’s lots of other stupid choices, but they aren’t immoral).

      • Trollface McGee

        No, because science is based on facts and proof and evidence. We teach the theory of gravity because we have evidence of it being true and of it being important to out lives and understanding of the universe.
        Purity, on the other hand, is based on archaic traditions, religious beliefs, patriarchy and misogyny. There is no evidence that purity is superior or even equal in quality to respect-based sex ed therefore why should we teach it? There’s plenty of crap we don’t teach our kids..because it’s crap.

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        Facts vs values. You do not understand the critical distinction between the two.

      • alwr

        The problem I see here is that so many posters don’t believe that the choice of abstinence is valid. Neither does Libby Anne despite her protests in this post. You aren’t giving kids a choice when you tell them they must have sex in order to have fulfilling relationships later as many people here claim. You can’t preach about allowing free choice if you don’t respect every choice.

      • Olive Markus

        That is garbage. Absolutely none of us are saying that a kid doesn’t have a right to wait for marriage – or never have sex at all. We are the ones saying that any choice is ok as long as a person has been informed, educated, respected and is making these decisions based on respect for oneself and others – not fear, emotional manipulation, or control. Shaming others for not waiting is NOT ok. That is what people like you do.

        Most of us put up our experiences regarding not waiting for sex because WE had been shamed into believing that if we had sex before marriage, WE would be worthless, dirty, ruined, or incapable of having fulfilling future relationships. When we stepped back and thought logically, we realized that a) having sex before marriage probably wouldn’t have been a big deal for us or might have alleviated problems currently being had, or b) we actually had sex before marriage and found it to not be a big deal or detrimental to our lives or relationships in any way, even though our upbringing, culture, families and religion tried to make us believe otherwise.

        Kids have a right, an absolute right, to wait until marriage or beyond to have sex. And that right should be respected in every way. You, however, do not have the right to shame, guilt or manipulate those who did not wait, or do not want to wait. You also have no right to invalidate our own experience regarding not waiting until marriage to have sex.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Who has said you must have sex to have fulfilling relationships later? Abstinence is a totally valid choice; abstinence motivated solely by shame and fear is a pretty bad choice. People here are against purity culture, not waiting until marriage to have sex.

        EDIT: What Olive Markus said. She got there first and said it better.

      • Jayn

        A lot of us do think that the focus on ‘saving yourself’ is, at best, silly, and have major issues with the extreme focus on virginity that some ‘sex educators’ have, but I don’t think many of us have a real problem with abstinence itself–I reject the idea that sex is a necessary component of a relationship, as my most fulfilling relationship became that way through communication, not sex. The choice of when to have sex can include the choice to not have sex at all.

        I honestly have no problem with someone choosing to be abstinent because they’ve decided that’s right for them. I actually fall into the the ‘have only had sex with my spouse’ camp (though not for religious reasons) and I’ve never regretted not having had sex before meeting him. It’s just the idea that that’s ALWAYS the right choice that I take issue with.

      • tsara

        Not having sex is valid. Abstinence, if it is a true and uncoerced choice, is valid. The problem is that teaching it the way it is being taught above is coercive.
        There are several asexual people here (I’m one of them), and it’s fairly common for asexual people to just not have sex.
        But you know what? If I don’t have sex — because I don’t want to, because Jeebus, or because I haven’t felt comfortable/had an opportunity — that doesn’t stop me from having fulfilling relationships. And I don’t see people here saying that. What I see is people saying that teaching abstinence-only adds coercion and withholds information, both of which prevent people from making free and informed decisions.

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        Yes, let’s teach the controversy.

        Big Bang vs GODDIDIT
        Evolution vs GODDIDIT
        Heliocentricism vs GODDIDIT
        Round Earth vs GODDDIDIT
        Tetonic Plates vs GODDIDIT
        Gravity vs GODDIDIT

        I’m noticing a trend in all the fundamentalist answers here.

      • BobaFuct

        “you teach them that those who don’t have a hymen anymore are worthless.”

        No no no…if you pray to jeebus, he’ll replace your physical hymen with a spiritual one so you can be re-virginized. Isn’t that nice of him?

      • Miss_Beara

        No no no…if you pray to jeebus, he’ll replace your physical hymen with
        a spiritual one so you can be re-virginized. Isn’t that nice of him?

        Oh, that is how it works!

      • Olive Markus

        Respecting sexuality and squashing or being forced to practice it in a singular, religiously-determined way are two very different things. Respecting ones own sexuality means not being forced or shamed into behaving the way Frank thinks one should.

      • brightie

        Frank… Regardless of context. Regardless of when to initiate sex, as such. How many girls do you think have trouble separating desires which God made to be healthy and natural from “lust,” which is said to be evil and sinful? How many girls have been scared God was angry with them when they feel anything, are attracted to anyone, or even enjoy an act of affection as innocent as a hug from a guy they find attractive because their churches and their parents spent so much time on “don’t have sex, don’t have sexual thoughts, don’t have any kind of an appearance of evil” that they missed out on the bit where God is supposed to have made them with hearts and feelings which don’t wait to exist until they are married? I can’t have been the only one. And I don’t think being terrified of sex and even of natural attraction because lust=heart-adultery counts as giving one’s sexuality respect or honor.

      • Goatless

        But your dogma says I can’t get married because I want to get married to another lady.
        So what, I’m not supposed to do anything sexual ever?

      • Frank

        Celibacy is the highest form of sexuality according to Jesus.

      • Goatless

        But I’m not asexual.

        I’m just pointing out that the ‘wait until marriage’ thing is bullshit if you are anything other than straight (depending on where you live). Where I live, I cannot wait until marriage because I don’t get to get married even if I want to.

      • Frank

        Celibacy does not mean you are asexual. If you are asexual celibacy really doesn’t mean much does it?

      • Olive Markus

        And so we’re back to the Catholic obsession with “suffering” in order to be a good Jesus-follower. Your actions only matter if you suffered in order to carry them out… Brilliant.

      • Frank

        The cognitive dissonance here is quite astounding.

      • Lucreza Borgia

        I’m astounded that you couldn’t string together a coherent and logical argument if your life depended on it.

      • Olive Markus

        “If you are asexual celibacy really doesn’t mean much does it?”

        You said it. I merely put your statement into context with the Catholic Church’s focus on the goodness of suffering. If what I said is “cognitively dissonant,” then explain why it is so. Why, if one doesn’t want to have sex to begin with, does celibacy not mean anything?

      • Seeker

        Yes, Frank, you are displaying profound cognitive dissonance. We’ve noticed.

      • smrnda

        And polymorphous pansexuality is the highest form of sexuality according to Bruce at the coffee house. Why should I care?

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        And yet, the church claims it’s not anti-sex and that sex is a beautiful thing that married people should engage in joyfully and without shame. Don’t know whether it’s more funny or sad to see you folks tie yourselves in knots. I’m thinking sad.

      • Hat Stealer

        Well that sure was stupid of him, wasn’t it?

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        So putting little girls on TV and in movies dressed sexuality and acting sexually is ok though?

        Right, that’s totally what j_bird is saying. Feminists and progressives tend to be totally into mainstream culture’s portrayal of girls, you know.

      • Gillianren

        Yeah, that was my thought, too. You know us feminists–all about the toddler beauty contests and similar!

  • Caitlin

    You all might enjoy this video of Broad Humor doing “I’m Saving my Hymen for Jesus”:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5iMGMb7oqc

  • XakirTatsu

    “Dear little girl:

    God likely doesn’t exist. You are only pledging to the crowd and that guy who guilt tripped you. He wants to control teenage sexuality, creepy, isn’t he?

    People who try to control you by misinformation and fear do not deserve your respect.

    As long as it is consensual, and you use protection: do with your body as you see fit.”

    • Jolie

      Or as a wise saying on the internet says:
      Having a religion is like having a penis. It’s OK to have one. It’s OK to be proud of it. Just please don’t wave it around in public or shove it down children’s throats.

  • Gillianren

    I didn’t have sex until college (I would have, but my high school boyfriend wasn’t ready). While I’ve made a few mistakes over the years, I learned from all of them. Heck, I’ve even learned from friends’ mistakes, which is actually harder. What I plan to tell my son is that what he does with his partners is between him and his partners, and as long as he has their consent, he doesn’t need anyone else’s. I want him to wait until he’s older and more mature, but I don’t get to decide when he’s mature enough to have sex.

    Oh, that doesn’t mean I’ll be okay if he decides to have a significant other spend the night when he’s in high school, but that will be including me in the decision-making process, and I’ll reserve the right to place limits on him. But if I made him pledge an oath to me to be a responsible human being, that would mean I wouldn’t trust him to be one without it. Why, then, should I trust his oath?

  • Cris Waller

    Wow, looked over the stuff in their store, and saw all these items emblazoned with “Be a Snakebird.”

    Huh? What do anhingas, those long-necked fisheaters from Florida, have to do with Bible-thumping? Especially since “anhinga” is said to mean “devil bird” in the Tupi language it originated from…

    I doubt this crew has any real idea what an anhinga is. Nope, apparently it’s something about being “harmless as a dove but cunning as a serpent (does that mean that you should look meek and mild but then lie and scheme to try and get people to Christ?)” Not sure why they didn’t just use the crocoduck as their emblem instead!

  • smrnda

    Whenever I see religion try to get ‘hip,’ it just looks so pathetic and desperate. They’re just copying pop culture and hoping to cash in on it.

    • Frank

      I agree. God doesn’t need us to be hip.

      • smrnda

        There’s a difference between being hip, and taking a survey approach to contemporary culture and then just doing a bland pastiche of whatever you happened to notice as you rapidly scanned “best of” lists and pretending that you actually are hip. Much contemporary Christian culture and music is just bad, stale, inferior knock-offs of secular stuff they never bothered to appreciate or understand.

        All said, being traditional doesn’t seem to work well for religion either – you get more rabid followers, but less new recruits…

    • Jayn

      I can’t help but think of South Park’s smoking episode. The anti-smoking spokespeople were trying painfully hard to be ‘cool’, and end with “If you don’t smoke, you could grow up to be just like us!”

      Cut to the kids smoking…

  • sylvia_rachel

    You are without honour.

    I am, of course, addressing the purveyors of this … stuff, not the kids they’re purveying it to.

    • sylvia_rachel

      Ack! Fake!XML fail.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        I hate Disqus “HTML tags” so very, very much. They make no sense and aren’t the same as standard ones!

  • smrnda

    Just though I would ask what on earth Frank means by ‘respecting sexuality.’

    Sexuality is a part of the human experience, so, to me, the only meaningful way we ‘respect sexuality’ is through respecting other people. This means that we don’t try to coerce people into making choices that *we* might want them to make, whether it’s not pushing someone to have sex or not judging someone for wanting to have sex. It means that we need to be sure to get informed consent from all our partners and we have to care about them; even in a casual sexual encounter we should make our expectations clear and be honest.

    The idea that ‘respecting sexuality’ means ‘save it for a special occasion’ just seems idiotic to me. I like coffee. Would it make coffee more special if I could only get it once a month, and that I had to stand in a line for an hour to get it? No, if that came up, I’d just drink tea.

    Sex is the same way. It’s one of those ordinary, everyday pleasures that’s good not because it’s a rare event but because it’s common and routine. I’m asexual myself, but I don’t see how ‘waiting for the right person’ would make it better.

    I’m not into sex, but I am into theater. My favorite play is WHAT WHERE? by Samuel Beckett. I saw that one act play a while back with a person I don’t even talk to know, and I’ve yet to see it with my current partner. I don’t feel horrible that I shared this experience *with the wrong person* at all. I don’t see how or why sex would be different, unless you’ve been taught it’s different.

    On the idea that ‘purity’ is the best choice – it’s like saying the best way to avoid a car crash is to never get in a car or cross a street, or that the only way to avoid sports related injuries is to never play sports. It’s demanding that sexual behavior be 100% risk free, which is a demand that’s never made of any other activity.

    For people who want to say that, even if you avoid unplanned pregnancy or disease “THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES!” – nobody I know practices ‘sexual purity’ and nobody seems to have experienced any negative consequences. The negative consequences happen because you get brainwashed young. Without the brainwashing, the damage doesn’t happen.

    Sorry for such a long post.

    • Kristen

      Your coffee analogy kind of reminded me of this quote from John Green on youtube:
      “…its such a weird thing to care about. Like, imagine if I started eating
      Cheerios for breakfast. Would Cheerios be like, “I’m the
      forty-eighth cereal you’ve tried eating?! I don’t feel special”. Well
      then, screw you, Cherrios. I can’t go into the past and un-eat all those
      cereals, but that doesn’t mean I don’t genuinely enjoy your whole grain
      crunch.”
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Cmk4YHnegsE

      • smrnda

        There seems to be this meme among religious people that long periods of crushing repression and agonizing restraint followed by a moment of relief is the best way to go. When I did a stint at a church to see what people had to say, one guy talked about how getting married was such a huge relief because he didn’t feel a tonne of guilt over sexual feelings. To me, that just seems odd.

        There are times when I really need to pee, and I have to hold it and hold it until I can get somewhere to pee. Yeah, it feels good to go then, but I don’t consider this a very ideal or pleasurable experience.

        The other thing, when I tell religious people that I drink pretty often, maybe 3 or 4 times a week, they seem horrified. The idea that I can drink ONE BEER and then stop! To them, it seems like life is either repression or an explosion of excess, and that mindset pours over into how sex is viewed. I just don’t think life is very enjoyable that way.

        And yeah, the cheerios. It’s like, I should have NEVER SEEN A MOVIE except that one great one.

      • ZeldasCrown

        It’s like there’s no concept of moderation. You either have 0 drinks or 20. If you’re unmarried, you’re either a virgin or are incapable of saying no to anybody and just have sex with whomever, whenever without any self-control whatsoever. It’s like there’s no idea that a person could be in a committed relationship, but just isn’t married to the other person (or that a person’s history could be a mix of committed relationships, and the occasional one-night stand in between relationships)-it’s all just random sex with strangers all the time .

      • Sue blue

        Their god’s name might as well be False Dichotomy.

  • Amy

    Something this post is lacking is the shame that comes with a young person who has been sexually assaulted– they are forever unclean by no fault or choice of their own. Still, the guilt and shame is the same.

    • A

      This is disgusting. You argue that purity culture is about respecting women, and then you turn around and say that a person who was sexually assaulted is forever unclean. That they should feel guilt and shame. And then you have the audacity to keep saying that purity culture is about choice and that it is not the same as rape culture! Why don’t you just come out and say it – to you, a woman is an object to be used, and if her freshness seal is not intact, for whatever reason, she is worthless. THAT is why people reject purity culture.

      • Olive Markus

        This post originally showed up under Frank’s name for some reason. I saw that, too, and seriously didn’t know what to make of it. I had to walk away. I came back and saw that Amy wrote it, not Frank. Diskus is screwing up for some reason.

      • Miss_Beara

        That happened to me too.

      • A

        Yeah, weird that diskus is messing up like that. Still, regardless of who posted it, the original comment remains disgusting. Shame and guilt after a sexual assault are the direct RESULT of purity culture teaching that you are a used piece of gum if you don’t have a hymen.

      • Kristen

        I think that is the point she is making. Not that she thinks sexual assault victims are unclean, but that the idea operates in the framework of purity culture to yield harmful effects on SA victims.

      • Olive Markus

        This is how I read it, as well.

      • A

        I guess I misinterpreted it. I thought she was trying to say that people who are sexually assaulted actually ARE unclean. My apologies Amy.

      • Jolie

        Someone who would have said they ARE unclean wouldn’t have said “through no fault of their own”.

      • Norm Donnan

        Thats not how l read Amy’s comment at all.If any person is sexually assaulted,the overwhelming feeling is one of shame,embarrassment and dirty. Other people dont tell them that ,its how they feel about themselves.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      My rape did not make me “unclean,” thanks. If it made anyone “unclean” it was my rapist. I am not guilty or ashamed. Let him be guilty and ashamed.

      • Jitterbits

        Pretty sure she was saying that purity culture makes victims of sexual assault feel guilt and shame, not that they *should* feel guilt and shame. Might want to read it again.

        And I have to agree with her. When I told my fundamentalist aunt that I lost my virginity to rape, her response was to say, “Well, you always *did* have the spirit of Jezebel.”
        There are very few things I could imagine being more horrific to tell someone that that.

  • Norm Donnan

    “A blatant attempt to make virginity hip”, oh dear where do we start. When you have a teenage daughter,and you as an adult know the big picture of the result of bad life choices,you too will be wishing virginity would be hip. There are easier ways of doing life,and there are choices we make that can have monumental impact on life.Sex outside of a committed,healthy relationship is often the starting point of a life that could have been better.,

    • Kristen

      “Sex outside of a committed,healthy relationship is often the starting point of a life that could have been better.”
      Can you explain further?

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        WHOORS!!!!

        That’s what zie meant.

      • Jolie

        I get your point, and I’m all for emotional maturity/ only having sex with people you respect. Marrying someone whom you’ve had no sexual experience with/ wit whom you don’t know if you’re sexually compatible is not healthy in my view.

      • Kristen

        Did you mean to reply to my comment?

      • Norm Donnan

        Without going into to much detail ,young guy’s just really want to get laid,if she has a vagina,she’s ok. How many men do we all know who are paying for (or should be )children from flings or casual relationships,and how many woman have been set back year’s in their career’s and their (and their parent’s)lives because of unplanned pregnancy.Young people desperately want independence sex and affection long before they are mature enough or responsible enough to handle it.But they can have sex

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        For one thing, you give young men very little credit (unsurprising for someone with sexually conservative views.) Not all young men are just a bunch of amoral horndogs who will sleep with anything with a pulse, without any regard for consequences or the wellbeing of whom they are sleeping with (although this is a favored narrative of abstinence educators that I never even bought when I was hearing it as a teenager. I had plenty of guy friends who were good, considerate young men who cared about others. I wasn’t getting fooled.) There are young men out there who are not total assholes. Really! We should be teaching young women how to tell one from the other. We should be teaching them how to look out for their own wellbeing. You don’t do that by telling them that their virginity belongs to Jesus, or their dads or whatever.

        Also, you are wrong to assume that women who struggle with being single mothers conceived their children through flings or casual sex. Many of those women were in committed relationships or even married to their fathers of their children. I say again, commitment does not a healthy relationship make, nor is it a guarantee that a man is not a opportunistic cad who will bail on his family and not take responsibility. And, of course, once again you are talking about two different things–unplanned pregnancy and sex–as if they were the same thing. Good, comprehensive sex education about safe sex can make the difference between a bad relationship (long-term or otherwise) that woman is happy to have in her past but not daily affected by, and a bad relationship that leads to consequences that she–not to mention the child–will have to deal with forever.

        Although safe, legal, available abortion can help quite a bit on this front too. A lot of those struggling single mothers would not have to be so if they’d had access to abortion and the option to not be a parent with a man who does not deserve the privilege.

      • Mogg

        That stereotype is so very, very dismissive of the wide variety of male wishes and behaviour. In fact I’m not sure I know a guy who fits that stereotype, despite having male friends who range from young horndog to soppy romantic, and including a couple of guys who have children from casual or failed relationships. Yes, even the young horndog is perfectly capable of long-term committment and love and of honesty with casual partners, not to mention being responsible about contraception and safe sex.

      • Norm Donnan

        You really dont know young men at all then Moggie.This is all perfectly natural stuff

      • NeaDods

        So in other words, you consider your personal urges to be the “Norm” for every single one of the three billion men of all cultures on this Earth and anything any woman can say, despite her personal knowledge of men who are not you, only means that she “doesn’t know young men at all.”

        No.

        Really, really no.

        That’s not remotely a logical argument and frankly dismissive to the point of offense to the many young men it does not describe. To list just one of the many arguments against it, I can GUARANTEE you that no matter how horny, young gay men never think “if she has a vagina, she’s OK.”

      • Norm Donnan

        Thats correct Nea.Sorry to disappoint you.Oh and the horny young gay men just like another hole thats all,the urge is the same.

      • NeaDods

        I have to stop laughing long enough to mention that you’ve managed a nifty little goal post move there.

      • Mogg

        That’d be Mogg to you. And I thought I made it clear that I did indeed know a lot of men, some of whom are young and all of whom have been young. Your stereotype doesn’t fit a single one of them. Note that I have no problem at all with young guys or girls wanting to get laid, but I also don’t expect that they have no self-control or capacity for empathy. Those capacities may be incomplete in a teenager or young man, but they are there.

    • smrnda

      Everybody I knew started with casual sex. Most of my friends are successful in their careers, happily married or happily single, stable, secure, some with kids who are doing well in school, and all having a great time. Given that the vast majority of people don’t follow that program, I can’t think it’s the factor in why people end up doing well or poorly.

      Some choices really can tank your life, like say, doing heroin, or getting involved in organized crime, or trying to rob a bank, but sex isn’t really such a high risk behavior.

      • Norm Donnan

        No it’s not compared to the others you mentioned but emotionally it can lead vulnerable young people into things they are not mature enough to handle and can expose them to people who just want to use them not to mention career and financial hardship.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        I agree, it’s definitely possible for somebody to be too young to have sex, although what “too young” is is entirely dependent on the person. People mature at different rates. I believe that we should have honest conversations with kids about the emotional implications of sex that tend to be especially strong when you are young and trying it out for the first time but, in the end, the decision is theirs. All we can do is encourage self-awareness as best we can and equip them with decision-making skills and teach them how to judge the character of the people they are interested in. Fetishizing virginity is certainly not the way to to do this. For one thing, it’s a very judgmental attitude which just makes kids less likely to feel comfortable approaching adults to talk about sex.

        Also, plenty of young people have sex and find it to be a happy and fulfilling experience. We constantly harp on the possibilities of kids sleeping with people who are just using them for sex etc. that we forget that it doesn’t necessarily have to work that way. And for those who do have bad luck and make bad choices about when and with whom to have sex when they are young? Well, that is painful but we must also remember that young people make mistakes and youthful mistakes do not doom you or even necessarily affect your life in the long run. I’ve had plenty of friends confide in me about bad early experiences with sex, where they felt that they were really not ready, or that they lacked the judgment to make a good choice about who to sleep with. Many of those people are happily married or partnered now, others are not partnered but happily single or dating and, at any rate, have long gotten past those experiences. Let us not forget that youth often involves doing dumb things and can be painful. People grow older and wiser and move on with their lives. Having sex before you were really mature enough to handle it or trusting an untrustworthy partner with something so intimate can really, really suck. It’s also not something that need color your experience for the rest of your life. And there are comparable experiences that having nothing to do with sex–bad choices in partners with whom you don’t have sex (easily the most damaging relationship I was ever in was one which involved no sex–it was a rough road and you know what? I’ve moved on, and to better things.) or even bad choices in friends, with whom you also share a bond if intimacy that can be abused. Sex is not special. It’s just one of many adult things that you have to figure out as you work on becoming an adult. Sometimes there can be bumps in the road. Those bumps don’t have to total your car.

        As for career and financial hardships, I don’t see what those things have to do with sex, per se. Unplanned pregnancy and STIs, yes. Sex does not have to involve those things! If we’re giving our kids proper, honest, non-judgmental sex education, any mistakes they do make are far less likely to have consequences that will last the rest of their lives.

      • Norm Donnan

        All quite true,you have worked this all out because you have matured,teens have not and are notorious at not takeing adult or parenteral advice. What l believe these programs are meant to achieve is that young people are surrounded with peers where the mindset isnt ,”everyone is doing it,”where they (especially young girls) feel pressured into sex.If the normal standard is that the average person waits until they are married or in a committed relationship it will dramatically reduce some major problems in western society.Things that seemed acceptable and cool when your 16 are embarrassing when your 20.Hair styles and fashion are easily forgotten,a child whether its born or aborted is not.I think its naive to think all we should do is teach then about safe sex practice.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        What is naive is to assume that teenagers won’t have sex just because we all pretend teenagers don’t have sex. Teaching a consent-based form of sexual education (you decide when you’re ready, what others are doing/want you to do is irrelevant, there’s no shame in saying yes or no, and respect everyone) is the most likely to prevent coercion.

      • Norm Donnan

        Simple really,lve been a teen l work with teen’s and l still have a teenager at home and no one is pretending anything here.From my experience boys will decide they are ready at about 11 and girls around 14…great idea….not.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Our experiences greatly differ, then. I will leave it at that.

        Of course 11 or 14 is too young to be sexually active. However, I know very few people who chose to have sex free of coercion even that young- the ones who did were the girls with much older boyfriends who were emotionally manipulative. Teaching people not to fall for that shit is a much better idea than just saying “don’t have sex”.

      • Valerie Finnigan

        A lot of teenagers think they’re ready for many things before they really are. It’s because their ability to think long-term hasn’t fully developed and a lot of them have invincibility complexes.

      • Sophie

        You may find that if sex education is started early enough, then by the time those young people are having sex the information has sunk in so deeply that there is no decision about having safe sex it’s just the obvious choice. Just look at the teen pregnancy and STI rates for countries that have comprehensive sex education for proof of that.

      • Valerie Finnigan

        Teenage sex is considered a high risk behavior.

    • NeaDods

      Sex inside what you thought was a committed healthy relationship only to find that he is neither healthy nor committed isn’t the best of choices either. Only if you feel that you have the right to say “whoops” and get out of the relationship it’s so much healthier than feeling you have to stay just because there had been sex.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Also, an excellent point. Commitment sure as hell does not necessarily make sex healthy. The same standards apply within a committed relationships as in any other kind–mutual respect, trust, affection etc. Long-term commitment is, unfortunately not a guarantee of these things and lack-of-long-term-commitment does not preclude these things.

      • smrnda

        I don’t even see why long term commitment should be seen as good in and of itself. If a relationship isn’t working out, ending it doesn’t have to be a tragedy.

      • Jolie

        I’d say there is some value in attempting to fix a relationship before leaving it; or leaving it when only when you know bettering it is highly unlikely.

      • Valerie Finnigan

        There is no such thing as a relationship that works out. There are people who work on their relationships, or who choose not to.

      • Anat

        And sometimes people realize the best thing for both of them is to choose not to work on the relationship any longer and to part ways.

      • Norm Donnan

        No but it is the firm foundation that is needed for a healthy relationship to be built on along with all the others

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        I’ve had healthy relationships that were not particularly committed. (One couldn’t really be because I was living in a different country and returning home in a few months and long-distance was just not an option.) They were, however, mutually respectful, affectionate, consensual and highly enjoyable. I would not give them up. And I’m fine. And also not a destitute single mom getting stiffed on child support.

      • Mogg

        That sentence doesn’t make a whole lot of grammatical sense, but I’m going to assume that you mean that long term committment is necessary for a healthy relationship. Why? And how is assuming long term committment helpful in a situation where, say, it becomes clear that the relationship is not working and the people involved would be better off apart? Or, say, a couple who get married because that is the expected thing when one or both are not really mature? Or, as sometimes happens, an abusive person coerces someone into first sex, then marriage or other long term relationship because the sex “ruined” the coerced partner for anyone else? Or young people who are taught that sex is only for marriage but find themselves having premarital sex, so get married to make the sex “ok” even if they are totally unsuited to each other?

        Relationships which develop without a predetermined expectation that they will be long-term can be much healthier, in some ways, because the pressure to make a realtionship that is problematic work whatever the cost is not there.

      • Norm Donnan

        Yes but in every relationship it’s normal to feel “whoops” every other week and often in hindsight we are glad we dont,personally speaking.

      • Mogg

        Wow, feeling doubt about your relationship that often doesn’t seem healthy to me.

      • NeaDods

        I can’t even figure out what you’re trying to say. That people regret their relationships every other week? That women move from bad relationship to bad relationship every other week? Neither of those suppositions is true, much less “normal.”

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Lots of things of things can be the starting point of a life that could have been better. Your first alcoholic beverage can be the start of a life that could have been better but that doesn’t mean that everybody who ever has a drink is going to have their life damaged by alcohol. I would certainly agree that sex should always take place within the context of a healthy relationship–healthy meaning where there is trust, respect and, of course, consent–but not all healthy relationships need to be committed or long-term, let-alone marital. I’ve had sex in healthy, long-term relationships and I’ve also had a few forays into “just for fun” sex that was also healthy because it was mutually respectful, trusting and honest. I’ve never been ashamed of any of it and it’s never made my life worse. In fact, it’s generally made my life better because I don’t have sex that I can’t feel good about having. I happen to be able to feel good about having sex outside of marriage.

      In my observation, “bad life choices” in the context of sex often has more to do with things like bad choices in partners–someone who is disrespectful, untrustworthy, dishonest, or coercive, or “choosing” to have sex under pressure, before you are ready etc. and, of course, having sex without taking proper precautions. We should be teaching girls and young women to value themselves and choose partners who value them too, to never do things that they don’t want to do, and to be safe about what they do want to do. But many girls and young women will choose to have sex under these circumstances and be just fine.

      People have sex outside of marriage, or even outside of committed relationships, and feel good about themselves. All the time. Really, it happens.

      • Norm Donnan

        All quite true

    • smrnda

      A friend of mine told me this story. Her father gave her the talk on birth control and other things. He said “I don’t want you to get pregnant, and I don’t want you to get a disease. If you do what I tell you, and you become sexually active, it will be at least as safe if not safer than driving a car. You can have sex all the time, and no disaster”

      “If I tell you that you should stay a virgin until marriage, then the only thing that it might take to ruin your life is for you to have sex one time.”

      Meaning… people with teenage daughters accept they will have sex, and try to prepare them.

      • Norm Donnan

        This is probably good advice if you dont have any spiritual belief’s from a pregnancy perspective but could be disastrous from an emotional,social and physiological perspective. This by no stretch of the imagination mean’s a young person will take and adhere to his advice,which could also ruin her life and health just the same and it would be much more likley.

      • Mogg

        What evidence do you have that it would be “much more likely” to ruin a young person’s health to be given the information to make her own informed decisions, rather than being pressured by her parent/s to conform to their wishes? Please cite some sociological and psychological studies if you are going to appeal to those perspectives, but feel free to also add some medical evidence.

        Incidentally, I notice you don’t seem to have the same concern for our hypothetical teenaged sons. Do they also get damaged by not being virgins, or are they just fundamentally more capable of making their own decisions than our hypothetical daughters? Your evidence should address this, if you are proposing it.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        You’re right, there is no guarantee that a teenager will take the advice of parents or other trusted adults in their lives. But sex exists and remains an option regardless so isn’t it best to give them information and to keep the lines of communication open by not creating an atmosphere of shame and judgment? How is doing so potentially “disastrous.” Sex does not disappear from a teenager’s radar because adults don’t talk about it. That should really be obvious by now.

    • Christine

      Ok, so let’s say that sex outside of marriage is as horrible as you say. Why would that mean that we should make virginity hip? Getting a good education isn’t hip, building your resume up isn’t hip, good financial habits aren’t hip. Making things hip isn’t the way to get teens to be prudent.

      • Norm Donnan

        Who said it is horrible and who said we should make it hip ?

      • Christine

        To quote your comment that I replied to:

        “There are easier ways of doing life,and there are choices we make that can have monumental impact on life”

        “Sex outside of a committed,healthy relationship is often the starting point of a life that could have been better”

        “you too will be wishing virginity would be hip”

    • Gillianren

      My relationship is healthy, committed, and long-term. We’ve been together for ten years, and I’m nine months pregnant with a very wanted child.

      Oh, we’re not married, though. And my experiences with past lovers? Seriously contributed toward the happiness and stability of my present relationship. My boyfriend didn’t have any, and it’s part of where we have problems.

      • Gillianren

        First, Gillian, please.

        The past ones weren’t all really bad, but this one is much better. Part of that is that I know more about how to compromise with another person and how to take other people’s needs into consideration. I know about the balance that goes into making a good relationship. I know when my own needs are more important and vice versa.

        The problem is that my boyfriend has never had to do that before, and all of his learning experiences are with me. He’s never had a relationship end because he couldn’t balance things, so he isn’t aware of the level of problems it can cause. And since I don’t plan to go anywhere, he still doesn’t know how much it can hurt when he behaves in certain ways. No one has ever really confronted him about it, and as I said, I’m not planning to go anywhere.

        Not performing up to past lovers? That’s one place where he doesn’t have any problems. I know that the sex we have is great and what works for me. I don’t know for sure that he’s getting everything he wants out of me, though, because the only person he has any experience with is me. I wish he’d had a few other lovers before he met me so that he could have had more experience. He might be better at expressing his interests and desires that way.

        The problems in the relationship that are related to either of our pasts (as opposed to having different views about money, for example!) are not because my past relationships have made me unsatisfied with him. It’s because his lack of past relationships has limited his options of comparison and his awareness of what he actually wants from a relationship. He doesn’t mind my past relationships at all, because he knows that they’re just that–past.

      • Valerie Finnigan

        Whatever happened to learning to compromise and take other people’s needs into consideration before having sex? Or learning about your likes and dislikes with one person and communicating about what works and what doesn’t?

      • Gillianren

        Ah. You have a common but fundamental misunderstanding about how a lot of relationships have worked in the past. In the past, the only person whose opinion on the relationship mattered was the man. And neither party was allowed to discuss how their sex life was unfulfilled, because that was taboo. You apparently believe that relationships between two virgins were better in the past because of communication.

        I’m not buying it. I think relationships, like everything else, take practice, and that in the past, that’s what the first few years of a marriage entailed. If you learned your likes and dislikes with a single person, odds weren’t bad that your likes were your partner’s dislikes and vice versa. And at that point, there was nothing you could do about it, because divorce wasn’t allowed. People didn’t complain, either because that was just the way things were or because they felt it was their own fault when “the way things are” didn’t work for them.

        Would my relationship be better with communication regardless of my boyfriend’s past relationship history? You betcha, and if you can get him to talk about much of anything, you’re doing better than anyone he knows. That, I admit, is a separate problem. But maybe he would have learned that it was a problem if he’d interacted with more people, including having relationships before he got involved with me.

    • Anat

      I have a teenage daughter. Virginity is not ‘hip’ in our household. She knows we support her choosing to become sexually active when she is ready and wants to, of her free choice. She knows she doesn’t owe sex to anyone, nor does she owe avoiding sex to anyone. She knows about many methods of contraception and about STIs and how to avoid them.

      Meanwhile, if you read Libby Anne’s posts about her own relationship, she believes hers would have been better if she had had premarital sex as well as relationships prior to her relationship with her husband.

      • Norm Donnan

        Well Anat you will just have to wait and see if your idea of raising your children works out how you hope it will.We all want the best for our children and we all have our own ideas how to achieve that but it still comes down to the choices they make themselves doesn’t it ?

      • Anat

        I was responding to your assumption that parents of teenage girls would wish virginity were ‘hip’. When my husband and I discuss sexual issues with our daughter virginity is not a term we use. I don’t want her wondering if act X counts as ‘losing her virginity’ or not. Nor do I want her to think that once some deciding event happens nothing matters anymore because she underwent some irreversible change into some unworthy state. I want her to determine her boundaries according to her comfort level, whatever it might be at any phase of her life.

      • Norm Donnan

        Hip is the term Libby used,it really just means normal or average expectation. I assure you your daughter knows exactly what act x is to lose her virginity which is defiantly irreversible. Unworthy state is a ridiculous statement which no one thinks or cares about .As a married woman you will know your husband will often want to cross your comfort level,and you his and the same applies to your daughter when she is in a relationship with another person,thats life. What programs like this are trying to achieve is to encourage youth to try and protect themselves from a host of physical,medical,emotional and social problems by not engaging in a relationship they arnt equipt for until they are older.You believe education is the key and it is better than nothing but there are others who think there is a much better way,like waiting.

      • Anat

        Hip isn’t ‘average expectation’ it is ‘cool’. Very different.

        Seriously? Virginity has a defined meaning? So is a woman who had anal but not vaginal sex a virgin or not? What about one who gave oral sex on multiple occasions? Who received oral sex on multiple occasions? What about a woman who had sex with another woman?

        (And what defines virginity for a man?)

        Who says my husband wants to cross my comfort level, let alone that he does so often? Do you mean specifically regarding sexual matters or in general? Why do you make assumptions about people you don’t know, and preface your statement with ‘you know that’ as if your assumptions are so self-evidently true?

        I don’t believe education is ‘better than nothing’. I believe education is better than any other thing. It allows people to make informed decisions, including the decision how long to wait. Everyone waits, but education allows people to decide for themselves what to wait for (marriage? economical stability? meeting someone they really care about and with whom they have a deep connection? something else?)

  • Rutabaga

    Where are the little boys and their pledges of giving their sex lives to Jesus? This kind of pledge makes the girl a target for boys hoping to “score,” those keeping points against their friends’ ‘scores.’ It also tells the girl she is trash if she “fails” – witness Elizabeth Smartt in Utah and her feelings of utter worthlessness after being kidnapped and raped. What was the point of running away? She was now worthless and any man she might want to marry would not want her. YES this is creepy.

  • Saraquill

    Making a girl who is well under 18 talk about her sex life, on stage, taped for the internet, in front of heaven knows how many people, is encouraging purity?

    I must go shower with steel wool.

    • NeaDods

      Yeah, all that and the unsaved are the pervs who think about sex all the time. Yyyyyeeeeeeeaaaaahhhhhh… Not so much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

    Gonna use Evangelical speak here:

    Whatever happened to being washed in the blood? Whatever happened to a new life once Jesus was accepted into your heart? As much as evangelicals try to say that grace is not connected to works, it is a lie. Over and over, works = grace. Yet whenever people try to use the “washed in the blood” argument, it almost always refers to a man. A man can always be forgiven and washed with the blood of Christ. A woman cannot…ever.

  • Little Magpie

    The only thing I can’t decide is whether a prepubescent girl pledging her virginity (ie, her sexual life) to Jesus is MORE or LESS creepy than pledging it to her daddy. On the balance I think it’s slightly less since it doesn’t have that whole incestuous vibe.

  • Erika Soto

    I don’t think you all really understand the concept. It’s funny to me how Christians get blamed for being judgemental and then when a Christian stands up for what they believe in they are torn apart by the (insert sarcasm) brave souls hiding behind computer screens.

    Let me break this down for you guys and girls.

    1) That picture isn’t some random girl pledging her purity vow. That is Levi’s daughter reading a page of her journal entry. She is 7 years old and wanted to share a page of her journal with the viewers. The way he is looking at her isn’t creepy, it’s the a look of pride and love, we just aren’t used to that because we live in a fatherless generation.

    2) I encourage you guys to either watch the conference. See what it is about before you make assesments. Levi talks about how it is in our nature to have sex, to have sexual feelings, that God created sex and that He desires for us to know what healthy sex is like between a man and a woman in marriage. I don’t think there is anything wrong with teaching young people the value of sex. It isn’t wrong they have those feelings. When and how to use them, when they are older and when they are married are very valid lessons. Don’t any of you have kids? I mean really. I have a son and I know for a fact, Christan or not, I want him to know how to treat women, to respect women, and I’d rather not be a grandma when he is 16 years old. Look around us, we have more teen pregnancies than ever, more aborations, more children growing up without dads, we are obviously not teaching our youth the healthy way of doing things.. Fine if you aren’t a Christian, but nowhere in this conference did he scare them into heaven or becoming a Christian. In fact after watching this conference one of the main things he says over and over is “I don’t want to talk you into something, because if someone can talk you into something than someone can talk you out of it. This has to be your decision.” I admire that greatly.

    3) Levi has a passion to see younger people grow up healthy. That is what I took from this. You don’t have to agree with him, but what are YOU doing besides trash talking ESPECIALLY when you haven’t watched the conference. We are so quick to judge, to tear down, before we get facts and examine.

    4) The Lusko’s, Levi and his wife, lost their daughter 7 months ago. She had a severe asthma attack 5 days before Christmas and passed away. She was 5 years old. So Levi is passionate about what he believes in. He wants to share that faith with others. It has motivated him to love others greatly and to share his faith. He practices what he preaches. Have some compassion.

    4) I apologize for all the typos.

    I look forward to your responses. Take care.

    • Mogg

      1) Having a 7 year old girl read out in public anything at all to do with her personal life, whether or not it is to do with her perceptions of her future sex life, to random strangers is ick in the extreme, and particularly so if it’s her father holding the mic. He should not be encouraging her to reveal private thoughts without due care for her own privacy and who might be listening. If he knew beforehand that the video was going to be posted publicly, as this was, that’s a no-no. EDITED TO ADD: Sorry what?! Fatherless generation?! Apart from the obvious biological impossibility, why is the fact that most fathers don’t encourage their very young daughters to reveal their private thoughts in public a *bad* thing? My father doesn’t require that to be proud of me or love me.

      2) Teaching teenagers to be scared of their sexual and romantic feelings, scared of others’ sexual feelings, and ignorant of how to navigate relationships by flat-out forbidding them until marriage and setting up massive guilt trips for the majority who, according to the statistics, end up behaving as normal teens and young adults do anyway, is a terrible way to protect them. It is likely to lead to more risky behaviour than if you gave them accurate and thorough sex-ed coupled with discussion on the normality of sexual relationships and how to respect self and others.

      3) If Levi is teaching purity as a method to protect young people’s health, then he is ignoring the evidence on how best to do it. And I have no religious ban on trash-talking if what I see is, in fact, trash. Being nice and failing to point out mistakes when someone is wrong can be very harmful, to both the mistaken person and their audience.

      4) That the Lusko’s daughter recently passed away is very sad, but completely irrelevant to the topic.

      5) Typos are fine – we’ve seen a lot worse! You might want to check your numbering, too :-) If you wish, you can go back and correct your typos by clicking the edit button under your post – it’s generally considered polite to make a note to say you’ve edited for spelling, or whatever your edit was.


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