Lauren Winner’s Real Sex, and the Church’s Responsibility to Single Parents

Image of the book cover of Real Sex, by Lauren Winner. The cover is black, with a white blooming flower.

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know I have this thing about Christian dating/marriage books. By that I mean, I did my undergraduate research capstone on rape culture in Christian dating/marriage books. I’ve published a whole series about my research that you can read on this blog called “You Are Not Your Own: Rape, Sexual Assault, and Consent in Evangelical Christian Dating Books.”When I started doing this blog series, I also started getting recommendations … [Read more...]

The Answer To Sexual Shame is Not MORE Sexual Shame, Carson T. Clark

[Content Note: Sexual and Spiritual Abuse]When I was 16, I dated an abuser who was constantly coercing me into having sex with him. I had been raised in fundamentalist purity culture, so I thought of sex as something gross and scary. My boyfriend at the time tried to combat those feelings by sending me on guilt trips and by holding me to his manipulative, subjective standards of "responsibility."He'd say things like, "You hugging me turned me on. You're a horrible person if you turn a … [Read more...]

The Magical Marriage Switch

This is a picture from Abe and my wedding. I took it.

[Content Note: Marital Sexual Coercion]Purity culture Christians like to think of marriage as  something almost magical. It's like flipping a magical switch where all the rules, standards, and beliefs about reality change. It's as if saying "I do" plummets you into an entirely new universe. Looking at how things change after the flipping of the magical marriage switch reveals some gaping holes in purity culture thinking.One of the most integral moments in my decision to say "screw … [Read more...]

Complementarianism is a scam.

I'm still reading through the book Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. Dr. Eggerichs is, obviously, a complementarian--meaning he believes that men are the heads of the household and are the providers and protectors, while women's job (all marriages in Eggerichs' world are one man/one woman) is to submit and nurture and care for the home.Dr. Eggerichs' does this thing that complementarians love to do now-a-days where he tries to convince folks that his way is actually good for women. I … [Read more...]

Once Upon a Cheap Hotel Room

Content Note: Brief Mentions of Rape/Sexual Abuse[Disclaimer: This is a story of my personal experience, not a universal prescription for how people should react to sex. Obviously others have different experiences and what not. Those other experiences are valid, but so is mine] I didn't wait until marriage to have sex.If I'd heard someone admit that when I was younger, I might have gasped. I might have thought, "You didn't wait until marriage? What's wrong with you? How did you ever … [Read more...]

“You Are Not Your Own:” Wrapping Things Up

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This post is part of a series called“You Are Not Your Own,” focusing on rape and sexual assault in Christian relationship/dating booksContent Note: rape, sexual assaultWe've come to the last post in my series about rape and sexual assault in evangelical Christian dating books. Yup, that's right......It's time to kiss dating books goodbye. To sum up, there were four significant findings related to rape and sexual assault in these books:These books create an en … [Read more...]

A little more on the “selfish wives” that say no.

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I firmly believe in a person's right to say no to marital sex. Marriage is not a contract that binds a person to sex on-demand. I've made this clear in posts elsewhere (like here and here), and I've discussed this in other settings outside of my blog.Oddly, some people really don't seem to like this idea. In fact, almost every time I suggest that a person has a right to say no to sex, even to their spouse, I get similar responses:"Well if a couple NEVER has sex that's a bad rela … [Read more...]

“You Are Not Your Own:” Only Selfish Wives Say No

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This post is part of a series called“You Are Not Your Own,” focusing on rape and sexual assault in Christian relationship/dating booksTrigger Warning for rape, sexual assault, coercion Note 1: Some of you have noticed that I always link adorable bunnies to Mark Driscoll's name in my blogs. Thought I would remind people that credit for that idea goes to this tumblr conversation! Enjoy the bunnies! Moving right along on my series on rape and sexual assault in Christian dating books. … [Read more...]

“You Are Not Your Own:” People Belong To Their Partners…Even Before Marriage

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This post is part of a series called“You Are Not Your Own,” focusing on rape and sexual assault in Christian relationship/dating booksTrigger Warning for rape, sexual assaultToday, I'm continuing my series in which I share the results of my undergraduate thesis on rape and sexual assault in popular evangelical Christian dating books. After reading Real Marriage, When God Writes Your Love Story, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, and Dateable, I came across four significant findings:These b … [Read more...]

“You Are Not Your Own:” Unmarried Women Belong to Their Parents

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This post is part of a series called“You Are Not Your Own,” focusing on rape and sexual assault in Christian relationship/dating booksTrigger Warning for rape, sexual assaultNote: this research mainly focused on female rape. Though it is not the focus of my project, male rape is a huge problem as well–1 out of every 10 rape victims is male. I wanted to make it clear that, despite the focus of my study, it is not only women (and definitely not only cisgender women) who face sexual violenc … [Read more...]


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