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Virginity before marriage-mistake


prairiemuffin

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Interesting editorial in salon.com today about a woman who pledged purity at a summer camp (even got the ring!) and waited until marriage:

salon.com/2013/05/06/my_virginity_mistake/

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I scribbled Jesus + Jess on my Bible cover, and I casually mentioned my virginity in daily conversations.

That's...awkward. :?

I'm glad she got out of a marriage she wasn't happy with and found out what works for her:

...for me, I learned that sex is important enough not to wait.
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I've written here before that I had a close male friend who should have been perfect for me. We were nerds and had the same value. Luckily, I believe in premarital sex. We were not compatible, at all but if either of us had committed to virginity until marriage, we would have waited until our wedding night to discover our lack of chemistry

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Loved the article.

I wonder what her parents think. I wanna slap the ones who are all, YOU MUST GO THROUGH WITH THE WEDDING, I PAID FOR IT.

Way to have priorities, Mom.

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I wonder about this.

Is it really a matter of sampling until you find what you like, or is there something else going on?

[TMI alert] My sex life hasn't remained static for the past 24 years, even though I've had the same partner. I'm not the same shape. We both have better hair. You can't compare a virgin 17 yr old boy with a 42 yr old man. For me, add in pregnancy and nursing causing a complete disappearance in my libido for a few years (my doctor used the term "vaginal atrophy"). Also add in being more comfortable with our bodies, being adventurous, and getting to the point that the kids can be left with grandparents while we go someplace fun.

First-time sex wasn't horrible, but it wasn't instantly wonderful either. It took time to get to the big "wow that's everyone raves about" moment. I doubt that multiple partners would have changed that - my sister had a bunch, but took longer to get to the wow phase.

I do wonder, though, if that particular virginity fixation was messing with her head. Is it possible that she was so used to stopping him that she had trouble switching gears on the wedding night? Was she allowing herself to feel sexual? Could it be that after the divorce, she left her old baggage behind and allowed herself to be "naughty"?

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I also think that the entire purity culture was likely to blame more than just waiting until marriage for intercourse. Frankly, if you are doing it right, you should be able to figure out if you actually have chemistry from kissing and making out. And she says she loved kissing her husband before they married so there must have been some chemistry there which leads me to agree with 2xx1xy1JD that she was turning off for other reasons. She also says that he didn't kiss her anymore on marriage because sex became the only focus. As a very young virgin bride taught that sex was dirty and evil--as purity culture teaches--she was likely afraid to say what she wanted and thus talk about kissing and foreplay to begin to fix the problem.

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Best line:

One by one we each placed a ring on our fourth finger and made vows to an apparently bi-curious Jesus who took teenage husbands and wives by the dozen that night.

I feel bad for people who feel forced into waiting; I feel worse for people who are coerced into sex.

I know people who have waited who believe it was the best thing they could have done; people who have waited who think it's the worst thing (and about every shade of indifference in between.) Same thing with people who didn't wait.

Personally, I think this was a good anecdote until the last line; I'm just not down for telling other people what to do with their bodies (explicitly or implicitly).

I think the entire concept of virginity (or purity, since no sex is not enough for the uber-righteous) as "good" is flawed. Virginity as "bad" is also flawed. There is so much stock put into something that cannot be undone -- a virgin cannot become experienced, a sexually active person cannot become a virgin, no matter how much better things would be in their personal narrative had they/hadn't they had sex.

Is it really too much to ask that people do what is right for them, for their bodies, for their life, find a partner that is truly agreeable with that path (not just tolerating it)? And not judge others as they make their own decisions?

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Waiting until marriage isn't the problem. The cult of 'purity' is the problem. You can wait until marriage and still have a positive view of sexuality, and be well-educated about sex and anatomy, with a realistic attitude. Choosing to wait can be just as empowered a choice as choosing not to. Either way, it's about doing what YOU know is best for you, rather than feeling pushed or pressured or terrified into either having sex or not having sex.

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I get this article. Although I wasn't a virgin when I married I never had the same physical chemistry with my H as I did with a previous bf. I wish I knew exactly what went into that so I could bottle it and sell it to couples who lack that spark. I know I would have bought it.

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I've been with the same guy for all of my dating life, and we were each others firsts. I guess I got lucky because we'll be buying a house together soon and plan on getting married.

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Did a general web search on 'purity ring'. (Wow, there's a band by that name) and came across articles using the phrase 'cult of virginity'. I find that phrase catchy. Also came across the Urban Dictionaries http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.p ... id=4906441 entry on 'purity ring'. Not breaking the link because, well, it's Urban Dictionary. Very amusing.

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My views on this are evolving. I can say that now I believe that people should have some physical contact before marriage. That is their choice, of course but that is what I would say. I am not saying to have sex. That is a personal decision. I just can't imagine going into marriage with someone I did not feel physically comfortable with.

For the woman in the story I think this was just the result of the whole purity movement crap. Making sex into a bad thing before marriage and then after marriage it is a duty that the woman does for the man. I know from personal experience how much that purity stuff can mess with your head so I can't really be that surprised. I am sad that things didn't work out for her.

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I have a feeling we'll be hearing many more stories like these in the coming years as more marriages born out of purity culture fail and people start speaking out.

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I have a feeling we'll be hearing many more stories like these in the coming years as more marriages born out of purity culture fail and people start speaking out.

I thik that most of the people don't say much.

I mean, think about the stink from Bethany Pachin...she and her husband literally wrote part of the book on this crap. But when it came time for their divorce, it was pretty quiet at the time. And the outcry, once she went 'public' with it and there was the one small newspaper article was enough to drive her back underground.

I think people who were vocal advocates of it will be quiet about their failures either because it'll force them to break ties w/ the community if they're loud about the fact that it was a mistake, they assume that the 'failure' was theirs (after all, if they had been godly enough, it wouldn't have happened), or just because it's embarrassing to say 'wow, I based my whole self on this and now I think it's all wrong'

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Waiting until marriage isn't the problem. The cult of 'purity' is the problem. You can wait until marriage and still have a positive view of sexuality, and be well-educated about sex and anatomy, with a realistic attitude. Choosing to wait can be just as empowered a choice as choosing not to. Either way, it's about doing what YOU know is best for you, rather than feeling pushed or pressured or terrified into either having sex or not having sex.

But you still end up not making the decision to get married about being married, you make it about being married WITH SEX! It's not healthy, and it's not a way to make a good decision.

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But you still end up not making the decision to get married about being married, you make it about being married WITH SEX! It's not healthy, and it's not a way to make a good decision.

I'm not 100% sure what you're saying here. That all people wait to have sex before getting married have their judgment clouded because all they can think about is finally getting to have sex? I'm sure that's true for many, but it shouldn't be if you have a healthy and realistic attitude about sex, which was kind of my point.

Every person should feel that they are making an empowered decision about their own sexuality. It's wrong to shame people for approaching their sexuality in a way that you happen to disapprove of, and that includes people who choose to wait until marriage. You're assuming that everyone who waits until marriage is ignorant and childish about sex, which is complete b.s.

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I'm not 100% sure what you're saying here. That all people wait to have sex before getting married have their judgment clouded because all they can think about is finally getting to have sex? I'm sure that's true for many, but it shouldn't be if you have a healthy and realistic attitude about sex, which was kind of my point.

Every person should feel that they are making an empowered decision about their own sexuality. It's wrong to shame people for approaching their sexuality in a way that you happen to disapprove of, and that includes people who choose to wait until marriage. You're assuming that everyone who waits until marriage is ignorant and childish about sex, which is complete b.s.

Eh. Not exactly. I just know a lot more about sex than I did at 19 or 20 is all. Waiting until marriage is entirely artificial. There's no reason to do it unless your religion demands it. It's entirely arbitrary- and so utterly entrenched in out culture, most people can't see it's arbitrary.

Waiting until you feel ready to have sex is great. Why would that ever be on your wedding night without the huge cultural push caused by Christianity?

So yeah, wait until you're 15 or 45, wait until the end of the first date or 5 years later, it's no nevermind to me, but if you're waiting for marriage, you're being pushed by the culture into something potentially very damaging.

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Eh. Not exactly. I just know a lot more about sex than I did at 19 or 20 is all. Waiting until marriage is entirely artificial. There's no reason to do it unless your religion demands it. It's entirely arbitrary- and so utterly entrenched in out culture, most people can't see it's arbitrary.

Waiting until you feel ready to have sex is great. Why would that ever be on your wedding night without the huge cultural push caused by Christianity?

So yeah, wait until you're 15 or 45, wait until the end of the first date or 5 years later, it's no nevermind to me, but if you're waiting for marriage, you're being pushed by the culture into something potentially very damaging.

And my point was that choosing to wait until marriage (or any other point of your own choosing) does not necessarily have to be based on the pressure from society or religion. It can be an informed, empowered choice freely made. But if you truly believe that no one could ever choose to not have sex before marriage without being tricked and manipulated into it by their culture or religion, then we are never going to agree, and will only be arguing in circles.

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Interesting. I know so, so many people who got married at 18/19 just so they could have sex and Jesus wouldn't be mad at them. I only know of one couple who is still married. It's a family member. Not sure how happy she is, but she's still married.

ETA: This family member has an 18 year old son who is ABSOLUTELY DYING to get married. I think it's the most horrifying thing I've ever heard as he is completely immature and in no way able to support himself and his mom and dad think it's just terrific. So. Yeah.

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Interesting. I know so, so many people who got married at 18/19 just so they could have sex and Jesus wouldn't be mad at them. I only know of one couple who is still married. It's a family member. Not sure how happy she is, but she's still married.

ETA: This family member has an 18 year old son who is ABSOLUTELY DYING to get married. I think it's the most horrifying thing I've ever heard as he is completely immature and in no way able to support himself and his mom and dad think it's just terrific. So. Yeah.

You have to understand, though, that in fundagelical culture, marriage is the be all and end all of existence. Many young adults feel that way not just because of sex but because it is the only way to be fully accepted as an adult and considered a complete human and Christian. At Christian school, a chapel speaker told our students once that because marriage provides an image of Christ's relationship to the church on earth, we are not fully Christian and do not fully understand salvation until we are married. That same school had a "marriage and family" textbook that included a section on single people and how they needed to be carefully integrated into the church community because otherwise they might "become warped". While working there, I briefly attended a mega church that did not allow singles to be involved in ministries (other than the designated singles group) because they had yet to "come to the fullness of faith" (a.k.a. marriage). The beliefs about traditional "biblical" (I HATE that word) gender roles also come into play. For boys, they can't be truly and fully spiritual or masculine unless they are leading a family. For girls, the only acceptable roles (as we well know from the fundies observed here) are wife and mother. Marriage defines everything and a bad marriage is a much better alternative than being the potentially warped not fully Christian single adult.

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Eh. Not exactly. I just know a lot more about sex than I did at 19 or 20 is all. Waiting until marriage is entirely artificial. There's no reason to do it unless your religion demands it. It's entirely arbitrary- and so utterly entrenched in out culture, most people can't see it's arbitrary.

Waiting until you feel ready to have sex is great. Why would that ever be on your wedding night without the huge cultural push caused by Christianity?

So yeah, wait until you're 15 or 45, wait until the end of the first date or 5 years later, it's no nevermind to me, but if you're waiting for marriage, you're being pushed by the culture into something potentially very damaging.

I really don't understand what you're saying here. You say that waiting until marriage is artificial, arbitrary, and completely cultural, but aren't most of our ideas regarding sex? I've known friends who have gone to great lengths to lose their virginity before high school graduation or going to college, or people who wait to have sex until the third date- is that not just as artificial, arbitrary, and cultural? For some people (myself included), waiting until marriage just feels right. I've often said that if I were in another relationship, I might not wait until marriage, but in the current context of our relationship, in which neither of us are very religious, it just feels right.

Also, its certainly not pushing us down the aisle, because we're two well educated adults who know that much more goes into a marriage than sex and want to make sure that we're both emotionally and financially ready before we make that step, not just follow our hormones. And honestly, it often feels like I'm going against the culture. I've been teased and mocked by friends about this subject to the point where I don't talk to people about the subject (except apparently random strangers on the Internet).

I'm secure in knowing that my decision is between me and my significant other, but it's nice to know that you, not being in my relationship, know so much more than me about the reasoning behind my decisions and their consequences than I do.

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You have to understand, though, that in fundagelical culture, marriage is the be all and end all of existence. Many young adults feel that way not just because of sex but because it is the only way to be fully accepted as an adult and considered a complete human and Christian. At Christian school, a chapel speaker told our students once that because marriage provides an image of Christ's relationship to the church on earth, we are not fully Christian and do not fully understand salvation until we are married. That same school had a "marriage and family" textbook that included a section on single people and how they needed to be carefully integrated into the church community because otherwise they might "become warped". While working there, I briefly attended a mega church that did not allow singles to be involved in ministries (other than the designated singles group) because they had yet to "come to the fullness of faith" (a.k.a. marriage). The beliefs about traditional "biblical" (I HATE that word) gender roles also come into play. For boys, they can't be truly and fully spiritual or masculine unless they are leading a family. For girls, the only acceptable roles (as we well know from the fundies observed here) are wife and mother. Marriage defines everything and a bad marriage is a much better alternative than being the potentially warped not fully Christian single adult.

I had no idea that it was that closely related to your ability to be a "full" Christian. Fascinating! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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I have a really funny virgin story.

I knew a couple who were super religious and didn't have sex until their wedding night...but they had oral and anal!

(They married when they were 20/22 and are now divorced. I don't think it lasted two years.)

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It's not just religion though. I went to nursing school at 20-21Lived on my own and supported myself but my professors stressed repeatedly that I was not in the mature adult stage of human development yet the immature 18 year olds were merely because they were married and I was not. It really is culturally pervasive. It's worse in the southern US, but still seen in other regions as well.

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I have a really funny virgin story.

I knew a couple who were super religious and didn't have sex until their wedding night...but they had oral and anal!

(They married when they were 20/22 and are now divorced. I don't think it lasted two years.)

I had a friend at school who was like that. We were all about finding someone with whom we felt emotional intimacy to get serious with, she was going down on boys all over the place (well, three or four boys), but not caring that much for any of them, carefully making sure her hymen stayed intact and yet engaging in the most intimate sex act, so weird.

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