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Libby Anne's excellent post on Purity Culture (MERGED)


clarinetpower

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That was a very interesting read. Thanks for linking.

I have often lifted my eyebrow at the concept that one can go from years of sexual repression to instant sex goddess all because of a ceremony. I cannot say I had the healthiest relationship with sex in my younger years (though the lack of it was not an issue and my problem was more with using sex to fill other needs) and am very glad that I addressed that relationship many years ago, however, I do not see how promoting the bleaching of one's brain and body from all instincts while wrapping it up in some future fantasy of magical sex then happening in marriage is any better (except perhaps for the parents who have no interest in respecting their children as sexual beings of their own right).

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I wonder if this is a common occurence in fundie marriages. It's not like the women would be open about it, they probably think God is cursing them for some perceived sin. But honestly, I have always wondered how you're supposed to go from 0 (first kiss) to 100 (full on intercourse) in the span of hours. That takes years for some people. And when you add in the ridiculous emphasis on complete purity, even purity of mind, for your entire life, only to have that change in a matter of hours, it's a wonder any of these people have healthy sexual lifestyles at all.

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I had long suspect that sexual dysfunction in woman was a by product of the purity movement. TY for an eye opening article.

Just another reason for parents to teach their kids, both male and female that masturbation is ok, and its safe sex!!

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It doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

When you consider normal sexual activity development, you don't go from first kiss and hand hold to full sexual intercourse within 24 hours. It can take several years; your very first proper kiss, holding hands, fondling, none penetrative sexual contact, digital penetration and finally intercourse. Think about the time you had your first kiss; I was 15, and then the time which passed until you first had sex; I was 18, for me that was a three year process. Plus I wasn't repressed and taught that any kind of sexual thought or deed was immoral. Can you imagine how difficult it must be if you were? Add into the that the modesty issues; suddenly after a lifetime of being covered you are suddenly expect to be comfortable unclothed with your husband. There is no wonder this mindset causes sexual dysfunction.

If you are lucky, you might have a considerate husband who is willing to wait, even after marriage, until you are reading for full sex, so that natural progression can take place. But does anyone here imagine for a second that Smuggar would have been that considerate of Anna Duggar?

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Also, I'm pretty sure that women aren't the only ones with sexual dysfunctions due to the purity movement. I'm sure there are just as many men with issues as there are women. There was one person who wrote on the anti-ATI website (I think it's called Recovering Grace) about how his father decided that he should be circumsized when he was 15 and the guilt and shame he suffered because of his father's intrusions into his personal life. It was heartbreaking.

I really think that Gothard and all the other purity preachers have a fetish about virgins and about losing virginity. They're so focused on the whole wedding night fantasy that they seem to forget that when you get married, you sign up for a lifetime of sexuality, not just one night.

I was told once (by a pastor) that men don't respect the women they sleep with. This was said in the context of pre-marital sex (that once you sleep with your bf he won't respect you any more and will dump you for someone else), but I wondered for years if men respected their wives at all! If men stopped respecting women the minute they had sex, that meant that women were only respected through their deflowering and that was it. Next morning, first day of the marriage? No respect, that's over.

Anyway, I'm really glad that people are talking and writing about this. I'm sure that the no-sex-before-marriage thing can work for some people, if that's their choice. I would no more force someone to have sex before marriage than I would demand that someone abstain from sex before marriage. But the constant emphasis on "purity" at all costs is so damaging to women; I'm glad that people are pointing out just how bad it can be.

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I really admire Libby Anne's blog. She is an intelligent and gifted writer and is remarkably perceptive about her upbringing and it's effects on her. I am amazed at how quickly she seems to be overcoming it.

If you are lucky, you might have a considerate husband who is willing to wait, even after marriage, until you are reading for full sex, so that natural progression can take place. But does anyone here imagine for a second that Smuggar would have been that considerate of Anna Duggar?

I do not wish to speculate on Joshua Duggar's honeymoon and wish I could find the vomiting emoticon to express my feelings on this. What I do suspect is that many IFB/VF/ATI honeymoons probably look somewhat like a rape scene. Sexual deprivation, combined with the purity mindset and the overwhelming entitlement of some of the fundy males we've discussed here would make for an awful honeymoon and subsequent marriage.

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I was told once (by a pastor) that men don't respect the women they sleep with. This was said in the context of pre-marital sex (that once you sleep with your bf he won't respect you any more and will dump you for someone else), but I wondered for years if men respected their wives at all! If men stopped respecting women the minute they had sex, that meant that women were only respected through their deflowering and that was it. Next morning, first day of the marriage? No respect, that's over.

Ugh, I have always hated hearing those sorts of arguments (I also find it similar to the "why buy the cow when you get the milk for free"). And yes, as you experienced, it hardly induces one to form healthy attitudes about sex, relationships, men, and marriage!

Anyway, the "problem" of losing respect/being a free milk giving cow is easily resolved by not dating men who are so immature as to lose respect for a women they are sleeping with (yet, with great hypocrisy, apparently continue to maintain respect for themselves for doing the same thing) or believe that women are cows to be bought in the first place.

I've definitely never felt less than complete, full, and healthy respect from my husband - and he and I both got to enjoy plenty of naked and dirty fun before we ever got married. Heck, he respects me despite him NOT being the "first" and not by a long shot (hardly a surprise given we were both in our 30's by time we married). This is because he is mature, emotionally intelligent aware, confident enough in himself to not be threatened by by sexuality or womanhood, and not a douche who values women based on the status of their vagina's, or feels a need to deal with his own imperfections by trying to control the sexuality of others.

My husband likes to say a lot of people are awfully concerned about what parts people have in their pants, and what they are doing with those parts.

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This is a great link. I really don't understand the 0-60 mentality of being pure until marriage. I Know I will have issues in this area because of my messed up childhood (somewhat liberal with s. abuse in it) my extreme opposite teenagehood years (family falls in the repressed area that is discussed here). I know this going into any relationship but girls from this movement are taught, don't think about sex at all, until your wedding night, then you have to preform "the act" in which you weren't even supposed to think about earlier in the day. It is one of the reasons why I started to question the movement in my late teens because my sister gave me books like "waiting on prince charming" with a note that said "I know your not all inoccent because of your childhood but the premise would be good for you" (I have a quiet personality or else she would have had an ear full over that, instead it just made me research into the area more and dislike it further.

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Even though we waited, I appreciate the article and many of it's points.

IMO, the "deadening" happens as people erect more and more and more "hedges" around themselves, feeling that the more they have, the safer they are. Someone decides that choosing to abstain is not enough, or not possible as a choice on it's own, so they erect ever increasing levels of "safety" around their decision, until it does hit a point where it gets silly and unhealthy. It does not necessarily happen as a simple result of choosing not to engage in sexual behaviors outside of marriage, and not even always with stricter expectations about courtship and touch and all that, but it definitely can happen with a shift towards a fear- and shame-based way of thinking about it.

We didn't have problems going from nothing to everything, though we did kiss the night before our wedding (clearly disqualifying us from true "purity", lol). But we both knew that we would have a pretty big learning curve, and that was OK. So there was no "sexless to sexpot in a few hours" situation going on.

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That is a fantastic link. I know I've posted the gory details before, but as a virgin who had only held hands and was pecked by my betrothed twice before our wedding, I can absolutely relate. I was very lucky (heh) that he was praying the gay away and had very little interest in "doing the deed" right away. We got there after, and I am not kidding, a few months. He was always a "minute man", with no interest in my body or my pleasure, just "doing God's will". And, of course, I totally blamed myself, as did everyone else. It never got any better, no matter how hard I prayed, how many good married Christian ladies I consulted.

I spent a long time enmeshed in a shame spiral of sexuality. I had no interest in going through that nightmare again. I didn't date for a long time after that. At first I was seen as "damaged goods", and also his mother made sure our whole community knew I couldn't birth babies, so I was not exactly attractive to the men I was exposed to. It took me loving myself and getting the hell away from those sick people to find myself, and at long last, my sexuality.

I have only been intimate sexually with 2 men. The other is my current husband, but we didn't wait until marriage. It was good from the beginning, because that wasn't all he wanted from me, and he absolutely did not rush me.

I hope not all fundies go all the way the first night; that they get a little of the pleasure of touching and getting to know one another before they go for the baby making, but I am probably hoping in vain.

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http://lovejoyfeminism.blogspot.com/201 ... ction.html

Since there's been some questions here about how someone can go from having never been kissed to losing their virginity in a scant 12 hours, I thought I'd post this link in case anyone is not following Love, Joy, Femenism. The article and comments below discuss how fundies really deal with S-E-X.

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As someone who would probably classify as fundy-lite, or fundy-and-1/4, I have never understood all this "sexual repression" talk that I see on blogs like this. Maybe I just got lucky and read all the wrong books. Maybe I spent time with the wrong friends. Maybe it's because I didn't pledge my virginity to my father until death/marriage do we part.

None of my friends are like this either, and they fall into the same fundy-ish category. We have some rather racy discussions, especially when the married friends are present, and have no problem joking about sex with each other. Heck, we even have a running joke about me opening a brothel in the near future.

I can't imagine living life like this, and making sex such a taboo subject, even in church and among church friends. It completely baffles me.

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As someone who would probably classify as fundy-lite, or fundy-and-1/4, I have never understood all this "sexual repression" talk that I see on blogs like this. Maybe I just got lucky and read all the wrong books. Maybe I spent time with the wrong friends. Maybe it's because I didn't pledge my virginity to my father until death/marriage do we part.

None of my friends are like this either, and they fall into the same fundy-ish category. We have some rather racy discussions, especially when the married friends are present, and have no problem joking about sex with each other. Heck, we even have a running joke about me opening a brothel in the near future.

I can't imagine living life like this, and making sex such a taboo subject, even in church and among church friends. It completely baffles me.

What about your upbringing/life makes you fundie-lite then? Just curious. Fundies & F-Ls both place huge emphasis on sexual & emotional purity. If you & your friends were in typical fundie-lite situations, you'd be crippled w/ shame, not only about the "immoral" thoughts that go through your head, but that you're discussing it at length with friends. Fundies would say this is sinful.

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I think I posted in the other thread. My experience is more like Caelem's. Definitely seen the other side of this being practiced, but my family was very earthy and open, and in general friends were too. Choosing to abstain from behavior and not feeding certain thoughts that may pop up doesn't have to equal shame and total avoidance of the subject. We go to a fundie-lite church now (charismatic/evangelical type). The teaching/sexual ethic is that sex is awesome, and it is meant for marriage. It is not, however, a taboo subject. And while it is considered a sin, those who do not follow that teaching are not shamed. New parents are congratulated and supported whether the baby was born within marriage our outside of it.

During the 5 years we were in a cult, I did go through the guilt/shame thing. Ironically, it wasn't even *taught*. Just made very clear in a large variety of nonverbal ways. I mean, if you got in trouble and were publically shamed for being percieved as "flirtatious"

by some nosy parker, then clearly anything beyond that was just unimaginably worse. But fortunately that was a small fraction of my life, and was not something my parents toed the line with anyway.

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What a heartbreaking letter

I ask because for most of my adolescent and adult life I have been living the purity dream. I suppressed most of my sexual urges. No dating, no fantasizing, no touching. I was more or less asexual, and almost completely clueless. Then I fell in love with a fine young man, and we fully intend to marry each other once our life circumstances settle down. The young man and I started doing the things that young couples tend to do, like holding hands, or an arm around the shoulders or waist, and…I could not handle it. The feelings I had were either so overwhelming and powerful I had to stop, or I felt completely and totally numb.

I have needed ongoing therapy to get over this, but it is clear that for the present, even if the young man and I did get married, the two of us would not be able to have a sex life. The act of marriage would not be able to overcome the years of sexual dysfunction that I have imposed on myself. The young man, God bless him, loves me and wants to marry me anyway, even if this never changes, and even if that means we can never have biological children together.

I feel betrayed, because I did everything I was told with regard to abstinence, and it led me to a place where I wasn’t able to cope with sex at all and feel so broken. Is this how abstinence is supposed to work? I can’t think of anyone I could ask other than you, John, who would listen to me and take me seriously and give me an honest answer. Bless you for just reading this and getting this far.

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I had already started a thread on this. Mods, can we merge?

Thread was "Add Vows: Instant Sexpot! Libby Anne's Excellent Post".

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Sorry to post twice. I didn't want to make my post too long.

Because sexual fantasies were seen as adultery against my future husband. Because becoming attached to any one guy meant you risked giving part of your heart away and never getting it back. Because before marriage sexual experience of any sort, even physical contact like kissing, was dirty, depraved, and sinful. Easier to just push it all away. Easier to shut it off. Easier to become asexual. And I am being deadly serious here.

We've read sentiments similar to these over and over on Fundie blogs. For some of these people, having a stray sexual thought is akin to adultery. It's sick.

Yes, please merge the threads.

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I really think that Gothard and all the other purity preachers have a fetish about virgins and about losing virginity. They're so focused on the whole wedding night fantasy that they seem to forget that when you get married, you sign up for a lifetime of sexuality, not just one night.

"Fetish" is probably accurate for a lot of them. Anybody here recall the Youtube of the wedding in which the bride and groom had barely even touched hands before they said their vows and had their first kiss ever in front of an audience of cheering clapping men? And it was scripted that way, and the men who scripted it described the kiss as especially exciting or the payoff or some such? EEEEEEEWWWWWWW.

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Choosing to abstain from behavior and not feeding certain thoughts that may pop up doesn't have to equal shame and total avoidance of the subject. We go to a fundie-lite church now (charismatic/evangelical type). The teaching/sexual ethic is that sex is awesome, and it is meant for marriage. It is not, however, a taboo subject.

This was my upbringing and most fundy churches that I know of don't make sex a topic of "crippling shame". I went "from 0-100" in a matter of hours. Maybe that makes me a freak. We knew each other so well otherwise that it didn't seem unnatural at all. No there weren't fireworks and angels singing but I don't think that ever happens the first time and it happened soon enough. What kind of sex life must the girls parents have to create that kind of fear in their daughters?

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My parents didn't talk a whole lot about purity to me, but I hear my poor brothers each got an earful when they became teenagers, enough to scar them from showing any interest in girls ever. And though it was mostly unspoken, the expectation of purity before marriage was strong. We had Josh Harris and the Ludys' purity books to read, and also my parents were/are anti-birth control of any kind. I'm questioning most of my fundy beliefs now (the no-dating thing especially), but even now my impulse is to shame myself for accidentally having thoughts of having sex with the guy I want to date. (We had a coffee date as friends, which was awesome.)

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I was told once (by a pastor) that men don't respect the women they sleep with. This was said in the context of pre-marital sex (that once you sleep with your bf he won't respect you any more and will dump you for someone else), but I wondered for years if men respected their wives at all! If men stopped respecting women the minute they had sex, that meant that women were only respected through their deflowering and that was it. Next morning, first day of the marriage? No respect, that's over.

I'd speculate that the "won't respect me in the morning" idea might have come about from the Bible story of Amnon and Tamar from 2 Samuel 13- " But he would not listen to her, and being stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her. Then Amnon hated her with very great hatred, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, "Get up! Go!" But she said to him, "No, my brother, for this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you did to me."t But he would not listen to her. He called the young man who served him and said, "Put this woman out of my presence and bolt the door after her."

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I grew up evangelical (maybe fundy-lite) and while it was stressed that you were supposed to save sex until marriage, there wasn't a whole lot of discussion of anything else you can't do (I'm good at parsing the letter of the law and decided that anything up to but not including intercourse was OK, so I actually had a more or less normal-for-high-school dating life), and there wasn't the stress on emotional purity that seems to be so prominent now. I got my Christian sex ed in the early '80s before Joshua Harris probably had his first wet dream. I think that culture has changed now and not for the better.

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