Having Pre-Marital Sex? You’re a Man-Hater.

An excerpt from Dawn Eden’s forthcoming book, The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On (working title: You’re Going to Hell, Slut*):

I now notice things about the men in my life that I never noticed before, like their thoughtfulness, their love of family, their integrity, even their vulnerability. These are intangible qualities that don’t jump out at you when you’re in a frame of mind where you’re viewing men only as potential dates. Put together, they add up to character. It’s the most important quality to seek in a husband, and the one that’s least discussed in this day and age.

Likewise, when you become chaste, you’ll notice for the first time that women who have sex outside of marriage don’t really appreciate men. You can’t see this when you’re having nonmarital sex, because you don’t realize how much there really is about men to appreciate. You think the mere fact that you’re attracted to them and that they seem to wield such power over you shows you appreciate them for what they really are. From there, it’s a short step to the cynical stereotype we all know from popular culture—the worldly wise, “been there, done that” single woman who doesn’t trust men any farther than she can throw them.

Not that we’re generalizing or anything here.

I do love this style of writing — “Because I thought it, every woman who ever did what I did thinks it, too!” And then she makes a response impossible because, naturally, women who are having pre-marital sex just can’t see it. Right. Considering that the majority of Americans do have premarital sex, that’s a whole lot of non-appreciation of men going on there. And what about the women who marry the men they were having sex with? Does the appreciation materialize as soon as the vows are said, or does it never appear? If they stay married until they’re 105, is it just because they’re so darn attracted to each other?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not attracted to men because I feel like they wield so much power over me. I appreciate the men in my life for the same reasons that I appreciate the women in my life — because they’re kind, interesting, fantastic individuals, whose characters I evaluate on the basis of their individuality, not because I see them as walking cocks. Perhaps, before she swore herself to chastity, this was Dawn’s view of men. If that’s the case, then it sounds like she made a good decision for herself, and I’m sure she’s very happy with it. But just as I would never tell her that she must have premarital sex in order to appreciate men for who they are, I find it completely offensive that she would attempt to tell everyone else that we can’t possibly respect and love men as human beings unless we refuse to have sex.

On television and in movies, if a single woman is friends with a man, the pal’s more often than not a homosexual. The message is that heterosexual men aren’t capable of friendship or even worthy of it. In contrast, gay men are depicted as safe and nonthreatening, trustworthy, and having more to give than straight men.

Um, what? More often than not? Really? How many gay men does Dawn think are actually on TV? Because the only ones I can think of are Will and Jack (Will & Grace) and Stanford and Charlotte’s friend whose name I can’t remember from Sex & the City. I’ll admit, I don’t watch much TV. I don’t have one in New York, so I can’t tell you about the sexual orientations of most sitcom characters. But just glancing at a list of the most popular TV shows is pretty indicative of the fact that there aren’t too many gay men on television, and if we’re talking about actual numbers, then more often than not single women who are friends with men on TV are friends with straight men.

Fact-checkers, anyone?

Oh, right. Not exactly Dawn’s strong point. (Yes, bitchy).

Imagine if the tables were turned. Imagine watching a TV sitcom where all the gay men are Neanderthal lunkheads, while the kind, thoughtful straight men are always ready to help their female friends without asking sexual favors in return.

Is this inferring that straight men on television are always Neanderthal lunkheads? Really? Again, I don’t watch too much TV, but the only examples of this that I can think of are The Simpsons (where everyone is a lunkhead), Seinfeld (again, where everyone is a lunkhead) and Everybody Loves Raymond (which I think is the worst show ever made). And even with those, no one was Neanderthal-ish. When I do watch TV, I tend to stick to The West Wing, Law & Order, Grey’s Anatomy, The OC, and Sex & the City. Again, no Neanderthal lunkheads. A few jerks of both sexes, certainly, but I hardly think that straight men are routinely insulted on TV.

If you saw a show like that, you’d think the producers really had it out for gay men. Yet, many women tolerate such stereotyping against straight men, because they’re conditioned to expect “manly men” to lack character. Part of this conditioning comes from the media, but a large part of it—I’d say, most—comes from such women’s own warped perspectives, brought about by the superficial nature of their dating experiences.

Are we talking about straight men, or are we talking about “manly men” — itself a characiture of masculinity? Because if the stereotype of manly men is what bothers Dawn, then she needs to take it up with Harvey Mansfield, not ABC.

When I had nonmarital sex, I became accustomed to seeing myself as a commodity—a varied collection of looks, wit, intellect, and je ne sais quois. I looked for men whose commodities were worth as much as my own.

Most of all, I looked for men whose commodities were readily apparent. The singles scene isn’t known for its subtlety. Men who were reserved or modest, who didn’t flirt readily, who weren’t attuned to my single-gal vibe—the nature of my casual-sex mind-set forced them all out of the running.

Is it any surprise, then, that I tended to date narcissists?

If you were seeking out men who are like you it’s not.

So, I built up walls of protection. I thought I was “guarding my heart.”

Today, I see those walls for what they really are — and they look like poorly installed weather insulation. They don’t do anything they’re supposed to do. The chill winds of rejection seep through, while the warm breezes of love are muffled.

I still have a lot to learn about sustaining a lasting relationship, but I firmly believe that during the time I’ve spent working at chastity, the hardness that men perceived in me has been gradually melting away. In its place are an openness and a vulnerability that makes me more susceptible to being hurt, but infinitely more capable of attaining and sustaining the lifelong marriage my heart desires.

Fair enough, if it’s what will make you more capable of attaining what you want. The problem comes when you try and convince the rest of us that making the same choices as you will set us on the path to eternal happiness.


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94 comments for “Having Pre-Marital Sex? You’re a Man-Hater.

  1. bmc90
    June 15, 2006 at 9:03 am

    Sounds like she was hanging out in singles bars with 20 somethings, hooking up from time to time, and wondering why that was not satisfying the desire she apparently had for a lasting and meaningful relationship. Instead of trying to meet quality men other ways (like volunteering or taking up a new activity), she concludes that its having sex that is causing all her relationship problems? I think someone gave her crabs and she freaked. And how dare she suggest that I saw my darling college boyfriend with whom I had a two year relationship as a commodity. Don’t project your craziness on others, dear. We are doing just fine out here.

  2. junk science
    June 15, 2006 at 9:34 am

    A few jerks of both sexes, certainly, but I hardly think that straight men are routinely insulted on TV.

    You’d have to watch sitcoms to really get a feel for it. Not that I’d recommend that.

    It’s really fucking sad that this chick decided to blame premarital sex for her incredible immaturity and complete lack of self-awareness. Now she figures getting other people to join her in her misery will make it less lonely.

  3. zuzu
    June 15, 2006 at 9:47 am

    When I had nonmarital sex, I became accustomed to seeing myself as a commodity—a varied collection of looks, wit, intellect, and je ne sais quois. I looked for men whose commodities were worth as much as my own.

    That’s because you were a groupie, Dawn.

  4. Magis
    June 15, 2006 at 9:53 am

    Dawn is trying to do the Catholic schoolgirl shtick but it’s too late. I get the feeling that Dawn is always a bit behind the curve.

  5. William Burns
    June 15, 2006 at 10:07 am

    One of the many fun things about this logic is that if you push it another step you can get to “the only women who can really appreciate men are lesbians. And possibly nuns.”

  6. June 15, 2006 at 10:07 am

    Any ideology that encourages right wing propagandists not to breed is more than fine with me. But I think that encouraging rightwingers to refrain from sex is not a good thing. All that tension builds up, and then you start acting like Rumsfeld, blathering on about known unknowns and the like.

    That’s just not healthy, if you ask me.

    But I’m guess I’m a little bit of a hypocrite here, because even if I were single, I wouldn’t want to sleep with a Republican. The very thought…

  7. dickeylee
    June 15, 2006 at 10:17 am

    So do you think this was Ann Coulter writing, or Condi maybe. That George must be turning all his woeman chaste, just like Laura!

  8. srgtick
    June 15, 2006 at 10:19 am

    The chill winds of rejection seep through, while the warm breezes of love are muffled.

    Wow that’s some quality writing right there. Maybe she could do the next Tek Jansen novel.

  9. raging red
    June 15, 2006 at 10:29 am

    It baffles me that apparently Dawn Eden thinks there are only two options for heterosexual women – casual sex or marriage. From my personal experience (which I would not extrapolate to the entire world as Dawn does with her experience), when I was having lots of casual sex, I found it to be completely unfulfilling. (I’m not saying casual sex must be unfulfilling for everyone, just that it was for me.) But I didn’t conclude that it was unfulfilling because premarital sex is bad. I concluded that it was because what I really wanted was to be in a meaningful relationship, and that certainly does not require getting married. Why doesn’t she realize that this is a third option?

  10. asterixx20
    June 15, 2006 at 10:37 am

    You can’t see this when you’re having nonmarital sex, because you don’t realize how much there really is about men to appreciate.

    Haha, I like this statement. May be this post is all about increasing the curiosity of all the unmarried women. Well, I’d say you are giving us hope.

  11. June 15, 2006 at 10:39 am

    I don’t know about that. Before we got married, my girlfriend would say things like, “Ask my boyfriend, he’s really smart”.
    The day after we got married, April second, 1996, my wife told me “You’re so stupid you couldn’t find your ass with both hands and a flashlight”.
    Of course the only resonable response was to laugh my ass off and congratulate her for the bestest EVAR!!!11!1 April Fools joke on the previous day. She had me completely fooled for three years prior to our marriage.
    God, I love that woman.

  12. BlueUU
    June 15, 2006 at 10:40 am

    Hmm. I realize they’ve just come out recently, but those “man law” beer commercials would give the lie to ol’ Dawn here. I also recall a series of Dodge commercials with a young couple where the guy was really into the fact that his truck had a Hemi–manly! He kept bitching at his wife “Liz” for feminizing the truck, their baby boy, etc.

    But hey, I’m sure it’s women who have incredible control of the advertising industry, and they are the ones who perpetuate such insulting stereotypes of straight men! Women made the “Man Show” and “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Three Men and a Baby” and “Two and Half Men” and all those types of shows too! It’s a manhatinglesbianradicalfeminist agenda!

  13. Terry C
    June 15, 2006 at 10:41 am

    Dawn Eden is batshit nuts, like all wingers.

  14. June 15, 2006 at 10:42 am

    Hasn’t she had zero luck finding a guy following this “chaste” method, too? She is utterly obsessed with getting married (so she can finally fuck again, presumably), and yet keeps coming up empty, just like she did before she stopped having a little fun in the sack along the way.

    I would take dating advice from an alter boy before I’d listen to Dawn Eden.

  15. Em
    June 15, 2006 at 10:44 am

    It’s very sad, really. I grew up with this sort of non-logic and rejected it. For a supposed adult to buy into just makes me shake my head.

  16. Donald Drennon
    June 15, 2006 at 10:47 am

    …so…so…if we have sex that means she will be unable to notice that I am thoughtful, love my family, possess integrity, etc? Golly. I wasn’t aware that the act made these qualities invisible….

    As for the broad generalizations about TV—I get a “C-minus” in popular culture, so I couldn’t say. What little I see of TV leads me to believe that Dawn might be projecting a bit…

    your mileage, etc

  17. merlallen
    June 15, 2006 at 10:49 am

    You know, on second thought I shouldn’t post comments on boards after taking my glaucoma medicine. I completely did not read the entire thing. Sorry, carry on.

  18. raging red
    June 15, 2006 at 10:53 am

    I would take dating advice from an alter boy before I’d listen to Dawn Eden.

    But hey! She’s got great pick-up lines if you’re into drummers. (sarcasm)

    My usual opening line for drummers was silly, but guaranteed me an answer: “I really like it that you use match grip — it looks so cool, like Ringo.” (I’d substitute “traditional grip” and “Charlie Watts” when appropriate.)

  19. June 15, 2006 at 10:53 am

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

    Some people choose abstinence…others have it chosen for them.

  20. sandly no
    June 15, 2006 at 11:00 am

    casual sex works for some people and doesn’t work for others

    singles bars are meat markets; no doubt

    if you want casual sex, go to a singles bar; if you don’t want casual sex, don’t go there

    any questions?

  21. June 15, 2006 at 11:02 am

    You know, Dawn, maybe that “single-gal vibe” you were putting out was the “I’m self-absorbed and desperate” variety. Now that you’re “chaste”, maybe you’re not broadcasting that desperation anymore.

    In my experience, nothing attracts men more than being confident and relaxed–you know, being content with yourself as a person instead of forcing every man you meet to “complete” you and “make you happy.”

  22. Linnaeus
    June 15, 2006 at 11:13 am

    Having “enjoyed” way too much chastity while in my 20s, I would have welcomed a liasion with a man-hating woman who wanted me just for the sex.

    I would have gotten over it. Really.

  23. mc
    June 15, 2006 at 11:20 am

    but I firmly believe that during the time I’ve spent working at chastity, the hardness that men perceived in me has been gradually melting away. In its place are an openness and a vulnerability that makes me more susceptible to being hurt,

    Perhaps the reason for her lack of satisfaction with relationships — and her subsequent, prescriptive, public self-therapy — has more to do with the fact that her own self-esteem is too dependent upon (see above) what men perceive in her than whether or not she’s bonking them.

  24. Pingback: The Hedgehog Times
  25. DAS
    June 15, 2006 at 11:26 am

    Linnaeus,

    Why didn’t I meet you when I was also enjoying too much chastity? Seriously, I would argue that such chastity is actually damaging — it’s the Samson phenomenon: when you have chastity forced upon you, after a while you get into such a desparate mindset that you cannot resist any temptation.

    *

    Anyway, I think Dorothy has the explanation of the dynamic down right. A similar thing applies to MoDo: from what she says in her columns, she is looking for the kind of guy who would pursue her while she stands there and looks pretty and then complains that all such guys don’t like a strong professional woman. Well, here’s a hint: those of us guys who like strong, professional woman are in the market for a woman who is confident enough to be the pursuer in a relationship rather than to be the fragile violet carefully pursued.

    We all need to learn that sometimes in dating you get the person you’re looking for!

  26. Sgt. York
    June 15, 2006 at 11:31 am

    RE: “Is this inferring that straight men on television are always Neanderthal lunkheads? Really?”

    Well, yes. Men and particularly fathers are usually portrayed as moronic dolts. It is rare to see a positive portayal of fathers in programming or comercials and only occaionally a positive portrayal of men in general. It’s offensive. Not defending Dawn Eden’s other garbage but she is right about this.

  27. June 15, 2006 at 11:35 am

    Really, I think her name says it all. “Dawn” “Eden.”

    Really, she was meant for chastity.

  28. wildwest
    June 15, 2006 at 11:37 am

    Is Dawn Eden her real name? It sounds like a chaste version of Blaze Star. Was she using this name to pick up drummers?

    Speaking of drummers…. she was picking up musicians in bars at their gigs … and found them shallow? They considered her a groupie for goodness sake, because she was acting like one, of course they were using her. Groupies are used by musicians – isn’t that their purpose? Most groupies are proud of this …. they even publish books about it.

    I love this line: My usual opening line for drummers was silly, but guaranteed me an answer: “I really like it that you use match grip — it looks so cool, like Ringo.”

  29. June 15, 2006 at 11:40 am

    With premarital sex, you can’t appreciate men. When you’re chaste, you’re able to appreciate them.

    So what happens when you’re married? The sex is back in your life now. If having sex with a man before you were married kept you from appreciating him, what is it about the married state that keeps you from falling back into unappreciative mode? Do all married women appreciate their men because now they’re married? Are married women incapable of an improper level of male appreciation because the gold in the wedding ring acts like a kind of ionic bracelet that allows you to cut through the mind mists caused by sex?

    Or is it possible that now that Dawn is chaste, she’s much more horny and desperate and is therefore more prone to see the good in just about any man? I imagine that if you go long enough, even a plumber’s crack can become an underappreciated and endearing male trait.

  30. vernonlee
    June 15, 2006 at 11:50 am

    Just one question:

    “working at chastity”?

    What does that mean? Do you think she means she has intermittently gone off the wagon and indulged in casual sex? (I hate it when that happens!) Or that for her, ‘chastity’ involves something more than simply not having sex? Like a 12-step program for not drinking involves in a literal sense not drinking but has lots of – shall we say – activities, obligations to oneself and others, mantras and the like?

  31. bmc90
    June 15, 2006 at 11:57 am

    Sgt. York, I agree with you. One stereotype I have totally had it with is the myth of the utterly incompetnet male as perpetuated on TV. He can fly the space shuttle, but change a diaper? Now there is an opportunity for some sight gags. My husband is a nurse and even aside from his profession, and do ANYTHING nurturing related as well as anyone. I don’t think it’s fair that men are routinely potrayed as idiots when it comes to boiling water or wiping noses.

  32. T. Scheisskopf
    June 15, 2006 at 11:58 am

    Why does Ms. Eden feel that it is important to regale all and sundry with details on how she administrates her genitalia? I know I don’t care and I am sure that if I walked around my little town and asked people on the street “Do you care what Dawn Eden does with her genitalia?”, no one else would care either.

    I suspect this can all be chalked up to one hell of a case of Histrionic Personality Disorder.

    With a nice publisher’s advance.

  33. piny
    June 15, 2006 at 12:00 pm

    Well, yes. Men and particularly fathers are usually portrayed as moronic dolts. It is rare to see a positive portayal of fathers in programming or comercials and only occaionally a positive portrayal of men in general. It’s offensive. Not defending Dawn Eden’s other garbage but she is right about this.

    That’s not true. It’s true of sitcoms, but that’s because they’re rehearsing the dolt/shrew archetype popularized fifty years ago by The Honeymooners. Look at drama–say, Anthony LaPaglia on Without a Trace, or Chris Meloni on L&O: SVU, or “Keith Mars” on Veronica Mars, or Miguel Ferrer on Crossing Jordan, or “Reverend Cameron” on Seventh Heaven, or Edward James Olmos on Battlestar Galactica, or Joe Mantegna on Joan of Arcadia–and you’ll see plenty of strong male characters who try to do right by their kids.

  34. piny
    June 15, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    I now notice things about the men in my life that I never noticed before, like their thoughtfulness, their love of family, their integrity, even their vulnerability. These are intangible qualities that don’t jump out at you when you’re in a frame of mind where you’re viewing men only as potential dates. Put together, they add up to character. It’s the most important quality to seek in a husband, and the one that’s least discussed in this day and age.

    …These are all things I look for in the people I meet for coffee. You want love of family? Try hanging out with people who’ve been disowned by their given ones.

  35. zuzu
    June 15, 2006 at 12:04 pm

    Did Dawn miss the fact that the “moronic dolt” stereotype in sitcoms usually applies to MARRIED MEN?

    So is that appreciating men once you’re married? Or did the characters all have premarital sex, thereby killing all respect and appreciation the wife could have had for the husband?

  36. Tom
    June 15, 2006 at 12:04 pm

    Talk about narcissistic, Dawn uses “I” or “me” 23 times in this little excerpt. I would guess that Dawn has some problems that being chaste is not going to fix. Or perhaps too much blogging has gone to her head. Disclaimer: I was banned from her website because I suggested that telling nasty lies about women whose husbands died on 9/11 is probably sinful.

  37. Marci Kiser
    June 15, 2006 at 12:06 pm

    What slays me is that she’s replaced her old list of commodities (the slut’s list) with a brand new list of commodities (the spinster list) that is just as naive. Oh, how much you’ve grown, you little minx. Now instead of judging guys based on obtuse physical/social metrics, you’re judging them on obtuse emotional/paternal metrics. And you’re saving money on condoms too, which means more money for the marriage counseling.

    Being a doctor (an ID doctor, but never mind that), it seems to me the obvious treatment for Dawn is a serial jaunt of hardcore fucking. Drawing that important distinction between ‘making love’ and hardcore fucking would leave her free to have the biologically-imperative sex with none of the attendant guilt or rationalization.

    “Yeah, I fucked that guy.”

    “Oh? Was he nice? Did he cook you dinner? Will he make a good father?”

    “He had a huge cock. I wrecked that fucker.”

    “Is that a desirable genetic trait for him to pass on to your children?”

    “Um…only if they’re boys.”

  38. DAS
    June 15, 2006 at 12:06 pm

    Linnaeus,

    Apparently I either need to turn gay, become a woman or read more carefully — I misread your post: I thought you wouldn’t mind welcoming a liason and becoming a man-hating woman … when you wouldn’t have minded a liason with a man-hating woman. So my response should have read “you and me both, bro”. I was in the same boat for most of my twenties (which decade I am still in, though barely).

  39. Peter
    June 15, 2006 at 12:09 pm

    Ha ha, she should change the title of her book to “A Frigid Cock-Tease’s Guide for Feeling Superior to Well-Adjusted People.”

  40. Peter
    June 15, 2006 at 12:09 pm

    Ha ha, she should change the title of her book to “A Frigid Cock-Tease’s Guide for Feeling Superior to Well-Adjusted People.”

  41. Neil C
    June 15, 2006 at 12:10 pm

    And I’m always glad to read at her blog that the loving marriage I have with my wife is a sham because we’ve chosen not to have children.

  42. kjcoral
    June 15, 2006 at 12:11 pm

    wow, is this the same dawn eden who has been a rock crit for like a thousand years?? i have spoken with her by e-mail a few times, as we have very similar taste in music, but she couldn’t come around and actually like my band, though she said i seemed like a great guy and she really liked me. perhaps she was throwing herself at me??

    this is by far the weirdest thing i have encountered in a looooong time…

  43. John
    June 15, 2006 at 12:20 pm

    Anyone who goes looking to sitcoms for a reflection of real life — good or bad — is in trouble. And most of those sitcommish jabs at men are written by men, which says more about the men writing sitcoms than it does about the majority of males in this country.

  44. Joe in SF
    June 15, 2006 at 12:23 pm

    Maybe this is nitpicky, but how do you “become chaste” after sleeping around? You could choose to be celibate, but isn’t a big part of the Virginity Cult that once it’s tainted it’s forever tainted?

    And how old is this woman who is still looking for a husband so that she can enjoy her fertility before time passes her by? Shouldn’t she have three or four kids by now?

  45. June 15, 2006 at 12:31 pm

    Dawn has swapped her desperation for casual sex for a desperation to get married. I wonder which one freaks men out more.

  46. June 15, 2006 at 12:54 pm

    Nothing but Neanderthal straight men on TV?? Chalking this one up to sitcom stereotyping, but exactly what does one expect from a sitcom in the first place? Nevertheless, this is a simple myth to poke holes in: Gil Grissom, Greg Sanders, Dr. Robbins, Warrick, Nick Stokes, and Brass, all on CSI alone. Alton Brown on Good Eats (not a character, but on TV nonetheless). Mulder and Skinner on X-Files, bonus for being long running and popular. Xander, Oz, Spike, Angel, and Niles, on Buffy. Data, Worf (ok, maybe he was a bit Neanderthal), Jordie, Riker (ok, a little Neanderthall, but supposedly intelligent), Spock, O’Brien, Sulu, Scottie, Q, Picard, Kirk, McCoy, Wesley, Basheer, Quark, Odo, and so on ad nauseum for some more long-running and popular TV shows. I think I’ll stop there, but as far as I can see, the majority of straight male characters were kind of decent role models. What does it say about a person if she can never see that?

  47. marblex
    June 15, 2006 at 12:56 pm

    most mature women tend to view men as human beings first. Dawn obviously couldn’t consider a man as anything other than a life support system for a penis, hence she had to stifle her sexual behavior in order to gain perspective.

    This undoubtedly occurred because Dawn became sexually active at far too young an age to be able to handle her or anyone else’s sexuality, hence she developed a single tracked view of men.

    The fact that she feels compelled to share her neurosis with the rest of us demonstrates only that she still hasn’t convinced herself that her present course of (wholly unnatural) conduct is serving her any better than her formerly promuscuous conduct did.

    SIGH….bottom line…people should try to work out their psychological problems privately and not foist them on everyone else.

    Sheesh.

  48. American Hawk
    June 15, 2006 at 1:08 pm

    RE: “Is this inferring that straight men on television are always Neanderthal lunkheads? Really?”

    No, it’s implying it.

    Sorry, pet peeve. :(.

  49. bmc90
    June 15, 2006 at 1:42 pm

    I’m telling you, this has all the trappings of the person who can’t stand the smell of Tequila for a year or a lifetime because of Montezuma’s revenge. She had just a little too much fun, and maybe ended up with the sex equivalent of a night on the bathroom floor near the toilet or worse. I still think someone gave her crabs.

  50. atablarasa
    June 15, 2006 at 2:00 pm

    With a name like Dawn Eden, I’m speculating that she was fighting against being a stripper all of her life.

    How about a shorter version of the whole book:

    Teens are horny and can’t think well beyond their hormones.
    The ones that are chaste are usually not well-adjusted, nor are the ones who are total sluts.
    Later on, you grow up.
    The chaste ones sometimes get married, sometimes have kids, live life and die.
    So do the rest of us.
    Some of us like other people and some of us view other people as vessels, as trophies, as a ticket, as a live-in maid, nanny, wage slave.
    Some of us use religion as a crutch, as a solice, as a weapon, as a tool.
    Some of us don’t use it at all.
    And some of us try to remember:
    This too shall pass.

  51. Catty
    June 15, 2006 at 2:08 pm

    I get the feeling that Dawn really regrets her past actions, and is seriously trying to overcompensate.

  52. June 15, 2006 at 2:14 pm

    I couldn’t help but giggle at this: “the hardness that men perceived in me”

    You have to admit that there are a lot of “I won’t date a man/woman that … is bald/overweight/short/poor” stereotypes that exist. It’s sad because you overlook someone because of some superficial characteristic, and they may be the person you were meant for. That’s a problem that deals with being superficial not with having sex.

  53. Orion
    June 15, 2006 at 2:20 pm

    The mere fact that she conflates “casual sex” and “pre-marital sex” tells you everything you need to know.

  54. June 15, 2006 at 2:23 pm

    Hasn’t she had zero luck finding a guy following this “chaste” method, too?

    It doesn’t sound as if “zero luck finding a guy” was her problem when she wasn’t being chaste. But sometimes lonely weekends really are better than what you were doing before (just hard to sell to other people, who are having more satisfying premarital sex lives).

    “working at chastity”?

    What does that mean? Do you think she means she has intermittently gone off the wagon and indulged in casual sex?

    She’s a Catholic who takes a strict view of accepting the Church’s teaching on sex (unlike most US Catholics). If she so much as masturbates once every couple of months, she’s still a work in progress as far as chastity is concerned. Likewise if she finds herself dwelling on whatever sexual fantasies go through her head.

    Maybe this is nitpicky, but how do you “become chaste” after sleeping around? You could choose to be celibate, but isn’t a big part of the Virginity Cult that once it’s tainted it’s forever tainted?

    No, that’s not the standard language usage for people coming from this perspective. I could have sex with my husband twice a day, and be chaste (since “chaste” means that you’re using your sexuality properly, not that you’re not having sex). And I could live like St. Augustine, and as soon as I repent like St. Augustine, I get to be chaste again. It’s virginity (and, arguably, purity) that I don’t get to claim once I’ve been tainted, not chastity.

    Having “enjoyed” way too much chastity while in my 20s, I would have welcomed a liasion with a man-hating woman who wanted me just for the sex.

    I keep hearing this kind of thing, and I’ve never understood it. If the other person doesn’t like and respect me at all, the sex is bound to be lousy enough that I’d do better by myself. Leading to lots of chastity afterwards. Bad sex really is, to me, a whole lot worse than no sex.

  55. June 15, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    Also, Dawn Eden isn’t choosing to be celibate; she’s choosing to be married, and not succeeding at the married part yet. FWIW (being nitpicky about terminology).

  56. Alto2
    June 15, 2006 at 2:32 pm

    Part of this conditioning comes from the media, but a large part of it—I’d say, most—comes from such women’s own warped perspectives, brought about by the superficial nature of their dating experiences.

    Who is she to decide that other women’s dating experiences are superficial? What exactly is superficial or insufficient about getting to know someone through spending time with them? What other way is there to get to know someone WITHOUT dating? Where is this observatory where women can watch men in a cage whilst taking notes on their behavior? “I think I’ll take that one — he’s holding the door for his friends.” Or is she implying that dating = jumping in the sack right after dinner and drinks?

  57. Linnaeus
    June 15, 2006 at 2:43 pm

    Apparently I either need to turn gay, become a woman or read more carefully — I misread your post: I thought you wouldn’t mind welcoming a liason and becoming a man-hating woman … when you wouldn’t have minded a liason with a man-hating woman. So my response should have read “you and me both, bro”. I was in the same boat for most of my twenties (which decade I am still in, though barely).

    *laugh* No worries.

    The situation, I will say, got better after I made some changes. Better late than never, ya know.

  58. Julie
    June 15, 2006 at 2:46 pm

    Hey, I married the only guy I had premarital sex with. I guess he’s screwed, he’ll never get a woman to appreciate him now. Honestly, I think I appreciated him more before we got married and bogged down with kids, mortgage payments, car payments, etc…. Back when we used to have time to talk, or take walks until all hours of the night and do fun things together on a regular basis, I thought he was the greatest guy on the face of the planet. I still do, but it sometimes gets lost in the real world stuff that goes on. The fact of the matter is that premarital sex can be very fufilling, or it can be very unsatisfying, just like married sex. I personally can’t see myself enjoying casual sex with a lot of people, but I managed to have a very fufilling relationship with my boyfriend and have premarital sex while still appreciating other things about him. It’s not like all I thought about appreciated about him was his penis, if it were, that would’ve been clue #1 that I shouldn’t have married him.

  59. Njorl
    June 15, 2006 at 2:53 pm

    “Or that for her, ‘chastity’ involves something more than simply not having sex? Like a 12-step program for not drinking involves in a literal sense not drinking but has lots of – shall we say – activities, obligations to oneself and others, mantras and the like? ”

    I think this is actually quite accurate. She sounds just like a recovering addict of some sort. I know a lot of my fellow recovering alchoholics felt the need to see booze as evil for everyone. Their own recovery was incompatible with the belief that responsible drinking was possible. If they believed others could do it, then they would have to believe they could do it. I can’t really condemn people for thinking this way. It might be the only thing saving their life. It is quite easy to ignore these people and let them use their crutch to get through their crisis. Hopefully she will become secure enough in her own life to recognize her weaknesses are not shared by everyone.

  60. Catty
    June 15, 2006 at 2:54 pm

    Dawn:

    “If you don’t see things exactly my way, you’re wrong, you’re stupid, you’re unappreciative, you’re a whore, selfish, and slut for good measure. Everyone is the same, everyone should be the same, and everyone needs to be guild-ridden like me!”

  61. DAS
    June 15, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    I don’t quite get what people are talking about when they refer to casual sex. What would the alternative be? Formal sex? Where you have sex dressed up in an evening coat or a ball gown?

    Okay — I know that one’s an old one …

  62. DAS
    June 15, 2006 at 3:08 pm

    Something just occurred to me — let me guess, Ms. Eden doesn’t believe in evolution?

    ‘Cause there is an argument explaning her observations pretty well that she would come to in a couple of days of thinking about it, but it’s the same sort of argument that, well, would ’cause you to believe in things like evolution.

    Namely, perhaps the reason why she is seeing men in a different way (as some have already pointed out here) is that the men she is selecting for interactions are a different set of men? If, when she was, er., not chaste, she interacted mainly with men who were only after, er., unchaste women, she would have a very different perception of men based on those interactions than she would have interacting with men interested in something other than sex (and would she be interacting with men only interested in sex given her newfound chastity?).

    Of course, thinking like that — about the awesome powers of selection — might make you think that if selection were iterated across generations and generations you could get new species out of the deal — and that’s blasphemous Darwinism, ain’t it?

  63. June 15, 2006 at 3:09 pm

    Considering that the majority of Americans do have premarital sex, that’s a whole lot of non-appreciation of men going on there.

    Truer words were never spake, Jill.

  64. TK
    June 15, 2006 at 3:21 pm

    Funny, I seem to recall a day when feminists complained about the same thing, only the shoe was on the other foot: guys were interested in you until they found you wouldn’t put out, not even in return for a dinner out, and so they’d drop you. And if you did put out, they’d often drop you afterwards as well.

    I suppose this is her point, too, in a way: being chaste separates the men from the louts. But it’s a hell of a strategy, sort of like refusing to breathe as a way of keeping from getting lung cancer.

    I must admit though, that I find this observation self-contradictory: “The message [on TV] is that heterosexual men aren’t capable of friendship or even worthy of it.” Isn’t that sort of her perspective too–that unless you withhold sex from men, you can’t get them to behave like decent human beings?

  65. Luckynkl
    June 15, 2006 at 3:22 pm

    Ah, so pre-marital sex is what leads women to be unappreciative of men? So wouldn’t the perfect solution be for women to stop having sex with men altogether and just be lesbians? That way we could really, really appreciate men.

  66. June 15, 2006 at 3:27 pm

    Also, Dawn Eden isn’t choosing to be celibate; she’s choosing to be married, and not succeeding at the married part yet. FWIW (being nitpicky about terminology).

    Lynn Gazis-Sax,

    This has to be the boldest spin I’ve yet seen of Ms. Eden’s decision to stop having sex. It’s really deceitful.

  67. piny
    June 15, 2006 at 3:31 pm

    This has to be the boldest spin I’ve yet seen of Ms. Eden’s decision to stop having sex. It’s really deceitful.

    What are you talking about? She’s saying that devoting oneself to celibacy–like, say, a Dominican friar does–is different to devoting oneself to a live lived without extra-marital sex.

  68. sal the barber
    June 15, 2006 at 3:36 pm

    so, logically, if dawn’s brain weighs the same as a duck…then its made of wood…and therefore she is ….?

    a witch!!!

    (p.s….sex is more fun than logic.)

  69. June 15, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    Exactly. piny got my point right. It’s a point about terminology and different levels of commitments based on religious convictions, not a claim that Dawn Eden has an active sex life :-).

  70. UnWoman
    June 15, 2006 at 3:59 pm

    Women who lost children to adoption in the 1960s are most familiar with the kind of thinking you’ve outlined above. It’s based on Freudian thinking that views sex as a weapon women use against men. Women who lost children to the adoption system back then were labeled as sluts by social workers eager to get children for the booming adoption market. They were also told in no uncertain terms that they were pregnant because they unconsciously wanted to 1) punish their fathers 2) sleep with their mothers, sisters and/or dogs and 3) because they hated men.

    These claims were ridiculous then, and are even more ridiculous now.

  71. DAS
    June 15, 2006 at 4:01 pm

    Something else caught my eye (I’m a little slow on the uptake):

    These are intangible qualities that don’t jump out at you when you’re in a frame of mind where you’re viewing men only as potential dates.

    Ummm … if you are a marriage minded person, wouldn’t you want to ensure that these are precisely the qualities that jump out at you when you’re viewing men as potential dates more than at any other time in your interactions with men.

    Call me embittered from my time of “enjoying” chastity, but for more than a few people (I’ll not be sexist and say “many women” — though my embittering experience involves women … but maybe I was engaging in the same mal-selective behavior as Ms. Eden?) those “intangeable qualities” do not “jump out at them” when searching for dates — they only start jumping out when they are in longer term relationships: we’ve all heard many a person (whom we wished we were, er. respecting as a wonderful person of the opposite sex) complain “my significant other is so great, but how come I couldn’t find someone with as much intangible quality X like you have when I was dating” (and we stiffled the response of — I was there and interested, but my advantage in terms of X didn’t jump out at you).

    I guess the point is, besides me venting leftover bitterness, that many people do indeed date with a mindset wherein “these intangible qualities” do not jump out at you. But perhaps the problem which people like Ms. Eden have is not with pre-marital sex, but simply that their selection procedure is wrong … it isn’t looking for men with whom to score that per se causes her to see men a certain way — it’s that she was somehow in the mindset that there are “men to date” and “good men” … and hence when she found “men to date” they were not good.

    I’m drifting (afternoon caffeination is wearing off) … but hopefully y’all get my point.

  72. junk science
    June 15, 2006 at 4:17 pm

    “Yeah, I fucked that guy.”

    “Oh? Was he nice? Did he cook you dinner? Will he make a good father?”

    “He had a huge cock. I wrecked that fucker.”

    “Is that a desirable genetic trait for him to pass on to your children?”

    “Um…only if they’re boys.”

    This is awesome.

    You know, I bet Dawn would be a halfway decent lay if she’d loosen up a bit. She seems kind of cute, and she’s got the pent-up frustration going on.

  73. Fred X. Quimby
    June 15, 2006 at 5:05 pm

    Interesting to note that Amazon has the book categorized under:

    Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
    Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Women’s Issues

    Baha’i sluts the word over will be relieved!

  74. zuzu
    June 15, 2006 at 5:07 pm

    I was so disappointed to see that it’s not coming out until December!

  75. June 15, 2006 at 5:34 pm

    but a large part of it—I’d say, most—comes from such women’s own warped perspectives, brought about by the superficial nature of their dating experiences.

    She could have begun it, and ended it. Right there. Wingnut projection, woo-hoo!

  76. Arlington Acid
    June 15, 2006 at 6:49 pm

    So, I built up walls of protection. I thought I was “guarding my heart.”

    And now? She’s “guarding” her meat. Big fucking deal.

    “Chastity- it’s the new black”.

  77. jp
    June 15, 2006 at 7:46 pm

    This is piling on the trainwreck by now…but seriously…

    Who bases their life choices on what goes on in sitcoms?

    Oh, right–Dawn Eden, apparently.

  78. Oxymoron
    June 15, 2006 at 8:15 pm

    I’m seeing more and more of this as time wears on. Conservatives are trying to “spin” if you will religious doctrine and reasoning through a “pragmatic” and/or a “secular” viewpoint. I’m a practicing Muslim and I don’t believe in pre-marital sex (for me), but I’m not stupid enough to try and “debate” my viewpoint by touting “works” like this as if it were some kind of avante-gard (sp?) newfound reflection. Celibacy, for the most part, is religiously indoctrinated. If your motivation is that your religion doesn’t think it’s right, just say so. What’s with all the nonsensical jargon?

    She’s a f****ing idiot, not just because of her “opinion”, but because the method to her madness is just downright f****ing dumb.

    (Pardon my swearing. I’m trying to cut down.) :D

  79. zuzu
    June 15, 2006 at 8:32 pm

    So, I built up walls of protection. I thought I was “guarding my heart.”

    And now? She’s “guarding” her meat. Big fucking deal.

    My God. Dawn’s become a Quarterflash song!

  80. evil_fizz
    June 15, 2006 at 9:14 pm

    Of all the things to regret in life, mutually pleasurable sex should not be one of them…

  81. June 15, 2006 at 9:34 pm

    About all those male TV friends of single women being gay: There was until recently a show — granted, an atrocious show whose popularity is yet more evidence of the utter lack of taste in the TV-viewing public, entitled — entitled Friends. I believe it was about 3 heterosexual men and 3 heterosexual women who are all friends with one another.

  82. raging red
    June 15, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    The mere fact that she conflates “casual sex” and “pre-marital sex” tells you everything you need to know.

    That’s what I was getting at in my earlier comment, except I wasn’t able to say it as succinctly. Reading what she writes, it’s as if there are only two kinds of sex – blissful, spiritual married sex or meaningless, whorrific fucking with random drummers.

    Plus, what’s all this about “viewing men only as potential dates?” Does she expect to just meet her future husband one day, have it be love at first sight for both of them, and then just run down to the courthouse immediately and get married before ever going on a date? (Of course, if I were “saving it” like she is, I guess I’d just run down to the courthouse too and start boning on the steps on the way out.)

  83. no_you_diint
    June 15, 2006 at 9:52 pm

    Dawn of the Dead should meet my cousin. She’s in her 50s and a virgin. She spent her 20s and 30s not even looking that hard, because her religious teaching had told her God would take care of that for her. He’d find the Right One, if that’s what He wanted to do.

    Now she is trying to make some connections with single men. It’s tough: so many are divorced with “issues,” or much more worldly than she has been. She got heartbroken over a guy who showed tentative interest, and then cooled. It’s something that most of us would have been through in our teens, if not earlier, and we’d be over it in a flash.

    I accept religious doctrine as a reason to stay chaste, but then those who teach the doctrine better have good answers for women who follow it only to remain unhappily celibate for life.

    Premarital sex doesn’t solve this problem, but if every potential relationship is viewed as possibly requiring sex, there are still some women who will avoid the dating scene rather than deal with an uncomfortable situation.

  84. June 15, 2006 at 11:59 pm

    On dating: there’s an idea current among certain conservative Christians (but with which even some Christians who are firmly against premarital sex would disagree – so I don’t know how Dawn feels about it) that you’re not supposed to date, but “court.”

    The difference between “courting” and “dating” can range from being really seriously marriage-minded about everyone you see (forget that date if you know he doesn’t meet your marriage checklist), to being more chaperoned that most people are when dating, to, at the icky extreme, having a father or pastor (conservative Protestant pastors – no one gives that role to Catholic priests) granting the guy permission to court the woman.

    because her religious teaching had told her God would take care of that for her. He’d find the Right One, if that’s what He wanted to do.

    One thing I’ll say for Mormons; they tend not to leave that up to God.

  85. Frederick
    June 16, 2006 at 7:49 am

    Is this inferring that straight men on television are always Neanderthal lunkheads?

    No, it’s implying it. /pet peeve

  86. June 16, 2006 at 2:00 pm

    And now? She’s “guarding” her meat. Big fucking deal.
    “Chastity- it’s the new black”.

    That actually made me spew diet coke across my desk. And I thank you for it.

    As for courting, I had a four month courtship with my husband during which we wrote letters almost daily and spoke on the phone whenever practical. He was in the military and training in another state. I was not interested in a relationship because I was still trying to process the detritus from the last one. So we became friends. Eventually, we visited back and forth and married. If one wants a formal courtship, I highly recommend letters. You will say things in them that you will not say in person or even your emails. And if the other person is freaked out by it, they can say so or indicate that the correspondence needs to end. I attempted that a couple of times and my husband took it as a challenge to convince me that building any kind of relationship takes work and that people saying or doing the wrong thing is natural. He always came around to his belief that, if nothing else, we should continue to be friends. 14 years later, we still are, so it seems he was right. Our banging like mad animals every time we managed to get together didn’t seem to lessen our appreciation for each other. I wonder why that is….

    Perhaps Dawn should try one of those internet mating services.

  87. Wishy Washy
    June 16, 2006 at 3:25 pm

    >> I now notice things about the men in my life that I never noticed before, like their thoughtfulness, their love of family, their integrity, even their vulnerability. These are intangible qualities that don’t jump out at you when you’re in a frame of mind where you’re viewing men only as potential dates. Put together, they add up to character. It’s the most important quality to seek in a husband, and the one that’s least discussed in this day and age.>>

    Totally agree. One small issue though – in my experience, discerning this difference in what you’re seeking in a mate doesn’t totally swearing off sex. It just requires that you become aware that you have hitherto been turned on by self-absorbed assholes, but now you’re a big girl and should consider actually getting to know someone. Happened to me. Starting dating my now-husband, wondered if he was really too good for me – “am I ready for this?” etc., etc. Got beyond my fear, started sleeping with him, married him a year and a half later. Almost two years in, haven’t looked back. Letting him into my life was the best thing I ever did.

    No noticeable difference in the “aura” of the sex before/after signing the marriage license.

    There’s my anecdotal evidence, anyway. It’s quite the anecdote-fest on the other side of the fence, so why not.

    If Dawn Eden felt she needed to swear off sex to get her sh*t together – – fine. But implying that women who have premarital sex are actually man-haters who will never see the good qualities in a man, is, well, pretty dern funny. Baby with the bathwater, anyone?

  88. Ellen
    June 16, 2006 at 3:55 pm

    Dawn reminds me of some girls I knew in college who couldn’t simultaneously sleep with a guy and consider him a friend. If you can’t do both, you have no business marrying him. I applaud that she has taken personal action to change herself. It seems to be working for her. But the rest of us really don’t need to hear about it. I feel like the whole point of religious revelations is that it’s between you and your higher authority, not to be shared with the pop-fanatical Christian masses.

    Tangent related to prev. post: I and quite a few of my friends have had immense success with online dating services. It’s nice to go into something knowing what the other person is looking for. And contrary to popular belief, there are many decent people on them looking for other decent people. I think the modern dater knows better than to go to stale single’s bars if they want anything more than an impassionate screw.

  89. Frederick
    June 18, 2006 at 4:51 am

    Weird, I see my 88 is, by pure coincidence, almost identical to 49.

  90. Magis
    June 18, 2006 at 10:19 am

    Dawn Eden; see “Gak” and “Ick” in the dictionary.

    I hope ex-slut Dawn finds a nice ex-gay man and settles down and lives happily never after.

  91. Carpenter
    June 18, 2006 at 4:14 pm

    now notice things about the men in my life that I never noticed before, like their thoughtfulness, their love of family, their integrity, even their vulnerability. These are intangible qualities that don’t jump out at you when you’re in a frame of mind where you’re viewing men only as potential dates.

    funny because the lst time I checked MEN were the general class failing to see that women have all qualities of a full fledged human becuase they expect women to fuck them and do the laundry, and women are SO much more complicated to understand and all that. Why do women always have to hear this shit! If you are going to make the argument anyone dehumanises anyone with sex as a statistical average, yell at the right fucking people.

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