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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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136 Responses

  1. Dianne
    Dianne January 18, 2007 at 7:12 pm |

    She told the tale of a person who had waited a long time to buy the car of their dreams, but when the day arrived to drive it home, the dealer told them that the steering had problems, that it had a lot of mileage on it, and had been in a few wrecks

    Ya know, if you’d bother to test drive the car, you’d know these things already. (Sorry, crude joke, but I couldn’t resist.)

    Is it really news to anyone that these people think that women are commodities and poor quality commodities at that?

  2. Mezosub
    Mezosub January 18, 2007 at 7:27 pm |

    I’m just fascinated by the whole notion that women can somehow become sexually “used up” by having sex.

    As if there is a finite amount of sex that we can all have, and any sexual encounter somehow diminishes that finite amount.

    I’m trying to get my head around that one.

  3. ako
    ako January 18, 2007 at 7:29 pm |

    It figures. They have to be fundamentally separate experiences for boys and girls according to their ideology (can you picture boys watching dutifully as their mothers pledge to ‘cover them’ with maternal authority?). So of course, boys get the better stuff. Not that either option sounds that great, but being called to show intergrity with courage is a lot more appealing than remaining pure until you ‘give yourself’.

    So does this mean that boys can go have sex with a girl who isn’t going to become someone else’s wife? Because she doesn’t belong to anyone, so when they put ‘mileage’ on her, they’re not messing up some other guy’s wife.

  4. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne January 18, 2007 at 7:30 pm |

    She told the tale of a person who had waited a long time to buy the car of their dreams, but when the day arrived to drive it home, the dealer told them that the steering had problems, that it had a lot of mileage on it, and had been in a few wrecks.

    Maybe it’s just because I’m living amidst the car culture of Southern California, but it’s not that unusual for someone’s dream car to be a vintage one. Would you really expect a 1955 Corvette to be in perfect condition.

    And that’s not even getting into the creepiness of comparing one’s future spouse to an inanimate object that you purchase in the marketplace after haggling over its price for hours with the object’s owner.

  5. trillian
    trillian January 18, 2007 at 7:39 pm |

    “If you knew somebody was with your future wife,” Baker asked them, “touching her in ways you wouldn’t like, pressuring her, how would that make you feel?”

    I like how the man owns the woman before they’ve even met.

  6. Kyra
    Kyra January 18, 2007 at 7:52 pm |

    She told the tale of a person who had waited a long time to buy the car of their dreams, but when the day arrived to drive it home, the dealer told them that the steering had problems, that it had a lot of mileage on it, and had been in a few wrecks.

    As opposed to a car that sits on a lot somewhere for years and years, rusting and having weeds grow up into the chassis? You get a car just off the assembly line, you know what that is? An infant.

    Detweiller told another story about a man and woman coming to the altar, about to be married, when another guy comes up from the audience and holds the bride’s hand as the ceremony is performed. More guys come forward, until six are holding onto the bride. When the groom asks her what is going on, she replies, “These are guys from my past. They don’t matter to me now, but I gave them a piece of my heart. What’s left of my heart is yours.”

    This very strongly reminds me of the asshole narrative character in the poem “My Last Duchess.” (Which, for anyone who hasn’t encountered it, features a conversation between a man and his future father-in-law, talking about his last wife, whom it seems he killed, because she enjoyed (“gave the same smile”) to other things besides him—cherries and flowers and other people, I can’t remember what.

    (And jeez, these people have no faith whatsoever in the regenerative power of human love.)

  7. Em
    Em January 18, 2007 at 7:54 pm |

    I’m trying to decide if this is even creepier than the girls’ version, or merely on the same level of creepiness.

  8. Kat
    Kat January 18, 2007 at 7:56 pm |

    “These are guys from my past. They don’t matter to me now, but I gave them a piece of my heart. What’s left of my heart is yours.

    So, if I understand this correctly, she is saying that the heart has a finite capacity to love. If divided among too many people, the love one feels for any one person (especially the last one) is diminished as her love is committed elsewhere. Does this apply to multiple children as well? Because that doesn’t seem to synch with the whole quiverful concept…

  9. evil fizz
    evil fizz January 18, 2007 at 8:02 pm | *

    I’m just fascinated by the whole notion that women can somehow become sexually “used up” by having sex.

    Well, it’s all about the oxytocin. I mean, it’s just so obvious: women are *always* controlled by their hormones.

    I had a roommate in college who belonged to a fundamentalist church. She came home one evening and told me about their analogy of choice: you’re like a piece of tape. Every time you have sex, your piece of tape gets less sticky. When you finally get to your husband, if you’ve been a brazen hussy, your tape won’t be sticky and you won’t be able to stick to your husband.

    I think I’d rather be a car than masking tape.

  10. Tapetum
    Tapetum January 18, 2007 at 8:04 pm |

    Not to mention that I don’t see any concern whatsoever for women who aren’t trying to do the pure Christian thing. If a girl isn’t holding herself to their notion of purity, why anyone can take her out for a drive – whether she wants to or not! After all, it’s not like she hasn’t already been driven, why would she care?

    Excuse me, I think I just made myself sick.

  11. tigi
    tigi January 18, 2007 at 8:12 pm |

    Detweiller told another story about a man and woman coming to the altar, about to be married, when another guy comes up from the audience and holds the bride’s hand as the ceremony is performed. More guys come forward, until six are holding onto the bride.

    Oh, sure, it’s ok when Bill Paxton does it, but if I wanted more than one husband, suddenly, I’m weird.

  12. Aerik
    Aerik January 18, 2007 at 8:19 pm |

    Oh, this is so sick it makes me sick. I clicked the linked article, found it was already Dugg, but I submitted it to Reddit as well. I think anybody with an account to be sure to get the votes up on the digg/reddit pages and get the word out on these sick fucks.

  13. Denise
    Denise January 18, 2007 at 8:23 pm |

    “The way that women are discussed in this article is entirely possessory. Nowhere in the article are women represented as autonomous human beings; they’re always described according to their relationship with a man.”

    This is exactly the thought that came to me as I read this. Do these people NOT see this?! What brainwashing must be in play for women to buy into this. Centuries of it. ::sigh::

  14. trillian
    trillian January 18, 2007 at 8:35 pm |

    Kind of in line with what others have said re:

    “These are guys from my past. They don’t matter to me now, but I gave them a piece of my heart. What’s left of my heart is yours.”

    I think that, if anything, my figurative heart is bigger and more complex and strong for each partner I’ve had and the learning I’ve done with them. I’m sure that if I get married, whomever it’s to will be glad that I already know how to have a relationship and that I’m able to tell them what I like in bed.

    Somehow, I think that’s part of the patriarchal mindset towards virginity, keeping women from having a basis of comparison so their expectations will be nonexistent.

  15. johanna
    johanna January 18, 2007 at 9:21 pm |

    from the article:

    Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health released in 2004 indicates that teens who make a virginity pledge are less likely to experience teen pregnancy, less likely to be sexually active, and will have fewer sexual partners.

    Wha?? Didn’t we recently learn that virginity pledgers are just as likely to engage in sexual activity as their peers, but also to engage in riskier practices?

    Normally I’d search it, but I’m at work, feeling naughty enough already for reading blogs. :)

  16. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe January 18, 2007 at 9:28 pm |

    These people are just amazingly obsessed with sex.

    I remember once covering a rally at a religious college against pornography. One of the speakers brought a box of porn mags, to show the evil they were fighting. The guys in the audience practically left skid marks in the aisles rushing to the stage to get a look at the porn. Pathetic.

  17. CScarlet
    CScarlet January 18, 2007 at 9:31 pm |

    My health teacher actually gave the “someone’s future husband/wife analogy” in health class. But he gave it to the boys. Because I don’t think the girls are trained to give as much of a shit if their future husband is dating someone else, and of course, aren’t supposed to. And, bless them, the guys in my class were kind of misunderstanding about the whole thing:
    “Jason, how does it make you feel that your future wife may be having sexual relations with another man at this point in her life?”
    “Well, er, it doesn’t really matter, I guess.”
    “What do you mean, it doesn’t matter?”
    “I’m not dating her now!”

    Of course, this teacher was utter crap, no same sex couples allowed among the girls for the baby project because we had more guys in the class. The boys did, though. I pointed out that some people would be single parents or have same sex partners, but he trotted out the “The majority of the population will be married to an opposite sex partner, blah, blah, blah…” and wouldn’t let me marry my friend Janey. I raised Medviedenko, the flour-sack-child with Kevin, lol.

    He also said condoms were 73% effective. I called him on this bullshit, and his answer was: “Well, they are when teenagers use them, because teenagers don’t use them correctly.” Like, when you hit twenty, your condom skillz immediately receive an upgrade.

  18. ginmar
    ginmar January 18, 2007 at 9:34 pm |

    Er….when one breeds some farm animals, it’s called ‘covering.’ In case the whole thing wasn’t creepy enough.

  19. Hugo
    Hugo January 18, 2007 at 9:45 pm |

    And of course, it’s such a fundamentally antii-Gospel message — whichj is one about new beginnings, new starts, and the notion that our past (for good or bad) doesn’t define us. This is pagan feudalism, not authentic Christianity.

  20. Em
    Em January 18, 2007 at 9:46 pm |

    Yeah, ginmar. And it’s used in that context in the bible too, so it’s not like they don’t know exactly what they’re implying.

  21. Sara
    Sara January 18, 2007 at 9:57 pm |

    hell, ginmar, think of the term “husbandry.”

  22. Em
    Em January 18, 2007 at 10:01 pm |

    Shepherds watch their flocks by night.

  23. Vanessa
    Vanessa January 18, 2007 at 10:03 pm |

    This is a little bit of the reason I decided to have a kid. Someone in the future generations has to be raised non-crazy.

  24. June
    June January 18, 2007 at 10:07 pm |

    Detweiller told another story about a man and woman coming to the altar, about to be married, when another guy comes up from the audience and holds the bride’s hand as the ceremony is performed. More guys come forward, until six are holding onto the bride. When the groom asks her what is going on, she replies, “These are guys from my past. They don’t matter to me now, but I gave them a piece of my heart. What’s left of my heart is yours.”

    This argument completely ignores the fact that emotional entanglements can exist even when sex doesn’t enter a relationship. So, in order to avoid the danger that a young woman will have already “given up a piece of her heart,” young women would not only have to avoid sex, but would have to marry the first male non-family member that they see.

    Sort of like the baby chicken (or duck?) decides that the first thing it sees after emerging from its shell is its mother.

  25. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred January 18, 2007 at 10:13 pm |

    touching her in ways you wouldn’t like

    Yes but she would be touching them in ways you would like woudn’t she… oh, sorry, no, obviously she’d be this passively taken creature, with no say or active participation in the act.

    Didn’t realise they were such illiterate fans of dworkin. Well, illiterate yes, unable to read for comprehension, yes, but fans of dworkin?

    Good wives are bad in bed and need a little raping to get their motor running. I really don’t want to know how they start their car after it breaks down.

    Though I imagine the phrase “get out and give the car a good hard fuck up the exhasut pipe darling, it’s stalled again” might be involved. If only to avoid fanbelt related accidents.

  26. Em
    Em January 18, 2007 at 10:17 pm |

    completely ignores the fact that emotional entanglements can exist even when sex doesn’t enter a relationship.

    They don’t ignore this; they just use it as fodder against lesbians (when they consider lesbians at all). Since you can’t have teh sex without teh cock, lesbian relationships are inevitably cast as unhealthy emotional entanglements devoid of sexual desire or actual sex.

    young women would not only have to avoid sex, but would have to marry the first male non-family member that they see.

    Some of them practice neo-courtship for exactly this purpose. Daddy vets the boys who allowed into the house and supervises all the boy-girl interactions. The boy asks the dad for the girl’s hand. All this happens today. I shit you not.

  27. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 18, 2007 at 10:23 pm |

    Detweiller told another story about a man and woman coming to the altar, about to be married, when another guy comes up from the audience and holds the bride’s hand as the ceremony is performed. More guys come forward, until six are holding onto the bride. When the groom asks her what is going on, she replies, “These are guys from my past. They don’t matter to me now, but I gave them a piece of my heart. What’s left of my heart is yours.”

    We can turn this on its head: A couple gets married, and another woman comes to the alter and holds the groom’s hand as the ceremony is performed. More women come forward until 10 are holding onto the groom. When the bride asks him what’s going on, he says, “These are women from my past. They don’t matter to me now, but I gave them a piece of my heart. What’s left of my heart is yours.”

    And I suppose it gets really complicated when the past conquests/used car bitches had kids with these guys. But oh, yeah. No one has a piece of a man’s heart, since, according to these jamokes, men are sexually-driven sociopaths. Wow. Really want in on that action.

  28. Arianna
    Arianna January 18, 2007 at 10:33 pm |

    You get a car just off the assembly line, you know what that is? An infant.

    You know, that is possibly the creepiest thing I’ve seen written lately, but so applicable at the same time.

  29. MattC
    MattC January 18, 2007 at 10:46 pm |

    I’m in no way surprised that the misogynistic rhetoric is also incredibly heterosexist, but I’ll bite. Was anyone else put off at the assumption that every woman a man encounters will eventually wed herself to a man? That God requires women to enter into (submissive) relationships with men? Or how about the idea that men are taught that they become men by coming to possess women? Not only does this entrench a mindset of dominance and ojectification in how young men view their relationships, not only does it teach women to be subservient to the will of their father, their husband, and their male deity, but it also completely excludes queer men and women from legitimate sexual idenitity by tying succesful transitions to masculinity and femininity with the atainment of a heterosexual union marked by “purity” and “integrity”.

  30. Jeff Fecke
    Jeff Fecke January 18, 2007 at 10:56 pm |

    Spot the difference (other than the I/they dichotomy):

    “I, _________________________, choose before God to remain pure in my lifestyle, as I grow toward the goal of manhood, and until such a time that I marry.”

    “I pledge to remain sexually pure…until the day I give myself as a wedding gift to my husband. … I know that God requires this of me.. that he loves me. and that he will reward me for my faithfulness.”

    Funny–what word is missing from the first sentence?

  31. Sara no H.
    Sara no H. January 18, 2007 at 11:04 pm |

    touching her in ways you wouldn’t like

    What about touching her in ways SHE doesn’t like?!

    *despairs*

  32. Linnaeus
    Linnaeus January 18, 2007 at 11:07 pm |

    Let’s just cut to the chase: it’s bullshit.

  33. Em
    Em January 18, 2007 at 11:08 pm |

    MattC, that’s exactly what they’re aiming for. If you can stomach poking around the NARTH site, you will discover that their ‘reparative’ techniques exclusively center around developing the proper gender role for an individual’s sex. Properly masculine men desire to dominate women and properly feminine women desire to submit to men. Anyone who acts otherwise is either sick or sexually immature. The entire premise of their ideal social structure is based on gender essentialism.

  34. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred January 18, 2007 at 11:17 pm |

    Daddy vets the boys who allowed into the house and supervises all the boy-girl interactions.

    For such homophobes the idea that daughters will have to marry the men their fathers find attractive doesn’t seem to ring as huge a number of alarm bells as it should.

  35. ginmar
    ginmar January 18, 2007 at 11:23 pm |

    If the dads so approve of these guys, why don’t they marry them themselves?

    Oops, that’s rather too obvious, isn’t it? Men for love, women for children.

  36. Kathy McCarty
    Kathy McCarty January 18, 2007 at 11:29 pm |

    So does this mean that boys can go have sex with a girl who isn’t going to become someone else’s wife? Because she doesn’t belong to anyone, so when they put ‘mileage’ on her, they’re not messing up some other guy’s wife.

    Exactly. That kind of woman is known as a whore or slut. It’s why GILEAD had brothels. It’s why it OK to rape foreign wimmin in time of war….they aren’t Christian, so who cares if you use them up!

  37. kate
    kate January 18, 2007 at 11:31 pm |

    This is exactly the thought that came to me as I read this. Do these people NOT see this?! What brainwashing must be in play for women to buy into this.

    Kind of hard to see if that’s all you know since growing up, there’s no ability to make objective analysis when there is no other information present. Exactly why the fundies get so hot around the collar about sex education and teaching females assertivenes — they might learn that what they learned at home is oppressive bullshit.

    I’m just fascinated by the whole notion that women can somehow become sexually “used up” by having sex.

    Easy, in their world a woman has a finite amount of purity and once she’s been ‘broken in’ that’s it, game over. All she’s good for then is making babies, cooking dinner and cleaning the house. Some of the biggest womenizer/pedophiles are fundies since they are constantly searching for ‘fresh ones’ who aren’t used up yet.

    Its also why fundies love to hate prostitutes. Gotta keep them dirty/filthy because sex is bad and only bad women can enjoy teh sex and without prostitutes to relieve the bad urges, hell they’d have to screw the dickens out of their wives and then whadyua got? A dirty filthy whore-wife that moaned in bed and liked the sex and now you gotta have her handle your dinner and kiss the kiddies — eww… Then suddenly she’ll get the vanity, demand to have her own life, wear sexy clothes and there you go, before you know it, your life is now a bag of hell–dirty dishes, cold cuts for dinner and what’ll the pastor think?

  38. Starfoxy
    Starfoxy January 18, 2007 at 11:54 pm |

    Baker told the young men that the women they had come with, their mothers, were somebody’s daughters, and they meant the world to those parents. He further told them that when they date a girl, she is somebody’s daughter, and they care deeply for her.

    Baker also told them that while they might not believe it at the time, the girl they may date in high school is probably not going to be the one they will marry. “So you’re dating someone else’s future wife,” he told them. He also told them that someone else may be dating their future wife.

    “If you knew somebody was with your future wife,” Baker asked them, “touching her in ways you wouldn’t like, pressuring her, how would that make you feel?”

    I couldn’t help hoping that they’d stop adding the ‘s and just say “she’s somebody” Apparently none of the women– mothers, sisters, future wives– are people who have feelings, wants, desires or have emotions real people (men) can relate to.

  39. bekabot
    bekabot January 19, 2007 at 12:11 am |

    Well, sure, this is crap. But whatcha gonna do? It’s as if any of these people are capable of actually making sense. They are not capable of making sense, because they subscribe to an untenable value system which prevents them from making any sense, and will continue to prevent them from making sense as long as they subscribe to it. Under this untenable value system:

    1. People of both sexes are supposed to remain immaculately continent and go virgin to the altar, but

    2. Women are not supposed to be able to say “no”, because saying “no” to men is mean.

    That means that either the man himself has to say “no”, pre-emptively, in order to prevent his wife-to-be/main-squeeze/whatever from devastating his ego, or the woman’s father has to say “no” on her behalf, so that at least the nay-saying shall remain a Matter Between Males, with the object, I suppose, of accomplishing the same goal. The idea, as far as I can make out, is simultaneously that a) people of both genders are never to interact sexually with anyone but their lawful wedded mates, and b) that men are never to get their feelings hurt. Hence all the emphasis on the-male-as-subject and the-female-as-object, hence all the invocations of Male Agency as opposed to Female Patience. If the woman is devoid of subjectivity, she can’t turn the man down. Ironically, this leaves the man, whether prospective husband or actual father, burdened with the task of turning her down first. (That’ll show ‘em…)

    (Those who keep in mind the typical male track record WRT saying “no” and who express scepticism are hereby admonished: we wouldn’t want the Lord think we hadn’t even tried, would we?)

  40. Jessica
    Jessica January 19, 2007 at 1:14 am |

    For what it’s worth, I believe choosing to wait can be valid with the right reasons. The test drive metaphor is actually pretty good. Some people feel like it’s necessary and fun to drive the car out of town, take it to a couple of mechanics, and do an inspection x-number of times. Others check under the hood, do an inspection once, and sign the contract. The important thing is that you do something! Talk about sexual boundaries and expectations, spoon, make out, have sex. The point is, don’t buy the car if you don’t know what your getting. A good car is the one that you want and will stick with for the long haul.

  41. Penny
    Penny January 19, 2007 at 1:31 am |

    ….rusting and having weeds grow up into the chassis?

    HeeHee…Nice. Needed a laugh after this.

  42. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax January 19, 2007 at 1:32 am |

    and what’ll the pastor think?

    Time for one of my favorite Onion articles.

  43. prairielily
    prairielily January 19, 2007 at 1:46 am |

    He also said condoms were 73% effective. I called him on this bullshit, and his answer was: “Well, they are when teenagers use them, because teenagers don’t use them correctly.” Like, when you hit twenty, your condom skillz immediately receive an upgrade.

    Now, why would that be? Because SOMEONE didn’t do his job as a teacher and show the kiddies how to use a condom correctly?

    On this used up metaphor…

    Let’s say that I did everything the way these people wanted. I went to high school and didn’t touch all the boys, and then I got married soon after high school, because I didn’t want to be exposed to teh liberal feminist universities. I had three or four children with my husband, and stayed home with them while he worked, teaching them to be good, etc. I loved my husband very much, and did everything to make him happy, including having sex whenever he wanted.

    One day, my husband is driving home in an ice storm, and stops at a red light. A car behind him slips on the ice, is unable to stop, and slams into his car from behind, sending him into the intersection, where he’s in the way of oncoming traffic. They rush him to the hospital and try to save him with emergency surgery, but he dies on the operating table. Long story short, my husband is tragically killed in this accident caused by an ice storm that was totally God’s will.

    Now I’m a young mother with three or four children, no college education, and massive medical bills from the hospital’s attempts to save my husband’s life. My best option is to remarry, isn’t it? Isn’t that what everyone did back when life expectancies were low and options were limited?

    So, according to these people, am I now “used up?” Because I did everything exactly the way they wanted, and my husband DIED? Because to have three or four children, I was definitely fucking him pretty regularly. And if I remarry, I’m now someone else’s “future wife.”

  44. thegirlfrommarz
    thegirlfrommarz January 19, 2007 at 5:38 am |

    Kyra – you hit the nail on the head with the My Last Duchess parallel. I’m going to post the link to it below, as it’s always been one of my favourite Browning poems – brilliant, creepy, undercuts the protagonist even as he speaks:
    http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/rb/duchess.html
    It’s all about possession and jealousy, isn’t it? Men possess women, and these fundie types don’t want another man’s grubby fingerprints on their newly-purchased item.

    It’s really sad to think that there are people who are so scared of the idea of having a relationship with a thinking, autonomous human being. If their self-esteem needs shoring up so badly, why don’t they just get a dog? Dogs don’t need any of that pesky subjugating and cultural conditioning to think you’re the lord and master.

  45. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl January 19, 2007 at 6:41 am |

    The car analogy reminded me about something I’d heard/read about a while back.

    Sure Enough…

    And young Iranian men compare notes on the women they encounter using – rather chauvinistic – car metaphors, the dictionary reveals.

    A “zero-kilometre” is a virgin, while an “overturned car” is a non-virgin.

    A person’s rear is alluded to with the word “hubcap”, while legs are referred to as the “axle”, reports the London Times.

    A measure of ridicule is also reserved for some makes of cars, with an Iranian-made Peugeot 405 referred to as a “peasant bride”.

    (Other slang items the article mentions: “Been in an accident”: girl who is pregnant and “Headlights”: Breasts.)

    And yeah — it’s pretty fucked-up how sexuality here is portrayed. With the exception of the metaphore about how you wouldn’t want someone touching your property before you’ve picked it up (I didn’t know virgins were available in layaway!) nothing about how you wouldn’t want your old girlfriends coming up and holding your hand at the altar, or how your wife wouldn’t want a car with mileage on it. Oh right–sex doesn’t mean anything to men. In fact, love probably doesn’t exist at all… just jealous coveting of one’s possessions. What a great thing to drill into kids.

  46. Michelle
    Michelle January 19, 2007 at 8:00 am |

    Of course they couldn’t possibly tell a young man that it’s his responsibility to stay pure for his future, nor is it enough to tell him that because a young woman is tarnished, sullied and ruined by pre-marital sex, to not be an ass and subject her to such shame. No, it’s got to be “some man is gonna marry that one day, you wouldn’t want to do that to your your fellow man.”

  47. A Pang
    A Pang January 19, 2007 at 8:31 am |

    I’ve seen those arguments before — that the capacity to love is “watered down” by premarital sex, and that premarital sex is emotionally damaging (you could break your heart, and you don’t want to give a broken heart to your future husband, do you?).

    So they’re assuming that
    a) you have a limited ability to love,
    b) marriages and relationships without sex inherently have less potential for emotional damage, and
    c) a broken heart never mends. (There’s something problematic in putting it that way anyway, as nothing really “breaks”, and “damage” is iffy too, although you can certainly feel damaged. In reality, you feel really, really bad for a while, and with time get over it.)

    I wonder how anyone could believe those things. It seems patently obvious that they’re all contradicted by what we all see and experience in everyday life. Did anyone here ever maintain that everyone should be chaste, and think that this was why?

  48. AnnaB
    AnnaB January 19, 2007 at 9:07 am |

    As long as we’re citing The Onion…

  49. Blog of the Moderate Left » And What is That Worth, the Promise of a Woman?

    [...] t balls are not just for the ladies, and that’s why young men now get their very own integrity balls. Man, that sounds dirty. So what goes on at [...]

  50. Jeff Fecke
    Jeff Fecke January 19, 2007 at 9:20 am |

    So they’re assuming that
    a) you have a limited ability to love,
    b) marriages and relationships without sex inherently have less potential for emotional damage, and
    c) a broken heart never mends

    Indeed.

    I don’t often quote my own blog, but I’m kinda happy with the way this came out:

    The reason this is so meaningful is that relationships do not matter at all so long as you avoid sex. That’s right, fellas–your bride’s abusive ex-boyfriend who punched her out because she wouldn’t go down on him? Didn’t affect her at all! Her ex that she wanted to marry, but her father wouldn’t approve so he left, vowing he’d come back some day for her, and she hasn’t seen him for ten years but still remembers his face, his caress, the smell of his breath and the blue of his eyes? Didn’t count, because they didn’t have sex! Nope, none of those things affect women. But that brief relationship with a nice guy that didn’t really work out, but they parted on good terms and both learned a lot about love? It’s awful, because they had sex a few times!

    Yeah, it’s insane. But these people are, in fact, insane, so that sorta makes sense.

  51. Frumious B
    Frumious B January 19, 2007 at 9:43 am |

    He also said condoms were 73% effective

    CS, he wasn’t that far off the mark. condoms alone are about 85% effective in typical use.
    http://plannedparenthood.org/birth-control-pregnancy/birth-control/condom.htm

    (off topic, but accurate information is important)

  52. Frumious B
    Frumious B January 19, 2007 at 9:59 am |

    Did anyone else notice that the female speaker talked about chastity and integrity, and was identified as abstinent, but the male speaker spoke only about integrity and was not identified as abstinent? maybe this was bad reporting. maybe the male speaker did talk about his own abstinence and did discuss chastity. even if he did, it’s telling that the reporter didn’t include it in the story. either way, it reinforces the message that men should act with integrity to ensure female chastity.
    and what’s with the integrity word, anyway? if a man has sex will he start writing bad checks and driving drunk or something?

  53. car
    car January 19, 2007 at 10:28 am |

    That whole “limited capacity for love” thing really burns me. Let’s rewrite the analogy for the benefit of the Quiverfulls, shall we?

    Detweiller told another story about a woman having her seventh child. The baby is born, and gazes lovingly at his mother, not able to formulate words yet, but feeling the strong attachment to that amazing woman. He reaches his tiny arms out to her to be wrapped in her arms, but wait. Another child walks up and takes hold of her hand. Then another grabs her other hand. Several more come up and grasp her arms, wrap around her neck and torso, until six are holding onto the mother. When the baby wonders what is going on, she says, “These are children from my past. I gave them a piece of my heart. What’s left of my heart is yours.”

  54. Peter
    Peter January 19, 2007 at 10:28 am |

    I notice that even with the first person/second person thing that was noted in the main article, the boy’s pledge still says “to remain pure in my lifestyle” while the girl’s says “to remain sexually pure.”

    Since the pledges as supposed to be parallel, there has to be some reason why there is the difference.

    Why do I suspect that they are deliberately giving the boys a little “wiggle room?”

    The whole “you’re soiled goods because of the people you met before me” just blows my mind. That’s called “life experience” and it is a big part of what made the person you met into who they are!

  55. Peter
    Peter January 19, 2007 at 10:42 am |

    Personally, I’ve always assumed that the whole “wild oats” thing (boys should, girls can’t) is so that the boy can get a sampling of good lovin’ in case his eventual wife ain’t good at it, so he can then teach her right, and so that if he ain’t good at it, she’ll have nothing to compare it to and will just settle for it.

  56. Jeff Fecke
    Jeff Fecke January 19, 2007 at 11:25 am |

    I think it’s more that boys just will–you can’t change it. Just make sure they don’t spoil any of the good Christian girls in the process. That’s what the sluts are for.

  57. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl January 19, 2007 at 11:32 am |

    Peter — not to mention, if his wife ain’t good, he can have a madonna at home and a whore on the side.

  58. A Pang
    A Pang January 19, 2007 at 11:56 am |

    Since the pledges as supposed to be parallel, there has to be some reason why there is the difference.

    I suppose having guys and girls recite the exact same pledge would imply that the two sexes are essentially alike, and we can’t have that.

  59. Bach-us
    Bach-us January 19, 2007 at 12:00 pm |

    I notice that even with the first person/second person thing that was noted in the main article, the boy’s pledge still says “to remain pure in my lifestyle” while the girl’s says “to remain sexually pure.”

    Isn’t “lifestyle” some kind of dogwhistle meaning teh GAY?

  60. zuzu
    zuzu January 19, 2007 at 12:05 pm | *

    Yeah, ginmar. And it’s used in that context in the bible too, so it’s not like they don’t know exactly what they’re implying.

    Come, now! You think these people actually read the Bible?

    So does this mean that boys can go have sex with a girl who isn’t going to become someone else’s wife? Because she doesn’t belong to anyone, so when they put ‘mileage’ on her, they’re not messing up some other guy’s wife.

    I believe that’s what we’d call a “rental.” And we all know how you treat a rental.

    What’s even more creeptastic about the car analogy is that, quite apart from the ownership implications, it quite literally puts the boys in the driver’s seat. And with the exception of Herbie and KITT, cars don’t drive themselves.

    Ew. I think I need a shower.

  61. sbgypsy
    sbgypsy January 19, 2007 at 12:12 pm |

    As if there is a finite amount of sex that we can all have, and any sexual encounter somehow diminishes that finite amount.

    I’m trying to get my head around that one

    It’s the physical male viewpoint on sex. They only get one orgasm and then they have to rest before they can have another and will eventually not be able to get it up without a long rest period.

    This is unlike women, who can have unlimited number of orgasms in a row without having to rest or recuperate in any way.

  62. Jeff Fecke
    Jeff Fecke January 19, 2007 at 12:20 pm |

    This is unlike women, who can have unlimited number of orgasms in a row without having to rest or recuperate in any way.

    Envy of this may be the root of misogyny. :P

  63. Red Stapler
    Red Stapler January 19, 2007 at 1:16 pm |

    It’s really sad to think that there are people who are so scared of the idea of having a relationship with a thinking, autonomous human being. If their self-esteem needs shoring up so badly, why don’t they just get a dog? Dogs don’t need any of that pesky subjugating and cultural conditioning to think you’re the lord and master.

    Yes, but they wouldn’t have sex with a dog.

    We hope.

  64. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne January 19, 2007 at 1:22 pm |

    Yes, but they wouldn’t have sex with a dog.

    We hope.

    Oh, dear god, don’t even bring it up, or we’ll get the troll from Pandagon who was defending his deep sexual love for his dog.

    I so wish I were joking about that.

  65. bmc90
    bmc90 January 19, 2007 at 1:33 pm |

    Of course it’s kids indoctroninated like this who end up hiding pregnancies and throwing babies in garbage cans because they can’t have abortions (that’s murder), they can’t admit they had sex (then they broke their pledges), when they do they can’t use birth control (proves you PLANNED to have sex, not that you were too drunk, innocent to know what was going on), so all they can do is hope no one finds out resulting in their lives being ruined. It’s a lot easier to go home and tell your parents that your birth control failed than that you broke your purity pledge.

  66. Koneko
    Koneko January 19, 2007 at 1:35 pm |

    It’s the physical male viewpoint on sex. They only get one orgasm and then they have to rest before they can have another and will eventually not be able to get it up without a long rest period.

    This is unlike women, who can have unlimited number of orgasms in a row without having to rest or recuperate in any way.

    That reminds me of a joke! Adam and Eve are in the garden and God comes down and is giving out gifts. He’s just about done andno, he say’s to Eve and Adam, ” I’ve got two gifts left, now who would like to be able to pee standing up?” Adam jumps up and says “Oooh, me me!! I’ll take that one!” “well alright”, says God “sorry Eve, guess your stuck with multiple orgasms.”

    Somehow their view doesn’t surprise me. I once met a guy who claimed that women have a finite number of orgasms. I stared at him and explained very slowly and carefully, that women are capable of having orgasms as long as they are alive (strange circumstances not included of course). Whole bundles of nerves don’t burn out, they aren’t like lightbulbs.

  67. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl January 19, 2007 at 1:40 pm |

    I once met a guy who claimed that women have a finite number of orgasms. I stared at him and explained very slowly and carefully, that women are capable of having orgasms as long as they are alive (strange circumstances not included of course). Whole bundles of nerves don’t burn out, they aren’t like lightbulbs.

    That’s too funny! So … if female orgasms come from “nerve endings” which run the risk of “burning out” — where do male orgasms come from that they don’t…? The orgasm fairy?

  68. lizzie bee
    lizzie bee January 19, 2007 at 1:45 pm |

    I had a roommate in college who belonged to a fundamentalist church. She came home one evening and told me about their analogy of choice: you’re like a piece of tape. Every time you have sex, your piece of tape gets less sticky. When you finally get to your husband, if you’ve been a brazen hussy, your tape won’t be sticky and you won’t be able to stick to your husband.

    That reminds me, I have to use some of my brazen-hussy-stick to remove the cat hair from my nice sweater.

  69. Aaron
    Aaron January 19, 2007 at 1:46 pm |

    So does this mean that boys can go have sex with a girl who isn’t going to become someone else’s wife? Because she doesn’t belong to anyone, so when they put ‘mileage’ on her, they’re not messing up some other guy’s wife.

    Of course! They make that exception so’s not to have to feel guilty about patronizing prostitutes. See, they’re just sluts who’ll never get married — and, anyway, even if they did, they wouldn’t get married to a fine upstanding Christian man anyway — so who cares if they’re spoiled to the point of worthlessness?

  70. Regina
    Regina January 19, 2007 at 1:53 pm |

    I, (daughter’s name)’s father, choose before God to cover my daughter

    I really doubt that whoever wrote that template knows this, but “cover” has historically been used as a breeding term for horses and fighting cocks (the male “covers” the female). Just one more reason to be totally disgusted.

  71. Regina
    Regina January 19, 2007 at 1:57 pm |

    Whoopsie, that’s what I get for posting before reading. Ginmar got there first.

  72. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl January 19, 2007 at 2:11 pm |

    Regina (which, ironically, is just an anagram of Ginmar with the e swapped for an m)

    How much you want to bet that this was intentional, and that the dude who wrote the copy for the pledge was a nasty pederast?

  73. piny
    piny January 19, 2007 at 2:11 pm |

    I had a roommate in college who belonged to a fundamentalist church. She came home one evening and told me about their analogy of choice: you’re like a piece of tape. Every time you have sex, your piece of tape gets less sticky. When you finally get to your husband, if you’ve been a brazen hussy, your tape won’t be sticky and you won’t be able to stick to your husband.

    Um, ow. Really, had anyone ever given her even a basic tutorial what people do when they really, really love each other? The metaphor makes me really doubtful.

  74. nik
    nik January 19, 2007 at 2:14 pm |

    She told the tale of a person who had waited a long time to buy the car of their dreams, but when the day arrived to drive it home, the dealer told them that the steering had problems, that it had a lot of mileage on it, and had been in a few wrecks.

    …you’re like a piece of tape. Every time you have sex, your piece of tape gets less sticky. When you finally get to your husband, if you’ve been a brazen hussy, your tape won’t be sticky and you won’t be able to stick to your husband.

    I suspect you lot essentially just don’t like the fact that they are right. The fact is people who slept around a lot in the past are more likely to sleep around a lot in the future than people who haven’t. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re after a long term monogamous relationship, then you are better off going for someone who’s walked the walk and is not just talking the talk. (I know Hugo’s pimping the Xtian redemptive stuff, but the real world doesn’t work like that).

  75. piny
    piny January 19, 2007 at 2:14 pm |

    I really doubt that whoever wrote that template knows this, but “cover” has historically been used as a breeding term for horses and fighting cocks (the male “covers” the female). Just one more reason to be totally disgusted.

    I’m torn. On the one hand, I don’t see that connection as likely to offend them; on the other hand, I don’t see them as cogent enough to make it.

  76. joasakura
    joasakura January 19, 2007 at 2:36 pm |

    car Says:
    That whole “limited capacity for love” thing really burns me. Let’s rewrite the analogy for the benefit of the Quiverfulls, shall we?

    Detweiller told another story about a woman having her seventh child. The baby is born, and gazes lovingly at his mother, not able to formulate words yet, but feeling the strong attachment to that amazing woman. He reaches his tiny arms out to her to be wrapped in her arms, but wait. Another child walks up and takes hold of her hand. Then another grabs her other hand. Several more come up and grasp her arms, wrap around her neck and torso, until six are holding onto the mother. When the baby wonders what is going on, she says, “These are children from my past. I gave them a piece of my heart. What’s left of my heart is yours.”

    I can’t believe i’m delurking, but here you go. Be kind to me. Car’s comment got me to thinking. At no point with the quiverfulls do you really hear about them loving their children. It’s their “duty” and their “obligation” to have as many little xtian soliders as they can produce (on the assembly line).. and train them up in their fundie ways… ensuring that their daughters remain new in box/never opened chattel and their sons given an equally one-dimensonal masculinity.

    at no point do they ever have to love them.

    this mindset gets more bizarre and disheartening the more i read on it, but it’s like a train wreck. i can’t look away. ^^;

  77. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl January 19, 2007 at 2:48 pm |

    So nik, how much is a “lot” ?

    I mean, seriously. How many men am I allowed to sleep with before I’m not allowed to be happily married?

  78. Jeff Fecke
    Jeff Fecke January 19, 2007 at 2:54 pm |

    I’m torn. On the one hand, I don’t see that connection as likely to offend them; on the other hand, I don’t see them as cogent enough to make it.

    I’m not sure it’s accidental at all.

  79. Rhiannon
    Rhiannon January 19, 2007 at 3:00 pm |

    Speaking of all this, has anyone read the lyrics to Custom’s “Hey Mister” ?

  80. evil fizz
    evil fizz January 19, 2007 at 3:41 pm | *

    I suspect you lot essentially just don’t like the fact that they are right. The fact is people who slept around a lot in the past are more likely to sleep around a lot in the future than people who haven’t. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re after a long term monogamous relationship, then you are better off going for someone who’s walked the walk and is not just talking the talk.

    Huh? Because you can’t have sex a lot within the context of a long term monogamous relationship? There’s a huge difference between lots of sexual partners and lots of sex.

    And no, they are not right.

  81. Rhiannon
    Rhiannon January 19, 2007 at 4:01 pm |

    Evil Fizz- Are you really saying “once a cheater, always a cheater”? Because… that’s so Jerry Springer.

  82. Michelle
    Michelle January 19, 2007 at 4:05 pm |

    Why does no on ever ask how you’d feel if you bought a sausage and found out that someone already took a bite out of it, ha? I’ve never heard that analogy.

  83. Regina
    Regina January 19, 2007 at 4:06 pm |

    I suspect you lot essentially just don’t like the fact that they are right.

    Actually, nik, I think it’s that we essentially disagree with their viewpoint at a very fundamental level.

    the real world doesn’t work like that).

    Well, maybe your world doesn’t work like that. But your world isn’t everyone else’s world. In fact, I’m pretty sure your world is not my world.

  84. Hugo
    Hugo January 19, 2007 at 4:07 pm |

    (I know Hugo’s pimping the Xtian redemptive stuff, but the real world doesn’t work like that).

    Yes, a spiritual conversion often leads to a dramatic life change. But in the “real world”, lots of folks who don’t become Christians have sex with different people when they are young, and then practice fidelity with one partner when they are older. The ability to make and sustain an enduring relationship is often linked to one’s past experiences.

    I can’t tell you how many dear friends of mine were sexually active with multiple partners in their youth, are monogamous now, and (despite me) have not become Christians. Spiritual conversion is a vehicle for growth, but not the only one.

  85. ako
    ako January 19, 2007 at 4:26 pm |

    I suspect you lot essentially just don’t like the fact that they are right.

    Really? You think they’re right? Because:

    The fact is people who slept around a lot in the past are more likely to sleep around a lot in the future than people who haven’t. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Is not what they’re saying. I imagine you’d get a pretty fierce argument at the least for suggesting that nothing’s wrong with sleeping around if that’s how you want to live. They’re pretty obviously pushing a “Men are supposed to be like this, women are supposed to be like this, and sex should only be approached this particular way,” agenda.

    They’re saying girls should be pure, but boys should show integrity.

    They’re saying guys shouldn’t pressure or sleep with some girl because she’ll be someone else’s someday, and that another guy touching their future wife is bad for the same reason anothe guy touching their wife would be.

    They’re saying a woman’s ex-lovers all take a piece of her and any man who doesn’t marry a virgin only gets “what’s left”. They’re not saying this about men.

    Ditto the car wrecks. Ditto the used tape.

    That’s a long way from suggesting that promiscuity’s a learned habit which you want to consider the consequences before developing (not that I agree with that, but it’s a whole different deal from what you’re pushing).

  86. evil fizz
    evil fizz January 19, 2007 at 4:45 pm | *

    Evil Fizz- Are you really saying “once a cheater, always a cheater”? Because… that’s so Jerry Springer.

    Not at all. Just that I find it rather curious that “lots of sex” is freely interchanged with “lots of partners”.

  87. Peshna
    Peshna January 19, 2007 at 4:47 pm |

    Ah, you see if a woman has had experience, maybe she’ll expect something a bit more from the guy ;)

    I wonder how many women (and men) who have NOT had experience of relationships and sex before their nuptuals end up wondering if the grass is greener…

    I vote for experience every day… I KNOW what I want out of life… and that comes from experience.

  88. Medicine Man
    Medicine Man January 19, 2007 at 4:48 pm |

    This is unlike women, who can have unlimited number of orgasms in a row without having to rest or recuperate in any way.

    [b]Insecurity about[/b] this may be the root of misogyny. :P

    Fixed. :P

  89. Medicine Man
    Medicine Man January 19, 2007 at 4:49 pm |

    Ack. Silly bold tag didn’t work. My not-so rapier wit just got broked. :P

  90. ako
    ako January 19, 2007 at 4:51 pm |

    (not that I agree with that, but it’s a whole different deal from what you’re pushing).

    What they’re pushing, I meant. I don’t know what you’re pushing.

  91. Peshna
    Peshna January 19, 2007 at 4:53 pm |

    Someone said >>The fact is people who slept around a lot in the past are more likely to sleep around a lot in the future than people who haven’t.

  92. Peshna
    Peshna January 19, 2007 at 5:00 pm |

    Someone said… The fact is people who slept around a lot in the past are more likely to sleep around a lot in the future than people who haven’t. …

    Where did that little gem of a FACT come from? Please do cite the study that shows this to be true…

    If however you are basing this “fact” on anecdotal evidence, let me share with you that I’ve met more than a few people who have had affairs after marrying the only person they have ever dated…

    Please don’t tell me that it is FACT, because you believe it to be so.

  93. Inky
    Inky January 19, 2007 at 5:39 pm |

    Ah, you see if a woman has had experience, maybe she’ll expect something a bit more from the guy ;)

    Yup. On a religion forum I used to visit there were a few people convinced that premarital sex, masturbation, porn and even fantasizing were wrong because they provide comparison points, increasing the likelihood that two people who get married without having discussed sex will desire something besides what their partner does. That wasn’t just the implication, that was the actual direct statement. If they were just so naturally different that neither of them could enjoy themselves, well, “that’s what sex therapists are for” (real quote).

    The fact is people who slept around a lot in the past are more likely to sleep around a lot in the future than people who haven’t.

    Firstly, if this “sleeping around” was done in the context of monogamous relationships, that says as much for their ability to be monogamous as abstinence does. Secondly, if some of it wasn’t so relationship-oriented, it’s given the person the experience they need to know whether they’re okay with being sexually committed. There are plenty of people who enjoy casual sex but are willing to do away with it to make a partner happy.

  94. Thomas
    Thomas January 19, 2007 at 5:39 pm |

    They only get one orgasm and then they have to rest before they can have another and will eventually not be able to get it up without a long rest period.

    Just to nitpick facts, this is an oversimplification. Some men (especially younger guys) can, without chemical assistance, maintain an erection during the refractory period: ejaculate, keep fucking, and eventually ejaculate again without a break. However, I have not known any men that can string orgasm after orgasm together with only minutes between, as many women can.

  95. TallyCola
    TallyCola January 19, 2007 at 6:05 pm |

    I mean, seriously. How many men am I allowed to sleep with before I’m not allowed to be happily married?

    It’s possible to be happily married *and* sleep around, and for it to not be cheating or anything. I think good communication and a great deal of emotional maturity for all involved parties is the key there. It probably happens more than some might expect.

    And anyways, Hugo’s right about plenty of people having many partners at one point in their life and “settling down” with a single partner later, regardless of marital status or faith.


    Why does no on ever ask how you’d feel if you bought a sausage and found out that someone already took a bite out of it, ha? I’ve never heard that analogy.

    I know I brought this up at some point in the past on a thread about purity balls, but I can’t resist. There were posters at my old uni inside the women’s bathroom stalls with a picture of a woman’s bare knees, like if you were sitting on a toilet stall, and her hands holding a tampon. “Would you still put it in if other people had been using it?” It said. It was a great poster. My flatmate stole one and we hung it in our living room.

    I guess the difference with that is that it’s encouraging girls to be discriminating about the boys’ past which at least… I don’t know, turns the tables a bit?

  96. Peter
    Peter January 19, 2007 at 7:11 pm |

    Yikes!

    Okay, people have brought up the obvious “lots of sex doesn’t automatically mean lots of partners.” So true.

    But it is also true that it matters whether the person in question moved on to another partner specifically for the purpose of getting sexual variety or whether there was another reason. Someone who hasn’t found the person that they want to settle down with is doing something very different from someone who sees sexual variety and/or “conquest” as an end in itself.

    I know plenty of people who had plenty of sexual partners until they found the one they wanted to stay with, and then pretty much never looked back — and many of them were clear that having the wide experience helped them be very clear just who they were looking for.

  97. Cranefly
    Cranefly January 19, 2007 at 7:11 pm |

    As Frumious B says (about condom stats), accurate information is important: not all women fit sbgypsy’s mold of

    unlimited number of orgasms in a row without having to rest or recuperate in any way.

    Just, y’know, saying. I’d thought that an actual clitoris owner might have mentioned that by now.

  98. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl January 19, 2007 at 7:41 pm |

    It’s possible to be happily married *and* sleep around, and for it to not be cheating or anything. I think good communication and a great deal of emotional maturity for all involved parties is the key there. It probably happens more than some might expect.

    I’m not talking about cheating or polyamorous relationships, because that wasn’t what you were talking about. Be intellectually honest if you can stand it. I’m talking about having sex with other men before I have sex with the man who will eventually be my husband. I want to know if I don’t deserve to marry him. I want to know if I’ve slept with too many guys to expect a happy relationship. So you give me a number. How many sexual partners can I have before I don’t deserve a husband?

    And the tampon reference? FALSE DICHOTOMY. Unless you’re suggesting that women either 1) re-use their own tampons, or 2) only have sex with their husbands once and then never have sex with them again, try again.

  99. nik
    nik January 19, 2007 at 8:23 pm |

    Really? You think they’re right?

    I want to be clear. I’m not conducting an unconditional defence – the gendered stuff is tacky. I’m just supporting the ‘if you want a long term monogamous relationship keep away from used cars/tape that won’t be sticky’ advice.

    How many men am I allowed to sleep with before I’m not allowed to be happily married?

    You’re allowed to be happily married however many men you sleep with.

    All I’m saying is that people have sex with lots of people because they enjoy it. That’s fine. But I don’t buy the ‘whiteboard’ theory of conversion to long term monogamy. If someone dug having sex with lots of people before you start a sexual relationship with them chances are they’ll still dig it afterwards, and you run the risk of them (a) abandoning you to sleep with someone else or (b) playing around behind your back. That’s not good if you want a long term monogamous relationship.

    Someone who hasn’t found the person that they want to settle down with is doing something very different from someone who sees sexual variety and/or “conquest” as an end in itself.

    That’s true. The question here is how good a bet is someone has had multiple partners whilst trying for long term monogamy and consistently failing?

    I really do find the ‘personality transplant theory’ that past before marriage doesn’t matter – which is orthodoxy in some circles – just totally implausable. It’s just a result of cognitive disonance caused by wanting to sign up to a traditional romantic idea of marriage and have some fun beforehand.

  100. mythago
    mythago January 19, 2007 at 8:30 pm |

    If someone dug having sex with lots of people before you start a sexual relationship with them chances are they’ll still dig it afterwards

    The flaw in your reasoning is the assumption the “lots of people” rather than the “sex” part that these people dug. You’re also buying the silly notion that monogamy is some kind of protective coating, which wears off every time you have sex.

    Using the same I-just-made-it-up logic, I could just as easily say that the people who slept around are less likely to screw around; after all, they’ve Been There, Done That, and if they really dug sleeping around, they’d have kept doing that instead of giving it up to marry. Whereas the sticky-tape people do not know what they’re missing, and what they’re going to get bored of is monogamy.

    Besides, what these sexists are really arguing is not sex addition, but contamination. A woman who has sex is tarnishing herself, like a used lollipop. A man who has sex is tarnishing some other woman (but not himself, of course).

  101. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl January 19, 2007 at 8:41 pm |

    All I’m saying is that people have sex with lots of people because they enjoy it.

    …And you’re sure of this? Because the practice of serial monogamy seems to be proving you wrong. People have sex with lots of different people because sex isn’t seen as some sort of monumental “once I have sex I become worthless so I better find a way to make him stay with me” event. If I have sex with guy one because I think I’m in love with him and that doesn’t work out, it’s not like I have any less to give guy 2, 3 or 20. And I can enjoy sex each time, with each guy, without feeling like I’m cheating them out of anything — Because let’s face it: for most women, the first time isn’t that special. In fact, most women would describe it somewhere between uncomfortable and painful, with a lot of awkward thrown in, and women know this now, it’s not a secret anymore just like women don’t freak out on their first periods anymore. And maybe I’m not having sex because I’m a brazen hussy — maybe I really am looking for the right guy… just not quite finding someone who meets my needs. Then, when I find the guy with the magic schlong who’s attentive and doting and funny and oh did I mention the magic schlong…? Maybe then I’ve found the dude that I’m going to spend the rest of my life with and I don’t even think about the guys before. Boom. Monogamy with the big M and no prefixes. This is a story a lot of women can relate to.

    And yeah, I still want a number. You tell me how many men constitutes “lots” at which point my tape loses its stickiness and I don’t get the magic schlong.

  102. nik
    nik January 19, 2007 at 8:49 pm |

    The flaw in your reasoning is the assumption the “lots of people” rather than the “sex” part that these people dug.

    I don’t understand. If someone has been trying for long term monogamy, but has had lots of partners because they’re not very successful at it, then doesn’t that suggest they’re a bad bet for the future? That’s exactly the same theory that my insurance company used after my sincere efforts not to drive my car into things met in repeated failure. Let me know if this logic doesn’t work, and I’ll see if they’ll reduce my premiums!

  103. mythago
    mythago January 19, 2007 at 8:54 pm |

    but has had lots of partners because they’re not very successful at it

    So first it’s because they like screwing around; now it’s that they try not to screw around, but keep failing, kind of like accidentally running into a tree. Oopsie, I meant to be monogamous but I fell down!

    I’m also puzzled at your idea that having had many partners = nonmonogamy. If you’re monogamous with whoever you’re dating at the time, clearly you’re successful at not screwing around.

    And no, I’m sure you understand. You just get off on being contrarian at those wacky feminist girls.

    *Defined, as always, as “more partners than I had”

  104. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax January 19, 2007 at 9:14 pm |

    If someone dug having sex with lots of people before you start a sexual relationship with them chances are they’ll still dig it afterwards

    Depends on the overall pattern, doesn’t it? Was this person adamantly committed to the superiority of polyamory until the day we met and he learned I wanted monogamy, and then he changed his mind? Did he have a brief period of extreme promiscuity in college, and gradually get more choosy over the years? Have sex with lots of people when drinking, but has been more abstinent since he’s been in AA (and, if so, just how long and how secure is his sobriety)? Sleep with everyone in sight until he had a religious conversion four years ago, and has been totally abstinent ever since? Repeatedly vow monogamy and then repeatedly break that promise? Go through a number of lovers in a serially monogamous way, breaking up with each one before starting with the next?

  105. Isabel
    Isabel January 19, 2007 at 9:40 pm |

    If someone has been trying for long term monogamy, but has had lots of partners because they’re not very successful at it, then doesn’t that suggest they’re a bad bet for the future?
    Maybe they weren’t trying for long-term monogamy, or maybe their relationships failed for other reasons than “they were bad at monogamy” (partner #1 cheated, partner #2 turned out to be a jerk, partner #3 was selfish in bed, etc. etc.). Or maybe they were always committed within their monogamous relationships, which weren’t all that many, but enjoyed sex for sex’s sake and had it outside of relationships when they weren’t in relationships (I read once someone saying that sure, sex is usually, for most people, better in a relationship, but sometimes the world doesn’t work out so that whenever you want sex, you have a relationship, and if it’s between non-relationship sex and no sex, the choice is yours to make).

    If someone dug having sex with a lot of people before you, maybe that just means that person dug sex and didn’t always have one person to have it with. Like Lynn Gazis-Sax says, there are lots of ways for people to go through life with multiple sexual partners and wind up in a committed monogamous relationship anyway.

    Plus as several people have mentioned it is very possible to only date one or two, and only sleep with one, person and still have the marriage fail.

  106. TallyCola
    TallyCola January 19, 2007 at 9:59 pm |

    @ Mighty Ponygirl.

    WOW. Wtf? I was agreeing with you, not attempting to answer your question from the point of view of the integrity ball people. Touchy much.

    And the tampon thing wasn’t even in response to anything you said! Try again at what? Providing a slightly off-topic anecdote in response to a tongue-in-cheek comment form someone who wasn’t even you?

  107. peshna
    peshna January 20, 2007 at 12:01 am |

    And btw, isn’t the divorce rate rather high in that bible belt area – didn’t I hear that somewhere ;)

    I hope these poor kids that are being brainwashed with this utter tripe about purity get to learn about the real world eventually, and get to make their own decisions about life…

    This is such utter nonsense, and I can only think that people who spout this kind of rubbish are terrified of the world and of their ability to make decisions on their own… They need all this stuff, because they don’t trust themselves to make good choices of their own volition.

    Poor kids… to be raised in that controlling, judgemental and intolerant and ignorant environment… and so ill prepared for reality – they’ve been so sheltered in their fairy tale worlds.

  108. peshna
    peshna January 20, 2007 at 12:12 am |

    Inky said…. Yup. On a religion forum I used to visit there were a few people convinced that premarital sex, masturbation, porn and even fantasizing were wrong because they provide comparison points….

    I think that is both hysterically funny and so very, very sad at the same time…

    I have yet to hear an argument against having sexual experience, that makes sense. It is ALL about religion and god and fear and all that silly stuff. The world is full of well adjusted people who have had more than one sexual partner… What utter nonsense this whole thing is.

    Maybe the example about the car should be, would you drive that new shiny car you “bought” if you had never had driving lessons before?

    Why do these people so shun experience? Oh, that’s right, it’s (hushed tone) S E X….. experience ;)

  109. A Pang
    A Pang January 20, 2007 at 12:30 am |

    Or, if we want to co-opt demeaning analogies to cows and cars and tape and what not, “why buy the car when you can get a test-drive for free?”

  110. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax January 20, 2007 at 2:03 am |

    I have yet to hear an argument against having sexual experience, that makes sense.

    The one that makes sense to me is that you don’t want sex until circumstance X is in place. Most of us have something we’re prepared to wait for, before we’d consider sex to be worthwhile – being in love, having someone who treats you well, adequate birth control, whatever – and, to my mind, any argument framed that way makes sense. Including the one where the circumstance X that needs to be in place is marriage.

    On the other hand, arguing that you’re now tainted for life because you had sex when circumstance X wasn’t in place, that’s another story. And framing why you’d want to wait till marriage in terms of fidelity to your future spouse that you haven’t met – as opposed to, say, really, really wanting to be sure you don’t get pregnant before you get married and not being willing to chance the odds of birth control failure – sounds too much like sex causing permanent ruin for my taste.

  111. nik
    nik January 20, 2007 at 7:28 am |

    So first it’s because they like screwing around; now it’s that they try not to screw around, but keep failing, kind of like accidentally running into a tree.

    No. First I was just saying that people who slept around a lot in the past are more likely to sleep around a lot in the future than people who haven’t. There are obviously different reasons why people sleep with lots of people. Some plan to screw around, some don’t but aren’t much good at sticking to their plans.

    I’m also puzzled at your idea that having had many partners = nonmonogamy.

    No. Having had many partners = non long term monogamy (basically by definition). The serial monogamists are in my sights too.

    And no, I’m sure you understand. You just get off on being contrarian at those wacky feminist girls.

    I am being contrarian. Not to piss you off, but because I genuinely don’t buy the ‘whiteboard’ theory of marriage. Does someone past have no influence on them? I don’t think people can rewrite their tastes as they would like to think. People tend to behave in the future as they behaved in the past.

    Can someone give one good reason why ‘past doesn’t matter’? The whole idea seems to be based upon hope, rather than an understanding of what makes people tick.

  112. zuzu
    zuzu January 20, 2007 at 9:53 am | *

    Does someone past have no influence on them? I don’t think people can rewrite their tastes as they would like to think. People tend to behave in the future as they behaved in the past.

    Can someone give one good reason why ‘past doesn’t matter’? The whole idea seems to be based upon hope, rather than an understanding of what makes people tick.

    Nik, who’s arguing in favor of the whiteboard theory? Everyone else has been saying that your past informs your present but doesn’t mean that you’re locked into it.

    You’re tilting at windmills. Plus, you’ve still failed to define “sleeping around,” though you’ve indicated it’s broad enough to encompass serial monogamists. And “sleeping around” isn’t the same as “cheating.” Which, frankly, is a much better indicator of future behavior than “sleeping with lots of people.” Cheating is a dishonest behavior, and can be laid at the feet of character: as the saying goes, “If you marry a man who cheats on his wife, you marry a man who cheats on his wife.” Meaning, his dishonesty isn’t going to change once you’re the wife.

    But if someone has simply had a string of monogamous relationships, how is that predictive of future behavior or cheating or what have you? I know you keep asserting it, but you don’t provide anything to back it up.

  113. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl January 20, 2007 at 10:47 am |

    Telly– If I peppered you pretty good, it’s because your seventy-eight-year-old lawyer looked a lot like a small game bird.

    So nik, still waiting for that number.

  114. mythago
    mythago January 20, 2007 at 11:14 am |

    First I was just saying that people who slept around a lot in the past are more likely to sleep around a lot in the future than people who haven’t.

    And again, based on the Wild Speculation School of Logic, you can just as well argue that sleeping around in the past means you’re less likely cheat on your spouse–the person who has BTDTGTT is far more aware of what they are giving up than the person who has never slept around.

    After all, the person who has been ‘pure’ could have done so for any number of non-monogamy-lovin’ reasons, such as low self-esteem, fear of God punishing them, lack of partners, abusive relationships, and so on. What’s to keep such a person from wanting to party once any of those unhealthy reasons go away.

    Your dislike of ‘serial monogamists’ has nothing to do with the arguments that sex contaminates women. Your serial-monogamist spouse might divorce you, but at least they won’t screw around on you.

    Can someone give one good reason why ‘past doesn’t matter’?

    No one has argued that “past doesn’t matter”. Please stop pretending that you can change your argument from post to post and nobody will notice.

    In place of a whiteboard theory of marriage, you’re proposing a snapshot view of marriage: how somebody ever behaved is a perfect predictor of how they will always behave, forever, and we don’t need to think about why or how; people certainly never ever change as they get older, or as their circumstances change.

    You might also consider that the people who you say are right aren’t just talking about deliberate, chosen behavior. Rape victims are just as tainted as prostitutes, in their worldview.

  115. peshna
    peshna January 20, 2007 at 12:44 pm |

    Lynn says… The one that makes sense to me is that you don’t want sex until circumstance X is in place…..

    That is an argument against being irresponsible, but I don’t see it as an argument against sex in and of itself….

    ….sex is perfectly natural and beautiful and good, and in my personal experience having had that “past” ADDS significantly to my now married life. Not just the sex, but also the past relationships I’ve had… I know who I am and what I want out of life and my rest of my life partner.

    I say to the purity folks, “Don’t knock sex and experience of life till you’ve tried it and know of what you are talking” ;)

    Do you blindly believe everything you are told by your “leaders”? At least compare and contrast all you are being told with what other people are saying on the subject, and make your OWN choices in life… based on good sense, good self-esteem, and without it being based on fear of what god or your parents or your religious leaders tell you will happen to you!

  116. nik
    nik January 20, 2007 at 1:01 pm |

    Mythago/Zuzu, let me clear some things up.

    Firstly; by “sleeping around” I mean what the “tape won’t be sticky” girl meant – essentially lots of partners. My idea is that people who’ve had lots of partners in the past are more likely to do so in the future than those who’ve had few. And that may be useful info if you want to be your current partners only future partner.

    …you’re proposing a snapshot view of marriage: how somebody ever behaved is a perfect predictor of how they will always behave, forever

    I’m not trying to propose this. Think of it like ‘cigarettes cause lung cancer’. A statistical generalisation. Yes there are 30 year old who’ve never touched a cigarette who die, and 110 year olds who are fit and well and have smoked like chimneys, but smoking 40 a day is unlikey to improve your health.

    No one has argued that “past doesn’t matter”.

    I have read liberal feminists suggesting that your past is none of your current partners business, and makes no difference to your future behaviour. (If you want names named I think Hugo, Zuzu, Jill & the Happy Feminist have all expressed thoughts like that). Once you get hitched all that gets put in a box as far as the future is concerned it is as if it never happened. I’m not so sure. I think who you were influences who you are and who you will be.

    But if someone has simply had a string of monogamous relationships, how is that predictive of future behavior or cheating or what have you?

    Mythago thinks this is the ‘Wild Speculation School of Logic’ but if you want to predict who’ll be doing a lot of exercise in 10 years time, it’ll be people who do a lot now. If you want to predict who’ll be drinking a lot in 10 years, it’ll be people who’re drinking a lot now. That’s all well established social science. I can’t see why it goes out the window when sexual history is concerned.

  117. Lesley
    Lesley January 20, 2007 at 1:17 pm |

    That’s all well established social science. I can’t see why it goes out the window when sexual history is concerned.

    That’s bad statistics. You cannot take one action and assume that its statistically significant predictive values apply to completely unrelated actions. You have to study each action separately, because there are different factors that go into each. No reputable social scientist would make the leap you have. They would look at what influences people to do each of those actions and construct a model that accounts for those factors. Then they’d run the regression. You’re completely lacking any consideration of separate influences.

    Let me take an example. Adults who watch a lot of Barney videos. The majority of adults who watch a lot of Barney videos do so because they have young children. Let’s even assume that they have a pattern of watching Barney videos, because they had three children in a 6 year span. In 10 years, assuming they don’t have any more children, their rate of Barney video viewing would decrease tremendously (probably to zero). We expect that, because we know what factors go into adult viewership of Barney videos. We don’t look at it and conclude that it’s like every other activity one might perform. You just can’t do that.

  118. mythago
    mythago January 20, 2007 at 1:52 pm |

    “Essentially lots of partners”–is that supposed to be more specific and descriptive than “sleeping around”?

    Think of it like ‘cigarettes cause lung cancer’.

    Cigarettes are inanimate objects made up of tobacco and a number of chemical compounds. Their effects on human health have been measured by impartial, objective and peer-reviewed studies. Now you are trying to suggest that human sexual behavior is analogous to this?

    I have read liberal feminists suggesting that your past is none of your current partners business, and makes no difference to your future behaviour.

    I’ve read those posts, as well, and you either didn’t get them or you are flat-out lying. The posts about it being ‘none of your business’ referred to a Salon advice-column letter where the writer’s boyfriend had asked her about her sexual history, and then proceeded to beat her up with it.

    Mythago also thinks that your examples are rather poor, because you’re forgetting the intervening event of choosing to marry. A person who used to exercise, but then decides she would be much happier as a couch potato , is not the same as a person who never stopped exercising. A person who tosses out his beer and goes to AA religiously is not the same as a person who’s been drinking for 10 years and still wants to party.

    Again: you keep changing your argument to avoid inconvenient gaps in your logic. You proposed that the sticky-tape people are right, because a person who has “lots”* of sex before marriage can never be trusted to be monogamous after marriage.

    *as always, defined as “way more than I do”

  119. bluefish A
    bluefish A January 20, 2007 at 2:11 pm |

    i dunno. this is antecdotal, but here goes: i’ve known instances where women were brought up in very conservative (repressed, to my view) circumstances and then married out of high school to the first and only boy they slept with. in one case, the marriage disintegrated and this woman went on a rampage in her late twenties- drinking, promiscuity, the whole nine yards. she’s not an ignorant person, she honestly felt betrayed by the whole pressure to be a virgin thing and this was her way of acting out. i can relate to how she feels. it’s hard enough being a woman and being comfortable in your skin. it’s takes time to get comfortable with yourself sexually. this added pressure of absolute virginity untill marriage plus the used car and unsticky tape consumer good analogies really hurt women. the bottom line is that your sexuality is something you share with the partner(s) of your choosing. your sexuality isn’t a finite object that you give to your husband as a gift. the whole idea is ludricrous.
    ending rant now.

  120. Inky
    Inky January 20, 2007 at 3:19 pm |

    Nik: If it goes for sex, it goes for dating. So, if someone has dated several people in their past (without having sex), they will probably date several people in the future according to your logic, and so you should be avoiding them, too.

    Also, if we’re going only on past experience, then a virgin would be seen either as a. someone who just doesn’t want sex or b. a wild card. They have no “proof” that they’re inclined to have sex with exactly one person, as opposed to a few, many, or none (which is how the evidence swings so far).

    Basically, if you’re going to predict someone’s tendency for longterm (sexual and dating) monogamy based on past experience, never looking at how their circumstances differed at different times in their lives, the way to do it would be to seek out people who have been in longterm (sexual and dating) monogamous relationships before.

  121. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax January 20, 2007 at 8:39 pm |

    Lynn says… The one that makes sense to me is that you don’t want sex until circumstance X is in place…..

    That is an argument against being irresponsible, but I don’t see it as an argument against sex in and of itself….

    Well, it’s not as if I’m interested in being against sex in and of itself :-). But the way I see it: let’s say I really only want to have sex with someone who inspires certain accompanying romantic feelings, and with whom I have hope that he might feel the same way about me. And let’s say that, with no such person on the horizon for me (or no one who reciprocates), some people (maybe ones with a vested interest of their own in what I’m willing to do) are trying to prude-shame me into setting my standard a little looser. We’d all agree that I’d be right to keep my standard just where it is, right? Where I want it and feel OK with it? And that they’d be wrong to pressure me? Same deal if my sense of the relationship I wanted in place before sleeping with someone was marriage. And an entirely different sort of animal from me owing it to a future husband who probably isn’t saving himself for me.

    Now, back to nik:

    First I was just saying that people who slept around a lot in the past are more likely to sleep around a lot in the future than people who haven’t.

    In the case of the people Jill’s quoting, “a lot” is apparently “six partners before your husband,” if you’re a woman. The easiest way to be sure a woman doesn’t reach that number is for women to marry young. Marry in your thirties, and you don’t have to be all that highly sexed or promiscuous to have slept with six guys beforehand. Even if you were chaste and didn’t sleep with six guys beforehand, chances are you’ve given “a piece of your heart” to that many guys at least in the sense of having that many serious crushes. On the other hand, if you marry when you’re barely legal, it’s not that difficult not to have accumulated those six partners, and even being entirely a virgin isn’t an insurmountable task.

  122. Inky
    Inky January 20, 2007 at 9:53 pm |

    But the way I see it: let’s say I really only want to have sex with someone who inspires certain accompanying romantic feelings, and with whom I have hope that he might feel the same way about me…We’d all agree that I’d be right to keep my standard just where it is, right?

    I certainly agree. I went through a long stage where I was in a serious relationship but wasn’t comfortable having sex yet, and am glad that I waited until I was older and it felt right. However, I have to say that my experience as far as pressure was the opposite of yours. Friends who were sexually active were very respectful and were interested to hear my views on it, but when I changed my mind, my friends who were still abstinent were quick to make it clear that they believed their choices were superior to mine.

  123. zuzu
    zuzu January 20, 2007 at 10:34 pm | *

    I have read liberal feminists suggesting that your past is none of your current partners business, and makes no difference to your future behaviour. (If you want names named I think Hugo, Zuzu, Jill & the Happy Feminist have all expressed thoughts like that). Once you get hitched all that gets put in a box as far as the future is concerned it is as if it never happened. I’m not so sure. I think who you were influences who you are and who you will be.

    Well, as Mythago pointed out, those posts were written in response to articles in which partners had demanded to know exactly how many previous partners the subjects had been with, and then couldn’t handle it and got all weird.

    My stance, which has always been thus, has been that, short of transmissible disease, potential legal entanglements or existing children, your partner has absolutely no right to an answer should he or she demand one to the question of your sexual past. Now, you may choose to share this information, and any number of people are just fine with that, but you should never feel like you have to answer some insecure idiot’s question about how many previous partners you’ve had, especially when their only motive is to compare your number with theirs.

    But of course, you still havent’ qualified “sleeping around.”

  124. glneqpqui
    glneqpqui January 20, 2007 at 10:59 pm |

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  125. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax January 20, 2007 at 11:35 pm |

    However, I have to say that my experience as far as pressure was the opposite of yours.

    I think this depends a lot on what social circles you move in. Also the motives are different. Pressure not to have sex tends to come from people who believe that everyone should be waiting till marriage, while pressure to have sex tends to come from men who have a minimal notion of what “consent” means. Pretending women have no natural sex drive of their own doesn’t especially help the pressure to have sex situation. The phrase:

    “If you knew somebody was with your future wife,” Baker asked them, “touching her in ways you wouldn’t like, pressuring her, how would that make you feel?”

    creeps me out, since I think, even from a point of view that wants everyone to abstain till marriage, that you really ought to distinguish between pressuring someone into doing things she doesn’t want to do, and accepting her enthusiastic offer to do things her future husband may not want to hear about.

  126. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax January 20, 2007 at 11:35 pm |

    However, I have to say that my experience as far as pressure was the opposite of yours.

    I think this depends a lot on what social circles you move in. Also the motives are different. Pressure not to have sex tends to come from people who believe that everyone should be waiting till marriage, while pressure to have sex tends to come from men who have a minimal notion of what “consent” means. Pretending women have no natural sex drive of their own doesn’t especially help the pressure to have sex situation. The phrase:

    “If you knew somebody was with your future wife,” Baker asked them, “touching her in ways you wouldn’t like, pressuring her, how would that make you feel?”

    creeps me out, since I think, even from a point of view that wants everyone to abstain till marriage, that you really ought to distinguish between pressuring someone into doing things she doesn’t want to do, and accepting her enthusiastic offer to do things her future husband may not want to hear about.

  127. mythago
    mythago January 21, 2007 at 12:16 am |

    In their world-view, women are property, like nice cars or lollipops, so the sin of the young men is not making themselves impure; it’s messing up some future man’s property. Kind of like going to the car dealership and peeing on the new cars.

  128. trillian
    trillian January 21, 2007 at 1:05 am |

    I have read liberal feminists suggesting that your past [1]is none of your current partners business, and [2]makes no difference to your future behaviour.

    [1] Well gosh, I’d hope so. As zuzu put it,

    you should never feel like you have to answer some insecure idiot’s question about how many previous partners you’ve had, especially when their only motive is to compare your number with theirs.

    [2]There’s a difference between one’s past shaping who they are and being a direct antecedent of everything that will follow. The idea that life is a math equation that you can just plug a person’s “number” into and know who they are completely baffles me.

    Kind of like going to the car dealership and peeing on the new cars.

    Are we not supposed to do that?

  129. ako
    ako January 21, 2007 at 2:14 am |

    The phrase:

    “If you knew somebody was with your future wife,” Baker asked them, “touching her in ways you wouldn’t like, pressuring her, how would that make you feel?”

    creeps me out, since I think, even from a point of view that wants everyone to abstain till marriage, that you really ought to distinguish between pressuring someone into doing things she doesn’t want to do, and accepting her enthusiastic offer to do things her future husband may not want to hear about.

    You hit the nail on the head. It’s as if they don’t grasp that making a woman do something she doesn’t want is wrong. I hope that somehow they didn’t mean to say that, but making it all about defiling some guy’s property makes it sound like what the woman wants doesn’t matter. And I’m very worried that the boys will remember this lesson, spend their single lives not damaging other boys property (girls who seem marriagable), and go into marriage with no idea that they need to worry about how their wife wants to be touched.

  130. Feministe » The Thrill of The Chaste, Introduction

    [...] at very idea out in the vaunted Heartland™ — and so are the boys being sent to integrity balls. Certainly, they’re being taught to view women as co [...]

  131. Pesh
    Pesh January 22, 2007 at 4:46 pm |

    Lynn says… But the way I see it: let’s say I really only want to have sex with someone who inspires certain accompanying romantic feelings, and with whom I have hope that he might feel the same way about me. And let’s say that, with no such person on the horizon for me (or no one who reciprocates), some people (maybe ones with a vested interest of their own in what I’m willing to do) are trying to prude-shame me into setting my standard a little looser….

    Pesh responds…

    I still don’t see how this is related to having sex with other people as a thing in and of itself as a bad thing.

    I would certainly hope that one would have standards and not be pressured into doing what one did not want to do… though I must admit, I don’t know that I’d be able to rank the men I’ve slept with in order of “how much I lowered or highered my standards” From what “ideal” standard?

    All were highly educated, articulate, kind, successful, interesting, bon vivants, philanthropists, world traveled, treated me with love and respect, were monogomous… but they also certainly were different – not lower or higher ranked in terms of some “standard” though….

    These weren’t cookie cutter men — it was the DIFFERENT experiences of being with these men that helped me figure out exactly what I wanted out of a life partner… that is nothing to do with standards, that’s about getting to know oneself, and what quirks, and personality traits, hobbies, interests, and yes, sexuality was a good match for me for life…

    So as I’ve said before, don’t knock experience (assuming that the choices for experience meet your standards ;))

  132. Erin
    Erin January 22, 2007 at 10:41 pm |

    Nik:

    I had 12 sexual/romantic partners. Then I met my husband. That was 16 years ago. We married 15 years ago. I’ve never cheated on him and have never even been seriously tempted to cheat on him.

    He had 9 sexual/romantic partners before he met me. Though I haven’t been in his presence 24/7 since the moment we met, I’m sure he’s been just as faithful to me.

    So what’s the big deal? I have lots of friends who could tell the same story–multiple partners throughout college (or maybe high school and college) and a bit after, then they met their future spouse, dated, married, and have been faithful ever since.

    I didn’t even know that was such an unusual thing, LOL. It’s not about how many partners you had previously. It’s about how you feel about the person you are WITH.

  133. Phoenician in a time of Romans
    Phoenician in a time of Romans January 23, 2007 at 2:05 am |

    “This is unlike women, who can have unlimited number of orgasms in a row without having to rest or recuperate in any way.”

    Envy of this may be the root of misogyny.

    Fear, Jeff, fear. Women’s honest sexuality can be incredibly intimidating.

    There’s an apropos quote from “Coupling” here:

    Jeff (drunk): It must be a lot easier being gay. Sex must be a piece of piss if you’re gay. If you’re gay, see…if you’re gay, masturbation is practice. Y’know, you can have a good old practice on your own, and then later, when you’re ready, when you’ve got the hang of it, you have a go on someone else’s. It’s a piece of piss….See, it’s different…it’s different when you’re a straight bloke. When we finally get our hands on the gear, let me tell you, it’s not a drill. Gays have their own practice kit, but you don’t get any practice women. We’re supposed to fly those babies the first time we get in ‘em!

  134. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax January 23, 2007 at 4:16 pm |

    I still don’t see how this is related to having sex with other people as a thing in and of itself as a bad thing.

    I still don’t see where I said that sex was a bad thing. Because I say that waiting till marriage can be a reasonable choice, that means sex is dirty and bad? All I’m saying is that waiting for marriage for your own sake is a different, and better, thing than waiting till marriage because you owe it to some man you’ve never met. I’ve never said that everyone who didn’t wait till marriage (all 95% of us, which includes me) should be shamed for life.

    It’s not as if I’m agreeing with the purity/integrity balls. Just saying the choice is legitimate if it’s undertaken for some reason other than the purity crap.

    I don’t know that I’d be able to rank the men I’ve slept with in order of “how much I lowered or highered my standards” From what “ideal” standard?

    That of having sex in the kind of relationship you want to have it in, rather than in the kind of relationship someone else thinks you should be comfortable having it in. However cool, educated, and spiffy in bed a guy is, if he’s not someone you actually want to be having sex with, or isn’t offering the kind of relationship in which you want to have sex, then having sex with him is lowering your standards. Maybe you’d prefer a different word than “standards”? The point is not to settle for something you don’t want, not that there’s some universal system for ranking men that the guy failed.

  135. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax January 23, 2007 at 4:39 pm |

    Basically, I think that abstinence till marriage is a stupid thing for secular public schools to be teaching as the one and only correct choice, but a legitimate thing for people to want in their lives, if it were disentangled from the whole imagery of car ownership, and sex somehow tainting women (and apparently only women) for life, and women apparently only responding to other people’s pressure, and having no desires of their own. The wrong of the thing isn’t in where the sexual line is drawn; it’s in the warped ideology that people are promoting to hold that particular difficult sexual line.

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