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“He said he was saving himself for marriage.”: A Feminist Perspective on Chastity and Abstinence in America

“He said he was saving himself for marriage.”: A Feminist Perspective on Chastity and Abstinence in America

So I met this EXTREMELY good looking man one day while I was searching for a job.  He had a beautiful, engrossing smile and more than anything, he had style.  About 6’2″, at least 180 pounds, dipped in delicious milk chocolate.  He was articulate with a drive about him that would impress any woman.  Master of his trades, he gives back to his community with God first, and lives his daily life to serve his Lord.

When he first gave me a friendly kiss on the cheek I wanted to chase his lips, but I held back.  I knew from jump that I didn’t want to just play with this one.  He was actually worth staying for.

Too perfect.  He had a physique that made you squint your eyes to know more — this man was so sexy.  And to think that a man this fine existed and gave a damn about the community was beyond me.  I wanted this to be about true friendship, so I didn’t pursue him to begin with, just kept my lip stick fresh and always pleasant.

As time went on he had officially become single and I… well that’s a whole OTHER post.  smh.  Slowly but surely we had encountered one another enough times to exchange ideas, and even schedule a few missed dates.  (He was very busy and I was occupied with my own affairs.)  One night I was listening to the playlist he  had emailed me earlier and decided to give him a call.  Our conversation was easy, and I couldn’t help but to ask him if he was sleeping with the two “lady friends” he had mentioned.

He said he was saving himself for marriage. Curious as you’d assume I’d be, I asked him to elaborate on the topic, considering I had never even thought about sacrificing such a function.  He then went on to say that after having women throw sex at him so easily for so long, he began to long for more.  (Understood.)  He told a story of a young woman back in college who approached him and said she would do him, just like that.  He then took her into the bathroom, did her in the mouth and drove her and his friends back to a spot where he told her that if she did his boys first, he would do her last.  The girl did his two friends, and in the end he was nowhere to be found.  After expressing how DEEP I thought that story was, he then went on to explain that sex is special and it’s something to be preserved for two people that love each other; and that it’s actually selfish to have sex when it’s outside of the sanctity of love and marriage.  “So are you saving yourself for marriage?” “Yes.”

There was a thick air between the phone lines and he parted for the night.  He had just got in from hanging out with a “lady friend” and I was becoming tired myself.

But  I couldn’t help feeling like, URRGGHHH???  Wtf?

Suddenly I was turned off by this God-blessed man because of his views on abstinence.  How terrible was I???  Not terrible, but ok, what’s up with the “It’s a turn off to know that someone I’m about to sleep with has had casual sex with other men.  How many other guys do sleep with this easily?”  Not his exact words, but you feel me. It’s like, the more degrees away from virginity you are, the less special you become.  The mother of the human race was a promiscuous woman, how can this paradigm be so?

I was feeling full, so I logged onto FaceBook and read an old blog from the Crunk Feminist Collective on Dating While Feminist, and tagged him and a few other men I knew in it, hoping to read some interesting responses.  (I soon after took the posting down because I didn’t want to offend him. But I just LOVE dialogue you know?) Anyway an ex boyfriend from childhood responded back with this:

“you deleted your link but here’s my reply:

i think waiting til marriage is a choice. my father told me he didnt feel right demanding i do it, because he didnt, but he advised it. i think i couldve waited (and i, as anyone, could be abstinent now) but i dont believe mans sexual nature becomes wanton until it is abused… (cont. in comments)

i dont think this has a thing to do with true love either. were two individuals to be EACH others first, after marriage, i’m sure the impulse to stray would be lessoned- but so-called”true love” is more so dependent upon the ability for both…
i wouldn’t be surprised if this was more of an issue the further back you go because a chaste daughter was valuable leverage when attempting to merge family fortunes” -Sahril

For a moment I thought about getting back with Sah for his introspection, but then I came back. lol Thank God for feminist men, whether they call themselves feminist or not.   I knew I still had a chance with this thing called love.

Why are we “saving” our vulvas, our anuses, our mouthes?   For whom, when so many of us don’t even know how to give ourselves a great vaginal orgasm.  (Clitoral orgasms are easily, but vaginal… smh… send me a savior.) I’m not saying that I’m out sleeping with every guy that I meet, no.  I’m saying that if I wanna take a guy home with me tonight, it’s none of your business!  And a woman who is various degrees of separation from virginity is just as special because life tells us so.  Not to say that the man doesn’t have a right to have a preference about who he doesn’t sleep with and why.  But I can’t help but to hate the idea that I’m selfish for engaging in sex before marriage/love/whatever.

I don’t want to save it when I know I want it, just to make a man think that I’m not as horny as I really am, and that my self respect is based upon whether or not I’m going to “give” myself to him.

Christian or no christian, my sex is my sex and I will have discernment with whomever I choose to bless with it.  I am not “giving” anything away, regardless of the shape of the vulva and it’s ancient symbols of penetration.  I’m still whole when the sex is done, and I NEVER feel guilty.  If anything, perhaps unsatisfied.

I want a man that will teach our daughter to love her vulva, name it and own it, decorate it with jewels because it’s in awe of God and Her awesomeness.  Teach her to know what it looks like when it’s healthy so that when it becomes ill, she is knowledgeable of how to treat it.    Show her that men respect women who respect themselves, and that means owning your sexuality, managing it in a real world, and having discernment with the who enters your domain because you possess the ability to give birth and contraception is not 100%.  Teach her to love her vulva deeply enough to transcend peer/dating pressure, and to engage only when she is ready and committed in love… and old enough to handle the consequences of life’s realities.  If she doesn’t choose abstinence, she will at least feel valued and knowledgeable enough to use contraception.

I love God with everything in me but I am just above this poetry book of a Bible and I cannot learn the truth about it’s history and then turn the other cheek.  God is bigger than that for me.  God is all around us and in us.  There has to be more to Her than this.

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5 responses »

  1. Deep. Gives 1 a lot to think about… I liked it. I look forward to reading more!

    Reply
  2. FL, thanks for the thought provoking post.

    First, as a context setter, I have decided to wait until marriage. I have made this decision fully loving my vulva and the beautifulness therein. I agree with much of what you have said, including “I want a man that will teach our daughter to love her vulva, name it and own it, decorate it with jewels because it’s in awe of God and Her awesomeness”, but I want to emphasize that waiting does not necessarily equal a prudish, “hide it away” view of female sexuality.

    A woman has a right to choose and celebrate her choice.

    Through my experiences, I have learned that I am most satisfied (sexually, emotionally, etc) when I am fully committed and in love with that individual. That (in part) has guided me to wait (until I’m completely committed … and the most straight forward, signaling of that is “waiting until marriage”).

    And on the closer, I don’t think you should turn the other cheek to history. Faith, spirtuality, and religion is an individual journey…. but I will say that I am have not turned the other cheek, but I see and strongly believe in the love, the strength, and so much that is in the word of God. How people use (and modify) it… that’s another story.

    Reply
    • Awesome! Thanks Lavada, for your thoughfulness. I agree, it definitely does not equal “hiding it away.” But I can’t help but to feel pressured into doing so when I’m told that if I’m truthful about my sex, say for example if I’ve slept with someone in the past 6 months, that I’m not considerate of committed sex in love. I also feel pressured into lying by saying that if a sexual encounter were to arise, I would resist. I don’t know what I would necessarily do. But should that make me proxy to immature, a hoe and a freak? Sometimes women have sex. Sometimes they choose to do it and continue. This is what I would have said to that dude. lol Why am I less attractive or less “special” for not choosing to abstain? Can a woman not want committed love and sex? Must they always occur simultaneously?

      About God’s word, in all honesty, I still tear up when I hear it. Further, I hear God in many more places within the book. God speaks. There are lengthy dialogues on scripture after scripture of combative Word. We’ve seen that. I have just come to a place where I want to experience God in the freest way, away from the confounds of a purposeful book. So I’ve decided to read closer, the Bible, the Quran, and the Dhammapada. I’m a slow reader so the mental lexicon I’m trying to build is taking me some time. lol.

      But I feel like there is a greater conversation on the institution of marriage here. Why was it created and what are the real boundaries that we create for ourselves? Or have they been created for us? Marriage is certainly not interchangeable with love, yet our daily choices say that we are waiting for a ritual to happen, our wedding day. Does full commitment only exist within the confounds of marriage? Does full commitment necessarily mean everlasting? I know some polyamorous people that would probably say otherwise, and they are poly-amorous by being and choice. What a wonderful discussion. 🙂

      Thank you for living while free, whether you call yourself a feminist or not! 🙂

      Reply
  3. **Note to thinkers** Abstaining from sex within the beginning stages of a relationship has no correlation with love longevity.

    If you want to be with each other, you stay together. Simple.

    Reply

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