Obsession with Sexual Purity
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04-09-2011, 12:54 AM
Obsession with Sexual Purity
It certainly doesn't take a genius to recognize the Judeo-Christian-Islamic obsession with sexual 'purity'. This is especially applicable to young women and girls, whose worth is largely based off whether they have broken hymens (...hymenorrhaphy, anyone?). In the Old Testament, unmarried women who have lost their virginity have also lost their worthiness to marry respectable men; they are wicked and used. Virgins, on the other hand, are often still considered salvageable, if only to be raped by God's people during raids (Numbers 31:17-18; 31:31-40; Judges 21:10-12).

Many Christians today also believe that the way to show a woman respect is to guard her chastity until marriage (See And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity by Dannah Gresh and For Young Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn; there are tons more like these). Thousands of indoctrinated teens wear promise rings, and some even aspire to wait until their wedding day for their first kiss (See The Virgin Daughters documentary on YouTube). While it may, in some ways, seem wise to preach abstinence to kids who have had no proper sexual education, it also seems paradoxical to tell a young woman that her importance lies not in her accomplishments, but in her virginity ... Isn't this just a bit belittling? It seems to defeat its initial purpose of showing women 'respect'.

On a related topic - while sexuality is so repressed and restricted in mainstream religions amongst both men and women, I find it interesting that the religious seem oblivious to all the sexual metaphor and imagery present in the Bible. A host of sexual allegories are employed by Old Testament writers, as seen in the minor prophet book of Hosea. The Israelites are depicted as Hosea's whore, God as Hosea. The Church is the bride of Christ. The Holy Spirit enters the saved to fill them from within. According to The God Part of the Brain by Matthew Alper, people can induce religious experiences by releasing certain neurotransmitters that cause a climax of ecstasy and calmness. Worship rituals become tantamount to foreplay, God's 'presence' to orgasm. God becomes a protective male figure in the lives of unmarried young women, a lover of the chaste.

An elderly woman who worked at my high school claimed that she had never once in her life had sex because she was 'saving herself for Jesus'. When you think about it, nuns and priests operate under the same philosophy - rejecting human sexual intimacy in return for a greater spiritual focus.

Does anyone else find it something of a paradox that the Church is so disapproving of sexual desire on the one hand, yet so sexually charged directly beneath the surface? Are these two aspects of religion tied together in one grand obsession with sexual purity? Why do you think religion evolved this way, and why is it so psychologically digestible to humans? Related comments and ideas are also welcome Smile

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.
- Shakespeare's King Lear
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04-09-2011, 02:47 AM
RE: Obsession with Sexual Purity
(04-09-2011 12:54 AM)Winter_Raven Wrote:  It certainly doesn't take a genius to recognize the Judeo-Christian-Islamic obsession with sexual 'purity'. This is especially applicable to young women and girls, whose worth is largely based off whether they have broken hymens (...hymenorrhaphy, anyone?). In the Old Testament, unmarried women who have lost their virginity have also lost their worthiness to marry respectable men; they are wicked and used. Virgins, on the other hand, are often still considered salvageable, if only to be raped by God's people during raids (Numbers 31:17-18; 31:31-40; Judges 21:10-12).

Many Christians today also believe that the way to show a woman respect is to guard her chastity until marriage (See And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity by Dannah Gresh and For Young Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn; there are tons more like these). Thousands of indoctrinated teens wear promise rings, and some even aspire to wait until their wedding day for their first kiss (See The Virgin Daughters documentary on YouTube). While it may, in some ways, seem wise to preach abstinence to kids who have had no proper sexual education, it also seems paradoxical to tell a young woman that her importance lies not in her accomplishments, but in her virginity ... Isn't this just a bit belittling? It seems to defeat its initial purpose of showing women 'respect'.

On a related topic - while sexuality is so repressed and restricted in mainstream religions amongst both men and women, I find it interesting that the religious seem oblivious to all the sexual metaphor and imagery present in the Bible. A host of sexual allegories are employed by Old Testament writers, as seen in the minor prophet book of Hosea. The Israelites are depicted as Hosea's whore, God as Hosea. The Church is the bride of Christ. The Holy Spirit enters the saved to fill them from within. According to The God Part of the Brain by Matthew Alper, people can induce religious experiences by releasing certain neurotransmitters that cause a climax of ecstasy and calmness. Worship rituals become tantamount to foreplay, God's 'presence' to orgasm. God becomes a protective male figure in the lives of unmarried young women, a lover of the chaste.

An elderly woman who worked at my high school claimed that she had never once in her life had sex because she was 'saving herself for Jesus'. When you think about it, nuns and priests operate under the same philosophy - rejecting human sexual intimacy in return for a greater spiritual focus.

Does anyone else find it something of a paradox that the Church is so disapproving of sexual desire on the one hand, yet so sexually charged directly beneath the surface? Are these two aspects of religion tied together in one grand obsession with sexual purity? Why do you think religion evolved this way, and why is it so psychologically digestible to humans? Related comments and ideas are also welcome Smile

Hi...I absolutely agree with you. Well written!

I will add my opinion about Saint Paul's (the creator of Christian thought) attitude to women and sex:

Paul the Misogynist

Paul was overtly sexist. There is no excuse to justify the following:
“For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man” (1 Corinthians 11:8-9 NKJ).
“Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-25 NJB). If any women readers are feeling their blood boil, be warned it gets worse.
"As in all the churches of the saints, women are to remain quiet at meetings since they have no permission to speak; they must remain in the background as the Law itself lays it down. If they have any questions to ask, they should ask their husbands at home: it does not seem right for a woman to raise her voice at meetings."
“Similarly, I direct that women are to wear suitable clothes and to be dressed quietly and modestly, without braided hair or gold and jewellery or expensive clothes; their adornment is to do the sort of good works that are proper for women who profess to be religious. During instruction, a woman should be quiet and respectful. I am not giving permission for a woman to teach or to tell a man what to do. A woman ought not to speak, because Adam was formed first and Eve afterwards, and it was not Adam who was led astray but the woman who was led astray and fell into sin. Nevertheless, she will be saved by childbearing, provided she lives a modest life and is constant in faith and love and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:9-15 NJB).

Women of the world, here we have what the founder of Christianity really thought of you. You were made to be playthings for men. You were to always submit to your men-folk. You were to remain quiet unless spoken to. Your opinions were not important. You were not to make yourselves look attractive. You were inherently evil and have led men into sin. The best way you could save your wicked selves from going to hell was to accept your second-class status and bear your husband’s children!

This was not harmless, well intentioned but now out-dated advice. It was misogynistic rubbish. He quite clearly disliked women and feminine sensuality and claimed God did too. Any Christian who thinks so little of women should be thoroughly ashamed.

The control of women is vital to the success of many religions. It's a well-recognized fact that societies in which women are empowered are usually successful. They grow and evolve far faster. In my opinion Christianity has historically always held back the progress of society because as soon as “commoners” get educated and have a voice, they ask difficult questions about Christianity. One of the reasons Christianity has ben so successful is that it aims to degrade and hold back 50% of its own congregation!

Paul’s Attitude to Sex and Marriage

Paul makes his loathing of sex very clear. Consider the following:
“The fact is, I know of nothing good living in me – living, that is, in my unspiritual self – for though the will to do what is good is in me, the performance is not, with the result that instead of doing good the things I want to do, I carry out the sinful things I do not want. When I act against my will, then, it is not my true self doing it, but sin which lives in me...I can see my body follows a different law that battles against the law which my reason dictates...What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death” (Romans 7:18-24 NJB). Poor Paul. He was so deluded with puritanical ideas he was repulsed by his own libido and miserable as a result. He was a suppressed and toxic little man.

He was celibate
“I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn” (1 Corinthians 7:8-9 KJV), which was quite unusual for a Pharisee, as they were expected to marry. He may have had difficulty finding a woman willing to live with him. He may have been homosexual, yet ashamed of the fact, and therefore not willing to admit it. Whatever the case he quite clearly had some sort of neurosis about sex:
"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore , brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Romans 8:6-13 KJV), and,
"He wants you to keep away from fornication and each one of you to know how to use the body that belongs to him in a way that is holy and honourable, not giving away to selfish lust like the pagans who do not know God, He wants nobody at all to ever sin by taking advantage of a brother in these matters; the Lord always punishes sins of that sort, as we told you before and assured you. We have been called by God to be holy, not to be immoral” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 NJB), and,
“Yes, it is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman. But since sex is always a danger, let each man have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband must give his wife what she has the right to expect, and so too the wife to the husband. The wife has no rights over her own body; it is the husband who has them. In the same way, the husband has no rights over his body; the wife has them. Do not refuse each other except by mutual consent, and then only for an agreed time, to leave yourselves free for prayer; then come together again in case Satan should take advantage of your weakness to tempt you” (1 Corinthians 7:1-6 NJB).
I suspect Paul was disappointed that so many of his converts had sex on their minds, as that made it difficult to teach them his more spiritual profundities, so he tried to control their sex lives. He was convinced sex was something distasteful and unclean, an annoying bodily function, like going to the toilet. He thought one should dump the toxic load when necessary and get on with something more important like praying. He implied one got married to have a quick way to get sex over and done with, like having access to a convenient toilet. This is the Bible.

Neither the average Jew nor gentile of the time had such a negative attitude toward sex. One wonders where Paul got it. He may have been sexually abused as a child and never recovered, he may have had erectile difficulties, he may have been disgusted by his own attraction for other males, or he may have been obsessed with Platonic ideas about the superior nature of the spirit compared to what were considered base bodily functions. He also thought the end of the world was imminent, which may be why he thought it was pointless for people to marry. None of these reasons are good excuses for writing what he did.

Let’s not underestimate the damage done to adolescents. All children explore their sexuality; yet the Christian child is told that such behavior—even thoughts —are sins in the eyes of God! The explorations inevitably continue, and so does the guilt and anger, and its all totally unnecessary.

Let’s consider the true nature of sex. It is truly wonderful! It always has been and always will be a special and natural and beautiful part of the human condition. It strengthens relationships. It ensures the continuation of the human race. Paul tried to replace the reverence healthy humans naturally had for sex with guilt, embarrassment, and shame. His attitude is a filthy stain that is hard to wash out of people’s minds once it has taken root. It has caused psychological damage to millions, probably billions, of Christians over the centuries! Shame on Christian churches for promoting this as the word of God!
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04-09-2011, 03:19 AM (This post was last modified: 06-09-2011 02:49 PM by Stark Raving.)
RE: Obsession with Sexual Purity
Ava_Rose and Mark Fulton, you both write so good about these topics. It's so sad that the view upon something as beautiful and natural as sex has been tainted by religion. One should think that if there was a god, he would mean for his creations to live the best and most joyful life as they could? Including sex, since he undeniably created our bodies to enjoy it? There's just no logic in religion.

At my old workspace we got a then shocking example of the religious doctrine of communication between men and women; A man was hired by the top boss, but refused to have a female leader and take orders from her. He was eventually fired, but it was a rough time at work for everybody. I never imagined that something like that could occur in a modern european country.

"Never underestimate how narrow-minded, petty and stupid people can be". Mark Fulton, forum member
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04-09-2011, 05:42 PM
RE: Obsession with Sexual Purity
Ooo, this interests me so much! And yes, beautifully written!

My father in law comes from a religious colony, ex communicated, and for the longest time (not anymore) he wouldn't let my MIL wear red of any sort, even on her tuque (winter hat).

What it appears as a possibility is that in sexuality there can be a sense of power, and if a couple thousand years ago morality hadn't evolved then perhaps women may have had a seductive 'powerful' quality that needed to be repressed (via the book's laws) in order to keep and manipulate it. You supress those natural urges and they will come out somewhere.

Wasn't there a poll somewhere here on TTA forum about atheist having the best sexual life? Smile
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05-09-2011, 03:53 AM
Paul's Views of Sexuality
(04-09-2011 02:47 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  “Nevertheless, she will be saved by childbearing, provided she lives a modest life and is constant in faith and love and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:15 NJB).

...I almost forgot! A viable alternative to female virginity is proper child-bearing (along with total modesty and submission). Unfortunately this only furthers our point.

Mark Fulton - your verses illustrate the sexism inherent to the Bible far better than a mere description of them could have. It makes me wonder why at weddings, people rarely quote Paul's rather unromantic views on the subject since they seem so prevalent throughout his epistles. As seen in a multitude of other cases, verses from the Bible are often selectively chosen by modern Christians from the West to be more culturally friendly. At weddings, you often hear generic verses about love, such as the following:

'Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.' - I Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)

Verses like these are very beautiful, but are unfortunately non-specific to romantic love; they seem to refer more directly to God's love. That is, however, not to say that Christians completely ignore the more misogynistic parts of the Bible, as I stated in my other post (and some people do, indeed, read verses about feminine submission at weddings).

My best friend growing up came from an extremely religious Evangelical Christian family. Her mother would have to ask her father permission for me to come over her house. She once told me that she didn't know if I could come over because her mother had to seek permission from her father since her mother was 'a good Christian woman' and good Christian women realized that a husband was the head of a household. I can understand why it would be polite and respectful to clear things with her father before inviting me over, but the way she couched it made her parents' marriage sound very sexually hierarchical.

...This leads me to another point. Has anyone been aware of the popular Christian movement which emphasizes the importance of 'love' for wives and 'respect' for husbands? Christan marriage counseling seminars propagate this notion that there should be more respect given to a man but more affection given to a woman. This seems to me like a watered-down re-hashing of some of the verses Mark quoted (Ephesians 5:22-25; I Timothy 2:9-15). I can understand that, as a broad generalization, women seem to crave more emotional closeness than men; but since it seems exceedingly difficult to love someone without having some kind of respect for them, what's wrong with emphasizing both love and respect for husbands and wives? Perhaps I'm getting a bit nit-picky here, but it seems like genuine love and respect cannot be mutually exclusive in matrimony.

Also, Mark, you mention right before your quoted verses:

(04-09-2011 02:47 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  There is no excuse to justify the following...

I've actually had a conversation with someone during which they've attempted to claim that the Bible is not misogynistic. This (somewhat liberal) Christian claimed that we cannot take Paul's words about women as applicable to modern women because Paul himself was a product of his society, and the Churches he wrote to wouldn't have taken him seriously if he had advocated greater gender equality.

I've found a few flaws in his argument. Firstly, this comment seems to suggest that not all of the Bible should be taken literally. The book of the Bible most frequently cited in light of this claim is likely Genesis (evidence for evolution and the Big Bang rips this book's scientific credibility to shreds). But if it is true that the Bible must also be considered as a historical piece subject to prevailing cultural norms, how are we to know which parts we should apply to our own lives and which parts we should dismiss as archaic? And wouldn't divinely-inspired writings not contain so much blatant misogyny if the Christian God were actually a feminist? (a humorous thought!)

I also find it interesting that Paul uses Eve's role in the Fall of Man as justification for his remarks about women being the less worthy sex. If we are not to take Paul's subjugation of women as literal and everlasting, then we can hardly be expected to believe in a literal interpretation of the far-fetched story of Creation. But even if Paul does not endorse a literal interpretation of Genesis (which would genuinely surprise me), he nevertheless quite clearly clings to the idea that mankind's Fall was instigated by the 'wickedness' (i.e. curiosity) of Eve. There is simply not enough evidence to argue that the Bible is actually a feminist work.

Moving back to marriage, I am quite thankful that some Christians do have a tendency to convince themselves that certain Bible verses are best overlooked (or at least re-interpreted in a less barbaric way). I hadn't realized quite how sexually insecure Paul must have been before reading some of the later verses Mark quoted ('...let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn' - 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 KJV; 'For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace' - Romans 8:6 KJV; '...it is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman.... sex is always a danger...' - I Corinthians 7:1 NJB).

Imagine what a wedding would be like if the priest or pastor basically said, 'We can now be relieved that these two are releasing their sinful lust upon each other through marriage since they don't possess the self-control to remain pure and celibate, like Paul.' Instead, you often hear messages about how wonderful sex is when 'God's plan' of marriage is followed (especially when preaching abstinence to younger people). Maybe it's partially a good thing that the Bible is selectively quoted. Some liberal Christians even go so far as to accept homosexuality. But unfortunately, those questionable bits are still readily available to justify the Church's deep-seated degradation of women, rules against homosexuality, and general disapproval of humans as sexual beings. In many cases, picking and choosing which verses to quote is used for less progressive ends - like the purity movement and the surgical reconstruction of the hymen.

On a related topic, I read in Alper's The God Part of the Brain that Paul, among other Christian mystics (Joan of Arc being one of them), showed signs of a specific type of epilepsy (I forgot which kind). Analyzing Paul by modern standards reveals a possibly schizophrenic man deeply horrified by his own sexuality and violently driven by delusions of divine intervention to spread his message. It's unfortunate that his message has led to instances like those described by Cubic Bubbles and LadyJane. Hopefully the religious will begin to realize that sex outside of marriage does not always lead to rampant promiscuity, the spread of disease, the breakdown of moral order, and (especially) God's wrath.

Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts... this string of posts has really got me thinking!

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.
- Shakespeare's King Lear
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06-09-2011, 02:31 PM
RE: Obsession with Sexual Purity
Speaking of this subject, what do you make of Crystal Renaud's Dirty Girls Ministries? Utne Reader recently ran a story about it:

http://www.utne.com/Mind-Body/Dirty-Girl...ation.aspx

Renaud, judging from the photos and videos I've seen of her on the web, looks morbidly obese; so it makes sense that she has turned her disgust with her own body into a crusade to keep other women from figuring out how their girl parts work and having "unauthorized" orgasms through masturbation.

In the rational atheistic world I'd like to see, parents would make sure that their daughters don't grow up with such distorted beliefs about their sexuality.
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06-09-2011, 11:10 PM
Thumbs Down Dirty Girls Ministries
(06-09-2011 02:31 PM)advancedatheist Wrote:  Speaking of this subject, what do you make of Crystal Renaud's Dirty Girls Ministries? Utne Reader recently ran a story about it:

http://www.utne.com/Mind-Body/Dirty-Girl...ation.aspx

Renaud, judging from the photos and videos I've seen of her on the web, looks morbidly obese; so it makes sense that she has turned her disgust with her own body into a crusade to keep other women from figuring out how their girl parts work and having "unauthorized" orgasms through masturbation.

In the rational atheistic world I'd like to see, parents would make sure that their daughters don't grow up with such distorted beliefs about their sexuality.

My word. That's astounding. A 12-week program to cure women of masturbation?

Unfortunately for Renaud's followers, trying not to think about 'bad thoughts' often makes people think of them more because their cognitive energies become depleted. Crystal doesn't seem very bright.

Crystal does seem pretty dysfunctional herself though, as you mention. I agree that her own obesity has likely spawned massive insecurities. They are both probably part of the reason why she has never had a boyfriend. Then she discovered porn - a sexual release - and became so curious and desperate for real sex that she arranged an 'anonymous encounter' with a man before realising it was a stupid idea and subsequently guilting herself into believing that God was displeased with her. And now her crusade to make other women feel as insecure about their sexuality as she is? That's horrific.

One of the main issues I have is not that these women object to watching porn - not everyone feels good about themselves after watching it - but that they take something natural - one's sex drive - and label it an 'addiction'. They sure have a curious definition of the word. Are they aware that if it weren't for this 'addiction' none of their ancestors would have reproduced? The only thing that separates these people from their Victorian predecessors is that Victorian women were often naive and unaware of what masturbation even was. It was not uncommon for women diagnosed with 'hysteria' to visit doctors who would use vibrators to bring them to orgasm.

But back to the topic at hand, it looks like books denouncing masturbation and pornography geared towards a female audience have become popular within the past 5 years:

http://www.amazon.com/Dirty-Girls-Clean-...pd_sim_b_2
http://www.amazon.com/No-Stones-Redeemed...gy_b_img_b
http://www.amazon.com/Create-Me-Pure-Hea...pd_sim_b_4

And these are only a few. I found this under Create in Me a Pure Heart's book description:

"The truth is, Christian women are not only becoming increasingly involved in traditional forms of sexual sin such as fornication and adultery, but they are now branching out into new activities such as lesbianism and cyber-sex. According to a recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11% of women surveyed have had a sexual experience with another woman, compared with only 4% of women in a similar 1992 survey. Clearly, sexual sin is no longer only a man’s dilemma."

What particularly disgusts me is that they seem to adhere to the popular conservative moralist idea that within the past 10 years or so American women have suddenly discovered various sexual 'sins' when I'm sure that, in actuality, a similar percentage of women were wired to be lesbian 50 and 100 years ago. I guess we can only hope that this 'purity' movement doesn't gain any more momentum so that more generations of girls don't grow up hearing destructive messages from women they trust.

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.
- Shakespeare's King Lear
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07-09-2011, 09:45 AM
RE: Obsession with Sexual Purity
Ok, I gotta get this masturbation thing straight....these people are saying that masturbation is bad, correct? Do they not realize that by telling their daughters that, that they may be inadvertently encouraging sex before these kids are ready??? I mean really, imagine being a curious, sexually frustrated teen, who has been told that they will go to hell if they explore their body and do what comes naturally. (And it really does come naturally. I've never heard of someone needing to be taught how to masturbate unless there was an already existing problem. Shit, noone had to show me! lol) So these kids, who desperately need this release, but who don't have the psycological maturity to handle a sexual relationship, are going out there, and trying to figure out how to relieve this new, pent up desire. Their parents are then turning around and saying that masturbation will send them to hell, so these kids are going to look for excuses to relieve themselves in other ways. "Hey, if I am "in love" with this guy/girl, then maybe there's a way around pre-marital sex". I can't even wrap my head around this. Absurd.

Ugh. Let people do what comes naturally! (Pun very much intended)

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07-09-2011, 12:09 PM
RE: Obsession with Sexual Purity
Think about it, the reproductive instinct is the strongest instinct in the human being. It even surpasses survival instinct (if you don't believe me, think of the crazy dangerous stuff teenage boys will do to impress the girls). So if a religion can manage to control that, they really have got the ultimate hold on you!

English is not my first language. If you think I am being mean, ask me. It could be just a wording problem.
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07-09-2011, 02:04 PM
RE: Obsession with Sexual Purity
(07-09-2011 09:45 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  So these kids, who desperately need this release, but who don't have the psycological maturity to handle a sexual relationship, are going out there, and trying to figure out how to relieve this new, pent up desire. Their parents are then turning around and saying that masturbation will send them to hell, so these kids are going to look for excuses to relieve themselves in other ways. "Hey, if I am "in love" with this guy/girl, then maybe there's a way around pre-marital sex". I can't even wrap my head around this. Absurd.

Ugh. Let people do what comes naturally! (Pun very much intended)

Luckily not every Christian condemns masturbation. Crystal Renaud is particularly extreme in her battle against human sexuality. I attended a very religious Christian high school, and one of my friends told me that her class had touched on the issue of masturbation. The teacher was a single man in his early 30s who attempted to tell the kids that it was okay to fantasize if you didn't lust after anyone while doing it. He then went on to say, 'When I do it...' before realizing his mistake and swiftly beginning a new sentence.

I would very much like to find out this Christian secret of masturbating to orgasm while not experiencing any lustful thoughts. Have Christians also discovered how to argue without experiencing anger and how to bible-thump without passing judgment? It's amazing what people can convince themselves just to adapt to a skewed believe system.

Not to sound sexist, but it seems like, being a man, refraining from sexual thoughts would be that much harder due to the physical side of things. Even the most self-controlled (or self-flagellating, depending upon how one looks at it) young man surely has wet dreams. Afterwords, he's probably mortified by guilt and wondering whether that counted as lusting after someone. He's probably telling himself that it was wrong to have enjoyed it and praying to God for forgiveness.

(07-09-2011 09:45 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Ok, I gotta get this masturbation thing straight....these people are saying that masturbation is bad, correct? Do they not realize that by telling their daughters that, that they may be inadvertently encouraging sex before these kids are ready??? I mean really, imagine being a curious, sexually frustrated teen, who has been told that they will go to hell if they explore their body and do what comes naturally.

In that one documentary I mentioned earlier (The Virgin Daughters, which explores 'purity balls' dedicating to preserving chastity), there's this one very attractive young women named Jessica who explains that she knew sex before marriage was wrong by Christian standards but didn't have enough self-control to refrain from having sex with her boyfriend. After the first time, they were both wracked with guilt and confessed their 'sin' to God. But apparently they continued sleeping together; and, lo and behold, she got pregnant because they apparently were so naive about the biology of reproduction, they didn't understand how conception works! And I think this woman was in her early 20s, if I'm not mistaken. I think she had participated in at least one purity ball Undecided

Jessica was forced into an engagement but had a miscarriage and was able to break things off with the would-be father. She then went back to school, started her own business, and won the title of Miss Colorado. She said that her relationship with her mother has been totally shattered since her pregnancy. Jessica lost her mother's trust and respect. More recently, she decided to move in with her current boyfriend - a man her parents totally despise and have tried to scare away. I see Jessica as living proof of the destructive effects of the purity movement in the U.S. Luckily she was able to develop a backbone and work toward improving her life... even if it meant losing her family.

I know there are tons of young Christian couples who don't have anywhere near the maturity level to marry, but simply do it as a way to not feel guilty about sex. Perhaps if they had been taught that masturbation was okay or that safe sex wasn't evil, they would allow themselves more time to mature before making a lifelong commitment (...and I can't imagine divorce is looked upon favorably).

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.
- Shakespeare's King Lear
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