"What are the implications? One is that the individual doesn't have the means to control a decision to have children or not. That right is lost. On the other hand, the ability to protect oneself from sexually transmitted diseases is also lost,"[i]
Friday, February 6, 2015
Economic debacle aside, one of the most asinine statements I’ve ever heard was recently given by Magdymar Leon, “a coordinator at the Venezuelan Association for an Alternative Sexual Education”.
In response to the volatile Venezuelan economy and specific
gouging shortage of condoms he had this to say,
This isn’t just an outlandish statement regarding sexual health; it’s a completely ludicrous statement for all humanity. When was the last time you didn’t have volitional “control” of an act, let alone a decision to have sexual relations or not (alternative contraceptive means, like “pulling out” for unwanted pregnancies, none withstanding, and rape aside – that’s not the issue here)?
This inference that we have no choice but to have unprotected sex like “Oh well, there’s no condoms, I guess we have no choice but to have unprotected sex,” is the most defeatist, destructive mentality there is.
And Leon is not alone. Many folks seemingly believe that because they have natural sexual inhibitions, that they have to satisfy them – as if humanity is but purely an instinctual animal, unable to choose their path.
Of course we all know absolutely this isn’t true; we of course very much so have a choice. And as contrary to our natural sexual nature it may be, one can choose not to have sex (or other aforementioned alternative means) – especially when it literally becomes a dangerous situation like in Venezuela.
This is why the notion of abstinence, and more specifically the Christian ideal of sexual purity, is both the most lock-tight argument ever and single-most frustration to humans throughout history. We know we have a choice, but we’re so weak (myself included) we’ll do anything to justify our ill-advised, or morally impure, sexual decisions. We’ll go as far as to contradict our own truthful understand of man and will and infer we don’t actually have a choice when it comes to sexual feelings. We have to engage in it.
I remember during a “sexual health” seminar at my high school during my senior year, the presenter opened up the talk with the question, “Can anyone tell me how to practice safe sex?”
A few of the students said “condoms” or “birth control”. I raised my hand and said, “Don’t have it.”
I’ve never seen a more perplexed look of incredulity from a individual when I said that. It wasn't that the speaker was surprised in a positive re-affirming way that a high school student would mention abstinence – no, they were incredulous because they themselves could hardly comprehend that as a legitimate option in reality.
They half-heartedly acknowledged that yes that’s one way to do it (because if they hadn’t they knew they’d be a self-proclaimed crazy person) but quickly followed up with some mockery (not to mention the use of a fallacious “straw man” argument) of that option by saying,
“Well who here would never want to have sex their whole life?”
Being a rhetorical question (and unfairly extrapolated from my statement), some laughs and snickers followed.
What a sad paradigm that relegates humans and us as individuals to the lowest of the lows; the base of existence where choice (or at least the "instant gratification blocking" kind) and sound reason is harshly revoked in the name of convenience, temporal pleasure, and responsibility shirking. What a low paradigm. What a delusional paradigm.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Please visit my sister sites!
Faith...on a level we can understand
Life, love, and why
All things weather for the DC Metro area!
"Because justice is universal"
Faith...on a level we can understand
Life, love, and why
All things weather for the DC Metro area!
"Because justice is universal"
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Now that I
have had sex am a married man, I will be distinguishing any
future posts and content with the moniker of either Pre-M (pre-marriage)
or Post-M (post-marriage). This demarcation point[i] is
very important to me because the last people I ever wanted advice from as a
virgin was from a non-virgin. It’s not
that I didn’t believe they had good intentions and perhaps even my best
interest in mind, it’s they irrevocably could no longer relate to the plight of
a volitional virgin because of their state change.
I knew this then, and I know it experientially now. All bets are off for me regarding the topic of volitional virginity because I can have sex
time now. It’s a simple fact your
mentality changes, and significantly in certain facets, when you go from not
being able to have sex (based on personal conviction) and to be able to have
it. I knew this from a very young age
and therefore I never really could 100% trust the words that came out of an
adult that had either had sex before or one that was married. It’s not that I didn’t trust the content
behind their ideas (truth be told much of my thought was shaped by these same
ideas). I think this is a big reason why
abstinence education often is reported as “failing”. It’s not that the concepts and ideas behind
it are negligent or ineffective, it’s the presentations and presenters are
(ergo the overall premise of my book).
Why should I listen to someone who didn’t wait themselves or currently
can have sex without much difficulty now?
They don’t know what it’s like, I reasoned personally, and I have a
feeling many adolescents are doing the same as they tune out any semblance of abstinence
This doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing about a topic, human sexuality, which I’m still very passionate about, but it does mean I don’t expect any virgins to take my Post-M words without a grain of salt. I will continue to post Pre-M content as well, because I have bucket loads of that still on like 3 computers and 5 flash drives – which all will eventually compose the book’s contents. That Pre-M came from a virgin’s mindset; Post-M does not, despite rallying the same basic conviction. Adjust your personal conclusions accordingly.
Saturday, July 27, 2013
The following essay is an abbreviated comprehensive of the ponderings, theses, and musings I’ve had on the topic of human sexuality, specifically within the abstinence context, for the past 13 or so years of my adult life (I’m 33). The expanded contents of these have been published on occasion over the years to my blog www.thevirginamanifesto.com – and I’m currently in the process of the coalescing these articles into book format for hopeful publication in the future.
I’m getting married next week. I will also be having sex next week for the first time in my life. I walked into a grocery store the other day with my fiancée and I bought condoms for the first time in my life – I’m 33. What a funny experience that was; we were like a couple of giggling teenagers at their first session of sex-ed.
If you find the above information at all intriguing or interesting, read on. I have a feeling if you do, you may start to feel like Neo right after he took the red pill and started to realize everything he had been taught his whole life wasn’t exactly what it seemed and that there was depth to things he had no idea of before. Maybe you won’t, and maybe you’ll just trudge through a bunch of uninspiring mishmash. Only one way to find out :)
The Virgin Manifesto, in this case the mini-version, operates under the premise of “volitional virginity”. That is the willful pursuit of a sexually abstinent lifestyle until marriage that is much more a holistic approach to the affair then just simply a “rule to follow”. Abstinence has for too long cultivated a simplistic, outdated, and flimsy doctrine that just doesn’t hold up too well to the never-ending bombardment of a society and culture bent on personal sexual conquest and revelation. The following represents an attempt to counter that blitzkrieg under the guise of sound presuppositions, well thought out arguments, culturally-relevant cognizance, and practically constructive application.
Uncivil Detractors Need Not Apply
Any ideal that refuses to accept the criticism of opposing or skeptical platforms is one that will not last long in the marketplace of ideas. My words promote a principle I am strongly persuaded and convicted towards. Yet I understand many see this principle in a different light. I acknowledge that and I wholeheartedly welcome the civil skepticism of anyone. I don’t expect every human being to read them and agree, and I’d be a poached egg to expect otherwise. That said, I do desire the same courtesy and respect you the reader would in promoting an idea that you feel strongly or passionate about. If these words offend you to no end I am sorry, that is surely not my intent. Please know that even if you disagree with me, perhaps vehemently, you would believe me when I say I still would love to get a beer with you sometime and just get to know you, about your family, your goals, and your dreams. If I speak as if from the tongues of angels, but do not have love, my words will only fall as a resounding gong. I have every intention to sprinkle my words with love first and foremost.
Searching for a Legitimate, Principled Argument
Growing up in the late 80’s/early 90’s, I remember being bombarded by administrators and public service announcements about the dangers of smoking and drugs. I always felt the majority of their tactics possessed a slight sense of disconnect from reality though; an adolescent’s view of reality of course. I always got the impression from these ads and campaigns that they seemed to think it was always the social dregs that smoked. Yet when I’d go to school every day, it was the “winners” lighting up behind the dumpster and drinking at the weekend parties. Many were straight-A students, varsity athletes, and prom kings and queens; it was the cool kids. The disconnect I always felt arose from the fact that they tried to convince us that smoking and drinking was somehow not cool – when in fact all the “cool” kids were the ones doing it. In the same way, abstinence campaigns and education, in and out of the church, seem to woefully miss the reality that not only does sex feel really good, all the “cool” kids are doing it. Further, the impetus behind “educating” us about sex always seemed so Spartan. “Don’t have sex.” Why? “Just ‘cause I said so.” This sort of indoctrination, though often well-intended, only goes so far in a developing adolescent. I desired more though.
Over the years as my intellect grew and my understanding of the world around me broadened, I found myself searching, often to dead-ends, regarding material that would coherently, reasonably, and cerebrally stimulate an ideal that down deep I knew was right. That’s not to say many minds over the centuries haven’t eloquently presented the case for volitional virginity in a respectable manner, but if you were to look for contemporary convincing pieces on the matter, well the pickings are slim. Too often the ideal of principled abstinence is led by the faces of out-of-touch “old” people and weathered arguments that can’t hold up to post-modernity. I wanted something more. And to that end, my pursuit of veritas, real gut-level truth, in this arena has spawned the thoughts that you read here. I by no means want to marginalize the numerous great ideas of history, and even some of the ones today, but I do seek to present this principle on a level that we can understand, relate to, and empathize with. I am as far from a “human sexuality” expert as we are from the Moon, but I have walked down these roads and felt these pains. I endured the loneliness and traversed the despondency. I’m not qualified to speak on this subject because of my degrees garnered in ivory towers, but I’m sure as heck qualified because of my experiences in life “streets”.
the below appear in no particular order
Culmination of a Life’s Ambition
Some people strive towards an advanced degree. Some strive to build grand structures. Some strive to create a business empire or write the world’s next great American novel. One striving I’ve had from a pre-pubescent age was to be able to say to my future wife that I had waited for her, and only her, on my wedding night. This ambition did not rule my life and I seek no majestic trophy, but it did dictate how I carried myself around girls, in relationships, and ultimately my sexual pursuits, or lack thereof. I cannot express in a paragraph or two how difficult, tumultuous, frustrating, lonely, and angry this volitional pursuit was - but after about 20 years of it, I’m very eager to complete it. Like revealing at the beautiful painting the artist just complete after so many painstaking hours, I very much look forward to taking a step back, reminiscing through all the arduous times (and they’re mostly, if not all, arduous time), and just reveling in accomplishment of an ideal I had committee to my heart and mind so many years ago. I am a better person because of it and refined character traits such as patience and temperance in ways I otherwise would not have been able to. As with many grand projects and aspirations that take years to obtain, volitional virginity does not reveal its rewards quickly. Yet despite the long-suffering endurance, I perceive the harvest to be satisfying and plentiful.
Having a Lot of Sex
In my experience, let me put one myth to rest; that virgins are somehow opposed to, or less inclined, towards sexual activity. Anecdotally, I can tell you that is simply not the truth. I’m as carnally virile as the next guy, and even more so I’d argue because of my abstinent tendencies. I have no problem admitting I’m very sexually frustrated. I was created to have this intense desire and so it only stands to reason that abstaining from it would only increase my drive towards it. Yes, we are not animals, I can resist my natural inclinations – and have chosen to do so, but that does not negate the fact I very much desire to do so indeed. Studies show that married folks have more sex than singles[i]. I very much look forward to leveraging that statistic. Let me be clear in disclaiming that I fully intend to treat my wife with the utmost respect, sanctity, and sensitively regarding this area of our relationship, but being married does have its advantages and I believe my wife and I will wholeheartedly and excitedly engage in the physical aspects of our love for each other with joy, passion, and eager anticipation for many years to come.
Something to Look Forward To
With the advent of medical technology in the past 50 years, expectant couples can now view their “digital” baby on a computer monitor while it’s still incubating in mommy’s tummy. Many even decide they would like to know the gender, months before baby pops out. I understand the reasoning, especially for planning purposes, but aren’t you sucking out the anticipation of surprise in the process? Of course looking forward to arrival of baby is paramount, but I’d prefer to keep an essence mystery to keep me motivated that during my wife’s last trimester. In a similar way, a couple that has had sex before they’re married has eliminated the element of the unknown of that said encounter. Of course the wedding and festivities are a grand event to look forward to, but having pre-marital sex relegates them to simply a big party. I love the idea of that celebration, but I love it even more knowing it will be culminated with the ultimate physical, emotional, and spiritual consummation of the marital union. Instead of just having the wedding to look forward to, we have the penultimate sensual pleasure, with all its inherent mystery and anticipation, to look forward to as well. To put it bluntly, in a carnal way, it’s kept me motivated.
A Realistic View of Sex
Yeah we virgins are an interesting bunch for sure. And our views of sex are no doubt often inflated and hyped beyond the cosmos. In many contexts it’s difficult to avoid. Growing up you’re constantly fed a steady diet of sex glorification from culture and entertainment. This is contrasted by a similar glorification by abstinence educators, be it parents, pastors, or well-meaning friends. Regardless, sex becomes a god to us in a sense. Abstaining from it only heightens that perceived divinity. Yet I know it’s merely a temporal physical act that will surely fade shortly after its climax. I look forward to sex most definitely, but I also look forward to tangibly experiencing its shortcomings; namely its inability to completely “satisfy” the inner me.
It’s fairly amazing and frightening to think how hyped sex has been throughout history. I mean people have risked some of the most important enterprises known to man in the name of pursuing sex. Nations have crumbled, politicians shamed, families torn apart, bodies ravaged by its transposed diseases, and babies systematically murdered all in the name of sex. All in the name of a relatively quickly passing pleasure?! Yikes. C.S. Lewis once commented about romantic love being a great thing, but not the greatest of things; that there are many things above it and many things below it[ii]. I know sex is the same way. It is by no means a good basis to project all of one’s faculties and motivations towards. I’m not trying to marginalize how great I’m sure it is, but I definitely look forward to the reality check it will provide me regarding how important and fulfilling it really is and the even more admirable things I should be pursuing and harnessing my energies towards.
The Exoneration of an Ideal
I remember back in high school one day all the seniors were all corralled into an auditorium for a sex education presentation. After the administrator introduced themself she asked a question to the audience about what were some forms of “safe sex”. After a longer-than expected pause I raised my hand and simply answered, “Don’t have it”, implicitly implying until marriage. The facilitator reacted with a slight tint of incredulity and after a moment replied, “Ok…but who wants to go their whole lives without ever having sex?” Now I understand she may have been considering her overwhelming already sexual-active audience, but her response had the guise of condescension as if my suggestion, despite being the inviolably best answer, was somehow unrealistic and that high school teenagers could never possibly adhere to such a lofty ideal – at least in practice. And though I’m not the only one, I’m here as empirical proof that the ideal of volitional virginity is in fact obtainable and realistic.
Formal abstinence education has its myriad flaws, I fully acknowledge this. But it does inherently have the greatest invincible argument for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies, and in more the subjective sense, needless emotional burdens on the delicately developing adolescent psyche. Humans, whether children to adults, have the cognitive ability to make moral choices; we are not animals destined to succumb to natural instinct at every moment. If the promotion of abstinence doesn’t “work”, it’s not the fault of the air-tight principle in question. One day perhaps I’ll run into that administrator again and hopefully I could be an encouragement to her in considering giving what seems like a fantastical ideal for hormone-raging adolescents another legitimate shot at notoriety. I think adults, educators, and politicians often marginalize chivalrous concepts such as volitional virginity, and in doing so do a great disservice to their youthful counterparts. I, and others, are living proof these are not out of reach.
To Reap the Benefits of a Sexless Relationship
A common misconception exists that a couple the goes without sex is a couple that’s got some issues. I would agree if this were considering a married couple, but as for a pre-married couple, choosing to abstain from sexual activity at the behest of principled conviction is one of the greatest relationship-building mechanisms that exist. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to surmise that sex a singular relationship adhesive does not make. Untold relationships have whittled away when the shaky foundations of sex define the pillar of said relationships. Is sex a wonderful thing? Of course it is! Is it meant, does it even have the ability, to solely congeal a relationship together? No; especially in the midst of hardships and discord.
By foregoing our surely percolating sexual desires in honor of the deeply layered pact that is volitional virginity, my future wife and I were forced to build our relationship upon everything else but sex. This laid down foundations not only of patience and self-control, but of respect, understanding, communication, friendship, and a host of other corporate and individual positive character traits. These traits assuredly have formed a strong bond not easily broken and one that will last a lifetime, continued to grow and refine. Sure having pre-marital sex does not preclude a couple from establishing these traits entirely (though many that do engage in sexual activity early on neglect forming other substantial connections), but the introduction of the sexual relationship before the ultimate commitment of marriage inevitably crowds a burgeoning relationship that just was not meant to have it present in the formative stages. Our friendship, courting, and engagement periods were enriched by the fact we did not have sex, not denigrated. Sex will just be the “icing on the cake” after getting married (albeit a very fine icing), and juxtaposed to pre-marriage, will go on to enrich it.
The argument that one does not need to get married to express their love and commitment to a partner seems like a good one. And honestly it is difficult to debate, especially when “marriage” is in many ways simply a legal enterprise. That said, I cannot think of a more substantial way to express one’s love and commitment to another but by declaring to them and world that you will not choose another until the last breath you breathe. You can commit to someone in many ways yes, but you cannot commit to them greater than entering into the venerable covenant of marriage. I look forward to making this ultimate commitment and consummating it with the act of sex.
Tangibly Knowing That Sex is Indeed Good
If there’s secular notion that accurate about sex it’s that is in fact good. I haven’t experienced this goodness yet, but it doesn’t take a doctorate in psychology and biology, nor first-hand experience, to know that it is good. The myth that conservative-based theism, specifically Judeo-Christianity, implies otherwise is utter horse you-know-what. Sexuality is unabashedly present in the Biblical texts; both in its reality-based good and bad contexts. But a clear and consistent framework is established throughout based in the fact that God created sex not only as a form of pro-creation, but a form which is to be enjoyed thoroughly. A quick perusal of the erotic pages of Song of Solomon puts to rest any doubt otherwise.
Yes, I look forward to the purely carnal and physiological pleasure of sex, but I also look forward to the intellectual and spiritual recognition that I am participating in an act that was created to be the penultimate act between a man and women expressing in the highest physical form their love for one another. I am fully aware this act has no mystic properties, does not “complete” me, nor does it fulfill a soulish void, but I will revel in its beauty, sanctity, and absolute goodness.
Finally a Divinely Sanctioned Sexual Event
The one knock I have on the principle of volitional virginity, and more specifically within the Judeo-Christian context, is that prior to marriage there is no outlet in which a person can pursue a sexual event, solo or with someone else, and have it sanctioned by the Heavens. Jesus set the bar extremely high when he declared that even the mental act of lust is akin to the loathsome one of adultery. He allowed no case for confusion when he declared pursuing one’s sexuality in an impure fashion was straight up sin. The Apostle Paul jumps upon this notion in his ancillary comment about how couples should just get married if they’re feeling that passion to the point of acting upon it. This may seem like a hard line, and it is, but it is a line for a reason. God created sex, and its pursuit physically, emotionally, and mentally solely within the confines of a marital relationship. This is a tough pill to swallow for anyone who seeks to abstain from their often raging sexual desires. But it is a good pill, from a loving Father.
You see, I’ve had my fair share, correction – my plethora, of un-sanctioned sexual events both in my head and with my body over the years. But I refuse to somehow justify them as “ok” in light of the clear bar Jesus set with his sermon on the mount. I chose those paths with my mind and heart, and I reaped every single time the shame that inevitably accompanies the act of willful disobedience from a loving parent. That said, I very very very much look forward to engaging in something sexual and knowing on high He’s saying, “Wondeful, enjoy…that’s exactly what, how, and why I created this for you. I’m overjoyed for the both of you! Carry on :)”
Here’s one indestructible argument for abstinence until marriage; you are guaranteed the greatest sex you will ever have in your life. Guaranteed. Empirically, incontrovertibly, absolutely guaranteed. Because I haven’t had sex with another women, the sex I will have with my wife will be the greatest sex I will ever have simply because I will have nothing else to compare to. I don’t care what someone else’s perception of “good” sex is. She could be the worst sexual partner of all time from someone else’s perspective, but another perspective is completely irrelevant to me. All I will know is her, and it will be the best I will ever have; second to none.
In fact, once you have sex with more than one individual (technically you could have sex before you’re married with one individual and retain that “greatest” quality), you’ve eliminated the possibility of “greatest” sex because you’ve implemented a scale whether you like it or not – something not present in a person who only has sex with one person. Once you have sex with two or more people, one experience inextricably gets qualified as better or worse than the other(s). And because you now know sex with an individual can be better or worse than another experience (obviously no two partners are alike), you’re forced to acknowledge there may in fact be someone else out there even better than you’re current “best”.
Take for example driving a car (please don’t equate my analogy to a trivial inanimate object with the utmost sanctity I hold toward sex and women. It is merely an argument device.). Let’s say you’ve driven both a Toyota Camry and a Chevrolet Corvette. Chances are you’ll have had a better driving experience, or at least find my driving joy, with the Vette (nothing against the practical and sturdy Camry). But now you know cars have different qualities of driving pleasure. You have no choice but to look at that Ferrari driving down the street and wonder if it’s even better than the Vette…and so on and so forth. On the flip side, if you only have driven the Camry, that’s all you know, and regardless of how great people think the Vette or Ferrari is, theirs is an irrelevant perspective to you. You only know what experience driving the Camry provides, and the concept of a better or worse experience is merely hearsay. You only know what you know. I look forward to sex with my wife as being the greatest sex period.
Giving To My Wife
Don’t let my abstinent-minded tendencies fool you into thinking not having sex made my fiancée and I happy all the time. I can’t tell you how many times we would’ve loved to do the deed. Abstaining from sex takes the fortitude of the gods sometimes it seems (thankfully we have a God that lovingly gives us that perseverance). Many times it took the support of one us to carry the other in this regard, and because of that team effort, I cannot wait to reward my fiancée with what she so joyfully deserves. The pedestal of honor, love, and grace I build in my heart towards her cannot ever be too high. Lord help me from ever viewing her less than that...
Seeing the “Sights”
One day my junior year in high school while practicing free throws with one of my teammates, we got into a conversation about girls. He had asked me if I had “seen the sights”, referring to female genitalia, and was incredulous at my response of “no” being the hormone-raging 17 year old that I was. Well 16 years have passed since then and my robust virility has only grown. You see, being a virgin does not mean one is impervious to carnal desire. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Abstinence has only fueled the incessant desire to engage in sexual activity with a girl; ideally my wife of course. Consider my aforementioned Ferrari analogy; now imagine at 14 or 15 my father said it’d be all mine when I was 33. Can you imagine the anticipation?! Can you imagine how badly I’d want to turn that key, shift into 1st gear, and proceed with the mother of all burnouts? Can you imagine how intense the desire to pull 3 g’s around a curvy, rural road in that Italian supercar would be after 15+ years of waiting? Can you imagine the potency of desire to grip that steering wheel and rev those 600+ horses? Suffice to say, I’m quite looking forward to “seeing the sights”.
Perhaps it’s just an expression, but if make-up sex is really a “thing”, then I’m looking forward to experiencing it. You see, in the relationships I’ve been in, if we ever had a fight, the extent of reconciliation consisted of a kiss and hug. Don’t get me wrong, forgiveness and restoration of a relationship, any relationship, is a beautiful thing; the most beautiful thing. But the thought of consummating that reconciliation via copulation is I must admit a pleasant thought. Of course it’s not something I’d want to experience often because that would indicate probably an unhealthy amount of conflict in the relationship. And I’m not so naïve that I don’t know surely the vast majority of conflict is destined to end up with a date on the couch that night instead of a “happy ending”. That said just the thought of it being a potential result, albeit perhaps small potential, of conflict is a good thought. Abstinence is like a video game where most of the bonus features are locked when you first play it. Being married will be like unlocking all those bonus features, in the sexual regard, all at once :)
No Medical Worries
Having a non-existent sex life can actually have its advantages. It seems society is very much concerned with the sexual health of its population, and rightfully so. That said, when my wife and I enter into our union, concern for medically adverse sexual conditions will not be present. Psychological effects notwithstanding, pre-marital sexual-activity inherently contains a high level of medical risks as we’re all familiar with. This is a risk, and history, I did not want to add to my marital relationship as I know we’ll have to deal with enough pressures as it is in other realms. I look forward to not having to worry about giving my wife anything because of my previous sexual exploits. Even though I had not met her in the majority of my years as a volitional virgin, I knew I wanted to protect her.
I cannot imagine the pressures and difficulties couples, and primarily women, endure when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Of course married couples are not impervious to unplanned pregnancies, but a relational framework, not to mention practical, exists to allow the couple to more confidently and effectively navigate the pregnancy. I do not know the future of our family, when we’ll have kids, and how many, but I do know that we will be able to go through those scenarios with each other within the ultimate committed, loving union between two individuals.
Experiencing God’s Mystery Relationship
It seems a lot of people are unsure as to why Christians are so passionate about the nature of the relationship of marriage being between a man and women; and I don’t blame them. It primarily revolves around a very deep love shrouded in mystery that frankly I don’t believe most Christians even are aware of nor have a working understanding themselves. You see, the most glorious and sublime analogy God gives us to describe his relationship with his people is that of a wedding celebration; a bride and groom. This hallowed union is the preeminent example of relationship the God of the universe sees himself having with his beloved created beings, one that is true, right, noble, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. It is this bride and groom love and sacrifice and grace vessel that God choose to most radiate his majestic purpose for why he has chosen to send his only Son. Suffice to say, there is no more important relationship to be held in esteem.
I know this this intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, I just do not know this yet in personal experience. This mystery surely transcends the limited confines of sexual experience of course and is more suited for the covenant of marriage as a whole, but it still establishes a standard of utmost reverence and devotion that should guide me as I seek to love my wife in every aspect of our relationship.
Few like to be humbled in most cases. But I must admit, in all my self-perceived understanding of human sexuality and how it relates to the world around me, I have more to learn than I possibly will ever know. This is a good thing, for pride and self-righteousness is inevitably my greatest downfall when it comes to all this. Yet love has no room for those things – and if I’m ever to grow in my role as husband and provider, I surely need to be humbled. The last thing I need is to think I “know it all”. I’m convinced having sex will definitely affirm so many of the ideals I’ve promoted and strived for, but I also know it will humble me in so many other ways. And I need to be prepared to face the fact that I definitely do not know it all. On the contrary, my post-losing-my-virginity life will be filled with many *facepalm*, EUREKA!, and “I’m an idiot” learning lessons. The sooner I come to terms with the inevitable exposure of my flaws, the better.
I could go on for many more pages trumpeting the numerous merits of volitional virginity and why I’m looking forward to having sex for the first time in my life but I suppose a book would do more to comprehensively give the topic justice. Lord knows I have many more a postulation, observance, and argument that compose the deep intricacies that make up our sexual beings - and the navigation through adolescence and adult life as a willful virgin with profound underpinnings. As you may know see a bit more than before, that journey is much more layered and weighty than we so often told. I don’t know about you, but I so desire better answers to so many difficult questions. I want to know the impetus behind so many of the aspirations we consign our lives to. From early on I wanted something more, I knew there was something more, to “Don’t have sex until you’re married.” There had to be – it’s too integral to the human experience throughout the history of man. Something so intertwined with and around our lives had to have a creed of exceptional depth. These are merely one man’s musings along the way of that exploration. If anything, volitional virginity ironically has taught me more about my sexuality and relationships more than sex ever could.
One’s paradigm about things, especially the propriety of human behavior, is inevitably the conclusion of years and years of influence. Influence from environment, from personal enlightenment (or darkness), from experience, and from others, probably most prominently. You cannot declare truth from a vacuum, and I am no different in regards to my attitude towards sex. Though my influences may not be entirely unique, I do realize they were privileged. Not so much in the material sense, but more the immaterial. In the ways I was treated and hewn. Perhaps in most ways people would desire to be influenced; via unconditional love, unrelenting care, and unending support.
I grew up observing two loving parents that verbally and physically expressed their affection to me consistently; second only to their expression to one another. I developed in a family of five siblings, three of whom were my beautiful older sisters, manifesting for me the beauty and sanctity of the female gender. I grew up watching TV sitcom families such as the Huxtables, Seavers, and Keaton’s with the approval of my parents from the couch. I learned Judeo-Christian ethics under the tutelage of numerous benevolent elders over the years who taught me the value of a human being from the perspective of their loving Creator – a mentality I desired to emulate.
In short, I was cultured with world view that held each and every person, regardless of state, in the highest order of respect and love. More specific to the topic at hand, I was given a framework in which to rightly regard women – one that held them on the highest of pedestals. As I matured in my adolescence I remember peers of mine boasting of their “hookups” and flippantly calling girls “bitch”, sometimes in an unjustifiably oxymoronic term of endearment, and being soulfully mortified at the evil inherit in those perspectives. I had a clear view of right and wrong when it came to viewing and treating the fair sex. I know these were the catalysts that started, and dynamos that continue, my pursuit of self-revelation towards a distinct perspective on love, relationships, and sex. One that is as old as time, yet as elusive as ever.
Do not be mistaken though. My perspective, though unapologetically absolute, has no room for judgment or condemnation. Just because something is declared as immutable does not necessarily make that declaration wrong. However I am well aware each individual’s personal experiences, unique upbringings, and divergent views can elicit powerful emotions regarding the essence of human sexuality and how we are to relate and behave with each other in its often arresting midst. Yet I am bound, I am compelled, by this conviction and by the adage of testing all things and holding on to the good. I wholeheartedly believe this manifesto is good – and I share it with joy.
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Though the previous version of this topic indicated essentially the realization that “life goes on” sans sex, it doesn’t mean abstaining from it is easy. Regarding this difficult state of volition, there’s an internal debate I often have regarding which is more difficult to do; abstain from sex as a virgin, or abstain from sex as a non-virgin? They I presume are both very difficult, for different reasons though. A virgin finds it difficult because they’ve never done it. They do not know what it is like and pure curiosity, not to mention repressed hormones in overdrive and potential extreme love for another and the desire to express the pinnacle of that love, is an extremely magnetic force. The non-virgin has had sex though, and knows of its pleasure. Abstaining from it is abstaining from something you’ve already experienced and know to be, at the very least, a very physically pleasurable experience. We humans find it difficult to willfully abstain from pleasurable experiences in life no matter what they are.
In the end though, I still think it is easier for a non-virgin to abstain than a virgin. The reason I think this is two-fold. First, the non-virgin knows what it’s like to have sex. This makes it difficult to exhibit self control in the future yes, but the non-virgin has, for better or for worse, a more realistic view of sex. They know that despite being a great experience (hopefully), it still is just a temporal experience, and one that does not dictate the health of a relationship or success and fulfillment in one’s life in general. They also know it is not as a “life-changing” experience as culture makes it out to be. I’m sure losing one’s virginity is significant in one’s life, but considering all the hoopla surrounding the pursuit of that loss within society and pop-culture, non-virgins know it’s not that big a deal. You’re still the same person you were yesterday and are still in the same life. There are many things more important in life than having sex a non-virgin would understand. This temperance of expectations must make it easier to resist.
The other side of it being more difficult for virgins is as aforementioned; they don’t know what it’s like. The curiosity factor and most assuredly unrealistic, or at least very high, expectations often drown out the reason faculties of even the more grounded individual. As a virgin I surely know it’s not as a life-changing experience as it’s often made out to be. I know that it won’t “complete” some sexual phantom quest we’re all apparently in. And I know having sex or not has absolutely no bearing on my masculinity or character traits regarding integrity-laced manhood. That said, when you’ve never had sex, especially in the context of constant defense against the never-ending onslaught of promotion in the society you live in, knowledge often takes a back seat to sexual curiosity and temptation. I know it won’t change my life, but I really really want to do it anyway. I know there may be some grave consequences, but it’s so easy to cast them off into some figurative “tomorrowland”. The guy that’s already driven the Lamborghini surely would like to take a few more laps with it. But the guy who has yet to turn the key, fire up the engine, and squeal the tires in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd…well let’s just say he’s a little more itchin’ for it.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Of the many nuances of human sexuality that one becomes acutely aware of during extended periods of volitional virginity, the lack of sex being a necessary life function is one that potently emerges; for better or for worse (I would say mostly for better). Sure in a broad anthropological sense, sex between a man and women is most definitely a life necessity regarding the propagation of the human race. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the practical essentials of everyday life. Yes sex plays an important relational part within society, but it truly is not necessary to a productive member within it; contrary to popular belief of course though. Yet I do not need to have sex in order to be a good person to my neighbor, garner academic knowledge, perform well at my job, stay healthy, or be courteous and respectful, etc. This isn’t to say sex isn’t very desirable or doesn’t have the potential to enhance one’s life experience in the way taking a hot-air balloon ride or learning how to play the piano does, it’s merely just a fact that it isn’t necessary to live, and live well. When you abstain for sex for such extended periods of time, especially in the face of endless propaganda pandering sex’s presupposed absolute necessity in life - taboos be damned, you start to realize this. That realization empowers you to be able live life without the 800lb gorilla of having sex being on your back all the time; constantly pounding a false sense of inadequacy and discontentment into your life.
When I’m watching a show or movie in which some of the characters are begrudgingly discussing their lack of recent sexual activity (shoot, even some movies are based on this exact premise i.e. ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’), sometimes I just want to slap them, sans compassion of course. One character says to the other that they haven’t had sex in a few months or, gasp, a whole year; soliciting intense feelings of pity and empathy from the other character – and presumably from network and film execs, the promiscuous viewing audience. Please. Cry me a river. Try your whole life buddy. Got any other completely misplaced priority/perspective-based complaints?
Now this isn’t a judgment on anyone’s sexual pursuits (nor a glorification of one’s prudence), it’s merely a commentary on how much mythical status most people put on having sex as a daily function of life, as if it were one of life’s totally essential requisites. I fear it’s because many people have never gone through a period in life in which they consciously, with purpose, abstained from their natural, carnal bedding desires…that they could not imagine life, or life very long that is, without continued action – or likewise. That’s why much of society is so inextricably tied to having sex, within marriage or without – because it’s perceived as being so necessary to life. When most people do something so often for so long, not to mention its tsunami-like promotional efforts, you begin to believe you need it in order to live. Sort of like having a mobile phone with you at all times, despite the fact for millennia people got along just fine without em (I love technology FYI).
There another aspect of this that I imagine may even creep into the most pure of marriages. Now I am not familiar with typical sexual arrangements marriages have (if there are even “typical” ones, i.e. “once a week”, “three times a week”, etc.), but I do know that guys are probably a bit more amped to get frisky on average than the females. Add into these marriages all the difficult times life inevitably hits us with, and you have potential “interruptions”, if not frequent, to what probably should be sexual frequency and equilibrium in a healthy marriage. Even not being married myself though, I know this “equilibrium” is a pipe dream in any marriage because life does get in the way a lot, not to mention emotional tempers and relational strains as well. I would assume though that guys (and girls included in their own, unknown to me way) who don’t have experience in sexual temperance and patience, well I assume these times of sexual dearth would be very difficult to navigate. Heck, more than a few times I’m sure it’s led to rampart infidelity. Guys want release, and if they can’t get it in a sanctioned environment, they’ll often seek it elsewhere if defenses are weak and sexual-perspective underdeveloped.
Despite the many advantages getting married very young contains, of the many disadvantages I’d think this one would manifest more often. A guy that gets married in his young twenties has never really had a chance to run the “gauntlet” of sexual temperance in life. Abstaining in high school and college has its merits for sure, but it’s not the real test adult, independent life forces one to persevere through. So a guy that’s known married sex from a young age perhaps will be less equipped to deal with periods of, even extended periods, of no sex. The same struggle could be said for someone who was married older so I’m not trying to say it’d be exclusive to young marriages, but I think the lack of experience may work against them in these cases; not quite as “refined in the fire”.
If there’s one things I’ve learned over the years, it’s that I don’t need to have sex, or even engage in any sort of sexual behavior, even solo, to live life in abundance. Any one or thing that tells you otherwise is lying to you. You’re fine living an asexual life among sexual tendencies. It can be done, and you will not die from it. Go ride a bike, take a class you’ve always wanted to, go out to lunch with that friend you’ve been slacking on calling back, visit your uncle, or start learning how to design your website. Don’t wallow in you sexual inactivity or play the pity party game, cause it’s time to stop buying into that lie that you need to sex to live.
We surely are sexual beings, don’t get me wrong, and that desire is no more potently apparent when in a state of sexual abstinence. That said we more so sentient, soulish beings, and a volitional life based on principle can surely conquer the baser instincts. Not only can they conquer, but the truth garnered is said best by C.S. Lewis in 'Mere Christianity', “Being in (romantic) love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling...Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go...” That is an empowering way to live.