Alcohol Sex and Girls: Effects of a toxic culture By Anne Maloney

14 06 2016

alcohol sex and girls

A few weeks ago, a young woman at Stanford University was raped by a virtual stranger, and her rapist received a ridiculously light sentence. The story grabbed headlines everywhere, and caused a firestorm on social media. This “dumpster rape” is being blared about everywhere in the public square while a far more insidious and dangerous threat to women rages on directly under our noses, unacknowledged. This threat is systematically destroying an entire generation of our daughters, sisters, aunts, future mothers, and friends.

The young woman who was raped behind the dumpster has an advantage over most young women today: she knows she was raped. She is angry, and rightly so. She realizes that she has been violated, and she can try to find a way to heal. The young women I encounter every day on the campus of the university where I teach are worse off than this victim, because they do not know what has gone wrong in their lives. Nonetheless, something has gone terribly wrong, and on some level, they know it.

In thirty years of teaching, I have come to know thousands of women between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six. These women are hurting. Badly. Consider these examples from “the front lines”: a young woman says to me with all earnestness, “This weekend I went to my first college party, and I hit it off with a guy so we went into the back bedroom where the coats were and started kissing, but then he reached down, moved my panties aside and penetrated me, so I guess I’m not a virgin anymore.” Another young woman came to me in tears because her doctor told her that since she has genital warts, she may have trouble conceiving children in the future. She had always assumed she would get married and have a family someday. “And the worst part is,” she wailed, “I’m not even promiscuous. I’ve only had sex with six guys.” This young woman was nineteen when she said this to me.

Once, in a writing assignment about Socrates and the Allegory of the Cave, a student wrote that she decided to make better choices after she woke up one morning in a trailer, covered with scratches, naked, next to a man she didn’t remember meeting. At least she knew there was a problem. All too often, these women come to me in a state of bewilderment. Women have never been more “sexually liberated” than these women are, or so they are told. No more are they shackled by ridiculous bonds like commandments, moral rules, words like “chastity.” They shout: “We’re free!” Yet they whisper: “Why are we so miserable?”

It is no coincidence that the top two prescribed drugs at our state university’s health center are anti-depressants and the birth-control pill. Our young women are showing up to a very different version of “college life” than that of the previous generation. One woman, while in her freshman year, went to her health center because she feared she had bronchitis. In perusing her “health history,” the physician said, “I see here that you are a virgin.” “Um, yes,” she responded, wondering what that fact might have to do with her persistent cough. “Would you like to be referred for counseling about that?” This student came to me to ask if I thought she should, in fact, consider her virginity—at the age of eighteen—a psychological issue. (I said no.)

In a seminar I teach every other year, we discuss the ways that addiction reveals certain truths about embodiment. One of the books we discuss is Caroline Knapp’s Drinking: A Love Story. The students adore this book, and we have fascinating conversations in class. The chapter that generates by far the most passion, however, is the chapter on drinking and sex. Knapp speaks honestly about the key role that alcohol played in her decisions to have sex, sex that she regretted and that made her feel terrible. My students resonate deeply with Knapp’s experiences, and I continue to be struck by how unfree these students feel. Once the culture embraced non-marital sex and made it the norm, women who do not want to have casual sex often feel like outcasts, like weirdos. College is the last place where one wants to feel like an utter misfit; couple that with the fact that first year students are away from home for the first time—lonely, vulnerable, insecure—and you have the recipe for meaningless sexual encounters followed by anxiety and depression.

Why don’t these women just stop it? Rather than get drunk in order to have casual sex, why don’t they put down the glass AND the condom? The world we have created for these young people is a world which welcomes every sort of sexual behavior except chastity. Anal sex? Okay! Threesomes? Yep. Sex upon the first meeting? Sure! Virginity until marriage? What the hell is wrong with you? I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the reason so many college-aged women binge-drink is so that they can bear their own closeted sorrow about what they are doing. The woman who got drunk and got raped behind the dumpster is the victim of a toxic culture. But my students are also the victims of a toxic culture. Small wonder that the number of women suffering from eating disorders, addiction, anxiety and depression is at an all-time high.

I have not been raped, and I did not engage in non-marital intercourse. I did have an encounter early in my life, however, that gives me a glimpse of the shame experienced by women who “hook up.” When I was sixteen years old, my sister took me to a bar near her college campus. The bar was one designated by students as the “easy in” place, because I.D.’s were checked cursorily if at all. Once we were inside the bar, my sister was swept away by a phalanx of her friends, and I lost her in the crowd. A “college man” at the bar noticed me, and came over to ask me if I would like something to drink. I had no idea what to order or how, as I had never been to a bar before. He reassured me that he would take good care of me, and went over to the bartender. When he came back with a Tequila Sunrise, he said it would taste great, like Hawaiian Punch. He was right; it was delicious, and I gladly accepted three more from him. The next thing I remember, I was doing some very intensive French-kissing with this fellow, and he was murmuring a suggestion that we “take this somewhere else.” By the grace of God, my sister’s boyfriend had just entered the bar, saw me, pulled me away from the man, and dragged me to the back of the bar and my sister. That was my first kiss. The next morning, I experienced my first true hangover. As awful as I felt physically, though, my shame was much, much worse. A romantic through-and-through, I had dreamed for years of my first kiss. A drunken slobber with a stranger was the brutal reality I would never be able to undo.

And yet, whenever I tell people this story, they are shocked that I am making “such a big deal” about that night. People drink. They kiss. But for the grace of God and a sister’s boyfriend, they end up in a stranger’s bed with a bad headache, a dry mouth, and an incalculable emptiness. I am often told, “Lighten up!” “You had fun. Big deal!” “Why are you so hard on yourself?” I kept speaking the truth of that awful experience, but my culture could not absorb that truth. I had no words for my sadness; it was only later in my life when I was a stronger person that I was able to say, “You know what? It was a big deal. It wasn’t fun. I did feel ashamed.”

A few years ago, I was online and saw that man’s name come up on a blog that I read. He graduated from the college and became a respected and award-winning journalist. When I told some friends I had found him and he was now famous, they suggested that I “network” and re-introduce myself to him online. I was horrified at the thought of doing any such thing; after more than thirty-five years, I was still deeply ashamed of that night. It was years before I realized how very ashamed he should have been. In fact, given my age and obvious vulnerability, his behavior was predatory and vicious. The fact that he ought to have been ashamed, however, did not mean that I needn’t have been. Had this fellow succeeded in taking me somewhere to do what he intended, I would have felt degraded. The culture of “Sex and the City” and “Girls” would have insisted that I was fine, I was a modern woman, I was “free.” I knew better. Yes, I was sixteen, but I knew I wasn’t supposed to be in a bar that night. I knew I was not of legal age to drink. I knew that accepting drinks from complete strangers is a very bad idea. I never told my mother about that night, but if I had, she would have said, “Anne, you know better.” To say that I had no choices that night is to rob me of the moral agency that I, in fact, had. At sixteen, I may not have known how to articulate that fact, but I do now.

An entire generation of women is wounded yet unable to find the source of the bleeding. There is, indeed, an “unconscious despair” behind their “games and amusements.” They “hook up,” feel awful and have no idea why. It’s hard to heal when you don’t know you’ve been damaged. And the despair and shame that these women who hook up feel is real. Contemporary sexual culture is toxic for young women, and until women stand up and acknowledge that fact, despair, sadness and regret are going to be the underlying chord structure of their very lives. We fail an entire generation when we withhold from them the “wisdom not to do desperate things.”





Terry Crews Confesses His Porn Addiction Ruined his Marriage

25 02 2016

 

Terry and family

Terry Crews with his Wife and their 5 Children

February 18, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — NFL player-turned screen actor Terry Crews has used his Facebook page to air a five-minute statement about the longtime  addiction to pornography that all but wrecked his marriage and distorted all his relationships. The video has been viewed over 1.7 million times since he posted February 11.

“It changes the way you think about people,” he said during the monologue titled “Dirty Little Secret.” Speaking throughout from the driver’s seat of his car, the  veteran of several NFL teams between 1991 and 1997 and supporting actor in several movies and now the police procedural Brooklyn Nine-Nine, added, “People become objects to be used rather than people to be loved,” and admitted he had to go into “rehab” to deal with the problem.

After seven years in the NFL the onetime courtroom artist went on to an acting career on TV and in film, with his recurring role as the father onEverybody Hates Chris. A Christian himself from a devout family, he married gospel singer Rebecca King and has had four children with her, also raising her stepson from a previous relationship with the whole menage the subject of a briefly-aired reality TV show.

Crews has told his story before, but explains in this video that confession is not only good for the soul, it is a cornerstone of recovery from a wide range of substance and behavioural dependencies, which is the operational truth of the 12-Step movement started by Alcoholics Anonymous.

“By not telling someone [the addiction] becomes powerful. By telling someone it loses its power,” Crews urges. Another bedrock AA belief is that an addict who shares his “experience, strength and hope” with other addicts, helps himself and them recover. For six years now, he continued, “it became my battle” to share his addiction and recovery to encourage others to deal with their own pornography addiction.

He apologizes to those who look at pornography without compulsion and insists he isn’t judging anyone. He invites anyone with any viewpoint to respond but especially those who are addicted, because sharing helps deal with it.

The turning point for him, he indicates, was when his wife found out and said she was leaving. “My wife was like: ‘I don’t know you anymore…[She] could have decided: ‘I’m gone…That would have been it. That was her choice. She didn’t do it. She stayed with me. She knew I was repentant. She knew I was going to get help. She knew I was sorry.”

Crews does not explain the origins of his addiction on the new video but has previously said he turned to pornography at the age of 12 to escape the misery of his abusive family of origin, itself marred by addictions. “It medicated me,” he said, but also transformed him.

In time it almost wrecked his marriage, as he pressured his wife to imitate the sexual scenarios he saw depicted on Internet porn sites by young women, often from impoverished backgrounds, many of them from Eastern Europe being kept in conditions approaching slavery.





How I Lost My Virginity by Coraline Yetunde

9 02 2016

caroline

I started “habitually and compulsively” watching pornography or blue films as it is popularly called and engaging in sex when I stumbled across pornography at 13 years old. At first, I was appalled, but by the time I saw it over and over again, as violent and degrading as it was, I began to see it as love. The two people on the screen are being intimate.  I began to imagine myself in the scene as opposed to standing outside of it looking in.  I was stimulated by the fantasy of being that woman in the video and I began to try out what I watched.

I view online pornography everyday for half an hour or more at a time, and I have done this on multiple occasions and have felt “out of control” with sex, sexting and masturbation. I have had sex with about 57 men and none of my relationship ever lasted for more than a month. Simple things like a guy’s hairy chest or the outline of his trousers can trigger intense sexual desires in my head and at times masturbate five or six times a day. It is that bad.  I am 43 and unmarried and I really don’t know who will marry me. I have had four abortions and I have had to treat myself  5 times for severe sexual transmitted disease.

All in all, I suffer severe depression and know I would have remained a virgin till marriage but for the availability of online pornography. Pornography has almost ruined my life and yet it is everywhere. It used to be sold discreetly behind the counter or some obscure bookshops, now, millions of websites are offering the most depraved hardcore graphic and lurid sex scenes a click away on any smartphone with internet connection bringing in its wake an unprecedented obsession with sex building up some brutal and unattainable sexual desires which guarantee that they easily succumb any temptation to have sex with almost anybody. Actually, if you are watching pornography, you don’t need a guy to tempt you into having sex. You are practically going to be begging for it.

I recently came across the video of Oghosa Ovienrioba Speaks on how she got addicted to porn at 14 and her work helping others to kick the habit.

She says, “Lots of people don’t think girls can suffer a porn addiction but it’s a problem for both sexes. I hope I can help others out there – talking about your problem is the first step.’

‘I was 14 years old when I went to find porn on the internet. It was out of curiosity and it was just a simple Google search for me to get hold of an adult movie.‘When I first watched it, my reaction was shock. But gradually over time, that shock becomes excitement and I would use any porn that I could get my hands on.’

‘I was watching it so much that I started to get bored by the “normal” soft porn movies.

‘I wasn’t getting the buzz that I felt when I first saw it – in fact I was almost desensitized to that content.

‘I went from watching soft pornography to dodgier stuff to get the kick I needed.’

‘For a period of two to three years, I was watching porn on a daily basis and sometimes masturbating over six times per day. It was all I could think about.’

‘I didn’t see people as people anymore – they were just sex objects to me.

‘The simplest things could set me off such as a girl unbuttoning her blouse or a boy taking his top off. Everything made me want more.

‘I would sit in my room alone for hours, with the lights off, watching porn. I felt lonely and ashamed of myself.’

Please watch her talk about her porn addiction in the 10 min video below

It is not just her, many guys wish they could stop right now but the urge to watch porn and masturbate are just too much for them Read

To understand harm watching pornography does to your brain, please download and read the Porn Circuit

Although much attention is focused on helping men break free from pornography addictions, ministries are rising up to help women find deliverance from this bondage. Beggar’s Daughter, Bethesda Workshops and Dirty Girls Ministries, among others, are offering God’s grace to women trapped in sexual sin. If you or a woman you know is addicted to pornography, I urge you to seek help.





10 Benefits of Remaining a Virgin till Marriage by Nancy Hanna

31 01 2016

wedding romance

With so many sex movies and sexual images all around, girls are under pressure from their boyfriends to have sex. They can no longer wait till marriage. Are you pressed to have sex before you marry?  Here are 10 benefits of waiting till you marry to have sex.

  1. Sex is a powerful force that can destroy if not used properly. Like atomic power, sex is the most powerful creative force given to man. When atomic power is used correctly it can create boundless energy; when it is used in the wrong way it destroys life. Sex is the same kind of powerful force. Sex is a gift from God to give us the greatest pleasure, to help in creating a deep companionship with one’s spouse and for procreation of the next generation. But if you play with this powerful force outside the bounds of marriage, it destroys you and those close to you.
  2. Sexual activity for young people arrests their psychological, social and academic development. Studies show that when young people engage in premarital sex, their academic performance declines and their social relationships with family and friends deteriorate. This is because adolescents are too immature to deal with the explosive sex drive and it tends to dominate their life.
  3. The majority of women cannot enjoy sex outside of the bonds of marriage. The development of a fulfilling sex life needs the security and peace of the marriage bond. Premarital sex usually takes place sneaking around in hidden places dealing with the fear of being caught, the fear of pregnancy and feelings of guilt. All these (worrisome) factors undermine pleasure in premarital sex, most especially for women.
  4. Virginity is to be given to the most important person in your life, the person you committed yourself to stay with forever in marriage. Your virginity is the most precious thing you have to give to your spouse. Once you lose it, nothing in the world can bring it back. Don’t lose something so precious in a thoughtless way.
  5. Those who engage in premarital sex run a high risk of contracting one of the many venereal diseases rampant today, as well as losing their fertility. Not just AIDS, but other common disfiguring diseases like herpes have no cure.
  6. Some venereal diseases have no symptoms and many couples discover many years later that they became infertile because of these diseases. Infertility experts estimate that 80% of today’s infertility is due to venereal diseases contracted before they married.
  7. The best and only method that guarantees 100% against AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases is to wait for marriage to have sex and maintain fidelity in your marriage.
  8. Premarital sex breaks the 10 Commandments given by God. The 10 Commandments are given to man by God to make man happy. They are not outdated and they are not restrictive. If we follow these laws, we can create happy and prosperous lives. If we don’t follow them, we will pay a heavy price in divorce, disease, abortions, illegitimate children and loneliness. Modern men make a big mistake when they think that they can break these eternal laws and not suffer consequences.
  1. Premarital sex runs the risk of conceiving illegitimate children. Numerous scientific studies show that the children of single mothers suffer psychologically and are less successful socially and academically than children from intact families. Above all, children need both their father and their mother. It is wrong to risk having children who will never have their father’s love, protection and care.
  2. If you date and you don’t have sex, you can forget about that relationship when you stop dating. But if you have sex with those you date and then break up, the nature of sexual involvement creates strong, often unpleasant memories for your whole life. Every relationship you break up where you had intimate relations is like a mini-divorce. The psychological difficulties of these mini-divorces does damage to your character. Later, when you are married and go to bed with your beloved spouse, these unpleasant memories will accompany you.

True love waits. If a boy or girl truly loves you, they will want the best for you. They will not want you to suffer fear of disease, unwanted pregnancy and the psychological difficulties of premarital sex. They will want to experience love with you only in the very best place of all – the love nest of marriage.

 





Why Marriages End In Divorce By Fulton Sheen

19 09 2013

 The Difference Between Sex And Love: Why Marriages Are Full Of Deception

Love is primarily in the will, not in the emotions or the glands. The will is like the voice; the emotions are like the echo. The pleasure associated with love, or what is today called “sex,” is the frosting on the cake; its purpose is to make us love the cake, not ignore it.

The greatest illusion of lovers is to believe that the intensity of their sexual attraction is the guarantee of the perpetuity of their love. It is because of this failure to distinguish between the glandular and spiritual–or between sex which we have in common with animals, and love which we have in common with God—that marriages are so full of deception.

What some people love is not a person, but the experience of being in love. The first is irreplaceable; the second is not. As soon as the glands cease to react with their pristine force, couples who identified emotionalism and love claim they no longer love one another. If such is the case they never loved the other person in the first place; they only loved being loved, which is the highest form of egotism. Marriage founded on sex passion alone lasts only as long as the animal passion lasts. Within two years the animal attraction for the other may die, and when it does, law comes to its rescue to justify the divorce with the meaningless words “incompatibility,” or “mental torture.” Animals never have recourse to law courts, because they have no will to love; but man, having reason, feels the need of justifying his irrational behavior when he does wrong.

There are two reasons for the primacy of sex over love in a decadent civilization. One is the decline of reason. As humans give up reason, they resort to their imaginations. That is why motion pictures and picture magazines enjoy such popularity. As thinking fades, unrestrained desires come to the fore. Since physical and erotic desires are among the easiest to dwell upon, because they require no effort and because they are powerfully aided by bodily passions, sex begins to be all-important. It is by no historical accident that an age of anti-intellectualism and irrationalism, such as our own, is also an age of carnal license. The second factor is egotism. As belief in a Divine Judgment, a future life, heaven and hell, a moral order, is increasingly rejected,

the ego becomes more and more firmly enthroned as the source of its morality. Each person becomes a judge in his own case. With this increase of selfishness, the demands for self-satisfaction become more and more imperious, and the interests of the community and the rights of others have less and less appeal. All sin is self-centeredness, as love is otherness and relatedness. Sin is the infidelity of man to the image of what he ought to be in his eternal vocation as an adopted son of God: the image God sees in Himself when He contemplates His Word.

There are two extremes to be avoided in discussing married love: one is the refusal to recognize sexual love, the other is the giving of primacy to sexual attraction. The first error was Victorian; the second is Freudian. To the Christian, sex is inseparable from the person, and to reduce the person to sex is as silly as to reduce personality to lungs or a thorax. Certain Victorians in their education practically denied sex as a function of personality; certain sexophiles of modern times deny personality and make a god of sex. The male animal is attracted to the female animal, but a human personality is attracted to another human personality.

The attraction of beast-to-beast is physiological; the attraction of human-to-human is physiological, psychological, and spiritual  The human spirit has a thirst for the infinite which the quadruped has not. This infinite is really God. But man can pervert that thirst, which the animal cannot because it has no concept of the infinite.

Infidelity in married life is basically the substitution for an infinite of a succession of finite carnal experiences. The false infinity of succession takes the place of the Infinity of Destiny, which is God. The beast is promiscuous for an entirely different reason than man. The false pleasure given by new conquests in the realm of sex is the ersatz for the conquest of the Spirit in the Sacrament! The sense of emptiness, melancholy, and frustration is a consequence of the failure to find infinite satisfaction in what is carnal and limited. Despair is disappointed hedonism The most depressed spirits are those who seek God in a false god!

If love does not climb, it falls. If, like the flame, it does not burn upward to the sun, it burns downward to destroy. If sex does not mount to heaven, it descends into hell. There is no such thing as giving the body without giving the soul. Those who think they can be faithful in soul to one another, but unfaithful in body, forget that the two are inseparable. Sex in isolation from personality does not exist! An arm living and gesticulating apart from the living organism is an impossibility. Man has no organic functions isolated from his soul.

There is involvement of the whole personality. Nothing is more psychosomatic than the union of two in one flesh; nothing so much alters a mind, a will, for better or for worse. The separation of soul and body is death. Those who separate sex and spirit are rehearsing for death. The enjoyment of the other’s personality through one’s own personality, is love. The pleasure of animal function through another’s animal function is sex separated from love.

Sex is one of the means God has instituted for the enrichment of personality. It is a basic principle of philosophy that there is nothing in the mind which was not previously in the senses. All our knowledge comes from the body. We have a body, St. Thomas tells us, because of the weakness of our intellect. Just as the enrichment of the mind comes from the body and its senses, so the enrichment of love comes through the body and its sex. As one can see a universe mirrored in a tear on a cheek, so in sex can be seen mirrored that wider world of love. Love in monogamous marriage includes sex; but sex, in the contemporary use of the term, does not imply either marriage or monogamy.

Every woman instinctively realizes the difference between the two, but man comes to understand it more slowly through reason and prayer. Man is driven by pleasure; woman by the meaning of pleasure. She sees pleasure more as a means to an end, namely, the prolongation of love both in herself and in her child.

But when sex is divorced from love there is a feeling that one has been stopped at the vestibule of the castle of pleasure; that the heart has been denied the city after crossing the bridge. Sadness and melancholy result from such a frustration of destiny, for it is the nature of man to be sad when he is pulled outside himself, or exteriorized without getting any nearer his goal. There is a closer correlation between mental instability and the animal view of sex than many suspect.

Happiness consists in interiority of the spirit, namely, the development of personality in relationship to a heavenly destiny. He who has no purpose in life is unhappy; he who exteriorizes his life and is dominated, or subjugated, by what is outside himself, or spends his energy on the external without understanding its mystery, is unhappy to the point of melancholy. There is the feeling of being hungry after having eaten, or of being disgusted with food, because it has nourished not the body, in the

case of an individual, or another body, in the case of marriage. In the woman, this sadness is due to the humiliation of realizing that where marriage is only sex, any other woman could fulfill her role; there is nothing personal, incommunicable, and therefore nothing dignified. Summoned by her God-implanted nature to be ushered into the mysteries of life which have their source in God, she is condemned to remain on the threshold as a tool or an instrument of pleasure alone, and not as a companion of love.

Two glasses that are empty cannot fill up one another. There must be a fountain of water outside the glasses, in order that they may have communion with one another. It takes three to make love. Every person is what he loves. Love becomes like unto that which it loves. If it loves heaven, it becomes heavenly; if it loves the carnal as a god, it becomes corruptible.

–F. Sheen

 





16 Lessons I learnt After Losing My Virginity at 16 By Anna Kemarch

15 09 2013

 16 Lessons I learnt After Lossing My Virginity at 16 By Anna Kemarch

“I am sixteen and have already lost my virginity. I truly regret that my first time was with a guy that I didn’t care that much about. Since that first night he expects sex on every date. When I don’t feel like it, we end up in an argument. I don’t think this guy is in love with me, and I know deep down that I am not in love with him either. This makes me feel cheap. I realize now that this is a very big step in a girl’s life. After you have done it, things are never the same. It changes everything.” Since then I have been involved with other guys and I have learnt a few of lessons. Here are a some:

1. Many teenage girls sleep with guys because they are trying to find love, to find self-worth. But the catch is that the more guys they sleep with, the less self-worth they had.

2. Many girls think that if they really care about guys, sex will bring them closer together. Indeed, sex creates a bond. However, 80 percent of the time, the physical intimacy of first sexual relationship won’t last more than six months.

3. Couples who want what is best for their relationship or future marriage will have the patience to wait.

4. Most of the time, when a girl gives away her virginity, she assumes the relationship will last forever.But study of more than 10,000 women shows that when a girl loses her virginity at that age at 14, she’ll probably have about thirteen more lifetime sexual partners.

5. Teen sex frequently causes tension within families because of the dishonesty that usually accompanies the hidden intimacies. Relationships with friends are often strained, and when things turn sour, the gossip and social problems often become unbearable.

6. Everyone talks about how hard it is to say no to sex, but no one tells you how hard it is when you say yes.

7. It is dangerous for a teenage girl to be sexually active. Because a teenage girl’s reproductive system is still immature, she is very susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases

8. In fact, early sexual activity is the number one risk factor for cervical cancer, and the second is multiple sexual partners. A girl’s body, like her heart, is not designed to handle multiple sexual partners.

9.While a girl might plan on sleeping with only one guy, she could be exposing herself to the STDs of hundreds of people through a single act of intercourse. Here’s how: Scientists studied the sexual activity of a public high school of about one thousand students. About half (573) of the students had been sexually active, and most of them had only been with one partner. However, when the scientists tracked the web of sexual activity among the students, it was discovered that more than half of the sexually active teens—without knowing it—were linked together in a network of 288 partners within the school! So if a girl slept with a guy from this school, theoretically she could be in bed with one-fourth of the entire student body.

10.The emotional side effects of premarital sex are also damaging to a young woman. One of the most common consequences of teenage sexual activity is depression. Girls who are sexually active are more than three times as likely to be depressed as girls who are abstinent. In fact, the condition has become so predictable that the American Journal of Preventive Medicine recommends to doctors: “[Girls who are engaging in] sexual intercourse should be screened for depression, and provided with anticipatory guidance about the mental health risks of these behaviors.”Even if a girl experiments with sex once, research shows an increased risk of depression. Also, consider the fact that the rate of suicide attempts for sexually active girls (aged twelve to sixteen) is six times higher than the rate for virgins. Tragically, these girls do not realize the purity, hope, and forgiveness that they can find in Christ.

11. Unfortunately, many young women search for meaning only in relationships with guys, instead of with God. It is not uncommon for a girl to have sex in order to make a guy like her more or to encourage him to stay with her. She may compromise her standards because she is afraid of never being loved. Once he leaves her, though, an emotional divorce takes place. A person’s heart is not made to be that close to a person and then separated.

12. Since teenage sexual relationships rarely last, the girl’s sense of self-worth is often damaged. She may conclude that if she looked better, he would have stayed longer. This mentality can lead to harmful practices, such as eating disorders. Or the disappointment she feels may drive her into a state of self-hatred. Some young women even begin to hurt their own bodies in an attempt to numb the emotional pain. Such practices never solve the problems, though. If she wants to be loved, she needs to begin by loving herself.

13. In her heart, a girl who has been used knows it. However, she may immediately jump into another sexual relationship to escape the hurt. If she tries to boost her self-esteem by giving guys what they want, then her self-worth often ends up depending upon those kinds of relationships. Her development as a woman is stunted because without chastity she does not know how to express affection, appreciation, or attraction for a guy without implying something sexual. She may even conclude that a guy does not love her unless he makes sexual advances toward her. She knows that sex exists without intimacy, but she may forget that intimacy can exist without sex. A girl on this track usually feels accepted initially, but that acceptance lasts only as long as the physical pleasure.

14. Such a lifestyle will also take its toll on her ability to bond. Here’s why: Sharing the gift of sex is like putting a piece of tape on another person’s arm. The first bond is strong, and it hurts to remove it. Shift the tape to another person’s arm, and the bond will still work, but it will be easier to remove. Each time this is done, part of each person remains with the tape. Soon it is easy to remove because the residue from the various arms interferes with the tape’s ability to stick.

15. The same is true in relationships, because neurologists have discovered that previous sexual experiences can interfere with one’s ability to bond with future partners. This does not mean that if a person is not a virgin on the wedding night, he or she will be unable to bond with a spouse. It simply means that when we follow God’s plan, we have the most abundant life possible. But when we turn from his designs and break his commandments, often we are the ones who feel broken afterward.

16 Spiritual. Sin cuts us off from God, and this is the most serious consequence of premarital sex. After going too far, many of us know all too well the cloud of guilt that weighs on our hearts. The solution is not to kill our conscience but to follow it to freedom. It is calling us, not condemning us. Provided we repent, God will be there to welcome us home and let us start over (see John 8 and Luke 15).

What this all means is that our bodies, our hearts, our relationships, and our souls are not made for premarital sex. We are made for enduring love

Article adapted from Chastity.com





Why I Am Still A Virgin at 22 By Sarah E. Hinlicky

10 09 2013

I Am Still A Virgin at 22: Here are My Reasons  By Sarah E. Hinlicky

Okay, I’ll admit it: I am twenty-two years old and still a virgin. Not for lack of opportunity, my vanity hastens to add. Had I ever felt unduly burdened by my unfashionable innocence, I could have found someone to attend to the problem. But I never did. Our mainstream culture tells me that some oppressive force must be the cause of my late-in-life virginity, maybe an inordinate fear of men or God or getting caught. Perhaps it’s right, since I can pinpoint a number of influences that have persuaded me to remain a virgin. My mother taught me that self-respect requires self-control, and my father taught me to demand the same from men. I’m enough of a country bumpkin to suspect that contraceptives might not be enough to prevent an unwanted pregnancy or disease, and I think that abortion is killing a baby. I buy into all that Christian doctrine of law and promise, which means that the stuffy old commandments are still binding on my conscience. And I’m even naive enough to believe in permanent, exclusive, divinely ordained love between a man and a woman, a love so valuable that it motivates me to keep my legs tightly crossed in the most tempting of situations.

In spite of all this, I still think of myself as something of a feminist, since virginity has the result of creating respect for and upholding the value of the woman so inclined. But I have discovered that the reigning feminism of today has little use for it. There was a time when I was foolish enough to look for literature among women’s publications that might offer support in my very personal decision. (It’s all about choice, after all, isn’t it?) The dearth of information on virginity might lead one to believe that it’s a taboo subject. However, I was fortunate enough to discover a short article on it in that revered tome of feminism, Our Bodies, Ourselves. The most recent edition of the book has a more positive attitude than the edition before it, in that it acknowledges virginity as a legitimate choice and not just a by-product of patriarchy. Still, in less than a page, it presumes to cover the whole range of emotion and experience involved in virginity, which, it seems, consists simply in the notion that a woman should wait until she’s really ready to express her sexuality. That’s all there is to say about it. Apparently, sexual expression takes place only in and after the act of genital intercourse. Anything subtler—like a feminine love of cooking or tendency to cry at the movies or unsuppressable maternal instinct or cultivation of a wardrobe that will turn heads or even a passionate good-night kiss—is deemed an inadequate demonstration of sexual identity. The unspoken message of Our Bodies, Ourselves is clear enough: as long as a woman is a virgin, she remains completely asexual.

Surprisingly, this attitude has infiltrated the thinking of many women my age, who should still be new enough in the web of lies called adulthood to know better. One of my most vivid college memories is of a conversation with a good friend about my (to her) bizarre aberration of virginity. She and another pal had been delving into the gruesome specifics of their past sexual encounters. Finally, after some time, my friend suddenly exclaimed to me, “How do you do it?”

A little taken aback, I said, “Do what?”

“You know,” she answered, a little reluctant, perhaps, to use the big bad V-word. “You still haven’t . . . slept with anybody. How do you do it? Don’t you want to?”

The question intrigued me, because it was so utterly beside the point. Of course I want to—what a strange question!—but mere wanting is hardly a proper guide for moral conduct. I assured my concerned friend that my libido was still in proper working order, but then I had to come up with a good reason why I had been paying attention to my inhibitions for all these years. I offered the usual reasons—emotional and physical health, religious convictions, “saving myself” till marriage—but nothing convinced her until I said, “I guess I don’t know what I’m missing.” She was satisfied with that and ended the conversation.

In one sense, sure, I don’t know what I’m missing. And it is common enough among those who do know what they’re missing to go to great lengths to insure that they don’t miss it for very long. In another sense, though, I could list a lot of things that I do know I’m missing: hurt, betrayal, anxiety, self-deception, fear, suspicion, anger, confusion, and the horror of having been used. And those are only emotional aspects; there is also disease, unwanted pregnancy, and abortion. As if to prove my case from the other side, my friend suffered a traumatic betrayal within a month or two of our conversation. It turned out that the man involved would gladly sleep with her, but refused to have a “real relationship”—a sad reality she discovered only after the fact.

According to received feminist wisdom, sexuality is to be understood through the twin concepts of power and choice. It’s not a matter of anything so banally biological as producing children, or even the more elevated notion of creating intimacy and trust. Sometimes it seems like sex isn’t even supposed to be fun. The purpose of female sexuality is to assert power over hapless men, for control, revenge, self-centered pleasure, or forcing a commitment. A woman who declines to express herself in sexual activity, then, has fallen prey to a male-dominated society that wishes to prevent women from becoming powerful. By contrast, it is said, a woman who does become sexually active discovers her power over men and exercises it, supposedly to her personal enhancement.

This is an absurd lie. That kind of gender-war sexuality results only in pyrrhic victories. It’s a set-up for disaster, especially for women. Men aren’t the ones who get pregnant. And who ever heard of a man purchasing a glossy magazine to learn the secret of snagging a wife? Sacrifice and the relinquishing of power are natural to women—ask any mom—and they are also the secret of feminine appeal. The pretense that aggression and power-mongering are the only options for female sexual success has opened the door to predatory men. The imbalance of power becomes greater than ever in a culture of easy access.

Against this system of mutual exploitation stands the more compelling alternative of virginity. It escapes the ruthless cycle of winning and losing because it refuses to play the game. The promiscuous of both sexes will take their cheap shots at one another, disguising infidelity and selfishness as freedom and independence, and blaming the aftermath on one another. But no one can claim control over a virgin. Virginity is not a matter of asserting power in order to manipulate. It is a refusal to exploit or be exploited. That is real, and responsible, power.

But there is more to it than mere escape. There is an undeniable appeal in virginity, something that eludes the resentful feminist’s contemptuous label of “prude.” A virgin woman is an unattainable object of desire, and it is precisely her unattainability that increases her desirability. Feminism has told a lie in defense of its own promiscuity, namely, that there is no sexual power to be found in virginity. On the contrary, virgin sexuality has extraordinary and unusual power. There’s no second-guessing a virgin’s motives: her strength comes from a source beyond her transitory whims. It is sexuality dedicated to hope, to the future, to marital love, to children, and to God. Her virginity is, at the same time, a statement of her mature independence from men. It allows a woman to become a whole person in her own right, without needing a man either to revolt against or to complete what she lacks. It is very simple, really: no matter how wonderful, charming, handsome, intelligent, thoughtful, rich, or persuasive he is, he simply cannot have her. A virgin is perfectly unpossessable. Of course, there have been some women who have attempted to claim this independence from men by turning in on themselves and opting for lesbian sexuality instead. But this is just another, perhaps deeper, rejection of their femaleness. The sexes rightly define themselves in their otherness. Lesbianism squelches the design of otherness by drowning womanhood in a sea of sameness, and in the process loses any concept of what makes the female feminine. Virginity upholds simply and honestly that which is valuable in and unique to women.

The corollary of power is choice. Again, the feminist assumes that sexually powerful women will be able to choose their own fates. And again, it is a lie. No one can engage in extramarital sex and then control it. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the moral nightmare of our society’s breakdown since the sexual revolution. Some time ago I saw on TV the introduction of the groundbreaking new “female condom.” A spokeswoman at a press conference celebrating its grand opening declared joyously the new freedom that it gave to women. ?Now women have more bargaining power,” she said. “If a man says that he refuses to wear a condom, the woman can counter, fine, I will!” I was dumbstruck by her enthusiasm for the dynamics of the new situation. Why on earth would two people harboring so much animosity towards each other contemplate a sexual encounter? What an appealing choice they have been given the freedom to make!

The dark reality, of course, is that it is not free choice at all when women must convince men to love them and must convince themselves that they are more than just “used goods.” There are so many young women I have known for whom freely chosen sexual activity means a brief moment of pleasure—if that—followed by the unchosen side effects of paralyzing uncertainty, anger at the man involved, and finally a deep self-hatred that is impenetrable by feminist analysis. So-called sexual freedom is really just proclaiming oneself to be available for free, and therefore without value. To “choose” such freedom is tantamount to saying that one is worth nothing.

Admittedly, there are some who say that sex isn’t anything nearly so serious or important, but just another recreational activity not substantially different from ping-pong. I don’t believe it for a second. I learned most meaningfully from another woman the destructive force of sexuality out of control when I myself was under considerable pressure to cave in to a man’s sexual demands. I discussed the prospect with this friend, and after some time she finally said to me, “Don’t do it. So far in life you’ve made all the right choices and I’ve made all the wrong ones. I care enough about you that I don’t want to see you end up like me.” Naturally, that made up my mind. Sex does matter; it matters a lot; and I can only hope that those who deny it will wake up to their error before they damage themselves even more.

It is appalling that feminism has propagated lies so destructive to women. It has created the illusion that there is no room for self-discovery outside of sexual behavior. Not only is this a grotesque lie, but it is also an utterly boring one. Aside from its implied dismissal of all the world’s many riches outside the sexual domain, this false concept has placed stultifying limitations on the range of human relationships. We’re told that friendships between men and women are just a cover until they leap into the sack together. While romance is a natural and commendable expression of love between women and men, it is simply not the only option. And in our sexually competitive climate, even romantic love barely deserves the title. Virginity among those seeking marital love would go far to improve the latter’s solidity and permanence, creating an atmosphere of honesty and discovery before the equally necessary and longed-for consummation. Where feminism sees freedom from men by placing body parts at their disposal in a bizarre game of self-deception, virginity recognizes the equally vulnerable though often overlooked state of men’s own hearts and seeks a way to love them for real.

It is puzzling and disturbing to me that regnant feminism has never acknowledged the empowering value of virginity. I tend to think that much of the feminist agenda is more invested in the culture of groundless autonomy and sexual Darwinism than it is in genuinely uplifting women. Of course, virginity is a battle against sexual temptation, and popular culture always opts for the easy way out instead of the character-building struggle. The result is superficial women formed by meaningless choices, worthy of stereotype, rather than laudable women of character, worthy of respect.

Perhaps virginity seems a bit cold, even haughty and heartless. But virginity hardly has exclusive claim on those defects, if it has any claim at all. Promiscuity offers a significantly worse fate. I have a very dear friend who, sadly, is more worldly-wise than I am. By libertine feminist standards she ought to be proud of her conquests and ready for more, but frequently she isn’t. The most telling insight about the shambles of her heart came to me once in a phone conversation when we were speculating about our futures. Generally they are filled with exotic travel and adventure and PhDs. This time, however, they were not. She admitted to me that what she really wanted was to be living on a farm in rural Connecticut, raising a horde of children and embroidering tea towels. It is a lovely dream, defiantly unambitious and domestic. But her short, failed sexual relationships haven’t taken her any closer to her dream and have left her little hope that she’ll ever attain it. I must be honest here: virginity hasn’t landed me on a farm in rural Connecticut, either. Sexual innocence is not a guarantee against heartbreak. But there is a crucial difference: I haven’t lost a part of myself to someone who has subsequently spurned it, rejected it, and perhaps never cared for it at all.

I sincerely hope that virginity will not be a lifetime project for me. Quite the contrary, my subversive commitment to virginity serves as preparation for another commitment, for loving one man completely and exclusively. Admittedly, there is a minor frustration in my love: I haven’t met the man yet (at least, not to my knowledge). But hope, which does not disappoint, sustains me.

Sarah E. Hinlicky, a writer living in New York City, is an Editorial Assistant at First Things.

 








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