Love seeks to be definitive; it cannot be an arrangement “until further notice.”
We were standing in a forest with 100-year old pines spreading a canopy over our heads. Water dripped from the branches onto my pink umbrella as I lent in to taste his lips.
Thirty of our friends and family stood beneath their own umbrellas, unaware that this was our first kiss. The pastor said, “I now pronounce you man and wife.”
At 27, I had waited a long time for that first kiss. I had wondered what it would be like, what it would tell me about the man I had just married.
Over the years I had flipped through magazines and seen articles like “5 things you can learn from a first kiss (and one you can’t)” and “Kissing can tell you if someone is right for you.”
It seemed like so much value was placed on this first locking of lips.
So what did my first kiss tell me?
It told me a lot less then the magazines led me to expect.
The Q: “With our society as it is today and everyone expecting sex outside of marriage, how (or how soon) do you let somebody you’ve started seeing know that you practice chastity (and that therefore, you abstain from nonmarital sex)? -a reader
The A: How I tell a guy I’m saving sex has varied, and — let’s face it — Google usually beats me to it. But if an interested guy hasn’t Googled me, that I’m saving sex inevitably comes up when he learns that I’m a writer and asks about what I write. How I disclose that I practice chastity, however, has more flexibility than when I do it.
When do I disclose it? Immediately! Here’s why:
Live in or near San Diego? Mark your calendar. I’ll show up at St. Brigid’s young adult Bible study next month to chat about chastity. See below for details. #GETEXCITED.
|Date:||September 24, 2014|
|Event:||Young Adult Bible Study|
|Topic:||"Practicing Chastity in a Culture That Says We Shouldn't"|
|Venue:||St. Brigid Catholic Church|
|Location:||4735 Cass Street
San Diego, CA
In an essay called “My Christian virginity pledge nearly destroyed me”, which published on XOJane and Salon earlier this month, Samantha Pugsley vilified the pledge she signed in childhood at church. With it, she had vowed at 10 years old — while she still thought boys were icky — to maintain her virginity until marriage. And she did.
But “there was no chorus of angels, no shining light from Heaven” when on her wedding night, she finally had sex. Instead, she cried in the bathroom afterward. She dreaded sex for the first couple years of her marriage, she wrote, but obliged when her husband — who had no idea she dreaded it — initiated. When she worked up the courage to express her struggle to him, he was horrified to learn that she had “let him touch (her) when (she) didn’t want him to.” He suggested she see a therapist, and she did. That “was the first step on a long journey to healing.”
Pugsley’s widely circulated story has raised concern in some readers, who wonder now whether saving sex for marriage is a bad idea. It has “confirmed” for other readers their belief that what Christianity says about sex harms the people who hear it. But what Pugsley wrote — and what others who grew up in churches like hers have written — has not acknowledged a paramount truth:
What her church taught her about sex is not what churches are supposed to teach about sex, because what her church taught her doesn’t align with Christianity.