Why it’s still worth saving sex during engagement.

This is a guest post by Stephanie Calis, the author of Invited: The Ultimate Catholic Wedding Planner (Pauline, 2016) and the Co-Founder and Editor in Chief of Spoken Bride, a ministry and lifestyle blog for Catholic brides and newlyweds.

Something is up with me. Whenever I consciously make a choice in my work, my relationships, or my parenting that’s out of the mainstream, I want to hide it. I avoid talking about it.

Yet a part of me also wants others to find out, so I can talk about it. What is it that makes me a living, breathing contradiction?

To stand for something, to let your voice be heard and in doing so, to reveal who you are, satisfies the part of us that longs to be known, seen, and understood. Name a political or social matter, and you’ll most likely find a contingent speaking out against it.

And rightly so. Freedom is a gift; our voices are a gift, and the desire to make our opinions known is rooted in a good desire that speaks to how we’re created. Yet going against general opinion means something different than it did a generation ago. What was once considered progressive is now perceived as normal, and what was once considered traditional is now perceived as uptight and reactionary, particularly with regard to sexuality.

In or near Philadelphia? Let’s meet!

Save the date, Philly (and if you don’t live there, please send this to a friend who does!): I’ll speak about practicing chastity in a culture that calls it crazy at 7:30 p.m. April 15 (a Friday).

speaking pic

The Theology on Tap-style event, hosted by Generation Life, will be held at the Knights of Columbus hall at 110 West Market St. in West Chester, PA.

How chastity can lead to good sex.

As a colleague and I crossed the parking lot at the Port Richey bureau of the Tampa Bay Times, he pointed at the bumper sticker on my car’s rear windshield.

He read it aloud: “Chastity is for lovers.” He furrowed his brow and tilted his head, perplexed by what he had read. “How can chastity be for lovers if it means you can’t have sex?” he asked. What I said surprised him:

It doesn’t.

I explained why, what chastity is, and how it differs from abstinence in a column I wrote last year for the Tampa Bay Times. Today, I invite you to do two things:

  1. Read the column (even as a refresher if you’ve read it before).
  2. Share it via social media — we all know somebody who needs to hear this message.

Click here to read and share the column. Grateful!

When sexual abstinence is “unrealistic.”

Caught a zika virus segment on the Today Show this morning in which a doctor discussed that the virus can be sexually transmitted. And she had advice for couples who are at risk.

Abstain from sex for a little while, she said, or, and I quote, “maybe more realistically, use condoms.”

To which I say STOP IT.

To call condom use more realistic than abstinence is accurate, in the sense that people are in fact more likely to use contraception than to abstain from sex (for many reasons, not solely to prevent the transmission of the zika virus).

But to call condom use more realistic than abstinence is also to actively discourage abstinence (and, subtly, to shame the people who practice it). It implies that nobody chooses abstinence, or that nobody can — that humans won’t govern their urges because they can’t.

It is to say “YOU SHOULD DO THIS, BUT YOU WON’T.” What if that’s how our parents raised us?

Are you going to NCYC or NCCC? Let’s meet.

I’m pumped to fly Thursday morning to Indianapolis for the National Catholic Youth Conference (where I’ll sign books) and the National Catholic Collegiate Conference (where I’ll sign books and speak).

Will you be there? Let’s meet. Here’s where you’ll find me:

  • I’ll have a #ChastityIsForLovers table, where at break times Thursday and Friday (and maybe Saturday morning?), I’ll sell and sign books and shirts (and probably take a lot of selfies, let’s face it) in the gathering area outside the Marriott Ballroom on the second floor of the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.
  • I’ll sign copies of Chastity Is For Lovers at the Ave Maria Press booth at NCYC from 1 to 1:30 p.m. Friday.
  • I’ll speak about practicing chastity in a culture that calls it crazy in an NCCC breakout session at 2 p.m. Friday in Ballroom 1.

I’d be grateful for the opportunity to meet ya (or to see ya again if we’ve already met!). Stay tuned to Twitter and Facebook for updates.