The Internet is amazing. Pretty much every fact you could ever wish for at your fingertips, along side vehicles for every crackpot evangelist imaginable. (And before anyone thinks I’m targeting faith groups, I use the word evangelist in its broadest sense.) One of the wonders of the web is how you can plug a phrase into a search engine and get antipodal results and, as we head towards Valentine’s Day, I did a Google image search for “S&M Valentines card” only to end up with The Purity Pledge.

I’ve heard of such things before, the trend for vowing to be sexually pure until marriage, the wearing of Purity Rings, wrist bands etc etc, but I’ve never really looked into it. So I did a little more proactive Googling and found The Purity Pledge campaign 2012. It urges young people to use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to make a stand against the degradation and sexualisation of society by taking the Purity Pledge. It reads as follows …

I hereby choose to save sex until I am in a committed marriage relationship. Knowing this is the best choice for my health, emotions, and spirituality, I voluntarily choose to abstain from sexual activity until my wedding night. Once I am married, I will remain true to my spouse. Putting aside whatever past issues I may have, I make this commitment today to purity and to setting high standards for my life.

There is a degree to which I support the aims of this campaign: as a parent, I do find myself saddened by the way children are encouraged, largely by the mass media, to be sexual creatures and to emulate adults when they still should be afforded the luxury of being child like. But I am equally uneasy about the Purity Pledge campaign.

First there is the idea that this is about purity. In my humble opinion, Dear Reader, a significant part of the Western World’s problems with sex are either directly or indirectly attributable to the notion that sex is dirty. That to have had sex deems someone to have been sullied, to be impure. What utter utter bollocks! The need to reproduce is what drives every single species on the planet. There can surely be nothing more natural than sex. So why regard a lack of sexual experiences as pure?

There are, in my opinion, some wholly misleading ideas within the Pledge too, most notably that purity is the best choice for Health, Emotions and Spirituality.
Sex is not unhealthy. Granted, promiscuity, sex without a condom etc do carry some health risks, but there is nothing unhealthy about responsible, educated sex.
Claiming emotional benefits to abstinence is ridiculous and assumes all psyches are equal: what about the destructive nature of sexual anxiety, and inexperience fuels anxiety of all types. How many criminally sexual deviants have failed to learn to develop normal sexual and emotional relationships? (I should say I have not researched the answer to that so I am merely guessing it is significant.)
Now I feel I must step carefully next, as I approach the spirituality issue. Nature has decided that, as humans, we are sexually mature and able to breed at about the age of 12 or 13. And I think it’s fair to assume that pretty much all faiths believe their respective deity created nature. Ergo, their chosen omniscient spirit guide has determined the human race should be physically ready for sex at this age. Then why does the majority of Western Society (which traces so many of its roots back to Abrahamic doctrine) regard the age of consent to be around 16 and the age for legal marriage to be 18.

Whilst I genuinely feel a 12yr old is in no way psychologically capable of parenting, I do find it anachronistic to suggest that young adults should abstain from all sexual activity till they are married, at least 6yrs later; that an 18yr old should have spent a third of their life sexually mature but without being permitted to discover their own bodies. And that assumes they get married at 18, not 24.

Lets look at the impact of waiting to have sex till your wedding night. Do you really want to remember that special momentous day for things like, discomfort, blood, embarrassment disappointment and premature ejaculation? Ok, not all these things are necessarily a part the first time, but they are all real possibilities.

But my biggest issue with all this is the belief that one should enter into a life long, marital, familial, romantic, sexual relationship, with no sexual experience whatsoever. How could you ever know how good sex can be if your spouse is entirely inept in the sack? I know I made my share of mistakes as I was learning how to have good sex. As I was discovering what I like. How to conduct myself when in a sexual relationship. Hell, I most certainly made mistakes. But I came to marriage the better for it. When I got married I was a reasonably rounded character, intellectually and sexually. Why should I be obliged to make these mistakes, learn these lessons, with the one person I choose to spend the rest of my life with? How can I expect that person to look me in the eye when full in the knowledge of what a sexual idiot I have been? And how can you realistically enter into a life long relationship with another, when you haven’t even established your own identity?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not an advocate of teenagers getting jiggy at the first possible opportunity. Far from it. But learning about sex is part of growing up. No one expects you to refrain from doing arithmetic until you need to count your first wage packet, so why should sex be any different?

Whilst I sincerely hope there are no kids under 18 reading this blog, I would say this:
Do not take the Purity Pledge, but think about it, analyse it and make up your own mind. Examine it’s positives and negatives equally. Learn all you need to know about sex (and I emphasise need). Learn all you can about love and relationships. Do not get hung up on the ridiculous notion that sex is impure. Do not rush into sex, but embark on that journey at your own pace. Those that would have you wait till it’s too late are as misguided as those who would have you giving up childhood too soon. Be yourself, not the person someone else thinks you should be.

15 Responses to “Purity”

  1. fyeahandroidtomato Says:

    Yay for balance!

  2. Gillian Colbert Says:

    EXCELLENT post! I agree that the pledge is bunk. Most kids have found a way a la Bill Clinton to rationalize that they are still virgins if only their pussy remains unpenetrated. Loopholes!

    Your point about breeding age versus marriage was a good one, but I think it is more reflective of our society’s dynamic. Centuries ago, life was hard, the very struggle to live and survive matured you. Also, you needed as many years as possible to pop out as many kids as possible because the majority of them were going to die. The way our society is shaped today, our children remain immature mentally much longer.

    Add in the fact that we’ve become an entitlement culture where you get the trophy just for showing up, we are undermining the mental fortitude required to even be an adult let alone a parent.

    Alright, I’m beginning to rant …

    Great stuff!

  3. sexuallifeofawife Says:

    Agree with all you have said!
    Imagine if you took the pledge and were then married to someone who you were totally sexually incompatible with! I expect there could be some grounds for divorce there. But then without experience how would you know that the sex you were experiencing was awful?

  4. sexuallifeofawife Says:

    Yes it is! Poor poor people!

  5. “Wait till your married” was pretty much the extent of my sexual education and I’m incredibly glad that I didn’t. I like Gillian’s “loopholes.” In my efforts to “save” myself, pretty much every other possible orifice was used which I’m sure, according to the Purists, must be even more of an abomination. How sad to put yourself in a monogamous relationship before you’ve even experienced all the different things sex can be for you.

    I have had far more extra-marital sex than the contrary and I cherish that part of my life. No regrets on that! Had I known I would end up in a sexual desert….

    Have a good weekend.

    • Gillian Colbert Says:

      Next you’re going to tell me you look like Velma! These similarities are just getting scary!

      just kidding 🙂

    • Two Velmas? Oh my aching balls! That is a fantasy I shall enjoy whacking off to.

    • In defence of the Purists (nice choice of words BTW) the pledge does say abstain from sexual activity rather than abstain from vaginal intercourse. I take that to mean vaginal, oral, taking it up the loophole and even masturbation.

      And I would expect they would maintain that it is possible to experience all the different things sex can be within a monogamous marriage, and short of the experiences that result from different body types, I would tend to agree with them. It is possible, though pretty unlikely. And just because you haven’t done everything, it doesn’t inherently mean you can’t be sexually fulfilled. Would it not be easier to satisfy your loins with a tiny willy if you had no experience of your cunt being stretched by something Shergar would have been proud of?

      I suspect many sex-bloggers have sailed similarly varied and numerous waters prior to mooring in a single harbour, only for the tide to ebb. Certainly I am in that boat at the moment, though I have hope that, with the assistance of a pilot, we may yet find ourselves in deeper oceans.

  6. confessionsofyourhusbandsmistress Says:

    The conservative views on sex make it all the more delicious to rebelious teens. It’s their way of establishing themselves and separating themselves from their parents. If we were just a bit more open to discussing it, then maybe there wouldn’t be a need to explore on their own.

    Abstinence, in my opinion, in a joke. When hormones take over, there really isn’t anything that will keep them from acting on them ins some way. Like Gillian said, the loopholes are too easy to justify their actions.

    • I’m not sure I agree. There are doubtless some kids for whom the urges are indeed irresistible, but I feel confident there are plenty of others who will reach adulthood with little or no experience of sex, beyond that which they have gained in solitude.

      But I think that is a different issue to the value and ramifications of The Pledge.

  7. A friend from Madagascar once explained to a floor (granted, it was more of a dance floor…) of us westerners, that on her island, it is customary to enter into some kind of agreement prior to marriage (let’s say our betrothal?!), that requires the two persons to live together, have sex together and experience all the together-things one might during marriage, for at least a year before the contract is really approved by the families (with the input from the man and woman to be married, of course!). I’ll paraphrase her words, but she said that the whole idea was for the young people to experiment together, see if they were indeed compatible for life together. I like the idea. It’s not perfect (my friend did get a divorce at some point, so the trial period obviously didn’t show all the cons of life between those particular two), but I wish I’d gotten to try it.
    Because contrary to what you say in the comments, for me, the journey was reversed : I didn’t have a whole lot of sexual experience (and that’s a nice understatement!) before I met and then married the guy soon to become my ex. Now however? Bring it on! I want to experience all that I feel I missed out in my youth! (not that I have yet, but I’m looking forward to it!)

    • What a pragmatic idea.
      Obviously it’s not always going to work and I suspect you and my Wife were in similar boats … and we did live together for several years before getting married. Oh well … no theory is flawless.

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