Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Leaving purity and knowing the "right answer"

Image source.

I have a lot to say about purity culture. It's all about shame and fear, it says a lot of things about God which it has no business saying, it promises a happily-ever-after which is totally not realistic, and basically makes everyone feel like they ruined their whole life by having a crush.


Should people have sex before marriage or not, Perfect Number? Well, best to not. Because, like, God wanted it to be for marriage. And what if it makes you too attached to the person, and then you break up? And you could get pregnant. And and and...

But the truth is, I'm just saying those things because subconsciously, I can't let go of "the right answer," which is of course NO.

Basically, I'm terrified.

I know the right answer has to be NEVER have sex when you're not married. Because it's just far far too scary to think about the alternative. So I grasp around for arguments, but they're just a smokescreen. I can't bear to consider the idea that it could be okay to have sex.

In my heart I still fear that it's true: What if I have sex and regret it for the rest of my life? What if it makes me dirty and broken? What if it means married sex won't be special?

What if purity culture was right?

I know "the right answer"- or rather, the only answer I'll allow myself to think about this topic. There's so much I hate about purity culture, so much we should get rid of, but I can't imagine rejecting this one "right answer."

Is it all connected? Is it true that as long as I believe this is "the right answer," I won't be able to develop an outlook on dating free from fear and shame?

In theory, I don't believe in purity culture. But in practice, I'm too scared to let it go.


  1. I'm sorry you're caught in this dilemma and conflict between your beliefs and instincts. I don't think sex will break you or make sex with a future spouse less special. Contraception means you probably won't get pregnant, but you might- what would you do in that case? Breakups are often painful regardless of whether you've had sex- would you avoid having deep conversations, sharing fun experiences, allowing yourself to love your partner because it would make a potential breakup harder?

    I also think it's totally ok to not have sex - you don't even need a reason. "I'm terrified" might be a good reason. "I'm worried about what God will think" might be a good reason even if you don't think God thinks what you think.

    I'm exploring the idea of abstinence until marriage (having already had sex) because 1) Paul says some things about not fornicating, 2) I want to "prove" to God that I can give up something I want if that's what God wants me to do, and 3) I'm "testing" God to see how God will respond to this action on my part- is this something God really asks of me or not? For the record, I'm not totally comfortable with any of these reasons, but they're honest. It's hard not to have definite answers to things, but I think accepting the ambiguity is better than claiming one set of beliefs as totally true and unquestionable.

  2. Yeah- "I'm terrified" is my reason right now, and I know it's okay if other people think it doesn't make sense- it's my decision and I don't have to justify it to anyone. (And my boyfriend is totally supportive.)

    I just hate basing my decisions on fear though... :(

  3. Random Former Methodist ReaderJuly 4, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    I will assure you that God loves you and will welcome you into His arms whether you wait for marriage for sex or not. Also, whether or not you wait for marriage has no effect on your worth to a future spouse.

    Like Amy said, it is okay not to have sex as well. It is entirely your decision; God is there for you either way.