I LOVE YOU, DAD!

Dispatches from the Oh for fuck's sake file: apparently "Purity Balls" are a thing. They are not popular like soccer, but more like polo – a niche interest unknown to most of us but wildly popular with a small, deeply disturbed segment of the population.

As a feminist, I found the purity balls themselves the most difficult to watch. Young women and girls are dressed in ballgowns, their hair professionally done. They pose with their fathers under white arches decorated with flowers, like prom dates. And the midst of all this revelry, they promise to remain virgins and their fathers, in turn, pledge to be the protector of that "purity." Some are given rings – it reminds me of a wedding ceremony.

Go ahead and read the whole piece, and if you're not sufficiently disturbed you can check out a recent documentary or some shorter clips on YouTube.

The insularity and the narrowness of worldview that are necessary to make this sort of thing seem normal are staggering. Examples like this one make clear why homeschooling is so popular among Evangelicals and other far-right Christian sects. Only by completely controlling (and shrinking) the world to which a child is allowed exposure can a tween girl have a pseudo-wedding to her dad for the purpose of remanding her hoo-hah into his custody until it Dad gives it away to whatever 19 year old chronic masturbator she meets on her field trip to the Creation Museum. How else does a spectacle like this unfold without someone, if not everyone, stopping in their tracks and loudly asking no one in particular what in the hell is going on. Hell, an emotionally healthy person might even veto this clusterfuck in the planning stage.

But wait, there's more! Aside from the perverse theology underpinning something like this, there's a healthy dose of good ol' American materialism involved:

That's why purity balls are so effective, not just because they rely on religious and cultural indoctrination—that would be too easy. Purity balls sell young women the idea of love. This is how your father will love you. This is the way to get a man who will love you and is worthy of your love. This is how you get God's love. It's a powerful message, one that resonates because it promises what we all want: an amazing love story.

The problem, of course, is that it's not really about love. Sitting outside of a purity ball, in black-tie attire, Lisa tears up as she explains the events aren't just about the party.

"It's a beautiful moment with their father to say, 'I care enough about you to invest in an expensive hotel and expensive meal and a lovely dress for you.' To say that you’re valued."

The number of levels on which this is twisted and demeaning can hardly be counted. In its defense, however, it is just one of a dozen different ways little girls have fake "weddings" at various points in childhood and adolescence in our society. Actually…no, scratch that. We endure some messed up rituals when we are too young to resist, but at least we don't have to marry our dads.

I don't think there's enough therapy and pharmaceuticals in the world to save any of these kids. I guess that's the advantage of filling their heads with this insanity before they're old enough to think or push back.

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69 Responses to “I LOVE YOU, DAD!”

  1. FMguru Says:

    Oh, hey, I always wondered where the teenage runaways that end up hooked on smack and starring in low-rent porn come from.

    If anything, THE HANDMAID'S TALE was too optimistic.

  2. J. Dryden Says:

    I watch this and wonder, of the fathers: What the hell are you so afraid of?

    Because that's what this is about–creating a barricade against something that terrifies the men who conceive of, organize, and carry out such events. Something is scaring the shit out of them, and like atavistic volcano worshippers, they're creating an elaborate religious ritual to ward it off. (Please insert the "virgin sacrifice" joke of your choosing at this point.)

    Can it just be the fear of their daughters fucking? Is that it? I get that. I don't agree with it, or condone it, but I get that. Fathers want their daughters to be safe–sex is part of the introduction of the child into the world of pain that is adulthood. Plus there's pregnancy, and disease, and the emotional disaffection that often attends promiscuity, and so on.

    But is that it? Is that all? Because…if it is, you guys seriously need to get over that shit. Because "keeping Daddy's little girl all to oneself" is atavistic in ways that are not strictly emotional–they're sexual as well. Just to be clear: Keeping the women, young and old, in the tribe under your alpha-male thumb is an act of sexual dominance. I know you guys don't believe in evolution, but trust me on this: When you say "Only I will decide what my daughter will do with her vagina," you're saying "This vagina is mine to do with as I please," and…there's no way that's not incestuous as all hell. So when you say "I'm doing this so she won't fuck someone," you're actually saying, "I'm keeping her for myself." And if you can look yourself in the mirror after knowing this about yourself, you are either a psychopath, or you don't understand how mirrors work. You may think that what you're doing comes from a place of love–it does not. Love has to express itself in trust, and you clearly do not trust these young women. What you're doing comes from a place of fear, and no good can come of it.

    Most cultures do fucked up things to their daughters. (Again, I return to the topic of culturally condoned genital mutilation, and I say, "Eh, I'd rather see my daughter in a purity ball by about a factor of a billion.") And it's worth pointing out that girls on the verge of becoming young women in mainstream Western society are subject to an often horrific barrage of cultural expectations that leave them emotionally and physically self-abusive. But at least then it's the media, it's their peers, it's the world at large that's enabling the abuse.

    When it's their *father*…

    I'm not a parent, so all I say here comes with a grain of "it's easy for him to be glib" salt. But mistrust that calls itself love–imprisonment that calls itself protection–that's fucked up when governments do it. When family does it, it's worse. Stop it. Please.

  3. Major Kong Says:

    Fundamentalists seem to be weirdly obsessed with sex. It seems to be all they think about these days.

    There are many, many sins listed in the scriptures that are not sexual, but I've never heard of an "anti coveting ball" or a "not bearing false-witness ball".

    In their own creepy way, they're as focused on sex as any "swinger" was back in the 70s.

  4. Nunya Says:

    This post makes me truly thankful for my childhood in Southern California. Despite what you may have heard, California has a pretty laissez-faire attitude toward sex. It's been a fairly open topic for about 50 years and everyone has pretty much accepted the fact that it is the one thing in life that can be truly beautiful or truly ugly.

    Thankfully, I had no religious guilt to stunt my urges, instead, I had a family (truly far from hippies) that discussed it rationally and described the responsibilities involved beyond simply avoiding STD's and pregnancy. I was taught, by both of my parents, that women had been viewed as prey for far too long and that sex should be between consenting people and that the utmost respect should be paid to the woman simply because of the cultural stigma.

    I am proud to say that I have never thought that a woman who was cool enough to deign to have sex with me ever felt a moment of shame afterward. Sure, there were one night stands but there was never any promises of anything less and we always parted as friends. Oddly, this was pretty much the norm until I left home and moved around the country.

    Religion and cultural biases in pretty much any city that doesn't posses a major port is ridiculously backward. Men take pride in "conquering" women and treat them as tainted goods even after enjoying a night of intimacy with them.

    Look, birth control changed the entire equation. People can have consequence-free sex provided that the men take the time to get over their hierarchical bullshit and treat women with basic respect. If you're pissed off about how you can't mange to get laid, blame that dickhead that took delight in the walk of shame that that sweet young girl had to take after being treated like a piece of meat.

    These fathers are probably philanderers who know how predators think and seek to protect their own daughters from the likes of themselves. Regardless, I think Jesus would disapprove.

  5. grumpygradstudent Says:

    Does that imply that there are 19 year old guys on the face of planet earth who AREN"T chronic masturbators? If so, I would like to meet them and shake their hand with the one I use to chronically masturbate.

  6. The Mad Dreamer Says:

    J. Dryden, that was both masterful and beautiful.

  7. Spiffy McBang Says:

    I'm surprised you sound like you've never heard of this before, Ed. These have been around for awhile. Valenti herself has written on the topic before. I'm not sure if any of it is online, but it's at least in her Purity Myth book, which is a few years old.

    We are sharing a wealthy nation with a large minority of maniacs. That's all there is to it.

  8. c u n d gulag Says:

    Yeah, it's something that's been going on for awhile.
    But it's still sick.

    Somewhere, Freud and Jung are laughing their asses off, while Jesus weeps.

    These men as sick, deeply disturbed, controlling f*ck's, who get off on dominating their wives and daughters, and all other women in their families, churches, and workplaces.
    Their entire lives are centered on that domination – it is their very reason for living. They are the "Kings" of their castles.

    The name of Jesus, and the cloak of Christianity, provide handy cover to psychopaths with disturbing sexual obsessions and neuroses.

    After the ball, I have no doubt, when "Daddy's 'Lil Angel" drops off to sleep in their hotel room, Daddy jerks-off to her, and/or the other tween's he's seen at the 'Purity Prom for Perverts.'

    And, a few years later, when a deeply disturbed teenage girl, revolting against her Daddies control, turns to sex, drugs, and R&R (and not in a good way), and/or runs away, to escape from the father's domination and obsession, Daddy will disown her, and wonder why he spent so much time and money on the perverted little slut?

    "Hey, I did all I could! I even took the little whore to a "Purity Ball," where she swore ever-lasting loyalty to me and my decisions. She even accepted my ring on her finger! MY RING!!!
    I wonder what got in the little whore's head? Maybe it's something the wife said."
    And this pathology probably allows, if not encourages, violence. And so, he'll beat his cowering wife to find out what went wrong with his daughter. He'll do it on a Monday, so the bruises heal by Sunday, when he and his family go to church.

    What got in the very young woman's head, Daddy, WAS YOU!
    But you'll spend the rest of your life denying that – never even thinking, let alone admitting, it, actually.
    Instead, he'll spend his life wondering where SHE went wrong.

    Sick, sick, f*cks.

  9. J. Dryden Says:

    @ The Mad Dreamer: Thank you; you're too kind. (Takes single cookie from the 'Treat Jar'; enjoys it knowing that today, he earned it.)

  10. Sarah Says:

    Bear in mind that these are the same people who won't vaccinate their daughters against HPV (the virus that causes cervical cancer) on the grounds that it is sexually transmitted and avoidable. (For our terminally moronic trolls, I am aware of the concerns over the safety of the vaccine. That is not relevant to this discussion.) Which is to say, a woman who contracts HPV and ends up dying of cervical cancer deserves what she got. And that is a pretty goddamn sick worldview. Betcha they'd also be opposed to a vaccine for HIV/AIDS too.

  11. BZBee Says:

    In one of those weird twists of life that take you places you never thought you'd go, my family is homeschooling a teen because it's the easiest way to get said teen into academically-challenging classes. We're using a private school half-time (that is, for some classes) and a local college half-time (for more challenging classes that aren't available in public or private high school). The private school has agreed to accept the college credits in lieu of high school credits (so, for example, Physics 112 in lieu of high school physics).

    Our teen still does the bulk of socializing with public- and private-school kids, because in our area the homeschooled kids are quite frankly terrifying, and so are their parents. What we find is that the boys get a fair amount of leeway and freedom, but the girls are treated like imbecilic porcelain dolls that must be kept locked away. The irony: a fair number of the mothers of these girls were pregnant when they got married, yet for their daughters, it's Taylor Swift (who is ironically a passive-aggressive mean girl) and pinafores until their father gives them away in marriage. They do not get to choose their spouse, they do not get to date their spouse before the wedding, and after the wedding, it's straight to the baby-making for them.

    Years ago (the late 1970s), I read a science fiction story where women were kept like cows in barns, for breeding. Who knew the fundies were using this as a how-to manual.

  12. anotherbozo Says:

    Random thoughts:

    Ed may have three degrees, but his gift for language comes from somewhere else.
    Todays prize: "Only by completely controlling (and shrinking) the world to which a child is allowed exposure can a tween girl have a pseudo-wedding to her dad for the purpose of remanding her hoo-hah into his custody until it Dad gives it away to whatever 19 year old chronic masturbator she meets on her field trip to the Creation Museum."

    I'd love to see that "cute meet" in the next Todd Solondz movie.

    I guess you all know that religious conservatives rack up the highest porn use on record. Of all states, Utah wins the prize. Sexual obsession, anyone?

    To ponder: the (de)meaning behind Daddy's references to "my little princess." Were I a young girl, I'd want to fart in his face, spit on the floor and go climb a tree somewhere. But then the homeschool programming would have failed, wouldn't it?

  13. Major Kong Says:

    I blame Margaret Atwood.

    These people must have read "A Handmaid's Tale" and thought "Hey! That just might work!"

  14. doug Says:

    'or you don't understand how mirrors work' JD wins the internet!

  15. ladiesbane Says:

    As a side note to all the other valid horror: would you want to be the poor schmo who married this princess?

    You will never be able to measure up to Big Daddy, but you will spend your married life trying.

    Your marriage will have three legs, since Princess will be in constant contact with Home (not the home you make together, of course; where Big Daddy is, is home.) Your every deficiency or shared rough spot will be reported, shared, and thrown back at you.

    Forget about moving out of state. Forget about making a major life decision without the parental seal.

    Eventually your only outlet for tenderness will be a little daughter of your own, and from birth, you will whisper in her ears that she's the most perfect creature, that no man alive is good enough for her, that no one will ever love her like her daddy.

    (N.B.: do NOT marry someone who addresses her father as "Daddy" unless you both attend the Purple Cow Preschool and the ring is a twisted foil gum wrapper.)

  16. buckyblue Says:

    Despite all of the father/daughter freudian shen fey, these ceremonies rarely work. The rate of teen pregnancy and pre-marital sex is higher for the daughters that have taken these purity oaths. Who woulda thunk that all of the emphasis on sex just got the juices flowing, so to speak.

  17. Both Sides Do It Says:

    @grumpygradstudent

    word-for-word what I was going to write

  18. bb in GA Says:

    I have no idea if Purity Balls are the 'way', but what we are doing in our secular American culture is working out just so fine…:-(

    Ain't yo' dog, ain't yo' chicken….

    Our out of wedlock baby rate is staggering. Children having babies is a prescription for all kinds of disaster physically and fiscally

    @ladiesbane

    Unless you just want to say "There's your problem…." you know the punching bag thing.

    Referring to your father as Daddy for both boys and girls even as grown men and women is quite common in the South. I was proud to call my Daddy all the days of his life and so was my sister.

    //bb

  19. acer Says:

    @J. Dryden:
    Bring back your blog, dude. A lot of us would love to read it.

  20. c u n d gulag Says:

    Also too – I think these people are terrified of sex.

    They see sex as a means to an end – children and a family. And the task is performed much like any chore.

    And they fear really great sex, not just because they've never had it (except maybe Daddy who had some pretty good "dirty" sex – for him, anyway – with prostitutes – Male? Female? – when he was a young and carefree Christian lad, tired of feeling guilty for 'feeling his own oats.') because during really great sex, you have to have some consideration for the other person having it with you.
    And, there's a loss of control, of self-control, that's involved.
    And Daddy can't lose control in front of the Ol' Ball-and-chain," now can he?
    And God help the Mrs if she does! 'Where did she learn THAT?' he'll wonder. And the beating will ensue – or continue – whichever the case may be.

  21. Major Kong Says:

    @bb

    "Our out of wedlock baby rate is staggering."

    Especially in, ahem, red states.

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/04/10/461402/teen-pregnancy-sex-education/

  22. ladiesbane Says:

    Ah, bb, my dad's people hail from the South, but most of my life has been in the big square states out West. While American girls from all regions are often trained to cultivate an infantile affect through adulthood, it manifests in a different fashion here. When a grown woman addresses her father as "Daddy" (or her mother as "Mommy,") it bodes ill for her relationships.

    But I did grow up around a certain number of men called Sonny and Junior, who grew up hearing they'd never be half the man their daddy was. It didn't always have a salutary effect.

  23. Major Kong Says:

    Shorter The Entire Southeast United States –

    "We've always hit ourselves in the head with hammers so by golly we need to keep doing it because it's one of our proud traditions."

  24. Fezzik Says:

    Ah, so THIS is where all that daddy-daughter incest erotica is being generated/consumed. BTW, great work, everyone. While we're giving out internets, ladiesbane deserves some for this:

    "do NOT marry someone who addresses her father as "Daddy" unless you both attend the Purple Cow Preschool and the ring is a twisted foil gum wrapper."

    You, my fine friend, are both hilarious and 100% correct.

  25. ladiesbane Says:

    Thanks, Fezzik. :-) I married a few boys in preschool; voice of experience.

    But I also knew a number of perfectly lovely girls set up for the blues thanks to protective fathers. "Girls who have sex are sluts! Girls who LIKE sex are whores! The only man who truly loves you is the one who would never, ever touch you that way!" — And good luck to your future husband.

    Or, if you actually enjoy fooling around, good luck not thinking of yourself as a rotten slut and hating yourself, even if you were properly married as a virgin according to the customs of your tribe.

  26. Elle Says:

    There are definitely elements within the evangelical church who have been doubling-down on complementarianism over the past couple of decades. The 1998 inclusion of wifely obedience in the Southern Baptist Convention statement of beliefs. The 1990s emergence of abstinence programmes like True Love Waits and Silver Ring Thing, and their absorption into mainstream sex education in the 2000s. The centrality of complementarianism and submission to the teaching of places like Mars Hill. All of these things hint at a shift in church thinking on sex and relationships to a more reductive position.

    If you a girl from a devout family, then there's every chance that you might receive absolutely no sex education in your homeschool curriculum, beyond admonitions to dress modestly, endless parables about keeping yourself pure for your husband, and exposure to the very unlovely (and, frankly, Harry Potter-esque) theology of 'soul ties'. Courting, rather than dating, is still en vogue in fundamentalist communities, which means that your hand is pursued via your father, and, if he agrees to the match, you will probably spend very little time alone with your future husband before the wedding. (If no husband immediately transpires, then you might find yourself with the saddest job title in the entire world: stay-at-home-daughter.) Once you've shared your very, very first kiss at the altar, it's time to start filling your quiver with children. You may be fortunate enough to do all of this while dressed as an extra on Little House on the Prairie.

    There are lots of places at which the lives of evangelical girls can, and do, deviate from this. However, I think there are some legitimate questions to be asked about the balance of an individual's right to manifest their religion (and to bring up their children according to their specific flavour of doctrine), and the rights of their child(ren) to education and health, including their future sexual health. I'm sure that it's possible to spend your childhood and adolescence being told that your sexual thoughts are wrong and to keep your hand out of your pants, and to go on and have a perfectly functional sex life as an adult, but I'd be willing to bet that it's sub-optimal preparation.

    There are also questions to be asked about how theology is influencing health policy. Those concerned, like bb, with teenage pregnancy rates, will probably be familiar with the latest round of reports that link 'abstinence education' with prevalence of teenage births.

  27. Peggy Says:

    My (Catholic) high school had a father-daughter dance, which I found creepy enough (and skipped all four years–I went to a basketball game with my dad instead one year).

    For some reason, "Mom Prom" (mother-son dance at my brother's (also Catholic) high school) seemed less creepy, but that's probably just based on a lack of cultural emphasis on a mom's duty to keep her sons pure.

    I also thought a "purity ring" was the creepiest damn thing I'd ever heard of from a young age, but I didn't run into those until I got to college (where I was also informed that Catholics weren't Christians, because ???, despite my twelve years of Bible study carried out in rooms with a dude nailed to a t in them). And I'd thought *Catholic* school was whacked out on anti-sex nonsense…

    (Hint: it was–but these guys take it to a whole 'nother level.)

  28. mothra Says:

    Hey! I addressed my father as "Daddy." I am not some uptight infantile woman, either. 'Course, he died when I was 24, so I don't really have a clue how that affected my relationships, only having had a college boyfriend before that. But trust me, I don't expect any man to take care of and protect me–like my Daddy would.

    And, bb, it is pretty well-documented that providing adolescents with the full spectrum of sex education and not pretending they won't have sex is pretty much the way to prevent teen pregnancies. And…88% of teens who pledge abstinence have sex anyway.

  29. Da Moose Says:

    Purity Balls? hmmmm. Lots of fun with that one. Wedding Crashers should do sequel.

  30. Middle Seaman Says:

    Being late to the comments party inflicts a heavy cost. So I'll try. For at least a year now, I have been fully and totally convinced that we on earth have been take hostage by Martians. How otherwise can explain the pagan ritual Ed describes. The tribe is dancing the "Hoo Hah" dances.

    How can you understand ignoramuses home schooling their kids? Giving more, more and even more money to the rich will result in the poor getting richer? How Romney the robot without any human skills succeeds in making millions? And thousands more.

    My recommendation: see Syria.

  31. Major Kong Says:

    @Elle

    You call that modest dress? Why look at how much neck and forearm those shameless little hussies are showing!

    Now this is suitably modest dress –

    http://catholiclane.com/wp-content/uploads/Muslim-women-in-burqas.jpg

  32. JohnR Says:

    @Major K:
    "It seems to be all they think about these days."

    Sex is all many of the wildest-eyed of wild-eyed fundamentalists thik about every day. I base this statement on the constant stream of abortion/homosexuality/evilsexyevil bushwa frothing out of the region. Neopuritans are warped; no two ways about it, and no matter what self-righteous self-justifying rationalizations they choose to offer up. Sex is like guns in the sense that it isn't "good" or "evil" in itself, but it can be twisted and used to produce all sorts of bad things. Personally, I figure sex is one of the most powerful forces in a relationship – good sex can hold you together through unbelievable rough times, but bad sex or no sex can actually help push people apart. In a nutshell, when you hear someone say sex is evil, that's a real bad sign about that person. These purity balls are just one more of the very disturbing outcomes of warped views of sex. As parents, we all just do the best we can, but this sort of "virginity fetish" thing is nasty on lots of levels. What's next – a modification of the Droit de Seigneur, where the father formally deflowers the daughter himself before her marriage?

  33. anotherbozo Says:

    @Peggy: So… you went to college at Oral Roberts University? Liberty U.? Now I'm creeped out.

  34. Elle Says:

    @Major Kong

    That middle one is clearly some kind of slut, intent on seducing men into the fiery flames of hell. I can see her toes, a goodly portion of her actual feet, and (quelle horreur!) a hand.

  35. Fezzik Says:

    Anecdote (borderline TMI, but relevant): my first "real" girlfriend had a purity ring, which she gave to me when we lost our virginity together at age 19 in my college dorm room (luckily for both of us, she was otherwise quite interested in and good at sex for pleasure). After we broke up a few months later, she asked for it back, so she could one day give it to her husband–which happened to be her very next boyfriend.

    The kicker is that in every other respect I would not consider she or her family anything other than "average" in their cultural and political orientations, where they are centrist on social issues and center-right to right on economic issues. You would never guess at the patriarchal, theological weirdness at the core of her upbringing.

  36. mel in oregon Says:

    know why southern baptists are so opposed to premarital sex? they are afraid it might lead to dancing.

  37. bb in GA Says:

    @mel

    The traditional form of the joke is:

    "Why don't Baptists make love standing up?"

    (One miss-sippi, two miss-sippi..)

    "Because if they get caught, somebody might think they were dancin'"

    (Rim Shot!)

    //bb

  38. Bentpine Says:

    Repulsive and frightening. That is all.

  39. Andrew Laurence Says:

    If they'd had those purity rings in my high school, those would have been the girls I'd tried to sleep with. They're the once who think about sex as much as I do.

  40. Drew Says:

    The first I heard of Purity Balls was from the show Shameless… here is the NSFW clip… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=td3zVXTv10g

    But yeah, you got it right… Purity Balls seem kinda creepy…

    Drew

  41. WyldPirate Says:

    @Major King….it's pretty fucking stupid of you to imply that everyone in the southeastern US ascribes to the same cultural idiocy. Those that don't are certainly outnumbered by the Buybull-humpers and rednecks, but there are certainly plenty of good people in the region that are both sane and enlightened.

    I suppose it was just too easy to pull that pigeon out of your ass and find another hole to stuff it in, though.

  42. bb in GA Says:

    @Wyld

    Major KONG (Major King is still on active duty :-)) can defend himself ably if he chooses to.

    I think he has lived in the South for years at a time so he has ground for his opinions with which I often disagree.

    I think the South gets a raft shi-ite here, but that's kind of the price of admission – you know that old heat and kitchen thang…

    //bb

  43. Major Kong Says:

    @WylePirate

    OK, I'm totally evil, granted. But most of what goes on around here is just good-natured ribbing.

  44. Arslan Says:

    I grew up in a fundamentalist household and I can tell you that if you didn't have this experience, you can only see the tip of the iceberg. You have no idea how fucked up these people are in regards to sex. There's a wonderful blog called Stuff Christian Culture Likes(google it) which is great at cataloging many examples of memes within modern evangelical culture that are sometimes difficult to put into words.

    For example, fundamentalists LOOOOOVE talking about sex with their spouses. Once you're married, it's totally fine to talk about it in front of family members. It's like a constant verbal PDA(or via Facebook). They have even proposed something called the 30-day sex challenge in some bizarre effort to prove that they don't have a problem with sex, at least inside of marriage. As an aside, I hope someone pointed out to them that they need to reduce that challenge by at least five days unless they want their bedding to look like a set piece from an episode of Law & Order.

    Anyway, while they obsess over sex, they seem to feel compelled to convince themselves that they are totally fine with the idea of sex in general. I think it's really no mystery. You get told your whole life that sex before marriage is wrong, and while nobody says it's the worst sin, it's the sin they're always talking about(because they are indeed obsessed). But sex with your spouse is supposed to be unlimited pleasure. They say that your sex-life will be wonderful if you saved yourself for your wedding night. But who can suddenly reverse their attitude toward sex once they leave the wedding reception? And how are they going to feel after that first awkward sex(and the first time is always awkward no matter who you are)? All their young life they were expecting "God's gift" to man and woman and suddenly it's just…that. And here they are, 18 or 19, bound together for the rest of their life. No wonder they feel the need to reassure everybody within ear-shot of their supposedly totally healthy sex life in not-so-subtle terms.

  45. Arslan Says:

    Oh let me just say I read that first link and I already hate that fucking guy's family. He named his girls Jordyn and Krystian…ample grounds for CPS to seize them.

  46. Elle Says:

    They say that your sex-life will be wonderful if you saved yourself for your wedding night.

    Although don't provide any details apart from that damn La Haye book. I will never forget one of my evangelical friends taking me aside a couple of days before her wedding, at the super holy tea party that was substituting for a bridal shower, with tears in her eyes, and asking me how much losing your virginity hurt. Providing sotto voce sex tips to someone who thought our entire conversation was probably a sin, because we were subverting the "It's the way the Lord intended it" plan, will go down as one of the more awkward moments of my life.

  47. Arslan Says:

    How pitiful; imagine how disappointed she would have felt had she waited till her wedding night. Then imagine how their sex life would be thereafter. Is it any wonder that religious group has one of the highest rates of divorce in the country?

  48. Major Kong Says:

    I don't think they realize just how vanilla most of so-called secularists really are.

    Do they think we're all having wife-swapping parties up here or something? I must be hanging out with the wrong crowd.

  49. Ellie Says:
  50. Ellie Says:

    “When you make love you're using up energy; and afterwards you feel happy and don't give a damn for anything. They can't bear you to feel like that. They want you to be bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour. If you're happy inside yourself, why should you get excited about Big Brother and the Three-Year Plans and the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their bloody rot?”
    ― George Orwell, 1984

    Just sayin'.

  51. WyldPirate Says:

    @Major Kong. No problem. My humor detector doesn't work well before the morning coffee kicks in.

  52. Arslan Says:

    To answer your question, Major Kong, in the evangelical world, or as I like to call it, RTC world(RTC means "Real, True Christian", based on the implication they often wield), there are basically two choices. Save it till marriage and be virtuous, or have pre-marital sex and be a whore. There is nothing in between. For a man they can sometimes be more forgiving(but they'll claim you were "using" whatever woman you had sex with), but sometimes they aren't. The key thing is that they spend most of their time focusing on female virginity, not male. Examples do pop up from time to time though.

    If you look at the Left Behind series, the second bumbling protagonist ends up marrying the daughter of the first bumbling protagonist, who is about ten years younger than him. He was supposed to be a totally secular unbeliever who finds Jesus late in the first novel, yet later it is strongly implied that he was a virgin for 31 years. Yeah. He's also said to be totally likable and charismatic(key word "said"), but he's a 31 year old virgin. This is quite revealing because one would think that the audience(and keep in mind that the authors say this book series should be recommended to "unsaved" friends such as Catholics and atheists) would totally understand that he had pre-marital sex if he wasn't religious at all, and when he says the "magic words" and accepts Jesus, they are supposed to believe that Jesus can forgive all his sins. But the authors know their REAL audience well enough to realize that if this character had had pre-marital sex, the audience would still look down on him despite his conversion.

  53. eau Says:

    This is all very well, Ed. But what do you suggest these men do in order to control and dominate the women in their lives? Huh? We can't very well have them running around making decisions and having opinions and such, can we?

  54. just me Says:

    As if we needed any further proof that religions are the scourge of humanity or that the indoctrination of children into these supersititions is the ultimate violatation of the United Nations DHR Article 20 -2 http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a20
    @bb – there's a secular American culture?? Wow! The rest of the world is quite literally dying to see it.
    and more @bb – I truly want to thank you for being here. You are the only Conservative Wrong person I have ever come across who has the moxy to make salient points to an adverse audience. That I absolutely reject your points does not in any way diminish my admiration of you personally, or your privilegde to hold such myopic views.

  55. eau Says:

    Alsotoo, "Purity Balls" is the name of my next band.

  56. hamletta Says:

    @eau: Inorite?! Purity Balls! Purity Balls! It's just so fun to say, isn't it?

    And Ed mentioned child weddings, which reminded me of "Tom Thumb" weddings, which I read about a few years ago in the NYT

  57. Sarah Says:

    and more @bb – I truly want to thank you for being here. You are the only Conservative Wrong person I have ever come across who has the moxy to make salient points to an adverse audience. That I absolutely reject your points does not in any way diminish my admiration of you personally, or your privilegde to hold such myopic views.

    I just love the way he's all "Teen pregnancy! Disease! Whoring women! We must DO SOMETHING about this!" and continue to write, and believe, along those lines even when presented with evidence that things such as "purity balls" don't do anything to decrease such behavior and may in fact be increasing it (although, to be fair, he's not the only conservatard to believe as such).

  58. Sarah Says:

    Do they think we're all having wife-swapping parties up here or something? I must be hanging out with the wrong crowd.

    Certainly wouldn't be the crowd I hang out with. I don't even drink.

  59. Elle Says:

    @Just me

    There's always been a tension, for me, in Art. 14 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It giveth with one hand, in the sense of affording children the right to religious freedom and freedom of conscience, and taketh away with the other, in respecting the "rights and duties" of parents to "provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right".

    We are a million light years away from there being a consensus that religious indoctrination of children is inimical to their enjoyment of rights.

  60. bb in GA Says:

    @just me

    thanks…I guess

    @Sarah

    I slandered no women (Whoring women!, Disease!) You read that in because of your evident hatred and bias. You do your side no good with your lying and slander. Your liberal colleagues have allowed as much here.

    You are obviously an intelligent person – let your ideas shine brighter than your hatred (of me) and other non-liberals.

    Last time I checked, teen pregnancy required two. We have failed our young men just as much as our young women.

    //bb

  61. Matt Says:

    Y'know, this sort of thing would have made a lot more sense to the Iron Age shepherds of Biblical times – after all, back then protecting chastity was *literally* an investment.

  62. eau Says:

    "I have no idea if Purity Balls are the 'way', but what we are doing in our secular American culture is working out just so fine…"

    Give yourself some credit, bb. I think you know that purity balls are not the 'way'. Unless the 'way' you refer to is the 'way… to produce generations of warped, emotionally crippled young men and women'. This certainly seems like a means to those ends, if not the definitive 'way' to get it done.

    And am I the only one thinking "Motherboy"?

  63. Tosh Says:

    This is why Purity Balls created anal sex.
    and the boys loved it too…

  64. Arslan Says:

    Google "technical virgin." I suspect there are many of them in the US.

  65. ladiesbane Says:

    Oh, "technical virgins"! Ah, high school. Religious parents would rather you were a shoplifter, a bully, or a drug addict than a non-virgin.

    So when a parent asks you if you are "having sex", the only honest answer is, "of course not!" Because if your precious virginity isn't involved (or, if already lost, no pregnancy-causing activity is involved), then you can be turned out eight ways from Sunday and still hold your head high, since you're not "having sex."

    The best liars I've ever known, I met in Sunday School. Fun, though. Nothing like an "I'm going to hell for this, I'd better make it count" attitude to carbonate the hormones. Nunya's happy, healthy California is probably the best way to have grown up, but sinning evangelicals are hell in the high grass.

  66. Southern Beale Says:

    Did, where have you been? Purity balls have been creeping decent folks out for years.

  67. Southern Beale Says:

    Er, that should have been DUDE. Sorry.

    Typing while trying to discipline dogs doesn't work.

  68. Technicalities Says:

    I was wondering when the technical virgins would enter the discussion! I grew up in a super rural, super Christian little town. What a joyful place! In high school, most of my girl friends justified the continued wearing of their purity rings by engaging only in anal sex.

    Which brings me to a logical dilemma: If sex is such a great sin, but sex can only be had by inserting a penis into a vagina, how can gay couples sin? By this logic, they are the Purest of the Pure. Just curious.

    @Arslan: Perhaps anal can account for the 30-day thing, though I enjoy the imagery of the "set piece from an episode of Law & Order."

    @eau: I am buying EVERY album put out by Purity Balls.

  69. Archery Program Says:

    I have nothing else to add to this topic other the need to further understand it. "I LOVE YOU, DAD!" – interesting title Ed. Another good post Ed.