I remember being told in Catholic school as a girl that the most enduring quality of a godly woman’s reputation is purity of heart. Not intelligence, or loyalty or scope of heart. Her sexual purity.
Our school priest used to say “Don’t lose your sweetness.”
Basically, this meant don’t have sex, and don’t put yourself in situations where you’d be tempted to have sex.
My mother took it a step further in clearing up the ambiguity about what this meant.
- Do not kiss a boy more than quick pecks, and even that is risky. “Making out” is specifically designed to turn each other on and is a sin.
- Do not wear “immodest” clothing in public and do not look at yourself naked for too long. (I shit you not).
- Do not under any circumstances watch dirty movies or listen to any songs which could make you aware of sexual themes.
- Do not wear makeup or heels or nail polish. Or get your ears pierced. These are things women do to get boyfriends. Teenagers are too young for boyfriends.
- Go to frequent confession. Sins are weeds of the soul, and you must let your dutiful local representer of Christ (aka the priest) tend your garden regularly and often.
I never really struggled with faith. The concept of eating a chunk of Jesus-meat and drinking his blood had much the same effect on me as playing gory first person shooter videogames. At first you’re like, “ew that dude’s head just exploded in graphic detail” and then eventually you’re just like “pew, pew, pew….who’s your daddy now, bitch!”
It seemed silly and pointless, and I never really bought it, but I just accepted it as part of our weekly routine. As the great George Carlin used to say, going to Church was basically a social event where we sat completely still and compared clothing.
But the purity thing I really struggled with. Mainly because my mother convinced me that if I had sex with a guy, he would no longer respect me. He would’ve won the short but deadly game of pin-the-tail-on-the-hymen and would walk off victorious while I was left drowning in my sorrows. And likely pregnant.
So, all through my teenagerhood, I would make out with boys and feel guilty about it. If I really like them, I’d let them fondle or lick a tit a little. If I really, really liked them, I’d like them finger the snatch they weren’t allowed to fuck. Suffice it to say by the time I was 18 I had a PhD in Blue Ball Optimization.
One night, when I was a freshman in college, my boyfriend and I were getting all hot and bothered, and I expressed my frustration that I couldn’t just jump his bones. He asked why that wasn’t on the table. I replied fearfully he would cease to respect me and leave me like the easy slut who I’d then be.
To my great surprise, he thought that was the most misogynistic and pathetic thing he’d ever heard. He was an atheist, and promptly expressed the opinion that my concept of God was an asshole if He created body parts which felt good together, then made it a sin to use them outside of very strict parameters.
I was sold. I had been on birth control for medical reasons (much to my mother’s chagrin) and we started fucking. Immediately, I was amazed at the lack of guilt I felt once I embraced the fact that purity didn’t just mean a lonely vagina. My “purity” in fact, had been elevated to a golden idol, which symbolized some sanctimonious ideals which were not my own. My sexuality has not become the defining element of my interactions with partners, but rather an enjoyable side effect of two (or more) sexy, smart, responsible people who enjoy each other’s company.
You can imagine my amusement when I received this comment the other day on this blog:
“If a lock is opened by any key, it’s just broken?”
My best friend (who wrote this awesome post) made the clever point that getting my first “hate mail” is a sign I’m moving in the right direction. This comes from the age old double standard of “A guy gets all the glory the more he can score, and when a girl does the same then she’s a whore.”
It just makes me shake my head and smile. There have been plenty of men who foolishly assumed they’d be able to worship in my sacred little chapel just because I candidly talk about things that would make porn stars blush. This is just not the case.
I’d like to amend that comment to 21st century technology. My vagina is the master computer, and assigns card keys to very special members only. At any time, they can be deactivated, but not just any fool waving his “master key” around is going to gain entry.
In fact, only the lowest common denominator of women allow themselves to be viewed as conquests.
It’s more than likely, Jimmy, if you attempt to chase skirts this way, you won’t be unlocking anything except rejection.