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Source: (consider it) Thread: sex before marriage
Gill H

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# 68

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So maybe he could be creative, and find lots of other ways to express his love. Could result in a whole new vocabulary!

Some friends I know became Christians after living together for a few years. They decided that (a) they should get married, and (b) they shouldn't live together any more until after they were married. (I don't want to debate the rights and wrongs of this issue - but that was their decision.)

So he moved out and rented a flat, and for about 6 months, until the wedding, they didn't sleep together. Both said it was incredibly revitalising for their relationship, because they learned the art of 'courting' one another. They treated each other to evenings out, bought presents for each other, dressed up to go out together and made sure that the time they had together was special.

Having discovered this, they made sure to keep 'courting' each other after they were married!

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Viola99
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# 9644

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Yeah, well, that's what I'd like to think he'd realise - that there are other ways we can show how we feel about each other if our relationship was to grow and become more committed than the obvious ones! We shall see....

Thanks again for the advice Gill and Gracious Rebel - always good to hear of other people who have managed it!

[Smile]

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Eliab
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# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by Viola99:
Despite the vilification he seems to have got my ex is NOT a bad person, a tosser, a loser, a wrong 'un or any of the other phrases that were directed at him!

Apologies if I was too harsh. Of course, I am basing my judgment only on what you have posted, so a more balanced view would be that your ex may well be a very good and moral person, and on any other issue much my superiour in righteousness, but on this one issue (the only one I know anything about), his behaviour is well below standard, sufficient to put his character in issue generally.

quote:
I know, I know, you all are thinking how niave I am and of course I'd jump to his defence [...] To be honest, he's just your average mid twenties guy, brought up in the western society we know all too well

On the contrary, I don't think you are naive at all. I think you are a cynic. You aren't deceiving yourself about him, you know precisely what the score is, but you are putting up with it because you think that's the best you can expect from most men in this degenerate society.

A naive, romantic idealist (such as myself) would reject your ex's attitude as shoddy, and look for something better. And, possibly, never find it.

I don't share your view of society. I think it has a lot of bastards in it, but I don't think we men have, generally speaking, lost our standards of decent behaviour to women. And I don't think it is that difficult for a man who cares to find out what those standards are and to make a real effort to practice them.

I don't think it is asking too much of any man that he should refrain from putting pressure on his lady to sleep with him one moment before she is absolutely sure it is what she wants. Nor do I think it is too difficult a moral proposition to reach, that if a woman is worth sleeping with, she is worth waiting for.

It is, I think, in this society, difficult to reach the conclusion that sex outside marriage is wrong and disrespectful. That is my view, but I think the decent minimum standard now lies below that point. Still, I have to say, based solely on the limited evidence I have, that your ex has not reached even that minimum standard. I think you could do better.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
I don't share your view of society. I think it has a lot of bastards in it, but I don't think we men have, generally speaking, lost our standards of decent behaviour to women. And I don't think it is that difficult for a man who cares to find out what those standards are and to make a real effort to practice them.

I don't see that in this example. All I see is someone who knows his desires could very well lead to hurt further down the line, and has decided to end it now when the pain caused will be less.

quote:
I don't think it is asking too much of any man that he should refrain from putting pressure on his lady to sleep with him one moment before she is absolutely sure it is what she wants.
Again, that's not what I see here. In fact, it looks to me like he's trying to avoid putting himself into that position by walking away now.

(For the record, the only problem I have with sex before marriage is not getting enough [Devil] )

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Eliab
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# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
I don't see that in this example. All I see is someone who knows his desires could very well lead to hurt further down the line, and has decided to end it now when the pain caused will be less.

Rather than, for example, exercising a little self-control and patience for the sake of the lady he purports to 'adore'? You don't think that's ever so slightly churlish?

I don't think he (or you, or anyone else) is a bad person for wanting to have sex with the person he loves or is attracted to. It is selfish to put that desire above her's. He doesn't love her enough, in my view, to be worth having as a lover, unless he's prepared to make a commitment even when he isn't getting any.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Viola99
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Hee hee - first time I've ever been referred to as cynical!!!

'Fraid I'm with Marvin on this one mind you, has been no pressure of any description in the last 6 months...if anything I think (in fact he's told me) he's trying to avoid any form of comprimising situation, and hurting himself even more...

Am at this very moment composing a letter (how cheesy!) expressing all that I want to say and know I won't manage to clearly when I see him. Please pray that God's will shall be done and I'll accept it - whatever the result (...and for a receptive heart for my ex!!)

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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by Viola99:
Please pray that God's will shall be done and I'll accept it - whatever the result (...and for a receptive heart for my ex!!)

This I am very happy to do.

I hope he does come to his senses, and that he will make you happy. Again, apologies for any comments that may have been excessively harsh or judgemental.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Fibonacci's Number
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# 2183

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
I don't see that in this example. All I see is someone who knows his desires could very well lead to hurt further down the line, and has decided to end it now when the pain caused will be less.

Rather than, for example, exercising a little self-control and patience for the sake of the lady he purports to 'adore'? You don't think that's ever so slightly churlish?
I have to agree somewhat here. Although I sympathise with both of you, it's a bit of a cop-out to say "well, I have these desires, you see, and I can't control them, so...."

I speak as the pot calling the kettle black. Having been kicked to the kerb by two guys because of this very issue, and knowing the strength of my own desires, I've deliberately avoided relationships for several years because I don't feel able to handle this situation. For the record, I am 100% with RuthW on "principles versus rules", but I'm also aware of my own capacity for self-deception and just how easy it is to convince myself that the time is right. I know my own and others' desires could lead to hurt down the line, so I solve that one by staying permanently single. Perfect solution, eh? [Roll Eyes]

For what it's worth, this was my experience. A few years ago I fairly tore myself up trying to work through this question, and at that time I came to quite a strict conclusion. I explained to a guy who I really adored that I didn't believe in sex befor marriage. His (unhappy) response was that sex was really a big thing for him and that he didn't feel the relationship could work out. Then he went back to his ex. And then we spent the next year or so doing the "but you're the one" tortured angst thing. It was only a few years later that I finally accepted that sex was simply more important to him than I was.

At the end of the day I secretly believe this is really how all blokes feel. As Eliab would say, I'm a cynic. Though my views have modified I would still want to reserve sex for a committed relationship, but I've lost faith that there are guys who will be willing to take the risk and try to contain their own desires (I find it hard enough myself!) It's reassuring to read some of the responses in this thread which suggest that's not entirely true...

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Gill H

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# 68

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Oh, they're out there, FN. (Well, unless I snagged the last one.) They're probably keeping very quiet, though, because it's completely counter-cultural these days.

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- Lyda Rose

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Boreal
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# 9550

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Allow age and wisdom to speak here:
1. Just because he slept with other people doesn't mean he has to sleep with you. He didn't marry (or even want to) those other people, but he might want to marry you, and if so I doubt he'll resent you for it.
2. Release, as it were, is possible without penatrative sex. Heck, as he well knows, you don't even have to be involved.
3. True love means not resenting you for having to respect your wishes. It does not mean that he can't question or even challenge your wishes, but it does mean that if it means so much to you, he'd love you BECAUSE of it, not resent you because of it.
4. If he sees possibly resenting you becasue you won't sleep with him, sounds to me like he doesn't forsee marriage on the cards. Because if marriage was on the cards, then he'd get to sleep with you then, wouldn't he?
5. I don't care what the issue in question is, but "I don't resent you over issue X, but someday I *might* resent you a lot, and that would be horrible so I'll just chuck you now, shall I?" is stupid, immature, pathetic, disrespectful, probably not the real reason for the break up and shows himself to be unworthy of a relationship right now. The guy himself can still be a great guy, but not in this area he isn't.
6. If he was really that miserable he'd get back with you. Note the fact that he hasn't. You may love him, but it takes more than love to make a marriage work.

Oh, and if dumping you over this issue isn't pressure (due to the implcation that if you'd sleep with him if you went back to him on his terms), I don't know what is.

[ 30. June 2005, 15:00: Message edited by: Boreal ]

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Caz...
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# 3026

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I agree with Boreal. However nicely he's phrased it, at the end of the day he's chosen sex over you. If you meant enough to him, he would have waited, even if that was tough.

Sorry as I know that's not what you want to hear.

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saysay

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# 6645

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quote:
Originally posted by Gill H:
Oh, they're out there, FN. (Well, unless I snagged the last one.) They're probably keeping very quiet, though, because it's completely counter-cultural these days.

Not so much on this side of the pond.

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I'll tell you all about it when I see you again"
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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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Gosh, I read that article, and all I could think was "These guys need to get married, FAST." I mean, I was a virgin until marriage and that was important to me, and I think the effects were good afterward, [Two face] but these guys are obsessed. There's much more to life than virginity.

And for most of us, virginity is a passing stage. The article gives me the impression that these guys have made a career of it. What WILL they do when they marry and have nothing left to obsess about?

And the guy who'se looking forward to a fantastic sexual payoff on his wedding night--boy, has HE got a lot to learn. [Killing me] [Devil]

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Gracious rebel

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# 3523

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What Lamb chopped said.

Couldn't believe that people like this existed. Thanks for the link.

Yes its a fine ideal to want to stay 'pure' but these guys seem to have twisted it into something grotesque.

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Gill H

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# 68

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Oh my word. Anna Broadway and the chocolate vagina. [Eek!] And the masturbands! [Killing me]

Aside from that, my two favourite comments were:

So I walk up to a beautiful woman in a bar and say, "I hear you're a virgin." And she looks up at me with eyes like blue velvet and smiles like I've just paid her the best compliment of the evening.

I'd love to know what line 2 of this chat-up routine was.

Husband and wife must play carefully scripted roles. "True manhood," promises one Christian manhood guide, gets "polished by the hand of God."

Are there instructional booklets on this technique, please?

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- Lyda Rose

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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True manhood gets polished by the hand of God? Somebody has a very strange fantasy life. [Eek!]
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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Gill H:
So I walk up to a beautiful woman in a bar and say, "I hear you're a virgin." And she looks up at me with eyes like blue velvet and smiles like I've just paid her the best compliment of the evening.

I'd try that at my local bar, but I enjoy having the use of my legs...

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Hail Gallaxhar

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jlg

What is this place?
Why am I here?
# 98

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
True manhood gets polished by the hand of God? Somebody has a very strange fantasy life. [Eek!]

[Killing me] My reaction exactly, Ruth!

But reading that article gave me the willies. I got 'date-raped' by a frat guy when I was a freshman in college (1969/70) when after an evening of drunken flirtation I decided I wasn't actually interested after all. His response was an interesting combination of "Oh yeah? I'll show you that you'll enjoy a REAL man, bitch!" followed (after his climax) by such an extended session of sobbing remorse that I did my best to console and reassure him until finally my exhaustion and boredom overcame my compassion and I just simply walked out and left him there to sob. He was one messed-up puppy.

Those guys in the article, with their simultaneous obsession with virginity and sexual stimulation, immediately brought up this memory from 25 years ago. I pity their future wives. Then again, maybe they'll match up with compatible nut-cases. I suspect there are Good Christian Women™ out there who might find fulfillment in stroking their husband's brow as he sobs in genuine anguish for having defiled their holy relationship with his uncontrolled male lust.

Of course, what can one expect when every Sunday's sermon and all the sanctioned outside reading is dedicated to sexual sin. [Roll Eyes]

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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Having finally read the article, two things caught my eye: the fact that "not having sex means talking about it constantly" and the promise that if people delay having sex until after marriage the sex then will be completely mind-blowing. Sounds like idolatry to me--these folks have organized their lives around sex, and they aren't even getting any.
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jlg

What is this place?
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# 98

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That's exactly what bugs me about this whole 'no sex before marriage' thing. It overemphasizes the role of sex within marriage, in fact it can make it (as evidenced by the attitudes of the young men in the article) the ultimate goal of marriage.

Which harks back to Girl with the Pearl Earring, whose boyfriend expressed doubts that he could hang in there while she finished school if he didn't get sex in the meantime.

As has been said before on this thread, marriage isn't about sex, it's about a lifelong commitment "for better and worse, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live". The afterglow of good sex will help you to bond and maintain your relationship during the difficult times. But the afterglow of resolving an argument in a way that lends a bit of mutual understanding will be more important in the long run.

Perhaps some church should forbid arguing before marriage? [Devil]

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Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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This bit struck me:
quote:
But it's not just feminism that's to blame. It's also what the Christian right sees as an effeminized church. "Christianity, as it currently exists, has done some terrible things to men," writes John Eldredge, the author of a best-selling manhood guide called Wild at Heart. He thinks that church life in America has pacified Christian men and made them weak. Women who are frustrated with their girlie-man husbands and boyfriends seize power, and the men retreat to the safe haven of porn instead of whipping the ladies back into line. What women really want, he says, "is to be fought for." And men, he claims, are "hard-wired" by God for battle; Jesus wants them to be warriors in the vein of Braveheart and Gladiator.
So now I know what the "feminisation" of Christianity is. If this is the alternative the "feminine" version sounds much healthier!

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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This is why feminism is a Good Thing--at its best, it works to free both women and men from this sort of confining stereotype. If the "warrior for the Lord" metaphor works for someone, fabulous, but imposing it on every Christian man is ridiculous.

quote:
Originally posted by jlg:
Perhaps some church should forbid arguing before marriage? [Devil]

I'd be in so much trouble.
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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Gill H:
So I walk up to a beautiful woman in a bar and say, "I hear you're a virgin." And she looks up at me with eyes like blue velvet and smiles like I've just paid her the best compliment of the evening.

I'd try that at my local bar, but I enjoy having the use of my legs...
Having the use of your jaw, testicles and and front teeth may also help. [Biased]

That's NOT the sort of thing a bloke can say to a woman.

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Eliab
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# 9153

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First thought on reading the article - that it's a good thing to see someone portray virginity (and especially male virginity) in a positive way.

Second thought was that they're making a bit of a meal of it. I never found it a battle or a struggle to wait for marriage. It really wasn't that difficult. I no more think my pre-marital chasity was a victory or a triumph than I consider it a triumph that I, a life-long non-smoker, managed to get through today without lighting up. Sure, sometimes I wonder whether smoking might be pleasureable, and sometimes I wondered whether I was missing out by not having sex, but it's a curiosity that it is not hard to resist.

It's a little bizarre, if they really think virginity is such a positive and rational choice, to be forever obsessing about a sexual lifestyle which they presumably believe is inferior. Rather than "Every man's battle", why not "No pressure" or "Stay a virgin - It's a lot less effort!" or "Sex - Save yourself the trouble" ?

quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
And the guy who'se looking forward to a fantastic sexual payoff on his wedding night--boy, has HE got a lot to learn.

Well, speaking for myself, the wedding night first time is pretty special. I have (I hope)become more technically proficient since then, but I can vouch for the fact that expectations of a fantastic sexual payoff on the wedding night are not necessarily doomed to diappointment.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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Ummmm--I've been dithering about how to answer that, but can't find a way to do so without asking--

Did you MARRY a virgin?

Ouch ouch ouch ouch....

(Too much information, I know) [Hot and Hormonal]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
I can vouch for the fact that expectations of a fantastic sexual payoff on the wedding night are not necessarily doomed to diappointment.

No, but there's no guarantee, either. People have all sorts of different first-night experiences after waiting for sex until they're married: some say it was okay but not great, some say it was horrible, some say they didn't actually have sex the first night, and some say it was great. Same for people who don't wait.

So some of the guys in the article may get lucky and have great sexual experiences on their wedding nights. But I'd bet at least a few of them are setting themselves up for troubled if not downright dysfunctional sex lives after they're married.

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Eliab
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# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Did you MARRY a virgin?

Yes. Which I think helped - neither of us had unrealistic expectations of what the other knew or had done, and we weren't bothered or embarassed by inexperience or nervousness.

quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
People have all sorts of different first-night experiences after waiting for sex until they're married [...] Same for people who don't wait.

Yes, I'm sure. But considered simply on the practical basis of "how can I make my first time as much of a good experience (or as little of a bad one) as it can possibly be?" waiting for the wedding night has a lot to be said for it. There is the ultimate romantic build-up. Both people have time to take advice and prepare mentally. Neither is being pressured or forced into something they aren't ready for. There's little risk of immediate guilt or regret. You probably won't feel, the next morning, that you did something stupid because you were drunk. You know that it is something as special to your partner as it is to you. It feels right.

No guarantees, of course, but I'd expect that for people of comparable experience, attitude, and degree of screwed-up-edness, those that wait would have, on average, a better first experience than those who do not.

The guys in the article, if they do end up with bad experiences, should probably blame not the wait, but the fact that they are guilt-ridden obsessives. Clearly it would be better for them not to be guilt-ridden obsessives, but given that they are, the question is, what should they do?

There's a danger of answering the question of which lifestyle is best by comparing the neurotic chaste with the well-adjusted sexually active (or vice versa). The correct comparators for these guys would be men equally insecure, exhibitionist and confused, to whom sexual activity is as crucially important for their self-esteem as chastity is to the others. I think even this neurotic chastity would seem good by such a comparison.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Gill H

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# 68

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My other reaction to the article was 'so a bunch of guys aren't having sex, but they spend most of their time reading about it, talking about it or thinking about it. Hmmm ... isn't that porn?'

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
The guys in the article, if they do end up with bad experiences, should probably blame not the wait, but the fact that they are guilt-ridden obsessives. Clearly it would be better for them not to be guilt-ridden obsessives, but given that they are, the question is, what should they do?

My point is that the folks who are promoting these virginity until marriage programs are encouraging people to be guilt-ridden obsessives.
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da_musicman
Shipmate
# 1018

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quote:
The lobby is packed and loud right up to the beginning of the service, with well-scrubbed men and women greeting one another with chaste sideways hugs. Body to body, chest to chest, says Power, is just too enticing.
What? In the lobby of a theatre? Surely proper hugs aren't going to result in a mass orgy before the service?
Posts: 3202 | From: The Dreaming | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
da_musicman
Shipmate
# 1018

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Sorry to double post but from the same article. What's with the purity ring? Paraphraseing but the dad hands the daughter's virginity to the groom? WTF is that all about? Creepy and wrong and [Projectile]
Posts: 3202 | From: The Dreaming | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
My point is that the folks who are promoting these virginity until marriage programs are encouraging people to be guilt-ridden obsessives.

Well, I can't see evidence for that in the particular case in the article. It may be the case, or the programme may simply attract existing neurotics. It certainly does happen that repressive and guilt-based teaching screws people up, though.

However, speaking as a well-adjusted, guilt-free, ex-virgin, this is not something inherent in the teaching of chastity in itself. I would recommend pre-marital virginity on the grounds that it is romantic, fulfilling, beautiful, respectful, wholesome and easy. I think I had much less heart-ache, and much more pleasure, than my sexually active friends, without needing to become a guilt-ridden obsessive. A little smug, maybe.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Gracious rebel

Rainbow warrior
# 3523

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Easy? You really think its easy? I would have thought that most blokes do actually find it quite hard because of the ever present sex drive and the lack of 'taboo' these days about premarital sex.

And for the female partner it can also be hard, but for subtly different reasons. For myself, I found it easy enough to actually not want to have sex, thanks to my sincerely held beliefs, but admitting to my non Christian friends that I wasn't having sex with my boyfriend was much harder - awkward and embarrassing are my memories, not 'easy'.

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Eliab
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# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by Gracious rebel:
Easy? You really think its easy? [...] For myself, I found it easy enough to actually not want to have sex, thanks to my sincerely held beliefs

Exactly the same for me. I'd decided that this was what I wanted, and didn't find it difficult to stick to. I'm not sure that being male or female makes much difference to this.

quote:
admitting to my non Christian friends that I wasn't having sex with my boyfriend was much harder
Most of my friends were, I think, so surprised that I had a girlfriend at all that I lost no social status by not sleeping with her. I think some people assumed that it was her choice (it was, of course, but mine as well) and I would have wanted to but was just being a decent bloke. I know for a fact that several of our Christian friends assumed we were having sex and were denying it for the sake of appearance. Others thought I was cheating on her. People will believe what they want. It really didn't bother me.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

Posts: 4619 | From: Hampton, Middlesex, UK | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
The Bede's American Successor

Curmudgeon-in-Training
# 5042

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quote:
Originally posted by Gracious rebel:
Easy? You really think its easy? I would have thought that most blokes do actually find it quite hard because of the ever present sex drive and the lack of 'taboo' these days about premarital sex.

How soon people forget.

While boys weren't supposed to, everyone understood they [probably] did anyway. That is, as long as it wasn't a girl they knew or were related to.

While boys had to be doing it with someone, the girl was condemned if caught. The "other option" for the boys wasn't even considered.

If you have any questions about this double standard, consider the obligation I had to take when (at the urging of my father) I joined a certain junior Masonic-like organization. Without using the exact words (mainly because I don't remember them after more than 30 years), all members promised not to dishonor the female relative of another member of the Order. No mention of the non-relatives. I thought that strange, even then.

(PS. I've since learned to recognize gnosticism when I see it, thank you.)

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This was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride of wealth and food in plenty, comfort and ease, and yet she never helped the poor and the wretched.

—Ezekiel 16.49

Posts: 6079 | From: The banks of Possession Sound | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Gill H

Shipmate
# 68

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Eliab/GR - I never had a problem with what my friends (Christian or otherwise) thought. Largely because I don't think it ever came up in conversation. All my Christian friends probably assumed we weren't sleeping together, and all my non-Christian ones probably assumed we were. Since I don't tend to have 'Sex and the City' style conversations with my friends, I don't remember it ever being mentioned. I'm sure that people in my office realised we weren't living together, but not everyone does, even these days.

I didn't feel the need to wear a placard around my neck saying 'Not Having Sex Yet'. Obviously I've been a terrible witness ... [Biased]

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*sigh* We can’t all be Alan Cresswell.

- Lyda Rose

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quantpole
Shipmate
# 8401

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
However, speaking as a well-adjusted, guilt-free, ex-virgin, this is not something inherent in the teaching of chastity in itself. I would recommend pre-marital virginity on the grounds that it is romantic, fulfilling, beautiful, respectful, wholesome and easy. I think I had much less heart-ache, and much more pleasure, than my sexually active friends, without needing to become a guilt-ridden obsessive. A little smug, maybe.

I'd agree with everything you've said here apart from the 'easy' bit. I certainly do not find it easy. Viewed objectively (from my pov) it is, but unless you want to avoid all levels of intimacy before marriage there will be time when you face temptation and that is hard. I don't think you're analogy with smoking is quite right either. Smoking is obviously something that damages you but is only addictive once started. Sex is damaging in debatable circumstances but everyone (well, most people anyway) is 'addicted' to sex by nature (hope this makes sense).

Also, kinda related to what Bede and Gracious Rebel said, I don't think it's expected for women to be a virgin so much now. Previously the 'loss of dignity' (or however you want to phrase it) may have held girls back from indulging, but I don't think that's the case anymore. I wouldn't hold any expectations of a future wife being a virgin and it doesn't bother me either way. I want to save sex for marriage because I've seen friends who are endlessly messed up in relationships and that has a lot to do with the sex part but also because I think that it's what God wants (oh dear...my GLE side is coming through!)

Posts: 885 | From: Leeds | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Viola99
Apprentice
# 9644

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Hello

Sorry to interrupt but just thought I'd let those of you who were kind enough to share a thought on my problems (see further up the post) know whats been happening...

Well, saw my ex last weekend. Was a really, really, really good day (almost too good given we're supposed to have broken up!), although you could have cut the tension with a knife (mixed metaphor?!) at some points, particularly as we got nearer home, but we had a lot of fun, although no serious chat. Left him my letter, which he didn't find til yesterday - oops! So he phoned last night and we're getting together next week for chat about it's contents and all I had to say. Dunno what that means but at least he knows now my take on it all a bit better

Just thought some of you might be interested! Thanks again!

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Boreal
Shipmate
# 9550

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quote:
Originally posted by Gill H:
Eliab/GR - I never had a problem with what my friends (Christian or otherwise) thought. Largely because I don't think it ever came up in conversation. All my Christian friends probably assumed we weren't sleeping together, and all my non-Christian ones probably assumed we were. Since I don't tend to have 'Sex and the City' style conversations with my friends, I don't remember it ever being mentioned. I'm sure that people in my office realised we weren't living together, but not everyone does, even these days.

I didn't feel the need to wear a placard around my neck saying 'Not Having Sex Yet'. Obviously I've been a terrible witness ... [Biased]

Gill H, for what it is worth, I think this is about the best possible attitude you could have towards sex. You knew what was right for you and you stuck by it. Not through peer pressure to have (or not have as the case may be) sex, but because of what was right for you. And not just knee jerk reactions, but with well thought out reasoning. Good on you, and if you have children (I don' know how long you've been married) I hope you bring them up with the same strong sense of self and compassion, even if they opt not to follow in your path. I think this is one of the most under talked about aspects of sex - the "what's right for me and why". If you know the answer to that, temptation whichever way is much easier to say no to, and also helps you choose the right partner to have sex with, whether in marriage or outside of it.

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I think that God, in creating Man, somewhat overestimated His abilities. - Oscar Wilde

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Viola99
Apprentice
# 9644

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Hello again

Just to let those of you that commented on my story know the update. Well had really, really good and honest chat with my ex and got to the bottom of the issues a bit more. But things stay as they are for now. Seems problem is not the issue of the sex now, but more related to the fact he can't imagine marrying someone without living with them first, and that he doesn't feel like he can be in a relationship unless it can go somewhere and with our currently irreconciliable positions we can't really go anywhere. Make sense? I guess I understand his perspective a bit better....

I, however, am still trying to work through this whole sex before marriage issue and have MANY thoughts I'm going to share later on as I look for further advice from you all!!

Thanks

Viola

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Viola99
Apprentice
# 9644

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Hello again

...ohhh..double posting...that's a no no isn't it?! Oops!

Anyway, as I said above, have many questions/ issues I'm trying to find answers to at the moment. Who do other people find to talk to about these things?? Having grown up in the Presbyterian NI church I feel I can't speak to my friends about this for fear of shocking them that I'm even thinking about it - we all have just always accepted that you don't have sex before marriage as the way it is. The most honest conversation I have been able to have was with a non Christian friend. And as for my brother's suggestion I speak to my Minister...well...he's not quite Dr Paisley but....!! If I hadn't found myself in this situation would probably never have thought it through, but now I've started....

So, in no particular order...

  • if I get this wrong and it is a sin to sleep with a guy, but then I do it, what does that do to me as a Christian and my relationship with God?
  • is there even a definitive answer - is it either right or wrong?
  • should a Christian even be considering sleeping with/ marrying a non Christian anyway? (i know, i know, probably a whole new topic....)
  • what is meant by 'sexual immorality'? Is the 1 Cor verse the only prohibition on sex before marriage in the Bible?
  • is it possible that the ban on sex is purely to do with cultural reasons...contraception, earlier age of marriage, death in child birth, different concepts of marriage?
  • but if that's the case - how do we know what in the Bible is still relevant today? Is it all about principles and not actuals?
  • is not having sex before marriage a fundamental of the Christian faith?
  • is it a sin?

I realise many of these points have probably been much debated on the preceeding 7 pages, but just looking for thoughts. Have realised that probably my main issue with not wanting to have sex before I marry someone is less to do with conviction that it is biblically wrong, and more to do with what would my Christian friends think? And only doing something, anything, because of other people's opinions is just wrong. Although I still feel like I haven't heard enough on the subject, I am now struggling to see the harm of it a committed, stable relationship.

Welcome anyone's thoughts on any of these musings!!

[Edited to fix UBB]

[ 19. July 2005, 19:30: Message edited by: TonyK ]

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Trini
Shipmate
# 7921

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quote:
Originally posted by Viola99:
Seems problem is not the issue of the sex now, but more related to the fact he can't imagine marrying someone without living with them first...

I don't know whether you will decide that living together first is right for you. If you don't, you might try asking him what he expects to get out of living together. Presumably, the idea is that it is a trial-run for marriage. Okay, so let's think about what may come out of the trial-run. Does he think that if you live together, he may find out that you (for instance) talk in your sleep and based on that, he may not want to be married to you? That is, if he is considering living with you, he must already like the important things about you so why is he worried about being put off by small habits.

Perhaps you might ask him if what he's saying sounds reasonable to him. Does it sound reasonable to say "We are intellectually and socially compatible (or whatever). We enjoy x, y and z together. But if I found out that you sing off-key in the shower, I really wouldn't be able to continue the relationship?"

Although I am not opposed to sex before marriage, I dislike the suggestion that living together is imperative before deciding to marry.

quote:
Originally posted by Viola99:
should a Christian even be considering sleeping with/ marrying a non Christian anyway?

I'm a Christian who will be marrying a non-Christian. Should I be doing that? Obviously, I don't think there's anything wrong with it. You might want to have a look at the (short) Unequal Yoking thread in Kerygmania.
Posts: 816 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Gracious rebel

Rainbow warrior
# 3523

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I don't have answers to any of your questions Viola, (and if there were easy answers I'm sure we wouldn't be on page 7 of a Dead Horses thread!!) but I will mke one comment based on what you have said.

If I were in your position, I would be more concerned about considering marriage/long term relationship with someone who did not share my faith, than I would be about whether or not it was wise or unwise/right or wrong to have sex with him.

The guy I married was a Christian at the time (although he wasn't when we first started going out together) .... but now he seems to have pretty much abandoned his Christian faith, and it hurts, and causes all sorts of problems/needs to compromise etc espcially with regard to bringing up our two sons (now teenagers).

I seriously think that's a bigger deal than whether or not you have sex before marriage.

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Fancy a break beside the sea in Suffolk? Visit my website

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Josephine

Orthodox Belle
# 3899

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quote:
Originally posted by Viola99:
Have realised that probably my main issue with not wanting to have sex before I marry someone is less to do with conviction that it is biblically wrong, and more to do with what would my Christian friends think? And only doing something, anything, because of other people's opinions is just wrong.

Maybe. But then, Paul did say that eating meat offered to idols wasn't a problem for him, but he wouldn't do it if it made his brother stumble. That suggests, to me, that there are times we should do things, or refrain from doing them, because of what other people think.

Is this one of those times? I couldn't tell you. But I would think it's something for you to think about.

quote:
Although I still feel like I haven't heard enough on the subject, I am now struggling to see the harm of it a committed, stable relationship.
How committed and stable is it if one party or the other is considering it a trial run?

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I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

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Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

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quote:

if I get this wrong and it is a sin to sleep with a guy, but then I do it, what does that do to me as a Christian and my relationship with God?

The sex itself? Probably it doesn't do much. However, if you are uncertain about it, and end up feeling too guilty or ashamed to approach God, then it's serious (even if the act itself isn't sinful). Would you truly be acting according to your conscience? An honest mistake is not serious, deliberate disobedience is.

quote:
is there even a definitive answer - is it either right or wrong?
I think there must be. You clearly aren't indifferent about who you sleep with - why would God be indifferent about it?

quote:
should a Christian even be considering sleeping with/ marrying a non Christian anyway?
I've seen it work wonderfully (the husband remained, in his words, a 'born again atheist', but the marriage was one of the strongest and most inspirational I've seen). I've also seen disastrous failures. Of course, that's true of Christian-to-Christian marriages too.

I think a difference of faith puts a very strong, but not insurmountable, pressure on a relationship. It's a good idea to avoid it. I don't think it is a duty.

quote:
what is meant by 'sexual immorality'?
Using sex selfishly, dishonestly, ungratefully, or thoughtlessly of your partner and God is immoral. There isn't a Biblical definition that answers all questions, though.

quote:
Is the 1 Cor verse the only prohibition on sex before marriage in the Bible?
I don't think so. The assumption throughout scripture seems to be that sex goes with marriage. Nowhere, I think, is fornication approved. There isn't any pastoral guidance on how Christians should treat their concubines. I suspect this is because we aren't expected to keep them.

But in any case, we aren't under law, we're under grace. The question is, "is this appropriate and best for a follower of Christ?", not "is it banned?"

quote:
is it possible that the ban on sex is purely to do with cultural reasons...contraception, earlier age of marriage, death in child birth, different concepts of marriage?
Yes, all those are relevant - but that's not the whole point (and they apply today, anyway, even if the importance has lessened). The ideal of intimacy with one person in a relationship of formal commitment is valuable in itself, not purely because a committed relationship is (or was once) socially beneficial.

Marriage is a relationship of unconditional and sacrificial love - it is, in fact, impossible for sinful humans to do perfectly, and difficult for us even to make an adequate job of it. Sexual union is something that helps and supports, and I think breaking the link between sex and marriage will make it harder to live as God wants.

quote:
but if that's the case - how do we know what in the Bible is still relevant today? Is it all about principles and not actuals?
Some principles are universal.

quote:
is not having sex before marriage a fundamental of the Christian faith?
No. There are many moral duties that are much more important.

However, if for you sex before marriage would be (or feel like) disobedience or infidelity, then that does go to the heart of Christianity. Even if I'm wrong about everything else, and it's no sin at all, if you do something which you believe is wrong, it is sin for you.

quote:
is it a sin?
I think it can be, for the reasons I've said. For me, it was more that I wanted to wait, and I'm glad I did.


If this guy is the person for you, then you get to sleep with him all your life. You won't miss out on anything. And you get to have your first time on what should be the best day of your life.

If he isn't, I get the impression you wouldn't want to have sex. But it seems to me that he either does want, or will want, to sleep with you before he is prepared to say that he definitely wants to be yours forever. Which means that if you agree, there's a chance (in his mind) that he won't marry you. Is that something that you could deal with? If not, what he's asking is for you to be more committed than he wants to be. Don't play that game. If he loves you, he ought to be willing to take the chance of committing to you.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

Posts: 4619 | From: Hampton, Middlesex, UK | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
saysay

Ship's Praying Mantis
# 6645

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[Warning: longwindish post ahead; apologies to TonyK]

Those are all good questions, Viola99, and I don’t think they have easy answers. I hope you can find people you trust to help you explore them (I’d suggest hanging around the Ship, but then again I’m a Ship Junkie).

The best advice I got on the subject of non-marital sex was from a book called Letters to My Son: Reflections on Becoming a Man . It’s written by a non-Christian who doesn’t take the standard just-don’t-do-it position (the book was given to me by my boyfriend when we were discussing the ‘do we or don’t we’ question). The book is basically about what the author wished he knew when he was growing up.

What he says about sex is essentially that you will carry all of your lovers with you for the rest of your life (if nothing else, your memory of them will influence how you act with your next lover), so you need to be careful about who you make your lover. Touch has a memory of its own and the body remembers things that the mind would rather forget.

The author’s position is actually very similar to the Jewish idea that you are married once you have sex with someone - ceremony or not, you’re eternally bound. In my experience, this has been true (and, as usual, that’s my experience and not intended as a statement about/reflection on anyone else’s experience). I think that Ruth’s advice that you develop a principle about when sex outside of marriage is acceptable if you abandon the rule that it’s never ok is really good advice.

This particular boy’s take on needing to live together before getting married is interesting. Although I know a lot of people who do live together, I don’t think I know anyone who would make it a requirement. I was pressured into living with a boyfriend when I was 21. When he graduated from college (and therefore lost his housing), he simply assumed that it would be ok if he moved in with me. As his father was (IIRC) a deacon in the RC church, and my parents had no moral objection to us living together, I couldn’t think of a good reason to say no (at that point in my life, I didn’t think ‘I have a really bad feeling about all this’ qualified as a good reason).

When I finally managed to extricate myself from that mess, my mother (who hated this particular boyfriend but didn’t tell me that until we had broken up) asked me if I would ever again ‘live with’ someone I was romantically involved with. At first I said no, but then I said maybe - if and only if our relationship was at the point where I would consider getting married. Because living with someone and all the stupid annoying little things they do is just too hard if you don’t have a strong commitment to try to make it work.

In my social set, when an unstable couple decides to live together, we refer to it as ‘the beginning of the end,’ because it usually applies enough pressure to the relationship that the couple breaks up.

It sounds to me like this boy of yours needs to do some serious thinking about his priorities and motivations. It is possible to live with a romantic partner without having sex with them. Everyone will assume that you’re having sex, but people will talk no matter what you do. And ‘put out or get out’ is an old and tired ultimatum unworthy of anybody who’s still breathing in this day and age.

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"It's been a long day without you, my friend
I'll tell you all about it when I see you again"
"'Oh sweet baby purple Jesus' - that's a direct quote from a 9 year old - shoutout to purple Jesus."

Posts: 2943 | From: The Wire | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Viola99
Apprentice
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Thanks everyone. Still struggling away. Am naturally a highly indecisive person and need much reassurance with ANY decision and so working through something as big as this is proving somewhat tough. Keep thinking I’m getting somewhere then am not so sure again! Went to local Christian bookshop last night to look for inspiration…didn’t find any…nothing debating the issues just lots of ‘thou shalt nots’ by cheesy American authors, books by Joshua Harris (who’s condemnation for my liberal thoughts I could almost sense!) and one dreadful looking book which had the tag-line ‘Why Sex sins are worse than others’. Helpful! But that set me worrying again, can ALL these authors be wrong?

Have started thinking about it in a similar fashion of other lifestyle choices Christians face, like drinking alcohol. I don’t have any problem with having a few drinks, but I have Christian friends and acquaintances (not many, which maybe is the difference from the sex issue, there were more when we were a bit younger perhaps) who don’t believe it’s right to drink at all, or only in tiny proportions on highly special occasions. Or to go out to nightclubs, whereas I love a wee dance every now and then and don’t see how that is wrong. I have decided that, for me, my personal stance is that it’s OK to have a few drinks, it would not be OK to go out and get drunk, and that’s what I think is right for me. Back to Ruth’s point of principles v rules. It’s not a fundamental of our faith, so the differing opinions don’t seem to matter, and I fully respect what they believe while practicing slightly different. Could I extend that to this issue?? Or hows about voting – I have to make a personal decision as to what I believe and who I vote for, which I don’t really find easy, and not all Christians agree, but that’s not a problem.

…Sorry…writing very long posts again….and rambling….

Viola

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Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by Viola99:
Went to local Christian bookshop last night to look for inspiration…didn't find any…nothing debating the issues just lots of ‘thou shalt nots' by cheesy American authors

The problem is, "thou shalt not" is, pretty much, the best moral argument against sex before marriage. What I mean is, there are all manner of practical arguments aimed at the negative conquences of illicit sex (unwanted pregnancies, venereal diseases, emotional harms) and the positive consequences of abstinence (encouragement of friendship/purity/commitment/trust, romance, promotional of unity and intimacy within marriage), but these are all essentially points good advice rather than moral injunction. And even so, while I might be able to persuade you that the whole human race would be happier if everyone adopted traditional sexual morality, but that's a very long way from saying that you will be happier if you do.

The moral issue comes in when it is alleged that God says "thou shalt not". The questions then are "Has he actually said this?" and "Is that for all Chistians for all time?". I think, it's a ‘yes' to both. If so, there's not much room for moral debate.

quote:
and one dreadful looking book which had the tag-line ‘Why Sex sins are worse than others'.

Some are. Some aren't. It depends as much on the person as the sin. But so what? Our call is to be pure, not just to avoid the worst sins.

quote:
It's not a fundamental of our faith, so the differing opinions don't seem to matter, and I fully respect what they believe while practicing slightly different. Could I extend that to this issue??

If the question is, can Christians honestly differ on this issue, then yes, of course. If it is a question of whether you personally will be alright whichever choice you make, then no. If you do not honestly in faith believe that sex ouside marriage is lawful, it's a sin for you, even if Jesus and all his saints think that you are being unnecessarily prudish.

My main reason for thinking that you should not, is that I get the impression that fundamentally you already think of sex as the expression of a permanent committment. I don't need to persuade you of that, you already feel it. The trouble is, you have a desire for committment to this man, and it is, at best, returned by him on a conditional basis. He isn't sure about you. He doesn't sound as if he's desperate to get laid, but he does strike me as being unwilling to tie himself to a relationship he hasn't tried out first. That means that if you sleep with him, or live with him, he'll still be deciding if this is for good or not. You will think that you are expressing and deepening a committment to him, when he may just be testing the water. Which I think is, for you, both an invitation to be hurt (which may not always be a bad thing) and also a devaluing of what you want to offer this man (which is). If he loves you enough to be worth it, he will wait.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

Posts: 4619 | From: Hampton, Middlesex, UK | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
John Donne

Renaissance Man
# 220

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A bit after the fact now, but I'm very pleased to have read that article.

quote:
He was a man known to be on fire for God. The girl - a "baby Christian," in the lingo -- wanted to get closer to that warmth. She did so the only way she knew how.

"A blow job," says Power.

It had been one thing to go down on his girlfriend when he wasn't sure what he believed. It was another to let a girlfriend go down on him after he'd committed himself to God. But then, he says, that's how it works all too often when a man looks like he's devoted to Jesus. "It becomes more about giving than receiving" -- an implicit recognition of the sexism he knows permeates the best intentions. Even among Christians, the girls, he says, "will go down on you, but you don't have to go down on them."

The experience, he says, broke his heart. What it did for the girl, he can't even imagine.

My bold. Nope. I don't see this happening. I'd say the last thing he felt about getting sucked off was heart-broken. But is there something missing from this picture? I mean, fellatio doesn't happen momentarily by accident... there has to be a certain amount of compliance by the fellated party.

Their stance is idolatrous imo, teasing even. And that kind of bonding and incorporating a group of mates into one's sexual life - sounds like a recipe for disaster. Like when he does get a wife and screw her, he'll need all his mates present in order to get it up.

Posts: 13667 | From: Perth, W.A. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Laura
General nuisance
# 10

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quote:
Originally posted by The Coot:
My bold. Nope. I don't see this happening. I'd say the last thing he felt about getting sucked off was heart-broken. But is there something missing from this picture? I mean, fellatio doesn't happen momentarily by accident... there has to be a certain amount of compliance by the fellated party.

My thought was, "what a hypocrite!". If you object to having oral sex performed on you, I'd say it is your job to refuse it. Especially if it is likely to be "heart breaking". Maybe they were doing it wrong. [Disappointed]

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Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. - Erich Fromm

Posts: 16883 | From: East Coast, USA | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged



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