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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Can't Get No Satisfaction

Shame on you Miss Becky Sue!! It turns out my friend Becky Sue was awfully naughty. If she hadn't been drinking at the beach, she might not have done what she did. But I wonder if we are all being set up for making the same stupid mistakes. We don't have relationships nowadays and this seems to wear at us until we slide on the slippery slope to sexual sin.

It was just a minor hookup. I'm guilty. It never goes all the way--not even close, but it has been so long since I've had a boyfriends and regular attention from a man that sometimes I let things go a little farther than I should, kiss for just a bit too long, let someone touch places I shouldn't because it's just been so long.

Heaven help me. My conservative parents even told me they would understand. Things have changed. If you end up living with someone or staying over with your boyfriend, we understand. You might need to do that before a guy will ask you to marry him.

Going all the way. Becky Sue hasn't been the type to hop in the sack with just anyone. She's not a Christian, so finally she went for it with that guy from the beach party--BigBob. What a mistake. So what if a guy wants to have sex right away because that's the only way they can hear you? So what if everyone has needs? It becomes indecent when people are just going around scratching an itch--one that can lead to illnesses you really don't want to have.

I'm disappointed in Becky Sue. I understand on a small scale, but on a large scale she still considers us to be in the same category. Not quite. I've had people tell me that I'm never going to have a boyfriend--even a Christian boyfriend-- if I don't put out. Plenty of women have put out and still don't have boyfriends.

Promises, promises. BigBob didn't exactly call her midweek, though he promised to. He probably thought it would be fun to get together again--he told her that at the dance. Seriously, he probably began to wonder how many guys she had done that with if she had been so quick to sleep with him. Isn't that how it usually goes? Damned if you do, damned if you don't. So I don't.

Not the One. I had lunch with a male friend who was depressed over a recent breakup. She didn't think he was the One for being the father of her children, though he was willing to do it all again for her. He told me, Savvy, men are after one thing and one thing only. He then told me how he was craving sympathy sex to help him get over the girl. No way, and he knew I wouldn't. He wasn't asking me. But said he knew friends of friends might be willing. My problem is that I didn't get enough variety when I was married. They had been in separate bedrooms since the children were born, but she married him only because she wanted to have children. The wounds are deep. Why should he care if he made me cry?

Value. I've always believed that someone would value me and want to be with me because of who I am. I sincerely believe that if a man really wants to be with you, nothing can keep him away--especially a Christian man who is supposed to want to make sure you keep up with your relationship with the Lord.

Hunger. But are we so hungry for love and affection that we easily lose our way when we finally meet someone? Does knowing that it won't work out make us consider doing things we wouldn't normally do just because it's been so long? And who knows when the opportunity will present itself again? It's a struggle.

We aren't meant for prolonged singleness. For non-Christians without a relationship, they consider casual sex under circumstances that they wouldn't normally. So, I consider kissing people I wouldn't normally kiss, and letting their hands wander a bit rather than slapping them away. It's been too long. And there is no promise of marriage.

Affection and sexuality are basic human needs. If they don't have healthy expression, it may result in unhealthy expression. I'm not condoning it or supporting it. I've just seen what happens with others and in my own life. Truthfully, not enough Christian writers and speakers address our concerns adequately, seriously and realistically.

Forgiveness. How much is too much? How many partners can you forgive? In the absence of early marriage, how many is too many? How many failed marriages? What if we are away from the Lord and come back? I don't have the answers. It just begets more questions. I wrote two posts months ago as I struggled with accepting my then boyfriends number and his pressure to get me to sleep with him. With the pressure my parents and society place on me to go ahead and do it, the lack of honest dialogue about it, I was left struggling with my own answers. My not being ready cost me the relationship. I had good reasons to hesitate--my beliefs, where the relationship actually was, my lack of experience, not really being in love or committed enough. I have always wanted to wait until marriage, though I might be able to forgive myself if I were engaged. Most people would forgive anyone who was that much in love. But when will that happen?




Love and sex both elude and confuse me as does my place as a Christian. My family and friends find me prudish and yet Christians find me wild. Both sides deride me. I feel pressed to decide which way to go and both sides are pushing and pulling. I've been on both sides. It's a struggle. And I find the Bible sometimes lacking in practicality as a guide in relationships--as I wrote in my anti-courtship humor piece Biblical Ways of Knowing She's the One.

Previous posts:

What's Your Number?
What's Your Real Number?

20 comments:

The Learner said...

Savvy-some random observations from my tired mind:

-After reading this I'm not sure what points you agree with and what points you disagree with (of course it is kind of late and I am tired). Was that your intention?

-Do you interpret your parents telling you that they would understand if you stayed over with or lived with a man as them pressuring you to have sex? Why?

-I think if you are going to base the amount of sexual contact you can have with a man on if you can forgive yourself or if a future partner will forgive you, or if any other person will understand that is a faulty means or standard with which to make the decision. Trust me, I understand the struggle, but for a believer I think abstaining from sex outside of marriage has to be about obedience to God, not about wether or not what you have done will be forgivable.

SavvyD said...

I was posing the questions more than anything, not so much saying them for me or for my actions.

With my parents--they have always been against premarital sex as they themselves waited, so for them to turn around and say they would understand is a BIG change.

Also, to think that someone would have no past at all once we get to our late 20s and into our 30s or 40s is delusional.

The Learner said...

Also, to think that someone would have no past at all once we get to our late 20s and into our 30s or 40s is delusional.

I am not shocked by someone having a "past" but it is hardly delusional to think that a believer may be obedient to God in the area of sexuality into their 40s and beyond. It probably depends on what you mean by a "past". In my immediate circle of close friends I can easily think of three Christain women, including my sister, who were virgins on their wedding nights and who married at 36, 39 and 40 years of age. I am also close friends with another three Christian women who are single at 37, 42, and 46 years of age and all three are virgins. And Savvy, even if I couldn't think of anyone it wouldn't change the fact that it should be our goal to be obedient to God in the area of sexuality regardless if another person in the entire world is successful with it or not.

SavvyD said...

That CAN happen, I'm not saying that it doesn't. This is more the exception than than the rule. I don't know anyone. Again, these are questions I am posing. As I said in my experience, I have been laughed at by FAMILY and even other Christians for being prudish.

SavvyD said...

I reread my post. In my posing those questions, where do you see me saying it's all OK? I ask how much can "you" forgive, not how much can someone forgive me!!??

I say that not being ready for sex cost me relationships.

How is this getting misread?

The Learner said...

How do you know your experience of not knowing anyone is the “rule” and my experience of knowing many is the “exception”? Could it be that your experience is the exception and mine is the rule?

I didn’t say that you said it was okay Savvy. I questioned the wisdom of focusing on if other people think you should be having sex or not or if you could forgive yourself or not as meaningful to your decision on the subject. I thought that based on the following statements from your post:

My conservative parents even told me they would understand.

I have always wanted to wait until marriage, though I might be able to forgive myself if I were engaged. Most people would forgive anyone who was that much in love. But when will that happen?

Love and sex both elude and confuse me as does my place as a Christian. My family and friends find me prudish and yet Christians find me wild. Both sides deride me. I feel pressed to decide which way to go and both sides are pushing and pulling. I've been on both sides. It's a struggle.


If it bothers you to be misunderstood (and I would totally understand if it did…it bothers me a lot to be misunderstood too) you may want to consider changing your style of writing. I’m not saying you should, just that your writing style, especially in this post, reads (to me) as somewhat evasive (for lack of a better word) or non-committal. I say that as someone who grades piles and piles of graduate level papers. Of course you are under no obligation to write any differently than the style that pleases you, however if your goal is to be understood by your readers you may want to think about it.

SavvyD said...

The purpose of this post was to pose questions and discuss what I stuggle with. Statistics do point to other conclusions than yours. And most people from church that I know think it's rude to ask if someone is or is not a virgin or about any other list of sins or vices they might have. You know this about these women because you know them well, but most people don't advertise how many--if any--partners they have had.

This is what *I* struggle with. I'm glad you don't! It is vague because it is about the struggle not the answer.

The Learner said...

Statistics do point to other conclusions than yours. And most people from church that I know think it's rude to ask if someone is or is not a virgin or about any other list of sins or vices they might have. You know this about these women because you know them well, but most people don't advertise how many--if any--partners they have had.

Savvy, my point was not that people who wait for marriage to engage in sex are in the majority...it was to point out that to think there are such people is not by any means delusional. And I agree with you...most people don't go about announcing how many sexual partners they have had. Maybe some of the older christian singles you know are waiting and you just don't know it and that is why you "don't know anyone".

This is what *I* struggle with. I'm glad you don't! It is vague because it is about the struggle not the answer.

I'm not sure why you think I don't struggle with sexual purity, especially since I said Trust me, I understand the struggle in my first comment on this post...but okay.

SavvyD said...

So you understand the struggle. But that's not what came across. What keeps coming across is Savvy=bad, wrong, evil.

Of course there are people who stay virgins their whole lives. They are in the minority. The average Christian who has not been Christian their whole lives or with a prior marriage is on average going to have some experience.

This is almost the same as dealing with Amir. So you weren't saying that everyone doesn't and you weren't saying that everyone does and neither was I!! But it's delusional to think that the virgins at that age a plentiful.

I left the past a mystery. I didn't ask how virginal anyone was or if they had done "a few things". But I lost my virginity to rape and spent alot of time feeling really bad about it. So in that sense, I have a "past". I've had some boyfriends, I've done a few things, but quite honestly not that much or with even that many people.

Everyone comes down on me with such ferocity about this that it belies that everyone stuggles to a greater extent than they might admit while pointing out how bad I am that I've kissed boys--the horror!! on first dates--what a slut!! And let it go one for more than five minutes--harlot!! And that I could have an ounce of purity left in me--temptress!! Whore!!

Never mind the fact that I've gone YEARS without kissing anyone and decided to purposely change things up a bit and see if the results were different. I don't like all of the results, so I'm going to change things yet again. I didn't think that at my age anyone had such problem with kissing. Or that my kissing would be considered to be the fault of being hit on when I hadn't kissed anyone in those situations where I crossed paths with some predatory men--and this could and HAS happened AT CHURCH. Just food for thought. It takes time to see what someone's character is really like--and Astro was prime example of someone who SAID how Christian he was, attends church weekly and was STILL pushy about sex. Never made out with him, either.

The Learner said...

Savvy, Please tell me exactly what I said that comes across as savvy = bad, wrong, or evil. Especially bad or evil, because I can see where you might take my questioning your reasoning as "wrong". I can't see a single thing I have said here that said you were evil or bad and genuinely want to know what I said that you think makes me come off this way. I have other things to say to your response to me but I wanted to separate this issue out.

The Learner said...

So you weren't saying that everyone doesn't and you weren't saying that everyone does and neither was I!! But it's delusional to think that the virgins at that age a plentiful.

Savvy, you didn't say "on average" you said "delusional" and "I don't know anyone". Saying a person who thinks that something is possible (in this case that someone not everyone, but someone...ie; a person, not a plentiful number of people, would be obedient to God in the area of sexual purity)is delusional means that what they think is possible isn't possible outside of psychotic state (in the psychological meaning of the word)or while lying to themselves (in the more general meaning of the word). I interpreted that to mean that you think that someone who believes (such as myself for example, or any of the friends I previously mentioned) that someone can be and would be obedient to God in the area of sexual puriuty regardless of their age is either psyhcotic or lying to themselves. My point is that I am not psychotic or lying to myself and that yes, indeed, I believe that someone could have no past at all once we get to our late 20s and into our 30s or 40s if we define having a past as having sex with someone as I defined it in my previous comment. That is where I was coming from and why.

The Learner said...

Because this is becoming an excessively long comment (sorry about that) I am splitting it up into the previous one , this one and one more.

Savvy, someone who would judge someone else as being sexually active or having a "sexual past" because they were raped...now that would be delusional. I am grieved to hear this happened to you and I hope that you have been able to work through what happened so that you don't feel guilt about what you are not guilty of. While I have not been raped I have been sexually assaulted and continue to struggle with the repercussions of that (I have shared some of that in my blog) and can empathize with the struggle to be healed after that sort of experience.

The Learner said...

Everyone comes down on me with such ferocity about this that it belies that everyone struggles to a greater extent than they might admit while pointing out how bad I am that I've kissed boys

I am not sure if you are including me in "everyone" or not, though I would guess you were, since the comment is responding to me. I can't address the issue for anyone else, except myself. I don't think I have been ferocious, but I wonder what you are seeing as ferocity? Aren't you making an assumption that people are not admitting their struggles with sexual purity? I have admitted I struggled in this comment thread, in the thread on Amir's blog and in my own blog. I can't speak for Amir, but it seems to me that he admits it is a struggle too....why else would he draw a line with his dates if crossing the line was not a struggle for him? Again I have not called you a slut, whore, or a harlot (and wouldn't because I have a real thing about name calling) and actually I don't think those things either. What I do think is that you are making some unwise decisions (I have made them too.....as recorded in my blog).

Choices have consequences. I think a lot of women don't fully understand how the choices we make when we are interacting with a man on an intimate physical level effect the man because men are different than us. If a man, such as Amir, tells you that prolonged kissing will cause Christian men to struggle (I have other Christian male friends who tell me the same thing) it would be wise to consider that and learn from it. I am not saying that means all men feel a certain way but rather pointing out that as women we can learn if we are willing to listen to what men say about this stuff instead of getting defensive about it. It isn't about blame for past actions, it is about learning so we can apply the lessons to future situations. We do the best we can with what we know and when we know better we can do better. But if you (or anyone else, including me) get caught up in defending our past actions instead of focusing on what we can learn we miss the opportunity to grow.

I've been approached by men looking for sex inside and outside of the church too. The man who hurt me (I struggle with calling it an assault...but that is my issue) that I talked about in my blog is the published author of multiple Christian theological books and is considered an expert in his field, for crying out loud. I wish I could say this was my only experience with a "christian" man pressuring me for sex, but it wasn't. I understand. Both men and women have had the experience of interacting with members of the opposite sex in so called “Christian” contexts where the other person behaved toward them in an inappropriately sexual manner. It happens unfortunately. Though it is wise to consider the effect our choices may have on others, it isn't productive to blame our choices on others (whether it is their fault or not)because we can only be responsible for our side of the equation... considering how we effect others and taking responsibility for our choices.

If the purpose of your blog doesn't include discussion about how we can learn and grow from our mistakes (which doesn't happen unless we examine pour choices)then you may want to have a comments policy that excludes comments that question the wisdom of your decisions...that is certainly your prerogative.

SavvyD said...

I'm not Boundless. I'm not trying to instruct. Nowhere do I say that is the purpose. This is my life. I see humor in alot of these situations. Read previous posts going back a few months.

It was date rape--some people blamed me because I was involved with him. It messes with your head.

Also, Amir has been excessively harsh innapropriately. I mean, really, he totally misread my blog in major ways that were obvious and yet he has been obtuse with the whole Mexican/Christian wife thing. He's always right.

The Learner said...

Geez Savvy when did I say your blog was supposed to be Boundless or anything else for that matter? If it isn't your desire to learn from your experience and you don't want other believers to challenge you, that is your decision.

As far as Amir being excessively harsh or inappropriate with you I didn't see it that way, but that is just my opinion. It seemed to me that he was challenging you to consider your actions. Yes, he got some elements of the story mixed up with other posts in your blog but I was under the impression that he corrected the things he misread. As far as the "Mexican/christian wife" thing goes I wasn't sure how you got so confused about all that. It seemed pretty clear, to me at least, from the beginning that he was talking about 2 different women.

SavvyD said...

Dude, it's a blog. I tell stories. I don't have time to blog absolutely everything I'm thinking about. I tell the story.

Anonymous said...

"That CAN happen, I'm not saying that it doesn't. This is more the exception than than the rule."
whose exception? whose rule? do you want to follow the world's 'rules' or god's? at the end of the day what matters more; what the world thinks or what god thinks?

SavvyD said...

Interesting, I'm asking the same question.

But when I said that it CAN happen, it was only about factual reality. I wasn't doubting God, or anyone's personal will.

Anonymous said...

no no, i'm not saying you were doubting that... i understood. hang in there sav... i think you are on the edge of figuring out some good stuff :)

Liz Rizzo said...

It's your choice whether you do or don't.

Having sex before a relationship or not having sex before a relationship - neither determines whether or not you'll end up in a relationship. There's no rules, only individuals. You need to stay true to what works for you and continue to look for someone likeminded.

"Seriously, he probably began to wonder how many guys she had done that with if she had been so quick to sleep with him. Isn't that how it usually goes?"

Well, come on, that's just silly. If he's the type of person who thinks like that while also being someone who personally engages in casual sex, he's no loss. One can only hope he was fun to play with.

"I've had people tell me that I'm never going to have a boyfriend--even a Christian boyfriend-- if I don't put out."

And that's silly, too. You have to be true to you, and find a partner who feels the same. If you listen to talk like that you'll end up with someone who isn't simpatico with you.

All this is just my opinion, of course, but I hope that you'll stay true to your beliefs while perhaps being open to the thought that some people are different and different things work for them. I thought that this was really well said: "not enough Christian writers and speakers address our concerns adequately, seriously and realistically." And I hope that that changes.

Thoughtful post, thank you.

Liz Rizzo

I blog at Everyday Goddess.