Four Lies the Church Taught Me About Sex (from Relevant)
This woman’s page is basically a re-hash of points I have already blogged about here on my blog several times over.
I left a few comments in the reader section of the page at the bottom. I also see that the unhinged person John Morgan ((Link): who stalked and pestered me for over a year left a wrong headed comment at the page as well. He was actually disputing points of her post, but what she said was true.)
Here’s the link to the page (with more commentary by me below this excerpt):
(Link): Four Lies the Church Taught Me About Sex (from Relevant) BY LILY DUNN
I’ve heard people say that growing up as an evangelical meant they never talked about sex. This wasn’t my experience. I grew up in the thick of evangelical purity culture and we talked about sex A LOT. We just spent all of that time talking about how and why NOT to have it.
As someone who waited until I was married to have sex, I was assured that I would be guaranteed an easy and rewarding sex life. When reality turned out to be different, I was disappointed and disillusioned. Only through gradual conversations with other married friends did I realize I wasn’t alone.
…. Here are four of the biggest lies about sex I believed before marriage
1. Any and all physical contact is like a gateway drug to sex.
[snip commentary under this point of hers – use link above to visit the page to read the entire page]
2. If you wait until you are married to have sex, God will reward you with mind-blowing sex and a magical wedding night.
3. Girls don’t care about sex.
As a teenager and young adult I cannot count the times I heard something to this effect: “Boys are very visual and sexual, so even though you aren’t thinking about sex, you need to be careful because you are responsible for not making them stumble.”
Let’s disregard for now how degrading this is toward men and focus on the underlying assumption that boys are sexual and girls aren’t. For years I was told that “girls don’t care about sex.” Well, as it turns out, I do. This has been a deep source of shame for me. For a long time I felt like a freak, until I started to realize that I wasn’t the only one, not by a longshot. But I never knew it because no one would admit it.
Many girls (yes, even Christian girls) think about sex. Many girls (yes, even Christian girls) like sex. This doesn’t make you a freak. It doesn’t make you unfeminine or unnatural. God created us, both men AND women, as sexual beings. Enjoying sex makes you a human being created by God, in the image of God, with the capacity and desire to love—physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and sexually.
Here is the comment by my stalker John Morgan, that he left in the reader comment section below the woman’s post at the Relevant site ((Link): Source):
1. Hand holding leading to sex being taught by most parents, teachers, church leaders and books? That’s hard to believe.
2. Discussing your body being locked up on your wedding night was the responsibility of your church?
I think that would fall to your OB-GYN doctor.
3. Girls don’t care about sex?
That sounds like something your culture taught you, not your church.
4. “Many of us have programmed guilt into ourselves.” That’s not the church’s fault. It’s your fault.
How are churches presenting saving sex until marriage in a “distorted way.” It sounds like what you experienced was due to your own unrealistic expectations, not due to anything the church taught. It’s sort of like running up to a firefighter that just pulled a woman from a burning house and saying: “Excuse me, but you did that all wrong. Could you take her back in the house and do it again?”
My reply to this unglued son of a gun ((Link): Source)
@ John Morgan.
John Morgan said,
“1. Hand holding leading to sex being taught by most parents, teachers, church leaders and books? That’s hard to believe.”
No, dude, it’s really not hard to believe. How dare you feign ignorance of this point, when I’ve been blogging about that topic and the others she mentions on this page on my Word Press Christian Pundit blog for two or three years now, which you know, because you’ve been to that blog and have read It – and even though I had to ban you from that blog, I know you still came by and read it.
Christians sexualize almost everything.
Baptists, fundamentalists, the Reformed, and evangelicals are so paranoid that any and all male-female enter-action will lead to sex, they warn single adults to stay away from each other, or they sternly caution singles not to so much as go out to coffee dates with each other for platonic chit chat, for the fear it will TURN TO SEX.
(Examples of this, with book titles and page numbers can be found in the book “Singled Out” by Field and Colon, if anyone needs documentation. I also have examples, with links, on my Word Press blog.)
Christians do not believe that men and women can be platonic friends.
Christians are especially paranoid that all un-married women are randy little harlots who set their sights on married Christian men, so in their sermons, blogs, and books, they frequently tell married Christian men above all never to meet alone with an un-married woman, don’t give her a lift in a car, keep the office door open if a woman meets you in your office, etc.
I have blogged examples of married Christian saying that kind of trash at my blog, such as…
“Southern Baptists Perpetuate Myths About Genders, Sex, and Adult Singles at 2014 ERLC Summit – All Women Are harlots, men cannot control themselves”
A quote from one article I linked to on that page:
“A panel led by Bethancourt offered suggestions to help pastors stay sexually pure, including leaning on Jesus and putting a glass door on the office so others can see in.”
John Morgan said,
“2. Discussing your body being locked up on your wedding night was the responsibility of your church? I think that would fall to your OB-GYN doctor.”
She’s saying that the church’s slanted, warped views about sex and sexuality created psychological problems, which manifested themselves as physical issues for her. And that is her church’s responsibility.
Also, given that we are living in a church culture where
1. every other sermon has a title such as, “Ten Tips For Great Married Sex” and where
2. Rev Mark Driscoll tells Christian married couples in his “Real Marriage” book that they should have anal sex, and he advises, even during church services, that women are commanded by the Bible to perform oral sex on their spouses, and where
3. Pastor Ed Young Jr had a “Sexperiment” at church, where he and his wife got into a bed on the church’s roof…
I don’t see it as a stretch for a church to go ahead and discuss her particular problem in this area. They might as well, they are discussing every other sexual topic under the sun already.
John Morgan said,
“3. Girls don’t care about sex? That sounds like something your culture taught you, not your church.”
No, that is in fact something churches, preachers, and Christians do in fact teach – that only men are visually stimulated and enjoy sex, while women (especially married ones) supposedly prefer “emotional bonding” and have to be cajoled into having sex.
(Conversely, un-married Christian women are assumed by most churches to be randy harlots who bed hundreds of men per week.)
I have blogged about that nasty gender stereotype repeatedly at my blog the last two years, which I know you have read, so you cannot feign ignorance.
Many Christians support something called “gender complementarianism” which buys into secular American gender stereotypes, including ones pertaining to sex.
These attitudes and stereotypes are promoted in churches and Christian culture via Christian groups such as CBMW (Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood), for example. They publish magazine articles promoting these views, hold conferences, tweet about these views, etc.
The Christian guys who are into full blown patriarchy, such as Doug Phillips and the Vision Forum, and the Home schooling Christian groups, are ten times worse than the run- of- the- mill Christian gender complementarians about these gender stereotypes and sexuality – and they too promote their views in their magazines, conferences, books, etc., which do influence people, especially teenagers, 20 somethings and naïve or insecure adult women (and some men).
Preachers, and other Christian personalities, such as Ed Young Sr., Mark Driscoll, Jimmy Evans, Christian marriage guru M. Gungor and others, teach the belief that “women and girls don’t like sex, don’t want sex, and don’t think about sex” constantly in their books, blogs, and sermons.
Here are some of my posts about these topics:
Christian stereotypes about female sexuality:
When Women Wanted Sex Much More Than Men – and how the stereotype flipped:
The reverse to that Christian stereotype about women is that all Christian men are horny horn dogs who are so sexually uncontrolled they are practically raping every woman they meet. I have blogged about that before too.
John Morgan said,
“How are churches presenting saving sex until marriage in a “distorted way.” It sounds like what you experienced was due to your own unrealistic expectations, not due to anything the church taught. “
Wow. You pretend on your own blog as though Christians get singles and celibacy all wrong, but then you come on to this blog and say the exact opposite, which makes it sound as though you are just trolling this lady’s blog post.
Yes, churches are in fact teaching virginity-until-marriage in a distorted way.
I have example after example at my blog of how they are doing so. Churches constantly re-enforce unrealistic expectations, such as telling young Christians if they just wait until their wedding night to have sex, that the sex will be great and wonderful – which is often not the case at all (I have examples at my blog).
Most churches these days are not supporting virginity, but for the ones who bother to do so, they are adding a lot of un-biblical baggage on to the concept that messes people up, or giving men sexist ideas about women and female sexuality.
Here are some examples of how Christians make dating overly sexualized and instill a fear that a kiss on the cheek, meeting for a cup of coffee, or hand holding can lead to sex…
Also, some Christian para-church groups teach a bogus thing called “emotional virginity” where they warn the genders not to talk too much to each other, because that equals fornication, or will lead to it. See these examples:
Independent Fundamentalist Baptist College Kid Friendship Permission Form – Christians lowering marriage rates due to their own stupid teachings about sex, dating, marriage, etc
Sterling Example of How Christians are Keeping Single Christians Single Forever (Re Very Long Courtship List)
How Christians Keep Christians Single (part 4) – and Emotional Virginity Teaching
Another person, named R.S., left him this comment ((Link): Source)
The tone of your response is really troubling to me because you seem to distilling her points into the most extreme conclusions and then dismissing them. I don’t think she was trying to say this is EVERYONE’S experience with “The Church” but that this sort of warped view of sex has been damaging to those raised with it, and yet it is still being taught in some churches.
1. Believe it. Some strains of fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity, especially those that subscribe to the purity/courtship movement, DO preach that kissing, holding hands, etc can be a ‘slippery slope’. Some churches are more explicit and strict than others about the boundaries of physical contact between sexes, but it is definitely seen in many Christian circles as being suspect. An example: “True love isn’t expressed in passionately whispered words, an intimate kiss, or a embrace; before two people are married, love is expressed in self-control, patience, even words left unsaid.” (Joshua Harris) And this: http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Kiss-Story-Gods-Purity/dp/0871628686 (PS When can we expect the publication of ‘The Price and the Kiss’ or is ‘purity’ only for girls?)
2. No, it’s not. But some churches set up false expectations when they overemphasized the rewards of staying a virgin until marriage and failed to mention the challenges that come with it once married. Like implying that it would be possible to repress all sexual thoughts and actions through puberty and young adulthood, and then suddenly flip the switch and be able to have mind-blowing martial sex that was “worth the wait”. Or the frequent promise that sex or marriage would be ‘blessed’ because you did it “God’s way”. So when those things don’t turn out to be true, it can be devastating to one’s identity (something must be wrong with ME), or one’s faith (God didn’t keep his promises).
3. Um no. This train of thought is alive and well in many churches. Men are from Mars and only want sex sex sex. Women are from Venus and want emotional intimacy. Men are sexual animals, women are frigid prudes. Pick up almost any Christian dating/marriage advice book and it couldn’t be clearer on how narrowly the genders are defined by these sexual stereotypes. This type of thinking is so prevalent in so many churches that I actually wonder if Christians are the ones who propagated these beliefs in our culture at large and not the other way around. Christian purity culture is no different except for the massive double standard it espouses: that “all guys think about and want is sex” (and therefore should be treated with suspicion), that women should dress modestly to “keep their brother from stumbling” (as if they are responsible for controlling their brother’s actions), that women must set the boundaries and hold the reigns on how physical things get because guys just can’t control themselves. But there’s not a word on WOMEN being obsessed with sex, turned on by guy’s bodies, or having trouble controlling sexual urges… in fact it is often implied that young women who desire purity must control themselves AND their ‘brothers’.
4. Churches who overemphasize purity/virginity as being the most valuable thing a young woman can possess and sexual sin as being the worst thing she can possibly do programs a lot of guilt, shame, repression, and confusion into impressionable young minds regarding pretty much any form of sexual expression, and that doesn’t necessarily go away once married. I think churches that preach that are deeply responsible for the twisted sexuality they have promoted and the damaging effects it has had.
Since it sounds like you might be unfamiliar with this ‘purity culture’ strain of teaching that has infested so many churches, here are some blog posts from other women who have lived through it:
Yes, I have been blogging about those very points on this blog the last couple of years, in posts such as:
(Link): Christian Stereotypes About Female Sexuality : All Unmarried Women Are Supposedly Hyper Sexed Harlots – But All Married Ones are Supposedly Frigid or Totally Uninterested in Sex
(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both
(Link): Groundbreaking News: Women Like Sex (part 1, 2) (articles)
(Link): When Women Wanted Sex Much More Than Men – and how the stereotype flipped
(Link): Relationships Of Welcome, Not Fear (Re: How Sexist Christian Views Marginalize and Isolate Adult, Single Women and Maintain Other Stereotypes About Adult Singles)
(Link): Hey Ed Stetzer: Opposite Gender Friendships Are Not Sinful – Ed Stetzer’s Advice: “Avoid Any Hint” – More Like: Re Enforce UnBiblical Stereotypes About Men, Women, Sex, and Singles
(Link): Jesus Christ was not afraid to meet alone with known Prostitutes / Steven Furtick and Elevation Church Perpetuating Anti Singles Bias – ie, Single Women are Supposedly Sexual Temptresses, All Males Can’t Control Their Sex Drives – (but this view conflicts with evangelical propaganda that married sex is great and frequent)
(Link): Jason the Christian’s Sexless Marriage – Christians promise hot regular steamy married sex but it isn’t true
(Link): Marriage Doesn’t Necessarily Guarantee Great Sex or Any At All
(Link): Problems Created by Conservative Christian Teachings About Virginity, Sex, and Marriage: Christian Couple Who Were Virgins At Marriage Are Experiencing Sexual Problems – Re: UnVeiled Wife (Marriage does not guarantee great sex)
(Link): Getting Married Does Not Necessarily Guarantee Frequent Hot Satisfying Sexy Sex / (also discussed): Gender and Sex Stereotypes (article)