“Chastity charms: we hand out the little hearts, but not the key. That way, nobody can open the lock forever, and ladies, that’s what keeps us safe!” – Emma Pillsbury, Glee
In the TV show Glee, Emma Pillsbury is a neurotic, dysfunctional virgin who refuses to consummate her marriage. Holly Holiday, on the other hand, is a promiscuous temp who thinks that chastity for teens is like “vegetarianism for lions.”
This is what the media has to say about sex. Modern TV shows and movies have a comically unhealthy portrayal of virgins over the age of 15. I sometimes wonder if my only options are to be a “crazy Pope Lady” or a “liberated lioness” who has the “ditty on the dirty.” Isn’t there more to sex than that?
Yes, there is. I’m tired of being force-fed the lie that chastity ultimately means hiding your heart and damning your desires. I’m sick of our society’s tendency to reduce celibacy, a profound act of self-sacrifice, to the blind following of prudish, old-fashioned rules. And I hate that sex, the most intimate act of self-giving, has been slapped with nasty nicknames. I’m tired of being told to settle for “the dirty” when my heart was made for pure and lasting love.
I am a 20-year-old virgin and I love sex.
Unlike Ms. Pillsbury, I don’t abstain from sex because I’m terrified or germaphobic. I don’t abstain because I can’t get a date, or because I don’t “feel ready.” And I don’t abstain from sex because I think it’s gross or dirty. (One of my sexually active friends was genuinely shocked to find out that I (a virgin) actually have sexual desires!)
I abstain from sex because I love it too much to abuse it. I value my body too much to give it to just anyone. And I love my future spouse too much to mistakenly lose the gift that he truly deserves. On my wedding night, I will very gladly give my virginity to the man who has won my heart. As the crown of God’s creation, the female body deserves nothing short of reverent patience.
At one time in my life, I didn’t see the value of my body. I compared myself to other girls in my grade, envying their flawless peaches-and-cream complexions. I sought the attention and approval of my male peers, giving away kisses in exchange for closeness. I wanted so much to “feel” wanted and loved. What I later realized was that I am wanted and loved, regardless of how I feel.
With the grace of God, a loving family, and strong feminine role models, I slowly learned the proper purpose for dating, the meaning of a kiss, and the true value of the human body.
Chastity isn’t about suppressing your desires, but channeling them to bring about the best, most life-affirming outcome. How happy would young women be if they spent less time pining over passing infatuations and more time developing healthy friendships! How happy will her future husband be when he alone is able to unlock the secrets of her body!