The Myth of Sexual Purity

I caught a little bit of a call in radio show this afternoon where a gentleman had called in to say that he was dating a girl who wished to remain a virgin until marriage. And though he cared for her, he felt that sex was an important part of a relationship. He told his girlfriend that he respected her decision to not have sex, however he could not be chaste and would continue to see other women for sexual gratification. The fallout on the radio show was scores of women calling him an asshole because “all he wanted from her was sex.”

I had the immediate urge to call and tell the young man to run away, run quickly away. This woman’s desire to hold on to her virtue like some sort of magical shield spoke volumes to the kind of woman she was…a deluded one. I am sure I will get a lot of flak for this stance, especially from women, but bear with me and open your mind.

Female purity is a patriarchal construct that has one purpose and one purpose only, to subjugate women. We are sexual beings. As with any species, it is hardwired into our DNA to reproduce, to continue our genetic code. In order to ensure this happens, we have evolved to enjoy sexual intercourse. It is pleasurable for us, increasing our desire to copulate and therefore increasing the opportunity for reproduction.

By vilifying one half of the population for following our very nature, those who demand women remain sexually pure gain control over them. Women’s purity becomes a bargaining chip in the selling of daughters and sisters to men with money and power.  These men see virginity as a virtue because that makes them the only sexual partner, increasing the likelihood that their DNA is passed and decreasing any chance that the inexperienced bride can question their virility or expertise.

As long as women continue to buy into this crap, we will continue to see the horrors of honor killings and female circumcision. I will not respect any religion that demands female purity. I can tolerate a lot of what I consider “misguided delusions” from Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc., but I refuse to hand over the control of my own body.

Women, when religious leaders demand that you remain pure, ask “WHY?” When your political leaders demand that you be virtuous, ask “WHY?” When your fathers, uncles, and brothers demand that you remain a virgin until they can marry you to a man twice your age, ask “WHY?”

Any answer that ties your sexual purity to your morality or your worth as a human being is the WRONG ANSWER.

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Published by: assassingrl

I'm just your average marketing goddess who does some freelance writing on the side. Or am I? What if I'm really a hired killer? You don't have anything to worry about unless you are an evil villain, above the reach of the usual law and order types. You know the kind, with enough money and influence to buy their way out of any legal repercussions. That's when the organization I work for steps in. You won't find us in any federal government directory. We're one of those groups that get the conspiracy theorists all hot and bothered. This could just be the plot of a novel I'm working on. Then again...

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8 thoughts on “The Myth of Sexual Purity”

  1. I say he isn’t worthy of her. If he wants a whore like him, well there’s trillion of them now a days, it isn’t hard finding.
    I feel though this all men wants from a women is sex and once they get that, they feel no need to stay with current women. so instead, they go search for more. I say she made the right decision because in today’s society value of a women is so low. men’s treat them like a toy to play with, rather than a human been who should be respected. If a man reallly love a women, he would marriage and enjoy everything good life has to offer with that special someone, rather than rooming around like a dog. living like a dog is not a life worth spending.
    If a women wants respected, she earns it. so don’t let anyone take ur purity for one night stand…or a month thing. You take care of yourselves because no one else will.

    1. You obviously missed the entire point. A woman’s worth should have nothing to do with sex. Sex is an enjoyable activity. It is not ‘sinful’ or ‘wrong.’ Women who have sex are not ‘whores.’ If the value of women in today’s society is low, it is only because of ignorant people ‘slut shaming’ women for enjoying a perfectly natural activity. The only reason for insisting that a woman remain ‘pure’ is to control her. Men who think this way are assholes who are afraid that a woman with any kind of sexual experience would realize that they are not real men…that they lack size or capability.

  2. I don’t disagree with your points here. I bought into that whole purity bullcrap for a short while but I do differ in opinion slightly.
    For the girl in particular the man was talking about on the radio show: I think if a woman chooses to be chaste or wait until marriage because that’s how she wants to control her body shouldn’t be given shit. And that man in this specific instance sounded much more like he was using psychological coercion (by saying he’d get sexual gratification from other woman) to make her second guess her decision to wait. If she wanted to keep him to herself. It just seems like another way to control another person; manipulation.
    Sometimes I have sex because I feel obligated to, for me more control over my body would be NOT to have sex.

    1. I didn’t hear the whole interview with the man. I do give him credit for being honest, however, I think that he just needs to walk away if that is how he feels. My issue with waiting until married is really with the reasons. If you are waiting until marriage because you think that being pure makes you more valuable, then you are only perpetuating the patriarchal construct of women as chattel. If you have some other reason, like you want to be sure that you are appreciated for your brains or you just want to be the one in control of your body, then that is a different matter. I’m just concerned that the idea that being pure makes you more valuable is so deeply ingrained in some women, that they are not honest with themselves about why they remain chaste.

  3. I totally agree with you -the myth of sexual purity is inane, it’s degrading and it creates an atmosphere of guilt, shame and retribution for girls who do choose to have sex before marriage. It also leads to things like female genital mutilation as a way of making sure girls stay “pure” for the man they will eventually marry or be forced to marry. Placing any value on the state of a woman’s hymen or what she chooses to do with her body is a disgusting way to treat women, and it always has been.

  4. One of my twitter followers asked me a good question. At what age do I think a girl is ready to have sex? I think it varies for different girls, but in order to avoid any issues of consent or legality, I think all should wait until they are 18. This is not for any moral reasons. The US has set the age of majority at 18 and by waiting until the law views you as an adult, you do not have to worry about criminalizing your partner’s actions.

  5. You make some valid points.
    But I think your explanation of the origin of the practice is disingenuous.
    Before birth control, premarital sex led to unwed mothers who (like today’s teenage mothers) are a PITA for society. I think the whole purity thing came about to prevent teenage pregnancy, which is really in everyone’s interest, not just men. The easiest solution was to penalize women who weren’t pure, because they could very well be pregnant, and if the father wasn’t their husband, damage would ensue. Yes, the father could step up, but a lot of the time the woman doesn’t know who he is, or it’s his word against hers.
    HOWEVER, given today’s easy control of fertility, I agree it’s a useless taboo. And yes, the purity thing has gone too far. But I don’t think it was all guy’s ideas.

    1. You make a good point, but I think you are looking at too recent history. The idea of women as chattel is much older than concerns of unwed mothers causing a burden on society. The continuation of the practice has more to do with religious beliefs rather than mens’ wish to subjugate women, but the origin of those religious restrictions do serve to control women. There are much older civilizations (Ancient Greece) that do not put such a high value on the purity of women.
      In the 19th Century, women also learned to leverage purity for power. Without political or social equality, purity at least gave women a means to elevate themselves “spiritually.” If we are to accept that women have equal worth socially and politically as men, we must tear down this myth that virginity makes a woman worth more. It is dangerous, as seen in those cultures that kill girls who they view as no longer pure.

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