“‘You don’t buy a car without test driving it first.’ It sounds like a solid reason for having sex. I mean you want to know if you are compatible sexually before you lock yourself into that exclusive forever-type relationship. But not everything that sounds logical makes good sense when you really think about it.
Let’s break the logic down and see what is really being said. It’s not as black and white as people think it is.
- Holding hands = Looking at the car. Running your hands over the hood.
- Kissing = Sitting in the seat. Grabbing the steering wheel.
- Heavy making out = Starting the car. Turning all the dials. Wiping your feet on the carpet. Spilling a drink in the seat.
- Touching, kissing, fondling, groping, anything besides intercourse = Scratching the paint. Breaking the window. Poking holes in the seat.
- Sex (oral, intercourse, anything else) = Driving the car like crazy. Putting major miles. High speeds. Running over curbs. Totally ragging out the car.
Would you buy a beat up old used car at a new car price? Think about it. Would you look at this car that is all scratched up with dents and high miles on it, pay the full sticker price and think, ‘Wow, what a great deal!’ No way. But that’s exactly what happens when you get into sex without being married. When you keep having sex and pushing further and further what you are actually doing is turning yourself into a used car. Then you are expecting someone to come along and make a full price commitment for a ragged out, used car.”
This lovely little snippet is from “Dateable: Are you? Are they?” by Justin Lookadoo and Hayley Morgan, a Christian book about teenage relationships. I got it from my parents somewhen between the ages of ten and thirteen, when I started reading girl’s magazines with my best friend and showed interest in those topics for the first time (at an abstract level, but still).
Now, I don’t have the book anymore, and since I only read it maybe once or twice, I can’t remember everything that was said or the way it was said. But here are some pearls of wisdom imparted by this book:
- Boys only think of sex. Always. No boy ever likes you, they just want to have sex with you. Don’t be fooled into thinking anything else. You cannot trust them. They’ll do and say anything they have to to get you into bed.
- Don’t trust your best friend. Did she ever share someone else’s secret with you? Yes? Then she’ll tell all your secrets to everyone else, too. Really, she’s a total gossip. Don’t tell her anything.
- Be MYSTERIOUS! Be INTERESTING! Boys like feeling like explorers. So don’t talk to them like the other girls do, be the interesting, mysterious, silent one. And for God’s sake (well, actually your own, because you don’t want to go to Hell, do you?), COVER THAT SHAMEFUL BODY OF YOURS. (Not that they actually called it “shameful”, because after all, God made it.)
- One day, someone will marry you, but only if you’re untouched. Nobody wants something broken, and girls who have had sex are completely broken and worthless. Didn’t you read the car thing above? Marriage is just the price men pay for the privilege of tearing through your hymen, and if yours is already broken, well, you’re a worthless slut and can’t expect anyone to treat you with respect.
- COVER THAT BODY. Seriously. What is wrong with you? If you wear stuff like that and someone fucks you and dumps you, don’t come crying and complain that I didn’t say so. Boys value girls who wear lots of clothes and no slutty make-up. You know, because of the mystery and the way the girls respect themselves. “If you dress like a piece of meat, you’re gonna get thrown on the BBQ.” (Guess that also counts for rape.)
Needless to say, I didn’t date much. Libby Anne has a very good post about the effects of such teachings on girls – if you’re interested, you should check out her other posts about this subject as well. Many of them reflect my own experiences and thoughts with astonishing accuracy.
I only realized how much all of this was still part of me when I slept with my boyfriend for the first time. I trusted him, and I believed that he really liked me (not just my body) and wanted to be together with me.Yet in the weeks afterwards, I felt like a burden had been lifted from me – we had done it, and he hadn’t left me. He was still at my side, as sweet and loving as ever, treated me with no less respect than before and showed no sign of waning interest now that he had “explored the mystery” (yes, you may thank me for this new euphemism).
Around the same time I read “Dateable”, probably a bit later, I got hold of a very different book about sex and love at my friend’s place. It had a pink cover, proclaimed to contain “everything you wanted to know, but never dared to ask”, was written in a friendly, gentle, encouraging tone and gave instructions for kissing, masturbating and not losing hope when you feel like you’re the loneliest person on Earth and noone will ever want to date you. It talked about same-sex attractions and sexual lust as something completely natural instead of shameful and did not contain a single word about the “value” of someone inexperienced, or the “self-respect” of someone hiding in baggy clothing.
In other words, it was sex-positive, secular, healthy (yes, safe sex was emphasized), and like an oasis of fresh, cool confidence in the desert of inferiority feelings and self-hate.
I wish I could remember the damn title. It was something really unremarkable, something like “love, sex and other things”, which is absolutely not helpful in Google searches. (Or rather, Ecosia searches.)
Interestingly enough, my parents were way more relaxed about the whole sex thing than “Dateable”. Sex itself, now, that was something supposed to be reserved for marriage, a wonderful, God-given gift to be enjoyed by husband and wife. But regarding revealing clothes, make-up or girl’s magazines with sex tips, they were pretty laid back – maybe because my mother wasn’t raised Christian and read the same magazines, or maybe because they realized I was more likely to kill myself than to flirt around. For whatever reason, when I wore something with cleavage (once in a month, maybe), my mother usually whistled appreciatively or teased me about it instead of throwing a fit. And for that, I’m extremely grateful.