Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-
Friends, I have a confession to make… I am a sucker for a good reality TV series. Reality TV is one of my guilty pleasures and I get a thrill watching all the drama unfold on my television set. I think it is the lack of drama in my own life that gives me the space to enjoy others’ petty behavior. Anyways, I am a huge fan of a reality TV series called Married at First Sight™. The concept is simple: two perfect strangers agree to marry at first sight for eight weeks. At the end of the eight week period, they can then decide to stay married or to divorce. First of all, I could NEVER marry a perfect stranger. Absolutely not! Like, dating in 2019 must suck so bad that people are out here willingly engaging in arranged marriages. This past season there was a girl named Iris on the show. She was characterized as smart, beautiful, loving and also a virgin. She decided to not share herself sexually with anyone other than her spouse-to-be. To me, Iris was legit. Home-girl even brought herself the most beautiful white dress to celebrate her virginity. Well, the man she married…he was not too thrilled about her choice. In fact, he divorced her because of it. He wanted someone who had as much sexual experience as him and in the end, he walked away from his marriage to Iris.
So… what does this have to do with me? Quite a bit! For the first time, I saw a public display of one of my fears. As someone who is also a member of the V-Club, I fear that this gift I want to save for my spouse will be looked upon with shame, it will be the thing that disqualifies me, giving him fuel to walk away. There is nothing like virgin-shaming. You know, that awkward silence and weird look people give you when they find out you do not have any experience in that “department”. I remember guys making sexual advances towards me and when I had to explain why I was not accepting them, I would get the classic response: (1) Lack of Eye Contact; (2) Hand rubbing the back of the head; and finally (3) The Pivoted Stance. It was as if the dude could not wait to jet to the nearest door. All of a sudden, it felt like I had a disease.
Watching Iris leave her marriage heartbroken spoke to every one of my fears. What if I save myself for marriage and he is disappointed in my lack of experience? What if sex is a deal-breaker for him? How would I know if I am doing “it” right? OMGGGGGG talk about increased anxiety. My friends are always like girl I wish I was in your position, if I could go back, I would have waited too. Yeah…that’s so encouraging but they do not understand what it is like to be me.
I read a few articles that discussed the shame virgins sometimes face surrounding their choice, and my friends that shame is real. We sometimes feel shame for being different; we sometimes feel shame for being sensual and sexually frustrated; we sometimes feel shame for wanting to throw our V-cards away. We feel all levels of shame sometimes around something that God himself created to be good. There is this terrible notion that if we let that piece of ourselves go, we failed the mission- we missed the mark. Yet, this same shame speaks to us and says that if we do not turn into some type of sexual vixen for our husbands in time then we should be ashamed as well. I have talked to virgins with high sex drives that feel shame; I’ve spoken to those who engage in casual sex and have felt shame. It seems that no matter your moral compass or beliefs, shame has the capability of robbing us of the joy that comes with pleasure.
Yet, is not shame like that? You will spend your whole life believing in your pursuit or call and the response of the one you love will make you second guess your covenant. What you looked upon with pride, you now look upon with regret. I think that experiences like Iris’ or even mine during my college years have the power to shape us. We can either stick to our conviction, or to win the love of another we can compromise.
Lifetime™ did a “Where Are They Now?” special with the cast members of the last season of Married at First Sight™. Iris showed up looking amazing. She sat next to her now ex-husband, the one she came to love, radiating strength and light. She boldly proclaimed, “It’s okay because now I am a divorced virgin, an even more rare gem.” I sat in front of the TV, marveled at her post-break up glow, and chuckled to myself. She was a rare gem. Yet, even if she was no longer a virgin she would have been a rare gem. For, she was someone who stood by her convictions. She had so much discipline and so much confidence in herself that it seemed like all of the shame regarding her marriage’s demise drifted away. Iris was okay! Heck, she was better than okay!
Well friends, why the sex talk? First, I figured we are all mature adults able to have a candid conversation about something the world idolizes. Second, I wanted to share my story to let my fellow V-club members know that there are more people like you out there. It is rare, but we do exist. Third, I believe that we must stop allowing shame to rob us of connection and pleasure with God and others. Shame does not keep us out of the lifestyle of sin, oftentimes it has the adverse effect- it coaches us right into it. We must share our stories free of shame and be able to stand by our convictions without thinking something is wrong with us. There is freedom and acceptance in making choices for your journey. Lastly, since when is sex not a topic of conversation for the believer? If it was created by God to give glory to God, why do we shy away from discussing its pros and cons absent of godly covenant? In our efforts to keep ourselves out of sexual immorality, we have demonized something given to us as a gift to enrich intimacy. The church, its people and everyone in between should be able to speak freely about all things pertaining to sex, sexuality and sexual health. So, let us open ourselves up to candid conversation to discover the power of truth and honesty. Shying away from relevant conversation does not make us wise, but rather extremely foolish.
Well loves, that is it for today! Stay safe out there.