As I mentioned in Lovestruck, once you recognize the modern inversion of the moral relationship between romantic love, sex, and marriage you will begin to see this everywhere. A while back Rollo pointed out a couple of posts by a Christian blogger named Joy who tied herself in knots trying to write about Christian sexual morality without offending modern culture. The first post is News Flash: You Probably Won’t Marry a Virgin. Even more interesting than the post itself however are the comments. Commenter Gunnar Tveiten was offended that Joy even tepidly suggested that chastity was a good thing. He referred to reserving sex for biblical marriage as “a sad and perverted thing”, and explained that romantic love is what matters when considering the morality of sex:
You go on: “God is a God of second chances, and no mistake” in other words, if you’re among the 96% who ignore the nonsense, then you blew your “first chance”, you did something wrong, but God forgives your mistake and gives you a second chance. Here’s the thing though: what if it *wasn’t* a mistake ? What if it was, as it often is, *deliberate* and *repeated* and with a person you love – perhaps even the person you end up marrying ? Do you imagine the 96% generally had sex once, or a handful of times ? That would again, be a rejection of reality.
Then you come out and say it explicitly: “Now, I’m not saying go out and have lots of sex. It’s best to save sex for marriage for many reasons, spiritual and otherwise.”
In other words, we all do it wrong. 96% of us. You, like most churches, live in a alternative universe where this is true. The overwhelming majority of us REJECTS that universe and substitute our own. In *our* universe, intimacy between people who love oneanother is a thing of beauty – the deepest expression of trust, love and compassion. Created by God himself. Glorious and wonderful.
By insisting that celibacy has spiritual and other advantages, you become part of the problem: you contribute to the shame, instead of talking about love.
He elaborates in response to another commenter who chose not to have sex outside of biblical marriage:
My bible is a book about love. Love is the highest and most important commandment I find when I read it with an open mind. Intimacy and sex is one (of many!) ways we express our love. I do not think that love among adult consenting human beings, can ever be a sin. This is my understanding.
Commenter Gwen explains that while she has repented for some of her past fornication, some of it she won’t ever repent for because it occurred in the context of romantic love and her sacred path to marriage:
When I met the man I was certain I was going to marry, I thought long and hard about what I wanted and what he wanted (he was not a virgin), and finally landed on the decision to responsibly and lovingly have pre-marital sex. Months later, we ended our relationship, and I was devastated. I told myself that I was being punished for my sins, and that no good man would ever love me.
Many years and many relationships later, I have a much healthier perspective. He and I absolutely were not meant to be husband and wife, and our marriage, had it occurred, would have ended miserably. However, our relationship, in the beginning, was loving and wonderful, and our sex life, including our first time, was also loving and wonderful. Even now, I do not doubt that he loved me at the time, nor do I doubt that I truly loved him. My first time was gentle and full of respect and caring and mutual understanding, and for that, now that I’ve worked through the guilt and shame dumped on me by the culture, I am grateful.
I have made choices that I regret, and decisions I’ve asked forgiveness for, but my first time is not, nor will it ever be, one of them.
Commenter Joel wants to bring this back to the Bible, and starts off at least somewhat well. However, even he ends up suggesting that romantic love is something which confers morality to sex in biblical marriage:
If you consider yourself a believer, you must acknowledge that there is a gigantic list of scripture that indicates that we are avoid sexual temptation, which let’s be honest, except for the argument of consensual sex between two nearly (or on the road to being) married people deeply in love, much of our sexual craving is rooted in lust.
Note that not claiming romantic love gives moral cover to sex doesn’t mean that romantic love doesn’t have a place in biblical marriage. As I pointed out in the last post, the problem is the moral inversion. Romantic love is now seen as the moral place to experience sex and marriage, instead of marriage being seen as the moral context to pursue romantic love and sex.
Joy then wrote a follow up post On Virginity: What I Did and Did Not Mean where she apologizes to anyone who felt shamed by her previous post’s fleeting brush with biblical sexual morality:
While I tried my best to respond in the comments, and even modified my post to try to make things more clear, some people still felt shamed by the post. I regret that deeply and want to try to clarify a few things.
And clarify she does. She explains that sex outside of marriage is not shameful, but that it must be within the context of romantic love:
Choosing not to abstain from sexual intercourse before marriage is
As I wrote above, we are sexual beings. We desire the pleasure and connection of sexual relationships. When we love someone, we want to demonstrate it in real and tangible ways, and physical acts of kissing, touching, and intercourse is very much a part of that. I encourage you to be wise in who you choose to interact with in this way. Many people use sex to manipulate and abuse their partner – watch out for this.
But again the comments were even more telling than the post itself. This time manosphere veteran Jack explained why he won’t marry a woman he views as having a history of promiscuity:
Women are the gatekeepers of sex, and men are the gatekeepers of commitment.
I refuse to give commitment to a woman who did not guard her virtue. She gave it away to other men, and I find it unattractive. No judgment implied. Just not attracted to women with a past.
This brought the following response (emphasis mine):
So a woman’s value is only as good as her virtue? And if she loved another and expressed that love physically with that person before you, she’s too unattractive and not worthy of your attention, attraction, commitment?