There is a moral frame embedded in the tingle detecting bra video which most viewers won’t notice because this frame is our new normal. The three types of men thwarted by the bra are presented as bad not because they are trying to pick up the bar sluts, but because they aren’t providing the bar sluts with the feeling they are searching for. These are the bad men the bra in the video is designed to protect women from.
It’s time to save women from these guys!
The bar sluts themselves however are presented as moral for seeking out what they want:
Women always seek true love.
These women are on a noble quest, and need to be saved from the bad men who don’t make them tingle. There is however one good man presented in the video, and we know this because he alone is able to unlock the bra.
This elevation of the tingle/feelings of romantic love by women to the new moral test for men isn’t limited to modern secular culture. Modern Christians have internalized this new sexual morality as well. The ability to make the bra pop is the Arthurian task modern Christian husbands need to pass to prove their righteousness.
President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. is surprisingly bold in laying out this new moral vision (emphasis mine):
…when I say that a husband must regularly “earn” privileged access to the marital bed, I mean that a husband owes his wife the confidence, affection, and emotional support that would lead her to freely give herself to her husband in the act of sex.
Put most bluntly, I believe that God means for a man to be civilized, directed, and stimulated toward marital faithfulness by the fact that his wife will freely give herself to him sexually only when he presents himself as worthy of her attention and desire.
Dennis Rainey’s FamilyLife is a bit more circumspect in their description of this in their widely distributed* 5 Five Essentials for a Thriving Marriage:
From relational intimacy springs sexual intimacy. The safety of being known and still being accepted—in spite of our flaws—finds its expression in marriage through sex. It is a gift to married couples from God. Relational and sexual intimacy keeps a marriage from deteriorating into little more than a legally arranged partnership. Remember, it takes time and attentiveness to nurture this kind of relationship.
For those who need more explanation as to how a man’s goodness is the source of his wife’s sexual desire towards him, see Dennis Rainey’s The irresistible man Part 1 and Part 2 from the Stepping Up™ website. You can read Empathologism’s thoughts on the articles here and here.
Lastly, we can see the same new morality in the modern Christian’s favorite movie on marriage, Fireproof (spoiler alert). The hero in the movie (Caleb) is on a quest to win his wife Catherine’s heart (and tingle) from the man she wants to divorce him for. The movie spells this out unmistakably when Caleb goes to meet the doctor and notifies him that he intends to fight the doctor for his own wife’s heart:
l have no intention of stepping aside as you try to steal my wife’s heart. l’ve made some mistakes, but l still love her. So just know l am going after her too. And since l’m married to her, l’d say l’ve got a head start.
There are multiple scenes in Fireproof where Catherine’s bra would certainly pop if she were wearing a tingle detecting bra, but unfortunately in the vast majority of the movie it would only pop for the doctor. Then we have the scene where the conflict in the story is resolved, when Catherine is picking out extra items for her mother at the medical supply store. Fortunately Catherine isn’t wearing a tingle detecting bra because it would surely pop early in the scene when she is thinking about the doctor; this would have made for an awkward moment as she paused to reconnect it. Then just a bit later in the scene the bra would have popped again, but this time (the first time in the movie) it would have popped because she was thinking of Caleb. Now that Caleb finally knows the combination to Catherine’s bra, the conflict in the story is resolved. Christians everywhere swooned.
*My wife recently found a laminated copy of this being used as a bookmark in a book at a garage sale.