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Sun Aug 17, 2014, 04:25 PM

What Happens When Evangelical Virgin Men Get Married? This Secular Female Sociologist Found Out.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119119/secular-sociologist-studies-evangelical-virgin-men-who-got-married

In 2008, sociologist Sarah Diefendorf spent a year attending a support group for young Christian men who’d pledged to remain abstinent until marriage, getting to know the 20-something bachelors whose lives revolved around an evangelical mega-church in the southwestern United States. Studies have found that teens pledging abstinence through large-scale national programs like True Love Waits and Silver Ring Thing are no more likely than their peers to remain virgins until marriage, but small peer groups may be more successful. “In these small groups, the men would really talk and grapple with issues of sex and sexuality,” Diefendorf, a PhD candidate at the University of Washington, told me. All fifteen men in the group kept their pledges (as far as she could tell). But their struggles with sexuality didn’t end on their wedding nights. Diefendorf followed up with the men five years later, after they were married, to see what kind of issues they were still facing.

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Some years ago, I worked in a hospital in an area that had a large Mormon population, and one of my coworkers and a really good friend was a LDS guy. Let's call him Jake. Jake was pretty open about his religion and was happy to answer any question I had for him, even the ones I found out later were really kind of offensive to ask (things about sacred undergarments, for example).

Jake was in his mid-late 20's when we were working together and he was a class or 2 behind me in Nursing school. He told me about how he and his wife were "set up" thorough their church as teenagers, and were pretty much expected to get married in adulthood. When they went on dates, they had chapperones. THey were never alone. During college, he proposed to her and they decided to get married when they both graduated.

He was pretty open about his ideas of what would happen sexually once they got married. He talked about how difficult it was to marry someone you'd never even kissed or been alone with, and how once they were married, he thought he was going to be getting wonton sex every night. He soon found out his new wife had really no interest in sex at all.

I told him that must really suck (or not) and that's why I'm a big proponent of living together before marriage, and having sex with people before settling down with them. He was quite upset that his expectations didn't meet his wifes, and that they were never ever prepared that this could or would be an issue, or how to even talk about sex and what their expectations for each other were.

I felt really bad for him.

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Reply What Happens When Evangelical Virgin Men Get Married? This Secular Female Sociologist Found Out. (Original post)
Heddi Aug 2014 OP
Warpy Aug 2014 #1
awoke_in_2003 Aug 2014 #11
Warpy Aug 2014 #12
Curmudgeoness Aug 2014 #2
AlbertCat Aug 2014 #4
Curmudgeoness Aug 2014 #9
onager Aug 2014 #3
AlbertCat Aug 2014 #5
onager Aug 2014 #6
Heddi Aug 2014 #7
mr blur Aug 2014 #8
Curmudgeoness Aug 2014 #10

Response to Heddi (Original post)

Sun Aug 17, 2014, 04:40 PM

1. Well, "getting wanton (not won ton) sex every night"

is a fantasy for too many people before they get married if they haven't lived together. That's both men and women, there.

Combining that with a lot of fumbling and not knowing how to please a lady (or man) means sex just doesn't live up to the advance publicity for one, maybe both of them.

The fact that all the adults around them were sex phobic around teenagers and young adults puts the final nail in the coffin of a satisfactory married sex life. They really had no idea what they could expect, good and bad, going in to married life.

Nobody should start married life ignorant and virginal. Even with the religious baggage keeping them virginal, there should be some attempt to give them the facts.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 20, 2014, 07:32 PM

11. Have you ever tried Won Ton sex?

 

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #11)

Wed Aug 20, 2014, 11:49 PM

12. Too small and squishy

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Response to Heddi (Original post)

Sun Aug 17, 2014, 05:33 PM

2. Wow, it is one thing to be a virgin when you marry,

and it is a whole other thing not to have ever kissed your new spouse or had private conversations---presumably about anything---prior to marriage. Put on top of this that there was never any preparation for what sex is all about, no conversations about the birds and the bees, no counsel about the wedding night, nothing but fantasy. Wow, I feel bad for this guy too, and I also feel bad for the girl who has no interest in sex for whatever reason---not really loving him, or his inexperience, or the thought that sex is dirty because she was told that all her life.

Maybe this guy will lose faith in god. He was cheated.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 18, 2014, 10:41 AM

4. Wow (just wow), I feel bad for this guy too, and I also feel bad for the girl

 

I don't. They bought into the Mormon crap without too much questioning or independent thought. Naturally reality becomes a problem. You'd have to be pretty incurious to not sneak off to a dirty movie or something.... or read a book about it (and other things) in your teens and twenties.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 18, 2014, 06:50 PM

9. I completely agree that it is bizarre not to have been curious.

In fact, I don't even believe that they didn't even read a dirty book or see a dirty movie. But I am thinking that these Mormons are just basing everything on what is "normal" in their households. I laugh today at some of the things that I thought was "normal" based on our household.....like we never bothered to shut the bathroom door.....or eating raw hamburger. It never occurred to me to be curious about how others felt about these things that were so normal in our house.

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Response to Heddi (Original post)

Sun Aug 17, 2014, 10:35 PM

3. Sounds like the Mormons are stuck in the Fifties...

Maybe even the 1850s.

I write that while sitting here watching "Masters of Sex," the Showtime series about the sex researchers Masters & Johnson in the 1950s.

Jebus, what you said about the Mormons applied to the whole damn country back in those days. Nobody knew anything about sex and even talking about it was verboten.

One of the fictional characters is a woman doctor trying to get the Pap smear established as a common procedure. This is not considered important by the mostly male medical community.

The series also gave a small part to one of my favorite atheists, Sarah Silverman. So it's a big win all around.

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Response to onager (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 18, 2014, 10:43 AM

5. Nobody knew anything about sex and even talking about it was verboten.

 

Nonsense!

No one had done a scientifically valid study however. But people knew and did everything people have known and done sexually since the begining of time.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #5)

Mon Aug 18, 2014, 12:05 PM

6. Yep, one of my usual hyperbolic overstatements.

Should have said something like "People who needed help couldn't get it." So usually resigned themselves to a life of misery and ignorance.

Yes, people have always known more about sex than they let on. But it couldn't be publicly talked about, without risking arrest in many cases.

Reminds me of Quentin Crisp's remark, when he was busted once for "visiting a place of assignation" - "The whole world is a place of assignation."

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Response to Heddi (Original post)

Mon Aug 18, 2014, 06:05 PM

7. This reply is kind of to everyone---for me, I think the biggest issue

is that he wasn't allowed to ever *ever* be alone with his future wife prior to being married. Never. He said even when they talked on the phone, it had to be in a setting where they were in a room with someone else.

Not a single private conversation ever. Not about what their true feelings were about anything.

Intimacy, it appears, goes far beyond sex and sexuality.

So he never got to find out what her ideas were about sex, and she never got to hear his plans for post-wedding-night coitus.

I think, like this very short article shows, there isn't any preparation for the reality of human bonding and sex an intimacy---the good and the bad---by these "abstinent only, no hand holding, only satan likes to have private conversation" bullshit artists. It's like "Once upon a time you were born then you got married, the end"

The issue, as Warpy points out above, isn't that the sex wasn't 24 hours a day after marriage---Yes, that's not a reality for most couples. The issue is that there was no way for the conversation of sex, sexual desires, sexual limitations, sexual expectations, to even be discussed prior to marriage. And now that they're married, it's too fucking late. Too fucking late to do anything about it, and too fucking late because there STILL isn't any way for them to talk about it.

I feel like they never knew an "intimate" relationship. Every aspect of their courtship and getting to know you bullshit of dating was all within the confines of another person within armsreach and earshot. Maybe that's a metaphor for God in their lives? Who the fuck knows.

But they never got to fight. They never got to say what they really felt. They never got to say the nasty, unacceptable, rude, fart-in-public shit that people generally SAY when you're engaged or when you're dating.

That's what I think is the problem with this---not just Jake or whatever fake name I gave him---but to all these relationships like this. They're unrealistic. And they set you up as if the person you "Dated" (not really dated, just hung out with while other people were around making sure you didn't get any hanky panky going on) was the TRUE person you were going to marry.

My husband and I had relationships before we met each other. We had long term, short term, long distance, live in, one-night-stands, friends with benefits....by the time we met each other, we at least knew what we wanted out of our partner. We were still young and figuring out what we wanted out of life, but we were able to spend time together. To see each other's bad sides, and good sides, and every-other-day normal side. We were able to have arguments and fight and find boundaries. We spent the night together and eventually moved in together. We were able to see whether one of us snored too loud (that's me!) or doesn't flush after a number 2 (deal breaker!) or likes some freaky kink.

In the end, when we decided to get married (3 years after dating), it was with utter confidence that we could theoretically spend the rest of our lives together. We had seen each other at our best, and at our worst, and at our most mediocre. We had been through tough things, and through good things, and through easy things. We knew how to make a budget. We knew how to argue.

And we knew we were ready for marriage because we were willing to look at that whole big picture of talks and late nights and things I'd never told anyone and things he'd never told anyone and the good and the bad and say "yeah, I can deal with that part, I like that part, I'm willing to overlook that part, and we're working on that part."

I feel like Jake and his wife---and millions of other couples like them---had none of that. They had a facade of what each other was like. And their "marriage" is what I consider dating. The REAL getting to know you. Only now they can't. They don't know how. Too much to lose if they do.

It's unhealthy, I think. It's setting yourself up for failure, or misery, or both

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Response to Heddi (Reply #7)

Mon Aug 18, 2014, 06:25 PM

8. Heddi, I wish I could rec your post. (nt)

 

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Response to Heddi (Reply #7)

Mon Aug 18, 2014, 07:03 PM

10. It says something for your dissertation that I read the whole thing.

Excellent points. I think that you are right about this "honeymoon" period of the marriage is really just like the dating period for the rest of us.

It is a shame that, more than likely, this couple will be miserable with each other for their entire life. Divorce would be out of the question. Sex counseling is probably out of the question. Lucky for them they can hold out hope for paradise after this life.

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