Right off the bat, let me admit that I’m Roman Catholic, and I get the Church’s teaching about Chastity – sex as a unitive as well as procreative act, etc., etc. Up until about thirty, forty years ago, the mainstream Christian churches all shared this view, and most people were part of a Christian church of some description. That’s no longer the case.
In fact, I realize that most of my readers, now and forevermore, are probably going to consider themselves quite thoroughly independent of a religious perspective, so let’s talk about this chastity business from a very practical point of view.
As I’ve said before and will probably say again, women who’ve been married to gay men get all muddled up in confusing sex with affection with love. We are so habituated to equate the lack of sexual love or physical affection with the overall rejection we faced from our husbands that when a man comes along and shows us a bit of affection or sexual interest, we sort of lose our heads…
And it’s crazier, because a lot of us didn’t have sex before the wedding with our gay husbands. I thought DH had such exquisite self-control! but it turned out he just wasn’t interested. So when a man is interested… wow!
And then we find ourselves in situations we really don’t want to be in…
…with the “player” who just wanted the conquest and disappears after the encounter, leaving us wondering what happened! Was I not “good enough” for him, either?
… with the codependent man who is contented to hang around for easy sex but doesn’t want to make a commitment…
… with our judgment skewed in a very big way by all those endorphins and other horrormones that sort of hit us like a ton of bricks and interfere with our rational judgment.
And ultimately, what we want – to be loved for our whole selves and to belong to and with someone – has gotten sabotaged. We’ve been used. We feel it, as well as feeling cheapened, and exploited, and trashed.
So. Where does that leave us?
Let’s look at Chastity for a moment. Chastity does not mean never ever again having sex. Yes, I’m going to limit having sex to the context of marriage. What you do on your own is your business, but I’m not going to advocate any other course of action, okay?
Chastity is liberating. It frees us from getting entangled in bad, toxic, exploitive premature “relationships.”
Chastity leaves us free to pursue healing and wholeness and our own integrity in a way that easy sex sabotages.
Chastity empowers us. It puts us in the driver’s seat, not our partner whom we’re trying so desperately to please.
Chastity gives us time and room to get to know a man’s character. Really. Sure, there’s always an element of risk – but that risk is exponentially increased, several times over, when those horny horror-mones kick in and are leading us around by the nose.
Yeah, the popular rhetoric these days is that women’s liberation is reduced to her ability to have unrestricted, consequence-free sex, but that’s a lie. Sex out of the context of marriage has emotional and spiritual consequences, and they’re very unpleasant.
So what do you have to lose by adopting chastity? A whole lot of baggage, it appears to me – baggage that actually thwarts us from achieving the life and love we really want.