The Virtuous Life: Chastity

by Brett & Kate McKay on May 18, 2008 · 136 comments

in A Man's Life, On Virtue, The Virtuous Life

This is the twelfth post in a series about living Ben Franklin’s 13 virtues.

 

CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

Editor’s Note: Before we get to the post, allow me to head off the would be commenter, who, thinking himself beyond clever, posts something akin to “Benjamin Franklin wasn’t chaste! He was a womanizer!” In truth, this bit of popular knowledge has been greatly exaggerated. Please see here and here.

Also, as we have mentioned time and time again, Franklin openly admitted that he did not live the virtues perfectly. But he felt he was a far better man for having made the attempt to do so. Living the virtuous life doesn’t not mean attaining perfection, but striving to improve oneself.

Ahhh, chastity. A word that can make teenagers blush and grown men cringe. A word that conjures up thoughts of medieval belts, “true love waits” pledge cards, and ranting preachers. Many believe the concept of chastity has no place in a modern, enlightened society. Indeed, in many ways the virtue of chastity is the most difficult to write about. Unlike the other virtues, it is hard to define chastity apart from its relationship to religious beliefs. Yet, while the precise definition of chastity will vary from man to man, there are aspects of this virtue that all men, regardless of belief system, should aspire to.

In today’s sexualized society, promoting chastity is seen as prudish and old fashioned. In the eyes of many, promoting chastity on a men’s site will be seen as almost contradictory. Isn’t manliness all about the notches on your bedpost of the women you have conquered? We propose that manly sexuality shouldn’t be about the number of women a man beds; rather, it should be about focusing one’s sexuality in meaningful relationships.

Sex as a Consumer Good

Sex, it seems, is everywhere. It pops up in every nook and cranny of our day to day lives. We see sex on our television, in our magazines, and on our computers. It is used to sell everything from shampoo to jeans. While once viewed as a sacred mystery, today it has become just another consumer product that can be bought or sold. Sure, people have sold sex since the beginning of history (they don’t call prostitution the oldest profession for nothing). What’s different now is that the very idea of sex has been commercialized and in the process cheapened.

People today approach sex just as they would approach buying a widget. The focus is on YOUR satisfaction and YOUR pleasure. A man thus fantasizes about his next “purchase.” After that hook-up gives him the pleasure he was seeking, he shops around until he finds another person that can satisfy the urge. When he gets tired of that woman or he sees a better and higher end model, he trades-in that person and goes after the upgrade. The problem is that people aren’t things; they’re, well, people. They have hopes, dreams, feelings, and aspirations just like you do.

The Problem with the Hook-Up Culture

On college campuses hooking-up has replaced dating. Guys seldom ask girls on out real dates: outings they have planned ahead of time and which involve just the two of them. And they even less frequently ask that girl to be their girlfriend and enter into monogamous relationships. Instead women and men hook up at bars, Greek houses, and parties. They have their way with each other and then hope never to have a run-in around campus. College is seen as the time to sow one’s wild oats before settling down at some yet to be determined, but definitively far off time.

While many (maybe most?) men see all this as harmless fun, the reality is that there are negative consequences to these hit and run sexual encounters. In truth, “casual sex” is an oxymoron; there is no such thing.

While for some men, sex is just another recreational activity like going to a baseball game, in reality sex is a powerful part of the human experience. Whether you are religious or not, it is wrong to strip sex of any kind of sacredness. The reason sex feels so fantastic is biological propagation insurance; after shooting wooly mammoths and pulling up roots all day, the human race needed a push to overcome the tiredness, get jiggy with it, and perpetuate the human race. Sex is not just erotic and hot, it’s the way in which human life is created. Regardless of how you think the human race came to be, the creation of life is surely imbued with power and mystery. Whether you want it to be or not, sex forms a union between you and the woman you are with. It’s the joining of two bodies together. Powerful hormones and feelings are released when you have sex. Evolution set up these feelings with the intention of bringing two people together to care for a new human life. It’s ridiculous to unite with a woman in this powerful coupling and then change partners like you’re changing a shirt.

Even if you wouldn’t use the word “sacred” with “sex,” it should at least be seen as “special.” Keeping it special means placing some boundaries around it. The extent of these boundaries will vary from man to man. But there are real reasons for not diluting it beyond measure:

Cheap Sex is Crap Sex. Sex is pretty much the most vulnerable thing you can do. You’re totally naked, worried about your performance, and not to be crude, but sticking your body part into another person. Good sex therefore involves a lot of trust. A trust born of real love and intimacy. The kind of intimacy born of late night conversations, dinner dates, fights, and reconciliations. If you’re having sex with someone you don’t love, you’re simply using them as tool for your pleasure. You might as well be doing it with an inflatable doll. The more you are in love with someone, the more fantastic sex is. The more commonplace sex becomes, the less spectacular it will be. This is the “dullness” Ben was referring to.

Casual Sex Disrespects Women. Even if you can get your jollies from a one night stand, no strings attached, that doesn’t mean your partner feels the same way. While you may be in it for the good time, the woman you hook-up with may develop feelings for you. I know there are woman who have no problem with random flings. But I also know more women who want to believe they’re down with hooking-up but feel hurt afterwards. I knew a lot of women in college who had random hook-ups, after which the guys didn’t call, and who suffered from bouts of depression and angst. They never connected the dots, but I have no doubt there was a correlation. And yes, this goes for guys too. You might hook-up with a girl who’s just leading you on, and get your heart crushed when you realize you’ve been played. Wait until your relationship is committed before being intimate.

Casual Sex Doesn’t Prepare You for Sex in a Real Relationship. Those who encourage men to have multiple sexual partners, argue that if you only have sex with a few, or heaven forbid, just one, sexual partner, you won’t know what kind of stuff you like and how to please the partner you finally do settle down with. On VH1′s recent documentary on sex, Woody Allen compares this to getting your driver’s license without having a learner’s permit. But casual sex is ill preparation for the monogamous variety. Good sex requires communication and a willingness to sometimes delay one’s pleasure for your partner’s benefit. But casual sex involves little communication and little incentive to maximize your partner’s pleasure. Sure, you want to show her a good time. But you’re mostly focused on getting off yourself, and hey, you’re never going to see this woman again, so if it’s so-so for her, who cares?

Related to this, is the argument people make for not saving sex for marriage. Now I know this definition of chastity is not embraced by many men. But those who do embrace it are often berated for choosing a life partner without knowing if the two of you are sexually compatible. I think this argument is total bunk. While it makes sense theoretically, how would it play out practically? Does this mean that if a man is totally in love with a woman, and then they have sex and it’s awkward, he would kick her to the curb and scrap the whole relationship? I have honestly never seen this actually happen. Hey, here’s a novel idea: How about if two people are sexually incompatible they work on their communication, maybe even go to therapy together? Pretty mind blowing, huh?

Furthermore, as my friend Dave is fond of saying, “Sex is like ice cream. The more flavors you sample, the harder it becomes to settle on one flavor for the rest of your life.”

{ 135 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Pimpster July 9, 2008 at 1:34 pm

The author of this article is a square. I doubt he has even had sex. He’s too busy watching Dr. Phil. What two consenting adults do is their business. Just because you can’t get laid don’t throw salt and shame on everybody else’s game, ya digg?

102 anonypussy August 26, 2008 at 9:42 pm

I think this post and the ongoing comment arguments have missed an important point.

Like the many of the virtues on Ben Franklin’s list, this one has to do with moderation, foremost.

Sex is fun. But like any other fun, special, intimate, sacred (or however you’d like to define it) thing, too much can be a bad thing.

All of the virtues Franklin lists should be taken as a whole. That is, they all interrelate. Justice – wrong no one; e.g. communicate with your partner(s) and make sure they feel the same way you do about sex. Temperance is also defined as “Moderation and self-restraint, as in behavior or expression” not only as it relates to food and drink.

The list goes on. It’s all about being a productive, happy, helpful human being and member of your community and society. That’s all.

103 undecided October 18, 2008 at 3:57 am

i think that there is some sort of great power that comes from abstaining from pre-marital sexual relations. it’s one of those self control type things, because in my opinion the desire and drive a man has to have sex with a woman (as god intended) is THE greatest and most difficult to control…. and if you can control that, you can prettymuch control anything. in my opinion there is nothing more god-like than self control. i’d probably be shot if somebody found out how many girls i have turned down… in fact…. i’ve almost shot myself because as remarque said

“The follies which a man regrets most in his life, are those which he didn’t commit when he had the opportunity.”

yeah… that blows, i regret turning down opportunity and i can only hope it’s worth it. but then it all comes back to the self control thing, and it pisses me off. so i have a hard time, and it’s pretty bi-polar but whaddaheck i guess i can live with it.

104 undecided October 18, 2008 at 4:04 am

then again… i have a buddy that was going around having screwing whatever girl he pleased and now he has a kid coming along….

and let’s just say he’s not too happy with that flavor of ice cream.

i wouldn’t want to live with that…

the whole thing pisses me off

105 purplebutterfly October 18, 2008 at 9:50 pm

I think chastity, as well as promiscuity, is an extreme that most people do not wish to live. If you choose to live a life that is absent of any sexual activity until marriage…that is your choice. What I can’t stand is how many chaste people demean others by seeming as if they have the only prescribed path to a happy life and committed relationship. I would think if you were truly a Christian (or whatever sect you may be) you would not thumb your nose at others and sound so self righteous. Everyone doesn’t need you bragging about how “pure” you were when you were married…it’s just a way to give yourself a golden crown.

As with anything, sex should be performed in a responsible and honest manner. As far as hook up culture is concerned, yes…both sides have responsibilities. In my opinion, you need to be honest with yourself (especially as a woman) about what you expect from someone. Do you really think that a casual sexual relationship or a host of one night stands will get you fulfilling love? Trust me…from experience…it won’t! It is true…many men will not respect you if you just throw yourself around. We are talking about being very promiscuous…not sleeping with your boyfriend or having just a few or several sexual experiences for whatever number of reasons. If you are looking for a commitment, it is probably better to hold out (at least for a while) until you know the person.

Being an aspiring sexologist…I know how many men assume you are a whore since you are so interested in sex…and then assume you have slept with many men. In my opinion, this comes from this doctrine of how “real women” are so pure and asexual while whores are the only ones fantasizing! Judging a person based on these standards is demoralizing in itself. All women who are virgins are not “good women.” Some are vain, egotistical, selfish, and quite bitchy. All women with sexual experience (even bad ones) are not complete whores and may make a better suited partner. A relationship is built on so much more than this…and people should be taught how to have better relationships by being honest, respectful, and trustworthy!

If you love a person (especially unconditionally) you won’t be so wrapped up in their previous sex life anyway. Yes, if your partner is on video, has had more people than he/she can count, has an STD, has slept with many of your friends or co-worker, or still wants to live promiscuously, then there are demanding issues. To be so upset simply because she slept with someone before you is just being VAIN!!!! It is selfish to expect someone to completely have dedicated themselves to you…and to have never experienced someone else. You don’t know why that person is that way (it could be a pressing issue like child abuse) and he/she may very well want to change…especially if they love you!

To be this judgemental is to be most unlike Jesus. He gathered around him those society would not accept, and help them heal without being critical about it. If you want to be more like your savior, I suggest you spend time with the prostitutes, people infected with HIV/AIDS, victims of child abuse, and all the men and women you are criticizing in this article. Everyone has a reason to be who they are….and I think Jesus would be more sympathetic and understanding…not worried about how well you kept your legs closed!

Side note: I am speaking of people who are misleading themselves by having a sexual lifestyle that is not fulfilling….such as I have experienced before I decided to abstain until I found the right partner. I am not speaking of those (especially men) who think people are simple sex toys that are there for their personal satisfaction. Some of the comments on this site show that they exist…and should be avoided!

106 truth October 30, 2008 at 12:04 pm

pierce – one abortion? as Seinfield would say: “good luck with ALLLLLLL that!”

I don’t care what you believe in, who you are, or how you evolve as a person from here until whenever: you will ALWAYS have to carry that baggage, at least until you find some real forgiveness.

Oh, and, be sure to say hello to your litle boy or girl someday. They would be the one calling you daddy.

107 Classic November 6, 2008 at 2:10 pm

i think this post is fantastic and necessary. A lot of men feel this way but are not able to really fully practise this due to it being unpopular in general society.

108 Webmaster November 19, 2008 at 3:02 am

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109 Chris November 19, 2008 at 4:14 pm

Ok. It’s too late and I’m too tired to read all the deep philosophical writings here. Just a quick though from a guy whose had good and bad sex with good and bad women.

Try chastity. Whether its your in a new relationship or your single. Try it. I can’t explain it but it changes you for the better. You become more in touch with yourself and with women. Its like you’ve told your brain, “ok forget our little friend down there. What else you got?” You may surprise yourself. And you most surely will impress the ladies (and not with your morals). You let yourself get too drawn into sex and it will become bad (hmmm… at least worse). It will become, whether you mean for it to happen or not, all about the bits (yours and hers).

Take sex off the table and a kiss becomes powerful. Like how it felt when you were a teenager (or i guess these days, pre-teenager). Touching her leg with your hand will feel electric.

Can’t explain it. Try it. If you try it and you disagree, go back to sex. It won’t fall off because you haven’t used it for a bit. What do you have to lose?

110 Kira December 16, 2008 at 6:36 pm

@ben
you are a fucking moron.

“what a load of christian popaganda.
sex with multiple women is hard-wired into the male psyche and dna…it’s what we are meant to do.
stop feeling guilty about fucking and wanting to fuck even more attractive women…just go out and DO IT and ignore this feminist crap article!”

It is NOT wired into the male DNA. Though it is true that humans have instinctual sexual desires, it is not a biological requirement for males to have multiple partners.

I am far from a feminist, and even farther from a conservative. Quite frankly, I’m not even religious. But I have not lost sight of the fact that men do exist who value the importance of monogamous relationships. For me, hooking up is a LOT of fun. Fun, not fulfilling. But seeing that someone actually took the time to post that men’s purpose is to have sex with multiple women is enough to make me want to stop having sex just to deprive men of the pleasure. I’m not going to because, duh, who wants to do that, but, seriously, think about what you’re thinking before you publicize it. Your comment makes you sound like a bigot and a douche bag. I’d like to think better of someone who has taken the time to actually read the article.

To the author,
Interesting perspective.

111 NB December 26, 2008 at 6:28 am

There is no greater weakness than being a puppet to one’s own desires. While there are many arguments for and against casual sex, I’ve yet to meet a man that does anything “just because it’s fun” who isn’t a slave to his passions, which is to say, at his core, no man at all. Agreed on all counts of this post.

112 e January 31, 2009 at 1:14 pm

you have no idea how incredibly refreshing it is to hear this from a man. I like you! you have mind blowing sensibility… I was beginning to think my boyfriend and I were the only ones who still believed in this. thank you for proving me wrong

113 A. Harriman March 23, 2009 at 8:11 am

Nice to see a thoughtful, rational, well written article on the great sexual sell-out. But you’ll never convince some people that “free love”, isn’t. Anyway, thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

Ali

114 Brannon V April 15, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Human sexuality is perverted outside the boundries of marriage, the entire purpose of our sexuality is to truly and intimately know a spouse and to physicaly manifest your reverence and love for her by becoming one with her. Im am tired of immature, irresponsible, perverse, selfish and that are not willing to be man enough to challenge themselves to positively direct our sexual desires toward making our women stronger more valued women and better wives. There are countless thirsty hearted women who deeply desire to be found and intimately loved without the weight of being sexualized. The greatest desire of the human heart is to be perfectly known and perfectly loved for who we were all created to be. Chastity promotes clarity of vision and gives a man the opportunity to fully know and commit himself to a women by knowing her entire being however perfect or imperfect. Its is this type of love that heals and that builds up the heart instead of tearing it down because through your actions you make it known that she is absolutely precious by being chaste in a manner which says to her that “I do not even consider myself worthy of the gift of your body until i give my life to stand up for you and to provide for you spiritually, emotionally, and physically”. People who practice chastity decrease their likelyhood of getting divorced by SIX TIMES, and are statically more emotionally and even financially more stable.
Men need to start being men and not boys and start focusing on the purpose so that they can lead their families toward divine goals so that their children and grandchildren will have fathers and mothers, grandmothers and grandfathers of character that trained them to be young men and women of integrity and strength in the generations to come. This movement toward purpose all begins with a young man’s to be a good steward over his own sexuality by learning how to look within the heart of a women and have the strength of character to commit to a women not to USE her in ANY way but to give your life to her as gift so that through your leadership you can help mold her into a better women. A women who knows herself to be highly prized as a precious gift. Chastity give clarity of vision so that we may understand that love must have a higher purpose and direction in order to be truly fulfilling. Be a man and not a boy! What is your “yes” worth if you cannot say no?

115 Finnian June 11, 2009 at 11:54 am

I find it horrifying that Pierce believes all the “wild, uncontrolled sex” he had was “worth” an abortion.

“A case of the clap? My child sucked out of the womb with a vacuum? Who cares? I banged a hot Asian chick!”

What a loser.

116 dianasquiver June 18, 2009 at 8:52 am

I agree with about 90% of this post, especially the parts about how sex should be special, and how mindless, meaningless hookups do not lead to true happiness and health.

I disagree with your last paragraph, however.

I am a woman who saved herself for marriage due to strong religious beliefs at the time. When my parents and teachers and ministers told me that sex should only happen within marriage, I believed them, and I trusted my husband to initiate me into the mysteries of sex.

BAD IDEA. It turned out that we are pretty much completely incompatible sexually. We found this out AFTER we had committed to live our lives together.

And yes, we went to counseling, and we’ve worked on this for over 12 years, and continue to work on it. I’ve finally accepted now that it’s just never going to be that great between us, because we are speaking different languages in bed. It’s like one person speaking in Basque and the other person frantically waving semaphore flags. There is no basis for good sex between us — our bodies and minds are that different in this area (although perfect for each other in every other way).

I wish my parents and teachers and ministers had told me the truth — that people need to figure out BEFORE MARRIAGE whether they are sexually compatible. Because some people just aren’t compatible, no matter how hard they try to be.

Don’t gamble your future happiness trusting that God will make everything work out. Take the responsibility to ensure that you can make each other happy in bed — from that foundation, the rest can be worked on over time.

117 marizel September 26, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Great series of articles, but wow, how did all the things that were learned in the articles on Temperance and Moderation go right out the window in this one? Everyone is talking like there’s no middle ground between screwing anything that moves and joining a religious order!

So here’s my advice: First, go back and read the last few paragraphs of “Moderation”, especially the “content with the normal” quotation and the part about Anticipation, and the part of “Temperance” about chefs savoring only the best foods.

I think most people these days will probably have at least a few sexual relationships before marriage, and I agree with dianasquiver that getting married without having had sex with that person first is like buying a car without a test drive. But hold out for the best and take your time.

Save your sexual encounters for people with whom you want to have at least a moderately long-term relationship. Take a while to get to know each other first without your vision being clouded by having had sex. You can’t go back to this time afterwards, so don’t rush through it or set artificial limits like “3rd date”. Start out with the old-fashioned “getting to first-base” idea. Savor holding hands, a kiss goodnight, cuddling on the couch, a little heavy petting. Let the anticipation build, and learn about each other slowly. (If you do the entire Kama Sutra on the first date, what’s the point of the second?) When you do have intercourse, make sure to practice safe sex and birth control. If you find that you’re just not right for each other, treasure what you have shared and learned from each other, and part as friends.

118 Will October 13, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Well my all time favourite ice cream is chocolate but every once in a while i’d like to taste something different mint choc chip,cookies and cream ….you know what I mean,why limit yourself to one flavour you only live once:)

119 Adam November 15, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Sex is death, chastity is life. Chastity is the natural state of man in the same way that health is the natural state of man. Would you want moderation in health?

120 Perspective December 6, 2009 at 1:53 am

Pimpster you are a child

121 Dartist February 22, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Excellent post, Brett and Kay, excellent post.

I am single man and still waiting until marriage (yes, still a virgin, scary, I know…) but it can be done and no, I don’t regret my choice, and no, nothing has fallen off yet. I am a normal, healthy, social, intelligent, and decent-looking guy, but I haven’t met the woman I want to marry yet, and so until I do…

122 steve March 6, 2010 at 3:56 am

man thank you for this. lately i’ve been on a casual sex hunt (aren’t we all) that i’ve taken to a level of slight ridiculosity. so to read this and think about it, the doubt i’ve felt becomes a little reassured that said hunt is not really the way to go. i am going to call my ex fuck-buddy and apologize for being a dick and a stereotypical man-doucher. keep writing buddy.

123 Surface and Depth May 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm

This is merely a question of MEANING, in my opinion. A question of quality or quantity.

Some assign value to greater quality while others assign value to greater quantity.

The greatest fallacy is to believe that quality and quantity can by synonymous. In any analogy, more quantity, less quality, and vice versa.

What gives a diamond value is its limited quantity, and even more so, its rare quality.

What seems to be missing in the comments about this article and the virtues in general, is that they are of a SPIRITUAL nature. We have art and math, nature and science, ying and yang. Living a virtuous life is about transcending your primitive nature. We stop growing physically early on in the human life. This is when the growth points inwards, aka morals, values, virtues.

The point here is not about details of whether or not you stuck your organic penis in a girl’s organic vagina. Yes, your organic physical matter is REAL, but so are your feelings and the meaning that you assign to your experience. They are REAL.

Modern, empirical science has taught us to objectify EVERYTHING, even ourselves. It often tells us that only what can be observed is REAL. It often only sees the SURFACE, because the surface is easily observable, yet fails to acknowledge DEPTH, because depth must be EXPERIENCED.

This article is about respecting and valuing yourself. Living a virtuous life is about doing the challenging things that build your character. The virtues are timeless and they are not religious, although they are often the common denominators of all religions. They are not mandatory. They are optional for you to choose. They are not about gender roles. They are about the masculine and feminine energies that balance one another in the Universe.

This article is about your EXPERIENCE. Be completely honest with yourself and you will lead a virtuous life.

124 lina July 9, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Absolutely fabulous!

125 Jeremy December 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I respectfully disagree that you should wait until marriage to have sex, I agree whole heartedly with the sentiment, sex should be special and saved for someone you really care about. in my humble opinion

126 Paul Hakel January 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Excellently written. Exactly true. I sometimes like to joke that “sexual freedom” is freedom from sex (or at least extramarital sex). The Sexual Revolution caused whole distortions of sexuality in the world. Sex is for marriage alone – any guy who doesn’t get this is not yet a man. Self-control and chastity lead to health, wealth, wisdom, and good relationships.

Cheers!

127 Al January 27, 2013 at 6:26 am

My wonderful older brother actor Robert Lansing (still has fan sites on the internet) once told me, “…never let society or culture dictate what sort of romantic relationships you will have…you can marry, or not, be poly, or whatever is right for you…and you can have any relationship(s) in an ethical, thoughtful fashion…” I have to say he was correct. With the huge divorce rate, saying the only “correct” way to have sex, or be “mature” is too have sex in a traditional even marriage relationship. I somehow feel the author might secretly be a divorce attorney. Love and sex can be “important” in many styles and types of relationships. Perhaps in the future the author will learn how to be less judgmental and more practical and not so closed minded.

128 Dylan Grant October 9, 2013 at 7:05 pm

As a teenage male it is obvious to me how the collapse of a “chastity culture” has caused so much damage to young men. You did not have masturbation addicts when there was a chastity culture. I have seen many of my good friends become sex-addicts, chasing after one woman and another, and they are the unhappiest people I know. “Desire is Suffering” as the Buddha said.

When I became chaste (completely gave up masturbation, pornography, all forms of sexual self-amusement, started waking up early to avoid wet dreams) my overall standard of happiness became so much higher. It is actually ridiculous, now that I think about it. Lust is the greatest enemy of happiness to a man because it exhausts him of energy, skews his life purpose, dulls his mind, and spiritually blinds him.

For more information on this type of stuff, check out: Celibacy.info. I am a regular contributor on that site.

129 Susanna October 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Hi, woman´s perspective here:
I think this virtue is mainly about asserting your willpower and your rationality over your most basic feelings. It has nothing to do with not having sex before marriage.
It´s easy to give in to anything pleasurable without thinking much of the consequences.
This is important when it comes to sex. Consequences can be everlasting. Be sure they are consequences you want to happen.
I understand this virtue much more in respect of having self-control. A man that always gives in, that lays about with every slut that comes around is weak: has little control over his will and emotions.
Being able to control yourself is empowering. Exert your power by exerting self control. Don´t be a slave to your emotions.
But don´t go crazy denying yourself sex if you find a girl you like and want to share yourself with her.
Ben Franklin also wrote: “Where there is marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.”
It´s much more important you make sure you love the person you marry, than to get fixated on the sex issue.

130 hard truth October 24, 2013 at 7:58 am

good post.
Not a popular viewpoint at all, but much needed. In order to abide by these ‘virtues’, we must understand the reason for the virtue, the value in the virtue, the struggle w/in ourselves against the virtue, and the pressure from w/o against the virtue. An admittedly simplistic, but often valid, test of whether something is “right” or not is: Is it easy or difficult? The right choice is usually the harder. Being chaste is not the natural inclination of men, especially when our society releases us from all accountabilities. It is a struggle against our nature that we must man-up to.

131 goca October 28, 2013 at 5:21 am

I agree about cheap sex!

132 Aidan November 6, 2013 at 5:11 pm

I agree with defining chastity as a virtue that every truly manly man must hold as a principle for right living.
I agree that sex should be saved for greater and higher purposes and esteems than just having frivolous and childish fun.
I will even go so far from the norms of this depraved society to state that sex, in it’s purest form, should be saved for marriage: man and wife.

133 Northeastoutdoorsman November 13, 2013 at 8:32 pm

This is an exceptional article especially considering the casualness of sex these days. Being chaste isn’t always easy but it’s the right thing to do. I’ve waited 26 years for the right girl and a little more time sure won’t kill me.

134 A.S.B. November 15, 2013 at 8:53 am

–>I advocate the addition of “chastity” as a virtue, principle, and pillar for all truly manly men to abide by.
–>I also advocate the fact that casual sex is ultimately frivolous.
–>I’d also like to add mention the term “self-control” was mentioned in the comments as something withholding men from being pure and that’s primarily because of the terrible approach to dating/courtship/relationships. It’s so hard to control one’s impulses at times because men/women let things get too physical in relationships and so the boundary of right and wrong becomes shaded in the heat of the moment. There needs to be a definitive line for physical engagements that define what’s right and wrong so self-control can be kept in place and chastity be kept in high regards.
–>I’ll even go so far from the cultural norms of depravity to boldly state that sex, at its purest and pinnacle, is at its best and finest in the wonders of marriage.

135 Anotherviewpoint February 9, 2014 at 12:44 pm

The concept of keeping yourself and being ascetic, although I don’t think is the point of the article, is destructive to the potential of the relationship.

I agree that too much sex devalues sex itself, but I also agree with Woody Allen’s position. Sex is part of the relationship that should be explored before marriage since it is part of the relationship. The sexual compatibility is discovering how each other’s intimate needs connect. A woman with a longing fantasy of being a dominatrix has a great relationship with a guy who is into sensual side of sex might not satisfy each other. Outside of the bedroom, they go together just well, but inside the bedroom there are huge differences. While the woman finds the extremes of bondage and other sexual fantasies of extreme very satisfying, the other might feel that it is very off-putting, and the woman might find sensual sex boring. It can be worked around, yes, but just because incompatibles can be worked around does not mean it should. The incompatibilities should be worked around if the two are committing to each other, but if it becomes more of an inconvenience to try and do so then what benefit will come out of putting strenuous efforts to change each other to make compatibility?

While the author does do a good job elaborating Ben Franklin’s virtues, he completely straw manned Woody Allen’s perspective. When there are sexual incompatibilities, obviously the man would not throw the woman out on the curve if he is emotionally committed to this woman. But if these sexual inconveniences cause damage to both sides of the relationship since they both feel they are incapable of fulfilling each other’s sexual desires, and trying to work out the sexual incompatibility between the two causes further inconvenience, then wouldn’t logically follow that the relationship is causing more damage to each of the individuals involved? Yes, sex should be valued and cherished. But by putting to much value on sex also throws the equilibrium of virtues out of whack.

Sex should be explored with your SO before marriage because it is part of the relationship. If incompatibilities arises, then one should try to find middle ground with his/her SO to try to make it work. But if the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it.

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