05 December 2006

Chastity In The City.

Today sees the release of an intensely personal book, The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On, by Catholic blogger and former rock writer Dawn Eden. She submits to a prurient-minded interview in Radar (which aroused some comment):

Do you date? Yes. Not very often, and not in a while. It's something that I'm open to. One advantage of having written a book on chastity is that most guys know from the outset what they're getting into.

Or, rather, not getting into. You write in your book that you won't have sex again until you're married. Why is that the demarcation? It seems artificial. Sex by its physical, emotional, and spiritual nature represents a permanent commitment. If it's being done within a context that tries to separate the emotional and spiritual nature from what it really represents, then it is wrong, it's telling a lie with the body. When you have intercourse with someone, you're telling that person, This is what it would be like if we were really united. But if you're not really united, then it's a lie.

Let's cut right to the chaste, if you will. How long has it been since you got laid? The last time I actually had sex would have been March 2003. But the last time I was naked with a guy was December 2003.

That sounds like Clintonian parsing. Where do you draw the line between sex and being chaste? Fellatio? Manual manipulation? Kissing? Kissing happens. But I think it has to do with what the goal in mind is. If the goal is to try a guy out to see how far things go before we have to make a certain decision, what that's telling me is that this man is something to be possessed, something to be had.

And there's another interview Kathryn Jean Lopez on NRO:
Lopez: Who is this book for?
Eden: The Thrill of the Chaste is for women in their 20s and older who have gained the awareness that premarital sex is not making them happy. It’s especially intended to help them get off the serial-dating merry-go-round — which I describe as more like a drug habit than a romantic paradigm — and show them that they will be happier being chaste than having sex with men who are unwilling to marry them.

Lopez: Libertarians and the left often accuse conservatives of being anti-sex. While there is a difference between chastity and celibacy, do you in fact not want unmarried adults to have sex? Isn’t that a tad unrealistic?

Eden: It’s not unrealistic, it’s countercultural — that’s why it’s exciting! Remember, the people who are going to pick up The Thrill of the Chaste are women who find that premarital sex is not making them happy. If they’re able to admit to themselves that they’re not attaining what they want to attain, then they’re likely to be willing to take a risk in pursuit of their greater goal.


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