Blog Template Theology of the Body: Dawn Eden on Chastity...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dawn Eden on Chastity...

"From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be married. I also had the feeling that I would be happiest if I reserved sex for marriage. This was confirmed for me once I lost my virginity. Having sex with men who were not married to me who would go all the way physically but not emotionally hurt me inside.

It hurt me, because I keenly felt the intense intimacy of the act that I was synchronizing my every motion and breath to that of my boyfriend, letting him get as close to me as was physically possible, literally under my skin. Such intimacy was painful when I knew that my boyfriend could, if he wanted, easily walk out the door afterwards and be out of my life and I could do the same if I chose.

No matter what people say about marriage not being certain — and I'm well aware of that because of the failure of my own parents' union — a sexual relationship outside of marriage, when either partner can walk away with complete impunity, is infinitely less secure.

The physical vulnerability I experienced in sexual intimacy was intolerable when coupled with the risk of rejection. So I created a dichotomy, to protect myself. The more I would open myself up physically to a man, the more I would harden myself emotionally, closing myself off in order to stay in control and not get hurt.

I told myself that I could always open myself up as the relationship progressed, once I felt secure. But that never happened and the very act of emotional detachment only made me less capable of sharing the love that I fervently wanted to experience.

Avoiding sex was out of the question, and not just because I enjoyed it. I believed that no man would marry me unless he had sex with me first.

For a man to forgo sex until he and I exchanged vows, he would have to love me so much that he would seek my greater good. I did not believe that any man would do that, because I did not believe a man would see anything in me that would be more important to him than his own sexual desire. My intrinsic value, I thought, was dependent upon my being willing to put out sans vows.

That all changed after I became a Christian at age 31 and began to explore chastity."

From National Review Online.