In evangelicalism, purity is so closely tied to a salvation message that loss of purity is necessarily painted as a loss of faith – and this leaves many women wondering what happens if they do make the decision to have sex, even if it’s in the “right” circumstances.
Learning to have sex without shame often creates a crisis of faith because we’re told for years and years that sex is shameful, scary and not something women should want.
And I know that this faith, this commitment, wouldn’t have been possible had I not actively made the decision to give up on purity.
Purity, for me and for many women, became a distraction from the Gospel.
My new job was at a church ministrym where I disagreed with the leadership’s theology.
Proponents of the purity movement would say that I was falling away from the faith and that’s why I started fooling around with men.
The purity movement is also behind continued pushes for abstinence only sex education in schools and new anti-birth control movements throughout the United States.
When I graduated high school, I was prepared to wait for marriage.
I felt God was guiding me to this, and being a virgin meant I would be having some great sex with my future husband.
But I no longer felt like a virgin because I was now sexually experienced.
And this was a problem for the culture I came from, because I had committed the greatest of all sins: I had engaged in premarital fooling around with someone.
I was beginning to see the cracks in the armor of the evangelical church, especially as my views on politics became more progressive and I began to be more concerned about loving LGBT people than condemning them to hell.