Purity Balls – Because Metaphorical Incest Is Totally Cool

From the archives. This article was originally posted on September 11th 2009


If You Happen To Be A Girl That IsI have to hand it to my friend Phil for putting together one hell of an eye – opening article. Until fairly recently, I had never heard of a “Purity Ball,” which, in my defense, is not entirely surprising considering I really don’t keep up with Christian trends. I don’t say that to be mean, but honestly, how many of you Christians out there were aware of the “Great Sheitel Scare” of aught – four? Ok then.

Lets Party

So, it recently came to my attention that parties are being held wherein daughters pledge their “purity,” (for those of us playing at home, that means they’re promising that they’re gonna stay virgins) to their fathers. These can also be known as “Purity Weddings.” So, we’re getting a bunch of underage girls together and having them promise to keep their “purity” only for their fathers, until or unless they marry… and this time the groom has to not be their dad. And also, there may or may not be cake… which is the only reason I would go, frankly.

What About The Boys?

You know what though? I can totally get behind a culture that’s about preserving youthful innocence and not inundating children with sexual images and thoughts the way a lot of our modern culture does. Seriously, if I see one more ten-year old girl with a sparkle–studded cropped t – shirt that says something like, “My boyfriend’s out of town, what’s your name?” I may be sick. So, I get it; you want to make sure your child stays a child as long as possible. That’s cool. But here’s one of the places where I come into problems with this whole situation: where the hell are the boys? Really. Where are the boys in all this?

From an outsider’s perspective, you’re telling me two things:

1) either your daughter has not been educated enough to be able to make conscious choices regarding her life and sexuality without you constantly watching her, or she’s just too stupid, and

2) your son is either superior in this regard because he doesn’t require supervision, or you just don’t care about his immortal soul. Congratulations; your daughter is a penis-o-phobe, and your son is a pimp. Is that taking it a bit far? Sure it is, but I think these people believe that their intentions are easily recognizable and understood by all. They’re not. And we’re not even going to go into the fact that talking about “marrying” your own daughter has all sorts of disturbing sexual overtones.

No, You Can’t Have A Cookie

Not to mention the fact that by spending all your time focusing on the fact that you won’t focus on sex, you’re pretty much spending that time focusing on sex. You know what the worst day of the year for me is? Yom Kippur: the Jewish day of fasting and atonement. Why? Because on any other day I could possibly go the whole day forgetting to eat something, but when all I can think about is how I can’t think about food, it’s all I think about.

Maybe part of the reason I have never understood Christianity’s view on sex and virginity is because Judaism is so radically different in its concepts of what is “good” or “bad” about sex. Until I was about nine or ten years old, I was raised in an Orthodox Jewish community, and in fact I so rarely met anyone who wasn’t Jewish, that when we kept driving by a big house with a lower – case letter “T” on it, I had to ask my mom why the local people were so obsessed with the alphabet. Yes, for those of us playing, it was a church; the “T” was a cross. In my home, sex wasn’t commonly discussed because I was so young, but as I got older there were no hesitations in discussing sex with me when it came up. In fact, the entirety of my mom’s conversation with me about masturbation came down to three words:

“Wash your hands.”

Multiple Mitvah’s

Sex wasn’t bad, it wasn’t wrong or dirty, but there is a time and a place for everything. Some things are appropriate at certain ages, and others aren’t. Judaism, at its core, isn’t really hung up about sex, although there are certain quirks. For example, ensuring that your wife has an orgasm is what is called a “mitzvah” or a good deed. Ensuring she has one on Shabbat is a DOUBLE mitzvah. So, if you really wanna rack up those bonus points for G-D, start screwing. What I don’t understand is that if they believe that G-D created everything, then He must have made that happy–dance, too. Did you know there is such a think as “post sex guilt”? I hadn’t heard of it until college when a roommate explained it to me. Why bother? Why feel guilty about something that was given to you? I really don’t feel guilty about using that blender we got for our wedding… other than the fact that I didn’t send in the registration card, but who really does that? Anyway, with all this sex around me, you’d think I would have lost my virginity very early, but in fact I was one of the last people I know to have sex. It just wasn’t the right time, until suddenly it was, and then I did.

The point is: I really don’t think anyone needs a virginity ring, or a ball, or even a virginity pot–luck. I think what people need is an on-going dialogue that evolves organically from the world around you. Sex is on tv and in ads is everywhere, so why wait to talk to your child until some previously appointed day. When situations arise, talk to your kids, if you have them, about what you think and how you feel. It made a huge difference in my life, and I didn’t even have to sign some contract discussing the state of affairs between my legs with my dad. Believe me, we’re both thankful for that.

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7 comments

  1. Linda

    Oh how I can relate!

    First, because I was there. One of those young girls brainwashed into thinking sex was bad and how sinful it was to even think about masterbation (I’m a big sinner I guess!).

    Secondly, because once I decided for myself that if G-dog created everything and sex is part of that everything then it can’t be bad (don’t even get me started on how most religions are man made and developed to supppress people especially women).

    Once I broke free of that religious non-sense and focused on individual spirituality I realized the first relationship I was in was not healthy and broke free. I stayed for so long because I figured that since I had lost my virginity to this man and I had to stay in the relationship to avoid eternal doom. You know…basically marry him so I could stay pure.

    I went on to enjoy a good handful of wonderful *ahem* sexual relationships and eventually met my wonderful, loving, giving, beautiful husband. Had I continued to be bound by the “purity balls” or purity bullshit I would be eternally miserable and no G-dog I believe in would want that.

    Thanks for the article!

  2. KinkyJew

    Linda, that actually brings up a really good point that I never considered: women who stay in relationships because sex with one partner is “bad enough,” and more than one would, I guess, make you a whore… so better to be miserable and “pure,” than happy and “slutty”? I’m so sorry you went through that, Linda, but am VERY glad that you’ve found your way to a happier situation now! Mazal tov!

  3. Lady Lover

    Oh, man, this is amazing. Though I gotta say I torment my dad with jokes about sexuality all the time. He puts up with so much crap. <3

    My mom was always very open about sex, too. The limits I put on it, though, is I don't want to know about anything that's happened between her and my dad. That's just… childish, I know but still kinda icky. xP

    Oh you silly ueber-Christians with your side hugs…

  4. KinkyJew

    Well Miss Spoken, since Catholics worship Jesus, and Jesus was a Jew and so technically a family member of mine, I’m gonna go ahead and act in his place…. *POOF!!!* You’re good. Go flick that bean in peace, my friend. Now, if I could just change this Diet Coke into Vodka………

  5. KinkyJew

    LMAO!! ROSE! You must be BORED to be sifting through all my old posts! But I love it, thanks. And now that I’m snowed in, I have ALL DAY to go through your blog. Expect to see comments on posts you’ve totally forgotten about! 😉

  6. How are there no comments for this yet??

    I LOVE this post. I have lots of super christian friends who are the same way – they pledge themselves to be pure until marriage. I mean, I am all for a clean conscious, but…I couldn’t do it. Obviously.

    What was great about my mom, was that she told me that I would know when the right time was…and I did. Granted, I was 16, and while that is quite young, I was comfortable with the act and who I was with (Who I was with for two years, thanks…not just a fling). I was educated from my mother, to use protection and blah blah, and she never told me masturbation was wrong…

    Of course, we are Jewish too, so..YEAH JEWS! Lol…(Not to be offensive…)

    My mother is the same way as I am. She had books, I have the internet. We both researched things that we wanted to know more about. It was sex. We learned lots of things that helped us figure stuff out about our bodies, hearts, and where exactly it all fits in in a relationship…and the education is something I wouldn’t give away for anything.

    I am all for purity, but….a lot of these kids will do it, just because it’s ‘bad or taboo’ when really it is beautiful, but they just don’t know enough about it…

    Hence teen pregnancies (or, at least, a lot of them. I think society should bring back the teaching teens to use condoms and not abstinence thing, because…it came in handy a lot more to me.)

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