Purity Ring in College

Pimpin' ain't easy, but neither is abstinence.

Real Talk | Anonymous | March 2, 2016

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I’m well into college and still a virgin.

When people ask why, that’s when it gets a little kinkier to explain; I feel my ring loosening with the sweat of my nervous palms and stare down at the piece of silver that crowned my identity these past eight years. “WHY?” In these moments, my fuel is eloquence, and I sputter like a car running out of gas as the conversation veers toward a dead end.

Yet I know the difficulty of explaining my beliefs makes them no less valid. What is closest to our hearts is the hardest to utter, or even describe. But here I’ll try to, albeit imperfectly, represent the celibate, Christian college population who might not otherwise have a voice during “sex week.”

Let me first clarify a misconception: being a virgin is not a defect of character. And I’m not unattractive or sheltered. I don’t suffer from social anxiety. I’m not a cynic, a hermit, or a cult follower. It makes sense for people to have assumptions about virgins in college, to think that there’s gotta be something wrong with those who deliberately go against the biological, social yearning that burns like a flame at its highest peak in the college years. They are resisting that for the sake of something unseen, right? I get it. Yet the stereotypes just aren’t accurate.

I’m not celibate, I’m #celibait.

On the contrary, I am a highly attractive female who is open-minded and immersed in the world. I’m not celibate, I’m #celibait. I live on campus and am about as exposed to the college experience as one could be. I have a wide social circle–some may even call it a spiral. I feel grateful for being alive, which gives me an upbeat disposition. I have flaws, meltdowns, bad days. I’m normal and mature beyond my years. I’m experienced in many aspects of life outside of the bedroom.

So, where is the missing piece of sexual activity in that puzzle? Well to me, the portrait of my life is complete. But okay, society, I’ll account for the missing piece…

Before I even started high school, I made a promise to remain abstinent until I met a wholesome guy who loved God as much as I did.

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At 13, I didn’t even have a period. I wasn’t even attracted to guys yet. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but that one kept promise changed everything.

I’ve got 99 problems, but a fuckboy sure ain’t one!

College imposes all sorts of temptations. You have in front of you the chance to live a cornucopia of lifestyles — the best of the best, the worst of the worst, and sometimes they are disguised as each other. It can make or break a person.

And on top of that, it’s really easy to feel lonely in college amidst the vibrant wake of freedom. Your anthem of independence is just a busy schedule. You question which friends are really there for you. At 13, I never thought the greatest lesson I would have to learn in college would actually be learning how to to resist cynicism and futility from riddling my college soul. I never imagined that in college, craving closeness and intimacy would be my greatest desire, let alone simply finding a best friend, and that carrying the void of that desire would be my biggest burden.

Is it possible that God doesn’t care if I have sex and date whoever, because that’s what makes sense biologically? Of course. Is it possible that God doesn’t exist? Of course. Is it possible that I’m out of my mind? Yes, but the risk is worth it to me.

After all, this is my life. After all, who can I trust more than God?

College imposes all sorts of temptations. You have in front of you the chance to live a cornucopia of lifestyles — the best of the best, the worst of the worst, and sometimes they are disguised as each other.

At 13, purity ring logistics and challenges aside, I understood it conceptually, and that was enough. It was essentially a promise I could practice forever at any age — putting my tender, growing heart in the safe hands of God.

And it didn’t just literally mean keeping it in my pants and awkwardly trying to explain or veil my conviction when prompted — it meant so much implicitly. It meant putting Christ before all else. To hear my intrinsic nature before the harrowing voices of the world, to put invention before apathy, to act on courage rather than fear, to look to hope before cynicism. This defined me. In other words, I had faith.

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Despite the challenge of abstinence, it has led me to a realization that what brings me the greatest joy in my life is knowing God. Authenticity, courage, gratitude, and a personal relationship with Jesus. Living a life of prayer that God responds to. When you get to a point of taking courage and receive blessings you can physically see and touch around you.

This life of blessing and faith in works is just the kind of life that makes it easy for Christians to make sweeping promises such as remaining abstinent, or take other leaps of faith.

But you know what’s also great motivation for the abstinent girl? The fact that there are a lot of fuckboys out there who don’t know how to treat women like humans. You know who you are, or maybe you don’t, in which case, that’s even worse. I’ve certainly interacted with or heard about my fair share since college, and it’s enough to turn me off from the male subspecies till I’m 25. So, I don’t feel like I’m missing out much anyway. It works out. No sketchy, careless man will violate my worth, that’s for damn sure. I’ve got 99 problems, but a fuckboy sure ain’t one!

You know what else is kind of upsetting, besides fuckboys in general? So American capitalism survives on the concept of novelty. In order to make a profit, fancy new shit has to be perpetually produced. Instead of fixing something broken, the solution is to create something wholly new. American people often are on a search for something better. As a result, people often don’t work with what they have when things gets even the slightest bit hard — they just want to trash it like everything is temporary. Is that how people treat each other? Does that sound like modern, college relationship culture to you or what? Is it possible that people’s consumption habits relates to how haphazardly people consume each other’s bodies?

To listen for my intrinsic nature against the harrowing voices of the world, to put invention before apathy, to act on courage rather than fear, to look to hope before cynicism. This defined me. In other words, I had faith.

To clarify something you might be thinking at this point, people who remain abstinent for religious or spiritual reasons aren’t necessarily narrow-minded. It doesn’t mean they judge you for your casual sex. Being abstinent does not equate to being gay-hating either. Again, we are normal.

I don’t see people in my life who threaten my conviction as temptations or mistakes. I see them as people with different perspectives and values. Abstinence is a path that feels right to walk, that others aren’t exposed to or don’t feel is right for them. To me, there is another way to do the whole college thing.

It’s hard. I doubt it sometimes. It’s unconventional. It’s not even a big deal, but it’s kind of everything to me. Being an intentional virgin and the challenge of it has had a huge impact and made me who I am. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll walk this road less traveled.

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So what precisely makes it all worth it? Perhaps I didn’t fully answer that. But sometimes the things closest to our hearts are the hardest to describe, from the struggles of abstinence to the tenderest joy of reaping its benefits. Maybe you’d just have to be me to understand. Then you’d see, this choice is beyond worth it, just like my future lover: “For eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Hey world, it’s been a spiritual — rather than sexual — liberation that has set me free.

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