Sex and the Good Girl

This post has been deleted.

Through the wisdom and direction of others, I’ve come to realize how malicious this article was. And I am sincerely sorry for that. I’m not just sorry for the reaction to it, but I’m sorry for writing it in the first place. It was unfair and even misogynistic.

I hope all those who were hurt by my words can find it in their heart to forgive me. The amount of ignorance and pride that was in this piece and in my reaction to those who had an issue with it is astounding to me two years later. I am quite honestly ashamed that story or those words ever came from me.

Thank you for your grace and (hopeful) forgiveness.

Sincerely,

Cory Copeland

 

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122 comments
  1. Aimee Hasse said:

    So encouraging…your words in every post always blow me away. Thank you for always sharing what’s on your heart. I’d love to hear from you!

  2. annon said:

    This story sounds.so familiar until “she striped.herself of her righteousness”. If not for the self control God has given unto me, I would’ve lost my innocence to a guy that didnt pay the price for me. Im not writing this to brag, this is my testimony that I thank God for everyday of my life. No guy is worth you “goodies” if they didnt pay the price of marriage for it. If you are thinking about giving it up, please guard your heart by reading 1 corinthians 6 umm I think verse 9-11. If u have done it already, ask God for forgiveness and stay away. I think of it like why taste your.bday cake before your bday party when you can eat as much as u want at ur bday. Remember God paid a prices for you why sell yourself for cheap? Stay blessed.

    • Johnathann Byrd said:

      “pay the price of marriage” for “goodies” is a horrible to look at this and I believe the implications of these statements make it hard for those to remain pure as well for those who have been renewed in purity. It’s not a food only to be “eaten” when during a meal hour… Marriage is a covenant and one does not fall into a covenant, one makes a covenant. It’s not something that is bought or sold… That mindset puts marriage in a box it doesn’t fit in and gives a false sense of reward to those who wait and crushes those who haven’t…

      • Stephen Miller said:

        Not to mention the misogynist language of “pay the price” is a HUGE part of evangelical culture. The idea that women and their sexuality/virginity are something for men to buy. It’s disturbing how this misogynist stuff has become the norm and it makes me really uncomfortable how ingrained it is in the culture.

  3. Hannah said:

    Beautiful. Again! Thank you. As always! You’re words are blessed. :)

  4. um, WHAT ABOUT THE BOY?
    This story sounds pretty much like rape – the boy kept pressuring the girl, and she gave in because of his EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION.

    So what exactly was the girl’s fault? And even if we accept that the girl was at fault here, because she chose to have sex (even though it looks like she just gave in because she was being emotionally forced), ISN’T WHAT THE GUY DID FAR, FAR WORSE? He’s the one who needs repentance. She needs some counselling and a whole lot of good friendship, encouragement, and love.

    This would be almost like a man trying to stab his girlfriend, and then his girlfriend knocks him over in defence, and then the girl is told to pray to God for forgiveness for being violent to the man. THERE ARE BIGGER FISH TO FRY IN THIS STORY.

    I’m a Christian. I’m pretty sure Jesus is against making people feel guilty for things they shouldn’t be.

    • The story wasn’t about the boy. It was about the girl and her struggles. That’s the story I chose to tell. Respect that.
      Thanks for reading.

      • But the fact that you only told the girl’s story says soooo much. This culture of blaming the victim exists throughout the church. It exists in the rest of society too, but it seems especially bad in church.

        Now I’ll admit that the girl in the story made a bad choice. But that does not absolve the boy in question from blame. If I park my car in a bad neighborhood, leave the engine running, and walk away, that’s a bad decision. But if someone steals my car, they’re still guilty of a crime.

      • Sarah Moon said:

        But it IS about the boy. It HAS to be about the boy. Would the girl feel so hurt and empty if she had been in a healthy, consensual, non-manipulative relationship? Having been in a relationship like the one you described, I can attest to the fact that stories like this where the focus is on the girl are dangerous. I was raped in that relationship. I didn’t “strip myself of righteousness.” I was raped. It took me five years after the fact to realize this because people are always telling these stories and saying they’re not about the boy.

      • Ally C said:

        No. i do not have to respect the story you tell if it’s not yours to tell. And as a man, you don’t get to shame woment about their sexuality. You don’t even get to shame men, but that’s another story. Bottom line is- your story is one of abuse and assault, it is not a consensual relationship and the only one who needs to ask forgiveness is the boy.

      • Respect your misguided misogyny? Good luck with that.

    • M. said:

      What the boy did is called sexual abuse, because of the pressure she fell for it and now she feels guilty because she knows that what she did is wrong and that this guy fooled her… They guy might go around and do this over and over again and she is left alone with her pain and sorrow, she feels like she will never be worth anything again, this feeling haunts her even years later. The boy will get what he gave someday. But the girl needs hope, she need to know she is loved, she needs to know it’s not her fault.

    • You’re saying the girl is not in the wrong at all? I had an ex-boyfriend like this boy and it took me almost a year of pushing his sexual temptations away from me and just leaving the relationship completely. I was getting tired of saying “no” and of re-thinking what God’s plan of sex is. While love apparently makes one blind, one should always guard their hearts and their purity as our God suggests of us. I appreciate Cory writing this story because it happens to way too many girls and the girl’s point of view helps me see the possibility of what could happen if you give in to the charming boy and your inner lustful desires. You think about how much you love him and how you don’t want to lose him and how you hear how incredible sex is, so why the heck not? Wrong, a boy who loves you won’t make you compromise your purity, I don’t think there’s anything more incredible than a boy protecting your worth and purity by not crossing boundaries, nor messing with a gal’s “goodies” that are intended for her future husband (possibly himself). Okay, done rambling… Good job, Cory! :)

    • You’re correct and incorrect both. I agree that what the boy did was wrong; very wrong indeed, and he too needs repentance. Every time he pressured her, he was guilty of sin. Yet one person being guilty doesn’t automatically make the other person innocent. The girl made two bad choices, though only one was a sin. Giving in was the sin, but before that, the original bad choice was staying with a guy who didn’t take the first refusal to heart. The way I read the story suggests there were many dates before that point, and she put herself time and again in intimate position with someone who was pressuring her to do something she knew was wrong. That’s unwise action, not sin, but once she gave in she crossed into sin.

      All too often we put ourselves into situations we can’t control by making bad choices earlier. Many good girls could save themselves a lot of heartbreak by having at most a two-strike rule. A second attempt, whether on the same date or a later date, after the first has been refused should net the guy a permanent removal from the dating pool. Not respecting boundaries proves you unworthy.

      Now, I don’t mistake having made bad choices for “deserving it,” the perpetual argument of the rapist. No matter how high risk a situation you put yourself in, it doesn’t excuse the one who takes advantage of it from guilt. But it does still make putting yourself in that situation an unwise choice.

      Does that adequately explain the difference?

      • Johnathann said:

        My question here is why would one be in a relationship of this kind that is not headed towards marriage? A relationship between a guy and a girl that is “romantic” should never be a nonchalant relationship. It’s frustrating to hear, whether it’s the guy or the girl, when things started going more physical outside of marriage, we need to back away or end it… (Cory, I respect your story for what it is and I understand your point your trying to get across.) It’s sometimes amazes me and saddens me how far we’ve gotten so “fairytaled” about the covenant between a man and woman… Love does not make one blind… the boy/man who honors purity loves you and is no way shape or form “blind.” Too many guys and ladies unnecessarily hurt themselves because they don’t understand the situation they are in… Love is a choice. “Love is as much a question of the will as it is of the emotion. And if you WILL to love somebody, you can.” This was one of the first eye openers and I have to say again it saddens me how Love and Marriage both have a bad name because these relationships had the wrong image and understanding of what love and marriage really is…

    • Faith Calderone said:

      So basically she needs to ask God for forgiveness for dating a guy who didn’t hold her standards and for allowing him to persuade her to change her mind about her own standards.

      I don’t think that all premarital sex ends in grief, loss of joy and loss of all morality, as this implies. For those who need hope and love, yes, God has a ton to send your way. For those who are comfortable with wherever you are in your sexual journey, congrats. Don’t let anyone push you beyond your own standards, but don’t let anyone make you feel like s*** for your decisions either. And this goes for the ladies and gents, although the slut shaming tends to be something the ladies deal with more.

    • Sarah said:

      I am a female, a Christian – I love Christ, live to serve Him in all I do, how I live my life, etc.
      I personally don’t see this as rape. Girls want sex just as much as guys. It might not be on our minds 24/7, but when the situation arises, it isn’t so great and easy for women to “say no” either. This woman in the story had been, over a period of time, emotionally manipulated into thinking this guy is worth it, or, maybe I won’t feel as bad afterwards as I have believed… thoughts like this. I have had thoughts like this. Because of weak moments. What must be forefront in our minds at all times as believers and servants of our King is that we truly are worth more than what we are led to believe by any human being. That is what helps to keep us in purity, that, and standards in who we spend intimate time with [no missionary dating..], and ultimately surrender to Christ in every area of life.

      Cory, I like the story. It is beautiful.

      • it figures that an adherent of a belief symbolized by a tool of cruel execution could find such a miserable spin-job beautiful.

    • Sophie said:

      Nice comment! And nice hat!

  5. Mariana said:

    Very touching story. I have seen this happen to a lot of friends over and over again, I wish there was a way to stop this, I wish I could warn them. But when it is happening you refuse to hear… until its too late :(

  6. Johnathann said:

    My question here is why would one be in a relationship of this kind that is not headed towards marriage? A relationship between a guy and a girl that is “romantic” should never be a nonchalant relationship. It’s frustrating to hear, whether it’s the guy or the girl, when things started going more physical outside of marriage, we need to back away or end it… (Cory, I respect your story for what it is and I understand your point your trying to get across.) It’s sometimes amazes me and saddens me how far we’ve gotten so “fairytaled” about the covenant between a man and woman… Love does not make one blind… the boy/man who honors purity loves you and is no way shape or form “blind.” Too many guys and ladies unnecessarily hurt themselves because they don’t understand the situation they are in… Love is a choice. “Love is as much a question of the will as it is of the emotion. And if you WILL to love somebody, you can.” This was one of the first eye openers and I have to say again it saddens me how Love and Marriage both have a bad name because these relationships had the wrong image and understanding of what love and marriage really is…

    • Jingles said:

      Not all dating and romance needs to lead to marriage, or even needs to start with that intention, especially in young adulthood. Dating is about establishing boundaries and recognizing what works and doesn’t work. Entering a relationship with marriage on the brain from the get-go piles on unneccesary pressure. It’s why couples race to the alter after a few short months (also to keep themselves chaste) without really understanding their partners.
      This story does not describe love. It is steeped in shame, the boy shaming the girl to sleep with him, the author shaming her for sleeping with him, the purity culture shaming everyone. It doesn’t encourage relationship, it doesn’t foster understanding. Love is unconditional, and Christians are called to demonstrate love to their neighbors regardless of their transgressions. That love isn’t withheld when you screw up, it’s not earned by good behavior, it’s not reserved for the elite. If it were enough for god to be graceful, life and religion would be meaningless. Our time here is about being together with humanity as a whole. Reach out and touch rather than sit back and shame.

  7. stmarkqt said:

    Reblogged this on St. Mark's Quiet Time and commented:
    This is handsdown one of the best posts I have read! Redemption is waiting at your door. All you have to do is take it!

  8. Tracy said:

    This is something that I have been feeling lately and I relate to this story a lot. I just didn’t know how to cope with what I have been feeling and what I have held in the past, but running to God is so simple. It is so simple that I end up not going to Him because I feel too ashamed to face Him. Your entry reminds me that He really doesn’t care what I have done…Great post and thank you for your words of encouragement :)

  9. MuMu said:

    with no intent to offend or upset, i kind of wish the story continued after “She was beyond salvation now, of this she was sure.” I would’ve loved to read the rest of the story of how she made her way back to redemption and thereafter. your writing painted a vivid picture of my own struggles and i imagine that the end of this story could be just as powerful. maybe you will be moved to finish the story for me. :)

  10. Snz said:

    This is the way I read the story: The girl fell in love. The boy she was in love with assaulted her. As a result of this trauma, she began sleeping with a number of people without wanting to. And she is filled with torment and self loathing.

    Now she has to ask forgiveness. For what? She deserves love and help.

    Why isn’t this a story about cruel, selfish people taking advantage of a kindhearted person? Why aren’t they asking for forgiveness?

    • Kristin said:

      exactly.

      so, so sad.

  11. Kristin said:

    “The girl held strong at first, tossing away her boy’s hands as they searched her body, seeking satisfaction. Again and again, she dissuaded him, turning a stone cold cheek and halting heavy breaths before they had pushed too far. But the boy was relentless and vile in his objections to her goodness. He bombarded her wits with fallacies of unrequited love and lacking attention.”

    Ugh, this makes me want to cry because it’s what happened to me.

    THIS IS SEXUAL ASSAULT. THE END.

    It does not matter if she “gave in.” The boy manipulated her into it.
    When you are emotionally/physically/sexually/verbally abused…IT IS NEVER YOUR FAULT.
    You do NOT need forgiveness for something SOMEONE ELSE DID to you. You instead need to know that you are loved and that you can begin to heal. That’s ALL.

    Let’s stop victim-blaming and instead let’s talk about how we can stop boys (or girls) from assaulting others.
    THEY need to ask for forgiveness.

    • amen. this story is about coercion and sexual assault, not a woman’s fall-from-grace. yes, let’s have that conversation about what consent looks like.

      • Lucient said:

        “let’s have that conversation about what consent looks like.”

        Please, let’s have that conversation. I for one would like to know how this is abuse and coercion yet when it comes to, say a guy giving up a game or night with the guys so that he stays with his girl because she feels they need to spend more time, is not… Her denying things or threatening to leave him if he doesn’t “change” is not?

      • Kristin said:

        Wait, Lucient – are you serious?

        I will refer to Dianna’s comment: ““A yes is only a yes if a no is possible.” So, submitting =/= consent.

        Consent is an enthusiastic yes. Not an “okay, I guess” after being whittled down to nothing. Not a sigh and/or giving up after you’ve battled the hands scouring your body and you’re too scared to say no anymore. NOT ANY OTHER ANSWER. Only an enthusiastic yes.
        “Yes, I want to do this with you! I am totally comfortable with all of this!”

        Taking advantage of someone sexually is in no way comparable to a someone missing hanging out with friends. I’m actually quite terrified that you don’t see the difference.

      • Lucient said:

        I guess my problem with this whole thing is the “specifics” of “taking advantage of” “Taking advantage of someone sexually is in no way comparable to a someone missing hanging out with friends.” Do you know what I take out of this, and I could be wrong, that taking advantage of someone sexually is in no way comparable to taking advantage of someone. That’s what I take out of that statement. I think a big problem with this blog and many other blogs, books, etc is that when something like this is written people take out of it the piece that applies to them, form a click with other people who share in the same application and then turn (whether it intended to hurt them or not) the original into a crime against them or against the struggle of their cause. Some look at a brain teaser and some see a lady’s face while other sees two people kissing and when I look at this story I can see a relationship I can see an abusive relationship. The story wasn’t about relationships or even who was to blame…

        I have been in an abusive relationship on both sides of the abuse and I can tell you that abuse is not right and it fulfills neither parties. What I can tell you is defending only those in abusive relationships that are of sexual matters only is no way to win those who were just simple abused. If there is gonna be a definition of abuse, it needs to not be so vague that if it’s definition is applied to other areas where those same “doing something you don’t want to do,” it’s not seen as “silly” cause in all honesty, by these definitions I have read on here alone, I’ve been abused by every person I’ve met.

      • Kristin said:

        Why can’t I take a specific out of the story that relates to me? Isn’t that one of the goals of story-telling? For readers to see themselves in a character or to get lost in the story?
        I understand the author did NOT mean to tell a story that included abuse, but he did. Because of the abuse, the entire theme of redemption and forgiveness for the girl needs to change. It is no longer valid because she was abused. Not in the way the author is saying, anyway.
        That’s why “we” are here – to educate.

        The thing is, I DON’T only support those victims/survivors of sexual abuse. I despise ALL forms of abuse. I’m only concentrating on sexual abuse/rape because that’s what is depicted in this blog post.
        Maybe “taking advantage of” was not the correct choice of words for me to use, but I am not a dictionary. Maybe you should look up the definition of the kinds of abuses: sexual, emotional, verbal, physical, etc. for it to become more clear how it is not normal or healthy.

        And I’m really sorry that you have been in an abusive relationship where you were the victim/survivor. NO ONE deserves that, ever. :(
        (But, you have also been the abuser? Let me be intrusive and insist that you PLEASE, please get professional help. Figure out why it happened and how you can help it to not happen again.)

      • Lucient said:

        I never said you couldn’t take a “specific out of a story” but it’s one thing to take a specific and another to twist a story to a specific… if my life was recorded for all to see there would be many different views of my life from the many viewpoints there are in the world. It’s wrong to take one of those viewpoints and put as the viewpoint. That’s all. There are many things I, alone, can pull out of this story. Someone else on here mentioned “nonchalant relationships” and I totally agree with that. Someone else mentioned a “two-strike” rule approach. Someone else mentioned “feeling trapped.” I’m not trying to be insensitive to those experiences but I don’t see how the girl in this story was ever trapped and this is just me, someone who was indeed locked inside a closet and left with no way to get out. To me, that’s being trapped. Not going home and living my life but when I meet up with my boyfriend, I am trapped. Again, out of an attraction to one another we do some very silly things but an attraction doesn’t necessarily mean it’s love.

        As far as the abuse thing goes, I was abused and not only have I forgiven them, we have accepted the forgiveness of God for our lives. Victims of abuse sometimes, not always or mostly or seldom just sometimes, cope by mimicking their abuse and that’s why I say I have abused. Again, there has been true reconciliation there. Don’t think I’m insensitive to all concerns here it’s just sad to see that this story wasn’t even about love. “He captured the good girl in his madness and she soon fell in the deepest of love.” This is not love. This is infatuation. Does the boy love her? My guess. Does the girl love him? By what is presented here, no. Yet, here is another “specific” in this story yet out of all these comments, only one touched on it. If abuse is this bad and rampant, where is the love?

      • Kristin said:

        Having someone touch you (sexually) after refusing is nothing other than abuse. That is not twisting it or a different “viewpoint.” It is what happened. If it didn’t, the author should have told a MUCH different story of the girl and the boy.
        Again, maybe he didn’t MEAN to tell it this way, but this is exactly what happened.

        “I don’t see how the girl in this story was ever trapped and this is just me, someone who was indeed locked inside a closet and left with no way to get out.”
        I’m so sorry that you were locked in a closet, but being “trapped” does not mean only physically locked in something or held down. I was not physically held against my will, but I was mentally, emotionally, and verbally worn down until I HAD NO CHOICES. He took me away from family, friends. I COULD NOT LEAVE. I had the “ability” to drive away, or to walk out the door, but I COULDN’T. (What if he hurt me? What if he yelled at me in front of my friends again? What if he tried to rape me again?)
        I don’t know how else to explain it to you, but every other victim of abuse will tell you we had no choice, even if we weren’t held down or locked away.

        “it’s just sad to see that this story wasn’t even about love.” EXACTLY. It’s not love. It’s power.
        If this story was indeed about love and the WOMAN’S sin, then this would be a completely different – and meaningful – story. But, the fact that it talks about abuse and the MAN’S sin while saying the woman needs redemption…makes everything different.

        Of course it’s not love. My abuser told me he loved me more than any other person would ever love me. I later told him it wasn’t love because he abused me. He didn’t get it.

      • Lucient said:

        ““it’s just sad to see that this story wasn’t even about love.” EXACTLY. It’s not love. It’s power.” Where is it about power? If so, who subjected themselves to have power and who acknowledge power over them? “I was not physically held against my will, but I was mentally, emotionally, and verbally worn down until I HAD NO CHOICES.” Everybody has a choice. Nobody can take your choice away. You can “feel” as though you have no choice and even fooled into thinking you have no choice yet the TRUTH is you always have a choice.

      • Kristin said:

        So, it was my choice to stay and be abused?

        Okay.

  12. Jen said:

    I have seen the damage the purity standard causes – generation of women dealing with shame. And while I understand Cory’s intention to point to grace, I wonder if these stories add to the shame culture we have in the church today. As someone wisely pointed out on Twitter, this is issue wrought with complexities.

  13. This is painful, not just because of the overly saccharine writing (she was an angel, really?), but because of the social implications.

    A simple rule of thumb in sexual relationships is this: “A yes is only a yes if a no is possible.” In the situation, as you’ve painted it, a no wasn’t possible – this guy, whom she presumably liked, whittled down her courage and her ability to stand up for herself until she eventually just said, “Oh all right.” That’s not active participation in a sexual relationship – that is coercive and abusive. And yet, somehow, the person who needs to ask for forgiveness…is the girl? Because she gave a coerced, unwilling, affirmative answer to a boy who should not have been pressuring her in the first place? That’s really messed up and blames the victim of an abusive relationship for the abuse that took place.

    Of course, someone already pointed this out, and your reply was, “This is the girl’s story, not his. Respect that.”

    No can do, Herr Cory. The story of how the girl “lost her innocence” is irrevocably and irretrievably tied to the situation you painted. You cannot “just tell the girl’s story,” because the abusive nature of the relationship changes her story. Unless you really think that giving a coerced, hesitant yes in the midst of a complex and likely emotionally abusive relationship is somehow the same thing as getting drunk and having a one night stand? And if it is, then you have no business teaching young women.

    What’s more is the downward shame spiral she goes into? Maybe that could have been prevented if she didn’t have people in her life telling her “sullied once, sullied forever.” Maybe if she’d gone to a church where she could know that what happened to her was actually assault and abuse, and not her fault, she wouldn’t have developed the attitude of “well, I’ve already done it…” Maybe if it hadn’t been impressed upon her that she needed to beg forgiveness for dating an abusive boy, that shame spiral wouldn’t have happened. Maybe, just maybe, if she had been given the narrative not just of “keep yourself pure,” but “your body is yours and no one else is allowed to go there if you say no,” she would have been able to identify the signs of an abusive relationship and get out quicker.

    But, of course, her story resembles that of so many real life relationships and narratives: guy pressures girl (or girl pressures guy, because, y’know, women have sex drives too), guy/girl gives in, guy/girl is shamed and made to feel guilty for doing something they didn’t really want to do in the first place, guy/girl spends years thinking that their assault and their abusive relationship are perfectly normal – an idea reaffirmed by narratives like this.

    Cory, this is a problem. I cannot “respect” a narrative that supports and actually encourages victim-blaming mentality and shaming women. It makes me physically sick.

    • Jen said:

      Thanks Dianna for the longer response – Twitter is great for some things but these issues as you said need more than 140 characters.

      I love what you wrote: “Maybe, just maybe, if she had been given the narrative not just of “keep yourself pure,” but “your body is yours and no one else is allowed to go there if you say no,” she would have been able to identify the signs of an abusive relationship and get out quicker.”

      I would add that no one’s righteousness is tied to their purity, their actions. It is tied to the cross – to Christ. If she had been given the narrative of Christ’s love for her heart, mind, and soul instead of her purity, maybe she would have avoided the downward spiral. Maybe she would have been stronger in who she was as a child of God. Maybe righteousness would not have been something she wore but something she believed deep inside herself.

      On a side note, I am the mom of three boys. We are teaching them that they need a yes from any one they touch, not just not a no. They need permission to incorporate themselves into someone else’s life. We talk about the whys not the rules. We talk about end game and delayed gratification. We talk about healthy choices.

      • Jen, that last paragraph makes my heart happy. A yes is not merely the absence of a no. It is an enthusiastic “I want this to happen,” not an “I guess that’s okay.” It is wonderful that you are teaching your boys to respect women in that manner. Kudos to you!

      • Jen said:

        Exactly – an enthusiastic yes. And yet, I worry that my boys will also feel pressure to do things or to let things be done to them because they are boys and “isn’t that what boys want”. I am sure they will “want” to but I also know that they are smart, caring boys who want more from their lives than sex. But society tells them otherwise as well.

    • Alleyne Evans said:

      Thank you, Dianna, for this. All too often real situations of sexual abuse within partnered relationships are turned into “narratives” of sexual sin, people’s pain turned into object lessons that trade on slut shaming and willful falsehoods about acceptable behavior in order to justify hand wringing about failed purity while ignoring the failed humanity of abusers.

      It is an abjectly broken culture that has endless tales about how capitulation to manipulation and coercion is a sin, but next to nothing to say about the manipulation or coercion at all. It is a culture that encourages those abuses, by failing, over and over, to focus on them, while simultaneously blaming victims for not being strong enough to withstand attacks they should never have had to face to begin with. Fallen. Unpure. Loss of innocence. In sin. Backslidden. Out of grace. Far from salvation.

      This is the church’s particularly odious and spiritually devastating spin on rape culture. This is how souls are torn to shreds.

      “This story wasn’t about the boy.”

      No, of course it wasn’t. It never is. And that’s why this story keeps being told over and over and over again.

      How many more men will have their sin glazed over as if “sexual sin” (when it actually exists) doesn’t take two people?

      How many more women can be made into harlots for the sake of another emotionally wrenching purity exhortation before we’re out of women to denigrate and defile?

    • Dianna, have I ever told you that you are my christian, feminist, sex positive, intelligent, badass spirit animal? Cause you are. Please find that awesome and not creepy. Basically, I second everything you said.

      Also, Cory, since you’re a divorced man, I do appreciate your attempt to be the voice of some unmarried young women and tell their story. Coming from a female standpoint, though,I think that we are more than qualified to tell our own stories.

      In fact, women can not only tell their own stories but they can make their own decisions regarding their sex lives. These decisions may go against what most christians think is moral sexual behavior. These decisions can be made without persuasion from a conniving douchebag who wants only one thing. And, shockingly, women may be totes ok with these decisions without any guilt, because these women are sure they and their partners were on the same page and have mutual respect and love for each other. They are firm in their own morality, not allowing the haters to bring them down with their silly little virgin/whore dichotomies and purity standards and orgasmed happily ever after.

      Oh, and they kicked this sweet-smiling parkour asshole in your story to the curb on the second date cause they don’t put up with manipulative bullshit. But he’s just a secondary character, anyway.

    • Nowhere does the author absolve the boy of responsibility, nor I think is anyone in this comment thread doing so. He’s guilty before God, and in many areas at least, before the law. No one here that I’ve seen is disputing that.

      You write: “A simple rule of thumb in sexual relationships is this: “A yes is only a yes if a no is possible.” In the situation, as you’ve painted it, a no wasn’t possible”

      There is a difference between not having a choice and not being strong enough after a while to make that choice. Between being worn down and being forced. She did say no. Several times. But only to the act, not to the relationship. Her biggest mistake was not ending the relationship. No one is saying she needs *forgiveness* for staying with him; that wasn’t a sin. But it WAS a series of choices that put herself in a very vulnerable position she could have escaped much earlier. She had a choice, even at that moment, but she had allowed herself to become too worn down to exercise it. Only the act of having sex with him was a sin for her, whereas it was a sin for him every time he pressured her, every time he put his hands on her, plus every lustful thought he had on the way there. I agree that he was an abuser and a manipulatory predator. The sin lies at least 90% on his side and he has a lot more repenting to do than she ever will. But she’s not completely absolved of responsibility for her own choices where she did make unwise choices. There needs to be a ground in which we can recognize bad choices by a victim without it being mistaken for absolving the other party.

      None of her choices make her DESERVE this. Nobody deserves this. But we do need to be able to recognize that some of her choices contributed to the situation. God doesn’t wipe away our tears by telling us what we did was okay, He wipes away our tears by telling us that He loves us anyway. It doesn’t diminish her value in God’s eyes. He’s not waiting with a lightning bolt over her head. He’s waiting to restore her to the path and fellowship she had with Him before her missteps. That’s where the message of hope and healing lies.

      • “No one is saying she needs *forgiveness* for staying with him; that wasn’t a sin. But it WAS a series of choices that put herself in a very vulnerable position she could have escaped much earlier. She had a choice, even at that moment, but she had allowed herself to become too worn down to exercise it. Only the act of having sex with him was a sin for her [...] He’s not waiting with a lightning bolt over her head. He’s waiting to restore her to the path and fellowship she had with Him before her missteps. That’s where the message of hope and healing lies.”

        I agree that there is healing in God’s love, which is unconditional, and there’s hope and healing in being told that your worth has nothing to do with when or how you engage in sex but in the love of Christ.

        But I grew up reading Brio, Rebecca St. James’ Wait For Me book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Every Young Woman’s Battle, etc etc etc. I knew that girls who dressed immodestly weren’t respected by guys or themselves, and if you had sex before marriage you were cheapening yourself. That was the underlying message. That, in essence, DID lead me to believe that I would be less of a Christian/young woman/etc if I were to disobey. From conversations I’ve had with my female friends, it seems apparent that most of us who grew up in the Christian culture have these internal standards in mind. And they are detrimental. “You’re cheap and slutty, or presenting yourself as such (and if people label you as it, you basically are) if you do a, b, or c.”

        Plus, Cory doesn’t say, “your value is in God, regardless of your sexual history.” He says, “Regardless of what you’ve done or what mighty acts of treachery you’ve attempted, I want you to know that forgiveness will always be but a breath away. [...] Regardless of what you’ve done or how far you feel you’ve fallen, your redemption is right here. [...] All it takes is asking God forgiveness with a repentant spirit in your heart. He doesn’t care what you’ve done, nor does He care who you’ve done it with. He only wants you to be okay. And that starts with making your way back to Him. It starts with you saying, ‘I’m sorry for what I’ve done.’ [....] You may feel barren of goodness because of what you’ve allowed yourself to do.”

        What part of that doesn’t give a direct correlation between what the girl did and needing to ask forgiveness/repent/feeling unworthy? Where in there does he say that these feelings are ridiculous and far from the heart of God? Cause however shitty this hypothetical chick feels about herself, it most definitely isn’t how God sees her because of what she’s done. It’s a lie.

      • Alleyne Evans said:

        Do you not recognize that her “missteps” were a direct result of this endless litany of teaching that one act of not resisting relentless pressure made her unpure, unclean, sinful and a slattern, unworthy of God’s love? She didn’t go off the path all on her own steam, broken, fallacious, erroneous and spiritually abusive teaching gave her a mighty big push.

    • Sophie said:

      What a perfect response. Says everything I wanted to say.

    • Kristen said:

      100% agree

  14. Emmy said:

    I don’t see why we’re moralizing on the girl’s side of the story, when it’s clear that the boy is the one who should be shamed.

  15. Abby said:

    I once heard someone say all you have to do I take one step towards God and he will take the 999 others to meet you.

  16. Sarah Moon said:

    I’ve heard so many stories like this. What I’ve NEVER heard is one of these stories coming to the conclusion that men should not sexually abuse and manipulate women. What I’ve NEVER heard is a story where a woman and a man have a completely consensual, manipulation-free sexual experience.

    You said earlier that this story was not about the boy. It never is, is it? Because sexual purity is not really about the boy. That’s why, if a woman ever ends up having a penis in her vagina, she is impure and needs to ask forgiveness. What the man did is irrelevant, and whether or not the woman actually wanted a penis in her vagina is irrelevant (in fact, in your narrative, no “good” girl would ever want such a thing).

    I’m going to ask you to think about the harm you cause when you make stories like these all about the girl.

  17. Sarah Moon said:

    Also, can we talk about the comments suggesting that the girl was at fault for staying in the relationship rather than leaving it? You people don’t know much about abusive relationships, do you? Abusers know what they’re doing. They know how to get in your mind and make you stay, how to strip you of your self-esteem and confidence and make you feel helpless and constantly afraid. They use subtle (or not so subtle) threats of physical violence or blackmail.

    In my relationship, I had been raped as a child. He told me I was already impure and therefore didn’t deserve a “good” guy. He threatened to kill me if I left. He threatened to make my rape as a child (which I was ashamed of, because of narratives like this) public if I left.

    My case is not extreme. It is not rare or abnormal. Women everywhere suffer this kind of abuse.The real faces of real women in situations like the one you described above are faces of women who have been knocked down, verbally and/or physically abused. Women who are afraid to leave. Who are bound to that relationship with invisible chains that are merely strengthened by stories like this.

    • Kristin said:

      YES YES YES.

      My ex started to quarantine me off from everyone I knew, so I had no safety net. I. could not. leave.

      • Sarah Moon said:

        mine too. he lied to me about my friends and family. he lied to my friends and family about me, which made them angry at me. I felt I had no where to go.

  18. Brandi said:

    I’m deeply disturbed by the response to this post, both here in the comments as well as on Twitter. For the sake of not clogging my Twitter feed, I’d love to respond here to some of the critiques.

    I know some of you ladies have bravely shared that this FICTIONAL story stirs up the feelings that come along with deeply PERSONAL AND REAL stories. Truly, I hate what has happened to you. But what I also hate is that you’re making my friend out to be an insensitive douchebag because you are reading this FICTIONAL story as though it were YOUR story. it isn’t. It wasn’t intended to be. It is a DIFFERENT story and It was never intended to encompass or address every issue with sexual relationships.

    Cory was telling the story of a girl. A girl I know. A girl I’ve been. The girl who held her virginity as a gift to be given only to her husband. Who fell in love with the perfect boy who spoke the perfect words. The girl who CHOSE (and I do mean chose, as the FICTIONAL story here also illustrates. Not a “No, No, please No…..ok fine” like I saw you accuse on Twitter. If you’ll read the FICTIONAL story of the GIRL, you’ll see that she let her guard down and “took the boy into her bed”. Two choices illustrated there. Her choices.

    Choices that DO NOT make her a bad person, but her INNER DIALOGUE rings true to MANY. (to me, to friends I know) “I gave away the thing I valued, now I am worthless.” Cory’s response? You aren’t. Forgiveness for those of us who CHOSE to forsake pieces of what we value most is as near as our very breath. We are not guilty anymore. We are not to blame. Was the guy in the story a jerk who SHARES responsibility? Absolutely. But THIS STORY wasn’t about him. Nor was it about rape. Nor was it about YOUR PERSONAL STORY. It was FICTION and, I believe, intended to illustrate that EVEN IF we identify with parts of this FICTIONAL girl’s story, that we have not gone too far or become void of worth.

    Read the story. And the issues that it brings up from YOUR PERSONAL STORY need to be dealt with. I empathize, truly. But the best way to deal with those personal issues is not crucifying a guy who wrote a fictional story that somehow reminded you of past or present pain. The arrows you’re shooting at Cory won’t heal your pain.

    • Oh hey, it’s the girl who said this is fruitless!

      Fiction means things. We tell stories because it’s how we process the world. We also learn lessons from stories – that’s why Aesop’s Fables and nursery rhymes exist, because even before we’re analyzing Romeo and Juliet in high school, we are processing our life through metaphor and symbolism and through the characters presented within stories. Fictional or not, there is always something to be learned when a story is told, so the “it’s fiction” defense doesn’t work. If I were to write a story that was fictional but promulgated stereotypes about black men, you were be well within your rights to criticize me for that story and for the lessons I’m teaching with that story. It being fictional means nothing because fictional stories and accounts are simply another way in which we process the world around us (and, particularly, one of the ways in which we portray a moral good or a moral lesson).

      There are two lessons in this story: the one intended by Cory, and the underlying one he probably didn’t even realize was there (it’s nothing to be ashamed of; it’s just part of being a male trying to write a story about women). The first lesson is the obvious: nothing is beyond redemption. Most of us commenting here agree with that. What we disagree with is the underlying message that the woman – in a coercive, abusive relationship – is in need of redemption because of that relationship.

      The thing, here, is that the lesson of her needing forgiveness for being in an abusive relationship (and for the sense of worthlessness that instilled upon her) overrides any lesson of forgiveness Cory might have had. And a large part of it is because it’s the same old story: Virgin, Angelic woman is pressured into giving up her “purity” and now she feels worthless, but, lo and behold, there’s forgiveness (for being coerced?). Instead of using this illustration, Cory could have given the perspective of a man who felt used and worthless after he had sex, rather than trying to write the female experience and (unintentionally) portraying an abusive relationship in the process. Instead, we get the “fallen angel,” the woman who can no longer be put on a pedestal. Even for a fictional character, that’s a weaksauce – why isn’t she a realistic person, rather than a virtuous angel? Why doesn’t she struggle with purity before meeting this boy? Why can’t I identify with her in any way, shape or form? (Psst: it’s because she’s a caricature, not a realistic person).

      So, sorry, our criticism is not out of line. And I don’t have a personal story clouding my judgment, but thanks for implying that I have “issues” rather than a legitimate problem.

      • First of all, I didn’t imply that YOU have issues. Unfortunately that seems to be a common theme today. People want to hear what they want to hear.

        Also, I think it important to note that you’re critiquing pieces of this story that don’t exist. It’s fiction, therefore the author gets to decide which details are shared and which are left to assumption. In the same way, you are free to interpret as you will. I guess my frustration is that it seemed so easy for you and a few other ladies to jump to “crucify the sexist ill informed pig” while filling in the blanks with your assumptions of ignorance, sexism, etc. I know Cory, and I know that your accusations are fruitless. The truth is Cory is not ignorant or sexist. He didn’t paint a picture of a victim, he painted a picture of a girl in the Christian subculture Cory and I frequently find ourselves in that was eerily accurate. Cory didn’t write a story of rape. He wrote a fictional story about a reality many girls in Christian sub cultures experience in regards to sex.

        You somehow made it about rape. You focused on the boy when the story is clearly about the girl. You missed the point, therefore your arguments are fruitless.

      • Sarah Moon said:

        What reflectionofgrace doesn’t seem to understand that, regardless of what Cory intended to write, he wrote a story about a sexual act that occurred after manipulation and repeated “no”s on the behalf of the girl. that’s abusive, and no one needs to ask forgiveness for being abused. No one is “jumping on the sexist pig,” but trying to get rid of this harmful idea that’s so prominent in Christianity that consent doesn’t matter and that women must ask forgiveness for being abused.

  19. KT said:

    I didn’t completely read all of the comments, but I did read enough to get an idea of why you ladies are so angry about this post. I’ve known Cory a long time, unlike many of you, but trust me when I say that this is not me taking up for him. I’m not even trying to be argumentative. But I am going to spread a little knowledge. I work in therapy settings with a very special population: victims of abuse. The type of abuse you guys are attributing to this fictional story is not, I’m sure, at all what is being portrayed. The way a person operationalizes something like abuse or forgiveness is different from person to person. Don’t assume your definition matches what is being used in this story.

    And if you guys are that upset about a story, perhaps you should seek therapy. Displaced anger can be a nasty thing.

    • Sarah Moon said:

      You’re pathologizing those of us who have criticized this article?

    • brambonius said:

      So you’re saying that what the boy does is ‘normal’ behavior and not abusive?? Or are boys by default evil and always more interested in sex than in love, and is being abusive part of maleness?

      If you uphold and perpetuate myths like that they’ll work like self-fulfilling prophecies, yes…

    • Sheesh, I would not want you as a therapist if you’re going around suggesting that people need therapy simply because they recognize an abusive situation being used as a moral lesson and object to that. For one thing, that’s a big fat ethical problem, to use your therapy experience to kludgel those who disagree with you. For another, one needn’t be a survivor of abuse (and angry enough about it to require therapy) in order to strenuously object to something. I’m glad you live in a little bubble where you can never criticize something your friend produces, but regardless of his credentials, this particular piece is bad.

      • Sarah Moon said:

        I’ve sought therapy before. I learned that expressing anger at things that are worthy of my anger is healthy :)

    • Kristin said:

      So, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…let’s call it a sheep?

      Someone tries to touch you. You don’t want it. They do it anyway.
      I honestly can find no other definition for this story than abuse.

      Also, I AM in therapy, but not for displaced anger. A boy did to me what happened to the girl in this story.

      • Lucient said:

        “Someone tries to touch you. You don’t want it. They do it anyway. I honestly can find no other definition for this story than abuse.”

        I am not gonna speak for you however when I was little, I would be tickled and I didn’t want to be tickled (sounds horrible) yet I enjoyed my sisters and cousins and parents (maybe as a baby I really didn’t wanna be tickled…) tickling me and I would return tickles to them when they wanted (when do people ever want to be tickled? just curious) and even times they didn’t… My sister knows one of the first things I do after I give her a hug is tickle her…

        My question is, where is the line drawn? If it’s simply a no to something and you get it anyway then there’s a lot more abuse than I’ve imagined… Every time my mom made me eat my vegetables… Every time a police officer pulled me over… Every time my fiance wants me to hang out with her… if I say no but I have to do these things anyway or I’m made to do these things anyway?

      • devdas said:

        Lucient, I’m stunned. You just compared rape to eating vegetables….

      • Kristin said:

        Lucient. No no no.

        Unless an adult was “tickling” you in your nether-regions (or asking you to do that to them), that was not abuse. You are giving terrible comparisons. Eating vegetables? Getting pulled over? No.

        You do not HAVE to hang out with your fiance every time she asks you. You need your own friends and your own hobbies. You two need to create a healthy interdependence, not a co-dependence or an independence. Build a life together while keeping your own uniqueness.

        How are you “made” to hang out with her?
        If she just asks you, and you decide that yes, that’s a great idea, and you spend time with her? That’s awesome and healthy.
        If you refuse and she threatens you, emotionally or verbally wears you down, calls you names, hits you, etc. – THAT IS ALSO ABUSE and you need to leave. (In abuse cases, the victim feels like they have no choice because of their abuser. That is why the girl in this story “gave in.”)

        If you cannot understand or create a good interdependence in your relationship, I’m not surprised that you cannot understand abuse vs a healthy relationship. :(

      • Lucient said:

        “Someone tries to touch you. You don’t want it. They do it anyway. I honestly can find no other definition for this story than abuse.”

        hung up on the comparisons, are you? I’m hung up on this statement. This statement so vague that if put in ridiculous situations just sound silly but there’s must be some understood or implied reason for which this statement applies. I wanted to know those reasons cause when I am injured or sick and I don’t want anyone to “touch me” and they do so anyway and I’m made better because they “touched me” means I was made better by some form of abuse… Does it not?

      • Lucient said:

        Devdas, I did not compare “rape” to “eating vegetables” No one mentioned rape but it’s interesting that that’s what you pull out of the statement, “Someone tries to touch you. You don’t want it. They do it anyway. I honestly can find no other definition for this story than abuse.” Is rape the ultimate abuse? I think not. There is no “ultimate” where you hush this and punish that. That’s a big problem, levels of wrong… who decides which rung this wrongness goes or that? I simple delved into the meaning of a vague statement and somehow that vague statement was about rape?

      • Kristin said:

        Okay, so you are hung up on the statement. Let me fix it for you:
        “Someone tries to touch you in a sexual way. You don’t want it. They do it anyway.”

        I thought since I referenced the story in the blog and responded to someone else’s comment about the definition of abuse, it could be concluded that the touching it was in a sexual nature and not at all a vague statement.

        No, the only thing I’m hung up on is that many people don’t seem to understand what abuse is, which is (scary and) why there are WAY too many situations where abuse looks or is explained as “normal.”

        This story is one of those situations. Maybe it is just a story and it wasn’t meant to portray abuse, but it did. And we all need to talk about why it’s wrong.

  20. Jay said:

    This story reminds me of another one. An actual true story and in that story, blame was being thrown around… All the facts were not there and one side was blaming/accusing another… That story ended with, “Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?” and she said, “No man, Lord.” And Jesus said unto her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

    In that story, she was accused of adultery and was “caught in the act.” Yet, only she was brought before Jesus? If the Bible had a comment blog then, I figure there might be just as many if not more saying, where’s the guy (or girl)? This hurts and it saddens me cause I use to think that girl I love was an angel… The misconception is there and underlying stories and everything… I do believe that this is turning into something altogether, though, and I wonder if people will see that this is starting other arguments… The point is, just like what happened in God’s Word is true to day… Look at the scriptures, Jesus said he doesn’t condemn her and she didn’t even ask…

  21. Sarah said:

    Ah yes, because its always the woman’s fault and woman are always such sinful creatures.

    This is a terrible story shaming victims.

    Please revaluate your life.

    • Jay said:

      Again, put a man in the story Jesus told and let’s even take out the “partner” aspect of it… Let’s just say he is caught masturbating… They bring him before Jesus…. does the story change? Yet, I could, as a guy, pour and pull all the misconceptions that all “guys” struggle with masturbation or even porn and point to this and that…. Yet, this “guy” the one writing this post, is a “guy” who does not struggle with that… I’m not gonna say one of the few cause that’s unfair to the many that may not and I’m not gonna say one of the many to paint this picture I’m not sure is true or not… I can speak for me… Stories tell a story and yes I could pull this and that…. In this story, I thought of me, a “guy” who could have been or even has been in that “girl’s” particular situation and has made similar choices, whether the girl or I have “assaulted/abused” each other knowingly or not…

  22. Nina said:

    Thank you for this… I was… Read it WAS that girl and I am washed and made whole…. He has healed me, taken my heart and renewed it, and put a new way of thinking in me….. The tables can be turned… If it takes a man with the heart of God that may see the hurt in a ladies eyes to share her testimony so be it because some of use aren’t talking about it, because the anger is hindering them, the pointing fingers is hindering them…. Not me… I’m moving forward… Be bless Cory!!!

  23. Hi Cory, I don’t know you and I only discovered your blog due to this particular post. I have read all the comments and I would like to tell you, I am that girl. I know you have written a piece of fiction and you didn’t mean to tell my story, but somehow you did. My story continued in a different way to yours. In my story that boy manipulated me sexually and emotionally destroyed me, I was pregnant at 17. Then I married him, because that’s what good Christian “angel” girls do. Then he abused me for 3 more years, in which time he also became a registered sex offender for also sexually abusing underage girls (is it okay to call it sexual abuse if they were underage? Or should I call it what some of the other commenters call it, choosing to have sex?) I then became pregnant again and he raped me, this time it was definitely “real rape”, with actual physical force. My son was born 3 months premature weighing 2lbs 6oz. That’s how my story went.

    I appreciate you were not trying to tell my story, you were trying to tell a tale of how anybody can be redeemed, but somehow you still managed to tell my story. I do not judge or criticise you for what you have written, I understand that your heart cries out to see people know the love of God. But the point at which I knew the love of God was not by asking for forgiveness for the sin of having sex before marriage, it was when God showed me that I hadn’t compromised, I hadn’t messed up, in fact I had been abused and He loved me and He told me that it wasn’t okay and that I was not to blame. That is what God’s redemption for those of us who have been sexually abused is, not forgiveness, but freedom from false guilt.

    Thank you for the chance to tell you my story, and thank you for trying to tell it yourself.

    • Sarah Moon said:

      “That is what God’s redemption for those of us who have been sexually abused is, not forgiveness, but freedom from false guilt.”

      This! :)

  24. Marian said:

    Corey and his supporters, You may be a good guy, but I urge you to be exposed more to the reality of life. Your essay revolved on the greatness of a pure, righteous girl who was manipulated, tempted and finally fell into sin. That was it in a nut-shell. Girls need to be reminded this: Just as much as temptation is real to girls, it is also real to boys, just as much as we desire purity for girls, we desire purity for boys, so if two young people decides to be engaged in “premarital sex, as clear in your essay, stop putting emphasis on the girl. Talk about the boy, be the MAN who should SHOW AND TEACH BOYS HOW TO RESPECT GIRLS!!!!STOP MAKING AN EMPHASIS ON THE GIRL’S FAILURE!!!!!

  25. Lucient said:

    According to this story, and any story similar, the choice to leave was never gone. I assume all this abuse just a one day thing, in this story, yet over a course of time. Like I said before, if the girl drove to, agreed to, or even wanted to meet with this guy after the first incident, she stayed and no one forced her to stay. If she was this “virtuous women” or whatever, I assume they are not living together or anything like that. Point is, there times, in this story, that the girl is not with the guy and there are that she is. If she stayed with him, after realizing that whatever attracted her to him in the first place was different or not as beautiful or whatever now and there’s a point where consent/no consent is given because she has been “worn down” and finally concedes… Again, if this happened in a days time or even in the first meeting, then yes, I could see an argument for “no choice” There were chances to leave and warning signs and everything. It wasn’t all of a sudden or anything. It’s one to be abused and another to let yourself be abused.

  26. I read this story for the first time today after hearing others discuss it. I purposely did not read all the comments.

    Cory, I start with the assumption that you intended no harm in writing this story. Having said that, I find the story to be a sad attempt at a morality tale. I won’t go into the he did/she did argument. What jumps out at me as the core of the problem is this statement: “The once good girl was now void of any goodness.”

    That is, at the very least, insensitive, and at its worse, terrible theology. Did she make a poor choice when she continued to date this young man? Yes. But where’s your back story? Who is this girl? Was she lonely? Did she have a home life where she didn’t feel safe? Was her father available and affirming of her? Her mother?

    Your concluding statements are correct – forgiveness is only a breath away. The same is true for the man in this story, who seems to get off unscathed, with little concern for his “goodness”. What’s his story?

    I can understand why abuse survivors are upset by this story. Hear them out. The vitriol spewed toward them on following pages is in many cases childlike and not at all Christlike. And for those of you who would respond, “They spewed vitriol first,” ask yourself why. What are their stories? Better yet, ask yourself why you are reacting the way you are.

    “Neither do I condemn thee. Go, and sin no more”

  27. Alex H. said:

    This kind of sex-hating, slut-shaming, gender-stereotyping garbage makes me intensely happy that I’ve never been a Christian or had a Christian as a romantic partner, and devoutly grateful to my parents and to the great writers (most notably Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, and Robert A. Heinlein) who influenced my intellectual development toward rationality and freedom from superstition. One of the many benefits of being a secular humanist is the ability to have mutually pleasurable and satisfying sex with both long-term and casual partners, free from shame or guilt on either side.

  28. John said:

    Not to be nick picky but the boy did take no for an answer at some point in the story. If he didn’t, then you couldn’t have “Again and again, she dissuaded him, turning a stone cold cheek and halting heavy breaths before they had pushed too far.” She said, “no” and he took it as no. Nonetheless, “the boy was relentless and vile in his objections to her goodness.” kinda reminds me of that Bible story where the one man kept knocking on that other dude’s door and at first the guy inside was like “NO!” but the dude knocking kept knocking… Jesus said something bout that… Granted “the boy” in this story wasn’t knocking, more like, trying to get over on her. You guys keep calling out “abuse” like it’s the only thing that can be taken out of this… You other guys keep telling the guys calling out “abuse” that it can’t be taken as abuse. It’s sad. Look at each others viewpoints. Whether there are only one truths in this story or several, people view those “truths” each differently. There are plenty of lies and misconceptions in here as well… I’m glad people are at least talking about it.

  29. Sophie said:

    The narrative here reminds me of the narrative that is a staple of p0rn. The narrative goes: ‘If an uptight woman is raped, she will become a total s1ut afterwards. So you’re doing her a favour by raping her because all sex is good’. Except the narrative here goes ‘If a woman is pressured into giving only the appearance of consent (that is, consent that makes it a “not no” rather than a “yes”) then she will become a total s1ut afterwards. But don’t worry, Jesus can forgive her and make her not a s1ut anymore’.

    Neither perspective cares about consent. Both perspectives stem from the false virgin/whore dichotomy.

  30. Roberta said:

    You guys this is beautiful. The guy is just being a guy and this girl just deserves to feel ashamed for her slutty ways. RESPECT THAT.

  31. So many feelings. Mainly nausea over a truly poor piece of writing. Surprise, too, that I’m meant to be wasting away from grief over my lost virginity. And anger, because I’m a survivor of sexual abuse and after two decades immersed in Evangelical culture, my first reaction to my assault consisted of shame.

    Thanks for reminding me why I’ve never regretted leaving the church.

    • Sexual assault isn’t a loss of purity, and I’m sorry that you were made to feel that it was. The only shame in a sexual assault should be on the perpetrator. The Bible does separate between rape and consensual sex, and holds only the perpetrator guilty in a rape. I’m sorry you were made to feel a shame you didn’t deserve for that, and I hope you find your way back to Christ.

      • Just a head’s up: it’s really offensive to tell a non-theist that you hope they find their way back to their religion. It’s the equivalent of me telling you that I hope you lose your faith in Jesus.

  32. Jen said:

    Got it. You hate that women can be sexual. Got it. It’s awesome, kids. Have LOTS of it before you tie the knot. Sexual incompatibility is real and you don’t want to find that out AFTER you’ve said your I dos…

    • Jay said:

      Jen, you do know that love is what makes a marriage work and the lack of love love is what helps tear it apart. right? Sex is not a need.

      • A. Nonny Mouse said:

        Sex is a need in my 11 year marriage. A big one. I need it so I won’t get cranky.

      • Jay said:

        That is a privilege not a need. You need food. You need water. You need sleep. You don’t need sex.

  33. Blake said:

    Maybe if the girl hadn’t grown up being brainwashed by silly Christian books and blogs posts (like this one) that physical intimacy with a boy is bad, sinful, and evil, she could have approached the situation/relationship more rationally, openly, and honestly. “She took the boy into her bed” doesn’t sound like rape or abuse to me. I’m glad in the end she acknowledged her own emotions over “living her life the way a good girl should.” She only felt bad afterwards b/c she had been brainwashed to believe her actions were bad, again probably by reading silly drivel like this post.

    She wasn’t beyond salvation or even in need of salvation by God. She was in need of salvation by her “idea of God” that was drilled into her while growing up. And this “Idea of God” serves the purposes of “the Church” b/c it keeps otherwise smart, rational people captive to the Church’s teachings.

    You may feel barren of goodness because that’s how the Church has taught you to feel. Stay true to yourself and find your own path. Relationships, Love, and Sex are always hard whether you’re married or not. And just b/c it hurts doesn’t mean God thinks you’re sinful. Don’t let some 2000 year old book (or what people say the 2000 year old book says) influence how you live and love.

    In college I liked a girl and I finally said “F*** this” to all the church crap about dating, sex, and relationships I had heard growing up. Guess what, I’ve been happily married to that girl for almost 12 years and we have 2 kids! Anybody who writes sappy christian stuff like this doesn’t know how real relationships work and that it doesn’t require “Jesus” at the center. It’s about being honest and true to yourself, not following some dumb, made-up Christian ideal!

  34. JustMe said:

    Trying to convince people that they will always be happy (with “a smile forever at the ready”) as long as they don’t have sex is really setting them up for a HUGE disappointment. (Relatedly, trying to convince people that “people who had premarital sex are secretly unhappy and lonely in a way that other people aren’t” is not being completely honest)

  35. Dean said:

    Amen to Jen . . . you know if the church spent half the time talking about what jesus actually talked about, you’d be out there ministering to the muslims, homeless, and poor, and you wouldn’t have time to worry about repressing women’s sexuality. I have seen first hand the damage that your repression has caused. Girls who grow up not understanding their own body, sexuality, role, etc. Girls who think there is something wrong with them for feeling sexual. Girls who don’t know how to have an orgasm and can’t understand why their friends have them so easily.

    • Exactly. This is the kind of misogynous, victim-blaming thinking that left me feeling I was damaged goods before I ever even HAD sex. Craziness produces more craziness.

  36. Hello,
    I have 3 questions for you:

    1. Why do you portray the “good girl” to be the one who does wrong here? Why is it her fault AND why should girls be “meek and humble”? What are you teaching the girls you’re around? To not speak and not have an opinion?! Sorry, but the girls I want to raise are girls with a voice and are kick ass. Definitely not meek.

    2. Why are you making the boy be the sexual predator in this?! Can you not just say something like “two kids got together and had sex”??? Dude, this is the real world and this shit happens.

    3. Which brings me onto my third point of CAN PEOPLE NOT JUST HAVE SEX WITHOUT BEING MADE TO FEEL BAD ABOUT IT? Seriously, your whole “this might be you” thing sucks and you need to wake up, stop reading Joshua Harris and realise that what people need isn’t to be made to feel guilty about a human desire. So they had sex? What of it?

    Oh and by the way, the comments by people who say you’re amazing and you really speak to them and they would “love to hear from you”, probably want to bone you. But you wouldn’t know because you’re a “good boy”. And they’re pretending they’re “good girls”.

  37. Phil Hercraken said:

    What’s her number?

  38. I find the narrative rather confusing. Apparently, a ‘good girl’ took her only sexual encounter with such shame that she completely threw herself into self-indulgence—where did her goodness and self-respect go? The author even admits this slipperly slope is false, yet he still uses it as grounds for his ‘altar call’ in part two. There’s something wrong in assuming that God’s capacity to love and forgive requires a corresponding level of shame.

    • I’ve known actual people who lived it. Both Satan and our own self-doubts are quick to pounce on those that make a mistake and convince them there’s no point to trying to do right once they’ve failed once. You see the same thing with the snowball effect of small crimes sometimes. Those that commit a crime sometimes straighten up and rededicate themselves to doing right, and other times decide that “criminal” is their identity now and go on doing it. Some go on feeling guilty, others try to justify it by rejecting the law they broke, deciding it isn’t wrong or the law doesn’t apply to them.

      • Mistie Holler said:

        I HAVE lived it, and it’s nothing to do with ‘Satan pouncing’ and everything to do with the church completely conflating purity with virginity every time sex is discussed. No other sin is treated like sexual sin in the church. I lived and walked in what the church would call ‘sexual purity’ (no lust, no sex, no fantasies, no masturbation) until some people found out I had had sex once about six years previously and decided to shame the sh*t out of me for it, letting it be known that they were praying for me and making sure I knew that I had lost something important and sex and my sexuality could never be whole again because I was used and damaged. Technically I could be pure again (they had to acknowledge that because the Bible said so), but I’d never be quite as pure, and any sex within marriage I had would never feel quite as good or be as pure as it would have been if I had been a virgin. Of course they didn’t mean to shame me, they were just expressing what they felt to be God’s standard and trying to make absolutely sure I had repented, and they were trying to minimize the residual impurity they felt might be clinging to me in some way.

        If you tell someone that they’re damaged goods and forever tainted then guess what they’re going to do about it? Guess how much they’re going to value their purity if you tell them they can’t really have any? You might be thinking ‘ah, but the point of the story is that the good girl could be good again and she isn’t damaged goods and she didn’t have to throw it all away’. No. The point of this story is that no other sin this girl committed could make her throw away everything good about herself, than the ‘sin’ of not realising that she was being whittled down to a supine sex toy by a master manipulator. And there is something wrong with a story that doesn’t challenge the reasons behind this well-known narrative but instead focuses on the fact that A GOOD CHRISTIAN GIRL HAD SEX AND OF COURSE WENT ALL WHORISH AS AN OBVIOUS RESULT.

        The ‘good girl’ is clearly someone who is trying to live a good life and do the right thing by everyone and has a passion for her faith and a willingness to live by her conscience. She pushes the guy away again and again and eventually gives in under strong pressure from someone who is manipulative and strong-willed and who preys on her desire to be loved and accepted by him. She didn’t give the ‘yes’ that makes it consent – she gave the verbal ‘yes’ that made it ‘not technically rape’ – and the boy KNOWS what kind of a ‘yes’ it is. All of this is clear from the story.

        Presumably even this ‘angel’ has sinned now and again but she always got up and kept trying to be ‘angelic’ every day as if God’s mercy is new every morning – UNTIL she allowed sex to happen to her one time. From then on, she saw herself as tarnished. ‘Satan’ couldn’t persuade her she was beyond purity in any other way, any other day of her life, UNTIL she allowed sex to be done to her. Where do you think she got this idea that she was indelibly tarnished from? Do you really think it has to come from the head demon of hell when we hear it all the time from Christians in church?

        And as for criminals, the difference between a criminal and a Christian is that a criminal has a criminal mindset – a mindset that has continually suppresses or violates conscience until the attention of the law is drawn. A ‘good girl’, an ‘angel’, has a totally different mindset – she knows when she’s guilty (her guilt reflex is probably hypersensitive) and she hears her conscience loud and clear, and she follows it. Yet she still gets told she needs to repent on her knees for being manipulated and abused; for loving an abuser.

        If we tell criminals that they aren’t beyond hope, beyond change to rehabilitate them – then why has this good girl who has spent every Sunday in church probablly all her life gotten the message that she IS beyond hope, beyond change because of this one sin like no other? She needed encouragement and acceptance and reassurance, she needed to be educated properly about boundaries and consent and her body being her own and her boyfriend being an abuser, and instead she’s being told that she needs forgiveness.

  39. az green said:

    Manufactured bullshit! Stuff like this just spreads repressive propaganda and shaming. Religion invents a disease and then markets the cure.

    • Justin said:

      Yes, yes, yes.

  40. Jason said:

    What a joke. Christian women, it really is about time you start standing up for yourselves. Christian men: you really better knock this nonsense off or as time passes your religion is going to die even faster than it already is.

  41. Romans 1 pointed out the tendency of those that reject God and His designs to not only reject it themselves, but also push others to do the same. Most of the latest comments in this thread are pretty exemplary of that, seeking to convince others to reject God and the Bible too. The truth is still the truth, no matter how many people reject it.

    • Jason said:

      This is a worthless point.

    • Danica said:

      I object to Cory’s post vehemently. I reject that Cory is writing according to God’s design. I think he is pushing others to accept his own warped view on sexuality, as well as his own warped interpretation of God’s view of men and women. I think he has a lot of growing up to do, and will probably look back on these posts and cringe years down the road (that’s if he matures as he ages). And I love God with all my heart, my life is dedicated to Him, and I truly try to live for Him. Please do not put a label on your own brand of ‘truth’ and call it ‘Godly’. You are taking the name of G-d in vain. Also be careful not to label everyone who thinks differently from you as ‘wrong’. Christians have been disagreeing about fine points in the faith for centuries. Do you have a monopoly on the truth that they did not?

  42. Hi Cory-maybe you should look up “The Purity Myth” by Jessica Valenti-if you are too busy to read, there is a documentary too. We are so much more than our bodies and can be good people based on kindness, love and compassion which has nothing to do with sex.

  43. beautiful. thank you for sharing this. God bless you a million, a million times.

  44. elle said:

    That book is a really good read and worth your time.

    • elle said:

      (that was in reply to Mary Louisem’s comment)

  45. Korrine Britton said:

    Thank you so much for taking this down. Thank you for being humble enough to admit your words were hurtful and misogynistic.

    I have hope that others with similar views will eventually see how damaging their words are and retract them as well.

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