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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rock Me Sexy Jesus

posted by on September 30 at 15:23 PM

A columnist whose work I’ve never read before, Gwen Daniels, at a student newspaper I’ve never heard of, The Maneater, at a university I’ve never visited, the University of Missouri, introduced me to a trend with which I wasn’t familiar: Saving your first kiss for your wedding night. Basically it’s like saving your virginity for your wedding night only, um, a whole hell of a lot crazier.

Kids? It’s a bad enough idea to marry someone prior to determining whether or not you’re sexually compatible. But marrying someone before you figure out whether you like how their spit tastes? That’s just nuts.

Here’s Daniels on the phenomenon:

I first heard of the decision to save kissing for marriage—the virgin lips movement, my best friend and I called it—in Joshua Harris’ book I Kissed Dating Goodbye, a Christian relationship guide that advocates courtship and prayerful and deliberate dating with the expressed aspiration to marry, over conventional dating.

In my Southern conservative town, where churches are even more common than Walgreens stores, I Kissed Dating Goodbye is practically required reading for teenage girls…. In Christian relationships, “God wants us to seek guidance from scriptural truth, not feeling,” Harris writes. “Smart love looks beyond personal desires and the gratification of the moment. It looks at the big picture: serving others and glorifying God.”

How can romance glorify God? Harris suggests that Christians should commit their plans, motives, actions and desires—including dating—to God.

There’s so much to say. For instance, what is it with Christians moving the goal posts around? It’s no longer enough to be a virgin on your wedding night; now, if you want to be right with God, you better not have kissed before your wedding night. It’s no longer enough to seek to ban abortion; now they want to redefine birth control as abortion and ban it too. Gay people were a threat to the family when we were all sex-crazed hedonists getting it on the shrubs; now we’re a threat to the family because we want to get married ourselves, have babies, and stand on the sidelines in the rain with other exhausted parents at soccer games.

But here’s what really caught my attention: Daniels quotes a student whose eagerness to get down on his knees and serve Jesus seems just a little intense

Jeff Pudelek, a sophomore at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, decided to save his first kiss for marriage so that he will continually seek his satisfaction in God, he said.

After ending a long-term relationship, “I began to see that a lot of my relationship decisions were centered around finding satisfaction in a person,” Pudelek said. “The truth is that true satisfaction, what I was seeking in relationships with girls, can’t be found in any person, only in Jesus Christ.”

“I want to enjoy the fullness of what God has for me, and I think that includes cultivating intimacy with him above all else,” he added.

Okaaaay. So Jeff really loves Jesus. And here’s hoping Jesus comes along and fills you with the fullness you’re aching for, Jeff. (Do Jeff’s quotes remind anyone else of Faith +1?) And now, apropos of nothing in particular and making no insinuations about Jeff’s sexuality whatsoever: Christian girls? You might wanna think twice before marrying a boy who doesn’t want—at the very least—to make out with you once or twice prior to your honeymoon. Some God-fearing, red-blooded, robustly-heterosexual Christian boys are willing and able to save their virginities for their wedding nights, of course, and more power to ‘em. But make out with your boyfriend at least once before agreeing to marry him—and get close enough to verify that the lump in his pants is a hard cock and not an iPhone, okay?

Because you’ll be really sad Christian wives if you wind up marrying boys who claimed that they wanted to kiss you but couldn’t because they were saving those first kisses for your wedding nights—and until your wedding night they were finding true intimacy with their Lord, savior and imaginary boyfriend, Jesus Christ—but were actually great, big, scared homos who were able to delay their coming out until after marriage because, thanks to Joshua Harris and his stupid fucking book, your husbands didn’t have to perform sexually with a woman in even a minimal fashion until after their wedding nights.

Okay, back to Jeff:

Besides, physical activity such as kissing and intercourse does not sustain relationships, Pudelek said. “I still want to be madly in love with my wife even if we can’t kiss anymore,” he added.

An uncharitable man might suggest that Jeff sounds like he’s looking forward to the day when he and his future wife can’t kiss anymore. But I am not an uncharitable man. Instead I’d like to reassure Jeff that the kinds of illnesses that prevent people from kissing their spouses—oral cancers and, um, spontaneous combustion of the lips and tongue—are very, very rare indeed. Once you find a girl willing to marry you, Jeff, you can look forward to kissing that woman over and over again and again, day after day after day, one decade after another, for the rest of your natural life.

Oh, and you get to feel her boobs too—you’ve got that to look forward to as well. Hmm… boobs. But for now, of course, you can focus on the fullness that Jesus wants to stuff inside you. Hmm… fullness

RSS icon Comments


Having sex before marriage should be mandatory. And I mean with your partner, not with Jesus.

Posted by Dougsf | September 30, 2008 3:27 PM

Gwen also says:

Kisses are precious and valuable. As people of worth, we should not cheapen kisses by giving them away for free.

You know what's also precious and valuable? Puppies. Those labradoodles are particularly valuable, I've heard.

We should not cheapen our puppies by letting others pet them. Particularly not before said potential puppy molesters have committed to a lifelong relationship with our puppies. A holy bond between man and puppy, blessed in the eyes of Jesus.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | September 30, 2008 3:39 PM

I grew up going to church all my life. Until now I totally forgot all about that book. My parents bought it for me, but I never got past the cover.

Christians are fucked up.

Posted by move_it_by_bike | September 30, 2008 3:40 PM

You'll save those sweet lips for Daddy, young lady, if you know what's good for you. Now get on over here; I want to show you my Purity Balls.

Posted by Fnarf | September 30, 2008 3:45 PM

it's all born of fear, fear fear. they eat it for breakfast.

Posted by ellarosa | September 30, 2008 3:50 PM

People who believe that "physical activity such as kissing and intercourse does not sustain relationships" clearly haven't been in one.

I've known people like this over the years, and I wonder if this is about the sex or is it about the rules? The loony end of Christianity seems to attract people who want bedrock certainty in their lives--they don't do well with gray areas. To kiss or not to kiss? Jesus has the answer.

Posted by Westside forever | September 30, 2008 3:51 PM

next stop, arranged marriages and purdah....all aboard!

Posted by Jiberish | September 30, 2008 3:53 PM

Damn. That doesn't even make sense...of course, its just saying no kissing, and no sex, so that means anal and oral are still fine, right?

I can't *fathom* not kissing before marriage. Heck, most people have their first kiss before they're even old enough to be *thinking* about marriage...damn.

Posted by Wisconsin Girl | September 30, 2008 3:55 PM

OMG. I'm rethinking the value of genuine, all-inclusive sex education and coming (heh) to the conclusion that mandatory Psych 101 might be even better preparation for life as we know it.

Posted by rob | September 30, 2008 3:57 PM

God damn, why does the library not have this book! I wanted to read it after I finished the Left Behind series.

Posted by uncouthheathen | September 30, 2008 4:02 PM

I wonder if butterfly kisses or rubbing noses together is OK...
They could have snot orgies and still be Godly!

Posted by mj | September 30, 2008 4:05 PM

@7 Nails it. These people want to return to arranged marriages.

Posted by flamingbanjo | September 30, 2008 4:10 PM

Having recently had experience with the Worst Kisser on the Face of the Earth I just want to say to the young people contemplating saving the first kiss until marriage, DON'T DO IT. Find out how they kiss first or you may spend the rest of your life dodging slobbery tongue stabber, dry fish mouth, or the human hoover vacuum.

Posted by PopTart | September 30, 2008 4:11 PM

Are you sure this is real? Her name is "Gwen Daniels" and his is "Jeff Pudelek" which to me is awfully close to "Goin' Down...yells" and "Jeff Pud-lick".

I'm just sayin'.

Posted by Tom in chicago | September 30, 2008 4:14 PM

M-hm. And Kirk Cameron will only kiss his wife. Even when it's in a movie. Which he is acting in. Acting. Yes, acting. You know, where you're portraying a character? Somebody else? Somebody else kissing somebody else?

Fuck that, sluts. God frowns on that shit. All of it. Heavily. So what did they do? Take it away IMDb:

Kirk Cameron, a Christian evangelist, refuses to kiss any woman other than his wife under any circumstance, so to film a scene in which his character in this movie kisses his wife, the filmmakers had to dress Cameron's real-life wife, Chelsea Noble, as the wife character (played throughout the rest of the movie by Erin Bethea) and shoot the kissing scene in shadow so the difference between Noble and Bethea would not be as evident onscreen.

And for this he'll receive extra presents under the Christmas tree. Wait, that's Santa. Wait, but Christmas is...never mind.

Posted by Mr. Poe | September 30, 2008 4:16 PM

I think Margaret Atwood must be a witch...everyday we seem to be getting closer and closer to the dystopia in "The Handmaid's Tale".

Posted by michael strangeways | September 30, 2008 4:20 PM

As a Methodist (church secretary no less) this is an example of why Catholics have more common sense. These kids should become nuns and priest (no little boy jokes). They are taking the whole, marrying Jesus thing to a stupid extreem. Non-Catholic pastors have a 50% divorce rate and swapping not spit isn't going to make things any better. They should be feeling people up, being fingered and giving hand jobs. Dumb-asses.

Posted by Fly-Over Illinois | September 30, 2008 4:24 PM

If he wants to fill himself with the fullness of jesus I suggest he invest in the crucifix shaped dildo dubbed "Jackhammer Jesus" or if that's just too S&M there's always the "Baby Jesus Buttplug".

Posted by thaumaturgistguy | September 30, 2008 4:33 PM

I call BS, Dan -- you were at the U. of Missouri in 2006 (and since then, too, I think)? That or I don't get the joke. And it could be because I edited The Maneater and its ragamuffin-hoosier "columnists" back in The Day. Eh.

Posted by H0RATI0SANZSERIF | September 30, 2008 4:35 PM

i remember being told stuff like this. it's not that kissing is wrong but it can lead to other things (like a gateway drug) including impure thoughts. if you are driving by physical lust, you aren't basing your relationship what will hold the two of you together in the long run.

what is sad is that when you are young and don't know better yet, striving for these insane ideals can really mess with you.

Posted by infrequent | September 30, 2008 4:47 PM

Sounds like Pudelek is ready for the Seminary.

Posted by EmilyP | September 30, 2008 4:52 PM

What I want to know is, can the sane Christians vote these weirdos out of the pool?

Posted by Greg | September 30, 2008 5:04 PM

anything that gets fundies to breed less is A-OK with this misanthrope.

Posted by max solomon | September 30, 2008 5:10 PM

Wow. This really blows the 'if I only use the backdoor, I am still technically a virgin' concept. I wonder what you could sub for kissing and still be considered a lip virgin. Heavy sniffing?

Posted by moxietex | September 30, 2008 5:15 PM

That's why they think sex should only be for procreation - because they all have sexually incompatible marriages and think that sex is a burden not a pleasure.

Posted by amy! | September 30, 2008 5:18 PM

My first high school boyfriend made me read I kissed dating goodbye... He suggested we stop kissing until marriage because "a relationship shouldn't be two people facing each other, it should be two people facing together toward God."

After that we didn't stop kissing, we just felt extreme guilt everytime we did...

After we broke up, it took a long time to get over those relationship issues:

Thanks religious fundamentalism!!

Posted by crystina | September 30, 2008 5:23 PM

Whoa, is Jeffy ever gay! He really would be a much happier person if he were Catholic. He'd have a wider range of lust objects, like St Sebastian.

p.s. Doesn't this remind you of Ecce Homo, I mean by the artist Andrea Mantegna, not the Slog commenter.

Posted by yucca flower | September 30, 2008 5:29 PM

Yeah, I spent a semester at that school.

That sounds like exactly the kind of bullshit coming out of Missouri.

Posted by sepiolida | September 30, 2008 5:40 PM

But they're still allowed to kiss their Dads on Prom Night, right?

Posted by Pat | September 30, 2008 5:56 PM

i think you were too hard on them, Dan. I think as long as two people dating, or one person, makes this decision to not kiss until marriage then that is their choice. When it gets forced on others, that's something completely different. But if this is something that someone feels strongly about and really wants to adhere to it... why not just let them without making fun of them?

I met a girl who decided to not date through high school because every time she tried to a boy was always trying to coerce her to go farther, so she decided to just take a long break from it and focus on her connection with God instead. I think that's pretty admirable, wait for every one else to kind of catch up in maturity level.

I dunno. I just think the judgment level is a little too harsh. I think of it more as a cultural difference.

Posted by Mae | September 30, 2008 6:38 PM

The issue isn't so much the choice to kiss or not to kiss before marriage- it's the consequences that follow a choice like that. For the majority of kids who do decide to forego kissing, it will be a temporary phase quickly left behind. For those who do manage to hold out, imagine how frustrating intimacy and sex will be for them. Should they make it through the shame of not admitting that sex isn't working for them, or that they really aren't turned on by their spouse, or find out that they've married someone who is not affectionate and they really need and want that in a partner, they are up shit creek. Divorce will certainly be frowned on in such a fundie marriage, and if they are enterprising enough to go beyond the church for counseling, it will be nothing short of a miracle.

Posted by Carol | September 30, 2008 7:04 PM

@30: Shaming kids about sex may be a "cultural difference," but so is stoning witches.

If something is a bad idea it's a bad idea regardless of its cultural origins. As a child from a religious upbringing, I can vouch for how much this kind of stuff messes with your head. Before you get busy defending the rights of parents to fill their kids' heads with a bunch of destructive crap, consider the rights of kids to not have their heads filled with destructive crap.

Posted by flamingbanjo | September 30, 2008 7:11 PM

Nice South Park reference. Is it just me or does Palin sound like Stan Marsh's mother?

Posted by drewl | September 30, 2008 7:40 PM

Are you sure this isn't an Onion-style parody? I grew up in a pretty backwards part of Tennessee and I've never heard of this kiss-saving thing. I did know lots of girls into the whole purity thing (this was before purity balls thank god!) But saving the first kiss? I think Dan's either having us on, or he's been had!

Posted by snoozn | September 30, 2008 7:42 PM

Josh Harris's book was the mandatory book for our "sex-education" class in the private Christian school my parents made me attend. As a feminist and outspoken advocate I threw the book down and refused to read it - I think the words I used to my religion teacher were "bullshit", "he is crazy", and "why is it all about men and men making the rules". I promptly go thrown out of the class and then told I was going to hell and then my parents were called. I was also "prayed over" for being troubled.

- just cannot win.

I know so many churches that advocate this type of arrangement - courtship, no kissing, etc... is a huge deal in many youth groups. So is the "God is number one, girls/boys are number two"....

now I know how I got so fucked up...

Posted by dkstar | September 30, 2008 8:39 PM

I was raised fundamentalist, stayed that way until adulthood and actually never had sex until I was married (but did manage to make-out/kiss my wife beforehand).

Got divorced and have had more than a few sexual partners since then.

As one of the rare people who has experienced both I can say that waiting until marriage is NOT the best way to do it.

So why do religions demand it?

Withholding a basic human need (whether sex, food or sleep) is a basic technique for mind control.

Posted by r_ | September 30, 2008 10:57 PM

You don't have to go to Missouri for this stuff. I went to a fundamental Christian church in high school in Wenatchee and we read this book. We were also told we weren't allowed to give back rubs because they lead to sex.

These are not jokes.

Of course me and my fundamentalist Christian best friend were still getting drunk and sleeping with our boyfriends.

Posted by Pickles | October 1, 2008 12:01 AM

One of my friends brought her co-worker whose fiance was a whack job fundy Christian adherer to this book to a dinner I was attending in the hopes that I might convince her this was lunacy and not a requirement of faith. She of course wouldn't listen to me, or more importantly, to her friends and family (some of them pretty scary fundy Christians themselves I might add - who also thought this was nuts), and married him. Of course, after the wedding kiss and consummation, he still won't kiss her or have sex with her, and drummed up some other crazy theological reason why they shouldn't, which she was, I'm sorry to tell you, buying hook line and sinker, until the day she discovered he didn't have the same qualms about kissing and having sex with his boyfriend (and is she ever sorry she went home sick from work that day!). Of course, her husband is also one of the biggest anti-gay proclaimers around, as is the fundy Christian church they attend, which I'm beginning to be convinced is surviving because it is full of closet cases like himself, selling their girlfriends turned wives the same lines from this book to marry them, then putting them off post-wedding for Jesus, all while living a double life! So - once again - be most wary of those most afraid! PS I'm sorry to tell you SHE'S NOT DIVORCING HIM and just trying to pray away his gay, advice from her fundy family, because for them, now that she's gone and married him, this is the only option keeping her from hell. PSS I heard last night that Sarah Palin made a similar statement about homosexuality being a choice and her church is all for praying away the gay and hosts retreats for this purpose. If you don't want a vp a heartbeat away from being commander in chief using this batshit "Christian" logic when running your nation, vote OBAMA/Biden!

Posted by dawicksta | October 1, 2008 6:04 AM

Wow. That's...kind of intense.

I mean, ok, I'll admit to being hugely lame: my first kiss was with my current boyfriend, and (as of right now, and knock on wood) we know we're going to get married someday, but...yeah. How can you go into marriage not even knowing if your kisses are compatible?

HINT: No, online quizzes are not a good way to see if you and your spouse are compatible.

Posted by Beth | October 1, 2008 6:33 AM

@34- this is not a joke. I knew several people in college who either still had never kissed anyone when they graduated or kissed their spouse either at engagement or on the wedding day. this was, of course, in the deep south.

Posted by clausti | October 1, 2008 7:19 AM

I remember my old youth minister back in AR who had seven daughters. For the two that were of dating age, he held a constant, tyrannical grip on not just their sexuality, but basic interactions with men. Shit like not letting them into the same room alone. Date chaperoning into their twenties (and beyond, if it comes to that. He was definitely of this "biblical" school of though, where a woman is her father's property until he allows her to be her husband's property. There's no evidence that he abused anybody, but he very likely in a twisted personal conflict with sexuality in general. A deeply disturbed guy.

Posted by Parsnip | October 1, 2008 7:35 AM

37 - I bet I know you if you went to a Christian school in Wenatchee in the last 5-10 years !

Posted by dkstar | October 1, 2008 8:23 AM

I just posted about this on my site. Mostly as a recap of Dan's points, but also to point out the fact that Joshua Harris, the book's probably totally despicable author, is also totally hot.

Posted by Bobo | October 1, 2008 8:38 AM

Children have an unusually strong need to be accepted. Growing up in a fanatical "Christian" community can make you fear for your life. Murder is excusable but gay sex isn't. Sick and twisted? Sure! But if you are brainwashed to think this is normal, well, you go along. But there's hope kids! Listen to your uncle Dan. He will lift the vail.

Posted by Vince | October 1, 2008 8:47 AM

Pop Tart, comment # 14-

Unfortunately, it is real. I live in Columbia Missouri and that really was an article. I am very sad, as it makes the rest of us look like crazy fundamentalists. I will point out that the author grew up in Tennessee.....and I had never heard of this in MO before. Kind of makes me feel better, but not really. The further south you go here, the crazier it gets.
They will be the ones who suffer....better them living without orgasms than me! Hey...maybe they won't even figure out how to get the job done, therefore their genetic line will end! That's a hopeful thought.....more likely it will end up like the first two minutes of the movie "Idiocracy" where only the craziest, dumbest people end up propagating the species.


Posted by Pearle | October 1, 2008 10:22 AM

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