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December 06, 2007

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Laura

While I'm at BYU, where you hear stories of guys asking the girls about marriage after only a few dates.

But even here at the Mormon school, dating is almost a bad word. It signifies commitment, because we are such a marriage-centered culture. It's not necessarily a bad thing, considering how anti-marriage society is these days. But it has created a marriage phobia of sorts.

It's a rare occasion for me to go on a date, which is kind of annoying. It's a date--not a proposal of marriage. I mean, yes, you date to marry...but you don't marry every person you date!

R.B.

I slept with my husband about a week after meeting him. We've been married for two and a half years (not long yet, I know, but we expect to remain married for the rest of our lives).

There's nothing wrong with a man asking a woman for sex as long as he does it a respectful and non-threatening way. (Note to the guys: this doesn't mean you can be all creepy and threatening and demeaning and expect me to defend you in the name of sexual liberty.) Of course a woman shouldn't say yes if she means no, but I don't really see the point saying no when you mean yes either.

I'm not a nice girl and I'm not a hussy; I'm just an adult who likes men and doesn't like stupid head games.

Heather  Carson

I'd like to respond to R.B.:
I think you're missing the point here. Setting aside the usual moral arguments...sex at its best fulfills three roles: pleasure, procreation and bonding. I think having sex with the person, who later became your husband, after only knowing him a week can hardly put you in a position of having sex that is fully realized (that includes the three elements above). The exciting thing about waiting to become sexually involved until after a commitment is in place is that the safety and security of marriage provides the best situation for those elements to occur. We also see the downfall of people trying to get at what a sexual relationship promises (pleasure, bonding...) without proper consideration and commitment: unplanned, unwanted pregnancies, VD, broken hearts, etc.

What worked for you on an individual situation is on a larger scale wreaking absolute havoc on our culture.

Emily

R.B. -- I find it ironic that you mention that it's OK for a guy to ask a girl for sex as long as he "does it in a respectful and non-threatening way." As Heather mentioned, sex is for bonding (expressing true ... I would say marital ... love) and procreation. Pleasure is another reason for sex, but I don't think it's on the same level as the other two.

If a guy starts asking a girl for sex after a date, he's probably merely capable of the third reason at that stage in a relationship. Consequently, he is using his girlfriend as an object to satisfy his sexual longing.

If he really "respects" her, he wouldn't put her at risk for emotional, spiritual and physical consequences of sex outside of marriage and would instead show his respect by showing her that she is worth the wait.

I think every girl (and guy) is worth being respected and treated with real love, not a counterfeit.

spudmom

It has come to the point that a woman who wants to wait for marriage before sex, in order to protect herself, must:
1) Confine her dating to public places or bring along a chaperone (to prevent date rape)
2) Inform any interested man of her moral convictions before the first date (to give the guy the chance to back out if he wanted to trade dinner and a movie for sex.)
3) Severely limit social contact with single men who do not share the same values.

Our family has personal experience with the consequences of when men assume they will get sex and won't take no for an answer. And the criminal justice system doesn't take a virgin's word over a serial adulterer, because she 'could have changed her mind.'

If you think that you are just having fun when you have sex with anyone who will take them to dinner, consider this: what happens to the few remaining women with moral standards when men are conditioned to expect sex in exchange for a little attention and a few bucks spent on flowers?

Luthor Rex

I really wish I knew where the disconnect was here...

"As I hinted above, I think her experience worth mentioning (on this feast day of Christ the King), not because it is unusual, but because it is common. "

And yet, here is what young men are saying about young women:

"... many of the guys here had their empathy and emotions stomped on and turned against them by such women who pretended to be hurting to bring out the protector instinct in that man then once he's in her clutches she runs off with Bob the white trash loser 45 year old plumber and [expletive delted] his brains out while you wonder where all the time you wasted on her went, how to come to terms with all your effort in the relationship being all for nothing and nobody on this earth except other victims of such women even beginning to understand your dilemma and your pain."

As for myself, I recently told a woman I'm friends with that for a long time I've felt that to be in a relationship with a woman I have to take a shovel and beat to death the best parts of who I am.

So where is the disconnect here? Why is it the men who want to love women can't find the women who want to be loved? And apparently vice-verca?

I realize many may wish to believe the portrait I paint is the exception, but it's not. Or at the very least it's a seizable minority (49% is a minority) of men who go through this.

Christopher

How a woman dresses and acts is a window into her soul. When a woman is "loose" with her dress, her speech, and her movements, what does that tell a man about her values, her dreams, and her aspirations? Such women are not wife and motherhood material. Unfortunately, after more than 6 years of seeking a spouse (unsuccessfully), potential candidates for the most important job on the face of the earth are next to none.

I'm presently blogging about Christian modesty and feminimity from the perspective of the Early Church Fathers and Saints at http://seekingrebekah.blogspot.com.

Luthor Rex

spudmom says -

"1) Confine her dating to public places or bring along a chaperone (to prevent date rape)"

Because all men are rapists right? Only in 21st Century America could such man-hating comments be look on as 'normal'.

If the 'spud had said something about black or jews everyone would jump. Hate men? You go girl!

*bleh*

Luther Rex

"Our family has personal experience with the consequences of when men assume they will get sex and won't take no for an answer. And the criminal justice system doesn't take a virgin's word over a serial adulterer, because she 'could have changed her mind.'"

I didn't see this on my first post.

Well spudmom, assuming you're an adult this is still no excuse to hate men as a group.

As for the system keeping your virgin down: Look at the Duke Lacrosse players, if they hadn't been rich they would have been steamrolled into prison. When a man is accused of rape in the Western world he is guilty until proven innocent....

Hold on a second here. Somethings very wrong. I've been reading these modesty sites for a while now and I've noticed one thing: a lot of you women are accusing us men of the same treacherous behavior men accuse you of.

Why would both genders accuse each other of not being able to love, when it is clear that both do want to love and be loved?

spudmom

Luther, what I meant was that in a society where sex is freely offered by unmarried women and freely taken by unmarried men, that it becomes much harder for women to detect and avoid the ones who will resort to violence if challenged. As an example, if someone used to get 'fresh' on the first date, it was easy enough simply to say no to further contact. Usually, you were on the front porch of your own home, and could get to a safe place easily. Now, if they are expecting sex on the first date, how do you determine that? You could be on a secluded beach, in a car, and suddenly discover that the nice guy who was so sweet is a monster.
Same kind of analogy for abusive people. They usually seem very nice for a while, until you begin to see signs of controlling, rage, and a willingness to attack those weaker. You may not see these signs for a long time, depending on how well they hide their true selves. By rushing to sex early, women are at much greater risk for being easy prey.
No, all men are not evil. I have a husband of 26 years and four wonderful sons. But the social constraints that in the past would help protect young women from the wolves in sheep's clothing are no longer there. How many young ladies disappear after a night of drinking? How many naive girls assume that the nice guy who gets them alone would never do something she doesn't agree to? It may be a small percentage, but it only takes one experience to ruin someone's life. Same for a young man who is falsely accused. Being in public places and having friends along works both ways.
We make our kids wear helmets and seat belts. We also need to give them the tools they need to be as safe as possible from sexual predators and false rape accusers.

TalkinKamel

Luther, it's obvious you have some problems, that I don't think a site about modesty is really equipped to deal with. For some reason, you see this article as an attack on yourself, and the entire male sex.

Also, someone who feels they have to "beat to death the best parts of who I am" to be in a relationship with a woman, should not be in a relationship at all---with a woman, or anybody else. If a woman here said the about a male, you'd accuse her of hating all men.

anon

Getting back to the first few posts...

"Setting aside the usual moral arguments...sex at its best fulfills three roles: pleasure, procreation and bonding."

I have a wonderful marriage and a compassionate and caring husband. I slept with him after a month of dating and truly wish that we had waited until marriage. After knowing one another six years and being married for almost three, I am still learning how to treat sex as a means of pleasure and bonding (and eventually procreation). The thing is, I long in my heart-of-hearts for our sexual relationship to be about bonding and pleasure. I do believe he has reached that state, but I still have the mind set of being "that woman" who is always putting on the best show so that he will never want to stray. After four years of playing that part when I was his girlfriend, it was hard to change when I became his wife. Once I started sleeping with him in college, I subconsciously starting fearing he would leave or look elsewhere. I now struggle with letting go and being myself, not some pin-up. Sex is so much more than what our culture teaches us it is. I have a feeling that deep down other women feel this way to, but they can't search their soul to find out and they fear the idea that their sexual relationships are not as fulfilling as they seem. I didn't see it myself. I am learning, though, and those few times when I do let go and enjoy being with my husband on the most intimate level, our time together is more memorable than any other. The thing is, if you wait to have sex until marriage, in the freedom of a lifetime committment already made, there is less pressure to be anyone else but yourself : ) Just my two-cents...

Sam MT

"Our family has personal experience with the consequences of when men assume they will get sex and won't take no for an answer. And the criminal justice system doesn't take a virgin's word over a serial adulterer, because she 'could have changed her mind.'

If you think that you are just having fun when you have sex with anyone who will take them to dinner, consider this: what happens to the few remaining women with moral standards when men are conditioned to expect sex in exchange for a little attention and a few bucks spent on flowers?"

Rape is not the fault of women who have consensual sex. Rape, and rapists getting away with it, is the fault of rapists and the people who buy into their "she wanted it" excuses. When you imply, however indirectly, that virgins reporting rape are more deserving of being believed than other women, you contribute to the problem, not any solution. When you proceed to blame rape on women who have "conditioned" men into it by daring to have consensual sex when they want to, then you are again contributing to the problem (and also sounding scarily like Al-Qaeda or a Saudi court).

Luthor Rex

"How many naive girls assume that the nice guy who gets them alone would never do something she doesn't agree to?"

If women were actually attracted to nice men I might understand this. They aren't attracted to nice guys, they are attracted to sexualized guys who may or may not be nice.

"It may be a small percentage, but it only takes one experience to ruin someone's life."

Only if they let it. It may neither be easy, nor fair; but someone can 'get over' being sexually assaulted. Or other forms of trauma for that matter.

"Luther, it's obvious you have some problems, that I don't think a site about modesty is really equipped to deal with.

Nice try with the shaming tactic. Good job, thumbs up and all. Pip, pip.

"For some reason, you see this article as an attack on yourself, and the entire male sex."

When it comes to dating and mating it usually the men who are blamed when anything goes wrong. The post that was linked to portrayed men as predators and the woman as some shrinking victims. Considering the general hostility towards men and masculinity in the West, there's no real surprise in that.

"Also, someone who feels they have to "beat to death the best parts of who I am" to be in a relationship with a woman, should not be in a relationship at all---with a woman, or anybody else. If a woman here said the about a male, you'd accuse her of hating all men. "

It is a very common experience of men that when we treat women the way they *say* they want to be treated - with respect, compassion, love, etc. etc.; the women will reject the man.

If you have any sons, or male friends between say 18 and 35 and you can get them at all to be honest with you then ask them. Ask several of them. You'll find that most will agree that what women say they want and what women respond to are very different things.

Men will be nice guys when nice guys get laid. Until then, men will continue to do those things that women reward with sex.

If you want young men to learn something, teach it to the young women; because the young men will do whatever the young women want.

Why do men act like jerks? Because women reward jerks with sex.

Luthor Rex

Here's a good example of the kind of typical female insanity I'm talking about:

"He was what I was supposed to marry...Within months of promising to love and honor and cherish Tucker forever, she knew she had made a huge mistake. The problem? He was boring. "Wholly uncomplicated," as she puts it. The kind of guy who reads Tom Clancy books on the couch and watches Adam Sandler movies while dreaming of white-picket fences."

http://lifestyle.msn.com/relationships/couplesandmarriage/articlemc.aspx?cp-documentid=5352156

The above is how men typically experience the women in their lives. Here's hoping you can reign your sisters in.

TalkinKamel

Luther, as I said---you need serious help, and this blog isn't really the place to go for it.

(And no, I have no plans at this moment to reign in anybody; my sisters, my brothers, or anybody else.)

Heather  Carson

"Once I started sleeping with him in college, I subconsciously starting fearing he would leave or look elsewhere. I now struggle with letting go and being myself, not some pin-up. Sex is so much more than what our culture teaches us it is. I have a feeling that deep down other women feel this way to, but they can't search their soul to find out and they fear the idea that their sexual relationships are not as fulfilling as they seem. I didn't see it myself. I am learning, though, and those few times when I do let go and enjoy being with my husband on the most intimate level, our time together is more memorable than any other. The thing is, if you wait to have sex until marriage, in the freedom of a lifetime committment already made, there is less pressure to be anyone else but yourself : ) Just my two-cents..."

Well put, Anon....

Heather  Carson

To Luther:
My husband is a "nice guy". We followed the dating, or rather courtship guidelines, mentioned my Spudmom, got engaged after 4 months, got married after 4 more months, and have now been married 5 1/2 years, happily. There are many women who like "nice guys". I think the point is not that a guy be "nice". The point is that our culture, not just women, has unrealistic views of marriage and relationships. Domesticity is considered boring....the whole "sitting on the couch watching Adam Sandler movies...." thing. It's a shame, of course, because the addiction that men and women alike have to the early highs one experiences in a relationship make them move on to the next one before they get to the REALLY good stuff, the stuff that can ONLY be experienced within a more domestic setting - marriage being a prime example. In her book, Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity, Lauren Winner talks about this very thing. About the eroticism of domesticity. That book opened by eyes to a whole new way to view sex within marriage.

anon

I am sad to read through these comments and find what feels to be bitterness seeping through the computer screen. I wonder why we choose to pass blame, pointing fingers at men or at women. Who is at fault? We all are. Who are the victims? We all are. What seems relevant is that premarital sex is considered the norm and it should not be. It should not be expected. It should not be demanded. It should not be encouraged outside of marriage. I am 25 and a virgin, because I am not married. It is a choice I made a long time ago. Do I have to be selective about whom I will date? Yes. But I have all confidence that there are others out there that have made that same choices and who respect my choices. It is not a burden to be clear in my expectations to others because I have total confidence in who I am and the decisions I have made. Does this mean I will never be in a bad situation or with the wrong people? No. But I proceed to move forward with confidence in myself and in others.

Luthor Rex

"Luther, as I said---you need serious help, and this blog isn't really the place to go for it."

As I said - nice attempt at a shaming tactic, but it doesn't fly. Just because someone disagrees with me, I don't assume they are mentally ill.

But what you're doing doesn't surprise me. This is what typically happens when men contradict women, especially feminists: they try to silence the men with shame or intimidation.

Good thing it doesn't work on all of us.

Wendy

One of the best things about this group blog is that all you commentators have such interesting and diverse things to say; and even when you disagree with each other, people make an effort to stay away from personal attacks. So please, I know it's hard when people disagree about emotional issues, but let's try to keep it civil.

Luthor, to address your point more specifically, I am truly sorry that you have had such bad experiences with some women. However, I would encourage you not to become cynical about all women--not because it's unfair to women but because I want you to be fair to yourself.

A cynical attitude usually seeks to find evidence to confirm it and thus it often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Without a doubt, the type of woman you're referencing does exist. But there are just as many, if not more, women out there who aren't like this. If you don't believe that they're out there, I'm afraid you'll never find them. Even if you don't express it verbally, women may pick up on your attitude and it can be off-putting.

Finally, I'm confused by the fact that your definition of a good woman seems to be someone who sleeps with a nice man. (I mean your comment that "Men will be nice guys when nice guys get laid.") I know lots of great women and men who found each other, but they often did so by postponing the physical, and that's what helped them discover other qualities that were more enduring.

If your definition of a good woman is "whoever will sleep with me" then I'm not sure that will get you where you want to go.

Perhaps I've completely misunderstood you, in which case I apologize in advance; or perhaps there are just very different definitions of "nice" on this page.

Heather  Carson

"I know lots of great women and men who found each other, but they often did so by postponing the physical, and that's what helped them discover other qualities that were more enduring."

I completely agree with this! By waiting to be physical with my husband until our marriage night, we were better able to focus on other aspects of what would make us compatible: our general way of relating to each other, how we handled conflict, money, whether we wanted children - and how many, our political beliefs, etc. I knew my husband was "nice" because he respected my decision to wait to have sex, and I respected his. We have a great deal of respect for each other which gets us through a lot of would-be arguments!

The thing I found most helpful though about waiting to have sex is that it put sex in its proper place - as one aspect of our relationship - not the main focus.

TalkinKamel

Luther, I'm not trying to shame you, simply give you some good advice.

Your hatred and resentment of women is obviously making you very unhappy.

Peter

Luther, as a guy, a young guy, I am going to tell you how I see this.

I think there are both men ~and~ women in this world who do not comprehend their own (or others) inherent worth as individuals and therefore misuse and abuse both themselves and others.

Are there women women who are super-shallow when it comes to relationships? Sure, of course there are. But actually, i've tended to find that most women are more interested in emotional fulfillment. From my observation, it's been definitely more of a guy thing to be concerned with using another as a means to their own end, although there are certainly lots of guys who feel that women are meant to be honoured.

Nonetheless, sexuality is an inherent part of being both a man and a woman. And sex itself isn't bad or wrong, it's totally what reason we're using it. A lot of people find it can actually be really healing and loving.

Sometimes I also have found that when i've had my own inner conflicts about sexuality, i've tended to see those in others and assume they're the same way I am. After all, its always easier to point the finger elsewhere rather than look at what's going on inside you.

Dude, women are beautiful. And if you yourself give them the respect they deserve, you'll find that the good ones will be attracted to you like never before - I can say this from experience. They're not dumb man. Even if its unconscious, they know how they're being held by you. Besides, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So man to man, I say, change your attitude.

And remember, if you do good things, good things will happen. If you don't do good things, good things won't happen. If nothing changes, then nothing changes.

Blakeney

I think we all need to start respecting each other more.

I mean, think about it. To listen to society's version, the *only* reason men and women *ever* connect is for sex. It's as if the rest of the time, we're suppossed to regard each other as The Enemy. They even call it "the battle of the sexes". Why?

Men joke about the women in their lives, women joke about the men in their lives, and marriage is treated as this sort of ordeal that people endure. It saddens me when I talk to friends and co-workers to hear how many of them live in the same house as their spouse, but still manage to spend huge blocks of time away from them, retreating to hobby rooms or workshop garages, while the other is stretched out on the couch or in the computer room, or off reading a book in the bedroom.

They say you have to work on relationships. A spouse is the only family member that most people will ever choose for themselves - if that's not a reason for respect and personal involvment, I don't know what is.

Christina

It is pretty common for people to experiment or even expect to have sex with their significant other before marriage. It's common for people to live together before getting married. I've found that guys will respect my decision to wait until marriage for a while, and then they will try convincing me otherwise when they realize that I'm serious. I guess that I see it as something more, as something that I only want to share with my future husband because it is so intimate. It's hard to say no to a man that you love desperately, but in the end, I want to share myself with only one man.. the man I'll eventually marry:)

Mary

I am 18 and I have been on 2 dates both of which occurred during my senior year of high school and each with a different boy.
One of the boys seemed nice enough except he would not leave me alone. I went to homecoming with him and ever after he would kneel next to my desk and talk after school. I was nice, but I never went anywhere with him again. I denied another boy 3-5 times because he was much too possessive of me even when we had never been on a date and we had never had more than a casual conversation. The second boy I went on a date with only asked me because his girl had been grounded and he had tickets to an expensive show. My dad said he would drive me to and from. The boy was really mad. Then when we were eating dinner after the show he kept pushing me to let him drive me home. He kept saying "I will show you Vegas as you have never seen it." Before he had always assured me that he was a virgin, but I doubt that very much especially since he was spending the summer living with his girlfriend's family in New Jersey.
I really liked him because he was funny, and he was the only other Catholic in the school who even spoke about his faith, but something did not seem right.
At the time I was a little mad that my dad did not trust me to drive with this guy, but as the father in Cheaper by the Dozen (black and white version) "I trust all my daughters it’s that [boy] I don't trust."
I know now that having a father who cares enough about me to protect me is a wonderful thing and I know I don't thank him enough for this:)
I am the luckiest girl alive!!!!!!!!!

sylvia

In my faraway youth, I was a bit like Priscilla. Not much social life, but young men would occasionally come to me for advice and to let their hair down, knowing that they couldn't get anywhere with me.

Mary, what you posted is a good example of why I avoided dating when I was in high school: it's perilous, frought with possible misunderstandings, and the guys often do not have the maturity to behave themselves. BTW, I admire your old fashioned protective father. Mine was naive.

I do not wish to defend Luther, nor do I believe that this blog is a proper place to air his concerns. But it is true that quite a few young women send contradictory signals, and try to have their cake and eat it too. And all too often, women who do this are rewarded with an active social life and an early marriage. The piper gets paid later, when their manipulativeness drives hubby away. A woman who trades sex for a trophy husband will sooner or later find herself sans both spouse and passion. I point out that Ava Gardner died alone, self-exiled in London.

Chivalry and respect for a woman's intimate flesh are in tatters nowadays. This gives rise to a lot of social evils and personal tragedies.

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