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The Only Way to Be Sexually Pure

When I was a teenager and my mother would complain about my bad grades or foul mouth, I would say, “Mom, I don’t drink, smoke, do drugs, or have sex — what more could you want?”

I was especially proud of the fact that I wasn’t having sex, which is probably odd for a teenage boy. But I was a religious teenager, and among many evangelicals, virginity was one of the primary reference points of holiness for the single individual.

We had promise rings and True Love Waits campaigns and entire sermons dedicated to the topic. And the underlying message was that if we would abstain from sexual intercourse, we would “remain pure.”

If only.

It turns out that those of us who continued to wave the white flag of virginal purity weren’t that sexually pure after all. Many of us were looking at porn and/or fooling around as much as we could without actually copulating. But hey — we were virgins! Never mind the fact that our hearts weren’t in it.

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