As seems to be usual, I am behind. I just found out about Purity Balls.
Oh god, the creepy. The middle-aged dads, the dressed-up teenage girls, the vows (someone please tell the author of the vows that "cover" is a word for animal sex), the ring exchange...creepy creepy creepy.
Unfortunately, the video that seems to have sparked the discussion in 2006 has disappeared into the ether waves, but I rounded up some other pertinent links:
Would you pledge your virginity to your father? (Glamour magazine)
Purity Ball (short documentary following a father and daughter)
Hey Little Girl... (thoughtful vlog about the Balls)
Serious ew (belledame on the subject of creepy controlling sexuality, Purity Balls included)
Purity and Danger (Queen Emily on the dangers of daughters reserving their sexuality for their fathers)
I took an abstinence pledge in February 2002, which would have made me about 15, through the True Love Waits program.
I even got the ring, see:
I still have it--it doesn't fit anymore due to me inexplicably losing a ring size. I still wear a ring in it's place though, because it would feel seriously weird to not have one (and I need balance for the rings on the other hand).
But this whole virginity thing is wearing kind of thin. Though I was interested in boys when I made that pledge, it was basically the same sort of interest I'd felt since I was about five. This whole virginity thing seemed clear cut and easy, to a young girl who found the idea of kissing with tongue distasteful (ew, slobber).
And now, I'm old enough to do anything but rent a car, basically, and in a good relationship with a boy I love and trust and desire. And if I decide to marry this kid, it will be, oh, five years? of waiting before we're both done enough with school to be able to move to the same city on a more or less permanent basis and get our shit straight so we can get married. And five years of horny youth is a long time.
And, beyond that, I'm pretty much positive that it will be difficult for me to not clutch my "purity" with such a tight fist once I'm married. One gets used to the idea that Sex Is Bad.
(Note, in the Glamour article, one girl says she worries that she might disappoint her husband by not being pleasured by his fucking. Poor kid, won't even allow herself to worry about her own pleasure except for how it might displease her owner.)
I know a number of people who would be appalled at me not upholding abstinence-until-marriage as wonderful and Godly and something everyone should do. But neither they nor my father owns me, and they don't get to say what I believe anymore.
Before this post falls apart utterly (I have a headache forming and I'm tired), I would like to say that my parents didn't push me into the True Love Waits thing at all. In fact, I recall my mom seeming a bit reluctant to buy me that ring. I found that odd but didn't think about it at the time; I now figure it's because they knew it was kind of a dumb idea.