Just to be clear.
Theme: Overcoming Obstacles
Length: 1,200 words
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Concerning the addictive habit of squipping, Caterpillar345 wrote,
“In my teens/early 20’s, I was so “afraid” of sinning by fornicating that it seemed the only outlet for my sexual desire was these two vices [i.e. p0rn and spanking the monkey]. It seemed like the lesser of two evils, so to speak. In reality, it just meant I stayed away from opportunities to interact with women, didn’t develop myself socially, and developed a sense of pride in the fact that I wasn’t fornicating and had better things to do (i.e. school, career) which probably just made me come across as an @sshole.”
“It seems to me, in a strange way, that it might actually be “better” (though not encouraged) to sin by fornicating with a real woman than to dissipate myself online and by myself. (I think Jack and Deti have alluded to this in the past.)”
I need to clarify what has been written in the past about fornication.
It is not always called out as a reminder that while certain paths are better than others, neither one is a good one to take. I would be concerned if a younger man stumbled across a passage that discusses the pros and cons of masturbation, fornication, etc. without realizing the context is a discussion of which is the better of two bad options.
On this blog, there have been three contexts in which fornication has been presented or described in what could be interpreted by readers as a “necessary evil” or a “lesser of two evils”.
Running the Gauntlet
One context is that of “running the gauntlet”, in which there is an unspoken assumption that sexual relations should commence within the first few “dates”, and when it doesn’t, then the relationship is terminated. This is usually initiated by the female, but many PUAs, chads, and cads have the same attitude. One of the implications of this is that people must first successfully navigate the SMP before they can become “eligible” for the MMP. It is also noted that being sexually active magnifies preselection and attracts women. This phenomenon occurs within the secular mating market, which is a gynocentric context in which women have preeminent control. However, it is also prevalent among Christians and in the church. This paradigm still continues, but it appears to be slowly losing steam and is being replaced by either hookup culture or abstinence, with neither leading to marriage, generally speaking.
The following posts discussed this phenomenon in detail. Many other posts have made references to “running the gauntlet”.
- Σ Frame (Jack): Why is illicit sex so enticing, and so prevalent? (2019-5-25)
- Σ Frame (NovaSeeker): The Sexual Market IS the Marriage Market (2021-2-22)
- Σ Frame (Jack): The Christian Marriage Dilemma (2021-2-26)
- Σ Frame (NovaSeeker): The Christian Conundrum (2021-3-1)
- Σ Frame (NovaSeeker): Ethical Issues Surrounding the Christian Conundrum (2021-4-5)
- Σ Frame (Thedeti): The Unsolvable Problem of The Modern Sexual/Relationship Market (2022-2-7)
The second context is that of Purity Culture, where pseudo-sex and technical-virginity are touted as virtuous, merely because it avoids full P in V intercourse. In this setting, the “Sexual Prosperity Gospel”, which is presumed to be attained by sexual continence, is more or less emphasized as the most crucial aspect of Christianity. Adherents learn to base their Christian identity, not on Christ, the grace of God, or the forgiveness of sin, but on this so called “purity” instead. The ascetic ontology of this legalistic paradigm is riddled with shame. Studies have found that a vast majority of pledgers recanted within 5 years. Many of these left the church and engaged in illicit sex, and those who later married say that it brought shame and remorse into their marriages. Fornication is a common theme among many ex-adherents’ accounts, in which it is commonly said that they never identified with their own sexuality, nor realized their error, until they let go of their psychological emphasis on purity, usually through fornication. This was not a cultural phenomenon, but occurs entirely within churches. Interestingly, Purity Culture went hand in hand with the Feminist Life Script, making it all the more d@mning.
Like many Christian Gen Xers, Jack, NovaSeeker, and Thedeti experienced Purity Culture firsthand, so many of my/our writings are peppered with nuances of this. I wrote an entire series on the Purity Movement, but here are a few posts that address this particular aspect of fornication.
- Σ Frame: The Sin of Prioritizing Purity above Marriage (2020-1-17)
- Σ Frame: Pseudo-Sex and Technical-Virginity (2020-05-11)
- Σ Frame: Picking through the fruit of the Purity Movement (2020-4-20)
- Σ Frame: On the Concept of Sin and the need for Marriage (2020-4-24)
- Σ Frame: Patheological Weddingsday – Did Purity Culture Undermine Christian Identity? (2020-9-9)
The subjective viewpoint cited by Caterpillar above would fall into this category.
Experiencing God’s Grace
The third context is a subjective account of experiencing humility and God’s grace through fornication. I wrote about this in at least one post, but have alluded to this experience in many others.
- Σ Frame (Jack): How is illicit sex related to one’s spiritual state? (2019-5-22)
As we have seen here and elsewhere, some readers will jump on the very mention of fornication and interpret this as a free-wheeling recommendation of the same. I suspect that one’s tendency to identify the above writings as a full endorsement of fornication is either a fundamental error of attribution or psychological projection.
If readers care to review these posts, you’ll find that I/we don’t encourage Christians to engage in willful fornication, nor do I/we advocate fornication as a Christian practice. Instead, these writings are (1) observations of cultural phenomenon, or (2) case studies of redemption and God’s grace, or (3) subjective thoughts or impressions. To offer a complete philosophical analysis, fornication has been presented as one possible experience within these contexts, but it is not presented as a goal that Christians should aim for, because that would be a serious error.
As a warning to readers, thinking of abstinence vs. fornication, etc. as an “option” arises from a Gnostic, self-deterministic point of view. In reality, most people do not consider the choices or consequences at all, they just run on autopilot. But if this blog helps men become more aware of their own autopilot, think things through more clearly, and understand their own situation such that they’re able to make better informed choices and grow in their faith, then progress has been made.
Outside of all this talk and philosophizing, it is left to the reader to consider all the information (the Bible foremost), get in touch with their consciences, figure out their missions, and make their own decisions in life. It should not be surprising that some people will engage in fornication, but again, this approach is not emphasized nor encouraged for Christians.
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 (NKJV)
- Σ Frame: The Parable of the Pressure Cooker (2019-6-7)