Sunday, August 04, 2002

I read an article in the Sunday New York Times this morning. It's eight o'clock in the evening and I'm still white-hot with rage.

You may remember the charming concept of "secondary virginity". The idea is that a young lady realizes that it was wrong of her to indulge in the sins of the flesh, so she stops indulging. Apparently the simple decision to go and sin no more isn't sufficient, so various religious organizations created the label to go with it. Secondary virginity. Once you repent, you're a virgin again. Sort of. Because, apparently, only virgins are allowed to say no. (I'm not making this up. Really. There were articles in the Charlotte Observer.)

Well, down in Charlotte (God, am I glad I left), the ministers and the Southern belles have come up with a new, improved variation. Secondary chastity. For some fixed period before the wedding -- the exact period is a matter of some debate-- the bride-elect stops sleeping with the groom-elect. It's supposed to put that virginal zing back into the wedding night.

Here's the article. (Registration required, but free.)

Whether fresh out of college or older, Southern women say the decision of when and how long to stop having sex — as little as a month or as much as a year — has become standard girl talk at sorority houses and bridal showers. "My daughter has said to me that all her friends do this," said Cynthia Goodwin, a former schoolteacher in her 50's who lives in Monroe, N.C. "Twenty-five years ago, it may have happened, but we didn't talk about it."

Kim Burgess, 38, a medical staff supervisor in Newnan, Ga., who married in May after abstaining for a month, said: "It's nothing your mother teaches you, because you're not supposed to be having sex. The holding out makes you feel like you've been a good girl."

Honey, the way I was brought up, a good girl, not to say a lady, didn't give newspaper interviews about her sex life.

If you realize it's wrong to have premarital sex, good on you. Stop immediately, and may God bless your repentance. But stopping precisely four-to-twelve weeks before the wedding? I say it's sanctified cock-teasing, and I say the hell with it.