So you went to a conservative evangelical college. Despite stigmas potentially attached to the words “Christian College,” this was a great place for you to spend four years of life! You made so many great friends who knew and loved you deeply. You were mentored by badass, crazy smart professors. You lost your faith, found it, lost it, etc., but overall learned to really reflect upon theology, culture, and identity. You went into a little financial debt, but who cares? You became a passionate, caring, thinking person.
That lovely mecca of Christian wonderfulness was just what you needed to prepare you for the real world. You have no complaints! Except, of course, it made you believe that you were essentially asexual, that your nose would keep you from ever finding true love, and that no dude in his right mind would want to bang you.
You don’t really understand how it happened. You went on dates back in high school, when you were a less hot, more fundamentalist version of yourself! You even had a couple boyfriends. You thought that might continue on in higher education, but you were deceived. In your four years at Christian College, you were asked out on one date. You kissed one guy (and you had to talk him into it, leading you to believe you were a horny little skank who needed to repent). You fell in love with (and pursued whole-heartedly) many men, of all types, sizes, and denominations (the depressive philosopher, the hand-standing alcoholic, the closeted gay, the future priest, the improv kid who wore high-waters). None of them wanted to date you, and none of them wanted to get in your pants. Unlike many of your peers, you would’ve settled for far less than a ring; all you wanted was some nice repartee at Starbucks, a little tongue action, maybe a feelski, and you would’ve been a happy camper! But you lived a life of singleness. You cried in your dorm room. You started to wonder about this thing the “edgier” women talked about in hushed tones – female masturbation.
When your four years were up, you were resigned to your fate. You would be alone forever. You were not desirable. That was okay. If you had a different nose, normal-sized tits, and a less abrasive personality, then maybe. But God gave you what he gave you, and celibacy was your new middle name. And so what you’d never have sex! You’d be all the better as a friend, daughter, aunt, great-aunt, etc.! Also, you’d be hella productive with your creative efforts – no wasting your time with things like dates, sex, marriage.
But then you found the key, the trick, the recipe to becoming super bangable:
1. Leave your conservative Christian college.
2. Move to a city.
That was it!
A few months ago, a man in a bar said, “When you smile at me like that, I just want to rail you.” You knew you should maybe be offended, but you were too busy taking it as a compliment. This attractive man wanted to screw you? You couldn’t believe it! Was he drunk? High? Schizophrenic?
Maybe you started doing stand-up comedy, and you made jokes about being a virgin. Afterwards, people came up to you and asked if it was true. They were surprised that the v-card was still unpunched! They thought you were totally pretty enough to be fucked by now! Maybe a comic or two even said, “If you’re trying to get that virginity off your hands, I’d be more than willing to get the job done right.” You thought, Maybe I should be creeped out, but that’s just so sweet! He would put his dick inside of me!
And you got asked on a couple dates, and you got kissed by a couple guys, and life was good. Outside of Christian College, there were men who looked at you as a sexual entity, not as that quirky girl who was too honest and also probably too universalist to be a real Christian. Maybe you called up your friend Annie, your one unmarried friend from Christian College who was also living in a big city. She said, “Isn’t it crazy how many guys want to bang you when you’re no longer in a community of evangelicals?”
But it wasn’t all heaven. You didn’t know how dating worked, mostly because you had never dated as an adult. You didn’t know the rules, or the code, or how the game was played. Maybe after a party one night, you gave a guy a ride home. He had too much to drink, and you two had been getting along so well – you thought you’d found your new BFF. When he asked you to go upstairs to his place for another drink, of course you went! You’d been talking about indie dramas and Lena Dunham; why’d you want to put an end to that? So you drank half a beer and had some nice banter, and then he was kissing you. You were shocked. Where’d that come from? The next day, after relaying your surprise to your friend Mandy, she said, “Of course he kissed you! He asked you up to his apartment at two am!” You might’ve replied, “You really think he’d thought that all along? He didn’t want to talk about the plot development on Orange is the New Black?” Mandy said, “You cannot go into the apartments of men you just met in the wee hours of the morning! They could rape you!”
As you reflected upon it, Mandy had a point. But she was also married. She hadn’t had to traverse the new, frightening waters of dating outside the Christian subculture. Back at Christian College, it wasn’t uncommon to hang out with a dude at 2am, but you were probably having a heart-to-heart about how Shane Claiborne revitalized your faith, or perhaps the dude was confessing the trouble of his porn addiction (at 3am, you’d part with prayer). A boob grab, let alone a rape, was never on the table.
So now you’re scared. It’s great that you’re not as hideous as Christian College led you to believe, but you don’t know what to do with the male attention. You no longer have a 100% hold on the idea that you’ll wait until you’re married to have sex, and also your body is definitely wanting some action. In the moment, your body is all about that guy kissing your neck! But then you think about your mother and Pete your old Residence Director and also Jesus; wouldn’t they be disappointed? And you ask yourself if you even like this guy. If this is even what you want. Why are you not a woman of integrity? Why are you not living a beautiful life? And the guy offers to go down on you, but then he sees that you are crying, so he hands your shirt back to you.
You’re stuck. Christian College did not prepare you for this. Mandy tried to give good advice, but she recognized that she got off lucky as a Married. She took Christian College with her. She gets to have sex. She is winning left and right. You’re not ready to be married. You might be ready to have sex, but you’re not sure. One of your non-Christian friends said, “Just do it! I had six orgasms this morning. What did you do? Write a new joke?” So that sounds nice. But you’re also worried about the cherry popping. People say it hurts. And do you want to bleed all over the bed of a man you just met? You don’t even know if he has an STD. You really should wait until you at least know the guy really well, and he likes you a lot, and is willing to get you through a week (or month) or two of painful, awkward sex until it gets good.
But to find that guy…well, don’t you want him to be a Christian? Wouldn’t he have to be, if he were to understand your soul and be willing to suffer through your sexual hang-ups?
But how Christian are you, really?
And doesn’t this all just lead you back to a crisis of faith?
You’re beginning to think life was easier when you thought you were unforgivably unfuckable.