Porn for Catholics

This is the kind of intellectually debased clickbait crap that friends of mine post on Facebook because they have a big old stick up the ass about hardline Catholic sexual dogma. Let’s spoil the ending from the start for a clear vantage point on just how Buzzfeed-barfworthy the writer’s literary style and ethics are:

That’s why on my wedding night I didn’t “lose” my virginity. I freely chose to give myself—body, mind, heart, and soul—to my husband who promised to love me ‘til death do us part. I definitely didn’t feel shame or loss. I didn’t feel dirty or bad. I felt beautiful and holy and child-like. And my husband? You can bet that he felt the same. Even if virginity has been “lost” at some point in the past, it is still possible with Reconciliation and God’s grace to be able to, for the first time, give oneself freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully. And trust me: when sex includes all of those things, that’s when someone really knows what they’re doing.

She didn’t lose it; she gave it. Quick, mama, hose me down with ice water, baby, I can’t believe I just sustained such a sick burn!

What preceded this melodramatic conclusion wasn’t necessarily any better:

I’ve never punched someone in the face, but there are definitely times I wish I could ignore the virtue of self-control and let a fist fly.

A few months before my wedding, someone asked me (knowing that I was a 29-year old virgin by choice), “So, is your fiancé a virgin, too?” I replied, “Nope.” She responded, “Well at least someone knows what they’re doing.” I pretended not to care about this ridiculously ignorant statement and switched the subject quickly.

But, really? Really?! My brain was reeling with anger and annoyance, while my will did all it could to prevent Jackie Francois from turning into Jackie Chan.

I once rode the SEPTA 61 bus through the Ridge Avenue Badlands with a woman who was screaming about how she was “gonna cut that bitch! I ain’t gonna do any damage, but I’m gonna cut that bitch!” SEPTA can be trashy, but rarely is it as gross as the kind of garbage that goes viral on the internet. Note, too, that our Strawberry Mansion homegirl was living in truth, a truth a continent and a world away from any truth that Vaclav Havel thought worth living, but at least she had the decency to forthrightly admit that she was of a mind to cut a bitch and not pretend to be an exemplar of Christian charity when she was self-evidently nothing of the sort.

….I wasn’t taught the Puritanistic view that “sex is bad.” In fact, I learned the Catholic view that sex is good, beautiful, and holy. Sex is the consummation of the wedding vows, and your body is making a promise of those vows (even if you do not). The vows you make with your heart and voice on your wedding day—to love freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully—are then expressed with your bodies later on that night. Sex makes the vows incarnate. So technically, you’re not married if you haven’t consummated your sacramental marriage, because the vows have not yet been fulfilled bodily.

NB: The Puritans did not advance such a fucked up, repressed sexual morality; that notion is an anachronism that bougie Victorian sex scolds projected onto the Puritans.

But maybe our aspiring Strawberry Mansion slasher lived in truth because she was raised in a culturally Protestant neighborhood. Obviously, her immediate milieu was culturally Cut That Bitch, but she wasn’t screaming at the top of her lungs on a city bus about sex.

By the way, that was a bullshit hypothesis: I’ve known a number of Irish Catholic girls from the Northeast–Fishtown, Mayfair, that kind of thing–whose culturally Catholic upbringing didn’t leave them sexually repressed in extremis. That seems to be more of a suburban thing. City girls seem to find out early how to open doors with just a smile, and how to throw a used tampon into a neighbor’s front yard because period sex on the neighbor’s stoop at dawn seems like a good idea; Haddonfield girls only do that kind of thing because it gives them a transgressive rush that they don’t otherwise get from their sanitized neighborhoods in Bougieland. Yes, I’m talking about Catholic girls here. If you pray to your deceased ex-boyfriend as an intercessor, you’re Catholic, or at the very least you’re damned well not Protestant. No used tampon beside a neighbor’s stoop will change this, nor will any raging bitchfest from White People with First World Problems of the Roman variety.

Period stories told by raunchy-ass Northeast Irish cradle Catholics aren’t tales of taste (remember, these are Philadelphians), but they’re a lot less disordered than the period stories one can expect to hear at a Newman Club meeting, and a lot more conducive to a free and pluralistic society. These are women who only incidentally bend over a railing on the Staten Island Ferry for some impromptu public rumpy-pumpy. This is a mere concession to pragmatism at a time when one happens to be horny and to also be outdoors on a maritime common carrier with a panoramic view of the New York Harbor. It has nothing to do with disrespect for Staten Island; for that, the only thing that really does the job is a self-loathing Staten Islander.

This, by contrast, is what our hyperscrupulous author thinks of sex:

While the culture says that sex is “no big deal” and that people are meant to be “test-driven” before marriage, there are a lot of good Catholic men and women who know sex to be holy and beautiful and worth giving to your spouse alone. Those particular men and women who had sex outside of marriage truly felt that their virginity was lost. One woman described it as a loss of innocence. Another described it as a loss of an idea of what it should’ve been to have sex for the first time when she said, “It wasn’t like the movies. My boyfriend didn’t even hold me afterwards.” Others have said, “I felt used.” Others have felt the loss of pride, because they were the ones who would’ve “never” committed the sin of fornication. Others have felt that their dignity was lost, because they gave themselves away just to hear the words, “I love you,” or “You’re beautiful.” Virginity was never meant to be “lost.” Sex was never meant to be a mistake or a flippant act.

While the world around us in TV, movies and music makes virginity look ridiculous, I knew in my heart I never wanted to “lose” my virginity to some boyfriend in a nasty college dorm room or in his parents’ house or in his apartment just to have some practice for my future husband.

The railing on the Andrew Barbieri is cleaner than your dorm room, especially if you go to Penn. Say what you will about Philadelphians, and don’t be afraid to get gross (when in Rome, etc.), but don’t say that they aren’t pragmatic. There are some purity buggers floating around the City of Brotherly Love, but if they bug the wrong kind of Philadelphian, one of their brothers will lovingly tell them to go fuck themselves. This happens to be fortuitously good literal advice, too. These are the people who booed Santa Claus, you know.

Let’s take a look at why Jackie Francois wanted to slap a bitch:

First, people have been having sex for thousands and thousands of years. It’s not like the mechanics of sex are difficult to master, even when it’s two virgins, God forbid! (note the sarcasm).

Secondly, do you really think I’m happy that my husband’s first experience of sex was with someone else because he got to “practice?” Um, let’s think here for a second….NO! I don’t know any girl who just hopes and wishes that her husband has memories of another girl (or girls) he’s been sexually active with or a harem of porn stars he’s been sexually aroused by. Memories don’t just vanish when you start dating someone new or put a ring on your finger or say wedding vows. It takes grace, prayer, time, and sometimes counseling to heal these memories.

Thirdly, if my husband had been there to hear this ridiculously insensitive and crude “insight,” he would’ve been even more offended (and maybe tempted to throw a punch, as well). His loss of virginity was never something he boasted about. In fact, he shares his witness here and in the talks we give together about the regret and shame he felt after that moment of weakness and lust.

This chick and her husband make a living by telling sordid conference room confessional tales about their own sexual histories and concern-trolling their audiences. They’re gaslighting themselves and generously sharing the spare flickers with the timid religious. They should be held in the same esteem as used car salesmen, highwaymen, local police in St. Louis County, and Wells Fargo.

Against the odds, it gets worse:

jackiefrancoisJackie is a full-time traveling speaker, singer/songwriter, and worship leader from Orange County, CA. In 2006, she became an artist with OCP/SpiritandSong.com with whom she has released two albums. She has been involved in youth ministry since she graduated high school, and she now travels the globe speaking to young people about God’s love and leading worship for various events and ministries.

Mercy. My own people in the OC are classy as shit, but I’m not surprised to see their fair county make a cameo appearance in this sad tale. I’ve overheard strangers on the OCTA 43 bus congratulate each other for being Christians, with all the modesty of the San Franciscans savoring the smell of their own flatulence on South Park. Another time, I overheard a hipster on the 29 bus to Huntington Beach telling someone over the phone that he was “going to visit my Jewish friend Adam, but I think I should go to church instead.” At least I know decent, well-adjusted people in HB and Lake Forest who don’t concern-troll others about sexual purity because they’re too busy talking about “fuckheads,” brewers who are “all right, but a bit preachier than I usually like,” “top-heavy” waitresses at the Tilted Kilt, and “flavor savers.”

Realize, too, that a number of the people I run with in Orange County are ocean lifeguards because #WINNING! (theirs, but also mine). It’s nice to hang out with adults (you don’t want to see some of the grown children I’ve joined at the bars in Conshohocken and Manayunk), and I suppose being in a line of work where distressed swimmers occasionally drown on one’s watch, despite the best efforts of dedicated rescue agencies and their trained personnel, has a maturing effect. Maybe it’s a case of Opposing Viewpoints: “Sexual purity: get some, you ruined slut” vs. “Sexual purity: Honestly, I’m more worried about keeping you from drowning in the literal ocean that I literally guard. Let’s talk about rip currents.”

Other people not drowning is a virtue that anyone not in the concrete-shod waterfront mafia can love, maybe even Sara Bareilles. Premarital continence is, shall we say, a harder nut to bust. There’s a natural law explanation for this, specifically that (wait for it–it’s worth waiting for) it ain’t natural. Are constancy and monogamy an improvement over Charlie Sheen? Yeah, probably, but if you don’t really love the virtue of keeping your pants buttoned up all that time, these virtues very much are not an improvement for the rest of us. These are people who are freaking out over their inability to stay entirely continent for a decade and a half beyond puberty. If they have the front to say that a sexual regime like this has been commonplace throughout history, they’re full of shit.

Never forget: the time you spend discreetly spewing goo all over massage whores (I’m talking to the lady clients, too) is time that you do not spend indiscreetly spewing goo all over the rest of us because you can’t think about anything but sex. Or, as the Burundi Beef Council put it, “Beef: if only it could be for dinner.” C. S. Lewis concurs.

This is why prostitution is my anti-porn. Maybe it should be yours, too.

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