On Coming-Out Technology, Exiting the Girlfriend Zone, and the Lesbro Conundrum

@paddlepickle I think the weird thing for me was that the two of them had met the woman at the same time. So, it's not like she and the boyfriend had this huge history beforehand. She met them both, announced she would be the guy's best friend and then tried to cut the lady out of the equation -- as someone else said below, that sounds like a "Toxic Trouble-making Lady" to me.

Posted on March 14, 2014 at 3:42 pm 1

On Befriending Your Best Friend's Girlfriend and Resisting the "One True Sex Act"

@Regina Phalange Hey! I'm speaking as a recently married lady who was celibate (as was my husband) until our wedding night. First, I want to say that I love what you said about sexuality -- about wanting to wait out of reverence, and respect for procreation.

Second, I would say we have some similarities. While I would call myself devout (I'm a pastor, so...yeah) both my husband and I are pretty liberal. When he asked me out, I had pretty much given up on finding someone who would share my values, understand why I was making the decisions I was about my life (not just about sex, but simple living, generosity, etc), respect and not be freaked out/offended by my vocation, and also be funny and cool to hang out with. And also be someone I liked and liked me back. Also tall. :)

I was 34 and had done a lot of dating and had a couple relationships. I thought, I have dated everyone who is out there to date! There are no more liberal Christian men in my city! But then there he was.

This may not be helpful, but all I'm trying to say is that it's possible there is a man or two (hopefully more) who will think hanging out with you is so great getting laid is not necessary! And maybe you'll find someone who is in the same place as you! Hopeful for you :)

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 10:22 am 0

On Lesbian Vocabulary, U-Hauls, and the Family That Comes Out Together

LW2, some conversations I've had with some young people (I work with teens), and a perhaps overly dramatic exchange between gawker-slate-xojane about correct pronoun usages has increased some questions that I've had about the gender spectrum. A young person this weekend told me that a friend in his class felt gender-neutral, I was incredibly curious about what that actually FELT like. I've never considered myself anything other than a woman, but that conversation started me thinking, "What makes me feel like a woman?" I am a biological woman, but my personality has traits that I would classify as stereotypically feminine AND stereotypically masculine. So my question to put out to people is: Regardless of your biology, what makes you FEEL like a woman or a man, or someplace in between, or neither?

Posted on July 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm 1

On Loneliness, Mistakes, and the Inner Questionnaire

@Shara What @vunder said. I wrote above that I spent a long time in an ambivalent stage with my current boyfriend, wondering if I was feeling what I was "supposed" to be feeling. I didn't think I was where I was "supposed" to be, so I almost broke up with him. But we had some serious talks, and instead of coming away from them sad, I came away from them hopeful, and now we're in a whole different place.*

I will say that all along, my gut said to stick with it, even though I didn't feel initial fireworks. My brain said to my gut, "what are you doing? are we feeling the right things? at the right times?" and my gut said, "I don't know, but let's go on another date."

And now I'm in love, but it took 7 months. So, yeah, no answers here. Pay attention to your gut is the only good, if ambiguous, advice.

*Side note: in a moment of weakness I confessed to my mom that me and boyfriend were having relationship talks and she was like, "relationship talk? what's a relationship talk? I never had a relationship talk."

Posted on February 22, 2013 at 2:35 pm 0

On Loneliness, Mistakes, and the Inner Questionnaire

@rimy I have a pretty similar situation. He was super into it, I was ambivalent/anxious because I don't have a lot of dating experience. He wasn't like most of the guys I'd been attracted to, I thought he was too serious. The difference was my gut was telling me to stick with it, even though my brain was like, "What is going on right now?"

We got to a make it or break it point, talked through it, and now I have hearts in my eyes instead of pupils. I too, love the crap out of him.

Posted on February 22, 2013 at 2:26 pm 3

On "[T]he cultural message that waiting until marriage is the best choice is simply wrong. And it's wrong for almost everyone."

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll That's the one! I think I was going there around the same time! So funny.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 8:50 am 0

On "[T]he cultural message that waiting until marriage is the best choice is simply wrong. And it's wrong for almost everyone."

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll I am totally going to look up that curriculum! When I was in seminary I went to a Mennonite church that was awesome. We would have congregational dances in the middle of service.

@dj pomegranate -- if you're ever in Boston, do it! :)

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 7:49 am 0

On "[T]he cultural message that waiting until marriage is the best choice is simply wrong. And it's wrong for almost everyone."

The author, somewhat sensationally in my opinion, says she's making a moral case for sex before marriage, but really she's making a case for right attitudes about sex. I'm frustrated because I agree with a lot of what she says, that the shame culture surrounding sex is harmful, that marriage doesn't protect against the possibility of abusive or dangerous sex, that "feminist values – not "traditional" ones – lead to the most stable marriages." (although I wish some sources were cited). I agree with all of that, but at the same time, I'm a female pastor in my thirties who is choosing not to have sex before I'm married. Maybe because I live on the East Coast, but the idea that culture views you as a moral failure if you have premarital sex has not been my experience AT ALL. If anything, in my personal experience, waiting is unusual, for people my age obviously, but also for teenagers and college students. The youth I work with tell me that if you're heading off to college as a virgin, you're not a moral king or queen, you're a loser.

I do think the author has a lot of valid points. In my church, my primary responsibility is youth, and in trying to teach them about sex, I've encountered many, many, MANY of the things that this author talks about -- curriculum that focuses on shame and guilt, that makes very unhelpful gender distinctions (like it's the girl's job to not tempt the boy), harmful metaphors (every time you have sex you're ripping the petal off your rose!)

That said, I and the majority of my youth pastor cronies want to emphasize many things the author says are important: egalitarianism in relationships, good communication, a positive attitude about sex. Whenever I teach about sex I start with the positive -- I don't want them to be scared or embarrassed about sex, I want them to honestly engage, ask questions, and wrestle with Scripture and with God's desires for their lives.

Anyway, that was super long, sorry. Someone above said "She talks about conservative values, unequal marriages, and waiting 'til marriage as a cohesive group of traits. They do OFTEN go together, but they don't always, and are causes and effects of each other." Mostly, I just totally agree with that.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 10:06 am 9

On WYMM? ;)

I got proposed to via IM once. A guy I worked with, who was from South America and wanted to stay in the country. But he also admitted to being in love with me, so who knows.

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm 0

On Talking the Talk

There was no talk. We're a religious family, but neither of my parents even told me not to have sex. Luckily for them, I was a shy and nerdy teenager and not in any danger of talking to boys I liked, never mind sleeping with them. I did read the Clan of the Cave Bear books, though. :)

Now I'm a pastor, and I work with teenagers, mostly. I can tell whose parents talk to them openly about sex, and whose are too embarrassed or unwilling to talk to them (the second group usually has the weirder questions). I make sure that they know they can come to me with things they're wondering about, things they've heard (one 12 year old asked me, "What's S&M?" Thanks, Rhianna), things they're thinking about doing or have done, and not get any judgment. Mostly I want to work with them to so that they can develop healthy boundaries without thinking sex is bad or taboo.

So anyway, this whole conversation is interesting and helpful.

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 11:13 am 5