Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Why men should refuse a woman’s offer of casual sex

I’ve been having some conversations recently with a good male friend of mine who is not a Christian. I like to talk to him about women because we disagree about women, and Lord knows I love to disagree with people. Anyway, he’s read my rules for chastity, courtship, etc., and he considers them, and me, quite weird. He is coming from the position of having a great deal of sexual experience with women, whereas I strictly avoid sexual activity for a variety of reasons. And what we disagree about is this: I think it’s wrong to have casual sex with women who offer themselves to a man before marriage, and he thinks it’s permissible as long as he warns them that the relationship is going nowhere afterwards.

First, let me talk about where we agree. Both of us agree that most women today have lost the art of making a man like them without using sex appeal. We are in broad agreement that the right way for a woman to make a man like her is by being feminine. And we agree on what that means – showing the ability to be a wife and mother. If a woman talks to a man, rages against feminism, listens to his plan, and tries to help him with his plan, then he will like her (because he needs her and appreciates her).  Also, it’s important that she have a plan of her own that he can help with, and she should let him help.

Now where do we disagree? Well, I think it’s a bad idea for a man to submit to casual sex with a woman who is unable or unwilling to set boundaries and have a Christian goal for the relationship. I think that casual sex is an inappropriate technique that some women use to make men love them without demonstrating that she really understands him or wants to help him. Sometimes this is done inadvertently because the woman has never learned how to deal with men appropriately, but sometimes it’s done deliberately.

Here are three reasons why men should not accept an offer of casual sex:

Reduced courting capability

A lot of men spend a lot of time and money and the best years of their lives pursuing a lot of different women for sexual gratification. But the pursuit of casual sex takes away from the goal of having a helpful wife and effective Christian children, (e.g. – children like Dr. J or WLC). It takes up time and resources that are better spent on building up teachable responsive girl friends. Chasing non-marriageable women also detracts from learning apologetics and theology in order to impress the tiny minority of women who want an involved nurturing husband and effective children. There is no way to assess a woman’s fitness for marriage and mothering through casual sex. It has no value whatsoever when it comes to courting because it removes the self-control needed for objective evaluation. Casual sex doesn’t show women that you can lead your future children, either.

Reduced vulnerability and romantic capability

I would not be able have sex and separate without suffering permanent emotional damage. In other areas of my life I make lifelong commitments, e.g. – to my pet bird (he’s 20, average lifespan is 15-18), my roadster (mint condition after 10 years), to my friends, (some friendships lasting over a decade), etc. I subscribe to the velcro theory of sexuality – the more you attach and separate, the less well you can attach. I simply do not believe that men who do intimate physical things with women can be as vulnerable and susceptible as when they remain chaste. Casual sex kills the man’s ability to love. If you want to be a knight, you have to be capable of chivalry and romance. If a man has casual sex with enough women, he will likely develop a low opinion of of the trustworthiness, wife-capability and mother-capability of women. He becomes cynical and predatorial.

Causes women to doubt God’s existence

Every woman was made for a relationship with God. When a woman uses sex to try to get a man to pay attention to her, to love her and to commit to her long-term, it usually fails. Sex doesn’t make a man who doesn’t want to marry suddenly want to marry. Without a Christian worldview, the woman may not realize how to tell a good man from a bad man, and how to drive a relationship through to marriage. If a woman has sex with enough men, she may develop a low opinion of the goodness and reliability of men. She may think that she is handling men correctly and that the relationship should work out. But the trauma from failed relationships with unreliable men can cause her to suffer emotionally, and even to doubt God’s existence or goodness.  Christian men should therefore avoid casual sex so that they don’t push women away from relationships with God.

Conclusion

Now I haven’t actually experienced this problem of women throwing themselves at me to make me “love” them, but if someone finally did offer me drunken hook-up sex, I hope that I would remember my little list.

But I might also remember something else.

Consider this passage from “A Man For All Seasons“, a play by Robert Bolt. The lead character Sir Thomas More has refused to compromise with King Henry VIII over the legality of divorce, and now the King wants to have his head chopped off. More’s daughter Meg tries to convince to take the oath supporting the divorce in order to save his own life.

Meg: Then say the words of the oath and in your heart think otherwise.

More: What is an oath then, but words we say to God? Listen, Meg.
When a man takes an oath, he’s holding his own self in his own hands… …like water.
And if he opens his fingers then, he needn’t hope to find himself again.
Some men aren’t capable of this, but I’d be loathed to think your father one of them.

That’s how men should try to be with their chastity. I agree that it is almost impossible not to see things and to think things that are unchaste – but I am talking about doing something unchaste. Men need to avoid that, at least. The problem is that men don’t realize what they are giving up by being unchaste, because they don’t study these issues to know the costs, the lost capabilities to love unselfishly, or the virtues that give them honor with God. No one tells us. Instead of reading “A Man for All Seasons” or “The Faerie Queene”, we pick our role models off the bottom shelf. The schools are no help at all, many parents are busy, and the church just orders people around without any arguments or evidence.

But my main point is that even if there wasn’t a woman left in the world who believed in chastity, courting, marriage and family, that would still not be a justification for a Christian man to give up on his ideal of chastity.

I am pretty opposed to marriage right now because of the way society and government has gone with divorce courts, feminism, public schools, high taxes, etc. But even if marriage seems irrational now, I still think that offers of casual sex should be rejected. I can still make friends with Christian women and treat them nicely. Maybe something will change… lower taxes, school choice, marriage penalty abolished, shared parenting, charter marriages, etc., and then marriage will make sense again. Right now, it just seems like there are too many policies that make it irrational.

Other resources

For anyone who would like to see chastity in action, I recommend picking up the old 1960s spy series “Danger Man” on DVD, starring Patrick McGoohan. You can see some videos here and here. I like to give these as gifts, along with movies about virtue like “A Man For All Seasons”, “We Were Soldiers”, “Amazing Grace”, “Horatio Hornblower”, “Gettysburg”, “The Crossing”, “Henry V”, “Ivanhoe”, “Cyrano de Bergerac”, “Bella”, “Fireproof”, etc.

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22 Responses

  1. Very well put.

    I’ll add a couple.

    1. STDs (speaks for itself)

    2. Corruption of morals. Every society that has loosened their boundaries of human sexuality has lost their moral compass, and ended up on the scrap heap of history. America is headed that way as well.

    3. God says not to: “do not commit fornication”.

  2. Stephen says:

    This is one of your best ever posts…though I’m biased because it hit very close to home. I’m one of those chumps that has spent far too much of his life pursuing conquests like some puppet Nero and I’m reaping the emotional seeds as you described. There’s hope in Scripture and honest hard work, but a lot of the damage could have been avoided…I blame the ‘hook-up’ culture to some extend but also have to be responsible for my own choices. Excellent, insightful work.

    • Wow! Thank you, Stephen! I was thinking this morning that the reason I didn’t fall pray to this is because I am such a homebody. I was also judging the popular people against Christian moral standards and therefore did not feel the obligation to be like them – they were immoral and cruel to those were not as popular as they were. Why would I want to do anything that they were doing if they were evil? Instead, I bought myself a barely used car at 18 to compensate for the peer pressure to be popular. (Money is a tool for defending yourself up emotionally against temptation).

      When I was 23 and moved away to work full-time after school, I bought a roadster within the first week of moving. It’s amazing how important a proper horse is to a knight for building up his self-esteem and making him resistant to peer-pressure. Christians need to think like this – it does no good to say “the Bible says, the Bible says” or “just pray about it”. That’s not the way real life works. If you want to really be good, you have to think in terms of studying issues to convince yourself of the damage that sinning can do, and bribing yourself with shiny chivalrous things to take away the desire to sin. Quid quid requiritur – “Whatever it takes”. Either we are going to be serious about this, or we’re not.

  3. timmah says:

    Great post. I’ve played in bands since I was a teenager and in those environments opportunities for casual hookups very often present themselves. I’ve always been able to decline and have at times seized the opportunity to shift the conversation to morality and really ask what their motivations are for such propositions. Some people are respectful and insightful though I never know if anything I said ever made a difference. When it’s just some drunk slobbery chick trying to get some, I usually just decline politely and look for an exit. With those types any deep conversation is a lost cause.

  4. Drew says:

    I’m not sure I really agree with the second reason. In the long run, I don’t think men suffer directly from their bad dealings with women. Break-ups actually tend to make men stronger. It’s the women who can’t handle them, as you pointed out in your section three. These trends explain why women prefer men with experience and why men (typically) prefer women without much experience.

    Men mainly suffer indirectly from the break-ups, by wasting their time and then by regretting this wasting of time. For example, if you marry a woman who divorces you after twenty years, you can probably get past the bad emotions eventually but will have difficulty getting past your wasted lifetime.

    Therefore, the main reason to abstain is your first reason. Along with being sinful, promisuous living only offers extremely fleeting pleasure. It’s basically pointless. It wastes time. And as a waste of time, it serves to prevent men from finding something better.

    Obviously, something better would include:
    1. Permanence,
    2. Not having to worry about STDs or illegitimate children or abortions or false rape accusations, and
    3. Knowing for sure which kids are yours

    • Yanma says:

      Actually that is not true. They have done studies proving that men do take breakups harder emotionally. I know men want to think they are impervious to emotional damage, but you’re not!
      I’m a woman who prefers a man without much experience– close to my level, as I am younger. I don’t know where you are getting your information, but it is *highly* flawed. If you truly like someone, who cares if they are inexperienced anyway?

  5. churchmouse says:

    Wow. Loads of great comments on a loaded topic. And here, I thought our Wintry Knight was married with a family. Honourable ladies, here’s your chance! And, being a homebody is no bad thing!

    Coincidentally, I have a post up on this topic about an Australian woman who shares the godly point of view on this topic.

    Both hers and your viewpoints fill me with relief on the one hand that I am so glad I’m out of the dating scene. On the other, I feel for both good men and women out there who cannot find each other.

    It’s a funny thing, but since the late 1960s, we have been conditioned to focus on sex in any sort of relationship from the get-go. At first, it was an amusing novelty to read about the ‘Playboy’ guy and the ‘Cosmo girl’, but consider that we’re now into two generations of indoctrination in this way of behaving.

    I do think that so much grief and difficulty could be removed if we were to think differently — by rejecting what is, in fact, a leftist perversion of the world. I won’t bore you with it, but it is part of Critical Theory and the ‘long march through the institutions’ to destablise the family and the church’s influence.

    I guess my advice would be that if a woman came on to you, to say, ‘Gee, you’re such a lovely woman, why are you asking me to do something that demeans both of us?’ If you like her and it’s appropriate, you could add, ‘Perhaps we could go out for coffee’ or something (and then follow through if she accepts). I am sure that would take the wind out of her sails. It might even lead to an honest date or two afterward.

    It would be good to read more posts about this topic. A lot has gone wrong and so much could go right. We need marriage, we need families, we need children raised in a godly way.

  6. Michael says:

    That’s great preparatory advice for the future for me, Wintery Knight. Thanks.

  7. Thank you for this post. I am a married Christian woman and so agree with what you write and your viewpoint on the above. Sex before marriage does untold damage (a little like chocolate…it’s wonderful at the time you consume it,but you pay the price afterwards. )We could do with a few more ‘knights’ like yourself in this world! I look forward to reading through all your posts.

  8. DJ Rodger says:

    ‘Chasing non-marriageable women also detracts from learning apologetics and theology in order to impress the tiny minority of women who want an involved nurturing husband and effective children.’

    Classic!

  9. pg says:

    I like this:

    “But my main point is that even if there wasn’t a woman left in the world who believed in chastity, courting, marriage and family, that would still not be a justification for a Christian man to give up on his ideal of chastity.”

    That’s because we belong to God — not ourselves.

    I also like the phrase “cynical and predatorial.” Now we have the reason why so many men come across like jerks — they’ve been ruined by what women have given them much too freely.

    Also — WK, do you know that Thomas More burnt Protestant Christians at the stake, for translating and spreading the Word? (Would be nice if you wouldn’t mind quoting someone else in order to prove your point… please! :-)

    And yes, I really liked “Cyrano de Bergerac” — the book makes one cry.

    • It’s just a quote from the play – I know he did some really bad stuff.

      Watch the movie with Gerard Depardieu. That makes me cry. The play makes me cry too. Cyrano and I are one.

  10. May says:

    Interesting post…..except the “rages against feminism” does not equal being feminine.

  11. mike singer says:

    Just ran across this post and would like to comment on it.

    -Casual sex will desensitize male/female emotional capacity. This well known fact is even further supported by excess of pornography will do the same exact thing.

    -STD’s are rampant and dangerous.

    -Pregnancy can and will lower your career, living location, income, relationship options (THIS IS A MASSIVE RISK !!!)

    -Those who commit such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Gal 5:19-21) ANOTHER MASSIVE RISK.

    There are consequences to everything despite what the media portrays – think of it as “entanglement physics”.

    It really comes down to the greatest lie ever told that is continues to this day- “though shall not surely die” ( ie God doesnt surely mean what He says).

    • The biggest fear I have about sexual immorality is that 1) it is often the result of broken relationships with parents, which is increasing in a vicious cycle, 2) when people develop a lifestyle of sin, it becomes impossible to consider questions of truth fairly – they simply will not look at the evidence pro and con. That’s why my apologetics blog focuses on fiscal issues (big government means small family) and social issues (hedonism and moral relativism means family breakdown). Atheism comes from sin which comes from family breakdown. Especially fatherlessness.

      Foreign policy is important too, because we can’t all get killed by terrorists or foreign powers.

  12. Bertrand Russell says:

    The fundamental problem with casual sex is that it treats the end as the beginning: sex is the highest expression of love and affection, not the first or intermediary step in the “getting to know you” phase of a relationship.

    Also, please don’t think that using someone for sex is a one-way street: men get used for sex too. Casual sex is a dirty, nasty business, but it’s naïve to think that men always do it because they’re predatory, and women always do it because they’re lonely. Sometimes the roles are quite reversed.

  13. GP says:

    Thank you for writing this blog. I typed some words into Google and found this column. I am a woman who has been hurting for 8 months because I had sex with a man I’ve known for many years (without sex). We were classmates who won fellowships at the same time. I asked him to a dance and our night was chaste. I dated him off and on for years after college and again all our contacts were chaste. After several years of this, he increases his courtship by flying me places and planning elaborate dates and sending me love songs with lyrics about marriage about about how he had adored me for so long. We had sex several times and I was deeply in love with him though I’d been in love with him for some time before we ever kissed. Then he said he wanted things to be casual — after the fact. This was deception. I asked him was casual meant. Did he want to accept that I would understand that he didn’t feel as strongly as I did? I asked my friends, including male friends, if it was problematic if a woman loved a man more? Everyone told me that his words sounded bad. He hasn’t spoken to me in 8 months and has refused to repond to the emails that I sent asking him if I had done something wrong. It really hurts. It is really painful. I’m not a young woman. I graduated from college years ago but I sound like a young girl I know. This man and I knew each other for years without ever engaging in sex. The pain I feel is something I can barely describe. It haunts me. There is no such thing as casual sex. It is deception to court a woman and pretend that you have made it clear that “it’s not going anywhere”… Did these men really make it 100% clear that it’s not going anywhere? Or did they simply say they wanted things to be casual? If these men made it 100% clear that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES will I ever be in a relationship with you and love you…. if these men had made this explicitly clear and given the women a few days to cool off and think abotu things and repeated this clear disclaimer, would these women ever have sex with them? These men are liars and deceivers of the WORST sort because they convince themselves that they told these women the truth.

    • This is heartbreaking for me… I feel really badly about it. I try and try to encourage men to have a plan and to explain to women what it is they are trying to accomplish in life, and why marriage and parenting is part of their plan. It’s very important that women also try to communicate with men about marriage, and get them to speak at length about what the man things marriage is about, what the man thinks women contribute to a marriage, what skills a man and a woman need to have before marrying, how a man and a woman prepare to gain those skills before marriage, and what preparations have already been made.

  14. S Anon says:

    Wow, this is coming from a man!

    :-)

    There IS a God.!

  15. Sergio from Spain (European Union) says:

    Well put, Wintery Knight. Since I’m Christian too, I would only sleep with my wife (i. e. AFTER marriage), and therefore I have always rejected any sexual advance from that kind of women who think they can seduce (quality) men with just sex. I am not interested in any woman who is sleeping around. No, what I want is a decent girl with morals, the kind of girl who would only have sex after marriage. What seduces me is feminity and morals and values. That is, for me, far more important than big boobs…

    P.S. Congrats for your blog, Wintery Knight!

  16. Bigshot Moviestar says:

    Fantastic article. Thanks so much. I never thought about what it does to the woman, oddly enough. I would hate to have to answer to how I may have hurt someone else’s relationship with God. Very convicting. Thanks again.

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