Thursday, September 18, 2008

Promise Rings (Part II): A Gateway to Putting Your Finger in Other Places

Hurry Up and Wait - Stereophonics (mp3)
Ten Days Late - Third Eye Blind (mp3)

Continued from Part One.

I'm also secretly suspicious that Promise Rings might be the new gay bars. I know several dudes after college who made their sexual living off of going to this local gay bar, where women would go to dance thinking they were safe from the prying eyes and drooling tongues of hets. In would swoop Mr. Straight Swave dude for another score.

Can you imagine an easier method of misdirection for a conniving horndog in his pursuit of getting laid than a Promise Ring?

There Joe Horndog is, on the couch with Sue Ann Virgin, making out and getting increasingly farther down the base path. "Don't worry Sue Ann," Joe says, "I'm saving myself for marriage. I'm just petting you. It's not like any clothes are off."

"Don't worry Sue Ann," Joe says. "I'm saving myself. I just wanna see what it looks like up close."

"Don't worry Sue Ann," Joe says. "There's nothing in the Bible about oral sex. Believe me, I've looked. Besides, I wouldn't do it if it was wrong, because then I couldn't wear this lovely Promise Ring."

A few weeks or months later, Sue Ann is wondering how Joe Horndog, bearer of that Promise Ring, managed to steal her virginity. And mostly she's jealous of Jodie Chastity, the girl Joe is now dating, because Sue Ann can't admit to anyone that Joe has deflowered her, lest she get kicked out of her church youth group and lose all her friends who wear Promise Rings and believe having sex before marriage sends you straight to Hell.

Statistically, a Promise Ring makes no difference, and this point can't be repeated enough. Wear it, don't wear it; your odds of making it for a White Wedding are equal.

If it doesn't make a difference, then the reality is that it creates as much disillusionment and deception as it does prevent anything. And when they break that promise, do they remove the ring? The minute they take off that ring, they might as well get a Tramp Stamp, because they've officially announced themselves as sluts (or, thanks to the hypocritical world in which we live, studs). So they keep wearing them and begin what risks be a lifelong practice of two-faced method acting.

I was a virgin until well into my college experience. You wanna stay a virgin? I've got a guaranteed method for remaining a virgin throughout your teen years in three simple steps:
  1. Read some comic books. 
  2. Believe that getting good grades is important.
  3. Listen to lots of Rush.
I didn't need a frakking Promise Ring; I had three Batman T-shirts, a 3.8 GPA, and knew all the words to "Red Barchetta." I might as well have been trapped in the fucking Forbidden Zone with Zod and his Superman II cronies.

While I'm trapped in Anecdoteville, I can't resist: Bristol Palin. You just know Mama Palin and Daddy Todd were sure their sweet thing was saving herself for her wedding night. If that chick wasn't wearing a Promise Ring when she got knocked up, I guaran-damn-tee you it's only because she couldn't find them at the Wal-Mart in Wasila. Better to let the whole family live with this two-ton weight of illusion hanging around your child's neck than to have open and honest conversations about sex and love and responsibilities, right?

I will neither teach nor encourage my children that Jesus wants them to keep their legs shut until they marry. Call me a relativist heathen Christian all you like, but I couldn't count the number of FCA or Young Life or Campus Crusade people who got more frequently bopped than myself (which in algebraic terms is "x > 0"). And in the binary world of Conservative Christianity and sex, anything not equal to 0 is fucked.

My children will know that their God and their father love them no matter what, and they'll know that the best promises about sex and their bodies are much like the best prayers -- made humbly and silently to oneself.

"Hurry Up and Wait" is from the Stereophonics' second album, Performance and Cocktails. "10 Days Late" is from Third Eye Blind's second (and final legitimate) album, Blue. Both are available at iTunes and's mp3 site.


leftcoast said...

Thanks for the post! Your words about chastity are hilarious and true.

good music as well.


Guy & Lisa's Baby Blog said...

Amen to that, brother! Well said.