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Formerly Fundamentalist

Guest Post from Belle Vierge: Why I Talk Publicly About My Virginity

When I invited Belle Vierge to do a guest post for this blog back in 2012, little did I know that she and her boyfriend would end up being in How To Lose Your Virginity, or that we be down in Miami in 2014 with the film's co-star Ellen (who's also blogged for us!) recording interviews for our TV premiere on Fusion (you can live tweet with us Saturday night using #H2LYV). Here's why Belle Vierge decided to open up about her virginity–Therese

Alicia Menedez (l) interviews Ellen (c) and BV (r) for the Alicia Menendez Show on Fusion.

I started writing Confessions of a Virgin in July 2011, after months of wanting to write about virginity. As I've mentioned before, I wrote my very first post the morning after my first date with Beau. At the time of writing my inaugural post, I had never:

  • had a boyfriend
  • been in love
  • been naked with a man
  • seen a man naked
  • performed fellatio
  • enjoyed cunnilingus or received it sober
  • used a vibrator
  • had skype sex

I wasn't just a virgin--I was downright virginal, and I felt very alone in my sexual inexperience, even if it was by choice.

About this time last year, I took my blog offline to refocus my writing. When I started blogging again, I had rebranded as Finding My Virginity. The change in title reflected both what I had learned in my first year and a half of blogging and how I had changed during that time.

I thought about these changes a few weeks ago when the Fusion Network asked me to be on two of their shows to talk about the documentary How to Lose Your Virginity. Both Alicia Menendez and Mariana Van Zeller wanted to know the same thing from me.

Why?

Not "Why are you saving coitus for marriage?" but instead, "Why did you agree to talk so candidly about virginity for this documentary?" I don't remember what I said on-camera, which required thinking on my feet and replying with only a few seconds to prepare a response.

 But the reason I let Therese interview me for her documentary is threefold.
  1. I'm not ashamed of the sexual choices I've made
  2. I want other virgins to know they're not alone
  3. I am shamelessly ambitious about my writing

Those first two reasons are why I started blogging. Why I started opening up about my life as a virgin. Why I continue to blog about virginity even though I've discovered the joys of oral sex and mutual masturbation and sex toys.

Everything I blog, or tweet, or say on TV, I do not just for who I am today, but for who I was in the past.  The teenage kissing virgin who was slut-shamed... The religious college student who thought masturbation was a sin... The closeted bisexual who discovered herself in France. I might not be the same woman that I used to be, but I remember what it felt like being her. I write candidly for that woman, and for anyone like her, women who just need a friendly feminist friend.

I hope you'll tune in to Fusion this Saturday to watch Documental. Besides getting to see the kickass documentary How to Lose Your Virginity, you'll also discover my REAL name and some big life changes that won't be on the blog for a few months.

Bristol: Your Audience Can't Hear You

Our abstinence correspondent Formerly Fundamentalist has more on Bristol Palin: Graduated Bristol Palin and poster baby of pro-life, son Tripp, take the cover of People magazine this week. The accompanying article doesn't reveal anything new about a middle class teen's life post-giving-birth.

The overall message (as is consistent with the GOP platform – minus Megan McCain – she loves loves loves sex if you hadn't heard): Don't have sex, kids. It will ruin you're effin' life.
But anyone who's been to youth group has heard this message. It was one I took to heart and vagina. And despite a few successful blow jobs, I eventually walked down the aisle a technical virgin. All data would indicate that I was then, and am now MORE SO, the exception to the rule. Luckily, the guilt of the Lord kept me cleanish in the ways of sex. However, thinking about my teen mindset steeped in id, I didn't hear much else.My point is the inherent flaw of teenagers is their inability to fully understand the consequences of their actions. This is why you equip them with knowledge of how to proceed safely in lieu of scaring them into "abstinence" (which includes, possibly, unsafe anal).

Yes, Bristol, you have the screaming baby of nightmares to showcase your bad decisions. What do most teens have? A throbbing libido demanding attention and the ego which informs them "it won't happen to me." Trixie's note: How tired are we of stuff like this?

"If girls realized the consequences of sex, nobody would be having sex," says Bristol, sitting at her parents' lakeside patio table. "Trust me. Nobody."

If girls – and guys – realized the consequences of sex, they'd realize they should use protection.End of story. Aargh!

Bristol Palin: Proud Mother, Future Possibly-Employed Real Estate Agent

Our abstinence correspondent Formerly Fundamentalist checks in with Bristol Palin: Congratulations, Bristol! You graduated from high school! Your future's so bright, you've got to wear shades! Tiny baby shades for Tripp, too! Blow Pops all around! Uh, wait, your plan is... what is it again?

"...she says she hopes to go to an area college for a two-year business degree and then a job, possibly in real estate."
Did Alaska avoid the housing crisis? Your mom is the best governor ever!

Bristol Palin Dumped That Hot,Backwoods Guy

Our abstinence correspondent Formerly Fundamentalist has been thinking a lot about Bristol and Levi's breakup:

Levi & Bristol: Totes dunzo. Send out the Gossip Girl blast.

Everyone with a goddamn blog or news program is waxing googley about it like they’re Bayside’s Lisa Turtle.Under abstinence-education discussion cloaks, political party punditry veils (I’m looking at you Fox & Friends, Rove) and even transparent KGB-levels of invitations into her womb-decisions, everyone’s acting like this is news but really it’s just two teenagers with a bastard kid who broke up. SHIT HAPPENS.

Admittedly, I held some interest at first – even expressing to Therese I found their relationship “intriguing”. But after the hazel-smolder of Levi’s eyes sogged, I left intrigue for “dur”. Is this really that shocking?

Unfortunately, the political and literal sins of politicos, celebutards, Ponzi-schemers—bring exposure of the intimate and dumb details of their children, every bit of it sound bitable. Then you’ve got “journalists” presenting gossip as important. Like, srsly, makes me want to vom. Srsly.

What’s up with Greta Van Sustren? Here’s a paraphrased run down of her riveting and probing questions of 18-year-old Bristol; I learned so, so much. “Is it hard?” Yes. “Do you sleep?” No. “Does the family help?” Yes, even the short one. “Do you wish you would have waited?” YES.Really revealing: a teenager in a conservative, middle class family fucked up and now everyone is dealing with it. NEXT.

Then you’ve got this guy: Steve Waldman from HuffPo. He dares to ask, “Should Bristol Palin’s Baby Have Been Put Up for Adoption?

Answer: None of your goddamn business, STEVE.

Hey, I agree: adoption is commonly left off the options list, but this topic is a fruitless, certainly rotten one as

1)Bristol obviously desired motherhood, just came early – but not at 13-years-old-early. She’s a fucking adult for Obama’s sake.

2)She has a shit ton of family and resources to help – a privilege for even a married woman in her 20s or 30s.

3)It's dangerous territory to mess around in. When you start questioning someone’s reproductive choice, you are on a slippery slope to the puritanical disembowelment of Roe v Wade.

Bristol isn’t who she’s going to be, not by a long shot. I’ve changed in a thousand different ways since I was 18 – since I was 29. She’s going to be OK. She’s got support, love for Tripp and opportunity. This experience will most assuredly shape her worldview over the next few years. And really, I wouldn’t be surprised if at 21, she gave the big “fuck you” to mama’s GOP.Whatever happens – we’ll know.

Lube & Lighting: Ten Things to Know Before Losing Your Virginity

The Times of London recently published a list of Ten Things To Know Before Losing Your Virginity. With all due respect, here's our Former Fundementalist with a few important things they left out...I don't mean to dismiss the informative and precautionary aspects of this list, but these don't come anywhere close to what I wish I would have known before losing my virginity. This article focuses its aim on the "no duh", boring and fear-baiting things, but I will give you the hot sex dope of what you really need to know. Take it from me, my first time blewwww.
1) It hurts when you're dry as a bone. My husband ripped into me like I was his Christmas present. I'd recommend at least a few minutes of foreplay or just, ya know, wet-in-a-bottle: LUBE.

2) Make it special - not cheesy like Donna and David on 90210 - but don't drop your wedding dress to the ground in the middle of a sunny afternoon, throw yourself onto the unmade bed, scold the dog and spread your thighs. At the very least, make the goddamn bed ahead of time.

3) Don't build it up as THE END ALL BE ALL TO YOUR DAIRY QUEEN FANTASY OF LIFE. Sex is rad, but it isn't everything. Lowered expectations are clinch for a sucker like me who routinely builds up events (parties, meals, movies, losing her virginity, marriage) in her mind and then is violently crushed by the devastating reality those singular events hold.

4) I mentioned it hurt like a bitch already. But I can't emphasize enough: heavy petting (as my mother calls it).

5) Music would have been nice; I was lulled into torture by the sound of my newly betrothed grunting and his misinformed whispering, "You're just programmed to stop it. Let go. It's OK now." On second thought, considering the power music holds in associative memory, perhaps the lack of tunes saved me from potentially hating Pink Floyd.

6) Don't be afraid to really wait it out and do it how you want to. If your first-time fantasy takes place at night, then wait until it's dark out. I always wanted a night time wedding but my ex insisted we get married as early in the day as possible so we could get to the boning that much faster.

7) Try to keep it a secret from your parents, uncles, pastors, and school teachers. Leaving the church that day after we pledged eternal earthly damnation, everyone was giving us creepy eyes since they knew we were gonna get it on. That's just weird.

8) Encourage your partner to masturbate ahead of time. The more he masturbates, the longer he can go. Now, this one doesn't really apply to me since I wanted it over as soon as possible - which he obliged.

9) Try not to cry. If you follow the wet rule, you could probably escape crying. Crying makes it realll awkward.

10) I'm defiling my Christian roots here, but don't wait until you're married. Really. The event gets way too built up, and sex is another important way to get to know your partner. I knew in my heart that my lover was selfish, and self-promoting, but it wasn't until he slammed it into me that I could clearly see that about him in its raw glory.

Conservative Public Policy: Just Stop Fornicating, Ladies!

This week our Former Fundamentalist weighs in on the effectiveness of family planning programs. This article really put a bee in my bonnet. It's starts out happily enough by outlining a recent study which proves the undeniable 3-pronged effectiveness of publicly funded family planning:

...[it] prevents nearly 2 million unintended pregnancies and more than 800,000 abortions in the United States each year, saving billions of dollars...Without publicly funded family planning, it said, the U.S. abortion rate would be nearly two-thirds higher, and nearly twice as high among poor women."

DID YOU READ THAT LAST PART? FAMILY PLANNING PREVENTS ABORTIONS! Sorry to yell. I'm not mad. No, I'm lying. I am mad. I'm just not mad at you. Unless you are Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council. He says stupid crap like:

"[Funding for Title X] is another Planned Parenthood bailout...It covers their overhead."

Yeah, Tony. I know PP is like your mortal enemy because of all the fetus vacuums they service, but Title X funds can't be used for abortions. Besides (see above), if we took Tony's advice, the abortion rate would be 2/3 higher than it is right now. His sage advice, by the way is "Don't have sex until marriage."

"[Tony] also expressed concern about the concept of public funding of contraception for unmarried people...'The issue is whether taxpayers should fund, and thereby encourage, behavior that's risky and morally questionable'".

I cannot believe that we even consider the opinions of a fanatic who treats the masses like his personal youth group experiment. DO PEOPLE STILL BELIEVE THE EXISTENCE OF BIRTH CONTROL CAUSES PEOPLE TO HAVE SEX?

So whatever. Conservatives continue to take indefensible positions and alienate constituencies like low-income and minority women, who have higher rates of unintended pregnancies and abortions anyway. But fuck 'em, right? Everyone knows poor women, women of color, women who have sex outside of marriage, women who exercise their reproductive freedom...really all women and their weak arms and tiny lady brains are going to hell anyway.

Abstinence-Only Coolness for Girls: Someone at Iron Hymen Gets It

Our Former Fundamentalist weighs in on her sisters in abstinence:I have no context for this website: where it originated or its creator's home address (I'd love to buy you a beer!), when it may be updated (plz!? morez!?!), but the satire is smart, funny and just as extremely ridiculous as the notion that abstinence-only education works.

After all, SCIENCE doesn't support the effectiveness of such curriculum, so it must be rooted in body-hate, vagina-hate, women-hate, penis-hate, and God, possibly the logic of Ann Coulter.

After careful examination of the site's logo (cherrys dancing around a padlock), I knew extreme-program abstinence was getting punked. Some clever bits:

Cool Program Testimonials: Crystal F.: "I used to suffer terribly from dirty dreams about boys. Thankfully, now my Iron Hymen Libido-Be-Gone™ thong panties keep my dreams clean – and my yucky cooter bone-dry!"

Take the "Iron Hymen" Abstinence-Only Pledge: 2. To never wear trampy stuff like shorts or t-shirts or open-toed shoes, which basically tell horny perverts that I'm a major tramp who's just asking for it.

Link to Ten Things Every Girl Should Know About Boys And Their Vile Private Parts by Mrs. George W. Bush: 1. Unlike your girly privates, which are internal, boy privates are external. God knew that nobody wanted to see all our lady mess, so He pushed everything up inside you. What in tarnation He was thinking when he came up with that nasty, dangling, squishy flesh on boys beats the heck out of me, but I suspect it was so it would be easier for Him to keep an eye on what they're up to. Because trust me: that grotesque grab bag of horror and disappointment is always up to something, gals.

Sure, it's severely hyperbolic, but if you strip away the hilarity and honesty, aren't these ACTUAL points of view by some lawmakers, teens and parents?[Side note: We celebrated the Iron Hymen t-shirt in our post on designing your own abstinence t-shirt.]

We Called It Christian Sex, We Weren't That Clever

Another youthful memory from our Former Fundamentalist: I remember hearing rumors of youth group pals taking it up the keester-hole in an effort to preserve their virginity. As a fourteen-year-old judgement hound, I figured God would send them to hell first – 1) for trying to loophole his commandments and 2) for being real nasty. Who knew it would become the national pastime amongst the horny and poser-holy?

To honor Obama's risky choice to have the decidedly anti-gay and his-book's-kinda-boring Rick Warren save everyone at the inauguration, Dan Savage of Savage Love put forth a challenge to his readership: Let's redefine "saddlebacked"! (Rick is Lord of Saddleback Church.) My fave won:

'Saddlebacking' should be the term for the phenomenon of Christian teens engaging in unprotected anal sex in order to preserve their virginities. 'After attending the Purity Ball, Heather and Bill saddlebacked all night because she's saving herself for marriage.'

Virginity-Pledge Treason: Yeah, Another Source Says The Pledge Doesn't Work

The American Virgin is thrilled to welcome its newest partner in crime, our official Christian Correspondent (above, on her de-virginizing day). Formerly Fundamentalist. Take it away...

[I am the Christian Correspondent: If I can take the science out of scientific studies then I've done my job!]

Having taken a virginity pledge in my youth, and come out on the other side a divorced, decidedly non-virgin adult, I hope to offer a specific, pertinent, and relatively humorous perspective on all things American Virgin.
There are virgins out there, virgins of choice even: hot ones, older ones, really-into-God ones. I know these people. Hell, even I made it to the marriage bed with the hymen mostly intact. But duh, these are sexual anomalies. Teens engage in sexual behavior – even Christian ones! Jesus!
The Christian teen narrative: OK, so if I end up below the waist just muddle through it, seek forgiveness after, cross the fingers and pray for my period/no sores, and hope the guilt doesn’t give me stomach cancer.The adult narrative: OK, we’ve taken care of your virginity pledge; I see your ring there. Next on the agenda – leaving towels on the floor, or more seriously, how many lives can you save from hell in either 1) math class or 2) your missions trip this summer.

In a more progressive youth group atmosphere, I was told step six of a “courtship” is “Hand On Shoulder”. Step seven is “Hand On Waist.” There were no more steps...

Tune in next time when I relive the moment my youth pastor announced she was turned on by armpit foreplay!