On Becoming A Man Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Petting

The title of this chapter is misleading. I thought this chapter was going to be on how to pet your cat or dog, but there are ZERO cats or dogs in this chapter! Just kidding, I totally know what petting is. Well, no, actually, I didn’t, but someone told me it was a term that basically meant, “necking.” They then had to explain to me what the word “necking” meant.

Now that everyone has figured out whether or not I am a virgin, let’s get started.

The female figure is fundamentally attractive to a young man.

Unless the man is homosexual, in which case he is “a freak of nature.”

Its graceful curves, its smooth contours, and its feminine softness all combine to awaken his admiration and the desire for possession.

Desire for possession? Wow, that’s not creepy at all. I am not an object to be possessed, I am a human. And if I, um, “Awaken his admiration,” that’s his problem, not mine.

These feelings were given to us by the creator God, because Genesis 2:24

24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

The Bible is meant to be taken literally, except when it isn’t. Obviously a man and woman don’t turn into a 2 headed monster…

The natural and normal attraction between husband and wife is for the purpose of ensuring the permanent success of the home.

God invented sexual attraction so that a husband and wife could run a home? That…sounds like a healthy attitude towards sex….

This attraction toward the beautiful, and toward womankind in particular, manifests itself at an earlier period in a man’s life than it is appropriate for him to choose  a wife and establish his own home.

Because God is a DICK. Or because he doesn’t honestly care about premarital sex, as long as you are careful.

The time between the awakening of a young man’s interest in feminine things (his early teens) and the ideal time to marry is properly intended as a period during which he will work out adjustments to his newfound interests which will prepare him to be a loyal and considerate husband.

It almost sounds like Shryock is advocating for masturbation here. Why else would a man need so much time to prepare to be a loyal and considerate husband as he adjusts to his newfound, er, interests?

God didn’t just give you a little head, he gave you a big head, and he expects you to use it. Your happiness in life depends on you using that gray stuff God put between your ears. We shouldn’t let the feelings of the little head control us, or we’d be no better than animals, which go around humping every beautiful female they see.

Worldly standards of conduct are not proper standards for the true Christian.

Yeah, worldly standards actually allow you to do stuff. Can’t have that.

Worldly standards place more emphasis on thrills of the moment than on long range happiness and character development.

Actually, that’s not 100% true. Yes the world places an emphasis on the pleasure of the act, but the world also focuses on things such as consent, not cheating on your partner, not sleeping with someone else’s wife, etc. Worldly standards of sex tend to focus on what would harm people. Christian standards focus on marriage.

The worldly code plays up the natural attraction between men and women as something to be encouraged and gratified at will.

What worldly code is this? I want to go and read it. I doubt the worldly code actually says that, because one does not walk down the street and find people humping each other. You don’t exactly gratify your sexual desire “at will.”

The author talks about how a Christian should develop good habits, citing 1 Corinthians 6:19 and 1 Corinthians 3:17. Those of us who grew up Adventist will be able to recite along with me:

6:19

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

3:17

17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

See, boys are a temple too! And boys shouldn’t let men defile their temples. Really gives the phrase “defile the temple” a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?

A person needs to educate themselves about what’s right and then bring their feelings into line about it, not vice versa.

For instance, if is only natural to desire attractive clothes.

I thought men were supposed to desire attractive women. Are we talking about overtly gay men, or are we doing that thing wherein we reduce women to inanimate objects?

The author tells us that the only right way to get “attractive clothes” is to save up the money to buy them.

I desperately hope he is not about to compare a man desiring a woman to this hypothetical man who desires attractive clothing. I don’t like the idea of having to “save up” to buy a woman. At least the author doesn’t mention birthday gifts, that would be a real mess.

Should a person allow his desire for good clothes to dominate his conduct, he might be tempted to obtain them by the easiest method–possibly even by stealing them. But a well adjusted person will forgo good clothes, even though he desires them intensely, rather than obtain them dishonestly.

If this analogy is supposed to translate to desiring a woman, this is getting even creepier.

In terms of basic interests and desires recreation is more attractive than hard work. Were a person to allow his inclinations to control his activities, he might spend his entire time in pleasure and neglect work altogether.

Are we now comparing women to recreational activities? You know, for some people, women are a recreational activity. It’s definitely exercise that gets your heart rate up for 20 minutes, guaranteed.

But successful living requires a balance between recreation and work. Recreation should serve only as a reward for work well done.

Because when I sit down to read a book at night I think to myself, “Jee, I’m so glad I worked hard. Now I deserve to read this book.”

One must control his inherent desires by the use of good judgement and self discipline.

Well I agree, in general, a man shouldn’t do his thinking with his little head. He will make sure he gets a woman’s consent first, and that she is not drunk or drugged…whoops, I’m talking in “worldly code” again.

A man doesn’t need to live in isolation from females, but he does need to learn to respect women.

His human inclination to “have and to hold” will be kept under strict control until it can be properly enjoyed in companionship with the wife of his choice.

Wait, do you mean that, in the wedding vows, they’re actually talking about… oh god. Oh GOD I am so NAIVE!

What a vague way to talk about sex. It’s like the author thought, “jee, I can’t have the kids thinking I’m telling them not to have sex before marriage, because then they would get the idea they can have sex. I’ll just use really vague terms that will leave people scratching their heads going, “huh?” yeah. That’s a great idea.”

The author then spends a paragraph telling young men and women that they should go to social functions as a way of getting to know each other. And no, he does not mean that in the biblical sense.

Young men and women should enter into social affairs not only because they will receive pleasure therefrom, but also because they will thus learn to know each other better and will come to understand each other’s attitudes and preferences.

I don’t disagree that couples should socialize together, But I don’t think it’s either one or the other. Just because a man and woman are having sex doesn’t mean they’re not going to go to any social gatherings with friends.

Just as I am wondering when the author is going to get around to discussing petting, he gets around to it. It only took him half the chapter.

One of the major differences between worldly standards of social conduct and Christian standards is in the matter of physical intimacies.

Actually you’ll find that lots of different Christians have lots of different standards. I mean, statistically speaking Christians aren’t actually having less sex than their non Christian peers. They’re just a little more sneaky about it.

It is not my purpose in this book to give you a list of do’s and don’ts in such matters.

Yeah, because then I would have to spell out what the fuck I’m actually talking about.

In speaking of physical intimacies I refer to what is commonly spoken of as petting.

I am engaging in petting right now–with my cat. You may all groan now.

We are not so much concerned with the particular terms that may be in vogue as we are with the question of whether these intimacies, indulged in by unmarried young people, are innocent or harmful.

Well, author, in order to do that you do kind of have to tell us what these intimacies are. I mean, where exactly do you draw the line? You have people like The Duggars on the extreme end of things to the “do anything but PIV sex” on the other. In order to help a teen know when to draw the line, you kind of have to spell out where that line is, or at least give examples of where different couples have drawn said lines.

The author, knowing his teen readers are going to be arguing back, decides to go over some of the arguments he’s heard in favor of petting.

  1. But we’re getting married someday!

First off, you don’t know that. But let’s assume that this is correct, and that the two of you do get married someday.

In the first place, intimacies between people who are not married leave them with the awareness that they have engaged in a practice that is not perfectly right.

Only because people like you have given them a major guilt complex about it. Without such things, a young couple will be fine.

The thrill of petting and the sense of guilt are both very strong. When you engage in petting outside of marriage, the sexual thrills and the sense of guilt become so tied together that you can’t separate them, so you always feel guilty when you pet your partner, even after you are married.

The author goes on about this for pages.

An example of two things being linked together inseparably is a piece of music you hear at a funeral. Even though Ray Stevens’ Sittin’ Up With The Dead is an upbeat and funny song, because they played it at your aunt’s funeral, you’re always going to feel sad when you hear that song played.*

It’s the same with sex and guilt. The author then basically repeats the “sex will always be associated with guilt even after marriage” argument. Which, if the adults weren’t so quick to give children complexes about sex, wouldn’t even be an issue.

Also, “don’t do this because you’ll feel guilty about it afterward” is not an argument for why something is wrong. People feel guilty about all kinds of things that aren’t necessarily wrong. I’ve done things before, things I’d rather not discuss, that I knew were right at the time, yet I still felt guilty for doing them. Does that make what I did wrong?

Suppose I do something wrong and don‘t feel guilty, does that then make it right?

If we’re going to argue right or wrong from senses of guilt, then morality really would be up in the air because not everyone feels guilty for the same things.

It is right and proper for a husband to want his wife close to him and for a wife to find her greatest satisfaction in her husband’s intimate embrace.

Yes.My greatest satisfaction in life ever will be getting a hug from having sex with my husband. Fuck you, author.

The author talks some more about a sense of guilt carrying over into marriage, tainting all your sexual experiences thereafter. Like I said he goes on about this same argument for pages.

Oh, and also, there’s a possibility that your “special friendship” won’t actually last. Many teenagers are sure their relationships will last, until they break up.

If during the time of your special friendship the young woman allows you to explore her physical charms, what kind of memories of this experience will you each carry after your special friendship has been dissolved?

If everything has gone well, good ones.

Neither of you will be proud of having indulged in premarital intimacies.

This is only if one is a Christian and believes such a thing is wrong. I have met people who are very proud of their premarital happy sexy fun times.

It may even be embarrassing for you to meet each other and realize that the other is harboring certain regrets.

Well, yeah, but I mean, that’s just kind of life. You learn to deal with it and you move on.

Oh and also, the young man who does this may now find it harder to enter into a courtship, because he will associate sexual experiences with disappointment.

2. I don’t want to get married to this girl, I just wanna pet her because it’s fun!

To this argument all I would say is “make sure you and your partner discuss this so the expectations are clear and there are no surprises.”

Of course that’s not what the author thinks. The author flips the fuck out, saying that such an attitude is dangerous.

In this attitude there is no implied restraint because of a high regard for each other, centering in the hope of eventual marriage.

Just because they’re getting physical doesn’t mean they don’t respect each other.

The young man and young woman

(Because of course it would be a heterosexual couple oh my god readers what are you THINKING)

are attempting to sample the thrills that rightfully belong only to holy wedlock…to obtain the biggest thrill. Such an attitude, when persisted in, can lead only to disappointment, disillusionment, and the unhappy memory of having transgressed against God and man.

I don’t think this is a big deal. I also don’t think that consensual sex is a transgression against man. Or woman.

Then we get to the point where even the author notices a problem with the Bible.

The commandment that forbids unholy relationships between a man and a woman

So, relationships between a man and a man/woman and a woman aren’t forbidden, then? Can I have holy relationships with my girlfriend?

The commandment that forbids unholy relationships between a man and a woman Does not specify just how intimate these relationships must be in order for the commandment to be transgressed.

This is a serious problem. You’d think someone would have noticed this. I mean, if the Bible doesn’t spell out exactly what is wrong, then, gasp, the Bible is vague and open to interpretation!

The author talks about how Jesus said that even thinking about adultery is bad. Ugh, thought crimes. Adventists believe in them, and it’s a mental mind fuck.

The author reiterates his reluctance to provide dos and don’ts, before telling us he’s going to quote someone. He goes on for a solid paragraph about how awesome this guy is at dealing with teenagers and how young people love him. The author goes on about him so much that I’m kind of giving Shryock the side eye.

His counsel to a young man is: “Conduct yourself at all times as it would be proper for you to do were you about the campus in daylight or were you in the presence of the parents of your girlfriend.

Just to let you know, there are some things teenagers are comfortable doing in broad daylight in the middle of campus that Shryock wouldn’t like. And there are some parents who wouldn’t mind if their daughter kissed her boyfriend in front of them. Just saying.

So, now that we know that we shouldn’t pet before marriage, we shouldn’t be homosexual, and we definitely shouldn’t masturbate, what else could this book possibly have to say to us?

After reading the next few chapters, I kind of wish I hadn’t asked.

 

 

*If I actually thought like this, my aunt would haunt me till I changed my mind.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s