Buster Cannon

WTM and its appeal to men?

7 posts in this topic

I've been doing some thinking lately. As a general observation, I've noticed that most WTM/abstinence movements tend to be more geared towards women than men. By this I mean it's often accompanied by imagery like flowers, purity rings, white dresses etc. This is in addition to the fact that, in general, men simply don't talk about it that often, whereas you see it come up far more often in women's circles.

I've also wondered if this has a correlation with virginity stereotypically being associated with weakness as opposed to strength. It's one thing if you're a non-waiter virgin in that condition because of a lack of attractiveness, but it's another beast entirely when you're exercising restraint by saying 'no' to sex even though you could. This masculine virtue of it isn't showcased often, as the stereotype of a male virgin is often negative, even in more conservative circles.

With that being said, I do have a few questions for the thread:

1) Do you feel as if the WTM conversation tends to be skewed towards one gender? If so, how would you change it?

2) Should men who are WTM be more vocal about it? If so, how?

3) What virtues of WTM (i.e. strength) could be highlighted to make it more palatable to a male audience?

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This is a super interesting question. I understand that you might get a lot of different answers to this one. 

My personal view is that although I'm religious, I'm a little uncomfortable with the concept of virginity being associated with 'pureness/purity'. It has an automatic association that non-virgins are hence more 'impure', which isn't something i agree with, as I know some amazing and not-so-amazing virgins and non virgins.

Also, if one associates lack of sex to 'purity',  it can sometimes inherently causes a personal dislike or aversion of one's own sexuality - and it's important to feel comfortable about one's own sexual feelings  (and not dismiss them as 'bad' or impure) before marriage. Also, coming closer to your question, the concept of purity has traditionally been seen as a feminine attribute, similar to the characteristics of fragility and innocence. 

If we attribute the experience of first sex after marriage to a 'sacred' kind of experience to motivate one's own self to WTM, instead of concentrating on keeping pureness of one's own self, then it solves a lot of problems.

Males and females could both lead lives in anticipation of having eventual sacred experiences, since the feminine nature of 'purity' wouldn't exist . A non-virgin would not necessarily be valued less than a virgin, because 'purity' wouldn't exist, but there would be value placed on  the experience of having a sacred nature of the first sexual experience after marriage itself.  Finally, there would be less aversion regarding sexual feelings and thinking of sex in general (as one's 'purity' would not be impacted); hence there would be an easier positive mental transition to a sexually active lifestyle after marriage.

But that's just my own theory about how I motivated myself to WTM :) there are multiple equally valid answers out there!

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2 hours ago, LadyKaede said:

1) I'm not really part of the "WTM conversation" except on this site since it's mostly religious people who think WTM is a universally good choice for everyone, while I don't. But from the little I've seen of Christian purity culture it definitely seems like it's primarily focused on women. The fact that they have "purity balls" specifically for prepubescent girls and not boys is an extreme example but a lot of the random videos and talks I've seen promoting it on YouTube seem to be at least implicitly directed toward women as well. 

1

Men in churches are given purity talks, but that's about it. Women get the elaborate groups, conferences, tea outings, balls, etc.

2 hours ago, LadyKaede said:

I will say though that I've read a lot of personal anecdotes about WTM and abstinence on Reddit and other places online, and one common story I've read several times from women is that they were raised religious or whatever and originally wanted to wait, but once they came of age and saw all the boys around them with no compunctions whatsoever about having sex, they didn't see why they should either. If you want to promote WTM as a man, the best thing you can do is to lead by example. It could also influence other men if you break the undesirable male virgin stereotypes (nerdy, weak, effeminate, hyper-religious) and they see you as someone they want to emulate instead of being pathetic.

 

Yeah, this is where a lot of my thinking has been focused. Leading by example is the most powerful tool for sure. Just based off of the reactions I've gotten from people that I've talked to in the past, I don't give off the typical 'virgin vibe', and it's often a shock to people (to the point that I've been accused of lying lol). I think it's important to shatter the mold of virgins lacking confidence or being otherwise un-masculine. Waiting isn't about weakness, it's about having the strength to stick to your principles even when it's hard, and most others around you are taking a different path. That's one of the things that I've really come to understand about WTM in the past few years, and it's helped to reinforce my resolve quite a bit.

2 hours ago, LadyKaede said:

3) I've actually been thinking about asking a similar question to the guys on here about how they think about their own virginity and what they value about it and hope a woman will value, and how that compares to what they value in female virginity. 

...

I'd love to hear guys' opinions on this.

 

This is a really, really good question. That said, I think it'd do a bit better if you made a separate thread for it, mainly because it's deep enough that I'd easily run off-topic with it lol. If you do that, I'll respond to it. ^_^

3 hours ago, Selina said:

Also, coming closer to your question, the concept of purity has traditionally been seen as a feminine attribute, similar to the characteristics of fragility and innocence. 

If we attribute the experience of first sex after marriage to a 'sacred' kind of experience to motivate one's own self to WTM, instead of concentrating on keeping pureness of one's own self, then it solves a lot of problems.

 

That really hits the nail on the head. When you view WTM as a 'purity' only thing, it doesn't hold the same weight for a male audience. On the other hand, viewing sex as sacred gives influences your motives a bit. It's something that you're willing to fight for. Maybe our marketing should look more like:

Ut1Lwk1.gif

:lol:

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9 minutes ago, LadyKaede said:

I'd just also like to add that I don't mean to say men shouldn't WTM out of devotion to their wife or that I don't value that (that's the main reason I value it), just that it should be done with a bold, assertive mentality like "I don't need to lower myself by f*cking other women because I have better things to do and I want to respect my wife by allowing her to know she's the only one, and I'll make up for lost time with her."

Not something like "I'm just so so SO devoted to you honey-buns and sweet angel of the world, and I'm such a noble gentleman that I kept myself pure for you so that now you can be the only girl to ever have the pleasure of touching my wee-wee" -- that's just ewww. Yet I suppose that's a little how I think of my own virginity in reverse, so it's kind of a double standard.

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Oh yeah, I agree on this completely. The second paragraph made me laugh out loud; sadly I've seen some guys do this, and it's horrifyingly cringeworthy. This is actually a great example of how WTM can look different from masculine and feminine perspectives.

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Those are some good questions Buster. By the way, I caught the Bad Dudes reference there. Now, since you're WTM, you're obviously a bad enough dude to rescue President Ronnie from the ninjas! :)

"Men in churches are given purity talks, but that's about it. Women get the elaborate groups, conferences, tea outings, balls, etc." I think that applies to many things in the church, not just WTM related topics. There seems to be a ratio greater than 10 to 1 of women's to men's events in the church. And a lot more seems to go into their events as well.

I can't vouch for other guys, but for me, purity is a big motivator for waiting. Though, I guess for the average guy, that is not a concept they care much about. But, it's near impossible to get someone to do something if they don't care anything about it. If someone doesn't care about their health, they cannot be encouraged to exercise and eat healthier foods.

I could certainly see putting a more masculine focus on WTM as being beneficial. However, the problem is that the definition of masculine is so twisted. Style is valued over substance. For instance, there are many things associated with masculinity that should not be, or that are wrongly thought to equate it. For example, society doesn't view the family man who works hard to provide for his family and protect them as very masculine, but some loser covered in tattoos who can't keep a job for more than two weeks and has never had a bank account is thought of as being masculine because he "doesn't take any disrespect" from his employer <_<

This is a great thread that I would like to add more to later, but I've got to be getting some sleep in a bit.

 

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12 hours ago, Buster Cannon said:

I've been doing some thinking lately. As a general observation, I've noticed that most WTM/abstinence movements tend to be more geared towards women than men. By this I mean it's often accompanied by imagery like flowers, purity rings, white dresses etc. This is in addition to the fact that, in general, men simply don't talk about it that often, whereas you see it come up far more often in women's circles.

I've also wondered if this has a correlation with virginity stereotypically being associated with weakness as opposed to strength. It's one thing if you're a non-waiter virgin in that condition because of a lack of attractiveness, but it's another beast entirely when you're exercising restraint by saying 'no' to sex even though you could. This masculine virtue of it isn't showcased often, as the stereotype of a male virgin is often negative, even in more conservative circles.

With that being said, I do have a few questions for the thread:

1) Do you feel as if the WTM conversation tends to be skewed towards one gender? If so, how would you change it?

2) Should men who are WTM be more vocal about it? If so, how?

3) What virtues of WTM (i.e. strength) could be highlighted to make it more palatable to a male audience?

I'll give some thoughts on each point.

1.) Yes, I think it's more geared toward women. Culturally women's virginity has always been more prized. Even though religions generally teach that officially men and women are both supposed to wait, I get the impression it's more of an outrage if a woman doesn't. This might be an effect of culture influencing religion. 

2.) I guess I agree with just leading by example. Maybe be vocal about your choices and why you think they're the correct choices if topics like sexuality come up with close friends. You don't have to be pushy or judgemental. Just lay out why you think waiting makes the most sense.

3.) While I get that flowers and white dresses are unmanly symbols, I don't think calling something "special" is feminine. Maybe play up the fact that the bond will be more special with your wife if you share this experience only with her. As in, sure, you could have sex with a lot of people, but you're just throwing away greater pleasure in the future. 

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17 hours ago, Buster Cannon said:

1) Do you feel as if the WTM conversation tends to be skewed towards one gender? If so, how would you change it?

2) Should men who are WTM be more vocal about it? If so, how?

3) What virtues of WTM (i.e. strength) could be highlighted to make it more palatable to a male audience?

1. Yes I do. Even when speaking to both sexes, some movements such as the Chastity Project, have a bit of hostile tone towards guys. They tell the girls they are valuable (Which they are) and to know their worth. But with guys, it's somehow all their fault for engaging premarital sex. Yes, it is true that many guys are wrong in pressuring girls sexually. But last I checked, sex takes two willing people. If a girl is consenting to it, even if reluctantly, she is just as responsible as the guy. She isn't a child, she has the choice and the right to say no. That sort of tone is damaging because not only does that turns away guys, it infantilizes girls and treats them as if they have no autonomy to make informed decisions. Chastity is good and valuable to both sexes.

2. Yes, but like anything involving taking the high road, it is easier said than done. It is tough to speak out for something that is scorned and ridiculed by the status quo, especially if you are alone. However I do think we as guys can look for opportunities to promote waiting in a positive light in casual conversation. I think married men who waited are in the best position to do so because they have first hand experience of the benefits of waiting.

3. As I said, the positives of waiting to the male masses will be a tough pill to swallow. It's simply too ingrained in our society that manliness is tied to the ability to achieve promiscuity. The opposite is associated with a decrease in masculinity. But we can start with our sons and teach them that waiting is a sign of commitment, respect, restraint and strong character.

12 hours ago, LadyKaede said:

Well yeah, I think it's deeply imbedded in human culture (and probably even biology) that abstinence is considered more valuable in women than men. I remember the Urban Dictionary definition of virginity says "What women are proud to have and men are ashamed of" and unfortunately I think that's often true, just like the double standard of how women are often viciously shammed for being promiscuous "sluts" while it's expected and even admired for men to sleep with lots of women if they can. It all sickens me, personally. 

You know what's ironic about that dichotomy? In order to promote a man's standing in the sex ladder, it requires women who are willing. So basically, we shame women for being a slut, yet need them to help a man achieve the status. Has no one ever stopped and thought about the paradox of this? lol

12 hours ago, LadyKaede said:

From my personal female perspective, as someone who really wants to only marry a guy who also hasn't had sex, I can say that it's the reasons why I guy remained a virgin that make it sexy. I agree that "strength" and "dominance" and stuff are masculine traits and need to be emphasized in WTM for it to appeal to most men (and women). Stuff like submission and obedience and superstition are total turnoffs. To me, men shouldn’t be submissive and obedient to anyone or anything -- they should be strong and independent and they should live according to their own personal rules and standards rather than those imposed on them. That's why someone who is WTM for personal rather than religious reasons (or lack of opportunity) is so sexy to me. I think that’s also one of the main reasons women in the US are significantly more likely than men to be religious and take it seriously and thus WTM (http://www.pewforum.org/2016/03/22/the-gender-gap-in-religion-around-the-world/). I can see how it would be emasculating to a lot of men to literally remain in chastity out of submission to a dominant male god. That kind of goes against the “alpha” instincts they have.

LK, I have to admit I'm a bit surprised that you as an atheist believe that men and women should adhere to traditional qualities in their respective sexes. But I guess that's no stranger than the idea of atheist waiters. Nevertheless, I also find that refreshing. Obviously where you and I disagree comes from the fact that I am a Christian. Therefore even as man, I see no problem in submitting to a higher power knowing full well that I am merely human and have limits unlike God. But the rest I agree with. It isn't too surprising there is a religious gender gap. Men, who are generally more logical, tend to think of religion as feelings based (Which is partially true but not completely) and therefore unappealing. In our dominant nature, the idea of having to rely on anyone other than ourselves is emasculating. It also doesn't help that, in my view anyways, the church has become increasingly feminized. It's not to say that I believe the church should be "masculinized" either but rather something in between. What we see in churches today is a trend towards a softer, gentler tone that is all about nurturing and feelings. What the church should do to balance it is also to promote the courageous, righteous and strength part of faith as well.

12 hours ago, LadyKaede said:

I'm waiting for all of those above reasons and I value them for myself as well, but as a woman I also do think of my waiting in a more submissive way as well that I wouldn't find attractive in a man. I do like the idea of waiting out of devotion and "submission" and "obedience" to my future husband so that he can fully possess and "own" me. And even though I really want my husband to have not had sex before me, when I have sex for the first time with him I think I'll be thinking much more about my own virginity and how he's taking it than the other way around. Virginity itself isn't sexy to me in a man but the reasons why, whereas I guess I hope that my virginity will be sexy to my husband in itself as well as for the reasons why. I'd love to hear guys' opinions on this.

12 hours ago, LadyKaede said:

I've actually been thinking about asking a similar question to the guys on here about how they think about their own virginity and what they value about it and hope a woman will value, and how that compares to what they value in female virginity. 

I think that is awesome that you can admit that, because I think it highlights a unique natural desire most women have that many don't want to admit. Even many independent, assertive and ambitious women want to be the submissive role in the bedroom and allow the man to take charge and lead. Actually now that I think about it, the way you described your reasons for waiting is to put it simply, so beautiful and so feminine. I would never demand or feel entitled to my future wife's virginity, but I would appreciate it to no end if she thought as you did in regards to her virginity. The only difference for me is she would be doing it out of submissiveness to God first before myself.

In contrast , I would describe my waiting journey as a battle against society that bombards guys with sex wherever we go. In essence, I am a king fighting for my future queen. I am fighting to slay the dragons that would seek to tempt me into cheaply throwing away my virginity that is meant for my future wife and her alone. Every man desires to fight for the woman in his life. By waiting, I am showing my love through strength and perseverance in not succumbing to the instant gratifications of the world. A little dramatic? Yeah maybe, but that is how I really feel. Even if she can't give me her virginity in return, I hope that one day she will understand and appreciate with all her heart the tough battle I fought and the reasons for it. That alone would be more than worth it. Oh and lots of sex to make up for lost time would be greatly appreciated too :P

10 hours ago, Buster Cannon said:

I don't give off the typical 'virgin vibe', and it's often a shock to people (to the point that I've been accused of lying lol).

Well you do look quite a bit like Anthony Mackie (aka Sam Wilson/Falcon from the Captain America movies). From what I can tell, he probably has no problem attracting the ladies. To quote a certain female friend of mine, "He is one sexy piece of dark chocolate!"

lol_face_RE_Mass_Effect_3-s274x280-12865

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