I saved myself for marriage.
Or however you want to say it. That particular turn of phrase reminds me of the soggy blueberry pancake and remnants of chorizo omelette I scraped off my plate and into a foil container last week at a breakfast restaurant in town. Carefully pinching the foil rim over the cardboard lid, I knew we’d never eat our scraps, and yet, as a rule, I always make sure to take home a doggy bag if we have at least a fistful of food leftover.
Maybe the wording works better than I give it credit for. I certainly felt like a soggy, forgotten pancake in the back of the fridge for most of my adolescence. In my spot towards the back of the shelf, saving myself remained a predominantly passive activity since I got asked out exactly five times from birth to age twenty five.
Two of the five asks were the same person at different ages, one was a guy who recently married a man, and number five is my husband Drew. But the point is, I waited, I saved myself, I protected my flower, I kept my virginity, remained pure, kept my legs closed, or however you want to word it.
The purity movement presented a fairly uncomplicated formula for sexual bliss: two people who shelved themselves until marriage would come together on their wedding night and receive their prize. I watched this promise propel friends down the aisle, accelerating towards the marriage bed after years of being pulled back from the genitals of the opposite sex. While creating a firm boundary at the zipper of their jeans, these couples seemed attached by every other limb, twining around each other, their horniness flowing out of their hands, hands whose digits never stopped moving around one another’s bodies…