Somebody asked me a chastity question yesterday, and I gulped like a goldfish. I can talk about the Single Life all day long, and I can talk about Strategic Dating for hours. But ask me to talk about Chastity, and I will look at you with eyes darting backwards and forwards like those of a cockatoo who's just made a 48 hour journey from Australia in a cardboard tube.
One reason why I would never give a Chastity Lecture is because of the fatal opening line of "When I was a teenager". Is there an introduction more dire than "When I was a teenager"? But anyway, when I was a teenager, passionate kissing (like in the movies) was still thought to be a relatively harmless and completely desirable recreational activity. Now that I am old and cranky and, it must be said, married, I don't quite believe that anymore.
So if I were the Queen of the World, I would make it a rule that nobody could kiss lingeringly on the lips unless they were almost-engaged. That is so retro I am dying of embarrassment here. When a young married guy said almost the exact same thing at a Theology of the Body lecture two years ago, I rolled my eyes and thought, "Oh, pul-eeze, married guy!" But as a matter of fact, when B.A. first kissed me, I knew we were almost-engaged.
This is not to say that I think you are Bad People because you made out like bandits yesterday. All over this little world, young Single People of Every Religion were making out like bandits yesterday. And yesterday was Tuesday, so imagine Saturday afternoon. Therefore, nobody write in, "Seraphic, do you think I am bad because...?" I don't think you are bad because of anything. God created you good. Jesus died for you. You're good. And don't ask me about "purity" because I don't really believe in the concept of "purity" applied to human sexuality because human bodies cannot be compared to Ivory Soap, as I explain very forcefully in My Book. What counts is treating everyone, including yourself, like beautiful Temples of the Holy Spirit.
But what I have concluded, after 39 years, and also now being married, which I admit makes these things seem a lot simpler than they do when you're Single, that one way to keep out of trouble of all kinds, especially emotional, is not to kiss people passionately unless marriage is definitely in the air and a diamond ring is immanent.
My parent's generation (but not my parents) ushered in the Sexual Revolution and screwed us all up. Maybe your generation will save us. I hope so.