Video Review “Crystalina’s Testimony”

One of our commenter posted the following abstinence only video. It’s not all bad and there is some good stuff in there, but it needs a fair bit of unpacking, but it’s has basically nothing to do with sex end in and of itself, and certainty would not make any of the audience safer in regards to sex. I’ve also included a short synopses of the video for those who don’t want to tackle the whole thing.

Feel free to follow along with my play by play, and adding thing I’ve missed in the comments below! This won’t become a regular feature but I felt it was worth turning this into a post.

And for sanity, and to provide some actual sex education I’m also including a Sexplanations video for balance.

Short version: So for the first half of the talk Crystalina is talking about peer pressure and unhealthy relationships, which for her largely revolved around party, sex, alcohol, he friends, and her series of boyfriends. There is nothing wrong with that in principle, but she talks about this in as sex in trade for love, and how she could have avoided this if only she respected her body, but really what happened from my listening is she realized she did really want to have sex and party with her friends in the ways she felt she was expected too.

Worse still while she talk about all this bad relationships filled with bad communication, and misunderstanding of what she even wanted she basically say’s through the talk that when she stopped having sex everything else fell in place, but what she doesn’t emphasize was how she took control of her life, set goals, and decided what she wanted and stuck to it. That’s what I want to take from the story, but no it’s all really about not having sex, and saving your virginity for your future spouse. The important lessons are swept under the rug in favor of conflating not having sex with respecting yourself. While there is some truth of this for the speaker there is no reason to think that it will hold for every other kid learning about their sexuality. Not to mention the heteronormative theme running thorough, and the sexism buried in many of the ideas she pushes.

Now here my play by play of the video.

Warning I use a fair amount of harsh language

First she starts off talking about a story peer pressure, and what amount to emotional abuse from her younger self’s first BF. Not issue of sex, but issues of being teenagers. It is almost always a bad idea to do things just because everyone else is doing it. This is true for sex and for jumping off a roof onto a trampoline, for playing Pokémon, and half of the things we ended up doing as children. It’s always best to have your own reasons for doing things, and to aware of the consequences of the things your doing.

I also take issue with her saying we know when we are being used. This is certainly true for many of us, myself included, but we can be naive, or deluded or mislead into thinking otherwise. Next she is propagating myths about the sacredness of sex is a great way of tricking people into thinking its more then what it actually is, and that sex is amazing for everyone. Sex is different for everyone so trying to over simplify the narrative does not do the next generation any favors.

Then she pulls out the ‘I lost something that day that I’ll never get back’ card. I’m spoiled goods why bother? While I can understand why she would say it as a child exposed to a purity culture, she still seems to think it’s true to some extent. 😦

3:00 So many internalized sexist ideas bundled in here. at around 3 minute in. I’m paraphrasing here -Boys I don’t think it was your doing is wrong. I think you treated me like I deserved. I didn’t act like a lady back then, dress like a lady…-
Ya because how you act and how you dress makes it so that men don’t have to respect you or your agency. They can just fuck you when they like because your acting like a slut. That might not be what she said, but that’s what I’m hearing.

Now at 3:30 in I’m worried she’s going to continue to confuse this idea of sex and unhealthy relationships, because up till now she been talking about really unhealthy relationships. She was trading sex for love and relationship, and she and her partners where not being honest with one another. This is a bigger issue and definitely should be part of a child’s education, but unhealthy relationships revolve around bad communication, and not understanding what you want. Not around sex.

4:00 Yep slut shaming sucks hard, but it’s a cultural problem born out of the puritan culture in the 1800’s. It’s not a problem about sex, but a problem related to sex, and being a woman.

4:10 We are  once again talking about you doing something out of peer pressure and expectation of your peers not because you want to do it. Like I said before. That’s never a good idea, though it is hard to convince children and teens of this.

7:00 Awesome! Now you’re trying to live for yourself excellent. I may disagree with point here and there, but it’s your life and your calling the shots, and not letting your guilt shoot down your self-esteem so you stop even trying. That’s the take away here. Not abstinence. Oh wait the video isn’t over… damn.

7:15 Cool Jason, glad you wanted to wait till marriage and did. Though that never appealed to me. While I definitely want to know and like the people I have sex with. I am not closed to the idea of having mutually agreed sex, just for the purpose of having sex for the fun and release it brings. For me it didn’t work out that way, but again it’s about knowing what you want and aiming for it.

7:30: Yep cause your body is a gift to your man, because your his property. I’m being sarcastic, but seriously, your vagina (or any other orifice for that matter) is not just some some gift to some man (ore woman, or anyone for that matter), it’s a part of your body and you should respect yourself enough to not see a part of your body as a gift to give. She might not mean it this way, but I greatly dislike the language regardless.

7:40: Virginity is a social construct, you never actually had it in the first place. Your just more experience at sex then you would otherwise be. While I respect the comment about respecting your body. I do not respect the notion that abstaining from sex is the same thing as respecting your body. In my early twenties I was going a little bit insane from not having had any sex. Masturbation was good for tiding myself over, but the first time I had sex I felt some sustained relief from being horny. There nothing wrong with not having that problem, and I know many people who can not relate to my story, but there is not single narrative.

I knew damn well what I wanted, I knew how to be safe I respected my sexual partner while also being clear about my intentions, both those which where romantic and those which where sexual. So far this talk would do nothing for me, and would not help me or someone like me one bit.
8:49: You hopefully won’t care much about the mockery and laughter passed high school. But if you truly respect yourself, which means understanding what you want, what you need, what it important to you, and are willing to stand up for those things. Then no you won’t give a fuck about what they think because your doing what you want, and your respecting yourself, and so long as you’ve also figured out the respecting others part you’ll be good to go.

9:00 marriage and vows are not necessarily going to be that great, or that important to you. It might be, but marriage isn’t for everybody, and even if it is it might not be remotely Christian in style.

9:22 I don’t know why you’d respect every kid for being a virgin, It’s not like all of them had any choice in the matter, and what do you not respect those who have?

9:30 I know lots of people who wouldn’t trade place with you, like me and many of my friends. Why because good consensual sex where all parties communicate and take care of one another is great 🙂.

9:35 Again Virginity doesn’t really exist there no way of knowing for certain if someone is some is a virgin, soooooo. Really all you have is a lack of experience, so I guess yay for ignorance?

10:00 last story. Ya it’s a sad one, but this girl has more problems than just having sex, ya it would probably be best if she stopped having sex with boys at every party she goes too, but you need to talk to her about everything else I’ve mentioned, and purity culture isn’t necessarily going to do that. Again the moral of this story should be about respecting yourself and understanding healthy relationships, but instead we are told that having sex = not respecting ourselves, and not a single thing about safe sex is communicated EVEN THOUGH WE KNOW WE HAVE SEXUALLY ACTIVE TEENS IN THE ROOM! You’re not doing them any favors by not teaching them about safe sex at the same time.


11 responses to “Video Review “Crystalina’s Testimony”

  • D.T. Nova

    “Then she pulls out the ‘I lost something that day that I’ll never get back’ card. I’m spoiled goods why bother? While I can understand why she would say it as a child exposed to a purity culture, she still seems to think it’s true to some extent.”
    This is one of the worst aspects of purity culture. It’s also self-defeating to a certain extent; do people who emphasize the idea that having sex once is a point of no return even care what kind of message they’re sending to someone who already has?


  • Mr Syms

    Wonderful post. The purity movement makes victims of teens, especially the girls, leading to a complete misunderstanding of what sex and relationships actually are.

    “…it’s a part of your body and you should respect yourself enough to not see a part of your body as a gift to give.”

    That has always been my biggest complaint with the purity movement. The idea that women do not own their bodies and must save it for one man. It’s also a strange pedestal to put a body part and natural acts on.

    Women should enjoy themselves as much as men during sex. Purity beats into their heads that they will not and actually can not. It’s a horrendous way to treat a portion of humanity that is for all intents and purposes of this comment half of our species population.

    As a man who has had a good amount of sexual encounters outside of long term relationship, I can say that the emotional confusion can go both ways. There is a better of about 4 years where every time I had sex I was just looking for an emotional connection to fill a “void” left by my failed marriage. Especially in concerns to how emotionally taxing being in my marriage was in the first place.

    I can also speak to at least 3 occasions where I later found out I was simply used for sex and short term emotional engagement from women who were just “cheating” on a boyfriend they were in an extended fight with. So, many of the points in the video of women always being the used ones is complete ignorance of the fact that both genders are capable of using each other.


  • athenarcarson9

    Don’t have time for the whole video right this second, but I have heard of this lady before. Her and her husband’s materials get passed around some conservative Catholic circles because they’re “so GREAT!!!”

    Yeah – you articulated very well my issues with everything she says. Her husband’s stuff directed at boys isn’t too bad – it’s all “I know you want sex with every fiber of your being – here’s why you should deny yourself.” Agree or disagree, at least he’s being honest.

    But her – the main takeaway from everything I’ve seen from her is, “Ladies, I know you THINK you want sex, but you don’t. What you REALLY want is love.” Um, no – I really do just want sex, tyvm. And because that premise is completely false, nothing else she says afterward has any sort of credibility.

    Liked by 1 person

  • equippedcat

    Is there really “safe” sex? The most common methodology suggested is a condom, which is about 85% reliable against pregnancy. It does have some effectiveness against disease though.

    The pill can provide 91% effectiveness (up to 99% if taken exactly as directed) against pregnancy, but no protection against disease, and there seem to be some unfortunate side effects.

    As far as I can tell, the only truly “safe” sex is with a partner (or set of partners) who have never been exposed to anyone else and can be trusted to not so expose themselves, and who, as a group, would be prepared to have a child (or an abortion) if the contraceptive failed.


    • hessianwithteeth

      We condoms are 98% effective if you follow the instructions.

      Anyway safe does not mean 100%, we are never 100% safe. The trick is knowing the risks involved so that you can make informed decisions. Abstinence only “education” only teaches that sex is bad, and that’s about it, unless it’s lying about things (which is extremely common, such as the mediator for you getting dirty or broken if you have sex with to many people). That’s no way to teach people about sex, because even if you abstain from sex till marriage it’s still good to know about sex (like lube for instance), and know what options are available for contraception even if you don’t choose to use them.

      It does nothing good, it benefits no one expect those trying to force women’s right back to the 1800’s or earlier.


      • equippedcat

        Yep, if you follow instructions perfectly, the only risk is condom failure rate, which is, as you say, 2%. However, historically, the “human failure rate” while using condoms is about 13%,

        No, 100% safety is not achievable, but getting as close as you can to that goal is a good idea. Pure abstinence education is a problem, but then so is “if it feels good, do it” education, which is endemic in society.


        • hessianwithteeth

          And I would count neither as education. Let alone acceptable education. It’s best if we get away from sex as taboo, and get use to the fact that people are going to have sex, and it’s in everyone’s best interest, and I changeling anyone to make a cogent argument saying otherwise, to inform the population about sex. I’d argue we should educate children and especially teens on more the specifics of sex as well, so that people done hurt themselves or their partners out of ignorance.


          • equippedcat

            Yes, people are going to have sex, and everyone needs to be knowledgeable about it and how to make it as safe and harmless as practical. However, they also need to be fully aware that sex is more than “just fun”. That despite what they see on the TV and the screen, it should not be treated casually. That it is not a “need”, but rather a want. That, like any important decision, a “risk/reward” analysis should be applied.

            Not “don’t do it”; not “if you do it, you are less of a person”. More like “only do it if you want to AND conditions are conducive to maximum safety AND you care for the other person AND they care for you”. And for that last qualifier, don’t depend on what they say, but how they act over time. In short, don’t have any sex there is much chance you will regret later.


          • hessianwithteeth

            Well we live in a world of wants, it’s rare when our needs are not fulfilled, and generally when those needs are not filled it is because we do not know what it is that we need.

            I think it’s important learn those important skills of regular self reflection because otherwise you won’t necessarily figure out what it is you need or want and find yourself in all kinds of predicaments (you might not anyway, but you’ll be far better off if you can self reflect). That and you just need to try enough things out, and gain enough experience so you can have enough context to work with.

            That said while I can understand why you might say sex should be limited to those thing you mentioned, but I am forced to disagree. If your the kind of person who enjoys sex and has craving for sex, often so long as your clear with yourself and your partner(s) then if you just want to have fun (and probably get some relief for those sexual cravings) I think that’s more then enough.

            And I’m forced to say screw maximal safety, don’t be stupid, make informed decisions. Why?
            Because life isn’t safe and you’ll get hurt no matter what, you might as well take the precautions, and do what it is you want (so long as you are not hurting others. If you get burned you might as well get burned on your own terms, because you will get burned eventually. This is really general advice I give, but sex is a part of life for most people, and if it’s fun why not do it for fun? You can be clear about that, you can be safe about it too (sex isn’t that dangerous anyway).


          • equippedcat

            True, we live in a world of “wants” and I see that as a cause of many of the problems we have today. Just because someone wants something, does not mean they deserve it. Because gratification tends to be “preached”, sometimes wants even supplant needs.

            If a person allows themselves to “crave” sex, what are the odds that they are going to give any consideration to the wants or needs of their partners? Sure, in some cases the people will turn out to be well matched, but how often is one person “hurt”? Yeah, it might be “fun”, perhaps even for both, but the fun is only for a few minutes or a few hours, and the aftermath can be rather less fun. Wouldn’t the true fun be sex as the icing on a fulfilling relationship rather than trying to relate by sex alone?

            Maximum PRACTICAL safety, because sex CAN BE that dangerous. Emotionally, if the two parties are not in synch, physically if one has a disease or turns out to be a psycho, socially by reducing a person to their sexuality, legally if there is any miscommunication of consent and financially (how much money is spent “hunting” for sex). And that is if an unwanted pregnancy does not occur..


  • Tree Hugging Humanist

    What I got out of this is what if you have sex:
    1. Boys will not love you.
    2. Boys will not respect you
    3. All your dignity will be lost
    4. You will start drinking and doing drugs
    5. You will be miserable
    6. You sleep with one boy, you’ll sleep with a bunch
    7. Your sexuality is not yours, it belongs to some other guy (the one you marry).

    I grew up being taught a girl should never, never, never engage in any kind of sex before marriage (at school mostly, I don’t recall learning that at home). Of course teenagers need to understand that it is serious and people can lie about how they feel about you. In general, I don’t think teenagers should be having sex but we all know they will and you’re right – this does nothing to teach them about safe sex.

    Liked by 1 person

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