Tag Archives: Abstinence Only

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.

Withteeth


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