There is Still Hope

I love my friends.

I love Tasha and Logan and Mark and Stefan and Amy and Andrea and Andy and Shawn and Leslie and Gary and Thomas and Aaron and Dan and Adam and Matt and Darrel and James and Chris and Jordan and, of course, Ashley – and so on and so on.

And one thing that I’ve always loved abot my friendships is openness and honesty. That if there was something I wanted to discuss, I know I’d have a multitude to do so with. That if there was something they wanted to discuss, they know that I’d be open to talking about whatever. And so, I love it (honestly, not sarcastically) when a friend says “hey… that offends me.” Or when they say,”hey… that doesn’t seem right. what’s going on here?” Or when they just say, “Hey Aaron – I love you.”

So, in my small sphere of friendships… it seems that my previous post (“A Hope Realized”), one that I wrote because of joy and happiness and – well – hope, has offended some friends. And, hopefully that’s okay. Hopefully we’re still “dear” friends. The post was never meant to offend, the post was an outpouring of where I am in life, it was about me finally “getting it.”

It was about me realizing that all these lies that society and tv and locker rooms and theatre groups and websites and friends and exes and men and women have told me were just that – lies.

It was about me trying to stand up and say to other men out there, “Hey! I got fooled! Being a man has absolutley NOTHING to do with the size of your * or how you use it! Being a man has NOTHING to do with how hot of a girl you can get to sit by your side! Being a man has NOTHING to do with what your fetish is or whether you’ve been with two girls at once! We’ve all been LIED to! There is something so much better! Really!”

It was me being honest… saying that hey… I fell for that midrift. Hey… I sought out that leg. Hey… listen… I was told that a woman would only stay with you if you can give her an orgasm. And I was told wrong, I know this now.

It was me saying that when you fall in love, when you find a woman that doesn’t have to use her body to get your attention… when you find a real woman, one kiss from her will be more intoxicating than some random orgasm.

It was me being real, saying to my friends, my brothers, to anyone who might stumble on this site… I admit it. I had those random orgasms. I SOUGHT out those random orgasms. And they don’t compare to a kiss backed by love.

And somehow, some of the people that I truly do hold dear, whose opinions count, who I only wish I saw more of, took offense at this post. And that’s ok.

It’s ok because I haven’t live their life and they haven’t lived mine. They don’t know what I’ve gone through. They weren’t around for the relationships I’ve been in. They haven’t seen me with my most raw insecurities, thinking that because I was the biggest kid in 6th grade that no girl would ever want me. They havn’t seen that nearly every relationship in high school ended with the girl leaving me for another guy or because I wouldn’t put out.

They haven’t seen that I suddenly had more girls at my attention then I knew what to do with when I did start to kiss around. They haven’t seen how that messed up my perception of a what a man should be.

And I?

I haven’t seen their lives, their relationships that formed them. I haven’t seen what images and memories the words “open legs” or “midrift” or “dirty lips” might conjure up. I don’t know the power of words and how meaning gets lost in translation – the translation of lives and memories and figurative language.

And I don’t know their perceptions of a “real woman” or a “real man” and maybe they’ve never had to deal with the things I have. Or maybe they’ve dealt with it on levels much worse (much different – in personal lives our experiences are always worse to ourselves) that I ever have.

And maybe that post was all about me needing to finally just say, “Thank you Ashley – thank you for loving me for me and I want you to know that your kisses, simnple kisses, are so much sweeter than the random orgasms I was confused to believe made me a man.”

When people hear that I’m a virgin, I often hear one of two responses:

“Is that because of your religious beliefs?”
“Do you want me to change that?”

To answer the second quesiton, no, I don’t.

To answer the first?

No, it isn’t.

My religious beliefs coincide with the decision I’ve made on my sexuality (to be a virgin until marriage) and back it up – but I’ve chosen chastity because I do believe, regardless of the Church’s command (technicality: what is the definition of adultery?) for waiting for marriage because I believe you should. Why?

Because I don’t want a child by someone I haven’t commited my life to
Because I want to be able to give my wife something I’ve never given anyone (regardless of whether she can say the same or not – which, up until just a few months ago, I never imagined I might be able to wed a virgin because there are so few out there and regardless of what people may think I implyed, “dirty lips” have nothing to do with the past and everything to do with the mind and heart and intentions).
Because one night of sexual discovery cannot compare to 25 years of sexual discovery.
Because I don’t want to wear a condom.
Because I worry enough about STDs from toilets and bedsheets and blood transfusions.
Because my mom wouldn’t have wanted me to.

And so, execpt for quoting God, “Brace yourself like a man…”, because the intent of the post was about being a man, I purposely tried to stay away from my religious beliefs in that post. Because while they correlate with my sexual identity and choices, they are not the sole driving force.

And that’s one of the places I’ve struggled so much in life… is that practically the only place that says to wait for intercourse is a good thing IS the church! And when you ask why? You get that answer “because you shouldn’t. no, no, no. Touching is bad. Kissing is bad. Realizing that ‘oh! hey! I have genitalia!’ is bad. God says so.” And I’m TIRED of that being the only reason.

So I discover that – hey – kissing this woman that I’ve fallen in love with… it envokes feelings and desires and care and affection that is so different than anything before. People need to know that this is better than kissing some random pair of lips you may never see again! Because I’ve been there! I know the difference now! MEN! There is hope!!!

If the fact that I discovered a truth in my life for myself, outside of the black & white confines of organized religion, and I want to share it somehow makes someone want no part of Christianity… then… then… then I’m just plain confused.

Because suddenly someone is placing stereotypes on my life’s story and not listening. Which is what so many people say is the reason that they don’t like Christians.

So do I think girls are to blame? Do I think “dirty girls” are evil and need to be killed and slaughtered and hung on a pole for all to see and mock? Do I think that you (anyone reading this – and anyone not reading this) are evil for having kissed someone other than your mate? Do I think that the moment a girl gives up her virginity to someone, anyone outside of marriage they become tainted and don’t deserve love and care and affection?

No. No. No. And no.

My post was to urge men to not look at the girls out there in life who do seek momentary pleasure for the sheer thrill of it and not seeking love. It’s to be a man and try to not have your eyes drawn to every thigh and midrift out there in the hopes of chasing it down and being a sexual conquest. It’s an urge to realize (because I’ve been there, I’ve expereiced it) that there are girls who will try to tell you that your manhood is based on how good you are in bed and if you’re still a virgin at 24 then you’re still just a kid.

My post was to men. My post was to tell men that you don’t have to buy into the lies of sex and lust and false pride. That true love is better than messing around. That a real kiss is better than a random orgasm.

My post was to say “hey – i’m the one whose lips were dirty. I found something better. I got messed up from all that – you don’t need to too.”

That when you’ve been told sexual lie after lie your entire post-puberty life… that when you think the only way you’ll get a girl (since you won’t have sex with them) is to at least be good at everything else… that when you don’t understand why girls on first dates, girls that you were dating for less than a month who was your best female friend before that, girls that you thought you were going to marry – that you don’t understand why they break up with you because, in their own words, “you won’t have sex with me…” that even amongst a life like that, that men – there is still hope.

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