If You Had Sex Before Marriage, You’re Like Dirty Water April 18, 2012

If You Had Sex Before Marriage, You’re Like Dirty Water

On Friday, April 6th, Brad Seng spoke to the students at Southern Hills Middle School in Boulder, Colorado about sex education.

… and you can already tell where this story is going:

[Laura Binegar’s] daughter described an activity where students spit food into water glasses, then were asked if they would rather drink from a clean glass or a dirty one.

The water glass activity, [Seng] said, is a way to engage students. He said students drink the water while eating a snack and mixing some of their snack in the water. Then they exchange glasses. He asks them to drink the water, prompting students to say, “No, it looks nasty.”

“It’s a way to show them that, if they decide to be sexually active outside of a long-term committed relationship, they’re putting themselves at risk,” he said.

You after pre-marital sex, according to Brad Seng

Because having sex with people you’re not in a committed relationship with means you’re a dirty, dirty person and no one will ever want to be with you.

Actually, Seng didn’t even use the word “marriage” in that soundbyte. So is he ok with pre-marital sex? We never find out…

No surprise why Seng is sex-negative, though: He’s the “abstinence educator for Boulder’s Real Choices Pregnancy Care Center.” It’s an anti-abortion Christian group.

Here’s what they say about sex:

… Sex was God’s idea, so we know it’s good. God planned sex as a special pleasure for a husband and wife (that’s why it feels good). Sex is also a way to make their commitment to each other even stronger. Unfortunately, today a lot of people don’t want to think about that. They only want to think about the “it feels good” part. Waiting to have sex until marriage doesn’t mean that you can NEVER have sex — it just means waiting until you can enjoy every aspect of sex without having to worry about all the reasons you shouldn’t be having sex.

Right off the bat, lies. They want to scare children into believing a physical relationship before marriage is 100% bad by feeding them lies about what the Christian god thinks.

So why did the school invite Seng to speak to the kids instead of, say, someone who actually knows what s/he’s talking about? What, are there no sex educators in Boulder? No one who studies this stuff or writes about it? No one with an advanced degree in the subject? No one who can give students an honest account of why having sex can be both good and bad and how they can take steps to be as safe as possible?

Maybe the administrators don’t know any better.

Or maybe they’re Christianists themselves.

Binegar is rightfully furious:

“I trusted the school,” Binegar said. “They’re telling teenage girls that they’re dirty and bad. It sounds like it was just awful. I don’t understand what the message was.”

Binegar took her concerns to Southern Hills Principal Terry Gillach, saying she was told that Seng is a “great guy” and the school would continue to use him as a speaker.

Gillach said he only saw a small part of the presentation but, based on the teacher’s description, it was “completely innocuous.”

“He never talks about religion,” Gillach said. “He talks about abstinence with kids. It’s one method of the many other options students have.”

In other words, Seng doesn’t talk to kids about condoms or birth control or the value of exploring your sexual identity — only suppressing it with abstinence.

Binegar writes on her own blog a couple of important details the news article left out:

In his presentation… he did a demonstration with dirty food spit into water glasses and a clean water glass. He also told the kids he lost his virginity and then got it back. A few kids said he used the word “faith”.

Why the school felt the need to bring in an outside speaker to miseducate the students, I don’t know. Maybe the administration thought the school’s staff would fuck everything up by teaching students comprehensive sex ed.

They can start making up for it by sending a letter home to all parents apologizing for bringing in an unqualified person to give a sermon instead of a proper lecture.

Seng doesn’t think he did anything wrong. In fact, he’s resorting to the Christianists’ Last Resort as an excuse:

Seng said he’s spoken to classes at Southern Hills for five years. There haven’t been any other complaints about his presentations, according to the school principal and the school district.

As we learned from the Jessica Ahlquist case, just because something is tradition and happens without incident for a long time doesn’t make it right. Sometimes, people are afraid to speak up because they know they’ll only paint a target on themselves.

Thankfully, Binegar isn’t one of those people.

Binegar said inviting a speaker from a Christian organization violates the separation of church and state.

“It’s very clear that he’s pushing Christ,” she said.

Or “Christian values,” anyway, and those aren’t any better.

I’m not sure if any church/state group can do anything about his talk to the middle school, but it turns out Seng isn’t done preaching yet. He’s speaking at Boulder’s Fairview High School on May 2nd. Don Stensrud is the principal and you should let him know Seng has no business screwing up the sex education of public school students.

(Thanks to @303dk for the link)

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  • Marguerite

    “God planned sex as a special pleasure for a husband and wife (that’s why it feels good).”

    In that case, why would God make it also feel good for people outside of marriage, gays, polyamorists, and anyone else this organization thinks shouldn’t be having sex? Perhaps they need to send a memo to the Big Guy and get him to tweak the human sexual response a bit, so it fits his supposed moral guidelines. Maybe they could just send him a link to their website so he can read up on it and fix this unfortunate oversight. Clearly he’s made an error that needs to be rectified.

  • RobMcCune

    students spit food into water glasses, then were asked if they would rather drink from a clean glass or a dirty one.

    I wonder if Christians get the full meaning of their own imagery. Either way it disqualifies them from giving sex advice to anyone, especially trusting children.

  • TheAnalogKid

    And you know, something tells me that the female water is much dirtier than the male water.

  • Cutencrunchy

    The atrocity is not just church and state – it violates any chance for a healthy self image and comfort with bodies and sexuality – the idea that we, our desires and thoughts and feelings about our bodies and sexuality all become toxic. Giving rise to obesity and depression even oppression as bullies lash out from a repressed world of confusion and loss of control.  To assert that abstinence is an option is fine but to infer it the only option hurts the kids beyond religion, sex and sexuality – it impacts all their feelings and attitudes about themselves and others supporting repression, shame and fear which will impact every future consideration and reflection they have about themselves others and the world and not in a positive just say no manner.

  • Bingo! Because everyone likes dirty water hot dogs, but a dirty water taco is just wrong!

  • RobMcCune

    You missed the point, women are the glass, men are to use them as a container or source of refreshment.

  • Thalfon

    Man, how is it that Christians get away with BS names for organizations like having “Family” in the name but being anti-marriage and anti-adoption, or in this case having “Real Choices” in the name of an anti-choice group. I’m so tired of bigots getting to parade about in heroes’ colours.

  • Glasofruix

    “God planned sex as a special pleasure for a husband and wife (that’s why it feels good)”

    It feels good because if it didn’t people would not be driven to procreate, not because it’s a “special pleasure for a married couple” y a moron.

    “students spit food into water glasses, then were asked if they would rather drink from a clean glass or a dirty one.”

    Stupid comparison, this concept of  “dirtiness” does not hold as the human body renews its cells constantly.
    Besides, studies show that “abstinence only” education is not only ineffective it’s also dangerous. I don’t understand why those people insist so much on a useless method.

  • TheAnalogKid

    Actually, my point was along the lines of how, to these folks, it’s okay if boys fuck around. They can’t help it. It’s all the dirty girl’s fault. Because she’s a girl. Something like that. Girls are sluts; boys are just boys.

  • Onamission5

    Speechless. If I’d been a teen in that class, I would have walked out.

    Thankfully, my high school had a proper sex ed program, run by a tiny RN with an equally tiny voice and white curly hair, who’d been teaching accurate sex ed and human relationships classes since the 50’s. One had to opt in by parental approval, but a healthy number of parents did exactly that.

  • Jasmyn

    Although (as fas as I know) there was no water demo, my high school brought in self-proclaimed abstinence experts. They took 3 days out of history class to attack every student with their bullshit. I sat through the first session, but refused to attend the second 2. I only wish now that I had thrown a bigger fit about the entire affair.
    Also, sex with my husband didn’t magically only get good after we got married. What kind of garbage is that?

  • Onamission5

    God sucks at planning, obviously. Must be the lack of foresight of the omniscient/ imaginary that got in his way.

  • Sadly, this sort of demonstration is very common. I was told in high school that my virginity was like a sucker – once you unwrap it and let someone else suck on it, putting it back in the wrapper and giving it to someone else is just gross. At another time, I was told that it was like tape that loses its adhesive quality once it’s been used a couple of times. I’m convinced that it was this kind of thinking – repeated over and over and over through out my teenage years – that messed with my understanding of my own sexuality, to the point that I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 25 because I was so scared of kissing being a “gateway” to other stuff.

    As a product of this culture, it makes me literally angry that these ideas are being propagated in public schools. Ugh.

  • Dejan Dzinic

    Would I rather drink water from a clean glass, or a dirty one? Isn’t it the other way around? I mean, the clean one, in this case, tastes like crap, while the “dirty” one tastes waaaay better, imho. 

  • I think I would have insisted on putting Saran Wrap over the opening of
    my glass before spitting anything into it, to demonstrate the
    effectiveness of condoms.

  • Suggest replacing ‘sex’ with ‘scratching’ and see how that all reads.

  • pRinzler

    I had proper sex ed, but I sympathize with Dianna.  This view of sex is so horrible, and it infects our entire society.  Just think what it would be like without a trace of this.

    For the full unbelievable story on how Christianity is insane regarding sex, read “Eunuchs for the Kingdom of God” by Uta Ranke-Heineman.  There’s some deeply weird s*** in that book, some messed up folk when it comes to sex.

  • ReadsInTrees

     Amen to proper sex ed. My high school health teacher had us unwrapping condoms, playing with dental dams, and squirting spermicide for pretty much two whole weeks.

  • ReadsInTrees

    This demonstration vaguely reminds me of one we did in high school biology. The teacher gave everyone a beaker half full of clear liquid. He then took four students out into the hall, tainted one of their beakers with a secret chemical (making them “Patient Zero”), and sent them back in. The four students then returned to the class (not telling who had been “tainted”), and each had to “have sex” with four other students (which means they poured some liquid back and forth between beakers). This continued until everyone in the class had “had sex” with four other people. Then, the teacher went around with another chemical and tested each beaker. The liquid turned red in each beaker that had gotten “infected”. Then, as a class, we had to try and work out who “Patient Zero” had been by tracing back who we’d “had sex” with, who they’d “had sex” with, etc.  The purpose was to show how diseases spread, and how scientists figure out how the disease originated…….Of course, this experiment had a practical, interesting, fun, science-based purpose to help us learn something real, not to shame girls into feeling dirty.

  • Stev84

     Always put a condom on your beakers

  • JenL

    I sent a (polite) email to the other principal, Don Stensrud, using the email address at the link – and got a “delivery failure” bounceback.

    Anybody else seeing that?

  • UGH… Why the HELL do I still live in this Goddamned state?!

  • georgeoscarbluth

    Apparently god cares enough about clean water to keep kids from having premarital sex, but not enough to, you know, actually provide clean water to all those millions of people in the third world. Go figure

  • Marguerite

    Another edifying, if horrifying, book to read about sex and Christianity is Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World, by Joshua Harris. This author talks sincerely about avoiding going to the gym (lest one see people in spandex) and calling his friends in a panic to avoid looking at a lingerie catalogue. He seems to think it’s perfectly sane and normal to cut out all sorts of ordinary activities in order to avoid the sin of lustful thoughts. It’s truly horrible.

  • Another good choice is The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti. Lots of information about the Christian right’s efforts to miseducate and shame teenagers.


  • Christianity tells you sex is a filthy, dirty, degrading thing you should only do with someone you’ve made a loving, lifelong commitment to.  

  • Waiting to have sex until marriage doesn’t mean that you can NEVER have sex — it just means waiting until you can enjoy every aspect of sex without having to worry about all the reasons you shouldn’t be having sex.

    Uh, like pregnancy? Last time I checked, married couples who do not want/are not ready for children have to worry just as much about birth control as unmarried couples do.

  • Onamission5

    I’m ancient enough that dental dams weren’t something widely known about yet, but even back in the mid-80’s our (optional) class was a semester long course on family, relationships and sexuality complete with role playing and discussion of consent. It was a far sight better than the standard week most kids got in health class, where the health teacher actually told the female students not to fight back if they were being raped, because it could “make him angry.” Our tiny RN had to spend the first couple weeks of every class dispelling all the misinformation we’d been taught during health.

    I wished the extended course had been mandatory even back then, and I still wish all high school students could have a chance to empower themselves through accurate, honest information about sex and relationships the way I was able to do as a teen.

  • So by this logic, if I have a glass that only I spit into, I should have no problem drinking from it, because it isn’t dirty? I wish that somebody in the class would suggest to Seng that he do just that- eat and spit and eat and spit and eat and spit into a glass of water, and then have himself a nice drink.

  • pRinzler

    I should caution that “Eunuchs” is slightly academic in tone, not too much for my taste, but your mileage may vary.  You can always skip over to the really juicy parts.

  • Reason_Being

    When are the abstinence people going to recognize that it does not work.  Some of the States with the most abstinence teachings have the highest levels of teen pregnancy and abortion!  It does not work.  Period.  Oh and the religious aspect of sex ed is purely moronic.  Sure we are to believe that if we use the parts that a supposed “god gave us” in the manner in which they are intended to be used it is a bad thing?  What rubbish.  Like just about everything else Christianity preaches, their views on sex do not hold up to any serious inquiry.

  • Lauren

     I LIVE in Boulder.  Fairview is a school with much critical acclaim nationwide.  I am going to call him and threaten to call the news as well….

  • Lauren

    This is soooooooooooo screwed up…BOULDER??? FAIRVIEW?  I live in Boulder, and when normally ass-backwards carp happens here, its all down in the Springs.  Boulder is VERY liberal…I am calling Fairview tomorrow, and letting them know I will ALSO be calling the news if this happens.

  • Lauren

     Boulder Valley Newspaper = The Daily Camera.  boundsa@dailycamera.com is in charge of K-12 education.  This is NOT ACCEPTABLE IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD!!  Now you have pissed off a teacher and a mom!!

  • Stev84

    Harris is almost single-handily responsible for popularizing the equally horrible courtship culture in the fundamentalist community

  • LifeInTraffic

    If my child came home and told me this, there would be a lawsuit. End of story. A man with zero teaching, counseling, or sexual education/therapy credentials comes into my child’s classroom and tells them this? Fuck that. The district could damn well explain, in court, why it felt it reasonable to have a person with no credentials come in and teach sexuality instead of having a qualified person, such as a sex therapist, certified sex ed teacher, gynecologist, etc. come in. Clearly, there is exactly one reason: to push a religiously-based agenda with fear tactics instead of science.

    I hope the get sued. I hope they lose. And I hope this guy somehow gets banned from speaking to impressionable children. It’s disgusting.

  • LifeInTraffic

    Because they believe if they just insist hard enough, it’ll be true. Evidence doesn’t matter to them, which is why they still believe in a supernatural story so thin that if you take the word “god” out and replace it with “Snape” a child would realize it was total fiction. 

    If they insist hard enough, evolution clearly didn’t happen. They’ll just keep insisting right around the facts. They’ll keep insisting that if only people knew that abstinence was a choice, then they’d definitely take it, especially when it’s so clear that’s what (their imaginary) God wants, despite all evidence to the contrary. Because really looking at evidence would destroy their world view, and they’re too comfortable in their ignorance and privilege to want to do that. Why have to find your own way in this world, why have to think for yourself, when there’s someone else to do it for you?

  • Ritchie Annand

    That would be the best counter-demonstration ever 🙂 Someone slip that suggestion to the students!

  • Sware

    Exactly.  I couldn’t help but see the sentence, “He’s the “abstinence educator for Boulder’s Real Choices Pregnancy Care Center.” as a joke…a really sad joke at that.

  • Lucilius

    They know it doesn’t work. They just don’t care.
    It’s all about “purity,” not practical results. Some of the leaders, like Pam Stenzel, acknowledge that abstinence-only does not work. But by pushing an ineffective program, they prevent the “wicked” from “cheating” nature: kids who get pregnant or get STDs, to the fundies, deserve it as punishment for their “sin.” It really is an attempt to turn back the clock by centuries, with full knowledge of the consequences. They just don’t care about reality – only their fever-dreams of vengeance and judgment.

  • bismarket

     Intelligent design?

  • bismarket

    Gonna git me some o’that diirrrty diirrrty water ‘cos i is a naughty boy!

  • Drakk

     Would that be masturbation under this metaphor?

  • Glad I got my sex ed in Texas in the pre-abstinence-only 1980s.  I did have a biology teacher in summer school one year who revealed his belief in god and his moral opposition to abortion, which produced a cheer from my Christian classmates while I quietly fumed with anger in my seat.

    When I asked my Christian ex-wife about our premarital sex once, she said she could justify it to herself because she knew I was the man she wanted to marry so therefore it was okay.  We even “lived in sin” for nearly a year before tying the knot….she became insistent that we get married or else; I went along with it because I still loved her very much and didn’t want to leave her.  Didn’t work out in the long run, but we gave it a good  effort, and it was fun while it lasted.

  • JWH

    This bugs me on so many levels.  IMO, deciding to abstain before marriage may indeed have virtues.  But whatever they are, that decision is best made by an individual, exercising his or her independent judgment, and shouldn’t be tangled up in the “dirty water” shaming.

  • LifeInTraffic

    I really think there needs to be a legal definition of “educator.” I could be an “educator” on astrophysics with about the same results as this jacknape has with sex ed, because we have about the same qualifications to teach those subjects (none).  

    I want to be the “Wild Monkey Sex is Awesome” educator somewhere, and teach kids that responsible, safe sex can be healthy, fun, creative, and not emotionally damaging. Oh, and that the only people in the bedroom (car, boat, woods, etc.) are the ones you can see.

  • usclat

    Excellent suggestion E! Brilliant!

  • usclat

    Bingo D! 

  • Baby_Raptor

    Joshua Harris of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” fame?

    Oh, the trauma that book caused me growing up…

  •  Good point. If god is such a bang-up wonderful “Intelligent Designer”, then why didn’t he make it so sex outside of marriage was painful? After all, he’s god, and it shouldn’t be hard for somebody who made a tree from nothing to tweak human neurology a little, right?
    For somebody who’s omnipotent and omniscient and practically perfect in every way… No, wait, that’s Mary Poppins… Anyway, For somebody who’s all that and a bag of chips, he’s pretty dumb, isn’t he?

  •  “Also, sex with my husband didn’t magically only get good after we got married. What kind of garbage is that?”

    Really. Everybody knows that boredom sets in after the first 3 months…

  •  Lucky you. Back in the late 60’s we got  filmstrips on Biology and Bovine Development  and this very, very confusing movie called “Boys BEWARE!”…  Everything we knew about human sex came from “Penthouse”. No wonder so many of us got divorced. Over and over…

  • Well, it’s obviously a really crappy analogy in the first place, so we wouldn’t want to push it very far… but no, I don’t think so. In this guy’s creepy world view, there are “spitters” and there are “glasses”. There’s still one of each in my reduction of the scenario.

  • Jasmyn

    We weren’t together the first 3 months. He was in basic training and AIT for the first 6 months. I guess we were lucky.

  • Virgin Rose

    ROFL… The ‘dirty glass’ analogy reminds me of the absurdity of Sunday School as a young girl, where we all were given a piece of chewing gum and instructed to chew it, then spit them into a container. We were then asked if we wanted a fresh piece, or one that had already been chewed…  And of course this was supposed to be a metaphor for our precious hymens or something. I also heard non-virgin girls referred to as ‘used cars’ and ‘licked cupcakes’, bleck!

    Funny how no one cared what the boys were up to, as long as they didn’t impregnate anyone!

  • Derrik Pates

    I think, as was mentioned earlier, most of them know perfectly well that it’s ineffective. It’s not about effectiveness, though – the way they see it, the “dirty” and “sinful” will get what they deserve (a baby they can’t take care of, STDs, etc.) because of their “wicked” actions. They’d rather teach something ineffective but “right” by their beliefs, than teach something that will yield a desirable outcome for as many people as possible.

  • Sware

    LOL!  Right!  Apparently on their planet, penises do not get dirty.  *eyeroll*

  • Roxiehartsd

    He should have also used a hot dog and rolled in around in dirt. At least make it equally shameful.

  • Sam

    your only thinking about the “good feeling” part. they describe other resons.

  • Firestone756

    well guys I believe that but not siding for women but women has a lot of  pressures to be wit a guy and guys are more persuasive as the days goes by. Guys are like piranhas ready to get at the girl especially if she’s hot… also too in the animal kingdom most mas take charge of the female an mate with them humans have somewhat of this animal instinct… if   the woman has a track record n the water is dirty encourage her to try to get clean an look for a clean woman being older n mature can make a dirty woman be less prone in dissapointing you if you have intentions to be wit her.

  • Firestone756

    Society iz like a bitch wit a big ass! ppl accept it but does not appreciate a woman who fuck around. Don’t sweat it make ur decisions as u please everyone chooses at the end of the day. Make sure it’s the right choice wit no regrets…

  • Firestone756

    I agree wit this article Make good decisions without  having no regrets don’t get dirty 

  • Garfox66

    try a refreshing shot of captian morgan instead of the food and test the results because  there is a captain in all of us

  • Garfox66

    better yet.  is the water male  or female? it must be one! pour some water into some water wait….. yes i think i would drink that water because it is still pure!!            
    “hold on a tic” wouldn’t that make the water gay? ewwew disgusting nasty 
    but you know since it is still pure i will drink from your cup of knowledge i want to thank you for sharing this rock solid argument. and i promise you i and my many friends will experiment and we will share with you our report. 

  • Garfox66

    its a double standard. get used to it or try to change it but only for the better
    i am a man of  3 decades and i have a daughter very intelligent and strong. of  will and charm. i told her dont let any one hold you back from being what you want to be. and if that means pissing of  people then let it be so

  • Na

    By the same argument, clearly atheists aren’t doing much to rectify the need for pure water!

  • Male_me28

    I think you should know the truth about sex before marriage.  It is not supported biblically and I would be amazed if you could find scripture to prove me wrong.

    Transgression of the Mosaic law, defines what things are sins and what things are not. As Christians we should know the law, because part of being set free, means knowing the truth and being set free from restrictions.

    The impurity laws, in Leviticus 15 tell us that it is a sin for a man to “emit semen” or ejaculate. It also says that it is a sin for a woman to have her monthly menstrual flow. If these 2 things make a person impure, then it stands to reason that even if a man or woman marries, these sins still continue.
    The scripture says, “a man will leave his mother and father and be united with his wife and the two will become one flesh.” It says nothing of marriage, only of taking a wife (union). In

    Leviticus 15 we are told that if a man has sex with a woman and there is an emission of semen, then the sin is impurity. There is NOTHING said in the word about the wrongness of premarital sex. That lie needs to be exposed so that christians can have sex without guilt and shame and enjoy what has been given as blessing by God.
    Marriage is an institution which is man-made and in Western Society comprises the exchange of rings, vows taken before God and witnesses of the event. It is a legal convention which protects females and children, in the event of the accumulation of property and possessions.

    If a man owns a house and exchanges accommodation in his house for sexual favours that is also a form of marriage. A mutually beneficial arrangement.

    In ancient times when there were few possessions, there would have been little to be gained financially by divorce. If you love another person and don’t intend on having children, why marry. I believe some are meant to live together forever and are happy their whole lives, but others prefer the freedom which comes from short-term relationships.

  • Bendelep

    to a christian, “god” isn’t on the same plane as an “atheist”, so this logic is false…

  • Bendelep

    I’m a parent of an eighth-grader who was in the class that this article is written about.  He didn’t think much of it, but from a parent’s point of view, I was offended that the school didn’t tell us about this speaker ahead of time, and offer an “opt out” option.  Sex isn’t “dirty”, which is the sentiment this guy is trying to put out there.  I can understand explaining transfer of bodily fluids and risks of contracting communicable diseases, but this was pushing his own religious agenda, and giving kids (possibly) an unhealthy attitude toward normal behavior as adults.  

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