Never Have I Ever : Uncovering Promiscuity

We sat in a circle of 200 college women and played “Never Have I Ever”.

It was our sorority pledge retreat back in college. I was naïve and didn’t have much to stand up for (other than the 14 times I’d been pulled over for speeding—ahem) but was never one to judge others for choices that I was sure I would have made had I not known Jesus.

Never have I ever lied and told a guy I was a virgin!

Never have I ever only had sex drunk!

Never have I ever hooked up with two guys in one night!

Never have I ever had sex with a married man!

Laughter. Cheering.

I was shocked. Uncomfortable. It was the first time I really saw the “group think” mentality played out, as I was sure there were others who didn’t find the sexual stories all that hilarious. But that wasn’t the part of the evening that I think about to this day.

After we had exhausted the “Never Have I Ever” game, we started with stories. The leaders instructed us to share something personal—“an experience that shaped who you are today”.

Women shared of father’s leaving. Devastating eating disorders. Loved ones dying.  And many, many stories of sexual abuse. My sisters were abused by family members. Raped by coaches. Assaulted by classmates. The women who had the “best” promiscuous stories to tell, were the often the ones dealing with horrific nightmares of sexual abuse.

It became clear why Emily* slept with a married man, and why Vanessa* chose to only have sex while intoxicated, and why Finley* had slept with 16 people in the last year. They bought into the lie that their bodies were worth nothing. The stories that brought cheering & laughter, now beckoned sorrow from each of us sitting on the wooden cabin floor. That weekend had such an incredible impact on me, when I hear degrading names I shudder—imagining the tragic accounts I heard 8 years ago in that cabin.

Consider Jesus. A woman caught in adultery is brought before him by a group of check-the-box religious leaders. Men. They asked Jesus how they should punish her—because law required she be stoned to death.

Jesus doesn’t respond and instead starts writing in the sand. They continue to pester Him with questions. He then stands and says, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” One by one, the religious leaders leave and Jesus and the woman are left alone. (Scholars believe Jesus was writing out the sins they were guilty of!)

“Has no one condemned you?” He asks.

 “No one, Lord.”

 And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and leave your life of sin.”

IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN, STOP JUDGING AND ADDING SHAME TO THOSE WHO GIVE THEIR BODIES AWAY FREELY. Calling women {or men} degrading names only furthers the issue & takes away from the Gospel.

For all the men: God has given you strength to protect, and I pray you use your strength for good.

If you are someone who prides yourself on purity, thank God for helping you on this path. Seek to reach out to the prostitutes, the adulterers, those that live as if their bodies are worth nothing—offering life & hope, not further condemnation.

Finally, if you are the promiscuous women, I pray you see your worth. You are welcome into the family of God and do not allow anyone tell you otherwise. Jesus paid the highest price for you & your body-His LIFE. He weeps over any abuse you have experienced.

The choices you’ve made after the abuse are yours. Now, Jesus asks you to stop living as if your body is just an object to use. You are called to leave your life of sin and pursue a life of joy. Will you believe Him? Will you allow Jesus to call you Daughter?

This post was difficult for me to write. What is your typical response when you hear stories of “sexual conquest”? Have you been called a ‘slut’ or worse before? Tell us about it. Do you know someone who needs to read this? Will you share it with them?