25 October 2011

to the young ladies

Dear Young Girl-
I saw your profile picture on Facebook today.  You are 19 years old, you are attractive and your world revolves around boys.  I know you want them to be attracted to you, so you have chosen to wear clothes like this.  Your outfit is just skimpy enough to be provocative, but not over the line, not too immodest for a mormon girl.  You feel "sexy" when you dress this way.  But this is what I foresee for you.
You will meet a handsome young man who likes the way you look.  You will marry and a have a few adorable children.  Then you will discover that your husband is addicted to pornography and lust.  This will break your heart, and suddenly you will loathe "sexy."
You will realize that you are not "sexy", not like the women your husband feels compelled to look at.  And for that matter, you will no longer desire to be "sexy."  You will desire to be loved by the man you chose, just the way you are, with the body you have now after bearing his children.
Protect your virtue.  Respect yourself and demand the boys you date do likewise.  Perhaps then you will attract a young man who does not want "sexy."  Or even if you do, you can be confident that he married you for your true worth and not for your sexual appeal.  Perhaps you will spare yourself this heartache, and you will not look back with regret at the way you advertised yourself as a young woman. 
This is my advice to you.


  1. This is very powerful. I completely understand what you mean about not wanting to be "sexy." It just has a whole different meaning now. I want to be attractive to my husband, but sexy probably isn't what describes it anymore.

  2. Wow - beautifully and powerfully said. From another woman who is suffering through this horrific ordeal I appreciate your words. Oddly enough I have never wanted to be sexy even when I was younger. I once had a friend in school who told me I was an elegant lady. I would far rather be that than "sexy". Thanks for your blog - it helps me through!

  3. way off the mark... of course he married in part for sex appeal. we are taught to not have sex until we are married. the anticipation of such and the way it's perceived and taught in our faith is certainly wrong. the most powerful desire god has given to us is to pro-create, but yet we vilify this satanic. i think that part of what causes this "problem" in the church and with our husbands is this "modest is hottest" campaign that is false. we are creating the problem without even knowing it.

  4. I don't know know even where to start...so misguided. First of all, there is nothing wrong with sexy. Sexual desire and attraction are God given and a part of relationships and eventually marriage. But, it's just one part of a healthy relationship. Communication, love friendship are all important aspects to a relationship.

    Secondly, men who appreciate a woman who is sexy are not necessarily going to look at porn. If they're looking at it (and by porn, I'm assuming sexual acts and not mere nudity), it's not about sexy, it's about power and control. It is indicative of much bigger issues. Besides sexiness is synonymous with confidence and feeling comfortable in your skin. And to blame a woman for a man's issue, no matter what it is, is insulting to all women.

    Be yourself, be confident and look for a partner who shares your ideals and values....that appreciates you for who you are. You will exude sexiness!

    1. Thank you for your comments. The views I express here are clearly influenced by my circumstances. Most importantly I did not intend at all to imply that the woman is at all responsible for the man's issue. I absolutely believe that the woman is blameless in that regard, and I am not here to insult women.

      I do not agree that sexiness is synonymous with confidence. Perhaps the way I feel sexy is related to my confidence, but I don't see sexy the way the world does. I am sure that I can be confident without being concerned with "sexy."

      I can see looking back that my remarks were misguided. Thankfully I did not actually write those words to the young woman they were directed at, that is the liberty of my blog. I write here amidst the pain I am enduring as a result of my circumstances, and I am learning and growing in the process. But I do see the world differently than I did when I was 19.

      Thank you for reading, and thank you for re-directing me.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I hope Jane doesn't mind me chiming in here as well.

    To Anonymous comments--I'm not sure if you are in the same situation as us or not. It is really hard to understand our situation unless you're in it, as I think applies to most things in life. Jane's post comes from a deep place in her heart where she is hurting. If you read the entire blog, you'll see she is working hard on healing that place in her heart. We have to work through a lot of emotions and reactions along the way. I, too, had days when seeing any woman in any sexy pose or outfit made me want to throw up. It's a pain you'll never know unless you have gone through what we have. I truly (and I do mean TRULY) hope you came upon this blog out of curiosity and that you aren't going through this.

    I have always felt strongly that women should not have to cover up for men. I have always worn bikinis. I believe that it is not the fault of anything I have done or the girl walking down the street in a short skirt or the girl on the beach in a bikini that my husband has an addiction to pornography. (And please realize that we are not talking here about men who occasionally look at pornography and are fine with that. We are talking about men who have fallen into legitimate addiction. Men who don't want to look at it and are ashamed that they can't stop. Who know they could lose their wives and children and everything they love and still struggle with thoughts that consume them until can't control it. That may sound ridiculous to someone who has not done their research, but studies have shown there's a chemical reaction and addiction just like drugs.) As I was saying, it is not the fault of an attractive woman that they have an addiction. And I do not think women should have to wear baggy clothing and make ourselves unattractive so that we don't tempt men (think "burka"). But to have a husband who looks at pornography and lies about it hurts. It hurts in a way that only the wives of those husbands understand. Someone who has not been through that will never fully grasp how it feels. (Likewise, it is the people who are not in this situation who find it easy to say, "Go find another partner." Our husbands are our partners. They are good people dealing with a very real and painful addiction.) We all have to go through a healing process in which we are able to disconnect "sexy" from the pain we have felt and the deep mistrust lodged into our hearts.

    I think the issue that Jane was getting at in this post is that the Young Women are portraying sexiness in an attempt to build confidence (and not the other way around--the way it should be) without realizing that all they are attracting is lust. All the oh-so-typical Facebook photos of our Young Women (and by "our Young Women" I'm talking about the young girls we see at church every Sunday. We know these girls.) that are taken from above and just so conveniently capture all their pushed up cleavage is not how we want them to view themselves. I know a young woman who has hundreds of pictures of herself on FB--every single one is taken at just the right angle--straight down her cleavage. To me this does not exude confidence. Instead it, unfortunately and perhaps unbeknownst to her, makes it look like she is trying to make herself look better in photos than in real life. I wish, instead, that she would be happy with the way she really looks and take pictures that reflect her personality and whole self--not just her boobs.

    (continued below due to character restraints in comments)

  6. (continued from above)

    You're right--if she is confident, her sexiness will shine through. But our culture has so distorted the human body and the beauty of a woman that too many of our women base their confidence on their sex appeal and not the other way around.

    I think that's more what Jane was getting at (mixed in with intense hurt in her emotional journey). (Correct me if I'm wrong, Jane. I don't want to put any words in your mouth.)

    And, like I said, we have deep deep wounds from this that make us more sensitive to things than perhaps you are. Please try to understand the struggle we are going through.