Letters to the Editor

Gift of intimacy

January 19, 2008


To the editor:

As a grandmother of seven with five teenagers, I was appalled at the answers to the question "How young is too young for sex?" in the Double Take column of the J-W on Jan. 15. The appropriate age is when a male and a female fall in love and get married. Intimacy is a precious gift given to human beings by God and is not to be misused. We are not animals and should behave accordingly. We must use self-control and discipline ourselves to not give away our virginity until marriage.

My mother-in-law emphatically said many years ago, "Sex ain't sacred any more!" God intended true love to be kind, considerate and not demanding of its own way. This concept is good for young and old alike. Age isn't what makes the difference; it's our attitude and choice. The temptation of passion and lust play a big part in today's worldly concepts of sexuality. It's the same temptation, that's been around since Adam and Eve and will remain until the end of time.

Joyce Burkhead,



Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years ago

My mother was married when she was 16 years old. Back then (1930's) that was not considered unusual. Now we expect our kids to wait until they have graduated college, and people reach puberty at a younger age (nutrition or animal hormones, take your pick of why). Yes, exercising self control is a good thing, but we expect our offspring to exercise it much longer than we or our mother's generation did. My mother was disappointed that I lost my virginity at 17, because I wasn't married. Would it have been ok if I had married? I did marry the guy when I was 19, and before you start telling me it's the premarital sex that ruined our marriage, let me inform you it had more to his violent temper, and drug dealing. And he was raised by hard working moral upper middle class people (he wasn't poor, white trash). I am now married to a man who is caring, and yes we had sex before we tied the knot. Relationships are the most important things in life, not a piece of paper saying it's ok now to have sex.

justone 10 years ago

joyce..."man is wise (in his own eyes!) "Forgive them" as it is written..."for they know not what they do".

mom_of_three 10 years ago

Joyce, Your letter states the ideal we all wish teenagers would follow, but we all know that it isn't going to happen. It didn't happen in your time, nor in mine.
But I refuse to judge those who do not follow the ideal. My own grandmother fell in love, and eloped at 19, 6 weeks pregnant. They were happily married for over 60 years before my grandfather died from Alzheimer's complications. They had a great marriage and a great example to follow, even though it started out differently than they or their parents would have hoped.
That's what I hope for my kids - find someone you love, and have a great marriage. And if they choose to have sex before marriage, then I hope it is with a person that they truly love and loves them.

Weezy_Jefferson 10 years ago

When I was a child, we had to walk 10 miles to school in the deep snow, men wore hats, women stayed home and cleaned house while wearing their pearls, and no one even HEARD of sex until they were married.

----Grandpa Simpson

TheYetiSpeaks 10 years ago

"Intimacy is a precious gift given to human beings by God"

And what kind of gift is jealousy? Or rage? How about deviousness? Is that a gift too?
Relax, Joyce. If everyone was having a little more intimacy, there would be less time for the others, huh? Sex isn't sacred anymore? It seems to me that human sexual practices have become a little more tame in the past few thousand years. So what mythical time are you referring to as "the good ol' days"?

craigers 10 years ago

I believe Joyce has a boyfriend. Probably Carl that writes letters now and again. And as a Christian, americorps we are to read the bible and be God's mouthpiece. What about Moses? What about Paul, Peter, Luke, the other disciples? Was it sinful for them to speak what God's plans were?

Ragingbear 10 years ago

When I was a child, we had to walk 10 miles to school in the deep snow, men wore hats, women stayed home and cleaned house while wearing their pearls, and no one even HEARD of sex until they were married.

-Grandpa Simpson

And we didn't have contraception, we had to use either a cast iron skillet or a lathe. And we wore an onion on our belt, which was the style at the time...

Marcy McGuffie 10 years ago

Dollypawpaw -

Don't worry. It's what's on the inside that counts. Okay?

Obviously you have issues with being homely and have made some sexual decisions that you regret.

Seek counseling, hon.

Marcy McGuffie 10 years ago

Oh - and it looks like the LJWorld screwed some stuff up. They reverted to my maiden name...which had been changed a year and a half ago.

~Marcy McGuffie

Darrell Lea 10 years ago

I think it was very nice and sweet for this woman to drop a line and share her thoughts with us.

On the other hand, when wackos-with-an-agenda like the guy who had to say "Your LTE...has described everything far-left, secular-progressives' ideology is on a mission to destroy: Heterosexuality and God in the public square." hijack that message to mount their soapbox and spew, it's a drag.

Christianity is not the only religion in the world, or even Douglas County. The new, politicized version of Right Wing Pseudo-Christianity that seems to be so popular here in the Hinterlands has got to be about the most misguided, judgemental system of beliefs I've ever come across.

There are many ways to view this world and live in it. The moment some sanctimonious twit comes along and tells you that their belief system is right and they know what is moral and good, you can be sure that they are wrong.

It seems to me to be a very short stone's throw from Radical Evangelicalism to Radical Islam.

Anyway, thank you for writing, Joyce.

hawklet21 10 years ago

Just because someone isn't married doesn't mean that they are incapable of making responsible decisions about sex, or that it is any less sacred. I love my boyfriend, but marriage just isn't for us right now. So somehow our relationship is worth less because we haven't signed a piece of paper and had a ceremony that is becoming all too meaningless these days? Maybe I'm too much of a cynic, but it seems like most weddings aren't about the union, but about the show.

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 10 years ago

I agree with Guitarzan.
If you don't agree with someone, there can be thoughtful discuss, not name-calling and belittling.

Ronda Miller 10 years ago

I agree with you Joyce. We are aware that teens may, probably are, having sex at young ages when they are unmarried, but I feel it shouldn't be condoned by articles stating those ages in the LJW.

I just read a great book for teenagers last night called, "Things Change". It is much more about a girl being in an abusive relationship then about sex, but the sex is written about as if it is the norm, common - I loved the message about the girl leaving the relationship because of abuse, but didn't like the casual acceptance of sex in the least.

I may be your age though! You are a brave woman to write - I just hope you don't take offense at some of the comments.

kramdorf 10 years ago

Why are so many people so afraid of TRUTH, and even more of there being an absolute truth? We live in a system of absolute truths. We are where we are as a society because too many people believe they can be their own "god". Nothing new really; since the beginning of time we have made decisions out of our attempt to maintain control over our own lives. Now we have everyone determining for themselves what truth is, and in the process totally blurring the line of any real truth. People are resistant to Christianity because they can't accept that they are not the one in control. Joyce, great words, and I am certain you are not surprised with the comments, but thank God there are individuals like you and Carl who are willing to stand and speak truth in the face of certain ridicule. A true expression of love.

hawklet21 10 years ago

Oh, you said it, kramdorf. I'm a control freak and I'm going to hell. Thanks for the newsflash.

Bradley Klamm 9 years, 12 months ago

"We must use self-control and discipline ourselves to not give away our virginity until marriage."

Define Marriage. Define Virginity. Because, where most everyone is saying marriage they are referring to Christian Matrimony. Or, is 'marriage' another one of those institutions so deeply Christian that it predates Christ's own life? Oh, but I speak out of turn... Marriage is discussed in the Old Testament; right next to the part where it outlines, in rather specific detail, about how women are essentially the property of their fathers. Until they are married off - translated as, sold for dowery - to ostensibly be the property of their husbands. Hell, it was actually LAW that if a man died, his brother was REQUIRED to marry his widow. Even if he was already married. Which means, wait a second... carry the one... 2 wives! Hell, according to traditional (as in Biblical) Judeo-Christian marriage practices, it is perfectly normal and acceptable for a girl in her early teens to marry her middle-aged uncle. The "traditional" idea of marriage being one man and one woman married by a clergyman in front of 2 witnesses was introduced by the Council of Trent in 1563. Hell, even the idea that marriage HAD to also be a civil union, recognized by the law, wasn't until Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act of 1753 in England.

Marriage was and is only about love, and the choices of the people who consent to love and be loved.

Bradley Klamm 9 years, 12 months ago

Virginity is also one of those notions that folks seldom take any time to read up on before they spew catechisms at each other. Virginity is such a stupid thing to fixate on. The word "virgin" didn't even exist as a part of the English lexicon until the 1300's. Even then, the fixation was on the woman's maidenhead, and only refers to penetrative sex. Essentially, virginity was just medieval MAN's desire to be the first man inside a woman, nay, EVERY woman. Hell, read some of classical literature's obsession with midwives and hymens... If a woman was thought not to be a virgin, she was at that point viewed as little more than the street-walking whore. Granted, this was SLIGHTLY (emphasis on 'slightly') more understandable back in the wayback, before modern contraception, as penetrative sex carried much more risk of pregnancy. Which, of course, led to other dilemmas like what to do with a bastard child as an unwed mother in the time of cholera. Whereas, with men, it was and is the opposite. Boys don't become men until they have lain with a woman. Insofar as we still think like this today in 21st century America. We're still not seen as men until we've sampled a woman, but if that woman ain't the Li'l Misses, then we're sinners; regardless of the fact that premarital sex is not discussed in the canonical gospels. Regardless of the fact that the obsession with virginity is only a staple of shame-based religions, it's a ridiculous double standard. A double standard that a WOMAN is upholding in her first-amendment protected, and, I'll admit, pure-hearted, letter. But, ignorance and innocence are not necessarily mutually-exclusive. I'm becoming convinced that Christian women have no business referring to themselves as feminists. Ever. "A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ." - from, Article XVIII. The Family. Baptist Faith and Message 2000

Bradley Klamm 9 years, 12 months ago

Most of Europe thinks we're silly about sex. I know exactly why. We alternate between sexual repression and sexual mania. Father O'Badtouch tells you, "Sex is immoral!" Then he turns around and touches your kids because he doesn't understand the concept of sexuality, let alone his own sexuality, and hides from it; only to deviate when his willpower falters. But, he still sermonizes sex = brimstone. Then, when the sermon is over, you go home and watch Axe Body Wash commercials that literally imply that slathering yourself with their stink will allow you to be sexually uninhibited with very pretty women. Or PETA ads! When the F**K did animal rights get sexy? And what the hell for? Or, for the love of Satan, what is with this Bratz/Jojo/Hanna Montana hyper-sexualization of little girls? Preteens are supposed to dress featureless and asexual to match their own lack of features and sexuality. Grown women paint their jeans on when they want someone to stare at their ass. Television is teaching a generation of American womanhood that they are supposed to be shaking their prepubescent moneymakers as we simultaneously repress their natural sexual curiosity with abstinence only sex education, and we wonder why we as a nation have intimacy issues.

Sexual intimacy is a basic need, like food and hugs. If we as a society had legitimately informed ideals about sex, we would see that desire is not always LUST.

Sex should be conducted with mutual respect between two consenting people who are mature and emotionally capable. And that should be the end of it. Who's business is it to say what two consenting adults do behind closed doors?

So, how young is too young? When you're too young to understand. Sadly, the way our society is with religion in government; parents wanting government and TV to raise their kids for them; and, for f**k's sake, abstinence-only sex education; that age is getting older and older. Holy Matrimony has very little to do with it. I know full-grown married people who have no idea what sex is really about.

For the record, I first had intercourse when I was 22. Before that, your standard "foolin' around," sure. But, I've had fewer partners in my lifetime than most of my peers will in a month. I'm not all about free love. I'm for finding a mature, emotionally fulfilling relationship; complete with trust and understanding, and all that other storybook BS. Since I can't find that, is it so wrong for two lonely people to seek a little bit of comfort, intimacy, and understanding from each other in a consenting manner? I just get so f**king tired of repressed, ignorant people telling me what I can and can't do with my own body because of a boogeyman story that I know more about than they do...

Terry Jacobsen 9 years, 12 months ago

Americorps wrote...."Granny, as a Christian..."

Just wondering, what is your definition of "Christian"? Just trying to get a grip on where you come from ideaology wise.

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 9 years, 12 months ago

Ummm, Right_thinker: if the shoe fits, wear it, if not, then don't worry about it.

mom_of_three 9 years, 12 months ago

Okay, I just read the original article, and find nothing wrong with the answers given, as they are "real world" answers. The article even says the majority of teenagers are not ready for sex. What is wrong with that answer? Nothing. As a parent, I applaud the answers given in the column.
But what makes the column wrong - because the only answer it didn't include was a religous one.

mom_of_three 9 years, 12 months ago

In the perfect world, we all want our kids to wait until they are in love and married. But we know that probably won't happen, hard as we try, beg, and teach. As long as they are safe, secure and happy. Isn't that the real goal, the real answer?

hawklet21 9 years, 12 months ago

Yeah, drumtacular totally owned on this one. Kudos to him/her!! "Sex should be conducted with mutual respect between two consenting people who are mature and emotionally capable. And that should be the end of it. Who's business is it to say what two consenting adults do behind closed doors?" Exactly. Love it, love it, LOVE it!!!

"I've had fewer partners in my lifetime than most of my peers will in a month. I'm not all about free love. I'm for finding a mature, emotionally fulfilling relationship; complete with trust and understanding, and all that other storybook BS." And me, too. You can have a happy, fulfilling sexual relationship without walking down the aisle.

drumtacular is an ljworld god! lol.

rtwngr 9 years, 12 months ago

Good letter, Joyce. I could not agree more. Unfortunately, as you can see from the many dissenting blogs, we are in the minority. The dissenters see venereal disease and teen pregnancies as a lack of education and contraception. We see it as a lack of morals and self control.

marcdeveraux 9 years, 12 months ago

guess what? granny must have gone to school; before evolution was taught. granny we and the apes are genetically 98% the same. we are animals,get with it,or we may have to clone ya before its to late.ah,probably too late already.

whatupdown 9 years, 12 months ago

It is sad that sex passes for love, young people need love(shorted) now more than ever but with sex instead they are worse off. For girls bliss goes away when virginity goes, never to return. The best way for a girl to keep and build self esteem is to keep her knees together. For those that believe they evolved from apes; shure why not, believe as you choose, I think we all find out the day we die, we all come and we all go.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 9 years, 12 months ago

Drum roll, please! We HAVE a winner! Drumtaculor!

The runner-up...Sheeple...with no votes...not a prayer...no eyes...no ears...no answer...beyond piffle...

Erin Parmelee 9 years, 12 months ago

whatupdown (Anonymous) says:

For girls bliss goes away when virginity goes, never to return.

Uh, speak for yourself. I still manage to find bliss several times a week.

sfjayhawk 9 years, 12 months ago

sex: It does not need to mean anything, It can just feel good.

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 9 years, 12 months ago

Umm, righty, i think you are more upset about this than I, and now that I've seen your other posting about getting horny, I really wonder about your mental stability. More precisely, I think you just like to stir the pot. Try being more open-minded and you might gain more happiness than from agitating others.

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 9 years, 12 months ago

Righty, thanks for validating my obervations.. (And, I probably have a better sense of humor than you might think.) You contradict yourself, sir. While defending the right to express opinons, you often label the opinons of others and categorize them into political bounds: far-left, conservative, etc. I also observe that you rarely propose your own opinons, just remark on others. So, lets hear some of your own opions, I'm all for being entertained.

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 9 years, 12 months ago

Noted. I'll try not to be so judgemental about your postings.

Kathy Theis-Getto 9 years, 12 months ago

Gina (Gina Bailey-Carbaugh) says:

.......While defending the right to express opinons, you often label the opinons of others and categorize them into political bounds: far-left, conservative, etc. I also observe that you rarely propose your own opinons, just remark on others. So, lets hear some of your own opions, I'm all for being entertained.

It's called extremism. RT does have a sense of humor, at least he used to. It is just harder to find these days, and not near as fun.

Erin Parmelee 9 years, 12 months ago

If it makes you feel any better RT, I disagree with most everything you say, but you still crack me up.

tashtego 9 years, 12 months ago

Drum is right on. The J-W should hire him/her as a columnist to replace some of those tired hacks they have now--including some of the local ones!

Bradley Klamm 9 years, 12 months ago

I'm just an drummer. And since I've yet to contribute anything tangible as a drummer, I am essentially just an observer. I just call it like I see it. If that makes me any more qualified as a columnist, then sign me up. My name is Brad Klamm and my LJW account would reflect so, were I not so lazy.

I was raised cradle-Methodist; but I'm a truth-seeker, and didn't find any answers there. The lack of answers made me a skeptic. My ongoing observation of people's inability, or just plain not possessing the desire, to understand each other has made me a cynic. If I seem like I'm popping-off at those who's opinions I asses to be uninformed, it's because I feel like I'm preaching to some kind of lowest-common-denominator that accepts everything they are told at face value. This world has never been Black & White. It has always been a cosmically absurd Grayscale. I adore freedom of expression. 1st Amendment! Even when right_thinker's opinions downright frighten me. (Hell, I even agree with the man on occasion. I'm just scared to validate him...) In all honesty, I did find Joyce's letter to be of pure intention. In a perfect world we would all wait for our hearts and minds to be truly ready for a physically intimate relationship with someone who truly understands us before we entered into it for the first time. Whether that be the Christian covenant of holy matrimony, or two atheists deciding on dedicating themselves to a mutual commitment; there is something beautiful about the ideal of purity.

But that's never the angle that most right-leaning people take when trying to intimate this ideal. They use guilt. If it ain't hurting you, why do you have an opinion about it? It's not because Jesus told you so. I LOVE Jesus. If you dig deep enough he does teach a wholesome moral code. But people, we have got to accept that, in this day and age, we have done enough anthropological study to know that the Canonical Bible was written by mortal man subject to the same fallacies as all mortal men. There are good things there, but it is not the ineffable Logos of the one true God. If so, I think the original manuscripts would have had a LOT cooler-looking handwriting. I'm glad that people find comfort and enlightenment from it's teachings, but I get REALLY fed-up when people try to force it on other people.

Bradley Klamm 9 years, 12 months ago

Yes, adolescents have problems with self-control and "lust." That's because they are not educated about sex anymore. They're taught the bare mechanics of the thing, and then told not to do it. I mean, come on... What is the FIRST thing that any rebellious youth does when told not to do something? When told not to do damn near anything? Even if it's self-destructive? I mean, kids are like any other group of people: some of them are stupid. If we don't teach them how to do it right, they're not going to learn it right by watching it on TV. We're really only going to fix this problem by re-indoctrinating a LOT of people. A process known to take decades. I don't think we as a society has what it takes. That's why I'm a cynic.

more_cowbell 9 years, 12 months ago

"....Heterosexuality and God in the public square." (from a post long, long, ago)

Hey, I want me some of that hetero sex in the public square! With my POSSLQ (person of opposite sex sharin' livin' quarters). I still have my sex toys from Naughty But Nice, too. ;-)

I'll bring those, since it's a public square an' all, we'll want to give the public something interesting to watch. And about the "God" part. Don't worry, I haven't left that out. No problem, we've got that covered. How?

Orgasm. Of course, there might be a little profanity mixed in there. I'm sure that's OK, as long as we're not exclaiming "Lucifer" or "Satan" as well...

So Praying = Sex, and God = Orgasm.

(because without one, I doubt we'd have the other, and no human can ever know which comes first... so to speak... so I'll be searching for both, thank you!)


A heterosexual who believes in both God, which (not "who") fills the holes in our souls, and Orgasm, which fills the holes in our...

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