• Thu, Feb 20 - 10:02 am ET

Duggars Prove Their Ideas About Sex Are More Medieval Than You Could Ever Imagine

5th Annual Values Voter Summit

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are doing everything wrong. On the new season of their show (premiering April 1st), the story will follow their daughter Jessa, aged 21, and her plan to abstain from kissing her boyfriend, Ben Seewald, until their wedding day. Yikes. If they’re following the traditional wedding night plans, Jessa and Ben will cover a lot of physical ground in a really short period of time, which has to be the worst possible way to start a physical relationship.

The Duggars call their whole dating thing “courting,” and it entails no physical contact and a lot of parental supervision. They essentially date by committee with chaperoning and consistent input from parents, instead of building relationships based on their own personalities and compatibility. I’m not sure how that’s a great basis for a last relationship, because at the end of the day you’re married to your partner and not to his or her parents. Try as in laws may, they can’t run the relationship forever.

Everyone is entitled to their own sexual choices, and so if you decide that you want to wait until marriage to have sex that’s your decision and a form of sexual freedom. But the Duggar children don’t really have a choice, or any choice based on actually looking at different philosophies and then deciding what’s best for them personally. Personally is the key word here–only an individual can decide the speed that feels comfortable for that individual.

I don’t have kids. But if I did, I would urge them not to wait until their wedding day to have their first kiss and then do God knows what on their wedding night. That’s not taking it slow–that’s taking it extremely fast. It seems wildly irresponsible of the parents in this situation to direct their children to stamp out their desires until their wedding night and then drop them off with little education to figure out what comes next. I can’t imagine that they’re particularly prepared for any of the emotional components that go along with a physical relationship, especially one that happens all at once. Hopefully, people in this situation don’t do the typical wedding night thing, and start a physical relationship at the pace that makes them feel comfortable.

Building a physical relationship is an integral part of building a relationship, and intimacy isn’t a shameful, lewd act outside of marriage. Sex isn’t just a physical act–it has so much communication tied up in it that I can’t imagine forging a deep relationship without it. Unfortunately for the Duggars, sex is more currency than a healthy part of a relationship, and I wonder how on earth these young people are equipped to very suddenly have thier relationship turn sexual.

Photo: Getty Images

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  • elle

    I had a friend in middle school whose life goal it was to have her first kiss with her husband over the altar at the Mormon temple. I remember being pretty horrified by that. I really don’t understand it, but to each their own I guess. But they can’t go from kissing to sex in under 24 hours right?

    • Julia Sonenshein

      i’m all for the to each his own, but the 0 to 60 in 24 hours scares me! I just imagine that would be a lot to take, emotionally and would be a strain.

    • elle

      Yep I think so too. And honestly it seems to me that these are people who have not been raised with a healthy outlook/expectations of sex even with a spouse so I think it would be terrifying.

  • Kelly

    Going from having your first kiss to losing your virginity in a few hours sounds horrifying to me. I don’t care how old the people are. That’s a crazy fast progression, especially for a woman. Why any woman would want her wedding night to be painful and traumatic by going from absolutely no penetration whatsoever to penis inside you in one night is beyond me.

    • Muggle

      correction: no penetration, no other sexual touching, no hugging, no kissing, possibly not even holding hands (though IIRC Josh was allowed to hold hands with his wife before they got married). Hell, knowing the circles the Duggars run around in, Jessa’s relationship is probably long-distance like Josh’s was. Beyond that, they’ve probably never had a deep, honest conversation about anything because all of their communication is closely watched. They can’t talk through email, text message, phone calls, or even face-to-face.

      …and they’re expected to have sex on the wedding night?! holy shit.

    • Kelly

      Oh, I realize they aren’t allowed to kiss or hug or touch in addition to no penetration.

      I’m simply pointing out the physical horror of never having anything inside you and then a bumbling virgin shoving his penis in there. That is horrific just from the physical aspect to anyone who knows a little about a vagina and virginity.

      The emotional aspects… I don’t even want to touch on that. That’s beyond the pale.

    • Muggle

      To terrify you more, the Duggars and other members of their cult don’t teach their kids anything about sex UNTIL THE DAY BEFORE THE WEDDING… if the episode about Josh’s wedding was any indication. But Josh and Anna were allowed to listen to a book on tape about sex as they were driving to their hotel for their honeymoon.

      So literally all these kids know is penis goes into vagina, and maybe to take things slow, and a whole bunch of fundamentalist nonsense about submission… maybe.

      Hell, even people in the Victorian era probably knew more than that. Medieval newlyweds certainly did.

    • Itpainsmetosay

      Um just to correct you Jim Bob has spoken to the boys at least I know for sure. They went to a farm and he had to check a pregnant cow’s baby and he took that opportunity to be really awkward and tell the boys about sex. Also the boys acted like this wasn’t anything new to them so I find it hard to believe they had been kept in the dark

    • Muggle

      Well, that’s a lot more than I expected.

      But it’s still probably just the mechanics. There’s so much more to sex than “penis goes in vagina, sperm meets egg and makes baby.”

    • Itpainsmetosay

      Well he opened up with the whole when a man and a women love each other… and probably said something about god in the speech so he got a bit of the emotional aspects in there for sure. All that doesn’t sound like much but from my own experience its more than my parents have ever said because they assumed I already knew a bunch of stuff. The Duggers don’t go to school and they are sheltered but there are 19 of them and find it highly unlikely that they can watch every child all the time so I’m sure Jessa has never had a privet conversation with him but semi-privet with her twin or the little ones around. They don’t touch but I doubt they came to the decision of marriage with no compatibility at all.

    • Amber Dawn

      to be fair the first time isn’t always painful…. but with a huge amount of awkwardness and nervousness it is more likely I would think.

    • Kelly

      But you don’t know if the first time is going to be painful or not until you do it.

      It’s not like there’s an Internet quiz you can take that will tell you, “Yep, you’re going to be one of the lucky women who loses their virginity painlessly!”

    • Leigha7

      Not only that, but they don’t believe in contraception. It’s entirely possible that she’ll go from first kiss to losing her virginity in a few hours, and then be pregnant within a few weeks.

  • Crusty Socks

    Medieval sex life?

    So when they invite you over for Dungeons and Dragons, be warned!

  • Andrea

    Can I ask you guys? Was your first time not painful AS HELL??? It took me like 3 “sessions” to fully lose my virginity. And it wasn’t what I would call pleasurable. Who would want that on their wedding night??

    • Jayamama

      My husband and I waited until our wedding night, as I mentioned in a comment already. And no, it wasn’t painful. We took a lot of time for us to get “warmed up” and he took it really slow. It wasn’t mind-blowing, but it was nice and I’ve never regretted waiting until we were married. It took some time before we were good enough to really make each other’s toes curl, but it’s nice to not have anyone to be compared to.

    • Kelly

      Oh, I feel you on that. Losing my virginity took two attempts and both were incredibly painful and featured a huge amount of blood. I was already out of high school too so it’s not like I was super young or something.

      They also featured two different men and occurred many months apart since the first guy was so freaked out and traumatized by it he broke up with me the next day.

      I’ve never understood the all “magical” and “beautiful” bullshit about losing it that people talk about. It was horrible. Both guys who tried were very gentle and nice about it and they were men I was in love with but it still sucked. Why on earth anyone would want that on their wedding night is beyond me.

      I’m very glad I didn’t wait because I’ve always enjoyed sex with my husband, right since the first time. I don’t have any memories of sobbing and bleeding all over him while he tries to maintain an erection because I really want it to feel good eventually. Ugh, no thank you.

    • Andrea

      I was in love, although youngish still (15). And the guy was also a virgin so it is possible there may have been some bumbling that my mind refuses to remember. All in all though, not what I would want on my wedding night.

    • footnotegirl

      I wouldn’t call mine painful as hell, but it was a particularly bloody mess. I would not have wanted to deal with that on my wedding night.

    • Muggle

      I was 18 and unmarried, and my first time didn’t hurt at all, except for being sore afterward.

      I also grew up in a state that had an abstinence-only sex ed policy, and I honestly expected far more pain and blood (I didn’t even bleed until about the 5th time). So even if the first time was okay for me, I wound up learning some very unhealthy, incorrect, and incredibly fucked up things about sex that I’m STILL trying to un-learn.

      I still wouldn’t want to wait until my wedding night.

    • Eileen

      Eh. It was mildly uncomfortable, but I wouldn’t say painful as hell. I was kind of sore and bled a little the next morning, though.

    • Kay_Sue

      In all fairness, it isn’t *supposed* to hurt or bleed. That’s a common misconception that comes from most folks over the course of human history not taking the time to understand how our anatomy works. The whole setup down there is intended to stretch, not rip and tear. It takes time and patience and experience and knowledge though, and all of that in addition to getting past the common belief that it is supposed to hurt no matter what, to get to that point–and most teenagers and young adults don’t have it.

      My first time sucked and hurt like hell. I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self what I know now, because I would have been like, uh uh, you son of a bitch, we are going to do some practice and warm up and enjoy this whole thing when it happens. Instead, it was “grit your teeth and bare it because this is how it is for everyone”, and I had no idea there was an alternative or that it could be pleasurable (or at least comfortable) the first time.

    • Andrea

      What you said makes sense. There was a fair amount of bumbling during my first few experiences that was due to lack of knowledge on both our parts.
      My husband told me about his first time. They were both virgins and they had been fooling around for hours and both of them were pretty aroused and she felt no pain.
      One thing I do wonder is this: a lot of young women now wear tampons before having sex. Maybe this helps stretch the hymen before hand. Because my mother was ignorant, she wouldn’t let me wear tampons until I pretty much defied her and bought them myself (much later). Do you suppose this may be part of the reason? I mean, I was a little nervous and both of us had zero experience, but I really was tight as a fist.

    • Kay_Sue

      I doubt it. I used them myself as a teen, and I still had the exact same problem. The best course–and I would be willing to tell my stepdaughters this when the time comes–is just working up to it a little at a time. It would be hard for teens, especially, but it really is the only way. That, and I definitely would tell them that having a pain-free experience is entirely an option. I wish someone had told me! ;)

    • Andrea

      Me too!!!

    • Guest

      For me there was no blood or hymen or anything involved, but it took four tries before it was anything more than holding perfectly still while I felt like I was being impaled, then ten seconds later, exclaiming, “Okay, stop, I give up, take it out!” The first two attempts were so traumatic that it took us six weeks to get up the courage to go for a third.

      And I’d always been a “wait till marriage” kind of girl, so I insisted on talking the matter to death for HOURS before we actually did it, so I could decide whether I really wanted to do it out of wedlock. (Which is not to say that I wish I would’ve waited. Knowing myself, I would have felt/done the same even if it was my wedding night, so when all is said and done, I’m okay with the fact that I didn’t wait.)

      All I’m saying is that there was A LOT of crying in the process, for both physical and emotional reasons.

    • Andrea

      It hurt for me too, but it was even painful for him because the penis just would. not. go. in. I started to get seriously worried that I was in fact fused shut!

    • FemelleChevalier

      The secret is lots and lots of time allotted for prepping (a.k.a foreplay) to get you all, er, lubricated enough? For really bloodless, smooth, and less uncomfortable experience, use a LOT of lube and go real slow. The lube will help with the painful stretch of being penetrated for the first time.

    • Mikster

      Nope. Not at all. I think I was “well-prepared”

  • Bippo

    I’ve watched the Duggar show from the beginning. IMO, they are nice people, but very misguided. I realize they want chaperones for their “courting” children, but if they haven’t instilled their beliefs and values into them by the time they’re adults, it’s probably just a little too late. I suppose the temptation to-gasp-hold hands might be too tempting if they were alone, but how well can a young couple get to know each other without even a few minutes of private time. A physical relationship should, ideally, be one that naturally progresses as the emotional bond grows. The Duggar children are so controlled, how are they going to deal with life on their own-not to mention their wedding night.

  • RayneofCastamere

    Now, now. Medieval people were pretty cool about the whole sex thing, actually. They were fine with couples having sex during the betrothal stage because they practically considered them married already.

    “Victorian” is the word you’re looking for.

    • xvala

      (Upvote for the awesome comment.) But can you tell us why that was, exactly? I’m not really a history major. Is it because weddings were expensive or because once you were betrothed nobody could back out of the plan or for some other reason?

    • Liz

      Most people in the Middle Ages lived in small villages or towns. Everyone knew everyone. So, everyone in town knew who was engaged. If one of the people tried to back out, the family would be there to make them go through with the marriage. Also, only wealthy people had church weddings. Weddings were expensive. For the peasants, you just kind of made your relationship clear and moved in with each other. Maybe there was an announcement at Mass.
      On another note, about 2/3 of brides in Colonial America were pregnant on their wedding day. Same deal as the Middle Ages. Betrothal was as good as marriage.

    • RayneofCastamere

      Pretty much what she said.

      You could actually get out of a marriage if it could be proven that a previous contract of betrothal had not been properly nullified. That’s why they say “Speak now, or forever hold your peace.” It’s so that someone can bring up if one of the couple has a precontract of marriage that hadn’t been properly nullified. That’s how Henry VIII got out of his marriage with Anne of Cleves.

    • pcampo

      Also how he wanted to get out of the marriage with Catherine of Aragon, claiming: “my wife was married to my deceased brother and she hasn’t provided me with a male heir. If God is punishing me so is because she must’ve consumated the marriage to my brother, even though she said she didn’t”.
      Meanwhile his penis claimed: “man, I need to get me some Anne Boleyn, stat!” (The latter one example of a medieval lady who got married with a bun in the oven!)

    • footnotegirl

      Also, when you live in close quarters with your family (one room houses, great halls, etc) and in fairly tight relationships with animals, sex becomes a normal part of life that you see around you every day and night, and not some shocking shameful practice kept hidden and private and veiled behind secrecy and inhibitions.

    • Eileen

      Not to mention that the Christian (well, Catholic, but that was the only kind of Christian during the Middle Ages) definition of marriage was, essentially “couple pledges themselves to each other, then has sexual intercourse.” The priest was brought in mainly to be a trustworthy witness, so that, for example, a man who got a woman pregnant couldn’t deny having promised himself to her. But even at the Council of Trent, which came down hard on so-called clandestine marriages (i.e. marriage vows not properly witnessed), did not deny their validity.

      And I can’t describe how excited I am that someone else made the comment that this isn’t medieval sexual behavior at all because I was literally coming here just to say that.

    • footnotegirl

      And a fictionalized version of what was supposedly going on in the Victorian upper classes at that.

    • Futuralon Futuralon

      I would have gone with Puritan. Those guys were uptight.

    • Cat

      Even the Puritans had wooing rituals that didn’t involve their parents.

  • ted3553

    I grew up around a lot of evangelical christians who were sort of an offshoot of the mennonite religion in my area. This group preached abstaining from all kinds of “bad things” like sex, drugs and liquor yet in all honesty, the kids were often the worst behaved. They all engaged in not only premarital sex but promiscuous sex. They partied in the bush (small town) and we knew exactly where to go to if people wanted drugs. In my experience that whole idea of absolutely no and don’t even think about it, tends to swing people way the other way and can often become dangerous. These are also the parents who often say “oh, no, my child would NEVER do that”

    • xvala

      It doesn’t stop with childhood, either. I had dorm-mates in college who were raised in a similar manner and the nanosecond they got away from their parents they were binge-drinking, partying, doing drugs and skipping class all the time. As far as I can tell, it’s a case of carrot-and-stick, and these kids’ parents use too much stick. Denying your kids any sort of personal growth/experimentation/loosening of the reins just leads to them going crazy as soon as they can get away.

    • Kelly

      We had people like that in the military. Totally naive and innocent and then they’re the ones using drugs and having unprotected sex with multiple partners just a few months after leaving home.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      That carrot-and-stick sentence you have there is amazing!

  • m

    …I did “everything” at once? But I’m not remotely religious and didn’t wait until marriage. In fact, I hooked up with a person I didn’t feel that well while abroad and went to a love hotel with him to lose my virginity. I had no experience (not even kissing) before that, but was pretty horny at age 19 already.

  • Katie

    I just hope the conversation remains “Man those Duggars are crazy.” not “Man those Christians are crazy.” This whole “courting” idea was really popular when I was in middle school. It was all the rage in youth group because this book had just come out about it. But it died out for like almost everyone within 5 years. Its actually pretty amazing how far conversations about sex in the church have come in the last 10 years. The Duggars are hurting that dialogue.

  • RevBex

    I saw a lot of this firsthand at Bible college – I had a friend who swore not to kiss her fiance until they were married. She had dreams of their wedding night being sweet and romantic, with lots of curling up on a fluffy bed and drifting off under the starlight, and then have all week of their honeymoon to become more intimate; he had been promised (by those in authority) that if he “waited”, he’d be entitled to mind-blowing sex the hour the ring was on her finger. He hinted at a tear-away tux and getting to-go boxes for the reception dinner so they could eat them off each other’s naked stomachs. They didn’t talk much about it beforehand, as that was discouraged because it would “stir up desire”. I hung out with her the week after the honeymoon – she was a wreck and felt inadequate as a sexual partner already and was trying to ‘make it up to him’ just 2 weeks into the marriage, and from what my husband said, her husband was already pretty frustrated with a lackluster love life that did not live up to the promises of that teaching. It did a lot of damage to that relationship, and others I witnessed then.

    • Andrea

      That’s a shame, but I guess not totally unexpected. A regular wedding night is already pretty nerve wrecking. I know my husband and I had set each other up to some expectations and it was by no means our first time (together or with other people). At the end of the day we were so exhausted that we just drank some champagne and went to sleep. The honeymoon was great, but remembering back on my 1st experiences I would not want to start learning on my honeymoon.

      I also think that the guy in your story was set up unfairly. Not that I can blame him though.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Yeah we got really tired and wanted to fall asleep but felt obligated because…wedding night. But we enjoyed the party and staying out ridiculously late and all that. I can’t imagine…if it had been my first time I’d have wanted to leave after they cut the cake.

    • Andrea

      Yeah and that’s the other thing: that guy wanting to get the reception dinner to go? I get the sentiment, but you have the rest of your life to have sex with your spouse. A wedding is ONE day. No way would I want to leave early so I can go have sex for the 1st time.

    • Futuralon Futuralon

      My mother made a point to tell me that a good wedding night is where you get to sleep as long as you want and relax. Any fun stuff can be in the morning.

  • Jayamama

    My husband and I waited until we were married to have sex, and were virgins, too. Granted, we did other things building up to it, including kissing and generally exploring being with each other. (Trying to not be graphic.) But we thought that sex was special enough that we each only wanted to be with one person, and just in case it didn’t work out, we didn’t want to have that over our heads. It’s really nice not to be compared to anyone and since we’re each satisfied with each other, we don’t know if we’re bad at it, which is great. But though we waited until marriage to have sex, we did make a point to work up to it slowly. Those who wait to kiss until marriage should at least put off sex until they’ve worked up to it and are comfortable with each other.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Didn’t wait until marriage because we’d been together a billion years before we were really old enough to get married, but were each other’s firsts and I agree with your sentiment. It’s odd to think, we could both be really bad at it and we’d never know…. :)

  • footnotegirl

    Medieval mores were much looser than that, even. Their ‘traditional’ values seem to be laser focussed on a very short period of time in the Victorian age, and really, a fictionalized version thereof.

  • Rachel

    This is not new information.

    However, I was very heartbroken when I learned Jessa was off the market. I have a super huge girl-crush on her and I always say I want her to come live with us and have my husband take her as second wife. Damn you, Ben Seewald, DAMN YOU!!!

  • brebay

    I can’t think of a less pleasant or romantic way to spend your wedding night than having your hymen ruptured. Don’t schedule a horseback ride on your honeymoon, Jessa!

  • Véronique Houde

    I can’t even imagine the pressure that these people are in once they get married. To go from SEX IS BAAAAAD to “go have sex with your husband/wife now!!!” when you’ve never even really been alone with him/her… :S Basically having no idea whatsoever of intimacy, having never had anyone see your body naked, never having been touched, never having felt a spontaneous – in the moment kiss. It seems like everything must be so staged. Ok, so it’s our wedding night, and we’ve been waiting forever to have sex so… GO! I just can’t see how that could possibly be fulfilling… I wonder if, in their premarital courses, they at least encourage married couples who have never even kissed to take their time to get to know each other physically, like they would have had they started being intimate when they were dating…

    • Bippo

      Agree with you Veronique. They both have got to be nervous beyond belief, and then there’s “well, it’s my duty, gotta do it now”. Try and work up some passion with THAT kind of pressure. How many chances they’ll both be thinking, in the morning, “is that all there is?” I do remember watching the episode when Josh got married, and a few hours before the wedding, JimBob took Josh aside and gave him a book entitled “Normal Sexual Intercourse” Josh’s eyes bugged out of his head, and I thought Good Lord, I think this is probably the first time poor Josh ever saw the words in print. Well, I guess it worked, because 9 months and 20 minutes later, his blushing bride gave birth. Hope it goes that well for Jessa. Not the baby part, just the success.

  • Paula Michele

    So what happens if when they kiss at the altar, there’s no spark/attraction? By not being able to privately talk, there are a lot of things that won’t be discussed that later could be an issue in their marriage.

    My theory has always been that I try raise my kids to, hopefully, make good decisions for themselves. Once they are 18, I shouldn’t feel the need to monitor their text, phone calls, and dates, if I’ve done my job as a parent.

  • A.Roddy

    I likewise disagree with this style of courtship. Even Laura Ingalls was trusted to be alone with Almanzo. I can understand keeping an eye on teens, byt legal adults should get more control over their lives. Concern about temptation is one thing, but paranoia about all things sexual is another. The hypocritical part is both parents dated with no chaperones. Another problem the person can put their best foot forward and be a different person once you start being alone. The book Jim Bob gave Josh is “Intended for Pleasure” by Ed Wheat. It says the man is in charge of initiating sex and the wife should always be available. And they aren’t allowed to read romance novels. I grew up with an over the top belief about sex in the Church of Christ. They act like everything you see or think leads to sexual temptation much like Fundamentalism.

    • Bippo

      I too, grew up in the Church of Christ. Even square dancing was forbidden. Square dancing? Oh yes, they DO have to briefly (gasp) hold hands as they do-si-do. And we ALL know what happens next!

  • anon

    I’m waiting for the first Duggar (hopefully girl) who breaks away and tells us the real story.

    • Bippo

      I think it will be Jinger.

    • Muggle

      I was always thinking Josiah or Joy. Joy’s been looking extremely unhappy lately.

    • Bippo

      You’re so right, Muggle. Joy has looked miserable, and I don’t remember the last time Josiah smiled. I was thinking of Jinger because she seems to have a rebellious, independent spark in her.

    • Véronique Houde

      I was actually thinking about this the other day, but isn’t it weird how rarely you actually see the duggars go about their daily lives? I mean, all you see is them going out, doing stuff (which is all staged). What I want to know is how many times they fight to get their turn in the shower and who’s the worst cook and how people react when their food sucks. But it seems as though the Duggars want to use their show to advertise their type of Christianity and ONLY show us what would fit into what they’re trying to sell us. We rarely see the siblings really interacting with each other and talking about normal stuff. We don’t see which teens the little ones tend to radiate to when they get hurt. We don’t see them fighting over toys or over a skirt. I think it’s a shame… I mean, what do they have to hide?!

    • Muggle

      I think it’s just because the Duggars/TLC believe that the “daily life” stuff is boring. Which it might be, but I don’t think it is.

      Then again, Michelle used to practice “blanket training” which sounds every bit as awful as you think it is. She would brag about it on a Christian parenting forum, but that got all cleaned up when the show started. Apparently she liked those flexible rubber rulers.

    • Véronique Houde

      what is blanket training??

    • Muggle

      Basically, you put a baby on a small blanket (or a towel). You beat your wooden spoon/rubber ruler/whatever on the sides of the blanket loudly, as a deterrent. You then give the child a toy to play with on their own. Some asshole parents will attempt to lure the baby off the blanket, but I don’t think the Duggars do that. But when the baby tries to crawl away from the blanket, they’re hit and put back on the blanket.

      It’s insanely fucked up. Like, do these people not believe in playpens? They go on and on about how inconvenient playpens can be at other people’s houses, but at the same time it’s not like they get out that much to justify BEATING A FUCKING BABY FOR BEING A BABY.

    • Véronique Houde

      that shit’s fucked up.

    • aileen_t

      I thought Joy was looking unhappy too. Probably because she knows the day’s coming when she has to get a bad perm like her sisters.

    • Muggle

      Oh my god those perms. You don’t want to know why they got those perms. It was not a choice… at least at first.

      Last I checked though, the oldest 3 finally found peace with their straight hair, or at least use curling irons instead of at-home perms. I don’t know if Jinger still has that perm, but I found some more recent-looking pics of her with those barrel curls and her hair looks nicer.

    • aileen_t

      I’ve heard them say on the show that they have perms because it’s what their dad likes.

    • Muggle

      yeah… though I don’t think it’s about what Jim Bob likes specifically. It’s the teachings of their cult (no, the Bible does not say at any point “thou shalt have a bad perm”). Apparently guys don’t like straight hair because it’s nothing special, and curly hair attracts too much attention, so clearly the solution is an awful perm to get wavy hair. Jim Bob might like it, but I have to seriously question his taste if he’s into bad perms (especially to the point of making his DAUGHTERS get them).

    • aileen_t

      Well, you can’t be too attractive. A man might look at you and have lustful thoughts; and it would be all you fault for leading him to sin.

    • Muggle

      This belief system is SO fucking confusing. I mean, they do all this crazy shit in the name of modesty but then try to be attractive to guys in some weird underhanded “modest is hottest” type of way… then it’s all their fault for leading the guys into sin. Clearly they weren’t being modest enough.

      FFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

    • aileen_t

      I’m currently reading a book about the quiver full movement and everything is the woman’s fault. If your husband cheats on you it’s your fault for not satisfying him sexually and if you complain you’re not being submissive.

    • Muggle

      That’s what I’ve heard about the movement, too. Nobody who is a part of this movement, who believes 100% in it or even thinks it’s a quaint but harmless way of life is someone who hates women.

  • HD

    They are just trying to live by the laws that the Christian religion spells out and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If more people were this pure, the world wouldn’t be filled with such perverseness. I wish i would have been so closely “monitored”, and i’m sure that most people wish they would have saved themselves for marriage! You’re turning something beautiful into something ugly.

    • A.Roddy

      It is one thing teaching abstinence or waiting, but as I said earlier, fundamentalists take perversion to an extreme level. they don’t allow room for human error . Christian fundamentalism thrives on people saying’ I wish I had done so and so’ . They instill so much guilt into you that makes you feel worthless just for being human,The purity culture actually hurts more than harms.

    • A.Roddy

      oops I meant more than helps

  • dy

    My best friend and her husband were each others’ first and waited until the wedding night. She started dating her husband at 16 and they got married at 21. My life could not be more different. Lost my virginity at 17 in the backseat of my car to my douche high school boyfriend, spent most of my 20s dating assholes and wading through a field of dicks until I met my husband and married him at age 27. Now at 31, she and I have had several discussions about how much pressure she felt leading up to the wedding night and how she wishes she could have seen what else was out there before she settled down. Eventhough I had some pretty horrible relationships in my 20s (an abusive drunk, a cheater, etc etc) I wouldn’t trade places with her for a second. Because I know, without a shred of doubt, that my husband is my perfect match, both in the bedroom and out. How the Duggars could put that kind of pressure on their daughters is beyond me

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!
    Sex is not the main thing in a relationship, but finding out how sexually compatible you are is part of a healthy loving relationship.

    I certainly took a few tried before I found out everything my partner liked and he was the same with me.

    You CANNOT learn everything intimate about a person in one night.

    • Andrea

      I’m not a huge fan of Dr Phil, but I remember one time he said to a couple that was having problems: “When sex is good, it’s 10% of the relationship. When it is bad, it is 90%”. I think that makes a lot of sense and explains a lot.

  • girlintheglassbottle

    I hope and pray that anyone who reads this article also reads the comments (even if it’s just the one you, sweet reader) to see this one statement:

    THIS ARTICLE IS UNTRUE. Please, for the love of all that is good in the world, don’t believe a word of it.

    That statement is not out of disrespect for the author-your writing is very entertaining. In fact, it is actually pretty convincing. Had I not been one of the girls that tried your theory of physical relationships I might actually believe it. But I don’t.

    I didn’t grow up with people shoving your theory down my throat; I actually grew up in a loving, strict, Christ loving home. That I love. And always have loved. But I got very lost somewhere between 14 and 21, when I let myself decide what was right for me, whether I knew that’s what I was doing or not.

    I had several boyfriends during that time period. And with those boyfriends came late night talks, deep emotional intimacy and physical relationships. Not all led to sex, but some did. And I can assure you, ALL of them were DETRIMENTAL to my emotional health. All. No matter how kind, loving, adoring they were. None of them beat me. Most of them worshiped the ground I walked on. But it all hurt me.

    The deep scars that come from being physical with someone (no matter what base you find yourself on) and then breaking up with them never quite go away. At least, not for a looooonnnngg time. I can remember every single one, in great detail. And they haunt me. I wish, with everything I have, that I had waited until I was married to make any sort of physical plunge. The baggage that comes with each and every one is so heavy! Go ahead, keep popping that Zoloft and running to the next guy to distract you, but it’s not gonna help you one bit.

    I’m not going to say that the author is pushing any reader to be physical (you were perfectly political in your “you have a choice” statements), but I think we can all agree that the claim that it’s “wildly irresponsible” to protect your child’s innocence before they get married shows a bias to one direction.

    It is my belief that it is wildly irresponsible to allow your child to participate in the slow warming up to a physical relationship. Because 99% of the time, their relationships fail. And because of that, we are allowing them to claim baggage they shouldn’t have access to in the first place…

    I’m sure that they are quite prepared for the emotional components that go along with a physical relationship (that seems backward to me… Emotion should come before physical, don’t you think?) because that’s all they’ve had to go on. They text about theology, for goodness sake. Some of us don’t even know their partner’s mother’s last name, much less the very foundation they stand on and should be held accountable to!

    And, newsflash: Those Duggar children will probably have the most wonderful, emotional, intimate wedding nights because they were protected from the filth that could taint it. Imagine, the first kisses with the man you just promised to love the rest of your life! Imagine feeling his touch for the first time. And not thinking, man, this isn’t as smooth as so-and-so, or he doesn’t kiss quite like so-and-so. Or even having another person’s face flash in your mind, even if just for a second. How romantic. How intimate. How loving! And I doubt they need that kinky foreplay crap you call third base. It’s about loving someone, not satisfying a need or curiosity.

    The desire to want that moment for your child is so admirable. It’s not creepy, or pedophilic. It’s loving. Don’t believe that you won’t be able to handle the wedding night because you didn’t take a few practice runs. With your future spouse or anyone else. Don’t feel like you’ll be unequipped! Sex isn’t some scary, kinky, intense thing right off the bat! Let it be the loving, slow thing that it is. Don’t feel like you have to cover everything on that first night, or even first year! DO take it slow, but after your wedding night. You have your entire lives to warm up.

    TRUST ME. You don’t think you’ll regret it. You’ll be proud you made that choice. Then watch your future spouse’s face when they learn they’re not the only one. Trust me, it’s not worth it.

    • Véronique Houde

      A heart break is not the end of the world. It’s how you interpret the heartbreak and the meaning that it can have in your life that is important. It is not by living a life without hurt that you are going to live a fulfilled and full life. It is not by setting up strict rules in order to avoid certain behaviours that you will be better, smarter, more loving or more thoughtful. And it is not because you’ve had sex with someone that your heartbreak will be worse.
      I think that you’re taking your experience, and giving yourself an “if I had only done ‘X’ than I would not have felt ‘Y’, but your conclusions are misguided, or maybe would be right for you but not for everyone else.

    • CourtSport

      AMEN! You said what I wanted to say, I just couldn’t find the “kind” words and way to say it!

    • A.Roddy

      No it’s the Duggar kids who will have problems growing up to think everything they say or do is sinful. If your spouse can’t handle not being the only one, they have a huge ego problem. It is thing abstaining but the Duggar’s legalistic views really take it to a level of unreality. The couples IMO following the courtship thing are under as much pressure to fit an ideal. They struggle to please parents and other authority figures. They claim physical contact is not important, but after marriage, then wives are supposed to give in to your husband’s desires? And what if they don’t want to marry? The only option they have is marriage. d

    • http://www.skeptimusprime.com/ Dylan Walker (Skeptimus Prime)

      The deep scars that come from being physical with someone (no matter
      what base you find yourself on) and then breaking up with them never
      quite go away.

      BS. I was raised in a religious home and took the notion of not having sex before marriage quite seriously. When I abandoned my religion I carried the “scar” of being horribly inexperienced at sex while in my early 30′s into my early relationships as it made those relationships quite awkward.

      I had sex with my wife quite early in our relationship and we don’t regret a our decision for a minute, and neither of us regret having sex with others before started dating. Don’t generalize about others from your own individual experience. Not everyone has to do things the same way.

    • Leigha7

      Plenty of people have sex before marriage–with multiple people, even–and don’t regret any of it. Some people don’t have sex before marriage, or have sex with only one person, and regret that. You do not, and cannot, speak for everyone.

      It’s okay that you regret your experiences, although I can’t help but wonder how much of that is due to you being told you shouldn’t have had them. I’m sorry that you feel that way, especially when you say most of them were positive. Everyone is different. Some people are emotionally capable of having sex with multiple partners, others are not. Some people are emotionally capable of having casual sex with strangers, while others are not. There’s nothing wrong with people having different boundaries, but people should decide for themselves what those boundaries are.

      I’m also kind of curious if you’re married and, if so, if you compare your husband to your boyfriends as often as you’re saying people with multiple partners do. Nobody I know does that. Maybe they’ll cross their mind once in a rare while, but most people don’t think about a former partner while they’re with their current one. Who cares if a former partner is a better kisser, anyway? They aren’t with them anymore, they’re with you. They clearly like you better all around, so what difference does it make if they do like one or two things better about someone else?

      On that note, I’d like to address this: “Then watch your future spouse’s face when they learn they’re not the only one.” Not everyone cares about being their spouse’s first/only anything. Some people would rather not be. I personally think being someone’s first sexual partner is a big responsibility–you have an obligation to make it as nice for them as possible, and that’s not something everyone is comfortable with, especially if it’s their first time as well. Regardless, hopefully you marry someone because you love who they are as a person and who you are when you’re with them, and you want to spend the rest of your life with them, not because they’re a virgin and virgins are the best. If that’s all you care about, you might as well never get married and just try to sleep with as many virgins as possible (please no one actually do this). Unless it’s a matter of them lying to you about their past, there’s nothing about learning that they aren’t a virgin that should change your feelings about them.

      Also, “I doubt they need that kinky foreplay crap you call third base. It’s about loving someone, not satisfying a need or curiosity.” Really? I don’t even know how to address that, but suffice to say that foreplay is often very important, and any and every sexual act can be done out of love, need, curiosity, or any combination thereof.

      At any rate, over 90% of Americans have sex before marriage, so I think it’s pretty fair to say that not everyone feels the way you do. If they did, almost everyone in the country would be filled with regret all the time, and that doesn’t seem to be the case.

      I find it interesting that romantic relationships and friendships are viewed so differently sometimes. Nobody (that I know of) has ever said “you better only ever have one friend in your life, or you’ll constantly compare your 2nd friend to your first friend and everyone will be miserable.” Nobody has ever said (unless they’re being very cynical) “most friendships end, anyway, so why bother having friends in the first place?” I’m not saying there’s no difference, but it’s interesting just HOW differently some people view them. Losing a friendship can be just as painful as ending a romantic relationship, but it’s treated so differently.

  • CourtSport

    First of all… Directing your kids to have sex before marriage is WRONG! This crap you wrote is why there are so many devorces today.. Young people marry for all the wrong reasons and sex is one of them. They have sex they feel emotions from the sex that IS NOT LOVE! Judging the duggers way of life is one thing, but to actually tell young people to have physical contact before marriage is wrong.. You should be ashamed of your self. The way the Duggars live has inspired me so much. And waiting tell there married for that first kiss is awesome!!! It makes it mean so much more.. By the way, how many people have you kissed? Or slept with? And how many people have they kissed and slept with..?? Add that up and you will find you have actually slept with and kissed many many people…

    • A.Roddy

      I don’t think the author is directing anyone to do anything. They are addressing the over-the-top unrealistic expectation’s. Like I said, what if one never marries? Are you just supposed to abstain from everything your whole life? I think it is fine to wait, but over-the-top purity thing causes early marriages especially in religious circles. Waiting for sex is one thing, but saying no kissing is another. Kissing is not dirty. There is a difference in kissing and sex. The Duggars claim not to be obsessed with sex, yet indeed they are by their behaviors and paranoia about the slightest touches.

    • EliabethGray

      What is a devorce?

    • Leigha7

      Trying to force people to feel the same way about things as you do is wrong, especially when you don’t provide any evidence that your way is correct.

      Most people have sex before marriage. People have been having sex before marriage since the invention of marriage, and before that they just had sex. Having sex before marriage doesn’t cause divorce, nor does it make you unable to know if you love each other, or make you incapable of loving each other. Some people wait until they’re married to have sex, then end up getting divorced. Some have sex with multiple partners, and each other, before getting married, and stay married for the rest of their lives. There is no “one size fits all” way to live your life.

      To your statement that “Young people marry for all the wrong reasons and sex is one of them”, it’s highly possible that if anyone includes sex as a reason for getting married, it’s couples who wait until marriage to have sex. Many of these couples get married at 18 or 19 years old, perhaps in part (not necessarily consciously) because they can’t wait to finally be able to have sex after years of struggling to repress their normal sexual urges. Many other couples, who do have sex before marriage, don’t get married until they’re in their 30s, preferring to wait until they’re financially stable and sure that they’ve found the right person. People who get married at a later age are statistically FAR less likely to get a divorce.

      The divorce rate is going down, anyway. Make of that what you will.

  • CourtSport

    Has anyone looked at the clips of Anna Duggar talking about there first night together? One thing about the Duggars is they speak about sex allot, they teach them what they need to know, and we’ll when Josh and Anna got married Jim Bob had an amazing talk with him and gave them a video they could watch together. It was awesome and inspiring. This is not medieval… Old school yes!! And the way god meant for it to be…

  • midwifeymom

    It’s called being cherished. I had never heard of the Duggars when I raised my youngins but I followed very similar methods I devised on my own and my children were none the worse for it. On the other hand I was out dating (and having sex) at 14. Now, my children were well aware of the mechanics and joy of sex but we raised them to wait, to cherish and to be cherished.
    The three that are married at this time are in excellent relationships. Now, I only talk with the girls about how happy they are in the bedroom but I can tell you, they love sex. As the mother-of-the-groom I made sure my son knew how to please his wife, that it wasn’t all about him and that there was such a thing as a “minute-man”.
    It’s all in the attitude and from what I’ve seen the Duggars are raising their children with a healthy dose of the joyful side of sex.

  • Liv04

    Listen people. I am a 19 year old girl who has never had a boyfriend, I have only kissed guys in plays I was in, and my family is nothing like the Duggar’s. I was raised Catholic, but my dad isn’t the most faithful and we are free to date, but the Duggar’s have inspired me to date with the intent of marriage, which is courting.
    If you have watched the show and done a little research, The Duggar parents did the same things themselves. They waited for the wedding to have their first kiss…. and look what came out of that, 19 children and happy family with loving parents! Everyone acts like they are the only people in the world that have decided on courtship. Families like the Duggars, such as the Bates family and a couple of others do the same thing.
    The courtship is not mandatory and is forced upon the children, the children are very diverse and they travel and meet other people with different views and are most likley more cultured than any of us here.
    A courtship is a fancy way for saying “Dating with a purpose” , which is dating without the sexual temptations and just on creating a relationship with your partner. No worrying about moving to fast or if you kiss good or not. It is purely based on focusing on what God wants in a marriage, which is not up to the parents , but up to God. If both girl and guy are in agreement of this than who cares whether the first time is amazing. No one expects anyone to do anything on wedding night. There are no rules after courtship and the married couple can go at whatever pace they desire.
    The oldest Duggar, Josh courted and then married Anna and they are very much in love with 3 children. The oldest Bates daughter courted and married and they are very much in love, two other bates sons did the same thing, one got married the other courtship ended, but thats what courtship is for. So before you start judging, remember we are in America and everyone has the right to do what they please, but I belive courtship is the right idea.

    • Me-Me

      Those kids are still human with human desires. Its there but they can’t explore that. Sure I can see benefits of waiting, but this is extreme. They need to decide themselves, not because that’s the rule. And honestly, the God thing. Hey believe or whatever, but you’re not having sex with God, so what “He” wants is crap. And how do people know that some entity they never met wants them to not enjoy life? I hate when people use God as a crutch. I follow my own ideas. I am pagan but I am a damn good person. I am not being forced into behaviors read in a book. These people expect these adults to supress healthy human nature. I don’t want to go on that path so I’ll stop now.

  • FemelleChevalier

    In the country where I came from, we also have courting in the old days (just a few decades ago, in fact). When a guy is interested, he will have to present himself (with presents and all that jazz) to the family of the girl. Sometimes, there’s an added bonus of seranading if the guy is creative, dedicated, or bold enough. The family will then ask him questions (like a job interview) before leaving the girl and his suitor alone to talk, and sometimes the father and brother will threaten him or warn him to behave himself before leaving.

    When the suitor proves that he has good intentions and the family likes him, he will be given the leeway to visit anytime he wants. Although when the family doesn’t like nor trust him, they will (sometimes) still let him visit because the girl insists and it’s better to have them talk at the safety of home rather than outside where they’re unsupervised.

    Of course, the family isn’t against the suitor taking the girl outside for dinner and being coupley especially when they trust the guy and the two are officially a couple. The virginity thing is encouraged by elders and mothers due to the purity advocated by religious beliefs and they will always say that virginity is the best gift you can give your husband. But still, it wasn’t forced, just heavily suggested.

    The whole point of the said courting are the: to build rapport with the family members, to prove that you’re a trustworthy guy, and to show that you’ll never mistreat the girl.

    Of course, things have changed. It wasn’t practiced anymore, although it was ingrained in the culture that it was still, in some manner, being practiced (sans serenading, which is sad). The family still has a huge impact on who you date, primarily because the country is very family-oriented, but their thumbs-up isn’t set in stone. But still, it’s nice to have the family on board with who you are dating.

    The virginity is not an issue now back home, although the church is still encouraging people to not engage in pre-marital. Since no one is listening to that advice anymore, the church just settled on advising the younger generation to at least give yourself to someone you love and care for. That way, it’ll be a meaningful experience.

    My point is, while I’m weirded out by the Duggars and their very restrictive rules, I am a bit disturbed by the notion that writer is implying. Yes, people are entitled to personally know when they are ready to be intimate, but there are factors that affect that choice especially on teenagers. Peer pressure, media, societal expectations, etcetera: these can influence a choice, a choice that could probably regret in later life.

    It is never wrong to advice someone to wait, not for the wedding night, but for when someone right came along. It is never wrong to advice someone, especially your daughter, to wait until she’s sure that the guy cares for her before being intimate. It is never wrong to advice a girl that she shouldn’t jump in her boyfriend’s car for a quick rump, then said boyfriend will leave after a week because he’s not in love.

    It is never wrong to treasure one’s virtue and wait for the right moment. I waited until I’m in love, and I never regretted my decision even though we’re not together anymore. Everyone are entitled to their choices, but please don’t generalize and condemn those who chose to wait.

  • GoodDirtyWoman

    Abstain from kissing until marriage?

    Holy crap! And what a load of crap that is coming from a couple that has enough kids top populate an entire town … from a mother that has spend a good part of her life being pregnant.

    I haven’t watched the Duggars’ freak show because just a couple of hours was enough for me to be fascinated in a gawkwing at a car wreck on the side of the road kind of way.

    People that live so far out of the mainstream society creep the shit out of me.

  • Kay

    Just a note, as someone who went to an extremely conservative Christian university, in our health class I was pleased to hear the nurse give this advice: If you aren’t going to have sex before marriage, at least go to your 9.5 out of 10. Otherwise it won’t be fun for anyone, and moving that fast in one night could cause a whole heap of (emotional) issues.