Chastity Bears!

For that little girl who doesn’t quite have everything.  Now there are Chastity Bears!

No, not undersexed and overweight hairy gay men.  But rather, cute and fuzzy little white teddy bears that a girl can hug and cuddle with when she feels that special urge to kiss the hot stud down the street.

chastity bear pledge

I hesitate to say that there’s a sexist element to the Chastity Bears, or “Boyfriend Bears” as they’re really called (I think Andrew Sullivan has one of those), but something about this rubs me the wrong way.  This part especially:

Write a Letter to Your Future Husband
We wrote a letters to our future husbands and tucked them away in our Boyfriend Bear’s secret pocket. It is our hope that you will do the same when you are ready. Some things we included in our letters were our current interests, a school picture, favorite Bible verses, and promises to Him. We can’t wait to give our Boyfriend Bears to our husbands on our wedding day and read these special letters with him.

There’s something very “stand by your man” about all of this for a teenage (or younger) girl, or at least it strikes me that way.  Then again, I guess if you’re trying to keep girls chaste, you have to have a message that involves their future spouse, since that is who they’re waiting for.  (No word on what the lesbians are supposed to do, since the entire program deals with your “future husband” – maybe the teen lesbians can hug a Chastity Belt with hammers and flashlights hanging on it.)

Boyfriend Bears is actually the brainchild of a young girl.  And it’s admittedly sweet.  It just feels a bit 1950s off to me.  Here’s how her Web site describes the process of making a young girl a full-on Boyfriend Bear-aficionado:

boyfriend bears

First off, a little peer pressure-y.  How are girls supposed to not “make a commitment” and “receive a Boyfriend Bear” when everyone else in the group is doing it.  This is akin to the school prayer argument where kids who don’t want to pray are forced to stand out from the rest.

Then there’s this…

6:30PM PowerPoint begins.  8:15PM PowerPoint ends.

An hour and 45 minute long PowerPoint presentation?  Dear God, it’s Gitmo for teenage girls.

I don’t mean to mock something put together by teenage girls, but this just creeps me out a bit too much. I’m not one for cumbaya Christianity.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • KB

    “”Purity” is taken a lot further than just sex in really fundamentalist churches. It goes so far as to forbid any sexual thoughts. Which predictably has disastrous consequences. These girls are told all their lives that have any sexual feelings whatsoever is the worst thing ever.”

    Yep. So when, as a teenager, it turned out that I didn’t have any feelings toward the opposite sex, it never occurred to me to consider that maybe the reason I was so good at the purity thing had nothing to do with being super spiritual and everything to do with being super gay. Of course, that’s the sort of thing that it’s rather useful to be oblivious to when you’re a teenager growing up in fundamentalist churches, so all in all I’d say it’s a wash.

  • Bose

    excellent point.

    I wish it was more readily recognized and understood as such.

  • Erin Butler

    Sure, people are saying this looks creeptastic and all; but can anything really rival purity balls where little girls vow to place themselves in their father’s keeping until he decides who she should marry?

  • tb

    Hey John,

    “… undersexed and overweight hairy gay men … .” Really? Undersexed? Do you really want to be insulting people like this when you are asking for donations?

  • Naja pallida

    Christianity was founded upon fetishising virginity. We can’t be too surprised that it’s carried on.

  • Naja pallida

    I’d say you should rush to the patent office with that idea, but I’d be willing to bet it’s already patented. :)

  • Phil

    Boys are not a part of this little charade. It’s expected that boys get laid prior to their 21st birthday (preferably prior to their 18th, and numerous times). Don’t you know that’s “normal,” healthy, and red-blooded and heterosexual? But, of course, boys don’t get pregnant, so there’s no expense to the parents – supposedly. Hell, it’s not unheard of for some fathers of these good Christian boys to take them to a brothel to celebrate their birthdays and their “manhood.”

    Yet, somehow, some way, if a girl “saves herself for marriage,” she’ll be protected from the inevitable sexually transmitted diseases when she marries one of those good Christian boys, outlined above, since their god apparently protects them from such things.

    Yeah, it’s sexist and it’s a complete crock of shit!

  • First thing that’s wrong with this sexist piece of BS: Where’s the ‘Girlfriend Bear’ for oversexed horny boys? Why are boys not being told they must wait for marriage?

    And no, I won’t hesitate to call this sexist.

  • What they didn’t mention was what came with the bear inside the “secret pocket”. (Hint: it uses batteries.)

    And that’s how the bears help the girls wait for marriage…

  • Thank you. I will be putting that on my word of the day calendar.

  • And if you go back to merry old England, you’ll find that masturbation and anal sex isn’t cheating either. Between us, I think we’ve figured out how all those closeted Rethugs have justified their “better than thou” rantings!

  • “Future husband” may be just a little disappointed when he finds out he’s married a Plushophile. Either that, or he’ll introduce his new wife to “Girlfriend Bear”, which is a bear just like this one but crossed with a Fleshlight. :)

  • Drew2u

    I was going to call it “Stepfordy”.

  • Stev84
  • colleen2

    That is seriously disgusting.

  • Stev84

    “Purity” is taken a lot further than just sex in really fundamentalist churches. It goes so far as to forbid any sexual thoughts. Which predictably has disastrous consequences. These girls are told all their lives that have any sexual feelings whatsoever is the worst thing ever. So they effectively turn themselves into asexuals. Then they are supposed to flip a switch on their wedding night and suddenly have mind-blowing sex. Of course it doesn’t work that way. In some cases it can take years of therapy to overcome that fucked up conditioning. On one blog, the owner wrote that she needed rape fantasies to have any kind sexual arousal (because those girls are taught that only boys likes sex). It was highly disturbing how many women in the comments said that they had the same experience.

  • Define “purity”? When they forced school children to take purity pledges, handed out rings. The contract had loop holes and students discovered they could still have anal and oral sex. “Oh no Mark, I can not have vaginal sex. I took a pledge to remain pure. Fuck me in the ass. Thank you Jesus for helping me to remain pure”

  • Naja pallida

    I don’t really see a problem with it, as the actual facts show, abstinence pledges don’t actually do anything anyway. Hormones and basic human nature outweigh any amount of stuffed animal stand-ins. Though, I think I’d rather have an undersexed and overweight hairy gay man instead. At least he can be useful for something, besides taking up space.

  • Bose

    Chastity and virginity are being treated as a fetish, if you ask me. Promote a sexual (non-)practice that is only achieved by being absolutely 100% perfect, and push teens to be fully out about practicing it.

    Not just that, but get those teens publicly committed at a young enough age that they’re authentically uncomfortable with and not ready for intense sexual experiences, guaranteeing that even the simplest intimacy (second base, anybody?) is experienced with shame as an older teen or young adult.

    If the parents care more about the boyfriend bear than their daughter’s well-being and sexual health, they’ve boxed her into either closeting herself or outing herself, both sources of shame, after doing things that most people do as young adults.

    And finally, if the bear successfully propels the young person chastely to the wedding bed, she arrives with little experience of simple intimacies, sexual and non, expecting explosively incredible experiences that neither she nor the new hubby are likely to create.

    I wonder how many parents would still love the boyfriend bear if they knew that scared, closeted gay Christian guys love them too — no pressure on the guys to get physically close during the engagement, being seen as strong and principled for avoiding sex, the bear feeds their denial because surely the wedding night will be so fantastic!

  • AdmNaismith

    Not only is buying one of these the height of creeposity, but each one come with a personal 3-hr indoctrination. Teaching your child about the-bird-and-the-bees would take less time and be less uncomfortable.

  • nicho

    A friend’s niece was peer-pressured into joining the “abstinence only” group at her Catholic school. They had a retreat for the group. She said it was more like sex camp — as the kids have decided that oral sex isn’t breaking their pledge. (And yes, that view has been around long before Bill Clinton. It was Arnold who, when caught muff-diving in his trailer on set, said “Eating isn’t cheating.”) According to the niece, one girl was giving a guy a hummer behind the statue of the virgin Mary in the grotto, while the rest of the group was out in front saying the rosary.

  • ComradeRutherford

    If this thing has a vibrator and short dildo (not long enough to break the Holy Hymen), then this would have some actual value.

    “An hour and 45 minute long PowerPoint presentation? Dear God, it’s Gitmo for teenage girls.”

    John, that is hilarious! Doing AV support I often have to sit through seemingly interminable PPTs, but an hour and 45 minutes? That’s the average feature film length! I know I’d love to have a copy of that one, too.

  • I see how they work. They put you out of the mood for sex by making you puke.

  • Phil

    I’d love to get my hands on a copy of that .ppt file. What a marvelous way to bore my enemies to death!

  • Wesinoregon

    And if you aren’t one of the group, you get bullied.

  • TheOriginalLiz

    That’s just creepy.

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