Ave Maria Press recently gave me the opportunity to read and review Arleen Spenceley’s Chastity Is for Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin. I was given the book free of charge, but the opinions in my review are 100% my own:
Arleen Spenceley was a journalist for the Tampa Bay Times when, in 2012, she “outed” herself as a 26-year-old virgin in an op-ed that went viral. Chastity Is For Lovers tells that story (and so many others), while inviting young people to discover the meaning of chastity in our universal call to love.
I was intrigued to read Spenceley’s book not only because I am a sucker for chastity books but also because it sounds like the beginning of a romantic comedy (another thing I can’t resist). Young spunky journalist writes op-ed about being a virgin and is caught in the midst of a media frenzy—hilarity ensues.
Chastity Is For Lovers did not disappoint, and Spenceley’s unique voice and style of storytelling was a refreshing change of pace on a topic that can often feel over-saturated with voices merely repeating one another.
The risk of a chastity book written by a self-professed “happy virgin” is of course that it has the potential to come off as prideful or judgmental to those who have walked a different path. Or, to compensate for this fear, often those who preach chastity are so afraid of coming off as judgmental that they end up all but apologizing for their virginity. But Chastity Is For Lovers succumbs to neither of these pitfalls. Spenceley is bold enough to be authentically herself—neither apologizing for her virginity nor boasting of it. And it pays off.
All in all, Chastity Is For Lovers is a solid book on the Christian virtue of chastity that I would definitely recommend for young Catholics of dating age, or anyone looking for encouragement in navigating the world of dating.