Seminary Dropout 63: Arleen Spenceley, Author of ‘Chastity is for Lovers’



Arleen Spenceley joins me on the show with a better way to talk about sex, singleness, and chastity.

Arleen has a master’s degree in rehabilitation and mental health counseling from the University of South Florida and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the same university.

On her blog you’ll find posts designed to encourage critical thought about relationships and sex; to encourage readers who practice chastity; to provide insight into an alternative way of life for the readers who don’t; and to explore how American culture impacts Christianity.


Arleen is the author of Chastity is For Lovers

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If you liked this episode then you might also like…

3 Ways for the Church to Talk about Sex Better

Seminary Dropout 028: Mary Demuth on Sexual Abuse & Healing.


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7 thoughts on “Seminary Dropout 63: Arleen Spenceley, Author of ‘Chastity is for Lovers’

  1. What an excellent
    conversation! I appreciate the clarifications of the language we typically use.
    Separating the terms chastity and virginity brings so much hope. Being closely
    connected to organizations who work with women in the sex industry I appreciate
    the compassion and clarity that Arleen communicates. I know this isn’t the
    target audience of the book or interview, but I also know right thinking around
    sexuality reduces demand and helps women in recovery find hope and wholeness.
    Another quality interview, thanks Shane.

  2. CullenCarter If chastity is defined by our sexuality being in it’s proper place, then I think there absolutely is. Maybe arleenspenceley can elaborate.

  3. CullenCarter Great question! Short answer: yes. Longer version:

    Chastity is the integration of sexuality within the person — it’s a virtue that helps us to arrange our lives in such a way that we aren’t misusing sexuality. People who practice chastity believe sex is a sacred physical sign of the vows a married couple made on the altar where they were married, that its purpose is equal parts unity and procreation. For single people, it implies saving sex or sex from now on for marriage. For people who are priests, nuns or consecrated single, it implies perpetual celibacy. For married people, it implies not using or abusing each other, and fidelity. Because chastity is also an “apprenticeship in self mastery,” (governing one’s urges instead of being governed by them), it also implies that a married couple that practices it doesn’t necessarily have sex because of an urge, or every time there’s an urge, but first considers whether now is the right time. Chastity requires forethought and intentionality. (Here’s one practical example: a Catholic couple [one that follows the Church’s teachings on contraception] that is currently avoiding pregnancy for, say, financial reasons, will monitor the woman’s fertility using Natural Family Planning and abstain from sex, even despite urges, until pregnancy isn’t likely.)

    For more on chastity, see this passage from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    …or pick up a copy of my book! 🙂

    Hope this helps. Thanks for asking!

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