Saturday, November 17, 2007

Grill of the chaste

I'm delighted to find that a 26-year-old blogger named Jessica has posted links to video of my debate on "Is Chastity a Good Idea for Singles?"

The debate took place in the basement of a Lower East Side bar called Lolita last January, one month after the publication of my book The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On. My opponent was Virginia Vitzthum, the author of a book on hooking up through the personals: I Love You, Let's Meet.

Jessica writes: "Even though Dawn seems a bit nervous and awkward, she has solid evidence supporting herself and Virginia comes across as unprepared and even to the point of admitting that she does not have data supporting her claims. Like Dawn says, Christians are not against having great intimacy, just waiting 'till it can be the best that it can be!"

Well, as you can see from one of the clips, Jessica is being generous when she says I'm only "a bit" nervous and awkward:

In my defense, if you catch the audience shots in the other debate videos, you can see that I am facing a jam-packed crowd of sweaty NYC hipsters, most of whom side with my opponent. It was a blessing to be able to put a few words about chastity in their ears for the duration of the debate, but, boy, was I on the spot.

If you'd like to get an idea of what ten months of Thrill of the Chaste talks did for my confidence, here I am addressing a far friendlier crowd at St. Paul's Cathedral in Worcester, Mass., last month: