Review: Chastity Is for Lovers

Posted December 18, 2014 in Faith, Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: Chastity Is for LoversChastity is for Lovers by Arleen Spenceley
Publisher: Ave Maria Press (2014)
eARC (120 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Reading Challenges: Read 2014


In 2012, journalist Arleen Spenceley outed herself as a twenty-six-year-old virgin in a Tampa Bay Times op-ed that went viral. In Chastity Is for Lovers, Spenceley expands on that piece, advocating Catholic teaching on sex and marriage with candor and humor, and without judgment.
In her debut book, seasoned journalist and self-professed "happy virgin" Arleen Spenceley offers a mature, funny, and relatable vision of Catholic teaching on chastity for young adults. Chastity Is for Lovers provides perspective on a variety of topics—the difference between chastity and abstinence, how virginity is an affirming and valuable life choice, how the word "purity" can be harmful in ministry settings, how to date well, and why sexual self-control is the best form of marriage preparation—and gives single adults the best possible chance to find true love. She carefully avoids using language that shames readers and instead presents a view of chastity that is joyful and positive.

Find the book: Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository


This is a book I had heard about once before I found it on NetGalley. I requested it and read it in two days. Thanks, Ave Maria Press!

Take a look at the publication date. The feast of Saint Catherine Labouré! And the publisher is Ave Maria Press. From that alone, I knew I would like this book.

So, what is it really about?

Early in the book, Arleen Spenceley states the purpose of this book, what it is really about. She writes the following:

This book is not about virginity pledges, abstinence rallies, or purity balls… It’s about a life of reckless abandon to a radical ‘homeless guy’ who is both human and divine. It’s about applying critical thought to social norms. It’s about living lives that make sense in light of the Gospel regardless of how much sense our lives make to the people we meet. It’s about acting on our needs for love and a Savior.
This book talks about chastity, virginity, providence, dating, love, self-control, purity, and truth (the chapter titles, in case anyone was wondering). Miss Spenceley talks about how chastity allows us to learn to love. Chastity shows us what love really is, something counter-cultural.
We live in a culture that isn’t conducive to love. It mocks us when we model it, says there’s something wrong with us for trying, and is never, ever going to cater to us.
In other words, chastity is a virtue that aims to integrate sexuality with the rest of the stuff that makes us human. … It upholds dignity, promotes integrity, and allows a person to experience love as God designed it.
Miss Spenceley uses many short stories from her life and the lives of others to illustrate what she is writing about. I really love that. It makes the writing practical, applicable to everyone. More than once, the point is made that even if you are not a virgin, you can still live a chaste life. Chastity is not based on virginity. All Christians are called to live chaste lives both outside, and inside, of marriage.


I love this book. It is not a long book but it is packed with great information. It makes Catholic teaching on chastity (as well as birth control, love and sex) more understandable to the average lay person. This is a book that I am seriously considering (meaning: I probably will get) as a gift for my younger sister. I know that, the way this book is written, she will be able to understand it and apply it to her life.


I received this book for free via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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