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Chastity Is for Lovers

Chastity Is for Lovers

Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin 

Author: Arleen Spenceley

Foreword by: Helena Burns, F.S.P.

Price: $13.95

Format: Paperback

Pages: 160

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 978-1-59471-480-1

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

On-sale date: November 28, 2014

More Family and Parenting, Marriage and Relationships, Personal Growth, Spirituality


Winner of a 2015 Catholic Press Award: Books for Teens and Young Adults (First Place). 

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.

Features & Benefits

  • Spenceley is a staff writer at the Tampa Bay Times, was featured on NPR’s Tell Me More, and has written for both secular and religious media—Chicago Sun Times, Tampa Bay Times, the Austin American, the Florida Catholic, Ignitum Today,,, and elsewhere.
  • Spenceley’s approach is similar to Jason Evert’s successful If You Really Loved Me but distinct in that she is both a woman and a virgin and writes in solidarity with singles.
  • Spenceley’s networking savvy and steadily growing online presence (, @ArleenSpenceley) position her as an increasingly influential figure in Catholic media. 


"A powerful resource."

"God always allows U-turns no matter how many mistakes we've made. But there also a better and truly beautiful way to live one's life and avoid the pain that comes when one doesn't follow God's perfect plan for sexuality. What a powerful resource Arleen is providing for women and men in today's over sexualized culture."

Teresa Tomeo
Motivational Speaker and Bestselling Author
Syndicated Catholic Talk Show Host

"A masterful storyteller and writer!"

"I’m so grateful—both as a father and a youth worker—for this new book by Arleen Spenceley. She is a masterful storyteller and writer, engaging the heart and the soul with every turn of the page. She doesn’t just have ‘a story to tell,’ she shares her own—with unrivaled rawness and authenticity—in a way that even the most cynical heart will be moved."

Mark Hart
Life Teen Executive Vice President, Speaker, and Author


"Arleen's courageous witness of being a virgin in the 21st century is awe-inspiring. Every young person that reads this book will be encouraged to save sex!"

Justin Fatica
International Speaker and Best-Selling Author of Hard as Nails and Win It All

"A compelling case."

"Our culture is bombarded with sex talk, but Chastity Is for Lovers initiates a conversation about true vulnerability. With her trademark mix of logic, heart and self-deprecating humor, Arleen Spenceley makes a compelling case for choosing the narrow gate."

Dalia Colón
Associate Producer and Co-Host of WEDU Arts Plus
Smart Travel Insider for VISIT FLORIDA
Former Staff Writer at the Tampa Bay Times

"Funny, honest, and insightful!"

“A frank, funny, honest, and insightful look at one of the most important topics of our generation. Arleen beautifully unpacks what chastity is (and isn't!) and provides us with practical examples on how to live it in our everyday lives.”

Bob Rice
Author of A 40-Day Spiritual Workout for Catholics

"Wise, insightful, and relatable!"

"Wise, insightful, and relatable. Arleen Spenceley brings clarity and truth to a topic that is both widely misunderstood and widely disrespected. Her words are a beautiful reminder of the sanctity, purity and power of human sexuality."

Mandy Dobbelmann
Author and Blogger at Forte E Bello

"With clarity and charity."

“With clarity and charity, and a good dose of touching story, Arleen Spenceley has opened a space to discuss authentic chastity again. She does so not with a negative, repressive, or condemning tone, but with one full of joy, hope, and humor. She reminds us all to find, in every state of life, the truth that our hearts really long for: the deepest love, the one every heart is made for!”

Bill Donaghy
Curriculum Specialist and International Speaker
Teacher at the Theology of the Body Institute, Downingtown, PA

"Down-to-earth, honest, fun approach!"

"Perfectly titled, Chastity is For Lovers is a book that brings light to the beautiful truth that deep, authentic love comes from living an integrated, chaste lifestyle. Arleen Spenceley uses stories, personal experience, humor, and Church Teaching to express what we all know deep in our hearts--we have desires that yearn for "something more" than this world offers, a love story that allows to live "life to the full!" People of all ages, states of life, and vocations can benefit from this down-to-earth, honest, fun approach to the misunderstood virtue of chastity.

Jackie Francois Angel
Speaker and Worship Leader
Music Artist, Albums "Your Kingdom is Glorious" and "Divine Comedy"

"Will help any single person."

“I love her honesty: ‘Life isn’t hard because you are single. Life is hard because you are human.’  This book will help any single person to discover that to be single is not always bad, it may just be the most joyous thing in your life!”

Wilna van Beek
Motivational Speaker and Bible Teacher

Arleen Spenceley talks about cultural norms and the importance of a commitment to critical thought. "Norms are not normal because they're good."
Arleen Spenceley talks about her commitment to Jesus through chastity.

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  • Interview (Iowa Catholic Radio)
  • Interview (Big House Morning Show)
  • Interview (Morning Air)