Purity tests - just how pure are you?
November 10, 2011 5:24 PM   Subscribe

Purity tests! From the olden days of Usenet: A purity test attempts to gauge how "pure" you are within some realm of experience by having you answer a list of questions regarding which acts, etc. associated with the subject you have engaged in. Generally, for each "yes" answer you lose a purity point. The result is scaled to tell you what percentage of purity you still retain.

Also see:

The Unisex, Omnisexual Purity Test

And:

The Definitive Purity Test!, featuring no less than twelve masturbation-related questions.
posted by marble (75 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
Man those take me back. Remember the various geek code blocks you could drop into your .sig?
posted by jquinby at 5:27 PM on November 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Now that I'm not in high school those tests seem remarkably tame.
posted by yellowbinder at 5:29 PM on November 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm 71% pure? Thats alarmingly high for a 30 year old...
posted by SirOmega at 5:29 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


This site generated a pop up ad for Lycos.
posted by Diablevert at 5:31 PM on November 10, 2011 [16 favorites]


Holy shit! A doorframe! Who could have guessed this would open up whole new horizons for me?
posted by cmoj at 5:37 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every time I take one of these I'm always left feeling like there are points I should be losing for things I've done that the test-writer can't even begin to imagine.
posted by egypturnash at 5:37 PM on November 10, 2011 [25 favorites]


Q. Would you take the time to answer 412 questions about your romantic/sexual experiences?
A. No.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:38 PM on November 10, 2011 [14 favorites]


Remember when people on the Internet had attention spans?
posted by mckenney at 5:39 PM on November 10, 2011 [19 favorites]


-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
GCM d s-:++ a C++ P++ L+ E---- W++ N o+ K--- w+ !O !M V PS+ PE Y+ PGP+ t+ 5 X++ R+++ tv b+ !DI D++ G e+ h- r++ y?
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
posted by charred husk at 5:41 PM on November 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


I took the long one once. I'm not all that pure.
posted by jonmc at 5:43 PM on November 10, 2011


I still remember that one of the versions I took in college had the question "Have you ever performed bestiality (avec les animaux)" or something like that. It always made me think of kids at prep school.

Amazing to think what the kids of today would put on their purity test. I feel like the ones I took back in the day had, like, 10 questions about whether you had ever seen someone of the opposite sex in their underwear (and were you aroused).
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:43 PM on November 10, 2011


Ah, there's just something about Santa Cruz and purity tests.

Besides the Armory list please enjoy the One Hundred Question Purity Test With Answers produced by MetaFilter's own Lore Sjoeberg.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:44 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know if kids these days are releasing updated Purity Tests with all of the sexting and other new fangled things they're doing?
posted by Nackt at 5:49 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh, I was looking at some of these realizing that they're old enough to use MOS instead of MAS and actually ask separate questions about homosexuals. If some sociology student is looking for a term paper, an analysis of sexual attitudes over time as reflected by online purity tests would be a cool thing to read.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:55 PM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


How pure a Metafilterian are you?

Have you ever:

1. Mispelled a word?
2. Mispelled a word in a post to the front page?
3. Posted a link to the front page where the title is used as the first sentence of the posted, rendering it mildly confusing to read on the front page?
4. Posted a slyt but actually the video goes to vimeo or somewhere?
5. Had a post deleted?
6. Started a metatalk thread for something not metafilter related?
7. Signed up a sock puppet account purely to favourite your own posts?
8. Used mefimail maliciously somehow?
9. Begged the question incorrectly?
10. Self linked?
posted by dng at 5:56 PM on November 10, 2011 [17 favorites]


Pure is poor.
posted by Artw at 5:57 PM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


11. misspelled the word "misspelled" as mispelled?

So there. 32% pure, 90% good at spelling.
posted by Hoopo at 5:59 PM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


The armory 500 question was the harvey mudd de facto standard, and was somewhat absurdly popular. We all knew our purity scores, and were all on quests to get particular points.

I did finally get the damn upside-down point. That one was elusive.
posted by flaterik at 5:59 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh God, these.

They always seemed to be very sexually obsessed focused, and it was always rather apparent to me that the writer did not have very much sexual experience. It was like being interviewed about sex by a fifteen year old.

"Um, OK. Have you ever kissed a boy."

"Have you ever kissed a boy with your mouth open. With tongues."

"Have you ever seen a boy... naked? *giggle*"

"whisper have you ever.... you know, like... DONE IT?"

"OMG!"

"OK... have you ever kissed...a girl? interviewer collapses in fit of giggling"
posted by louche mustachio at 6:01 PM on November 10, 2011 [29 favorites]


True fact about Muddgirl: The first html I ever "wrote" was to copy/paste some code from the Armory to make a summer-camp specific purity test. Unfortunately, it was on Geocities and I didn't think to preserve it.

The armory 500 question was the harvey mudd de facto standard, and was somewhat absurdly popular.

Unfortunately, in my day we had moved on to the Periodic Table of Sex.
posted by muddgirl at 6:04 PM on November 10, 2011


Remember back when TheSpark.com had a bunch of these?
posted by kmz at 6:08 PM on November 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


Right.

THE TIME: sometime in the fall of 1991.
THE PLACE: NYU, one of the dorms on campus. Specifically, our friend Ian's room.
THE CAST: Me and Ian and some of our other friends. Among them is Kim, who has recently started a conversion to neo-Paganism.

We're all hanging out, doing a purity test that Ian's found and swears is the most comprehensive one in existence. We're all sitting on the floor, pencils in our hands, marking off the answers to our questions on our own copies as Dan, one of our number, is reading the questions aloud. There is much laughing and teasing and talking, and eye-rolling over the exacting nature of the questions.

We're on the section dealing with specific authority figures you may have had sex with -- a teacher, a policeman, a doctor, etc. One of the questions in the section is, "have you ever had sex with a priest, rabbi, or some other religious officiant?" We all mark our sheets silently.

Then, in the lull before Dan reads the next question, Kim suddenly starts giggling. "I just realized, " she says, "that solitary practicioners of neo-Paganism all consider themselves to be their own religious officials. So -- if you think about it, if anyone's had sex with me, then...."

There is a tiny pause.

Followed by two of the guys picking up their pencils and wordlessly changing their answer to that question.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:10 PM on November 10, 2011 [28 favorites]


The inevitable Metafilter purity test

(☑)
Have you ever registered...

☐ a Metafilter account? (+5)
   ☐ ...before the 100K account? (+5)
   ☐ ...before the $5 charge? (+10)
   ☐ ..."sometime in 1999"? (+20)
☐ a sockpuppet account? (+5)
   ☐ ...multiple sockpuppet accounts? (+10)
   ☐ ...that are better-known than you are? (+10)
☐ a MeFightClub account? (+5)

Have you ever posted:

☐ a front page post? (+5)
   ☐ ...with over 1,000 comments? (+10)
   ☐ ...with over 100 favorites? (+10)
   ☐ ...that was deleted? (+1)
☐ an Ask Metafilter question? (+1)
   ☐ ...an anonymous Ask Metafilter question? (+5)
   ☐ ...an embarrassing anonymous Ask Metafilter question? (+5)
☐ a callout in MetaTalk? (+5)
☐ a pony request? (+5)
   ☐ ...that was granted? (+10)
☐ an image? (+10)
☐ something in every subsite? (+20)

Have you ever participated in:

☐ a Metafilter meetup? (+10)
   ☐ ...that you hosted? (+20)
☐ a Secret Quonsar gift swap? (+10)
☐ a Mefi Music challenge? (+10)
☐ the Mefi Magazine? (+10)
☐ the cabal (+NaN)

Have you ever been:

☐ banned? (-10)
   ☐ ...multiple times? (-20)
☐ spoused? (+5)
   ☐ ...multiple times? (+10)
☐ called out? (+5)
☐ given a "time out"? (-5)

Have you ever received:

☐ a Best Answer? (+5)
☐ a MeMail message? (+1)
   ☐ ...that wasn't auto-generated? (+5)
☐ an urge to seek therapy? (+5)
   ☐ ...to "tell them what you told us"? (+5)
   ☐ ...to DTMFA? (+5)

Does your profile:

☐ have a picture? (+5)
☐ have more than five social links? (+5)
   ☐ ...more than ten? (+10)
☐ have spiffy old school CSS tweaks? (+10)
☐ actually answer the questions? (+10)

Have you ever made:

☐ the sidebar? (+10)
☐ the podcast? (+10)
☐ a tagline? (+5)
☐ a William Carlos Williams spoof? (+5)
☐ a Metafilter purity test? (-100)
posted by Rhaomi at 6:22 PM on November 10, 2011 [47 favorites]


I took one of these once, and the guy asking the questions was 19 or 20 (I was maybe a year or two older), bi, and claimed a score in the 30s. Even though I wound up way more pure, I did still manage to make his eyebrows go up once or twice.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:23 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm still looking for an opportunity to lick someone's eyeball. I don't really care about most of the other questions any more, but that one still haunts me.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:23 PM on November 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Artw: Kill the poor!
posted by Grimgrin at 6:24 PM on November 10, 2011


things the purity test reminds me of: laser-perforated tractor feed paper
posted by jepler at 6:25 PM on November 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


The local University paper still does one of these every year. I remember sitting around in residence filling it out, trying to decide whether it was more embarassing to have a high purity score or to cop to something particularly egregious. Of course we would all fill them out in the common area, heckling each other.
posted by selenized at 6:40 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was about to mention the university paper at my alma mater, but selenized beat me to it. Because I used to write for the paper, I still occasionally find myself checking their website in February and seeing what new and bizarre questions they've included this year.
posted by asnider at 6:52 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow. I remember going to a party in 1994 at my male friend's house -- all-night Star Wars marathon the night before (other people's) graduation -- to which my mother was SO not in favor of my going and had to chat up his mother. She was right to worry; we spent a fair amount of the night figuring out how many of those points I could lose without actually having sex, getting naked or ingesting substances.

The last time I took one of these, I had consistently been around 70 for as long as I could remember. We knew the scores of everyone on our BBS; we looked askance at anyone under a 40 or so, including one guy who was a 16 and was rumored to have done something with a cat.

I'm a 32 now, same as my age. Oh my GOD am I dirty.
posted by Madamina at 7:40 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


We had this in college, the proper 1,000 question test. I distinctly remember two questions, "Have you ever done anything specifically to lower your score in the purity test?" and "Have you ever gotten ideas for things to do from the purity test?"

I believe I managed to score in the low thirties. It took a lot of work to get there. Taken the test as a sort drinking game was good times, waiting to see who took a drink for what question. Ah... those days.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:42 PM on November 10, 2011


Hmmm, seems to be missing the Usenet purity test about Usenet circa 1991.

Kent Paul Dolan, Roger David Carasso, Patricia O Tuama; I am very very old.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:45 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was a fad in my crowd at college one year when someone put the 100-question purity test on the campus computer system. It was a matter of much giggling and revelation as we all compared our scores.

The Purity Test is a slightly more mature equivalent of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, a comfortable way for adolescents to play around with sexuality in public and appearing oh-so-wild-and-raunchy.

I've never understood the point of the eighty-bazillion question versions; they seem like exercises in obsessive detail mongering, not opportunities for social bonding & comparison. Who cares which of the 10 different types of boats one may have had sex in?

One of our more notoriously wild friends took the test and revealed that his score was 7, making him the least "pure" by anyone's standards. There were only 7 out of 100 transgressive things he hadn't done! Some of us got him drunk and convinced him to lower it one more point ... by smoking a cigarette. (When the word about his purity test score got out, he figured in everyone's secret fantasies.)
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 7:49 PM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm still looking for an opportunity to lick someone's eyeball.

Ohhhh. Now I know why my wife occasionally tries to do that.
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:49 PM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh wow, just yesterday these came up in conversation and it was the first time I thought of them in like over a decade. But yeah as a freshman in the early 90s this was totally a thing people did.
posted by aspo at 7:50 PM on November 10, 2011


I'm still looking for an opportunity to lick someone's eyeball.

There are people who haven't done this? Weird.

Which was always kind of my reaction to the purity tests back when they were being handed around. (At the risk of dating myself, I think the first version I took was on a VT220 terminal, and no doubt constituted a violation of the university's user policies.) It seemed possible to rack up a fairly high score without actually having done much, and equally, doing something capital-B-Bad didn't necessarily count for much.

Silly as it seems now, though, I can remember clearly how intriguing these were at the time; I think a lot of that was because they gave socially awkward people a scripted way to talk to each other about titillating subjects in mixed company.
posted by Forktine at 8:05 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rice 100 point purity test which is probably on the long list, but not under that name. It looks like the same one I took in the mid 80s on first skim. I was embarrassingly virginal the first time I took it and have no idea now (and don't care to lose any more points for the sake of losing them).

I knew someone (not a student, but some I knew through my RPG group, which had some ex-military guys in it) who had a 9 on the test. He was gay and one of the points he'd never lost was that he'd never engaged in cunnilingus. This blew my sheltered little mind.
posted by immlass at 8:05 PM on November 10, 2011


I'm still looking for an opportunity to lick someone's eyeball.

Surprisingly, having that done to you only tickles. One would think it would sting a little.
posted by _paegan_ at 8:12 PM on November 10, 2011


Silly as it seems now, though, I can remember clearly how intriguing these were at the time; I think a lot of that was because they gave socially awkward people a scripted way to talk to each other about titillating subjects in mixed company.

If it were still the mid-90s I would embed a midi file of a bell going "ding ding ding" under this comment. I think I'd skip the blink tag. Never did get many points on the S&M sections.
posted by Diablevert at 8:18 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I swear the first one we took was a freakin' purple ditto.
posted by cabingirl at 8:28 PM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


According to the 412 question purity test I am 94.9% Pure. Someone, please corrupt me, I beg of you.
posted by Godwin Interjection at 9:07 PM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don't take it. It will only make you think about what you're missing.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:18 PM on November 10, 2011


I thought this was a bucket list. I'm supposed to check them all off before I die, right?
posted by desjardins at 9:35 PM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


In the interests of science, I sat through the 412 question test, and scored just over 46%. I feel like I've ticked off the fun stuff already, though, and the parts remaining are mostly pooping on yourself, slipping people roofies, and all the permutations involving someone's mom. So I think I'm pretty good where I am.
posted by Forktine at 9:53 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm personally a fan of Ferrett's version, which is purely about sex.

Also a lot of the links on that master list are broken, which is sad because I really wanted to take the Feminism one.
posted by NoraReed at 9:59 PM on November 10, 2011


were there any purity tests before usenet? mimeographed or photocopied like old fanzines.
posted by jb at 10:10 PM on November 10, 2011


I could swear I have some sort of pre-internet experience with these, maybe a mimeograph or a hundredth-generation Xerox.

I remember, at the time, I was like, "Geez, I've barely ever had sex, so that's a NO to the next seventy quesions. No. No. No. Whaaaaa? No! No. No. NO WAY. No. no, no, no, no. AH! YES! No, no. No. No. No. I didn't know you could do that. No. No. No. No. Isn't that one an urban legend? No. No." And so on.
posted by not_on_display at 10:51 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ummmmmmmm...

Mmmmmhmmmm...

Oh.

17.5%.

And I'm 44.

Well, to quote Indiana Jones, "It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage."
posted by Samizdata at 11:20 PM on November 10, 2011


An old roommate of mine told us a story about how he got to check "being urinated on by someone of the same sex" off his test, even though he wasn't into other guys or golden showers:

He lived over a bar, was good friends with the owner, and he and the owner and a few other guys went to a bartenders' convention, and shared a room between the, like, four or five of them. Being really skinny, he was one of the three guys in the bed. They were all pretty drunk, and one of the guys got up to pee, and simply stood at the foot of the bed, unzipped, and proceeded to let forth on the bed, and the guys in it.

Automatic drop in purity score for all involved.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 11:24 PM on November 10, 2011


Well, if you've got a baby you're getting pee'd and pooped on, guaranteed.
posted by Artw at 11:31 PM on November 10, 2011


The Purity Test is a slightly more mature equivalent of the Rocky Horror Picture Show

Hands up, everyone else who got points for "Have you ever done anything specifically to lower your score in the purity test?" (and, obviously, at least one other) while at the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
posted by hades at 12:20 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The 1000 question Unisex Omnisexual test is asking about chain letters, eating shit/drinking piss and whether I've dyed my dog's fur. No wonder I'm a 72%.
posted by autoclavicle at 1:20 AM on November 11, 2011


I'm trying to decide which is more socially inappropriate: my sex purity score or my Usenet one.
posted by scalefree at 2:32 AM on November 11, 2011


One of the first programs I ever wrote in my C++ course (past the obvious Hello World stuff) was a version of the 100 question purity test.

I had no real idea what arrays and loops were for, so every question had it's own question asking 'cout', answer handler and counter increment.

It also caught they 'y' or 'n' answer and put the answer "maybe" on ths screen instead. Except, if you said 'Maybe' or 'maybe' depending on your answer. I was ridiculously proud of myself and made everyone I could think of do my test, all the time proud in the knowledge that I knew what naughty things people had done.

It was a couple of years later that I realised about 20% of the questions had the 'Maybe' and 'maybe' texts round the wrong way...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 3:02 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am one of the purest people I know. However, I suspect I am using the word in a slightly different way to that intended by these tests.
posted by Decani at 3:31 AM on November 11, 2011


Ah, virgin smut. There's nothing quite like it.
posted by acb at 4:03 AM on November 11, 2011


God, I did one of these once when I was 16 and my then boyfriend was 15. He was, um, more experienced than I was, and embarrassed about it. It literally ended in tears. I don't know if the test answers realised the full, horrifying potential of drama in asking whether you've ever kissed a dog.
posted by mippy at 4:16 AM on November 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Dr. Seuss Purity Test
posted by Busy Old Fool at 4:35 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


58%.


....I don't consider myself pure, I consider myself specialized.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:08 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


jepler: "things the purity test reminds me of: laser-perforated tractor feed paper"

Yes, printing out 100s of pages of stuff on university greenbar, until they finally wised up and started limiting how much you could print.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:24 AM on November 11, 2011


> Oh God, these.
>
> They always seemed to be very sexually obsessed focused,

Huh. My eye automatically jumped over the boring part to the tech section.

Apropos of nothing, I am not an EE or even all that much of a breadboard/soldering gun guy but the first time I ever saw "LER" I knew in a heartbeat what it was, and laughed and laughed and laughed.
posted by jfuller at 6:45 AM on November 11, 2011


Ah, yes, the Purity Test, catalyst of such wonderful arguments as whether or not a church's parking lot is holy ground.
posted by Spatch at 7:35 AM on November 11, 2011


whether or not a church's parking lot is holy ground.

That seems like a question that can be answered by extensive studying of Highlander the Series.
posted by kmz at 8:57 AM on November 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Once, this chick in college started hitting on me by a) showing me porn, and b) making me take a purity test. I got a 90%. She got a 30%. It...didn't really work out between us.
posted by spamguy at 9:17 AM on November 11, 2011


Being someone who is fairly homofearless, and also someone who enjoys making stiff people uncomfortable, despite being straight I scored almost all the "gay acts if you're straight" parts of the test (all technicalities count).

I was quite pleased with myself when my score whizzed past the debauched ex-navy guy in the room.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:58 AM on November 11, 2011


mippy: asking whether you've ever kissed a dog.

Whoohoo! A point I've earned since I last took the test!!!
posted by IAmBroom at 10:01 AM on November 11, 2011


performed oral sex on yourself? (Yes, this is possible for most males

Wait wait wait.

...initiated sex with someone for the sake of sex only?

I don't understand this one. What other sake is there?

...used household syrup, sandwich spreading, oil, salad dressing, or any like substance for sexual purposes?

What is "household syrup"?

...eaten a lab dissection?

What now? The 500 question one at puritytest.org was pretty darn bad. Waay too much repetition.

I shouldn't complain on here of all places about wasting time, but that was a huge waste of time.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:14 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've always thought that the purity test ought to be double entry: one column for those things you've actually done, and then another column for things you would do if you could, or would undo if you could. Then your final score would be a ratio of the two scores. Or something.
posted by ancientgower at 12:56 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


95. Had dates with more than one person in the same night while one or more of the people involved were NOT aware of your actions?

No, I don't live in a sitcom. People really do this?
posted by Gordafarin at 1:12 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


performed oral sex on yourself? (Yes, this is possible for most males)

T'ch'yeah, right, if blowing it a kiss counts.
posted by Decani at 2:55 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


95. Had dates with more than one person in the same night while one or more of the people involved were NOT aware of your actions?

No, I don't live in a sitcom. People really do this?


I have done that (two dates with two women in one night) only once (and of course I didn't tell them - neither was a "steady" girlfriend), but I don't think it's that uncommon. Drinks -> Dinner -> Late-Night.

I *only* scored a 50% on the 500 question one. Too many pee and poop questions.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:14 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


52.7% on the definitive purity test, and 24% on the Female Purity Test.
posted by luckynerd at 5:17 PM on November 11, 2011


94% on the 200 question test.
posted by mike3k at 7:28 PM on November 11, 2011


Things the purity test reminds me of: VT220 terminals, the IRC sexchart (which, terrifyingly, appears to still be maintained, kinda).

(Wow, that's a lot of "whatever happened to...").
posted by mendel at 8:54 PM on November 11, 2011


That was quick.

"Conversely, do you need a chart to track who has dated whom, who has
slept with whom, and who has had more than their fair share of drunken
hookups? Or is this all one man's conflated introspection of his
extended bachelorship?" (psst, i'm female.)


(from mendel's link)
posted by ersatz at 6:20 AM on November 12, 2011


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