Chastity, or at least some coyness about sexual availability, is in vogue among a group of female pop artists who are bucking the age-old marketing mantra that "sex sells."
"Sex is so intimate, and when you give yourself without a strong type of commitment, something's lacking," says Rebecca St. James, 23, an Australian-born pop vocalist for the Nashville-based ForeFront Records. "There's hurt."
Pop star Jessica Simpson, 21, has been especially open about her decision to delay. sex until marriage. Her song, "Heart of Innocence," talks about what she plans to bring to her wedding night. Simpson's virginal status has so fascinated Cosmopolitan that the magazine has published two articles on the subject in the last year.
"I believe my soul and my faith are what's sexy about me," says the singer, who sports a miniskirt, bare midriff and clingy sweater in her publicity photos. "It's all about what's inside."
The purity trend bemuses Mark Joseph, 33, founder of MJM Entertainment Group in Los Angeles and author of a recent book about Christian pop music, The Rock & Roll Rebellion. …