Lots of you have commented positively about the theme and variation of perspectives so far, some with more uncertainty and fear. This series is about highlighting the need for better, more accurate and grounded conversation, I like to think it being about a need for embodiment, in the hope that folk out there feel less alienated by their experiences or lack of. Last week on Valentine’s Day Threads UK released a sex-themed e-magazine. I want to particularly highlight two articles which are asking similar questions about virginity and is heavy petting sex? bringing in different perspectives that link to this broader series and are definitely worth a read if you’re interested. Here is the second story in our impromptu sex week discussing Christian sex culture and education.
“I became very involved in church in my early teens. In so many ways my time involved in church was positive and I have much to be grateful for to the people who impacted and influenced me over these years. I came from an unstable family background and I strongly believe that without my involvement in church I wouldn’t be where I am now or the person I am today.
On the other hand, church has a lot to answer for and it has taken many years for me to work through and overcome some of the more negative impacts it had on me – one of these being my attitude to and experience of sex.
It was made very clear to me as a member of the youth group at church that sex was well and truly off the agenda until I met ‘The One’, got married and had sex on my wedding night. This resulted in me and my friends dreaming of this magical night that we had to look forward to, and anything that went beyond kissing with a boyfriend being followed by guilt and seeking forgiveness from God- although clearly not with full conviction as our teenage hormones and sexual desire always led us in full circle time and time again -
I met my husband when I was 18, we ‘got together’ when I was 20 and were married by the time I was 22. We have been married for ten years and are very happy. However, we both feel that without the pressures of church and my husband’s Christian family we would have taken our time before getting married -
We tried to wait for this magical wedding night to have actual sex- spent months doing everything but, and then decided it was ridiculous- the only thing stopping us was what other people felt that God thought about sex out of wedlock, and we’d both reached the point that we were no longer even sure of Gods existence, let alone what other people thought about his opinions.
We did what was right for us and wished we’d done it sooner, the sad thing was that I couldn’t talk to my friends about it as I knew they would disapprove. It became a kind of secret and to this day my closest friend thinks that I waited to have sex until my wedding night. Even after 10 years of marriage and having our daughter I definitely feel that this secretive experience has had a huge impact on my attitude to sex- my husband gets frustrated that I don’t feel comfortable talking about our sex life, but it’s like deep down in my psyche it is still something that carries anxiety. It makes me embarrassed to write this and I hope that I can change how I feel about it.
I also hope that my daughter can grow up into an adult with a positive attitude and outlook on her own sexual experience. Your journey of sexual discovery should be something wonderful, something to be celebrated with friends, to talk about comfortably with your partner and certainly not something to be kept secret. Yes, I think the church does have a lot to answer for…”