How Did Christianity Warp Your Sexuality?

William Lobdell, the author of Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America and Found Unexpected Peace, is working on a new project and he could use your help.

He is looking to hear stories from people whose “views of sexuality were warped by their Christian faith.”

I’m looking for first-person accounts (I could either interview the people or they could tell their story in an e-mail) from former believers who struggled with their sexuality/impluses/lust/etc. because of their religious upbringing. They can be anonymous. I’d like people to start with their informal or formal sex education (if there was any), and basically give a narrative of what the church’s teachings did to their sex lives. I’m looking for former guilt-ridden Catholics, purity ring owners, wedding-night virgins, scorned pre-marital sexers, etc.

For what it’s worth, I’m sure Christians will tell you that their sex lives are perfectly fine, thank you very much.

But we have all heard stories from people who were repressed, abused, or taught sex was immoral, evil, and wrong (at least outside marriage). When you think “sex positive,” Christianity definitely doesn’t come to mind.

If you’re willing to share your story, you can contact Bill here.

  • sc0tt

    I don’t have a story – no sexual warpage.

    But the sex talk I got from my dad consisted of his giving me some pamphlets from church.

  • http://www.bigmama247.com Alise

    I was lucky — I met the folks over at themarriagebed.com before I was sexually active, and while they are far more conservative theologically than I am, they are firmly pro-sex and that foundation kept things pretty spicy.

    But yeah, the number of serious jacked up sex lives we saw over on their message boards due primarily to negative teaching in the church was just astounding. Blech.

    I hope he can expose some of the bad stuff because it’s definitely out there, but I hope he also gives a nod to some of the folks who are giving good information as well.

  • Nikki Bluue

    THis isn’t about sexuality, but….when I was 15, I remember disliking the ideal of marriage cuz the christian ideal is the wife has to stay home, tend to house and kiddie duties while the husband can go to work, fool around with the secretaries, flirt with the bimbo at the bar and then come home. Honestly, I overheard some christian women crying about that as a kid, so it scared me.

    I made a formal “oath” to myself that I repeated a few times during my life NEVER to get married. I still am upholding that oath, even if my warped idea was long since “corrected”…I still don’t want to get married. :-)

  • LeAnne

    oh man, i had a bible study teacher when i was 14 or 15 try to tell me that it was okay for men to masturbate because it was a ‘physical need’ and it wasn’t okay for women.

    dead. serious.

    that’s probably my most ridiculous teaching about sexuality from my christian years in a nutshell.

  • Liz

    I’m over it now, but high school was pretty tortured. I was pretty much a tease. I’d let boyfriends do stuff to me but I never did anything to them because somehow it was more sinful. I didn’t masturbate until I was in college, about the time I started losing my religion. Of course, I never confessed any of my sexual sins. That would be too humiliating.

  • Grimalkin

    I hope that there will at least be a nod to cultural differences. I grew up in Switzerland, a highly conservative country and a very religious area (including a 2-year stint at a Catholic private school) and I had excellent sex ed starting from a very early age.

    And thank goodness for that, I say, because it was the knowledge I learned in these formative years that kept me safe as a teenager living in the US (where our public school “health” class consisted entirely of “sex is bad and will kill you. Here’s all the many ways in which it will kill you…”).

  • Kevin S.

    What’s wrong with fooling around with the secretaries? :P

    Joking aside, I received a fairly comprehensive sex education, both from my public middle school and my Catholic high school. Even my dad put aside his personal religious feelings on the matter and gave me practical advice on being safe with sex. I’m still anal and overcautious about using multiple forms of protection with my girlfriend sometimes, but I don’t know if that’s a remnant of scare tactics or just being smart.

  • CBC

    The link isn’t working…

  • http://spatialdistortion.com/ Jim

    Kevin S said: “What’s wrong with fooling around with the secretaries?”

    Nothing at all ;)

    I was raised very open-minded (re: not forced to go to church or any other spiritual venue) and never had the misfortune to have my sexuality warped. However, I did grow up in a primarily catholic community. I can say that the term “catholic girl” mean a great deal to us horny teenagers. I meant that they are the most likely to be sexually repressed and therefore the most kinky in bed. I shit you not, this was very very consistent.

    This sounds all fine and dandy for a horny teenage boy, but the fact is that the community was teaching girls that sexuality is bad and you don’t talk about it or even think about it. Then, these girls would find out that sex isn’t that bad, but because their sex education was a joke at best, they didn’t really know how to be responsible about it. The end result was girls that were extremely sexually active and very ignorant about safe practices.

    It ended up that, while these girls were great to hook-up with, they were absolutely bankrupt for anything long-term. So, nothing ever came of those relationships other than sex. In all reality, this is the scary thing. Rather than teaching girls to be knowledgeable about their sexuality, they would rather teach them that it’s wholly wrong and then deny that anyone is having sex “behind the church’s back”.

    Not a very specific example, but this was normal for most of the people I grew up with.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    It made me a prude. It made me uncomfortable whenever people talked about anything vaguely sexual. It made me fear thinking of other people as sexual beings. It warped my understanding of how women’s minds work. It made me feel deeply ashamed of even thinking of purchasing pornography. To this day I’m still greatly troubled by the idea of going into an adult book/video store.

    It’s taking a lot of work to break free of those problems.

  • Allison

    12 years of catholic school definitely warped my thinking on sex. In 7th grade I learned I’d go to hell for masturbating. Once I figured out what I was doing was actually masturbating I then realized I was going going to hell. How could something so good be so bad? The whole ‘no sex before marriage’ didn’t deter me either. Why not have sex before marriage? What was I afraid of? I was already going to hell for masturbating?

  • Jim

    My view on sex got warped when I was young. I didn’t grow up in a religious home. I didn’t have parents hounding me about sex. I simply believed that sex was sacred and special and only happened between two people that were bound together by god. I held onto my virginity until I was 22 years old and gave it up to a woman who was very much into her faith as I was (christian). I felt that we were in love and that sex was the right thing to do. I fully believed that everything was right in the world. Then she dropped the axe and utterly destroyed me emotionally. My faith and belief in the ideology of love and sex began leaking and deflating. Confusion led to frustration, frustration led to anger, anger led to disgust, disgust finally led to cynicism and no small amount of fear and loathing of this concept of love and sex. My only ‘rationalization’ was that I had done something wrong. That I somehow failed god because I wasn’t in love with the girl (who I swear I was in love with) but since god knows everything, then who am I to argue… right? That rationalization poisoned me and now I deal with a paradox of emotions. I want sex, I like sex but I hate sex and want to avoid it.

  • littlejohn

    My father was an atheist and my mother was a lapsed Catholic. But my father – a sophisticated man who was twice a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize – was the biggest prude I’ve ever met. And my mother was obsessed with masturbation – not a good thing when you’re a teenage boy. Fortunately, being one of those rare people who never, ever believed any religious dogma, I didn’t let their attitudes bother me. Ironically, my mother, who is dying from Alzheimer’s, now masturbates constantly.

  • muggle

    Grimalkin, time as well as place. I got an excellent sex education in junior high (known to you youngsters as middle school) and no parental consent required in 1971. Thank FSM. Because my holy roller mother would not have given her consent.

    About the worst effect — and damn them for it — being brought up rigidly religious was that I waited for Mr. Wrong. I was a late bloomer as a result, real late. I wasn’t ready in my teens (can’t say if that was the hellfire and brimstone or if I wouldn’t have been anyway) but I waited until just before my wedding at 23. I should have given into temptation with that dude I had trouble resisting at 19.

  • Kyle N.

    I didn’t have sex until close to my mid 20s. I was never kissed until my early 20s, in fact. Plus, I spent the first 30 years of my life trying to be a straight female. I later went on to become a gay male. I was raised Mormon. I stopped going to church when I was about 24. I had to work to deprogram all the stuff I’d been taught. I’ve been a regular masturbator since I was young. After I was finished I would get down on my knees and beg forgiveness from God. Even today when I do it, I’ll sometimes (but rarely) feel guilt about it and get a slight urge to repent. However, that’s becoming rarer now and I never give into it. I’m a proud and outspoken atheist.

    Reckon I qualify?

  • Scott K.

    I remember being terrified of going to hell when I was eleven… for doing what every eleven-year-old boy does.

  • terry

    When I turned 12, I was handed this book:

    What’s the Big Deal About Sex: Loving God’s Way by Jim Burgen

    Needless to say, that combined with the typical protestant purity ceremonies, dedications, and (naturally) re-dedications did a lot to warp my views on sex. I was one of thousands. Luckily, I went ahead, had sex, and realized that it was all bogus.

    “Every time you have sex, a little of you slips away that you won’t be able to give your wife on your wedding night. For the rest of your marriage, you will not be whole and there will always be emptiness inside you.” Paraphrased from experience, but pretty much what I heard for years.

  • Ides of Ulven

    Engaging in a bit of horn-dog nostalgia over taking advantage of the religious/psychological distress of young, conflicted catholic girls is not a sign of a non-warped outlook on sexuality.

    I support exposing and fighting against the ways in which religion hurts people, sexually. But it is not enough to know that there’s no god and that you can masturbate in peace. Healthy sexuality involves respect for the freedom and autonomy of other human beings, including women. It means you don’t overlook someone else’s well-being while seeking your own pleasure. I’ll make a burnt offering to FSM the day that notion become ubiquitous in skeptical circles.

  • Stan

    I was lucky never to attend a religious school, but the sex education I got in public school wasn’t much better. As I expected, they didn’t so much teach us about sex as tell us not to have it. Lots of pictures of people with STDs, mushy phrases like “you’re a present worth saving”, and a pledge we were all highly encouraged to sign promising we would not have sex until marriage. I was already nonreligious by that point, so it didn’t really warp my sexuality, but it did piss me off a great deal.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Beth

    My sex education consisted of a flour sack baby to show us what it would be like if we had sex and got pregnant. No mention of birth control or abortion or adoption or satisfying, healthy sexual activity. And this was a public school.

    I remember that my dad would sometimes tell me that it was really important not to have sex before marriage. I began masturbating at a younger age than most girls seem to, and I remember being terrified that masturbating was going to damn me for all eternity. That didn’t really stop me from doing it, because I figured I was screwed anyway (no pun intended) because I had done it before.

    At church, the most important message about sex seemed to be that you had to be heterosexual (failed at that), and you had to save it for marriage (failed at that), and you had to do it mainly for procreation (failed at that), and man was on top (oh hell no). We were taught that our bodies were temples for jesus and that by having sex we were tainting that purity that was so important.

  • abadidea

    Count me as warped to the point of breaking.

    Someone on this site already wrote me once to ask about it. I could probably re-send that letter verbatim.

    At what point should I throw the fact that I’m bi in Mommy’s face? Before or after the marriage?

  • BlueJay

    I didn’t grow up in a religious family nor religious school. I got my sex education from a public school. It wasn’t very effective, given that I have an autism spectrum disorder and without explicitly detailed visual information, I usually don’t learn very well.
    A few years ago (around age 20) I got my first girlfriend. She was almost 30 and was a Lutheran. She was a “no sex before marriage” type and given the conditions she wanted us to have before we got married, it was never going to happen. She wasn’t even open for the “safer” stuff. Being a very sexually frustrated guy, when another girl showed interest in me I took the chance. I cheated on my girlfriend and then confessed to her what I did. We broke up after that. It wasn’t easy on either of us but in my eyes I did what I had to for both of us. As far as I know she’s in her early 30′s now and most likely still a virgin.
    Religious poison doesn’t only affect those exposed to it. It harms those they try to love as well.

  • Emily

    +1 for the “warped and terrified” group. I’m fine now due to years of re-programming myself.

    @terry: “Every time you have sex, a little of you slips away that you won’t be able to give your wife on your wedding night. For the rest of your marriage, you will not be whole and there will always be emptiness inside you.”

    That sounds exactly like what they told us at these lectures they would make us go to in (Catholic) middle school. There was this woman who literally screamed the names of most known STDs at us (while grotesque pictures were projected behind her). She also used duct tape as a metaphor for sex. “Sex is a bond, like this tape. If you stick it to someone’s arm, then unstick it, then stick it to someone else’s arm, then unstick it… on and on. If you do this enough times, you can’t stick it to anyone else. That’s how sex is. If you have sex with multiple people, it doesn’t mean anything anymore and you won’t be able to connect AT ALL to your husband/wife. Your virginity is a GIFT.”

  • sarah

    Count me in as well. :p

    It made me a prude. It made me uncomfortable whenever people talked about anything vaguely sexual. It made me fear thinking of other people as sexual beings.

    This is totally me. :(

    I didn’t have my first kiss till I was 22 and sex till a few years after, and only twice because it kind of freaks me out. I am glad I am with someone that understands how I feel. I told him about my catholic school upbringing and how that really skewed my views of sex.

    I was taught that sex was dirty and you will, most definitely, go to hell. I even had a teacher that said “you will go to hell if you have premarital sex/use birth control/have an abortion/get a divorce/etc.” I was already a doubter of religion and god when I was being taught this.

    I wish I wasn’t such a prude and uptight about it.

    “Sex is a bond, like this tape. If you stick it to someone’s arm, then unstick it, then stick it to someone else’s arm, then unstick it… on and on. If you do this enough times, you can’t stick it to anyone else. That’s how sex is. If you have sex with multiple people, it doesn’t mean anything anymore and you won’t be able to connect AT ALL to your husband/wife. Your virginity is a GIFT.”

    I was told this in middle school as well. :( Mine was something like “imagine you have sex with one guy. he slept with 4 women in the past so you essentially sleep with them as well. you will get STD’s and die. your virginity is a gift that should ONLY be given to your spouse.”

    I am slowly trying to reprogram myself. It has proven to be a task of great difficulty.

  • cathy

    Being queer in a christian conservative area definitely affected my sex life, if not my attitudes about sex. I had a very high reading level, very unconcerned parents, and public librarians that didn’t censor (ah, the awesomeness of the public librarians. There’s actually a copy of Rubyfruit Jungle in the library now, I smile ever time I go past it) so I managed to get a lot of unconventional access to books with sexual themes and books on human biology from a young age. The only sex ed we got at our school was the nasty, medically inaccurate, homophobic, sexist fearmongering, but luckily I educated myself on the facts and didn’t let it bother me too much.

    But, attitudes around me affected my ability to get laid. Seriously. All of the women I dated in high school were closeted, and guys were encouraged to have very f-ed up ideas about sex and relationships. Also, I socialized as masculine and was considered too much of a guy for the guys at my school, but none of the girls would openly date a butch dyke, so…I never dated or slept with a person who attended the same school as me.

  • Tony

    I grew up a good Catholic. My first girlfriend dumped me because I was so paranoid about moving too fast that I didn’t move at all. I’m nearly thirty and while I’m mostly over my religious hang-ups they’ve left me so stunted I can’t recover. I have yet to have a fulfilling sexual experience or a relationship that lasted longer than a month. I haven’t dated since college and I’m terrified to do so because I have less experience than most high school students.

  • entroika

    I was raised as an Anglican, and thankfully I can’t say that my sexuality has been too damaged by my experiences with the church.

    We had these regular social events as a part of youth group, sometimes they were just a chance to hang out and have fun, sometimes there was serious, organised discussion. One time the guys and girls were split up so that we could discuss gender related issuses freely. Us guys were with the male youth pastor, and when the topic of masturbation came up he was able to joke about it and get some laughs out of the group. To his merit, he said that Jesus doesn’t actually mention masturbation at all, and that he couldn’t make a comment where something hasn’t been covered. Of course the verses from Matthew 5:27-30 were mentioned about how looking at a woman lustfully is equal to adultery, but I definitely appreciate that he didn’t spew out the typical “IT’S SIN AND YOU’LL BURN FOR IT” that some of the other commenters here have suffered.

    I had a (Christian) girlfriend in high school who I went out with for about 11 months. We had all these ridiculous boundaries that we were constantly pushing and testing, and though there were some pretty sexually charged moments, we never really got to ’2nd base’ as Americans tend to call it. Though it always felt so good and so right in the moment, and though we wanted to go further, when we separated for the day we always felt terribly guilty about it, and would send sad texts to each other where we apologised and swore “never again”, or promised to stay true to more stringent boundaries. I remember she once expressed her disgust for masturbation, so I called her out on that, repeating what my youth pastor had said. I think it’s sad that Christian kids are taught (either directly or indirectly) that sexual touching of oneself or others is ‘dirty’ or ‘wrong,’ or that even the ideas themselves are sinful.

    Sometime toward the end of high school and before the beginning of the university year (this year) I became an Atheist (should that be capitalised?). Recently I did a search on a march that occured here in New Zealand several years back. It was called “Enough is Enough” and seemed to be against civil unions, the legalisation of prostitution and upholding a host of other “Christian moral values.” The search turned up this blog. Note the black printed shirts, angry faces and raised fists. I was disgusted and disappointed that such a thing happened in my country, and wished that it had occured at a time when I was old enough to 1) understand and 2) attend the counter-protest. Reading that young woman’s story has helped me see that members of the LGBT community are real people with real feelings. As a result I’ve toyed with the idea of joining the campus LGBT group to reinforce and nurture my budding enthusiasm for LGBT rights, and to break down any lingering discomfort from my days as a Christian. Also to meet some awesome people who just so happen to be queer :)

    This is my first post here (and a bloody long one too). I love this blog! :)

    – entroika

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenton.forshee Kenton Forshee

    I grew up going to a very conservative christian church, and as a gay child I was damaged by what I learned there and by the conservative religious rural community I grew up in. I was abused at school because of my gayness and I was encouraged to take the abuse because at the time I felt I deserved it due to church teachings. It was leading me to suicide.

    The “Notes” section on my facebook page has the details in my deconversion story.
    Here:
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=424669099296

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    To those that have avoided sex earlier in life and now feel inadequate because of your inexperience and are terrified of new relationships… Just know that once you do have sex a few times, it will become easy and natural. You can “catch up” fast.

    Been there, felt that, and have also “caught up”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenton.forshee Kenton Forshee

    Jeff P,

    Sometimes it’s not just a matter of avoidance early on but damage that can be directly linked to religious teachings. That’s how it was with me, and I’m still not over it and I’ve had sex many times.

    Kenton

  • blueridgelady

    I was raised Christian and my parents offered me no sex education whatsoever. While I do understand parents do neglect this conversation maybe in the hopes that their kids won’t have sex (ha!), I really feel like I should have been empowered and aware, and that didn’t happen until I found out things for myself.
    This also had a very negative impact to this day (mid-20′s), I still haven’t told my parents about an inappropriate encounter forced on me when I was a young child that severely hindered my sexuality and I never got therapy for it, due to the shame I felt. I don’t blame my parents or religion for that, but shame is a powerful tool against a child, and other aspects of Christianity use the same tools.

    As a feminist, I will definitely be sex-positive with my kid/s if I have any. I do not think sex is something to be ashamed of and I would rather send kids out there educated than shamed and embarrassed.

  • Silent Service

    How could I not be warped by it? I felt guilty about liking guys as much as I liked girls. I felt disgusting after masturbating nomater who I was thinking about. I avoided sex till I was 19, and if she hadn’t pushed the issue for months I would have been a virgin till I was 28. I fell for all the Sir Lancelot bullshit about protecting women and protecting their virtue for them, even having three sisters that if I’d paid attention back then I’d have known that women deserve no more protection than men.

    All of that is the effect of just growing up in a predominately christian society. My mom didn’t push me to go to church very hard and my dad never gave a crap about religion, though he’s never denounced religious belief. But nearly everybody around me was intensely Christian in my rural Midwestern home.

    I would like to thank my first girlfriend for helping to break me free. We never has sex, but she did teach me that she did not need a knight in shining armor. Reverend Kate, you will always be my first true love.

  • catherine

    I’m a lesbian who was raised in a pretty conservative Christian home. I think I could write my own book on this topic.

  • Canadiannalberta

    So many stories like mine! I suddenly don’t feel so alone.

    I’m twenty-three and just getting over the fact it is okay to masturbate. Like, the last couple months.

    I might have my first boyfriend, too, and I wish I could somehow turn off the ‘Catholic guilt’ I still have, even though I wasn’t really raised Catholic.

    I echo many people on here who grew up in Christian towns. Where I live is very Christian.

  • http://criticallyskeptic.blogspot.com Kevin, Critically Skeptic

    I tried to put something down, but I don’t think it’s too interesting. I’m bisexual and have gender dissonance, and I closeted that for about half my life. My sexuality isn’t warped, I just had to come to terms with that fact.

  • Julie Marie

    I was raised with liberal ideas about sex. I was hurt by my ex-husbands Catholic ideals – he justified our pre-marital play by deciding he would marry me. He didn’t tell me this until he decided he wanted out. I would never have married him if I’d known that was one of the reasons – and I certainly wouldn’t have tried as hard in the marriage. I’ve gotten over it x many years — but you better believe I will figure out a way to tell my son (who is only 8, so I have awhile to ponder the presentation) that if he chooses to date a very religious girl, she may have some expectations attached to “giving it away.” It’ll be part of the “sex isn’t all about you” talk.

  • Pingback: Did Christianity Warp Your Sexuality? « The Gomorrah Chronicles

  • Religion is Bullshit!

    I grew up very religiously Christian in an Asian American household in White-dominated Denver, Colorado. I remember growing up feeling guilty about every little sin I “committed” and I was actually conscious of every sin. It’s all because of my damn dad who is a staunch Christian. When I was in high school, I would masturbate then feel like shit the rest of the day because I felt like I “soiled” my purity and faith as a Christian. Needless to say, while I felt guilty and depressed because of my faith, the White “Christians” in my school fucked each other’s brains out after drinking plenty of vodka and beer. It’s Colorado, y’know? Oh yeah,how can I not forget to mention Ted Haggard? How does a televangelist tell everyone to keep their pants on before marriage and heterosexual and end up fucking little boys. Talk about hypocrisy.

    I’m 22 and still a virgin, but I let go of those chains and now have a beautiful, hot girlfriend who is also a virgin. When I return to the States, we will be sinning passionately and consistently till the end of the world…. in 2012. Oh right, 2012 is also an arbitrary year made by religious Mayans who don’t even exist anymore. Fuck religion and all its annoying, self-righteous leaders!

    Sex is completely normal and natural. Without it, men go nuts and women turn lesbian. Besides, there is no god… the proof lies in this fact: it takes men an average of two minutes to orgasm, while it takes at least 12 minutes for a woman. Can someone say PRAISE JESUS AND HALLELUJAH!

  • anon

    I’m not sure if it is the sole factor in my warped attitudes on sexuality today, but it has definitely played a large part.

    I was primarily raised in a ‘progressive’ bible church. These churches are aimed at teenagers and young adults, trying to make the church relevant to a group of people with changing mores (i.e. don’t want to be told they are going to hell for masturbating, that gays are an abomination, that abortion is the worst evil, etc.) But while they package it differently, it’s still the same guilt tripping and shame doctrine of other churches. No one says “you’re going to hell” if you have pre-marital sex or masturbate. They do something I think is arguably worse, which is tell you that normal behaviors such as masturbation, pornography, etc. are things that will erode your character and make your life unsatisfying, bleak, and destroy your relationships with other people. For naive teens and young adults, I think this is much more dangerous. Even a teenager has the mental capacity to realize the inherent contradictions of ascribing eternal damnation to masturbation or pre-marital sex, but for people with no life experience, predictions that a few small acts or behaviors will make their lives snowball into a depressing and unfulfilling existence is insidious and also I think very effective.

    For guys, I would say the vast majority of our “Men’s only” small group meetings were directed at stopping us from looking at porn on the internet, or ‘lusting’ after women. There was no real teaching on growing in our faith (finding purpose in life, building better relationships, finding who you are, etc.) that wasn’t somehow related to porn and lust. All of your problems you had were tied up by these teachings to your sexuality, and every time you acted like a normal teenager and looked at porn or masturbating, it gives you the feeling you are causing everything else in your life to go wrong. When I was really young, I thought I could influence things to turn out my way by not masturbating or looking at porn. That’s how much they tie it in.

    But it doesn’t stop at that. Being taught that looking lustfully at a girl is the same as having sex with her in the eyes of God, I became deeply ashamed of ANY sexual attraction I had. I still feel this to today. If I am interested in a girl, it’s almost impossible for me to show it. I feel like a pervert even flirting with women, and it is why I am still a virgin at 22. Any time a girl flirts with me, I deflect somehow. I don’t even really realize I’m doing it until later.

    But the worst is for all the church tries to do to keep you sexually ‘faithful’ to yourself, I can’t help but obsess about sex. Now it is self-doubt about my own sexuality, about whether I will ever have sex, worrying about obsessing with sex, feeling shame whenever I look at pornography, etc. It seems my whole life is wrapped up in sex still, and I blame my christian upbringing.

    Undoubtedly it may not be ALL the church’s fault, and I probably was more sensitive and susceptible to the bullshit they were preaching than most, by virtue of being a scrawny nerdy kid. But what they taught me did have a large effect on how I view my own sexuality now.

  • Fluidtechnique

    christianity has almost driven me to suicide on some accounts. Now I’m not a Christian however. I was raised in a bubble. Didn’t even know what sex was till I was 13. My parents never brought it up and in movies they would scorn at kissing, my dad would mock young teenagers who would hold hands. My mother would tell me all women were evil and have bad intentions. I would walk around every day feeling guilty about everything. Then I realized, this is actually hell…I’d rather be dead then live 90 years of this. So I said fuck religion. I’m a 22 year old virgin, i’m not even a bad looking person or socially awkward..I just have 0 experience with women. I never talked to them all throughout high school for fear of my parents. One time these girls called my house from a sleep over and asked for me..all while my parents were breathing down my neck so I told them never to call my house again. I know I should leave the past behind but I’ve been so bitter about my upbringing and smoke a lot of pot to get over it. Fuck religion. I don’t know if athiesm is the answer either but I know Christianity is bullshit.

    • truthsetsyoufree

      Your parents views were quite warped .It sounds more like they were in a cult disguised as a christian church.Please find a real christian church with christians who are normal well balanced people.I have been a born again christian for 35 years. I have never encountered anyone like your parents.Real christianity is not about religion ie rituals and traditions, its about having a relationship with Jesus christ, and with fellow christians, and showing non believers in society/workplace etc that real christians are not weirdos, they are normal people

      • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

        No True Scotsman? The commenters’ parents were just as much “real Christians” as you are. And if your brand of Christianity teaches that engaging with one’s sexuality is wrong outside of marriage, that even desires, fantasies and masturbation require repentance, then it is just as harmful and warped as the religion that the commenter grew up with.

  • Chris Dagostino

    I can totally understand why God wants us to hold off until marriage–no STDs, no unwanted children, or any of the other bruised fruits of meandering sexuality. And judging from the great responses above, it certainly seems like the sex is magnified when it’s consummated between a married man and woman. The problem is, few of the Church leaders seem to tell us how to wait in a healthy manner. They don’t teach that sex is best in its proper place and context, and that–this is crucial–God can and will forgive us for the moments where we stumble between now and then. (1 John 1:9) Instead, we pretty much get, “Keep it on ice. Here comes the collection plate.” I accepted Christ 15 years ago, and having watched many TV preachers over that course of time, I could probably count the number of “sex-positive” sermons I’ve heard on the fingers of one of Mickey Mouse’s hands. Maybe if more of them had mixed God’s grace in with Matthew 5:27-28, I wouldn’t be the asexual guy who’s written off marriage that I am now.


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