Sex Miseducation

Children who go to public school receive sex education. Some sex education programs are better than others, some are more comprehensive, others less so, but at least children attending public schools get sex education. I didn’t. My parents never told me about sex, never had “the talk” with me, nothing. My parents taught me that sex within marriage was the most wonderful think ever but that sex before marriage was the most sinful thing ever, but they never actually explained what sex was. They just told us that it was a “special way of loving.” Weird? Yes. In an ideal world children will learn both about sex and to hold a healthy view of sexuality from their parents. Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world.

Now of course, I was curious: just what was this “special way of loving?” What was this thing at once so dangerous and so wonderful? And why was it so taboo, kept hidden from me like a secret? I pieced this secret together here and there from various sources over the course of six or eight years using a variety of sources:

 

A Biology Textbook: When I was in middle school I found a description of sex in a biology textbook. The two or so sentences of clinical explanation horrified me, and I quickly closed the book and put it away, more confused, terrified, and ashamed than enlightened.

An Art Book: Around the same time, I found a book full of pictures of statues in a stack of art books my mother had gotten from the library. The statues were nude. I stared, fascinated, looking at the pictures in an effort to learn more about human anatomy. I then felt incredibly dirty and put the book away quickly before my mother could notice that I had seen it.

A Book Store: When I was around fifteen, I was at Barnes and Nobles and ran across a book on how to tell your child about sex. I hid behind the shelves of books and listened anxiously for footsteps. I skimmed the pages furtively, hungry for whatever information I could find, information that would help explain this confusing thing to me. Given that I was terrified of being found and that the time I had was limited, the only thing I remember learning was about masturbation, which I had never heard of before. I felt extremely guilty and dirty afterward.

A Christian Sex Guide: At some point during high school, I found a Christian guide to improving your sex life in my parents’ bedroom. Closing the door and extremely nervous I might be discovered, I leafed through the book, slightly concerned that my parents might be having marriage problems and very frightened of being caught looking at the book but more curious than anything else. After a few minutes, I returned the book to where I had found it, feeling guilty and dirty, but slightly wiser.

The Internet: When I left for college I could use the Internet without being afraid that my parents would check the computer’s history. Finally I could solve questions that had been puzzling me, like just what “oral sex” was – I had heard the term somewhere several years back and had been curious ever since, but had been unable to find the term in a dictionary. Finally my questions could have answers. I clicked through pages of Christian sex advice websites, always afraid that my search terms might bring up porn sites. I justified what I was doing by reminding myself that I was now an adult and besides I was only looking things up on Christian websites.

A Mirror: I realized during my first year of college that I had no idea what parts I had down there. My parents’ emphasis on purity had made me feel that my private area was somehow dirty and unclean, and I had therefore never paid any attention to it. I didn’t even know where my vagina was, just that it was down there somewhere. Curious, I looked up anatomy images on the Internet and then then stood naked in the bathroom using a hand-held mirror to explore body parts I had not even known I had. I was both fascinated and horrified by what I learned.

Romance Novels: After I had been in college for some time, I held the hand of the man who is now my husband for the first time. This made me feel warm and wet in certain places that I had not known could be warm and wet. I was completely baffled. I had no idea what was happening to my body. I might now know the basic mechanics of sex, but I knew nothing about how it actually worked in practice, or what it meant for the body to be “aroused.” What was this? And so, I turned to the lurid romance novels one of my friends kept in her dorm room, reading the sex scenes in depth to try to find out what sex was actually like.

And that, reader, is how I learned about sex. Is it any wonder that I wish I had had a sex education class? Some years later, after I left my parents’ home and was married, a fifteen-year-old girl in a youth group I helped out with started asking me questions about sex. I answered her questions, every one of them, with the openness and honesty I wish my parents had had with me. I didn’t want her to have to learn about sex by sneaking her mother’s Christian sex book or reading romance novels. I didn’t want her to be nineteen or twenty and completely ignorant of her own anatomy. I didn’t want her to be like me.

I’ll never understand how my parents could on the one hand teach me that sex was something beautiful and sacred and at the same time leave me in ignorance about it and make me feel like it was something dirty and unclean. It was the most wonderful thing ever…but it was completely taboo as a topic. It was a sacred bond between husband and wife…but please don’t mention it or think about it. The contradictory messages I received gave me a very warped view of sex. I both looked forward to the sacred bond of sex with my future husband and felt dirty any time I thought about it. Learning about sex piecemeal here and there didn’t give me a very accurate view of sex either, even discounting the sense of guilt I felt about doing so.

When I finally got to the point of actually having sex, I was disappointed to find that it neither felt sacred nor lived up to the descriptions in the romance novels I had read. Picking up knowledge of sex in bits and pieces here and there while awash in guilt does not lead to a comprehensive understanding of sex or a healthy sexuality. I had no idea that sex took practice or effort, or that sometimes one partner wouldn’t feel like it and the other would, or that it could be sweaty and gross. It has taken me years to iron all this out and to come to a healthy view of sex. I wish that instead of focusing on keeping me ignorant of it, my parents had informed me about sex and focused on giving me a healthy view of sexuality. But then, their beliefs about sex would not allow them to do that.

What I would have given a sex education class, a safe place where I could have found the basic information and asked questions! Sure, it wouldn’t have been perfect, but it would have been something.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • http://www.ayoungmomsmusings.blogspot.com Young Mom

    This post made me smile. I have many similar experiences. My mom ripped the pictures of a mother breastfeeding out of the child's book on animallife we had. And we had an art book on sketching with a section on nudes, and my mom stapeld all those pages together so we couldn't possibly see them without breaking the staples and getting found out. I had no idea sex existed until I was almost 11, when my mom was planning on me being in the room for the birth of my sister. Then she had a talk with me about how the baby would come out of her vagina, and showed me a sketch of a baby being born. I asked how the baby got in there, and she told me that there were seeds from the dad that got in there when you are married and you love each other very much, that was the extent of anything she ever told me. Besides all the stuff about how I needed to stay pure for marriage. I remember looking up sex in the dictionary trying to figure out what it was. While babysitting at 16 I saw a photo book on birth by Linaart Neilson and the next time I was at the library I found it there and paged through the beautiful pictures of pre-born babies. At this point I still thought that the seed from the guy magically went into the woman while they were sleeping, so when I read the first few pages of this photo book, describing what the different body parts were, and looked at the photo's of sperm and ovum, I started to suspect that there was something more to this whole sex thing, this book was making it sound as if body parts actually touched. I was hugely curious after that, why was everyone so obsessed with sex if it just happened while you slept? I saw a "talking with your kids about sex" book in my moms closet, but I was to nervous about getting caught, so I never looked in it. I was not allowed on the internet, and dad had it locked with a password, so there wasn't much hope there. Finally at almost 17 on a family trip to the library, I found "The 17 magazines girls guide to sex", hid it inside of a history book and sat on the floor in the corner behind the shelves and speed read as much as I could before my mom came looking for me. I finally knew what sex was. And that was as much as I knew until I got married 3 years later and had to figure it out with my husband. He had way more scientific knowledge of body parts and sex than I ever had (he actually knew what everything was called) but his parents had never talked with him about sex either.

  • http://bluebleakember.wordpress.com/ bluebleakember

    Lol, this post really made me laugh. How well I remember the cluelessness, and the sense of horror and guilt I felt when a glimmering of information did find it's way to me. Sometimes I would come across a word and really wonder what it meant. Masturbation? Orgasm? Oral sex? What were these things? One of the only things I knew for certain about sex was that pornography (whatever it was) was evil and people that enjoyed it were depraved perverts. Since I also had heard from Christian sources that most men looked at pornography, I was understandably alarmed.Anyway, I sort of turned off the curiosity switch and didn't even wonder much about these things until I was engaged, silly me. :) Then I figured it was okay to learn what I needed and I pieced together an adequate understanding from books and conversation with a kind and honest friend. Still, there's a lot you just learn by doing, practicing, and experimenting. Marriage itself is very educational. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10562805251128821984 Libby Anne

    Young Mom – Yes, yes! Funny, what similar experiences. We had some books about Egypt, and my mom blacked over the bare breasts. And I also remember pages being stapled together sometimes. Once, mom read us a book about babies and childbirth, and in the very beginning it shows a man and a woman in bed together, like, all covered up and all. And mom moved past that SO FAST I KNEW it must be something both really important and taboo – which I knew it must have to do with sex. Funny how we learn these things! Bluebleakember – You mentioned porn, and that you were told that most men looked at it, and how that scared you, and that made me think of the whole "men only think about one thing" line! I got that all the time! I have to admit, that made me a bit scared of guys!

  • jemand

    I learned mostly from books too. In fact, I didn't really have much of a conversation with my mother even about periods, I got most of my information, and my first information, by poring over the old testament levitical laws on how long a woman was supposed to be "impure." In fact, much of my sex education came from there, and I REALLY don't recommend it.I actually did masturbate, but I had NO idea what it was at ALL, I somehow knew it had to do with sex, and I somehow figured out it wasn't "pure" so felt INTENSELY guilty about it, I thought perhaps I'd get pregnant with a bed or something, because I thought the orgasm meant you'd get pregnant with whatever you were having sex with at the time, or something. Or maybe god or the devil would get me pregnant or something. I also thought I was the ONLY person on the entire planet to have invented something so wicked. When I heard the word somewhere during high school, and looked it up in a dictionary (of course, this was an 1880's publication or something, my parents had some old books, it defined it as "self abuse" as well as giving a bit of description) I felt a little sick, but also better that I hadn't actually *invented* that particular perversion.It wasn't until I was 16 or so that I found a very old copy of "our bodies, ourselves" behind a stack of books my mom must have had when she was younger, and flipped through some of the pages, that I got to a diagram of actual sex. I had always thought before then that the man just ejaculated onto the woman's vulva, and it was a little scary to realize that wasn't actually the case.I DID eventually have a "health" class in the private religious high school I went to, but I had put it off until my senior year somehow, and by then, I had had access to a computer and had satisfied my curiosity other ways.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10562805251128821984 Libby Anne

    Jemand – Oh I LOVE Our Bodies Ourselves! I actually found out about it while taking a graduate class on feminism, a couple years ago, and got a copy. In addition to being honest about sex with my daughter and answering her questions, I'm giving her a copy of that book the moment she turns, like, eight. Love it!

  • Anonymous

    I didn't even grow up in patriarchy, and I can relate. My parents never discussed that with me either.For example, my mother used the euphemism "sick" for menstruation. It was nice to learn, from a woman's magazine when I was 19, that this is not a sickness, but an unfertilized egg, laying in a slimy "bed", to be ejected once a month and replaced by another. And that it is not a disease.I learned of the basic mechanics of sex from a book, the name will translate as "almost twelve" meant for kids about 11-12 to teach them about the topic, which I found in my grandmother's house when I was about 16.Arousal? I was past 30 when I first heard the word – from naughty stories on the internet. (Been aroused before that, could make no connection between my thoughts and wetness.)Yes, I too approve of sex education. I happen to be rather old for a virgin, but I don't think my upbringing is the reason I am one.(Not first time I post here, prefer to be anonymous this time)

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Sounds like a great plan, Libby–I definitely believe in getting that information to kids BEFORE it becomes necessary and I've always thought books are a good option because they are a way for parents to make sure that kids get the information they're looking for but are too embarrassed to talk to their parents about. Our Bodies, Ourselves is a classic!The problem is, comprehensive sex ed does happen in public schools but then there's the scourge of so-called "abstinence ed" which sells exactly the kind of ideology about sex that you guys are talking about having heard growing up. I was lucky enough to grow up in a home with parents who were very open about sex information and very "anti-shame" and I had standard semi-comprehensive sex ed in middle school health class. However, then my high school had a "faith-based" group come in, separate the class by gender, and talk to us about sex (I think my school didn't quite know what they were getting into at the time because this group never came back) and they fed us all weird, contradictory crap you're talking about: Boys are callous horndogs with no self-control who just want to use you. But you should marry them. Sex is a dangerous, destructive act that will fill you with despair, loneliness, and self-loathing–until you get married and then it will be all sunshine and rainbows. And, of course, no actual information about sex and how it works. It's so ridiculous. Of course, me being the loudmouth I am and having had the good fortune to grow up with a healthier outlook, I kept on relentlessly arguing with the "educator." I'm pretty sure she hated me. But it made me so angry–these ideas are so offensive to everybody. They turn girls into these passive victims and they make all men out to be these pigs who have no moral agency. (And yet, it's us feminists that are supposed to be the man-haters. lol)Plus, like you say, it not only instills fear of sex in young adolescents who haven't had it, it also sets people up for disappointment by making it seem as if all you have to do is be a Good Girl and then everything will be perfect. I had a pain condition that made intercourse almost impossible for me for a few years. When I was diagnosed and started treating it (it's gone now), I joined an on line support group for women who were going through the same thing. A disproportionate number of them appeared to be young, Christian wives who had had to bump up against the reality that marriage doesn't make everything perfect on their wedding nights. Over and over again, they kept saying stuff like "Why is this happening to me? I did everything right and waited!" The message of the conservative ideology on sex is that good sex is a reward for "virtue." It's such an irresponsible thing to tell people. I felt so sorry for these poor women–the pain is bad enough without all the added feelings of bewilderment, betrayal, and inadequacy.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15172112981244682382 shadowspring

    I used that Linnart Nilson book with my own children, reading it all out loud in elementary school. It wasn't until the third or fourth time we read it that my daughter asked actual questions. I still love the way that book matter-of-factly describes sex. The book is titled Being Born. I still have it.I bought a copy of Dobson's Preparing for Adolescence and borrowed a copy of the book Period (my fave!) to spend a night at a hotel with my daughter reading and eating pizza then off the Busch Gardens for her 10th birthday present the next morning. I told her she could ask me anything, but I know she still saved a lot of her later questions for the internet.:We were going to give my son "the talk" when he was nine, but a few months shy of his ninth birthday another Christian home schooled kid came over and typed "pornografy" into the search engine. Ahem. Not my plan at all. We moved up his talk a few months.I think you can all blame the Ezzos for the lack of sex information. They advocated ignorance until the night before the wedding through their "Growing Kids Gods Way" program so many churches fell for. It is one of the main reasons I was never an Ezzo fan. >;[I often asked people like your parents, who hid art and acted like nakedness was a sin, what about the missionary kids? My husband's parents worked with a Stone Age tribe in South America. The norm was that darker people wore grass skirts if they were girls, and tied their penis to a string around the waist if they were boys. Did they think this made missionary kids ruined somehow? I assured them that my husband was completely morally upright in spite of all the body parts he had seen growing up. Christians are a funny lot.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04510986008238276269 Amanda

    Oh my gosh, this post is wonderful. I grew up in a similar environment and I remember trying to teach myself things about sex. When I was in 6th grade, I drew a picture of a lady with boobs and a man with a penis, trying to get a grasp on things I had heard in sex ed. My mother came in and saw the drawing! I got in SO much trouble. She acted like I was a monster and I was grounded and she wouldn't speak to me for like… a week.Sex was so mysterious and scary, so that when I finally had it… it just seemed stupid and I felt like, "This is what everybody has been acting so psycho over my whole life?"

  • Anonymous

    Because of the subject matter, I'm going anonymous for this one.My mother still claims that she took the "answer any and all questions" approach, but at the same time, both parents (especially dad) heaped on the shame. I was, fortunately (for them), both very shy and very cautious. I didn't start looking for anything related to sex until I was fifteen — FIFTEEN! — and I had found gurl.com while in the library after school. Fortunately, at that point, the sex-ed content was pretty basic stuff: yes, your body is supposed to do this, it's okay to think guys are hot, and other basic affirmation and information (again, since I was very shy and in the library, I didn't go for the actual "sex" articles). My internet use at home was monitored, since the only computer was in the living room (and only dad knew the password). It didn't help that my sister (and, later, my brother) were "early" bloomers, and I have been more slow-and-steady. My parents, concerned that my sister was having sex, bought her a book that pretty much gave all the "biblical" reasons NOT to have sex (http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Worth-Waiting-Greg-Speck/dp/0802477046/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid;=1311281391&sr;=8-1); she left it in my room once I started middle school, and I tried to get as much information from it as possible. But that book only led to more questions, which, when asked, led to shame; I asked what "making out" was, and my mom assumed that meant I WAS making out with someone and freaked out. I asked what masturbation was, and dad overheard the question and started railing about how only perverts and sluts masturbate. Any question I asked, despite the "ask and we'll answer" claim, only led to parental freakouts.It didn't help that menstruation was treated like a shameful nuisance. Dad would get angry when I had to deal with my period (which I still don't understand). Mom always forgot that I couldn't use the jumbo tampons and pantyliners.If/when I have kids, I'm picking up "Our Bodies, Ourselves" and introducing the basics gradually and repeatedly, and — most importantly — normalizing the whole experience of growing up. I don't know how I'd approach sex, other than gradually — elementary/middle school is definitely abstinence, but in teen years, the concept of having sex should include "if you're going to, make sure…", you know? I'd rather help buy condoms, etc thank have to deal with a teenage pregnancy.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10562805251128821984 Libby Anne

    Anonymous – "I'd rather help buy condoms, etc thank have to deal with a teenage pregnancy." Agreed!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15172112981244682382 shadowspring

    Just pointing out where the condoms are in Target would probably be a big help for many teens. Gone are the days when you had to ask the druggist for condoms in a whisper, so kids at least don't have that terror to face! They can be pretty anonymous and won't have to ask anyone for anything if they know where condoms can be found and how easy it is to purchase them.

  • http://www.themarketgoblins.com Jenna

    I can totally relate. My mom swears that she told me at some point, but I had to learn the "mechanics" of it for the first time from James Dobson on the "Preparing for Adolescence" cassette tape series that they made us listen to in youth group.Also, I remember one time when I was in some public waiting area and I read a sex advice article in ladies home journal, then went home and looked up all the words in a dictionary. That night, I didn't get any sleep because I was so full of guilt over losing my innocence and purity by reading that.

  • Wendy

    Wonderful post! My mom did a pretty good job informing me about my body without a big helping of shame, but I didn't know what a clitoris is or that women have orgasms. *sigh*When my oldest was seven (seven!!!) she asked me why gay men get AIDS more than other people. Deep breath. And I said, "It's a really important question, but I feel embarrassed, and I need to think about my answer for a little while." Smartest thing I ever learned as a mom! (And yes, we did have an awkward, technically accurate conversation the next day.)

  • Cherí

    Oh yes, I learned about sex the piecemeal way as well. Actually, I had started masturbating before I even knew what it was, and when my mom read the Dobson "Preparing for Adolescence" book with me years later (but she skipped the part about masturbation, I had to sneak the book out later to read it myself) I remember thinking, "Oh my gosh…I'm having sex with myself!" All so guilt-ridden and shameful. Also, I was never told about birth control of any kind. I knew what it was, and I knew that it was kind of important, but I was never prepared for the moment when a man is intimidating me with "I know what I'm doing and I don't need a condom." Turns out he didn't know what he was doing and I ended up pregnant. And so I, as well, plan to be completely open and honest with my daughter about sex and prepare her to deal with it responsibly, instead of telling her not to do it and that's that.

  • Anonymous

    I makes me sad that I still encounter fully functioning adults who have little to no clue about human sexuality.The thing that drove it home for me was having to have "the talk",with my 30 year old girlfriend, and to be supportive about a subject that should have been handled by her parents two decades ago.It scares me that people would subject their children to such a disservice regarding a subject as important and wonderful as sex.I hope someday the shame can stop, and we can happy with our beauty. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11528666097533701258 Xanthe Wyse

    I got no sex education from my strict fundamental christian family. It was assumed that we just 'don't do "it" ' but any details about what 'it' was were never discussed.

  • Anonymous

    Your experience and so many of the comments here totally resonates with me. I am so comforted seeing all the people who had the same experience of "wait.. that is all it is" after their first time. I cried after I had sex for the first time because it was such a let down. I have so many friends who are not married yet and still saving themselves for marriage and I wish I could give them your post, but I am not "out" as an atheist with my family (of origin) and friends from childhood, so I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that sadly. Since I grew up with sex being a very taboo subject, I feel incredibly awkward dealing with it with my children. This post and the comments have encouraged me to get over that so they grow up to be healthier than I did!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17451586866320697262 asmallcontempt

    THIS THREAD. I WANT TO HUG ALL OF IT.Thank you. Thank you. I have been going to town on your blog for the past several hours; and then this post? You nailed it.I didn't grow up QF, but in a very conservative non-denominational church in the Midwest. I find it really peculiar that nearly everything you say resonates with me minus the large family bit. I'm actually sort of scratching my head as to how my parents missed that memo since they were on board with all the rest…?At any rate. Sex. Silence on the ends of parental units/suggestion of shame kept me from asking them any questions. Like you, art books and biology books were key, but left me absolutely clueless. Later, I googled sex acts or clinical names of genitalia and was just hornswaggled. I remember scrolling through pages of d***s, just entranced. Not aroused, really…just…shock and awe.But for a long time we didn't have internet. So what's a 12-13 year old girl to do?My entire family knew I was an avid reader; every once in a while family and friends would drop off books to slake what hunger the library could not. This one time, an older lady dumped off a big box of…romance novels! They were, of course, strictly prohibited in our house, but I managed to squirrel one away in (are you ready?):…the wall of our pig barn. I would go out to the barn to do chores and read, in horror, and later in curiosity, at all of these weird intense things. The barn was usually very quiet with some hay bales to assemble as furniture and some fluffy kittehs to keep me company and, most importantly, it was easy to hear people coming! I don't know if it was more shame or threat of punishment that kept that book in that wall – I have no doubt that I could probably dig the thing up tomorrow. Thankfully, I am now a sex-positive feminist and atheist and PROOF that you CAN do this. I am so much happier with my life in and out of the bedroom now that I believe that sex should get a vote, too. There's no more guilt or shame or selfishness or jealousy or paranoia anymore…I just can't fathom being made to feel guilty for things that happen in your mind or consensual acts that happen between adults (of any variety, be they garden or tropical!).Made it. Glad to be here with you, and enjoying your stories. :)

  • Anonymous

    I am a guy. And my parents never gave me the sex talk, nor do I ever recall any of my siblings speaking of sex during my childhood. I have to say that I'm thankful to my dog who sucked me off one night when I was 12.Apparently I had a nocturnal emission and my dog licked through my underwear's and it woke me up, and I had an orgasm just as I woke up. I never let my dog (may it rest in peace) do that again (it was a little weird to think my first sexual encounter was bestiality and molestation) but I figured out jerking off the day after. Everything else I later learned from books and the library.Now 10 years later, I probably know everything there is to know about sex. But it wasn't until about a year ago after living on my own for about five years that I finally dismissed the horrible monster of sex my parents made it to be. So far, never had sex. Don't really plan to any time soon. First off still can't imagine anyone wanting to have sex with me; second, I can't seem to gather enough desire to pursue it.Long story short, its a bunch of hubbub about nothing much. Parents who hide sex from their kids and convince them it's evil are backwards, ignorant people.As a guy, masturbating at least once a week is just like a periodic maintenance thing. Otherwise ya jizz in your pants at night. Or just do it for the hell of it. BUUUURRRRRRRRRRRRRNNNNNNNNNNNN IIINNNNNNNNN HHHHEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL YOUUUUUUU PEEERRRRRRVVVVVEEERRRRRTTTTTTTTTSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!P.S. Love the blog. I consider myself a feminist guy. Even though I don't have any female acquaintances.

  • Anonymous

    Old post. Just wanted to chime in that I got sex ed from pharmaceutical ads in magazines. You know the ones…you get emails from friendly internet stores offering them "$$cheap!" At 8 or 9 I did something EXTREMELY DARING and looked up "penis" in the encyclopedia. (I think I was looking up "Pennsylvania" and "peni-" comes before "penn" so it was "on the way", so to speak.) But I never got past the second sentence in the article b/c I was so ashamed. And I got anatomy lessons from the instructions in the tampon boxes underneath the bathroom sink. Though it took me a while longer to figure out WHY you would put things up there. I didn't masturbate until I was 16 and spent years feeling guilty and going to confession weekly b/c I couldn't seem to stop.This thread is so funny and so sad at the same time. I feel so bad for the person who cried after the first time. I didn't cry, but I certainly felt cheated, and stupid for having waited so long.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this thread! It's amazing. I came from a family that was not that religious (we were episcopalians, but stopped going to church), but sex was still a big no, no. I did get sex education in public schools, which helped. My Mom dealt with it by asking me, "You know about sex, right?" And, I said "yes," too embarrassed to ask questions.Like others on this thread, I began to masterbate without intending to. And then felt very dirty and bad for doing so. I told God that I was bad, and that it would stop. But it didn't. It felt too good. I think that having to choose between masterbation and God's approval became one of those things that ultimately led to my agnosticism. Not the only cause, but I began to ask why something that felt so natural and good and was not hurting anyone else could so offend God.

  • Little Mrs V

    This is literally word for word my very own story- right down to the textbooks and romance novels! I didn’t even know about the word “vagina”. Mom used terms like “Vulva” and “Birth Canal”. Once I finally discovered my vagina and what it could do- wow. Pity I had been so afraid of it all for so long. . . If my parents had any clue what my husband and I do behind closed doors now, they’d be insanely horrified.

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