Sexuality Project: Romantic Relationships, Q. 5

This is an installment of the Religious Fundamentalism and Sexuality Project. You can read the full list of questions here and the posting plan hereThe first six participants whose stories I’ll be posting are Melissa and Haley, Lina and V, Latebloomer and Katy-Anne.

Romantic Relationships

5. Do you still hold any of the beliefs about relationships that you were taught in fundamentalism? If yes, which ones?

Note: No, you’re not going crazy! We’re skipping question 4 on this round, as it pertains to people who have never been in relationships. All of the participants in this group are married, so obviously it doesn’t apply!

Melissa and Haley

Melissa:

No.

Haley:

No way. Humans are sexual, each person knows the sexual expression that is right for them. I want this world to be a place that embraces all forms of sexuality that does not violate consent of the parties involved and protects the young who cannot consent.

Lina and V

Lina:

I honestly can’t say. It’s hard to separate those beliefs from the common-sense types of beliefs. I believe two people can love each other and build a bond for life, yes; I don’t know that that belief directly traces back to fundamentalism. Pretty much any gender-related belief I’ve totally thrown out, for understandable reasons.

V:

The only way for me to answer this is to say that I hold none of the same beliefs about relationships that I was taught in fundamentalism.  I am so far removed from that lifestyle, and I reject it.  To say that I hold some of the same beliefs would be a disservice to my wife and myself.  I feel stronger for having come out of fundamentalism, why would I want to bring it back to my relationship?  It’s not say that some qualities of our relationship are not present in those in relationships who are fundamentalists.  I believe that every good relationship will have similar qualities; however, I prefer not to take myself back to that time in my life.

Latebloomer:

I still believe that people should avoid playing games with each other or simply using each other for self-gratification; that is certainly not just a fundamentalist value, however.

Katy-Anne:

I really don’t think I have held on to any of my beliefs about relationships from fundamentalism. When I left fundamentalism, a lot of fundamentalist beliefs just didn’t make sense anymore in the real world outside of the cult. My motto became “question everything” and I did question everything. It was good for me because it was really the first time I had questioned everything, and so it was the first time I actually developed beliefs that were mine.

  • Valarie

    I really appreciate Haley’s statement. I come from a conservative Christian background as opposed to a fundamentalist background but a lot of the teachings are the same. A friend introduced me to a concept that I have held onto strongly. “If it harm none.” I try very hard to live by this rule. The qualifications that she attaches to sexuality fall within this principle. Thank you for sharing this part of your lives with us. These concepts have been a real struggle for me in my time on this planet and realizing that other women have gone through the same thing has helped immensely.

  • ScottInOH

    I still believe that people should avoid playing games with each other or simply using each other for self-gratification

    Yes, and Christians will tell you that the only way to avoid this is to follow their approach. They are wrong, as you point out.


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