This post is NSFW (not safe to read at work).
I got the idea to write this because I read this and this and something saying that only 67% of women in some study of “mainstream Americans” reported having an orgasm the last time they had sex, while men reported a rate of 91%. The worst bit of info from that study was that in a “hookup” only 11% of women had an orgasm (an incredibly damning statistic for the hookup culture if you ask me). Also, 10-15% of ordinary women are thought to have never had an orgasm. I thought “Ooh, this is bad. What gives?” I imagined that among people who grew up with the Quiverfull teachings I did that that rate is likely even worse. Then it made me think of this quote by Douglas Wilson, which just makes me shudder.
“When we quarrel with the way the world is, we find that the world has ways of getting back at us. In other words, however we try, the sexual act cannot be made into an egalitarian pleasuring party. A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts.”
Awful perspective, right? So that’s why, although I’ve already talked about some serious issues with the role of sex in the movement before, I decided to approach it from a different angle today. Sexuality is something that is personal, that is yours to make decisions about, no matter what you may have been talked into believing to the contrary (don’t even get me started on the “pieces of your heart” talk, the many sneakily layered meanings of the word “modesty,” or the hints starting at a young age about how a certain kind of “giving of yourself” will be required by your imaginary future husband). So that’s why today I decided to write bluntly about how to enjoy sex as a woman, particularly as a woman raised in the Quiverfull/Christian patriarchy homeschooling movement.
I figured that as someone who has taken a human sexual behavior class in college (and made an “A”), never faked an orgasm or felt there was reason to (both expecting and generally having actual real ones when getting it on with her man), and who also grew up the Quiverfull way, with the purity teachings and attending a succession of home births and whatnot, that perhaps I have some useful things I can share about sex.
Still, I want to make clear that I don’t figure I am some expert or even that I am particularly experienced in this arena. In fact, I’ve only kissed four guys in my life (which is apparently about 3 more than your average Quiverfull daughter is supposed to). Still, learning how to have good sex was a problem for me in the past, but today I thoroughly appreciate and enjoy it. Sex is a natural human thing, nothing to be ashamed or shy about, and I am happy that it exists. Thing is, wanting it is instinct, knowing how to actually do it, or be responsible about it, not as much so.
Also, I am only addressing some basics of heterosexual sex here, largely in the context of a loving relationship, because that’s my thing. If you need to know more about GLBT stuff or healing from sexual abuse, or anything regarding less “mainstream” practices, there are others that could likely provide much better resources.
Discovering What You’re Working With
I know we were raised to see masturbation as wrong, as some sin or sex addiction problem, but I don’t think they characterized that exactly right. (Although obviously it can be an issue if you are regularly choosing masturbation over sex with a willing spouse.) Anyway, regardless of how you feel about masturbation, here is my case for at least trying it: if you have never had an orgasm by yourself it’ll be a lot harder for your partner to figure out how to give you one.
Also, different people like different things and sometimes you’ll find yourself wanting different things depending on what mood (or what part of your cycle) you are in. So take some private time and check out your body. Here is a simple guide as to what you might be looking for.
If you are comfortable with it, and if you aren’t that’s okay (this is where I definitely deviate from any advice you might ever hear from Quiverfull parents), you might even want to consider getting a couple items that can be nice for a girl to own (particularly if you are forgoing sex and waiting for the right guy and/or the right wedding ring). Some women report discovering the difference between a vaginal and clitoral orgasm (even though technically they’re both clitoral, just different parts of it) with one of these. One of these can be fun and used with a partner too.
Before “Going There”
Before ever doing the deed you should know what the main parts of the male body are and how they typically function so you can understand and enjoy them (obviously). Here’s some excellent diagrams that explain it all nicely. Then, because you likely already know that sex causes babies (and I imagine are likely already more familiar with the gestation cycle, birth, and infant care side of things than the average person) I will skip past that part (read here if you need it) and just say that if you are not up for pregnancy (and hey, I’m still not) you should find a birth control method that’s right for you. Here is a nice chart with the effectiveness levels for various kinds. Also, I could write at least five whole posts on Quiverfull/Christian Patriarchy sex myth busting but the bottom line is that no matter what people might have told you (or mistakenly believed themselves), getting on the pill does not cause abortions and condoms do significantly reduce the risk of HIV and other icky things you don’t want. We were taught a lot of garbage by people who wanted to control our fertility.
About STI’s (formerly called STD’s) – they are common and most are treatable. If you think you might have been exposed to one, go get tested. If you think he has, make him go get tested. Testing is not a big deal. Pelvic inflammatory disease is. Women are more vulnerable to the ravages of STI’s than men thanks to the shape of our bodies (yeah, um, thanks a lot mother nature!) and often women don’t have symptoms or know they caught one. Some untreated STI’s can cause cervical cancer or fertility problems due to Fallopian tube scarring. (Not meaning to scare you here, just being straight up.) When in doubt, get tested. Anyway, I put STI’s up here near the top because they are important, but I want to clarify that you don’t generally contract STI’s without doing explicitly sexual things with someone who has an STI (and you generally can’t tell if someone does or not just by looking). Also, if someone says they got an STI from a toilet seat it is exceedingly likely that they just found it to be a more comfortable explanation than saying how they really got it. Anyway, on to happier topics…
Chemistry and Choosing Who to Sleep With
So I am a romantic and I also love this poem. I think good sex has a lot to do with chemistry, and chemistry has a lot to do with feeling love, respect, and genetic compatibility. If you are going to sleep with someone (totally not judging here as to who that might be, except to advise that you don’t sleep with someone who is in a committed relationship with someone else or someone who treats you disrespectfully) you should first get to know them (I know, crazy idea, right?) because the brain is one of the most important sex organs. Physical “hotness” only goes so far. If they look amazing but are annoying or make you raise one eyebrow and shake your head in disgust, or have you wanting to ask them to be nicer to the waitress or their mother or to stop talking trash about their ex (three big red flags!), don’t go there.
If they are brilliant smart, kindhearted and funny, and smile in a way that makes you just have to smile and crinkle up the corners of your eyes too, then they pass the first test. Then, after you get to know them (and this is according to your time frame, not mine), you should hold hands and make out a lot.
If your kissing partner tastes bad (and bathing/brushing their teeth and refraining from garlic don’t seem to help) don’t sleep with them. Politely move on. It is biology trying to tell you something. You are not a good match. Bad kissing = bad sex. If your body likes them, there are ways to know. If not, you’re not doing them or you any favors by faking it. Trust your instinct. If their natural scent smells sweet, if holding hands with them puts you on cloud nine, then a proper amount of physical attraction is there. All the “pink spots” on your body (lips, nipples, hands and feet, genitals) have these things called Meisner’s corpuscles in them. That might sound like a boring scientific term but the sensation they describe is not. It doesn’t have to be sexual but it can be when you are feeling attraction. That’s why holding hands with someone you are attracted to can really feel electrifying.
When you feel electrified like that you’ll likely find your mind floating towards wanting more intimacy, more skin contact with this person. However, just because you (and/or your partner) feel aroused (increased blood flow to your privates, an erection in men, a feeling of being “wet down there” in women) does not mean you need to act on it. We are human beings, not animals. You have a choice. They have a choice. Nobody will explode or keel over and die from lack of sex. Pressuring someone for sexual activity is not okay and this also goes for when you are the person being pressured. If he asks you and you don’t feel right about it (this goes for whether you are married to him or not) then don’t do it. If you do want to, then say so and see what he says.
Dispelling a Few Myths
– I had a laugh the other day with some former homeschooled girls who said they used to think “oral sex” meant French kissing, admitting I used to think this too back in my sheltered homeschool days. It definitely does not.
– Don’t imagine you are somehow “unable” to get pregnant and not take precautions based on that.
– Don’t think that having sex automatically means the other person will consider you as being in a relationship (or bound for the alter) because of it. If you haven’t talked about this beforehand then you’re just two people who had sex.
– Don’t have sex with someone you are not okay with being in love with. Sex is a powerful and sneaky thing and can make or break relationships even when you have other plans.
Getting it On
If/when you know the person you want to have sex with well enough, feel comfortable with doing so, and you have an opportunity where you both agree on it (consent, ever-present as an important component), have at it. Happily take off your clothes, explore, ask questions, try things, feel the love. You can go for it all at once or spread out this exploration into “steps” as you get to know one another. It’s up to you.
Don’t expect your partner to know what you need or for you to know what they need. They are learning too. That’s what practice and talking is for. However experienced or non-experienced your partner is, you will still have to learn what they like, what you like, and what you like to do together. It will be an adventure and just like not everyone has a taste for spicy food, not every girl likes having her hair pulled and her bottom slapped or her toes sucked on (but some certainly do, and provided you’re cool with it, have fun).
If one or both of you are virgins, the first time will likely be awkward and for women it very well may hurt and you might bleed (these are both generalizations, btw, and definitely not the rule). Always tell your partner if something they are doing feels painful and if they need to do it differently or stop. If you don’t like it, you can say stop at any time. If you do like something, say you like it so he’ll know. Also, if you want something, ask for it. Even if it feels awkward to talk about sex, remind yourself that it isn’t any more so than actually doing it. Besides, your partner won’t know unless you say what’s on your mind. Still, be gentle with their feelings. Sex is a vulnerable thing. If you just can’t seem to make it work, read up on vaginismus. Girls who grew up in sexually repressive environments or have experienced sexual abuse are more likely to have this condition. There are also other sexual dysfunctions that could be at play too, on your part or his.
If you are sleeping with someone who has slept with other people before, don’t judge them or sex shame them. This is pretty normal in mainstream American culture and no slight against you. You can ask them their “number” if you want to know, but if they want to keep that private their wishes should be respected. What you should always ask is if you might be at risk for STI’s before either of your clothes come off. Just because they look “clean” doesn’t mean they are. If they don’t know for sure, tell them to get tested. Also, when in doubt, always use a condom. Condoms are honestly not all that awesome in my opinion but they have their place. They are also not nearly as “useless” or “bad” as we were taught they were growing up. If used properly, they actually do prevent many STI’s and unwanted pregnancy. If you find you are allergic to latex or spermicide make sure to go with latex-free and spermicide free varieties. Also, it’s really not any more awkward to buy a box of them at the store than it is to buy a box of Kotex.
Making Sure it’s “Good” Sex
So foreplay (kissing, touching, whispering sexy things to each other, perhaps oral sex) is fun, will help you figure out what you’re in the mood for, and make the actual sex better. It is also a way to set the stage for both people’s pleasure to be seen as equally valuable, desirable, and necessary. If you feel self-conscious about your body or exploring different things, light a candle or two and forget about it. Everyone looks good by candlelight.
Read about various positions (this cartoon couple is positively adorable, aren’t they?), discuss them together, and try out the ones that look cool so you can figure out what you like.
When it comes to orgasms most women report needing their clitoris rubbed, meaning orgasm happens more easily through either oral sex or “woman on top” sex where you or he touch your clitoris while you have sex. I used to not know this and thought there was something wrong with me but since learned that this is not weird but instead totally normal – standard stuff that women usually need that somehow still gets ignored in our patriarchal (i.e. overly penis-centered) culture.
Also, there’s this myth that you are supposed to orgasm at the same time. Reality is it happens that way sometimes but it is a treat, not the norm. Most of the time one partner does before the other or even prefers a totally different position to come in than the other. Ideally it should be the woman who comes first (perhaps even multiple times) but sometimes (especially when guys are young or haven’t had sex in a while) it isn’t. Then a polite guy will either do something else to satisfy you, or wait a little bit before he can get an erection again (yeah, gotta love the “refractory period”) and give it another go. A rude guy will roll over and go to sleep. If you have a rude guy, call him on it and ask for what you need. Don’t let him get away with thinking sex is meant to be anything less than an egalitarian pleasuring party!
Note: I know that in writing something like this (which I thought about for a long time before putting up) I am sharing things that are still pretty taboo for a woman to speak about openly but particularly so for a woman from my background. I decided to post it anyway. I also know that creepers are gonna creep, so I just want to say I don’t want to get any objectifying blog comments saying I am “hot” or “not hot” or other remarks of that nature. I am both unavailable and quite uninterested in receiving such stuff, thanks. This post is solely here as a public service type thing.
Every home school mom should link here for sex ed. Great job!
I found this is a roundabout way, and my background doesn’t match yours at all, but I thought this was one of the most well-written pieces I have come across in a long time. I learned a lot because of your clear thinking. Thank goodness there are people like you who can write and think and then share with us.
Was thinking the EXACT same thing!
It’s too bad all the pictures on the page you linked for diagrams of male sex organs are circumcised. Perhaps this link too?http://www.coloradonocirc.org/files/handouts/Anatomy_and_Function.pdf
I didn’t realize the diagrams I used were of only circumcised guys. I would have included a variety if I’d thought about it, but I didn’t really spend too much effort or time on the male anatomy because I figure it gets a lot of attention already in our society. My focus was on women understanding their own bodies and being able to enjoy sex. I also intentionally only used links with cartoons and drawings rather than real photos for this guide in order to make it more approachable for people who grew up with extreme modesty teachings.
I know that the “intactivist” movement (i.e. don’t circumcise your baby son) is gaining steam and from what I understand I agree that it is an unnecessary and painful practice and I would not circumcise a son if I had one. For people who say it is a cleanliness thing, I’d like to point out that that is the same rationale used for female genital mutilation (FGM), a huge human rights problem all over the world. It is a horrifying practice of cutting away parts of a woman’s sex organs that makes the way the Quiverfull/Christian patriarchy movement tries to take away its’ girls sexuality look quite tame in comparison. It is still done in way too many places so I am adding a link explaining about FGM as well.
I also have to say that some of those penis pictures in the guide you listed, while informative, look kind of scary (not because they’re uncircumcised, but because the photography itself is a bit weird) and might seem more than a little off-putting to someone who has never seen a penis before. That highlights an issue I didn’t get into in my post – that there is a range of “normal” in how human genitals may look.
In light of that I am including two links of “real pictures” below that I think give a bit better idea of what people might have and what they might encounter when/if they have sex. One tumblr shows penises (this one appears to have limited content so far, but gives you the general idea) and the other highlights a range of what is normal for vaginas. (Note to readers: these are graphic images on sites that are designed to be informative and boost body confidence, not be pornographic. If you nonetheless find such things offensive or inappropriate, don’t click on the links below but please understand why I chose to post them.)
Thank you for this! I was going to comment that I thought the penis/vagina pictures to which you linked might be scary and confusing to people who have never seen them; also, it’s important to know about erections if you have never been alone with a naked penis before. The first time I saw one, I thought there was something really wrong with it. I’ve since become quite fond of them.
Please consider including the range of normal genitals in your post. It’s so, so important and people who grow up with ultra-modesty really only have airbrushed images or porn to reference – even more than the average person b/c us homeschooler types often missed out on all the middle and high school locker room exposure or feeling comfortable enough to take a good look in other situations when people where underdressed (beach, etc) or nude. Hairy, purplepinkorbrownish, curved shaft or long labia are all totally normal and I think a lot of girls/boys/men/women who haven’t seen other genitals would feel very relieved to know that they are normal and will be readily accepted by a partner.
ALSO, have you read thedirtynormal.com? Emily Nagoski is a “sex nerd” and works as a college health/sex educator. I love how factual, passionate, and careful about research she is. All women should know about SES, SIS, responsive desire, and that being interested and knowledgeable about sex is healthy and empowering.
Hi Meg, I don’t know if you noticed, but I did add those things in a response to another commenter above. I had never read thedirtynormal.com but I just peeked at it. It looks like it’s a more “in your face” resource than some but I am sure some readers will find it informative. Another one that was suggested by someone else was scarleteen.com, which answers a lot of questions for teens and others who may not be that familiar with sex.
The part that made me crack up is when you said you have kissed three mroe guys than normal. I laughed to death. I seriously needed this post when I was in college.
I came to your post (no pun intended) from an article about rebelling homeschoolers. I did not grow up in the quiverful movement or anything like it. My mother was Episcopalian, my father an atheist, both were honest about and ok with sex. I am not even a girl, but a long married women, and dedicated feminist (a taboo word I know).
And I find this an excellent article that most girls should read. It deals with issues of consent, deception, confusion, romantic assumptions and the like beautifully. I like the general tone of sex is for everyone. And I adored the phrase, “a polite guy will….” because it gets to the very heart of the matter. It is impolite to take what you need and ignore your partner.
I think most young woman would benefit from reading this article—and taking its advice.
Well done, ma’am.
Hey, Stuff Christian Culture Likes on Facebook just linked to a Daily Beast article on homeschooling and Quiverfull/Christian Patriarchy.
It’s a testament to the power of the internet that you can speak out against the damaging misinformation around sex despite how many people tried to keep you in the dark. Good on you for writing with such honesty and openness.
After reading an essay on how uncomfortable women can be when they need to ask a male sexual partner to wear a condom, I developed a good rule of thumb that I like more and more as time goes on: if you are not willing to talk about condoms with someone, you shouldn’t be having sex with them. Not willing to ask a stranger to wear a condom? You shouldn’t be having sex with strangers. Not at a point in your relationship where you feel ready to have that talk? Your relationship isn’t at a point where you’re ready to have sex. He’s super-Catholic and thinks that condoms are a grave sin? If he’s going to blow up at you for even mentioning it then you shouldn’t be in a relationship with him.
Also – while oral contraceptives don’t work by causing abortions, if you are pregnant and taking them, your miscarriage risk is higher. So if this is something that matters strongly to you, it’s that much more important that you take your pills properly. Follow the instructions, take them within half an hour of the exact same time every day and DON’T SKIP ANY.
I started reading this assuming it was going to be a homeschooler bashing. You really nailed it. I have tried so hard to get over my issues. I have been married for two years and we have a 14 month old. I still can’t get past the feeling that I am doing wrong. I was the girl who secretly masterbated, secretly researched, and finally had premarital sex with the man I eventually married. I still have that thought in the back of my head that I am evil. But I know it isn’t true. I want to know more about how normal I am.
If it helps, you can think about the animal and plant and human kingdoms with all the mechanisms of attraction, pheromones in the air around us, how so much of life on earth revolves around finding mates. Designed that way by God. Your experiences may have been earlier than you fully wanted, but you are building a family on the love you shared.
Sex is a great God-given plan, and most of us make some choices about it imperfectly. God know our weaknesses and forgives. He even turns those teen hormone levels up to eleven! If you need to, repent and make a fresh start. God is with you and beside you, and cheering for you to have a relationship with Him and with your husband naked, vulnerable but without shame. Ready for play, ready for joy, ready to be intimate and safe.
We may fell like our parents or others would judge us or withdraw unconditional love from us if they knew the past, but God will always be there for you.
While I am fine with people expressing their own feelings and beliefs on premarital sex I am not ok with people judging others. I did not get from Loren’s comment that she believed that she had sinned by having premarital sex with the man she loved, rather that she felt torn about it due to the way she was raised. As it is, I try to keep my blog comment section as a safe space and I would ask you to be careful to do the same. Saying God will forgive her for something she has not expressed needing forgiveness for in her comment is getting too personal and overstepping boundaries.
Also, I imagine you did not mean it in this way, but I just want to mention that the word “repent” can be very triggering language for someone who has been raised in a Quiverfull/Christian Patriarchy environment. It was used to convince us to do and not do things that made us feel unhappy, alone, and guilty for stuff that was a normal part of life, so the connotation it has for most of us (me included) is a negative one.
Here’s another great resource: http://www.scarleteen.com
This unschooling mother would like to thank you for sharing such a thoughtful caring perspective.
Thanks for such a thoughtful, respectful piece. I am not from a homeschooling environment, but want to add that some of your readers might be trying to come to terms with the fact that they are gay or lesbian. These readers also need clear, helpful information like you have provided here.
I am perhaps not the right person to try and write such a piece, but it would be great if someone reading this who does come from a conservative homeschooled background would step up and give it a shot.
Great work, though.
I think this is a great sex ed guide for women in general. I grew up in the repressed 1950’s and i sure could have used something like this!
I just want to say thank you so much for writing this. I am a pastor’s daughter from a conservative home, now 21. The last few years have been pretty tough, trying to figure out what I believe about my own sexuality. It’s like there were all these ideas from the church that I didn’t want to believe (the obsession with girls’ modesty, kissing someone = giving yourself away, etc. etc.) Anyway, I am relieved to to know there are others out there who have also had a hard time with this coming from such extreme vies about sex. So thank you!
Reblogged this on Word of Siri and commented:
Amazing! I wish I had written this!
Speaking as an author who has done a lot of research into sex, sexuality, romance, lovemaking, physical relationships, and whatever else you want to call it…I think you have managed to hit the nail squarely on the head on many points with this article. And don’t worry about “missing” the LBGT community; 95% of the advice you give here is equally useful for them, too.
Thank you for sharing it!
Thank you for posting this.
I am a middle-aged man, and as irony would have it, a pastor. I live in a European country.
I have yet to see a better guide to responsible sex than yours. By “responsible” I mean physically in terms of sexual health and birth control, and mentally and if you like spiritually in terms of taking care of yourself, your integrity and that of your partner.
In my counseling, which we still sometimes get to do in this liberated day and age, I have shifted my focus a lot over the years. When I now speak of “morality” it never means “who does what with whom in whose bed” (as long as we are talking about consenting adults) but “are you behaving responsibly towards yourself, your partner and those close to you (including children, if any)”.
Just wanted to offer my profound respect for writing this. Clear, kind, and accessible. Nice job!
In trying to get my 14-year-old daughter educated, I’ve been troubled by a gap in what’s available — things that say, “This is what your heart may be doing” tend to come from a place of controlling and shame and efforts to circumscribe the lives of women, while things that come from a more feminist perspective often leave out the emotional side.
This piece fills the gap neatly in a very humane and beautiful way. Thank you!
I’d like to include another link to a resource that is VERY welcoming and will not shame a conservative-raised person IN THE LEAST which is also equipped to handle questions of: Same-sex relations from the female/vagina-equipped perspective (and we can get you to the right info for those with penii), “Is this normal?/Am I okay?” type questions about sex and reproductive health, “Does anyone take X medication?”/hygiene and health related product reviews, and even the types of sex a lot of people were taught is “dirty” and “wrong” and “aberrant”, i.e. “hair pulling, bottom, spanking, or toe sucking.” (which, it should be pointed out, doesn’t have to be done *to* the female-bodied partner; it’s actually enjoyed by some male-bodied partners too. :D)
The main website is: http://www.vaginapagina.com/ (Warning: There may be actual photos of body parts, taken for a medical context. There will be drawings too.)
And this page started from a community on Live Journal: http://vaginapagina.livejournal.com/
If you join us on Vag Pag, please be aware that the default settings in peoples’ minds aren’t “male/boys/men/takers/dominants/sexual agressors” and “female/girls/women/submissives/supplicants/sinners”. We are asked to be very selective in our wording and comments because *all kinds* of people need safe spaces in which to educate ourselves in the sexual things Too Many parents and teachers won’t or can’t explain. The idea mentioned above that only Men can be active sexual partners while women are supposed to simply submit, for example, is problematic to a person who feels that since their genitals didn’t look “right” to a doctor at birth, they’ve been forced to act like a boy when they really feel like a girl. 😦
If you have questions, we want to help you find the answers. 🙂 Come say hi.
Lots of support, from a young guy who grew up in the homeschooling movement! I was able to get out of the mindset with some help from a few adult friends, and about a year later I’m pretty normal I think ;P But this post reminds me of how much some of my friends need this! So just keep at it, you’re doing good in this world 🙂
I just discovered you through another web post. I have to say, ‘Thank You!’ I am a first gen unschooler that had some public school gone wrong. I am currently homeschooling/unschooling my younger set of children. (My older set is grown and had the same schooling I did, a mix.) One thing I often have felt since settling down was this push to be mega Christian in ALL things. Its like every group wants your daughters. I was originally raised strict and well I rebelled hard. Now my homeschooling/unschooling family is exposed to plenty and raised to be free. Your post here is amazing! The best sexually informed post I have seen in 2-3 years. My older grown set need to read this. Its liberating and educational. I will have to mark this for when my younger set is grown more (toddler & a mini human lol so to young yet) I wish I had read this when I embarked on my journey towards sexual freedom past the stage of mans slave and such. This would of been such a help for me. Thank YOU for sharing this! Men could benefit from your entire post here.
Sounds like your journey has been enormous.
I didn’t realize such a strict upbringing was abuse. I honestly refused to be the same with my children but never until now even considered my past as dark. I just figured I am still a rebel but now I have a cause. Thank you for enlightening my journey some more!
Please excuse my language and insensitivity to you and this community. I certainly do not feel accusatory toward the OP at all! I think she deserves unconditional love from me, period. I was trying to leave a comment that would be body/sex positive for anyone from a guilt filled past, whether wanting to repent or not seeing any need to.
I stated my case very poorly, and I apologize. I am horrified that I would contribute to triggers for anyone.
I think what you are offering here is wonderful, and I jumped in to comment too soon. I love that you are careful to keep your space here safe. I will temper my urge to type for now and do more reading on your site instead, listening is a great way for me to learn from you all.
I am so very sorry that my words caused distress.
Wishing you only the best of everything.
Hey, don’t feel bad – you didn’t know, and now that you do, don’t feel like you need to go hide or anything. Your heart was in the right place and it’s all good. That’s the thing that is so insidious about this movement – they use a lot of terms and ways of speaking that more normal Christians use too, allowing them to slip under the radar in mainstream America, but they have turned these phrases, verses, and words into something that means something much more extreme and sometimes something totally different within their families and their churches.
Also, don’t be put off on commenting. Your participation is most welcome. 🙂
Thank you :-).
Wow, interesting article, thanks. I have been critical and suspicious of H.S. for a long time, but this makes it sound even worse than I suspected. I’m a guy in my mid-40s and feeling somewhat similar. I’ve never been with any lady other than my wife of 25+ years ago. Not that I’m uptight or Victorian, but it just worked out that way. We were young, and have been monogamous. And I don’t think there’s much we DIDN’T try at least once.
But now we’re divorced, and even though we’ve remained “exes with benefits”, it’s time for both of us to move on. But I’m afraid I’ll feel like a clueless kid in the bedroom with someone else for the first time. Much as I wanna try it, I loathe failure!
um … how embarrassing is this, to be a woman in my forties, married for the second time, and wishing I’d read this before I got remarried. Not for the sex parts, but for the attraction parts. When we were dating, I asked somebody, “what if you kiss a frog and he remains a frog?” and she strongly reprimanded me for being so shallow. So I went ahead and got married, even though my body really, really doesn’t like him.
It’s embarrassing to think oneself a wise woman and yet do something so irreversibly foolish. (I say irreversibly, because how does one go about sending their husband away for who he is, chemically? I wish to high heaven it could be over something he DID to me.)
Not to mention how much he dislikes his mother.
I do not have a religious background and meandered to this article through many others, but would like to congratulate you (and those of similar backgrounds who may be reading this) on overcoming this barrier to a healthy love life.
Just have to say… Didn’t know the clit existed till I was 28. Was dating for first time (took me that long to reject courtship) and making out. I went to get a book at library, cause I really didn’t know what was happening to my body. Didn’t know female arousal even existed. Wish I’d read this as a teen. Thanks for posting!
I really wish I’d read this in my teens, forty years ago. We got pretty decent Sex Education in Ontario, Canada, at least on the physical side. What we didn’t get was a lot of information about the emotional side.
My wife and I loved each other dearly when we got married (still do), but there was so much neither of us knew, that we had to find out by trial and error (which included lots of errors). A bit more knowledge would gave made things a lot smoother, and helped us avoid some of the things that caused both of us a lot of stress.
But at least we knew something, well a bit more than something, because my mother-in-law was a registered nurse and midwife in England. Some of the people we know were extremely sheltered, and many of them ended up married to people who they didn’t match with emotionally, and went through huge amounts of grief.
Thanks for sharing this.
“Don’t have sex with someone you are not okay with being in love with.” Best advice ever, covers all the bases.
I am as far from your target reader as you could get. But I appreciate the effort you put into helping young women out when they are faced with a situation that is totally out of the norm for their upbringing. I just would like to add, please rethink your stance on condoms. They are one of the only BC methods that will protect against diseases. And they are easy to obtain, no script needed, for people who might not have access to a doctor. And any Planned Parenthood office has a basket of free condoms on the front counter, available to all, no questions asked. I will also like to say, PP is a real help to young women, for birth control, pap smears, STI testing, well that is available for men as well there. You may have been raised to think PP is an abortion mill, and nothing could be further from the truth. Abortion is a very small part of what they do, which is offer healthcare to women of all ages, on a sliding scale of payment, or no payment, all depending on income. They are discreet, and very kind. So don’t be afraid to pop into your local office and take a few condoms, and pick up some literature. I am a grandmother, with three kids and four grands. I would tell them all the same thing I just told you, and in fact did. Value yourself and do not fall for just any line. You are too special and precious to hop in bed with the first guy who tells you how pretty you are. Just remember that, and you will be fine.
This should be in every sex ed class in America. I am saving this verbatim and reading it to my daughter when she comes of age!
As a former homeschooler who had a Bob Jones sex ed, thanks for an amazing post! Would be nice to see some education about same sex relationships included as well. The only education I got as a kid was a short paragraph about Sodom and Gomorrah and the gays being bad. Now that I’m finally “out” to friends I’ve had to teach myself a lot.