Post-religion sexuality and relationships
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16-04-2016, 07:21 PM (This post was last modified: 16-04-2016 07:32 PM by debna27.)
Post-religion sexuality and relationships
So, as I've posted about here before, I grew up in a really religious environment. Essentially, every authority in my life either avoided talking about sex at all or demonized it as "sinful" and "of the flesh". Sex was for marriage only, and at all other times you should be completely abstinent. Masturbation was also sinful, although it really wasn't talked about much beyond that basic principle (I honestly had no idea what it even really was until I was in college).
This has left me really far behind the curve in regards to understanding my own sexuality. I'm a 22 year old virgin, and I just broke up with my boyfriend of 6 months (my longest relationship as of yet) primarily because I wasn't comfortable being sexual as much as he wanted. At first he told me that he was alright with this, but as time went on he realized that he needed more from me. I respected that, but I wasn't ready to go any farther with him at the time, so we broke up. I have a pretty low sex drive, but it does surface at times and I am definitely physically attracted to quite a few people, so I don't think I'm completely asexual.
However, at this point, I'm really struggling to navigate any sort of romantic relationship. At this stage in my life, if I begin a relationship, there's most likely going to be an expectation of sex earlier on than I'm ready for. I don't even know where to look right now.
I'm not really sure what kind of advice I'm looking for at the moment. It feels weird to even talk about this, to be honest; it feels taboo, like something that other people get to be a part of but isn't for me yet. If anyone has any similar experiences and/or any ideas about what might help, I would really appreciate them.
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16-04-2016, 08:10 PM
RE: Post-religion sexuality and relationships
I don't really have any to offer except... and this is a REAL BIGGIE.... do not get into a relationship with someone who does not have a similar sexual drive or be sexually dishonest in any way. It is a life killer. It creates an atmosphere for the other person of failure, low self-esteem and a mindset that they are not desirable or worthy of love or sex. It's a terrible cruelty.

The best way, IMO, to get over something is to learn all you can about it so you can make an informed decision and educated choices. There are lots of books on this subject and they're not even porn. So read up. It will destigmatize you about the dirtiness of sex that religion has beat into your head.

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16-04-2016, 08:16 PM
RE: Post-religion sexuality and relationships
(16-04-2016 07:21 PM)debna27 Wrote:  So, as I've posted about here before, I grew up in a really religious environment. Essentially, every authority in my life either avoided talking about sex at all or demonized it as "sinful" and "of the flesh". Sex was for marriage only, and at all other times you should be completely abstinent. Masturbation was also sinful, although it really wasn't talked about much beyond that basic principle (I honestly had no idea what it even really was until I was in college).
This has left me really far behind the curve in regards to understanding my own sexuality. I'm a 22 year old virgin, and I just broke up with my boyfriend of 6 months (my longest relationship as of yet) primarily because I wasn't comfortable being sexual as much as he wanted. At first he told me that he was alright with this, but as time went on he realized that he needed more from me. I respected that, but I wasn't ready to go any farther with him at the time, so we broke up. I have a pretty low sex drive, but it does surface at times and I am definitely physically attracted to quite a few people, so I don't think I'm completely asexual.
However, at this point, I'm really struggling to navigate any sort of romantic relationship. At this stage in my life, if I begin a relationship, there's most likely going to be an expectation of sex earlier on than I'm ready for. I don't even know where to look right now.
I'm not really sure what kind of advice I'm looking for at the moment. It feels weird to even talk about this, to be honest; it feels taboo, like something that other people get to be a part of but isn't for me yet. If anyone has any similar experiences and/or any ideas about what might help, I would really appreciate them.
It is good that your eyes are wide open at this point. Instead of saying to yourself, well I don't believe in all that shit I was taught may as well lose my cherry. You seem to be taking the right approach. I was a virgin as was my wife when we married at the age of 19 for both of us. That was 49 years ago. I have been married 4 more times since her and have had twice that many live in girl friends. Be cool take life as it comes and good luck Babe.
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16-04-2016, 09:11 PM
RE: Post-religion sexuality and relationships
If it makes you feel any better, you've already gotten more action than I had at age 22.
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16-04-2016, 09:43 PM
RE: Post-religion sexuality and relationships
I was 24 and finished with my first enlistment the first time I held hands. I'm now 37 and, despite having two kids, can count the number I've times I've had sex on my fingers.

Another way to word it is I killed more people before I was old enough to drink than I've slept with in the decade and a half since.

I don't know how much of my fucked up life I can blame on religion, whether directly or indirectly as a cultural inheritance, but at the very least let me assure you you're not the only one with a non standard sex life.

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16-04-2016, 10:59 PM (This post was last modified: 17-04-2016 08:41 AM by Thumpalumpacus.)
RE: Post-religion sexuality and relationships
I was fortunate enough to discover a copy of Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex (But were Afraid to Ask) in a buddy's house, at age 13. That started the process of opening me up to sexuality; my parents never sat me down for The Talk. I lost my virginity at 19, to my first live-in.

Later, after leaving the Air Force, I managed an adult store and that finished the job of opening me up. Outside of men and animals, I'm open to pretty much anything, and have tried it at least once.

If not for that book, especially, I doubt I could have shucked off the chains of the religious sexual mores I had imbibed from my Baptist upbringing, so I can imagine how you must feel. My only advice would be to go at your own pace and do not tolerate a man who cannot or will not respect your feelings.

I doubt that's very helpful, but it's all I've got.
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16-04-2016, 11:37 PM
RE: Post-religion sexuality and relationships
(16-04-2016 07:21 PM)debna27 Wrote:  So, as I've posted about here before, I grew up in a really religious environment. Essentially, every authority in my life either avoided talking about sex at all or demonized it as "sinful" and "of the flesh". Sex was for marriage only, and at all other times you should be completely abstinent. Masturbation was also sinful, although it really wasn't talked about much beyond that basic principle (I honestly had no idea what it even really was until I was in college).
This has left me really far behind the curve in regards to understanding my own sexuality. I'm a 22 year old virgin, and I just broke up with my boyfriend of 6 months (my longest relationship as of yet) primarily because I wasn't comfortable being sexual as much as he wanted. At first he told me that he was alright with this, but as time went on he realized that he needed more from me. I respected that, but I wasn't ready to go any farther with him at the time, so we broke up. I have a pretty low sex drive, but it does surface at times and I am definitely physically attracted to quite a few people, so I don't think I'm completely asexual.
However, at this point, I'm really struggling to navigate any sort of romantic relationship. At this stage in my life, if I begin a relationship, there's most likely going to be an expectation of sex earlier on than I'm ready for. I don't even know where to look right now.
I'm not really sure what kind of advice I'm looking for at the moment. It feels weird to even talk about this, to be honest; it feels taboo, like something that other people get to be a part of but isn't for me yet. If anyone has any similar experiences and/or any ideas about what might help, I would really appreciate them.

Don't stress about it. 22 is still young, many people don't do the deed until later in life. I was late 20s before anything of the hide-the-sausage variety happened to me, although unlike you I had a high sex drive from early on - I've masturbated almost every day probably since I was 15, although once for shits and giggles I decided to see how long I could *not* (since at the time I was religious Tongue ) and I lasted a week. I always enjoyed the hypocrisy of the religious guys I knew, even when I myself was religious, they were all masturbating furiously all the time themselves but would cheerfully preach that it was of the devil.

Hmmm. A lot of guys probably would be keen for sex, but that really doesn't have to define your relationship with them. I've been in a relationship once where we didn't have sex at all. We liked each other a lot, we kissed and sometimes things got steamy but we never had sex.

I think what you need to do is relax around the idea of sex. I also used to have hang ups about who I was gonna have sex with (only the girl I was gonna marry! I'm a pure boy!). I also felt that sex was somehow a dirty thing... Religion is fucked up, that's basically the message you can take from this.Maybe try getting comfortable with yourself first - i.e. masturbate Wink

In reality sex is not that big of a deal. It's quite fun but... your relationship with someone doesn't change after you fuck 'em, it's not some huge commitment thing, it's just like... a more intense way of showing someone that you like them. One thing you will want to do, is when things do eventually happen, practice safe sex - use a condom at least, get yourself on the pill if you're not already. Basically be paranoid. People carry a lot of germs around on/in their genitals, and condoms and so forth aren't always that effective at preventing transmission either. Although, most of the time what you would get from someone wouldn't be life threatening, but it might be embarrassing to get it treated.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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17-04-2016, 12:29 AM
RE: Post-religion sexuality and relationships
(16-04-2016 11:37 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(16-04-2016 07:21 PM)debna27 Wrote:  So, as I've posted about here before, I grew up in a really religious environment. Essentially, every authority in my life either avoided talking about sex at all or demonized it as "sinful" and "of the flesh". Sex was for marriage only, and at all other times you should be completely abstinent. Masturbation was also sinful, although it really wasn't talked about much beyond that basic principle (I honestly had no idea what it even really was until I was in college).
This has left me really far behind the curve in regards to understanding my own sexuality. I'm a 22 year old virgin, and I just broke up with my boyfriend of 6 months (my longest relationship as of yet) primarily because I wasn't comfortable being sexual as much as he wanted. At first he told me that he was alright with this, but as time went on he realized that he needed more from me. I respected that, but I wasn't ready to go any farther with him at the time, so we broke up. I have a pretty low sex drive, but it does surface at times and I am definitely physically attracted to quite a few people, so I don't think I'm completely asexual.
However, at this point, I'm really struggling to navigate any sort of romantic relationship. At this stage in my life, if I begin a relationship, there's most likely going to be an expectation of sex earlier on than I'm ready for. I don't even know where to look right now.
I'm not really sure what kind of advice I'm looking for at the moment. It feels weird to even talk about this, to be honest; it feels taboo, like something that other people get to be a part of but isn't for me yet. If anyone has any similar experiences and/or any ideas about what might help, I would really appreciate them.

Don't stress about it. 22 is still young, many people don't do the deed until later in life. I was late 20s before anything of the hide-the-sausage variety happened to me, although unlike you I had a high sex drive from early on - I've masturbated almost every day probably since I was 15, although once for shits and giggles I decided to see how long I could *not* (since at the time I was religious Tongue ) and I lasted a week. I always enjoyed the hypocrisy of the religious guys I knew, even when I myself was religious, they were all masturbating furiously all the time themselves but would cheerfully preach that it was of the devil.

Hmmm. A lot of guys probably would be keen for sex, but that really doesn't have to define your relationship with them. I've been in a relationship once where we didn't have sex at all. We liked each other a lot, we kissed and sometimes things got steamy but we never had sex.

I think what you need to do is relax around the idea of sex. I also used to have hang ups about who I was gonna have sex with (only the girl I was gonna marry! I'm a pure boy!). I also felt that sex was somehow a dirty thing... Religion is fucked up, that's basically the message you can take from this.Maybe try getting comfortable with yourself first - i.e. masturbate Wink

In reality sex is not that big of a deal. It's quite fun but... your relationship with someone doesn't change after you fuck 'em, it's not some huge commitment thing, it's just like... a more intense way of showing someone that you like them. One thing you will want to do, is when things do eventually happen, practice safe sex - use a condom at least, get yourself on the pill if you're not already. Basically be paranoid. People carry a lot of germs around on/in their genitals, and condoms and so forth aren't always that effective at preventing transmission either. Although, most of the time what you would get from someone wouldn't be life threatening, but it might be embarrassing to get it treated.

I think I agree with a lot of this. I tend to vacillate back and forth between sex being such a huge deal and something that I'm never going to be ready for (since all my education about it basically said that it's equivalent to giving away a part of yourself to another person permanently, which is true in a sense but probably not in such a catastrophic way as I'd always thought) and something that really isn't that momentous at the end of the day. I just can't get rid of this odd, nagging fear that somehow having sex is going to "change" me and I won't be the same person anymore. I know logically that this isn't rational, but that doesn't do a lot to get rid of the emotions behind it.
I do actually masturbate probably a few times a week (the frequency varies quite a bit; sometimes I'll go a few weeks, sometimes it'll be every night), but I'm not always all that into it even while I'm in the middle of the act. I'll get bored or just give up. Is that weird? Sorry if this is a silly question, I've honestly never talked about masturbation with anyone before so I really don't know what "normal" is.
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17-04-2016, 12:58 AM
RE: Post-religion sexuality and relationships
(17-04-2016 12:29 AM)debna27 Wrote:  I think I agree with a lot of this. I tend to vacillate back and forth between sex being such a huge deal and something that I'm never going to be ready for (since all my education about it basically said that it's equivalent to giving away a part of yourself to another person permanently, which is true in a sense but probably not in such a catastrophic way as I'd always thought) and something that really isn't that momentous at the end of the day. I just can't get rid of this odd, nagging fear that somehow having sex is going to "change" me and I won't be the same person anymore. I know logically that this isn't rational, but that doesn't do a lot to get rid of the emotions behind it.
There's definitely nothing wrong with being cautious. College - a lot of people are jumping into bed with each other left, right and centre. There's no need for that (ETA: there's nothing wrong with it either! ). I'd say that given that you have hang ups anyway, it's important that you find someone you like and trust before you even think of anything sexual, and probably part of that like and trust would be willingness to wait a bit, possibly a long time, before sex became part of the relationship.

I also had this idea that having sex was some kind of immense thing, also likely due to religious indoctrination. If you can think of... hugging someone. Holding hands. Kissing them. That's... sex is more like that. Not so scary. When you hug someone, you are not "giving part of yourself away", that's ridiculous right? Same with sex.

TBH your first time, or first few times, might be underwhelming. Especially if you and your partner are both inexperienced. More likely to be frustrating and possibly even hurtful. There's an art to giving other people pleasure, and the first few fumbles tend to be... not so easy. With experience though... then the fun really starts Blush

Quote:I do actually masturbate probably a few times a week (the frequency varies quite a bit; sometimes I'll go a few weeks, sometimes it'll be every night), but I'm not always all that into it even while I'm in the middle of the act. I'll get bored or just give up. Is that weird? Sorry if this is a silly question, I've honestly never talked about masturbation with anyone before so I really don't know what "normal" is.
Nah, that's just... normal. I've had a few times like that too. Especially when I'm down, sometimes I try to masturbate to ... I don't know, to pick myself up. But yeah, sometimes you're just not that into it.

Sex and sexual practices... something you must know is that everyone is weird as hell. There is no normal. People have specific fetishes that turn them on, there's all kinds of psychological shit going on. The most important thing, I think, is to accept yourself for who you are. Recognise that even if you do find the thought of... I dunno... 5 naked guys in bowties serving you on their hands and knees... erotic, that's not really something to worry about. It's just one more strange ape on a going-nowhere planet in the middle of nowhere (galaxy-wise) with strange ideas about what (s)he'd like to do with his or her fellow apes Tongue

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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17-04-2016, 12:58 AM
RE: Post-religion sexuality and relationships
Double post, sorry

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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