I masturbated sometimes as a kid. Because of the poor sex education I received, I didn’t even know that’s what I was doing until I was in high school! When I realized, I was so ashamed. I confessed to my bishop -the most humiliating moments of my life. I had known this man my whole childhood, but he was still a stranger, you know? And here he was probing for more details of my intimate life. I hated it. I shut down all those feelings just so I could feel “worthy” and never have to repeat the process again. The shame was just so unbearable – sexual sins are taught to be next to murder! Not to mention those wretched “chewed up gum” lessons in YW that made me feel horrid all over again. In my mind what I did was worse because I did it to myself and couldn’t share anything special with my future husband.
When I started dating my first and only serious boyfriend, it was torturous to say no to sex we both wanted, while simultaneously feeling guilty for wanting it. We tried to get married, but they kept pushing him towards a mission he didn’t want (and probably wouldn’t have survived – you can read his story here too). He eventually tried to submit papers but they kept asking for more repentance, service etc. before they would sign the papers, or give us a recommend to be married. This went on for years! We finally just eloped.
Even though we are the only partners we’ve ever been with and we waited to be married (almost), this left incredible damage to our relationship and mental health. This year was the first year in decades that I’ve been able to get outside of my head enough to orgasm. Every time I get close all these guilty thoughts pop up and it just kills the mood. I thought for the longest time that my inability to climax was my punishment for being wicked.
My husband has been super patient and supportive. He encouraged me to try things out on my own again. It took a long time to realize I didn’t have to feel guilty for that. But still, I can’t believe how much this affects my mental health and our marriage.
When I first heard Sam’s movement I was so excited. I read through hundreds of posts and cried because I wasn’t alone. I hope for real change. There is just no way that God could see the damage his “policies” are having on so many repentant people and be okay with it.
I’m mad that I have all this unnecessary guilt. I’m mad that I missed out on prime years of my life because I was trying to wait. I’m mad that this brainwashing still affects me in serious and unhealthy ways. I’m mad that I can’t be completely honest with others about the harm that abstinence only education has on those who follow it. We could have better, happier marriages and families. And we should.
So thank you. Thank you for coming together and supporting each other. Please keep speaking up and speaking out. Let’s make things better for the next generation!