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I am petrified of sex


vaguelyconfused
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Hi,

I'm a young adult and officially left the church in February of this year as I felt so fraudulent leading youth groups and being involved in student evangelism whilst no longer believing any of it. Its been a messy time emotionally and I think I've just needed to let my hair down a bit. I'm slowly figuring out who my identity is without Christ and am getting to a place where most of the time I am in a good head space. However, one of the hardest things I'm struggling with is the idea of sex and relationships.

 

All through youth groups we were taught about abstinence and how sex is special but only for marriage. I never considered dating anyone who wasn't christian so am great at making guy friends as I would instantly dismiss any possible attraction (therefore have great lad banter, but when I flirt its more Michael Scott). Relationships were idolised: you had to be really sure, if not already in love with a person to ask them out as anything other than "dating for marriage" was frowned upon. I had no experience of dating as a teenager but at the time it didn't bother me as the plan was to meet someone at uni- by that time all the lovely guys are in long term relationships and the rest seem to be sexist / smarmy/ strange. I now have left the church, have no dating experience and feel super behind all my friends. 

 

To my mates sex is a casual thing, no one really gets the fear and panic I have with it all as it has been completely blown out of proportion in my head. This annoys me as I feel like I have brushed off or rationalised a lot of Christian manipulation but this is the one area where the christian teachings have a really firm grasp. I want to have a fuck it attitude (both literal and metaphorical) but often stop seeing guys after a few dates because I freak out. Covid has not helped with any of this either, as this has been the time where I have properly processed and most hang ups except casual dating (which I think would be good for me to do) is is tricky to do right now. I want to be normal, I want to date around and just have experience of what different relationships are like but it feels terrifying and sinful- that I will be really judged for it. 

 

Am I  odd or have people had similar issues? Any advice?

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Well, you're not odd.  I was raised the same way and didn't lose my virginity until well into my 20s.  As it happened, the girl I was with was very special and the moment was right for both of us.  She was also a virgin; so we had our first time together.

 

Since then, I've slowly given myself the freedom to explore as much as I want to.  I've learned that I'm also not very good at flirting; but there are a lot of girls out there who aren't bothered by that.  I'm not any kind of player; but I have had as much success as I've needed.

 

The absolute most important thing about sex is honest communication with your partner.   That applies to every aspect of it, from honestly communicating your fears and hang-ups, to honestly expressing your desire to do it, to honestly saying, "yeah, baby, just like that."  The right partner will respect your honesty and reciprocate in kind.  

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The cult really messes with our natural sexuality. Sadly, it got a grip on me right around age 11, so I had decades of programming to overcome when I finally deconverted. The sex drive is something we all feel strongly, so the church picks on that to plant doubts and fears about devils and demons and eeek, lust, which is our completely normal drive to mate. Then they try to sell the various cures, like quoting scripture verses "the sword of the Spirit!" which do nothing, and so they blame us for giving into temptation. None of that invisible world even exists, we are just animals that want to mate, like all the other animals.

 

The more you can embrace your sexuality as normal and good, the more natural it will become. The new virus has just about stopped all normal social channels of the mating game, at least for those of us that take it seriously. But I hope you are able to find ways to enjoy yourself and to deprogram the cult lies. 

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@vaguelyconfused I'm really sorry to hear that. I recommend learning research on the idea of "consent". Consent is a multi-faceted concept and amongst other things it's a great indicator of what's appropriate or not appropriate with regards to sexual interests and intent. 

 

In my experience many/most Christians shun the idea of consent because they don't think people deserve to set boundaries or even own their bodies in a real sense (their pastor or patriarch reserves the right to violate your boundaries, and it's assumed when they do it it's for "godly reasons"). In general I think many Christian authorities consider any kind of personal boundary or demand of consent is a kind of rebellion or challenge against Authority. It's not. You get to decide what you like, what you don't, and what to do with it - particularly with regards to your body.

 

At least for me a lot of confusion and fear around sexuality post-deconversion revolved around the lack of education and knowledge about things like boundaries or consent, so the whole topic seemed scary and frighteningly taboo.

 

 

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13 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

For the record, there's nothing wrong with taking matters into your own hands.

 

And there is nothing wrong with doing it mutually.   That is truly safe sex!

 

I probably don't need to tell you to not rush into anything, or let yourself be pushed into it before you are ready.  When there is mutual trust, respect, interest, attraction, it will take place. 

 

WELCOME TO THE FORUM!

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I think you will find a lot of us had similar issues - even to the point my super religious sister wanted me to sign up for like e-harmony and stuff.  It's hard to date when you carry all the baggage that Christianity can lay you. Where is the line for sin?  And it can make you super awkward, because you also know, you have no experience dating or sexual encounters!  But no worries, if you go for an advanced degree you'll find a lot of your peers are still single as they focus on their studies and look to be more secure before settling down.


It's a tough spot to be sure, but like @TheRedneckProfessor says, I'm sure many of us were well into our 20's before doing it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/17/2020 at 7:17 PM, vaguelyconfused said:

I want to have a fuck it attitude (both literal and metaphorical) but often stop seeing guys after a few dates because I freak out.

I would advice to go for it. Enjoy sex in a responsible manner, i.e. not indulge with multiple partners.  Since we are born, we are put inside this box, living to please our parents, friends, everyone except ourselves and of course ultimately this God who seems to get his joy from watching people suffer.  The whole idea of Christian living seems to base on pain and agony. We were admonished to endure it with joy and thank this sadistic God regardless whatever come our way.  Looking back, I so filled with regret in my younger days when I abstain from sexual pleasure because our spiritual mentors (aka real assholes on their high horses) told us it is to sty pure for marriage. And they told us, so is Bible teaching, that there will be a perfect partner that God destines for us. The more you abstained from sex, the sweeter and stronger the relationship.

 

I say this is a big lie, I am sharing with my life experience. There is no Godly woman waiting for you. And you are not going to stay young and manly forever. Bible is just so full of broken promises to tease you. So overcome your reservation and enjoy what comes naturally with someone you care.  You do not want to be one day, you are old, and you can no longer do it. You will regret that "...…how stupid I was not to do it while my body can do it all day."  Enjoy your youth Please.

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For a time there, I suspected that my odd fetishes / paraphilias were connected to my religious upbringing, but I eventually concluded that it was just my weird individual quirks, since, at a very basic level, I never really bought into the whole fundamentalist mindset.

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You may very well need some professional help with this issue. Sex therapist estimate 25% of all marriages are sexless. I believe sexless marriages are defined as couples that have sex less than once a month. Some marriages, are truly sexless, meaning there is no intimacy in their marriage. These couples are essentially roommates. 
 

Divorce rates for both religious and non-religious couples continues to hover around 50%. A lot of good information about this topic can be found on YouTube. Esther Peril and Dr. Linsey Doe have some really excellent videos on YouTube. Dr.Doe has a PHD in sexology. I wasn’t aware such a degree exist but it does.

 

I really want to encourage you to seek some professional help before you get married. Lack of satisfying intimacy in a marriage  is almost certain to end in divorce or affairs. 

 


 

 

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