Thursday, March 18, 2010

Raised without sexual guilt?

Hey everyone. I'm joining the formspring.me bandwagon, as it's a good source for blog fodder. Basically you can go here to ask me anonymous (or not anonymous) questions on anything you'd like. I won't promise to answer everything, but I'll try. Ones that I really like will become an official blog post, like the one below.

I grew up fundamentalist. I'm also naturally pervy. I lived with a lot of guilt and shame, especially regarding masturbation. What's it like not to have to live with that? Did you have any guilt at all about your normal sexual leanings?

While I grew up in a fairly secular environment, I wouldn't say my upbringing was completely guilt-free. My parents actually never had "The Talk" with me, and sexuality was just a very awkward subject. Most "sexual morals" that I learned from them came in the form of rants about other people. My dad was a special education teacher at a city school, and stories about students who ruined their life by getting pregnant were all too common. I remember sitting at the dinner table while he told us how one of his freshman girls was pregnant with her second child, and how she could never come to school because she was so busy taking care of the first. It was never explicitly said, but the message was "Don't fuck up your life by getting pregnant."

And to be honest, that's still a mantra I hold today. I never really felt guilty about sexual things I did, even when I was fooling around back in high school. I never went all the way - but not because I wanted to wait until marriage, or so that I could claim to be a "technical virgin" - I just logically knew I wasn't ready to deal with the consequences. The way I saw it, once I was 18 and away at college, I'd be able to buy birth control. And if that failed, I'd be able to get an abortion without requiring parental permission or something. Really, I just put off sex until I knew it could be my little secret.

I used to think you should only have sex with people you really love, but now I realized that's just what society was telling me I should think. I'm personally not into random hookups with strangers, but I have no problem with casual sex or friends with benefits. As long as everyone involved is on the same page and no one gets hurt, I see no problem with it.

I kind of feel bad for people who were raised in anti-sex environments. Trained guilt is insanely hard to get rid of. I really can't fathom how people feel guilty about masturbation, or sex before marriage, or multiple partners, or same sex fantasies, even when they can rationally tell themselves it's okay. It really just sort of sucks. Sometimes I'll feel a momentary twinge of guilt knowing the majority of society thinks I'm some naughty slut - but you know what? I enjoy getting some, and they can all fuck off.

And that's really how I deal with any guilt. If I'm not hurting myself or anyone else, then my sexual acts and fantasies are none of your goddamned business. Well, I'll talk about it if you're actually pro-sex - but if your goal is to judge me and make me feel bad about myself, then you're wasting your time.

13 comments:

  1. http://community.history.com/topic/2477/master/1/

    have I said this before...

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  2. I feel like sharing:

    I started masturbating at around 13ish, and felt a little bad about it... I didn't really know what I was doing and I was worried that I was "weird". Luckily, my grandmother was something of a psychologist, and when she died (I was 3 at the time) most of her books were inherited by my father. As a result, we had an encyclopedia of sexual behaviors in our house easy for me to stumble upon, and I found out that my behavior was "totally normal". After that I was guilt free on that score.

    I don't ever recall having much of a talk about sex with my parents... they made it pretty clear that I shouldn't get pregnant, and if I needed to go on birth control I should just say so. The only time I remember discussing sex with either parent was when, desperate to know the truth, I asked my mom what exactly sex was. She answered pretty simply that it was when a guy put his penis in your vagina. I said "ew" and my mom told me that's how my aunt had reacted when she first learned.

    So, for anyone with kids at that puberty/curious age: answer your kids' questions honestly and have unbiased, straightforward information lying around the house for them to find.

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  3. « Sometimes I'll feel a momentary twinge of guilt knowing the majority of society thinks I'm some naughty slut - but you know what? I enjoy getting some, and they can all fuck off. »

    Quoted for exclamation-worthy greatness.

    I’m also someone who’s never been brought up to feel guilty towards sex or intimacy; way my parents raised me, as long as I don’t do anything stupid, dangerous or public, it’s my choice.

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  4. Still SO jealous of the lucky ones who were raised without sexual guilt. To be fair, my parents were really not bad as Catholics go... they weren't comfortable talking about it, and it was definitely always bad before marriage, but there wasn't any overt guilt-ing. That all came from the church. The fuckers.

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  5. Well, I started masturbating at a much earlier age than 13. Didn't know what I was doing, except that it felt good, but as soon as I found out exactly what I was doing I felt guilty. This is despite not having a particular upbringing. Perhaps I got found, and told off, and forgot that I got told off? No idea. But since then, I had problems with sex - it hurt, although luckily it doesn't now.

    I've only slept with one person, we split up for a while (a year or so) and during that time I slept with no one else. I don't know if I would have otherwise, it was more explaining to someone that it hurt that worried me rather than the actual hurting. But yeah, the way society makes you feel about sex can have lasting consequences.

    And that goes both ways. It started to hurt probably because of feeling guilt for having sex. But then I was deprived of other sexual experiences because society now makes you feel like you should be promiscuous. So I felt inadequate and that made it difficult to get close to anyone else. Hell, maybe I would be with someone else now if I had felt more comfortable about myself. At least it all worked out for me in the end though, but I'm sure there are others out there with similar problems who it hasn't.

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  6. I've had both types of sex (with someone I love, and just for the f#$% of it - so to speak), and I prefer to have it with someone I'm committed to (or should be committed for).

    But that's probably a personal preference, YMMV.

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  7. one thing that annoys me about attitudes amongst atheists (i am also an atheist) is the whole "Religion shames you about sexual matters. with no religion, we feel no shame". yes, religion has helped some pretty awful and shaming narratives when it comes to sex. But seriously, ignoring every other cultural influence as having an effect?
    We get constant message about what we should be like and want with sex and relationships, and when you don't fit that script a lot of people feel like they're wrong, or its their fault cause they did some activity or another.
    As an atheist who has dealt with shame and guilt for not being able to orgasm from penetration alone (yeah, totally over that one, i love my clit), the idea that we all mainly live guilt free sex lives seems pretty silly

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  8. @Sophia B: like your first paragraph. One of my beefs is with the atheists who think that Judaeo-Christianity/the Occident invented sexual shame and the Ancients/the Orient were all happy hippies. Ain't so.

    I had a girlfriend in your position once. Orgasmic to the point of catatonia afterwards, but only from cunnilingus with added finger on the G-spot (which didn't seem to be non-existent for her, tee hee). She was in her forties, I never asked whether she had shame and guilt as a youngster. But it's not a problem; I could give her hers and then get mine; for her intercourse was anorgasmic but pleasant. And I adore making someone come by cunnilingus, so really it was just as good as the simultaneous-orgasm thing in fiction. Women who want that service but don't want to give the man anything in return have been my big issue.

    Unfortunately, I myself belong to the "If you play with it I'll cut it off!" generation, but I don't feel inclined to rant about this today.

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  9. Anon's point about having information lying around in the house is excellent. Let's try to make it as inclusive as possible for different sexual tastes our children might have.

    I personally grew up in a pretty liberal and informative environment. However, I could have used some instruction on safe self-bondage :)

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  10. Arctic Ape: no kidding! It took me quite some time to discover all the kinks I am into. ^_^ Luckily I had a full day of internet access when I was 12... that basically filled me in.

    Heck, I remember being afraid to masturbate because I thought the head might fall off if I pulled back the skin too much. Even though I had very liberal parents (when I said I wanted to watch porn, they sat down and watched some with me), stuff like this just isn't something that is easy to talk about.

    My parents are always open to listening to me, and they'd never judge me... but it just feels weird if I were to tell them I like putting men on a leash and making them bark. *shudders* a-and fondle them as they reach down to eat from a doggy bowl... Yeah, I should shut up now.

    Anyway, I know a lot of people now with whom I can share this guilt free. It has taken to such extremes that I am really laughing at people when they condem me for being gay... that's really the least of my oddities. :3

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  11. I agree completely!

    go on....

    sorry couldn't resist.

    ReplyDelete
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