When I met my first love of my life I was astonished to find out that he was God fearing man. He was at a crossroads breaking away from a church that he had been interested in, but had created some good friends through it. I remember after a few weeks of seeing each other having the talk with him about religion. I impulsively blurted out that I could never respect or be with a man who believed in God as I found it childish nonsense. Yes, I actually said that, or something incredibly similar and blunt (it was years ago so I am probably paraphrasing a bit). Oddly enough he went on to be one of the strongest atheists that I have ever met, but I digress. I bring this up because we were both virgins when we met, and I have often wondered what role religion played, in us making it to that point.
While I went to catholic school there were the girls in my social circle with whom we suspected of having sexual encounters. But the part that baffles me, is that whatever these girls went through they went through alone. There was no support from their peers regarding information towards contraception or options. I held onto my virginity merely because I was not interested in high school boys and knew no one older. Whereas my friends who were experimenting with their long term boyfriends, could not safely share, or ask questions within our group. The judgement of family for teenagers to be sexually experimental is one thing, but then you add God into the mix and the result is a bunch of ill informed, hormone-crazed males and females interacting in an almost chaotic fashion with a poor sexual education.
It has taken me a long time to come to terms with being sex positive, and I think being in that environment growing up did play a role. Although to be fair, I had a very open parent, with whom I knew I could ask anything. That in itself was almost a detriment though, as I had no peers that I could share my concerns or feelings about masturbating, hormones, or any number of questions I had at the time. God may or may not played a role with me specifically, but that figure played a large role within my social circle. Or at the very least, ensured that we were not comfortable openly discussing anything sex related on school property, which we spent the majority of our time. I will share with you a rather unpleasant memory of just how perverse the idea of sex was within my group of catholic friends.
When I started to date and hang out with more males the summer after high school and my first year of university I had no idea what I was doing. So I ended up making out with a few guys who knew each other within our circle. Well people like to talk, including as I would later find out, the males in particular. The result was a sick little club that was nicknamed the KKK (K’s Kissing Klub) as best I could figure it stood for. I couldn’t believe that in university I was in a group that was so fearful of sex and who they were that I was the object of ridicule for merely kissing a few guys over a span of a few months. With brutal honesty I will tell you that the night I lost my virginity, my exact words were, I just want to get this over with. Sex had become so skewed for me that it was almost a meaningless action. I was already given the stigma of a slut so I might as well just get the actual act over and done with. My first time bore no meaning, and as I had broken my hymen when I was kid playing on a playground, I didn’t even have the pain or the blood. It was insignificant.
I know the role that God played in the eyes of my friends and thereby how I was viewed by my peers. I am also thankful to that man who stayed with me after that night and would stay by my side for years afterwards allowing a safe environment for me to explore and grow sexually. He gave me room to flirt and discover my likes and dislikes. Also he quickly helped me rid myself of that horrible klub with which I was the key member. I guess my bottom line is, I firmly believe that the role of God should have no bearing when it comes to sex and building a sex positive environment for our teenagers. There is more harm in mixing the taboos of faith regarding sex, than giving our teens honest and factual education regarding their bodies and hormones. If “16 and Pregnant” has taught me anything, it’s that sex is going to happen no matter what the circumstance, now let us work towards separating these two ideologies and building a healthier next generation.