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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » The Scarlet Letter..My Religion says No

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Author Topic: The Scarlet Letter..My Religion says No
TinkerBella04
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I have gone to Catholic schools all my life, so my view of how sex should be has always kind of been warped. There hasn't really been any support at all for teen sex, and all they tell us that we should save ourself for marriage. It seemed wrong to question what they said then, but now I feel different about it. I don't understand how something that was meant to be good can be bad when its not in the right context. I know that sex needs a safe place, both physically and mentally. You need to feel safe with the person you're going to have sex with and you need a safe place to have sex. Not some dirty motel room or the backseat of a car.
I think that if I find somebody I really love and I feel mature enough, I will have sex with them. I don't know for sure yet though, and I might wait for marriage. It's kind of something that I'll have to wait and see. It's not as if I want to jump in bed with someone because of all my "hormones" I think that's a bogus excuse for anyone to use, heck I don't even have a boyfriend. It's like I'm already being punished for something that I don't even know I'm going to do! It feels as though I'm already being branded with a Scarlet Letter just for thinking this.
This is the first time I've been completely honest with this situation in my life, and I just had to write it down. Anyone else with similar problems or any advice, or if you just want to comment, go ahead, and I'd really appreciate it! Thanks..

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*heyitsBea!


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ladystardust
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I feel the same way. I'm tired of people taking a beautiful thing like sex, which can be right for two people even if they aren't married, and saying it's sinful and terrible. There's so much guilt involved with sex anymore, and I think religion is partially to blame for it. I'm not saying religion is bad; it can be a wonderful thing. But a lot of people use it to say, "This is what is best for everyone, no matter who you are and what situation you're in, and if you go against this idea, you are a horrible person." Maybe that's not entirely accurate, but that's how it strikes me. I don't think anyone should be made to feel guilty for making a decision that is right for them and the person they're with.

When I and my partner are ready, I will have sex, married or not. By "ready", I mean that I can physically, emotionally, and finicially handle whatever might happen afterwards. I also have to be totally safe and in a good relationship where we've talked about having sex before hand. I don't feel like marriage is requirement because marriage is an unconnected phenomenon I don't necessarily have control over. It may be five years from now, or twenty. I know I feel that marriage should be about more than sex. Besides, condoms and birth control are a bit more affordable than a whole wedding.

Well, that's how I feel. Sorry for the long post.

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"The sun's not yellow, it's chicken." Bob Dylan, Tombstone Blues


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TinkerBella04
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Omigosh! Everything you just said matches like almost exactly what I was thinking but couldn't manage to express in words. I think religion is a good thing, but it's just wrong to say that something is completely wrong or completely right for everyone. There are different circumstances for everything and not all situations are the same, and if you're completely ready to deal with everything that sex implies then I think you have the right to do it. I hope that makes sense but thanks so much ladystardust for replying because it's just nice to know that I'm thinking is wrong just because it's not what I'm "supposed" to be thinking.

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*heyitsBea!


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Heather
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It's worth recognizing that at this point in time, people are beginning puberty earlier than ever (some as early as age 8) and marrying far later than ever (the average right now is 26-28).

In other words, most people telling young people it is only right to wait not only did not do so themselves, but they also were getting married far, far earlier and with a much smaller gap between sexual development and marriage.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a whole lot of people -- even heterosexuals who COULD get married if they wanted -- who waited, say, fifteen years between when they were in the thick of development to when they got married before any sexual activity.

Ideals are great and so are personal or religious values when they empower people and feel right. But when they become grossly divorced from reality, one hits problems.

(Let's remember, too, please, that not ALL religious and spiritual traditions are Judeo-Christian and treat sex in the same manner.)


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coolestdesignz
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NOTE: This post is commentary only from the opposite perspective of the topic starter.

First off, what is this "sex is beautiful" stuff? Seems to me like "beautiful sex" is an oxymoron (the POV of this site says neither). Sex tends to be rather wet, smelly, and (maybe) sticky. Would you say sex between two dogs is beautiful? So how are we really too different?

Next:

quote:
Save yourself for marriage.

quote:
I plan to save myself for marriage.

I can't tell you how many times I have heard either one of the two aove quotes from the mouth of another. Everytime I hear one of those, I look at that person and ask them "Why?"

They reply is usually something equally ridiculous.

"Saving yourself"... what exactly are you saving? I suppose a girl might be saving a hymen. A boy might be saving the fact that he can honestly say "I haven't had sex with anyone." But for what realistic purpose? To say to your husband or wife, "I'm a virgin."? Would you be saving yourself because you really have good intentions/reasons?

I get into fights with religion because actions based on religion are based on morals, which are based on a concept of absolute good that can become warped from person to person. I like ethics. They are absolute.

Ethics in a nutshell:
"What do I need to do to make me and everyone else around as happy as possible?"

You posters are right in that sex can very well be right under the right circumstances. True, there should be none of this sex-induced guilt that has been created by our local nuns.

I agree with Miz Scarlet, ideals are fantastic, but they tend to get a little unrealistic. Don't let what anyone says separate you from the real world.


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ladystardust
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I'm not saying sex is beautiful in the sense that I want to take a picture of it and admire it as a work of art or something. It is beautiful in the sense that it is a natural thing, necessary for life, which is beautiful. Sex, even between dogs, is great because its so natural. I don't necessarily want to look at it.

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"The sun's not yellow, it's chicken." Bob Dylan, Tombstone Blues


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CrimsonCriminal
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Someone else said the same to me. I told him sex was a social act and a fun thing to do and should not be put down to reproduction, but he came up with the most beautiful thing - It's a spiritual thing because two people come together in an act that could create life. He's not a good communicator so he stumbled around a bit, but I still liked what he said and got the gist of it.

I'm pretty angry at people who make their children feel that sex is something taboo, something they shouldn't know about, something dirty. It still passes on in our language, especially with people who call sex "the dirty". I'm so lucky, I had liberal parents, when I was 7 or so they dropped a sex ed book into my lap, and when I was 9 my mother was okay with me reading an encyclopedia about sex. Damn that was a good encyclopedia with a lot of great info, that book helped to shape me as the person I am now, it didn't bring down any sexual practice as something unnatural and had some great liberal information on homosexuality. One thing did bug me about my parents being overly liberal, sometimes you just don't want to hear your own mom justify masturbation to you, especially when you're a 14 year old kid who's scared of both boys and girls and doesn't want to kiss anyone on the lips, ever (that didn't last long ). I got a big shock a couple of weeks ago when two girls my age and one student teacher didn't know if masturbation was healthy and supressed the conversation once I offered some info. Oh well, to each their own.


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coolestdesignz
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Define natural.

Me eating a peanut butter cup is natural too. Is that also beautiful? Sure, sex feels good, but don't take it beyond there. It's a social thing a this stage in our lives. And trust me, it isn't always so spiritual either (is prostitution spirtual?- it's still sex).

CrimsonCriminal, I think we had similar parents. Although mine kinda get skittish now that I know things that they don't know.

[This message has been edited by coolestdesignz (edited 11-03-2004).]


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banddryad
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quote:
Originally posted by coolestdesignz:
Define natural.... And trust me, it isn't always so spiritual either (is prostitution spirtual?- it's still sex).

In essence, I would say yes.

I think the term spiritual has been a little mis-used... It's not so religious, but bonding. It affects our conscience and subconscience... If that makes sense? I'm at a lack for words at the moment...

Human beings engage in sex (all kinds) for their own purposes... But I believe that the ultimate purpose for partnered sex is the connection (of whatever sort) with another human being... Otherwise we'd all just masterbate (and some do).

I believe that in ANY sex, we are searching for a kind of intimacy. Some are searching for the feeling of power and control that comes from being in contact with another (others) that way....

This is also why some people are scared of, or have been hurt by sex... And it can be dangerous, and not so pretty.

Sex IS a "beautiful" thing. It IS a shame that OUR society was created from such a background, and we've just grown accustomed to thinking that sex might me dirty, or wrong.

And, this is not to say that everyone who has sex is necissarily doing it to create some supernatural, infinitely bonding experience with their partner(s); But there are real, human, "NATURAL" reasons for this sort of socialization, and bonding.

How can such a connection, when willful and earnest, not be beautiful?

I'd like to add the comment by cooldesignz about sex being wet, smelly, and sticky: In my opinion that it beautiful. It's real and mundane.... Beautiful is not polished and immaculate. Beauty is reality, the real world.

And yes.. Eating peanut butter is beautiful.


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ladystardust
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Thank you, banddryad, for helping me out. That is exactly what I mean by beautiful. Eating peanut butter is beautiful, because that is life, and it's better than the alternative. Sometimes you need to appreciate the simple things as beautiful, because they are, because it's better to sneeze all over your hard-earned sandwich than to never sneeze at all. (Possibly the worst example ever, but I hope you can see my point).

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"The sun's not yellow, it's chicken." Bob Dylan, Tombstone Blues


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TinkerBella04
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quote:
Originally posted by ladystardust:
Eating peanut butter is beautiful, because that is life, and it's better than the alternative.

I love that line! That just made my crappy day better, you've helped me clear up a lot of stuff, and thanks a bunch for that!

[This message has been edited by Milke (edited 11-03-2004).]


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coolestdesignz
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Hmm... OK makes sense.

Ahh... to stray so far from the topic.

BTW, nice try with the status bar link/code. HTML is not used on this board. If you are good, you can exploit the UBB code to get the same result.

[This message has been edited by coolestdesignz (edited 11-03-2004).]


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CrimsonCriminal
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Hmm, lets see:

Life in any form is a miracle, and sex is used for reproduction, but it is a social act when you think about it. Millions of couples engage in various sexual practices every single night with no intent to have any children. They either do it for fun , or because they really want to express their affection physically (sometimes doing it for someone else), or because they need some intimate personal attention and satisfaction (paying for prostitution), for power (rape, shudder!), to find out what it feels like, or for popularity. Such a versatile act, almost like eating in a way. It can be ugly, yes, but who said that something spiritual had to be beautiful? Many people go through rather ugly spiritual journeys and find very bleak lights at the end of the tunnel. Most often,sex has a deeper meaning than simple physical gratification and reproduction, if that was so, one could come up to a person and have this convo:

MALE: I find it that my hornomes are raging, in particular testosterone. My heart beat has elevated and so has the blood flow in my body. I find it that you look like a perfectly fertile parthner with a tight vagina and large, baby feeding breasts along with wide hips which would be good for child birth. Would you do me the honour of joining me in an act of sexual intercourse?

FEMALE: You are tall and have a large neck and overall a built appearance. I am currently ovulating and would be glad to have sexual intercourse with you.

OR:

FEMALE: Hey, I heard that you're big.

MALE: I heard you're tight.

FEMALE: Okay, let's screw.

MALE: TO THE SCREWMOBILE!



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smilee_kylie
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The bible says that sex is a gift specifically for married partners. It goes on to say that when they have sex they become 'one flesh'. Religions such as catholic and christianity is only trying to protect people and make sex a special thing and not something that is abused. For example, a couple may feel ready to have sex, so they do and everything is fine, they may or may not stay together in the future and thats perfectly ok. For another, they may choose to have it with someone they thought they'd be with the rest of their life then it unexpectantly doesn't work out and they feel totally distraught and upset for having lost their virginity to that person.

"Saving yourself" till marriage, in religious terms, is just trying to make it more special and avoid the risk of people getting hurt or abused. Many people do frown upon it because they feel that it is ridiculous. If you think about it, it is quite understandable and a lot of people would like the thought that they are losing their viriginity to each other for the first time in the constraints of a committed relationship. Others feel it is fine to have several sexual relationships or one sexual relationship before marriage and thats perfectly fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

Personally, saving yourself till marriage is too much of a difficult prospect for me. Even though I am still a virgin, I know that I probably will lose it before then. I grew up in a christian family and although I have sort of fallen away from that a bit, I still have that knowledge and understanding and can relate to it in many ways.

Ultimately, everyone has their own opinion on the matter. And everyone is certainly entitled to it.


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GrayDancer
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Actually, using the Bible as your guide to sex is probably not really all that good an idea. I'm not sure what scripture it is you're quoting, but I can list an awful lot of examples of sexual behavior done by "good" people in the Bible that I would not want to emulate, including pimping their daughters, sleeping with their maids, or...well, the list goes on.

That being said, if you value marriage and would like to save yourself, that's great. For you.

The problem is when anyone says "sex is this" or "sex is that". It's this idea that sex is ever any one thing that bothers me. It's many things, even when you're in a relationship; sometimes it is a way to heal, sometimes it's just fun, sometimes (and yes, I agree they are the best times) it's deep magical soulful connections.

But not always. Not even most of the time. And to expect it to be that way is really setting yourself up for some disappointment.

It's better to realize that it's a wide and beautiful spectrum of meanings and experiences, and just enjoy the ones you like.


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coolestdesignz
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The above is the best post on this one yet!
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DiamondDog
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You know, it's really sad how this society has made sex so taboo. In my opinion, sex is a healthy, natural, and fun thing to do. But in this society, especially with some religions, sex is a dirty act, or one that should be strictly for procreation. It's still a subject that people blush over, and sometimes it's difficult for people to have a healthy, necessary discussion of it. By then, sex just becomes an embarrassing and unhealthy act.

I believe that when two people are emotionally and physically ready, as well as prepared for whatever might happen from it, then sex is a positive thing.


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Sayna
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(Not all Catholics are so strict about sexuality, apparantly. There is a website/group called "Catholics For Choice.")
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ax50607
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quote:
Originally posted by Sayna:
(Not all Catholics are so strict about sexuality, apparantly. There is a website/group called "Catholics For Choice.")

well, theres probably a group out there for every single belief or combination of beliefs that one could think of.
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