Donate Now
Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Why can't I make up my mind? (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Why can't I make up my mind?
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 11 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hello everyone! I'm Anna, I'm 20. I have some personal issues surrounding my sexuality that have been troubling me for pretty much my entire life since puberty. I am a Christian, and therefore my views about sexuality are informed by my faith, but since I started going out with my boyfriend (22 years old) my opinions have begun to change.

I'll hereby admit to the fact that my choices surrounding premarital sex have always been a contentious issue. It's something I go through phases of truly believing, and then phases of being absolutely sick of having that expectation of me. I understand that from a faith point of view God will not think any less of me if I have sex outside of marriage in the spirit of true commitment and love.

I have spent my entire life up to this point masturbating away my urges in order to provide a physical release, but in all honesty I'm bloody sick of it. I yearn to feel the level of connexion a sexual experience with someone else brings. I want to have sex with someone I love and to whom I'm committed: I want to have a deep spiritual and emotional experience with someone. I've never seen sexual activity as a flippant pastime, a means simply of physical satisfaction, but as something much, much more.

So at this point in time, it's not just a physical urge that's driving me but a true yearning for meaningful partnered sex. But this is my dilemma: no matter how much a rationalise out the whole thing, in so far as I know premarital sex won't compromise my relationship with God, and shouldn't compromise my relationship with other Christians, but on some deep subconscious level I believe that 'giving in' to premarital sex will in some way be a 'failure'.

In a way it seems unfair to have involved someone else, ie. my boyfriend, in my time of self doubt and conflicting opinions, but when my relationship started I didn't feel this way. It is only in the course of our relationship I've realised how much I doubt my own beliefs around this issue. In the past the moment I told a man that I wanted to wait for sex, he dumped me, but my current boyfriend is completely fine with waiting. He told me the other day that ours is the longest he's been with a woman without having sex, and that in this he was very proud of himself.

I have never been seeking a long term relationship up until now, but I decided that I wanted to invest in a long term relationship at this point in my life. I have a very strange feeling that this relationship is different to any I've had before, as it is only during this relationship that I have actively considered becoming sexually active. Something must be different to have sparked off a change of heart.

I struggled all through my teens with very serious suicidal-depression, which led me to choose my partners unwisely and with no intention of longevity, but I have calmed the tumult of those darker times and I now want some form of stability in my love-life. I know you will say that to have such a relationship requires open communication, but the residual lack of self-confidence and lack of trust still linger in the back of my mind. I know for a fact my boyfriend is open and honest, very supportive, and accepts who I am and has told me he never wants me to change myself for anybody. He tells me every day that he loves me, and when he looks me straight in the eye and says it I know he's not lying, but I still have feelings of insecurity and self-effacement.

What I sincerely wish is that I could just make up my mind. That's all I want, but I can't seem to do it. One half of me battles with the other, both wanting only what's best for me. In order to support the side of me that wants to wait, I research all the ways that premarital sex can end badly, spiritually and emotionally, for those involved, but then the next second to support the side of me that is okay with the idea, I'll go away and research all the was that premarital sex can be beneficial. When I make a decision to completely accept premarital sex as valid, I manage to convince myself otherwise, and vice versa. I'm always trying to find ways to prove that premarital sex leads only to disaster, but I never believe it.

I'm sorry for the essay-long rant, but there's not many people with whom I can openly talk about my feelings because, quite honestly, I find it embarrassing and fear judgment. I can't have rational conversations about it with my peers because they don't share my views, and I also feel like I can't talk to other Christians about it; every time I try they end up debasing my faith and saying that I'm not actually a proper Christian if I feel this way.

I thank you again for helping me. I sincerely appreciate it.

Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Karybu
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 20094

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Karybu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Welcome to Scarleteen. [Smile]

Ultimately, no one can tell you what to do or what not to do, but hopefully you realize that whatever you do end up choosing - as long as it's something YOU are comfortable with - is the right thing to do. It sounds like you have a pretty awesomely supportive partner in this, which is great, so you shouldn't feel pressured to make up your mind in any rush. Maybe you just need a little bit more time to think about this issue.

I don't feel like I'm the best person to advise you in this, because I didn't grow up in a religious household and am not religious myself in any way, but I'll give you a few links to read and hopefully that will help a bit.

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/words/its_between_god_and_me
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/im_becoming_a_christian_how_can_i_reconcile_my_faith_with_my_sex_life
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/no_seriously_what_would_jesus_do

--------------------
"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

Posts: 5658 | From: Canada/Australia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 1 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thank you for your reply Karybu! I will make sure to read these links =D
Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey there, IthilienDude. Good to see you at the boards.

If you want to talk about this some more, I'm happy to talk with you about it if you like. Perhaps the easiest way to do that is to pick up from the Sexpert Advice answer I gave you when you were starting to ask these questions?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67076 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sweet_thing
Activist
Member # 52326

Icon 1 posted      Profile for sweet_thing     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi! It's wonderful that you came here to express your feelings and concerns. I am a 19 year old female and a Christian myself, and I recently went through a similar dilemma. I've actually been wanting to share my experience with someone recently, and it's a relief to know that there are other Christians out there grappling with similar issues. So I hope you don't mind a little rant, and I hope it helps.

I was raised with the belief that premarital sex was wrong and against God's will, and I planned on abstaining until marriage. I was also really afraid of all of the risks that accompanied sex, like pregnancy and STI's, so that also kept me turned off to sex. I never had a relationship with someone with which I truly considered myself sexually attracted to. I had boyfriends all throughout high school, but never the desire to do anything more than kissing. I never told a boy that I loved him because when I said it I wanted to mean it. I used to masturbate fairly regularly, but I for a while I felt extremely guilty afterward, like I was experiencing something that I wasn't supposed to experience until I was married with my husband.

Going into college I knew that I would be in an environment where sex was fairly common, and I knew it would be hard, but I didn't have a boyfriend my first year so things actually went a lot easier. But I began to think a little more about it. I realized that there was always the possibility of premarital sex happening, and I realized that if I did somehow end up having sex with someone before marriage, I wanted it to be with someone truly special to me, someone I loved and trusted.

It wasn't until the summer between by first and second year when I met my current boyfriend that my feelings began to change. I truly felt connected to him in a way I hadn't experienced before. It just felt natural and right. We had been really good friends all throughout my first year as well, and he still felt like a friend, but it was different. I really can't explain it. I just felt complete with him, and I came to realize that I actually loved him.

So naturally, with my pent up sexual frustration, coupled with my personal beliefs and feelings for him, I became really confused. I knew he wasn't a virgin, and I told him about my situation and that I wanted to wait until marriage to have sex. He respected me wholeheartedly, and told me that he didn't want me to do anything that I didn't want to do. But our sexual relationship continued to grow. We didn't have intercourse, but we engaged in other sexual acts with each other, of course with each other's consent. I discovered that there was something truly wonderful and powerful about trusting your body to someone else, and them trusting you with theirs in return. I never felt that I wanted to do anything out of pure, absolute physical desire. It always felt like an expression of deeper feelings, feelings that you couldn't express with words or anything else.

I came to the realization that I wanted to have sex with him. Very badly. I wanted to express my love for him in the deepest physical way possible. Obviously, this left me even more confused. I didn't feel entirely comfortable talking to my mom about this. She had expressed that she didn't exactly support the notion of me having premarital sex, but she wouldn't stop me from doing so, or encouraging me to do it as safely as possible. I talked to my boyfriend about all of this, and he understood how confused I was and told me to wait a bit longer and think it over some more.

I continued to think and pray over it constantly, and I realized the same thing that you did: that God's image of me wouldn't change if I had sex. He would still love me and I would still have my relationship with Him. I realized that I had made my decision. I was still scared, but I was confident. I told my boyfriend that I wanted to have sex with him. He asked me, "are you sure?" "Yes," I said. "Yes I am." We talked about it some more, and I told him that I wanted it to be something I remembered fondly, something I could look back on and be happy with and not regret. And then I invested in birth control pills.

A few weeks later, a week before our 6 month anniversary (and Valentine's weekend [Wink] ), we went on a date together at a nice restaurant and exchanged Valentine's gifts. We both knew this was the night, and when we got home my boyfriend presented me with some cute lingerie to help ease my nervousness and make me feel extra sexy and special. Even though I was clearly inexperienced and it got a little awkward at times, it was still a wonderful experience. I felt complete with him and it didn't feel wrong, and it ended in a powerful orgasm (even though it was my first time!). He asked me afterward if I regretted it, and I told him no. And it was true.

I don't know if any of this was helpful for you. But don't be afraid to talk with your boyfriend about your situation. If he truly cares about you he will do everything in his power to make things right. And don't forget that no matter what choices you make, God still loves you. He has a plan and wants the best for you. I don't feel any guilt in the choices I've made because I know I made them thoughtfully and prayerfully.

Posts: 55 | From: USA | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(Very cool of you to share like that, sweet_thing! By the way, you two -- and anyone else: we do get a good deal of Christian users here having these kinds of struggles, so feel free to start a thread over in support groups if you all want one easy place to talk together in an ongoing way!)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67076 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 1 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks Heather for your comment! I was reading other posts and they suggested the message boards so that's why I came here to talk about it, and I'm glad I did.

I want to sincerely thank sweet_thing for her comment! It was very, very helpful to me! I'm really glad to find a Christian who decided to have sex before marriage without feeling hideously guilty and plagued with regret. It's very encouraging!

But my main problem is this. I know I'm questioning myself, and I know what I decide should be between God and I, but I still feel afraid of the judgment of my peers. I know my sexuality should be my decision and mine only: my decision to become sexually active should be only out of love for myself and my partner, and that God created sexuality and sexual pleasure and it is therefore never wrong to do what feels right to you personally. But this, however, doesn't stop me from thinking that my friends, even my non-Christian ones, will think less of me, or even that my boyfriend or members of my family (including my mother, who is a priest) may be disappointed in me.

I know what other people think of me is out of my control, and I must find a way to be self-confident in my own decisions and not care about the judgment of others, but at the core of it all, I really can't help it.

If I didn't care less about anyone else's opinions I would've made up my mind long, long ago, as there would've only been my opinion to care about.

How did you deal with this, sweet_thing?

Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Am I remembering correctly that the relationship you're in is still very new?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67076 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sweet_thing
Activist
Member # 52326

Icon 1 posted      Profile for sweet_thing     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When it came to peer and family opinions, I felt that struggled more with what my parents thought of me than anything. They were the ones that raised me and helped shape my beliefs, and I felt that my decisions regarding my sexuality would disgrace them or let them down. I was so afraid that they would think I was a horrible sinner and not a good Christian.

I eventually told my mom that I had been sleeping with my boyfriend (this was before I had sex with him. I stay over at his place regularly). I told her that I wasn't having sex with him, which was true at the time, and that he meant so much to me and that I felt so blessed to have him. I also told her that I was my own person now and some of my personal beliefs were different from hers. And to my surprise she was incredibly understanding. She realized that I was an adult and I was free to make my own decisions regarding my faith and relationships and sexuality. I already knew that she and my dad hadn't been virgins before they were married, and they're some of the most Christian people I know. But our conversation made me feel a little better as she shared stories about her college and premarital experiences. I knew that she just wanted the best for me.

After that I felt a lot more comfortable discussing sexuality with my mom. I had been considering birth control for a while, mostly because I have very heavy, long, and painful periods. When I brought up birth control with her, I think she knew that the possibility of me having sex was growing. I told her I was confused. And even though she said she didn't exactly like or support the idea of me having sex (what mom wouldn't though), she wasn't going to stop me from doing so if I chose to. And she encouraged me that if I did, I was to do it as safely as possible. She knew I was my own person, but I was still the same person I was before I became sexually active. It's just part of growing up.

As far as my other friends or peers are concerned, I go to a diverse and fairly liberal college, and everyone respects each other's personal beliefs and decisions quite openly. I didn't really care what my friends thought of me and my sexual decisions. I was my own person. And I knew that if my friends and peers, both Christian and not, truly cared about me as that person, they would not judge me or my decisions.

I felt a little bad for telling my boyfriend that I wanted to wait until I was married but then not doing so, but I think he's hardly complaining. We realized that, even though I had said I wanted to wait and that he respected that decisions, new experiences can shape our views completely, sometimes fairly quickly, and it's not necessarily a bad thing all the time. Especially being a 19-20 year old in college. We realized that we both wanted to do it, that we both wanted to share that expression of love. I don't think he ever thought that I was just "giving in" to it all.

I understand that it's easier to say this than to actually do it, but don't let the prospect of others judging you get in the way of the decisions that are for you, your partner, and God. And no one else. And if your boyfriend really cares about you, he will respect any decision you make, and won't be disappointed.

I hope that helps a little bit. [Smile]

Posts: 55 | From: USA | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sweet_thing
Activist
Member # 52326

Icon 1 posted      Profile for sweet_thing     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And that seems like a great idea Heather! I'll start a thread soon.
Posts: 55 | From: USA | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 1 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
Am I remembering correctly that the relationship you're in is still very new?

Yes Heather, my boyfriend and I have been going out for a month and a half. I know that's quite soon to even be thinking of introducing sex, but at the moment I'm just thinking about it. I wouldn't even consider rushing into something so important.

I have been warned by peers that sex does not create an illusion of intimacy, and I understand that. I would never want to use it like that anyway: I would want our sex life to be informed by intimacy and closeness.

I just know there is something very different about the man I'm with at the moment. He isn't anything like any of the other wastes of time I've been out with in the past.

Yesterday he told me he could very easily see himself married to me at some stage in the future, which is an encouragement, as most other guys I went out with 'mysteriously' disappeared at the slightest mention of marriage. I know some people may argue that he'd just say that he wants to marry me because he wants to have sex with me, but he really isn't that stupid: he knows that marriage is a big commitment.

quote:
Originally posted by sweet_thing:
As far as my other friends or peers are concerned, I go to a diverse and fairly liberal college, and everyone respects each other's personal beliefs and decisions quite openly. I didn't really care what my friends thought of me and my sexual decisions. I was my own person. And I knew that if my friends and peers, both Christian and not, truly cared about me as that person, they would not judge me or my decisions.

Thanks for your encouraging words, sweet_thing. I understand that most of my friends would accept my decision wholeheartedly, however there is an added complication. I am the President of the Christian Union in our college. My mother is very proud of the fact that I am in such a prestigious position amongst my peers. She, as I said before, is a priest herself, and loves the fact that her eldest daughter is following in my footsteps.

However, I was elected simply because there were no men in our CU to automatically take the role (it's stupid that way), and I was the least reluctant to take on the challenge. My CU is 100% completely pointless, but it's still my only form of ministry. I fear that this change of heart would spark a huge disappointment in my mother's eyes.

She's fine about talking to me about my sexuality, but purely on a hypothetical 'when you're married' kinda way. We talk about contraception and intimacy and other sex related topics but never with actual intention. I'm afraid she might not be so open with me if I do change my mind.

My dad doesn't have much to say on the matter, but the silent judgment is the worst.

Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Since this relationship is so new, how about you just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to think about this? In other words, clearly it's a lot for you to think about, and a pretty big tangle. Are you making space for yourself to really work your way all the way through it, figuring you've got as long as you need -- be that months or years -- to come to a conclusion?

I'd also suggest not talking about marriage a month and a half into a relationship: that's awfully early to be talking about something so huge, and I wonder if that kind of far-ahead talking might not be making even more conflict for you around this, even if those sentiments are welcome. Know what I mean?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67076 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 1 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
Since this relationship is so new, how about you just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to think about this? In other words, clearly it's a lot for you to think about, and a pretty big tangle. Are you making space for yourself to really work your way all the way through it, figuring you've got as long as you need -- be that months or years -- to come to a conclusion?

Easier said than done. When one suppresses any part of their psyche -- whether it be ones physicality, emotionality or sexuality -- it finds very malignant ways of expressing itself.

Between the ages of 14 and 18 I was clinically depressed, and addicted to self-harm. I ignored my right to emotional self-expression, and as such simply rationalised my anger away, thought away my own emotions, and 'logic'ed away my struggles and doubts. All the years of anger and upset were turned in on myself until one day I tried to kill myself. To this day, I struggle with depressive thoughts and self-injury tendencies.

For my entire life I've been rationalising, thinking and 'logic'ing away my right to be sexual. I almost erased that part of my life completely, until I was told by a psychiatrist that if I didn't stop I would end up back where I started.

Now, at the age of 20, I have let the Sexual Self out of her prison cell, and she's pretty pissed off I kept her in there for so long. She's been banging on in my mind about how suppressed and oppressed she's been for my entire life, and by God is she making herself heard, and has been for the past month or so.

I want to come to peace with her. I want her to be expressed but in the right context. How long I've been with my boyfriend doesn't even matter. I know he loves me and he's committed and that's all I care about. But I need the space to express my concerns about my sexuality without the use of a Stanley blade.

However, my psychiatrist told my there can be such thing as too much thinking and not enough doing. Too much hypothesising and not enough putting into practise. She says I think too much about the 'what if's, and the potential consequences without ever letting myself take a chance, without ever letting myself learn from my own experiences. She drew a comparison: she told me that my life has so far been lived via a textbook than via a workshop.

She told me to stop thinking for once and to 'just f**king do something for once in your life without thinking about it' (her words exactly). And now I realise how right she is.

quote:
I'd also suggest not talking about marriage a month and a half into a relationship: that's awfully early to be talking about something so huge, and I wonder if that kind of far-ahead talking might not be making even more conflict for you around this, even if those sentiments are welcome. Know what I mean?
Why not?

What makes you think talking to someone about marriage would be any easier after twelve months than one and a half months? Best talk about it sooner rather than later. Hell my parents met when they were both 21, dated for six weeks and then decided to marry, and they've been together for 28 years and have had 4 children.

I don't think there's any point in beating around the bush when it comes to marriage. Marriage is a commitment, yes, but it's also a learning process. Whether you marry after six weeks or six years, marriage takes just as much effort and work to keep alive. Marriage isn't a destination, it's a starting point. Even my mother agrees that my father is now a completely different person to the one she married, but she is glad to have seen the evolution and growth.

When you've had a life like mine, you want a bit of stability and predictability. I want to be able to wake up every morning and see the man who loves me enough to not run off at the first sight of trouble. I want to love someone with all my heart and encourage them to be the person they've always wanted to be and to do the things that make them smile.

When you've had a life like my boyfriend's, you want to know someone loves you enough to never leave you. His parents have always had a bad relationship. His father is domestically abusive, and has struck his own wife and sons. His mother has never like living in Ireland and has always threatened to drop everything and move back to America, leaving everyone else behind. Now his parents are getting divorced and his mother is upping-sticks and running away, he feels lost and stung by the whole experience. He has never been surrounded by love and affection, and now he's bloody sick of it, and says he wants a normal, settled life without complications or expectations.

We are both getting to a point in our lives where we want to start afresh, anew and completely differently. I don't care if you or anyone thinks we're 'too young' or 'too hormonal' to want commitment and security. I've been told that enough times, and I don't want to hear it any more. I couldn't think of anything more disrespectful or condescending.

I told my boyfriend straight that one day I intend to be a married woman. I want to find someone with whom I can make that commitment to love, nurture and honour for my entire life. I told him that if he didn't ever want to be a married man he should just not bother (I've had enough of men pissing me about to even give a damn about frightening them away at the mention of the M word. Their loss), and if he did would he want to be my married man.

I expected him to dance around the subject like a cat on a hot tin roof, but he simply smiled and said 'Yes: yes I do.'

In summation to this entire rant, time is not an issue for me. Waiting and deliberately pacing things across a projected time-frame seems to me like complete foolishness. How one sees life is completely changed when one nearly dies, and there is complete truth in the concept of having life-changing near-death experiences. You realise that life is fragile, and that there's no point in waiting around to do things you want because one day there won't be any time left to wait around. But such self-dissections don't come easily or painlessly: the road to self-rediscovery is bumpy.

I apologise for my bluntness. But normal advice doesn't cut it with people who haven't had normal lives.

Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Please don't make assumptions about what my life has been like or what you think I'm assuming about you, since both sets of assumptions are likely far more off-base than you realize, some of them to the point of being cruel.

I also was not trying to give whatever "normal" advice was, but advice based on what I've read you saying so far, here and in the advice question I answered for you at a different part of the site.

There are a lot of reasons why I suggested making sure you're giving yourself the time *you* need (which would include that time being five minutes, if that is what you think you need) to make all of these choices, but one is that in a brand new relationship, our feelings obviously intensify and it can be even harder to think clearly.

To boot, it sounds like you may be trying to work out a LOT about the whole of your sexuality in a pretty short period of time here. In other words, this isn't just about if you want to and will feel okay about having any or all kinds of sex with a partner, but also about your own sexuality (which exists separate from any partners) and about your own ethics, values and spiritual beliefs. And of course, even when those things are taken out of the equation, there's just trying to evaluate what the right time is for sex in a relationship altogether. That's a LOT, and while some of those issues, if not all, have overlap, there's often things that we also want to try and think about separately, especially when, as you've expressed, the stakes feel very high.

With the marriage issue, bringing up marriage very early in a relationship -- I'm not talking about in very general ways, mind, and I'd say the same thing to people who were my age -- can be a lot like, say, planning to move across the country before you've even taken a trip somewhere outside your hometown. Do you know what I mean? Talking about it very early can also make what's already emotionally feeling very high-key feel even higher.

I don't think things like that people are "too young" or even more inaccurately "too hormonal." You're making assumptions about me, again, that really aren't fair and which put me in the position of having to respond to things I don't think and didn't say rather than trying to focus on you and the kind of help you're asking for. I don't think that serves either of us well.

So, what would you like to do? I think you're angry with me or projecting anger unto me based on false assumptions you're making about things I asked or suggested. Do you want to keep talking, being able to accept that your assumptions aren't correct, and obviously aren't based on me at all, knowing you can ask me why I say a certain thing to find out why rather than deciding why for me and that that's how we can talk with mutual respect?

Or would you rather I simply stepped out of helping you altogether because of how you're feeling and what you're assuming?

I'm fine with either option, you just let me know which you'd prefer.

[ 02-18-2011, 02:34 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67076 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 1 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Heather, I apologise for my rudeness and insensitivity. I'm making assumptions on you as a person based on other people I have dealt with in the past which is wrong and unkind, and I'm sorry. In the past I've had to deal with some pretty damn horrible therapists, psychiatrists, emotional educators or whatever they claim to be. People so stupid you wonder how the Hell they got to be so qualified.

Most professionals I have dealt with in the past have treated me like a waste of time, and I made the very wrong assumption of you. Unfortunately in our country people are incredibly bigoted when it comes to people with mental illness. I knew of a doctor who lost their job when they told their suicidal patient that they were a waste of time and energy and should just kill themselves and be done with it. Obviously, things in the USA are very different.

Again, I am very sorry. I shouldn't have snapped. When I open up about personal problems I instantly revert to defence mode and assume every comment to be a personal attack, even if I'm the one who sought the help in the first place. I've never really had the chance to practise talking about myself: my psychiatrist shut me up with a box of anti-depressants and spent our entire time together talking about herself.

I admit to being guilty of extrapolating. I can never see an action for the action itself, but for its consequences. My parents had a very extreme attitude to decision making: either they made ALL the decisions, or none, and somehow managed to do this all at the same time. As such, myself and my 3 siblings have never been very good at decision-making. One of my most cherishedly hated memories is at the age of 17 standing in front of a shelf of curry sauces in the shop and not physically being able to decide which one to buy; it was 20 minutes before I could continue with the rest of the shopping.

This unfortunately permeates into many areas of my life: my academic work, my professional work, my ministerial work, my friendships, my romantic relationships, what I wear, what I eat, what I do with my day. I can't do anything without over complicating or over thinking it.

This tendency becomes even more extreme in areas which are important to me or are a source of great stress. I've never been able to decide anything, ever. And now I've got to a stage where I just want to make a bloody decision about SOMETHING!

I know I have all the time in the world to come to a decision, but there's a fine line between taking all the time you need.... and never ever coming to a decision. Sometimes I wish someone could step in and decide for me, and remove all responsibility.

I see completely what you mean about the whole marriage thing, but -- as I'm sure you saw long before I did -- my only romantic role models are my parents, who decided to marry after 6 weeks, and seriously discouraged living together before marriage. They are of the 'you'll know as soon as you meet them' philosophy of marriage. I never really bought into that.

But what I don't think I managed to explain (maybe due to my heated ranting) in my previous message is that I don't intend on actually getting married for a while, I just want to know that the intention to eventually, one day, years or months down the line, be married is there. I don't want to put a tonne of work and effort into a relationship, hoping that in a couple of years' time when I mention marriage they'll automatically be okay with it, and then be hideously disappointed and realise how much time I wasted on a pointless endeavour.

That happened to my brother. He was with a girl for 4 years, hoping to marry one day, and as soon as he proposed she ran as fast as her little legs could carry her. He was distraught and deeply hurt. He urged me to safe-guard myself against such disappointment in the future.

I suppose what I should really do is turn off my brain for a couple of weeks and just float along happily with what I'm doing and where I'm at at the moment, but I just can't. I have a fabulously overactive brain: she just looves the exercise. I wish my brain and my soul could strike up some sort of compromise.

Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I appreciate you taking responsibility for your words and tone a lot: thanks.

I can respond to this and the rest of your thread in a while. Would you like me to do that, or would you like me to step back and let others give you input and feedback instead?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67076 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 1 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would appreciate your input very much, Heather.
Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You got it.

Before I give more, I think it would be helpful for me in advising you, and also for you in being able to best see your own big picture, to maybe jot down and share all of what you're deciding about right now and grappling with.

In other words, for example, there's the question of how you feel about premarital sex: what do you mean by that? All kinds of sex, some kinds of sex, in this relationship right now, in all relationships? There's also obviously the issue of if moving into any kind of sex in this relationship is going to feel right for you and is something you want to do at this time, even if you knew you WERE okay with premarital sex as a whole. Then there's your own sexuality, apart from this relationship, how you even feel about being ready for/supported in an intimate relationship right now period, given some of what you're saying about your history and current community... and probably a bunch of other things.

Do you think you could kind of do a bullet-point list like that for me and for yourself to both look at?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67076 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 1 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When I first started thinking about sex I began to research it theologically. I did a massive amount of research of theological scholars and professors, and read countless interpretations of the Bible. I came to the very relieving conclusion that God wasn’t anti-sex: God made sex, and everything God made is good ( Genesis 1:31 ‘God saw all that he had made, and it was very good’). He made it to be enjoyed, and as such he has no qualms with sex in and of itself. That was a load off my mind. However just because God has no problem with it, doesn’t mean people don’t

But I then realised that when it comes to the whole area of humanity that we call ‘sex’, what I actually know about it is pretty hazy. I’ve always been told that ‘sex’ is ANYTHING that gives someone sexual pleasure, but this to me seems a little bit on the vague side.

• I know for a fact there are some things that are a massive turn-on for me and for others that aren’t even remotely sexual. For example there are some people I know who have the most amazingly sexy voices, whose every syllable sends shivers down my spine and makes my hair stand on end, but surely couldn’t that be categorised as sexual pleasure? If so, must I forbid them from speaking in my presence? I have a friend who finds looking at green apples very arousing (... don’t ask why, because I have no idea).
• Christian teaching on sexuality become incredibly complex and self-contradictory: the Bible itself is not very explicit, and doesn’t go into details, therefore most teachings are based on interpretations of various conflicting churches. Does sex mean just genital contact, whether that is with the genitals themselves or with the hands or any part of the body? Does it mean the stimulation of any other erogenous zone, eg. breasts, behind the ears, behind the knees? Is tickling sexual? Is ‘making-out’ sexual (that’s a term I learnt recently which we don’t use in Ireland, thanks to my American boyfriend)? The whole area is expansive, and yet no details are given about exactly what kind of ‘premarital sex’ is forbidden.
• There are some Christian couples I know who have never even kissed each other or held hands because they believe that these activities leave the door wide open for ‘THE DEVIL’ (which I don’t think even exists, but THAT is a compleeetely different discussion). As such, what I personally categorise as sex, I have come to learn, is pretty meaningless because it’s been informed by people who – I have quite upsettingly realised – are complete headbangers... (and I say that in the least judgmental way possible, of course).

The idea of ‘no premarital sex’ itself offers a very interesting duality in Christian faith.

When Jesus was sent to Earth, in his ministry he showed up the very religious Pharisees. The Pharisees were the keepers of the Law, those who prayed relentlessly and followed rule to the letter, condemning those who didn’t, and in doing so believed that they would automatically be let into Heaven because they were ‘good people’. However, God told the Pharisees through Jesus that what they were doing was pointless because it showed that they had more love for the reward at the end of the rule following than for God himself. Christians believe that Jesus wants us to never be like Pharisees, blindly following rules, but to embrace God’s love, and show it to all others. But, Christians now believe that the only way to earn God’s love is to follow the laws that were written by one of the church’s founders, St Paul. So.... we’re back to square one, except now the Pharisees are called Born-Again Christians.

You can see why most Christians don’t know they’re eye from their elbow.

Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This wasn't really what I was asking for/suggesting, so I'm still without some information I feel like I need to best help you out, but that doesn't mean that we can't talk about defining what sex even is if that's something you want to talk about.

If it is, it might help to take a look at how we do that here at the site and as an organization: What's Sex?

I'm with you: figuring out what the religious rules around this are, were meant to be, how they translate to now is awfully tricksy. So, I think that what's probably your best bet is to just try and get a sense of how YOU define what sex is, on the whole, and then in the context of whatever your own religious beliefs are at this time.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67076 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 1 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ah, now I get you.

As to my own personal opinion, if I were to put a nail on what I thought sex was, I wouldn't know where to put it.... sadly.

Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(So, can we maybe try that list again?)

You know, I think it's pretty safe to say that a lot of the time, people won't know how exactly to define it, especially when it's abstract. I'm not saying anyone has to do sexual things to find out, but I do think that if and when that's what someone wants to do and feels right for them, that over time, that tends to help, because obviously, how we define sex as individuals is going to be influenced by what feels sexual to us.

That said, are you saying that you're feeling like, religiously, you're supposed to not be doing something which you have no idea what it is?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67076 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 1 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You asked me ‘What am I grappling with?’, which I think means you want me to outline all the concerns and worries I have? Personally, not religiously and/or socially? Right, so does that mean you want me to give you a list of all the itty-bitty little things that play on my mind surrounding this subject?
Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 1 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
That said, are you saying that you're feeling like, religiously, you're supposed to not be doing something which you have no idea what it is?

I've never realised how completely ridiculous that is.... ever.
Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I meant what decisions are you trying to make right now. Like, you're trying to decide if premarital sex is something you're okay with or not, then if it's something you want to do, and then if sex in your current relationship is the right thing or if this is the right time for that, etc.

Make more sense? I just think that being able to really look at all the choices you're faced with making might make this be and feel more manageable than lumping them all together, which strikes me as incredibly overwhelming and also as something which probably makes all of this a lot harder for you.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67076 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 1 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Aah... I see.

What am I trying to decide? Okay, that makes the question waaay more understandable.

A. I suppose my biggest problem at the moment is the issue of trying to come to peace with myself about the issue of premarital sex, and why even the phrase itself sparks off such internal controversy. Why can I not decide whether I agree with it or not? Why is it such a big deal? Why can’t I just decide and be done with it?

B. How do I allow a man to share their sexuality with me. I know for a fact that I’m not yet ready for a sexual relationship (yet) because thinking of the entirety of male sexuality is something very difficult for me. I’ve been taught my whole life that men only think of sex, and as such are incapable of ‘love’ until a woman shows them how. This sparks off a massive amount of guilt in my current relationship because I know my boyfriend is very committed and loves me greatly, but I can’t seem to get my head around his sexuality.

C. How and when do I share my sexuality with someone else? I have explored my own sexuality to the Nth degree, and I am now at peace with her: she is much a part of me as my own beating heart. I know what I like, I know my expectations, and I know my own body. And now I’ve acknowledged her existence, and have learnt to love her, I want to share my sexuality with someone else; someone very special. I yearn for partnered sex, and its potential to be something deeply spiritual. But knowing when the right time to do so is something I can’t grasp.

D. What happens when B and C meet?

Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rock on: this is very helpful to me. Hope it is for you, too.

It seems to be that B and C hinge a lot on A.

Is there, by any chance, anyone you know who you feel in accord with when it comes to your religious beliefs, and who you also just respect a lot, who you can talk to about that? Maybe, ideally, a few people, who all don't share the same stance when it comes to sex? (I'd offer to pony up myself, but alas, we have different spiritual beliefs and systems.)

I do think that one thing that might help take some of the pressure off is maybe recognizing that you don't have to make any once-and-for-all choices with this. I know one tricky part of that is that if you decide you don't care about premarital sex and engage in some, then later change your mind that can obviously be heavy, but it's also not like there aren't people who have done just that and managed just fine.

I think it's pretty clear why it's a big deal to you given how you've been raised and what the community you're living in is like. I guess where I feel a bit less clear is in what your OWN beliefs are, not just with this issue, but period. Have you felt able to really come to the religion you currently subscribe to (for lack of better words) on your own yet? Or is it something that feels solely or mostly inherited or assigned to you?

(In the meantime, I can also give you some links and education around B and C if you like, even though a lot of the answer to B is that what you've been told polarizes, segregates and simplifies male sexuality in a way that's not realistic or true when it comes to its diversity.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67076 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 1 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Is there, by any chance, anyone you know who you feel in accord with when it comes to your religious beliefs, and who you also just respect a lot, who you can talk to about that? Maybe, ideally, a few people, who all don't share the same stance when it comes to sex? (I'd offer to pony up myself, but alas, we have different spiritual beliefs and systems.)
Unfortunately, this is quite tricky for me. I'm pretty much at odds with EVERYONE in my church, and as such don't have many friends in the church that I have the kind of relationship needed to be comfortable in talking about these things. One of the only people with whom I share such a relationship who shares my viewpoint is my own mother, and that'd be one fabulously awkward conversation. I know one other woman, but, again, we just don't have that kind of relationship (yet).

quote:
I do think that one thing that might help take some of the pressure off is maybe recognizing that you don't have to make any once-and-for-all choices with this. I know one tricky part of that is that if you decide you don't care about premarital sex and engage in some, then later change your mind that can obviously be heavy, but it's also not like there aren't people who have done just that and managed just fine.
That makes perfect sense, and is very reasonable, but sadly I fear making mistakes and living with regretting the consequences of never, ever being able to live it down. Then again, I suppose everyone does.

quote:
I guess where I feel a bit less clear is in what your OWN beliefs are, not just with this issue, but period. Have you felt able to really come to the religion you currently subscribe to (for lack of better words) on your own yet? Or is it something that feels solely or mostly inherited or assigned to you?
The household in which I was brought up was not always Christian: my dad has never been religious, and it's only really over the last 10 years that my mother has been actively Christian. Therefore, I fear no contradiction when I say my beliefs are purely self-actualised. I have a very strong personal belief in the existence of God, and Jesus as the Son of God, and that God is love. I have great respect for Jesus as a man who died for a greater cause, and as a living incarnation of God himself.... however there are some things about the whole universe of Christianity that tick me off to no end.

Because I have faith in God through Jesus I have to play the silly little games that Christian communities play, otherwise I cannot be regarded as a 'real Christian', and to have someone deny my of my own faith makes me want to break things. In a way, being 'religious' hampers ones 'spiritial' development, in so far as religion suddenly becomes about following all the rules than actually having faith in an eternally loving God. I suppose what I'm truly struggling with is accepting that human beings care more about rules than God does: he just loves.

quote:
In the meantime, I can also give you some links and education around B and C if you like....
That'd be helpful!

quote:
...even though a lot of the answer to B is that what you've been told polarizes, segregates and simplifies male sexuality in a way that's not realistic or true when it comes to its diversity.
Don't get me wrong, I realise how stupid some of the things in B are. I know that men are just as complex as women, but my household was quite matriarchal. My mother has always been head of the house in EVERYTHING, and my dad functions in the background. My household is all about women. Even my brothers are quite in touch with their feminine side.

My mother always said that 'young' men only enter relationships for sex. She's always said that I'll get all the jerkish, shallow men because I'm 'pretty and self-confident'. And now that always lingers in the back of my mind when I start a relationship. I always feel incredibly guilty about tarring all men with the same brush, and ashamed of the fact that I live in suspicion of their motives. In a way this belief objectifies men in quite an unkind way, and I know it, but it's what I've always been told. Old habits die hard, so they say.

Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
More on all this in a little bit, but would you LIKE to talk to someone who I know who shares a likely similar faith/set of beliefs, who has been a youth minister and is someone I consult with around these issues when they come up with all of you?

If so, I can certainly ask him if he'd mind swinging by to join in our conversation.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67076 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 1 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sure why not: the more the merrier! =D
Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(Okay, let me ask.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67076 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 1 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thank you very much!
Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Tossed an email his way, so we'll see if he has some time.

In the meantime, here are some links (some on the site, two off) I think might be good starters on B and C. We don't have anything here expressly about male sexuality, just like we don't about female sexuality because those distinctions tend to be largely false or arbitrary, but these should help regardless:
Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist
Safer Sex...for Your Heart
An Immodest Proposal
Genderpalooza! A Sex & Gender Primer
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/why_does_male_sexuality_seem_so_repulsive_to_me_am_i_just_too_feminist
http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/heather_corinna/2010/03/15/so_about_that_video
http://sexuality.about.com/od/sexinformation/tp/male_sexuality.htm
http://sexuality.about.com/od/sexinformation/a/male_sexuality.htm

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67076 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
domogneas91
Activist
Member # 55970

Icon 1 posted      Profile for domogneas91     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good grief. I think I've ended up knowing less about humanity than when I started... =D

With regards to the links about gender identity (Genderpalooza, 'Why does male sexuality seem so repulsive', the sexuality.about.com links, 'So, that video'), I found them all quite interesting and helpful. Society is pretty screwed up, isn't it? As enlightening and as stereotype-busting as they are, they are completely confusing... but I suppose in a good way. Humans are humans, at the end of the day, male or female. But even if I read up and begin to make my gender-role in my relationship clean and clear, doesn't mean that my partner will have as deep an understanding of the situation as I would have having read up. He would probably still live his life as dictated by social pressures and 'norms', and I worry would that cause tension.

I had read the other links before when I was searching the site for helpful literature. A lot of what 'Safer Sex for the Heart' and 'Ready or Not?' have to say is very true, and indeed helpful in allowing me to get things clearer in my own mind. However, taking the ever so tentative step from theory-on-paper to actual practise is the scary part. In my mind, one can never ever be 100% sure of anything... and I hate uncertainty.

I think 'An Immodest Proposal' was the most helpful out of all these links for me, personally, at the moment. I suppose in all this worrying, fretting and overthinking I tend to forget that sex is meant to be enjoyed, without regrets or second-guessing. I'd better keep that in mind.

I suppose, having read all of these resources, the nest big question I have is simply 'How do I live these out?'

Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sweet_thing
Activist
Member # 52326

Icon 1 posted      Profile for sweet_thing     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I kinda feel like I'm butting in on the discussion, but I can't help but toss in a few suggestions.

It might be a good idea to just step back for a moment and simply pray. Take a break from thinking and just pray. I know when I was trying to make my decision I got so caught up in wracking my brain and trying to make my decisions as soon as possible. I thought that if I just up and got it over with quickly, things would be better. But the truth is, things like this take time, whether it be a month, two months, six months, or a year. And God as a plan and wants whats absolutely best for you. I understand that you're not planning on engaging in anything sexual right away, but you might be putting too much on your plate at once. The human mind can only handle so much. Give yourself some time to allow all of this to grow a little bit, both thoughtfully and prayerfully. And I understand if you've been thinking over this for a while, but this is a new relationship with new feelings, a fresh start. It might seem hard at first, but once you ease your mind and talk with God for a little bit things will start to clear up. It did for me.

And remember that your walk with God is PERSONAL. It's separate from your parents', you friends', your church. Like was said before, religion is just the institution. Spirituality and faith, on the other hand, are personal and vary from person to person. I understand your frustration at times with the Christian religion. It can get pretty wishy-washy at times, depending on the church, denomination, Biblical interpretation, etc. But I think in the end it's also its beauty. God gave you free will to follow him and make your own decisions. He's not making you do anything. But He is there to help guide you, and He will never stop loving you. As Christians, it's not our job to judge others, whether they're also Christians or not. We're here to follow God.

So again, and I feel like it's kinda been said before me, give yourself time and try not to stress as much. Figure out what sexuality, your sexuality, and your feelings about sex mean to YOU as a person in YOUR life. Like Heather told me when I was struggling with this, you may find that your personal beliefs about sex are different now from what you were raised with or what your parents and friends believe. Religious and familial backgrounds are important in shaping us, yes, but they ultimately can't control us exclusively.

I hope I didn't come off as being callous. I respect your history and that you've been through quite a bit. And as another Christian going through a similar ordeal, I just want to help.

[ 02-19-2011, 01:11 AM: Message edited by: sweet_thing ]

Posts: 55 | From: USA | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3