I read an article about abstinence recommended by Quarter Lifer. The article talks about Christianity’s emphasis on abstinence before marriage and the lengths some people go to. I personally think the description of the masturbation bands that you remove to show the world that you have given into temptation and masturbated is hilarious. Have these people never watched the Master of Your Own Domain episode of Seinfield? They seem to think they invented the concept.

I was raised in the same environment. No Sex Before Marriage was the mantra. I was going to write that I did everything you could think of except for intercourse but this is the internet after all and some of you may have active imaginations so let’s just say that I was technically a virgin when I got married. This was partially for religious reasons but mostly because of my pathological fear of pregnancy.

Then I got married. From my wedding night until about a year later it was a sexual disaster. This was because I had severe reactions to birth control pills I was taking. I gained 30 pounds in two months, I had massive panic attacks, and I hated the husband. I couldn’t stand to be in the same room as him. I let him hug me a few times but nothing else. We cut our honeymoon short because I was spending it in a fetal position on the bathroom floor shaking and crying. I knew it was crazy but I couldn’t control it. The hormone changes from the pills pushed me right over the edge. This made for highly effective birth control but it wasn’t so great for the relationship.

I stopped taking the pills and the physical symptoms went away. But there still was some emotional problems. In my mind I had played by the “rules” and it hadn’t worked out as promised. There wasn’t some magical sex life waiting for me just because I hadn’t had intercourse before. That was one of the realizations that started moving me away from Christianity. If they lied to me about this then what else did they lie about? I know that there were extenuating physical problems in my case but who ever said an emotional response to anything had to be rational? What I feel saved me was realizing that I had had a great sex life before with several people including the guy I was now married to. Anything bad that I was experiencing had a physical basis and as soon as that was resolved there was no reason to think that I wouldn’t go back to normal. If I hadn’t had that experience to fall back on I would have been a basket case for a lot longer.

I don’t regret any of my sexual encounters. I don’t worry that the husband is comparing me to anyone he slept with before. I worry about people I know who think that sex on their wedding night is going to be magical when they have no experience sexually. I knew one bride who was terrified of taking her clothes off on her wedding night and she had been dating her new husband for 5 years. They had only kissed. But they thought that they were due for mind-blowing magical sex the first time they tried it. I’m sure it is worse for women because men don’t have a problem with orgasms so they think anything is great. But then the women are left thinking that they have a problem because they don’t get the enjoyment they expect. How are they going to know what they like if they never masturbate? Are they even going to realize that they need to teach their husbands to please them?

I start going off on rants about this whenever I think about it. I want to start a new campaign to counter the abstinence propaganda. Avoid intercourse if you want (I still have the pathological pregnancy fears) but enjoy yourselves. Learn things. Study your body. My campaign needs a catchy name and I’ll probably be cursed by the fundamentalists but it will be worth it.