Earlier today, I read an article on the Salon, “My Christian Virginity Pledge Nearly Destroyed (http://www.salon.com/2014/08/10/my_christian_virginity_pledge_as_a_child_nearly_destroyed_my_life_partner).”The writer of the article talks about how she made a virginity pledge when she was ten years old and how her virginity pledge followed her throughout her life where it caused her sexual dysfunction.
I empathized with Samantha’s story. One reason for putting myself into her shoes is that I grew with the good girl image. From an early age, my mother talked about the dangers of sex and how much it would hurt because when she had it, it hurt. With abiding by the good girl image and having my mom tell me sex was not enjoyable, I did not dare think to have it unless it was with a guy who loved me or cared about me. I also understand why she is not in a religion. I was a Mormon for two and a half years, and I felt guilty about any moved I made that wasn’t in the standards.
I find that Samantha’s insight is honest and revealing. As I read her piece, I could feel the anxiety of her experience. Being a woman is still not easy in our American culture. Women are still bombard with certain images. You either the Madonna or the whore. You are either the single women or married with children. There should not an or because in reality all types of women exist. All individuals lives are complicated. We are all come from different backgrounds and have had different experiences.
Yet, I wouldn’t even think that a woman would have had an experienced as a Christian to where it created sexual dysfunctional. That blew my mind because I have never read someone’s experience about it. What struck me was when she wrote that even thought her Christian faith taught her that sex was okay with her husband, she still could not have sex with him without feeling guilty or without exploring.
I know about standards. I am sure we all do. When standards are rigid, the result in experiences like what Samantha had. We, as women especially, are told not explore our sexuality. If we do, we are sluts, whores, or bimbos. With what Samantha said, even if you think about wanting to have sex if you are in a religion that practices that you do not have sex until you are married, you are sinning. You are going to hell.
When I was a Mormon, I had to restrain from sexual thoughts. I had to put an effort in effort not think about them. Just like Samantha in her religion, you could not talk about sex or do anything that was sexually oriented.
I don’t know if that was another reason why I left the Mormon church, but I know it was a facet of many overall reasons why I decided not to longer be a member.
For me, Samantha’s piece made me think…how many more women are like Samantha who suffer from sexual dysfunction because she tried to stay true to an idea, in her case, betrayed her?