I grew up in the Christian church and I went to Christian school all but one year (which I was home schooled for). There is nothing in my life that hasn’t been defined outside of Christianity including my grasp on my own sexuality. When I was sixteen years old, I had boyfriend who pushed me to a breaking point.
It was July 4th. We went to a party with his family and I was allowed to stay the night with a promise from his aunt that I would sleep in her camper. My boyfriend’s dad got drunk though and wanted to go home instead. When Mike, my boyfriend, was driving us back; his dad said that I could stay at their house if I kept it a secret. When he said that, I knew where this was going.
And we were making out and he was everywhere. And things were out of my control, and I was pushing on his shoulders to get him off of me but I wouldn’t call out because I didn’t want to be found out. And when it was over he wrapped his arms around me and I turned away and cried. And you wonder, how could you stay? And they always say: I love him. And I did.
It was more than that. It was gone, and he had all the power. My virginity was the best thing I had to give. It was a big part of my identity. It was supposed to belong to my husband. I was emotional and I felt like I was worthless. He was everything to me in a different way than people usually mean it. He was my only shot at a whole future, at a whole me. And he used it.
Then we did it all the time, and I would cry and blow up at him and say that I was done having sex with him. He would pull out a Bible verse that said that he had to marry me to make it right. And I was a prisoner. And in a weird way, because he had so much of me, I felt so free with him. I felt slutty, and undeniable. I would do anything with him. But not without self-punishment.
When it was over, my mother had already called me a whore. The whole church already was using me as a cautionary tale. I took out my frustration on my body. I would starve myself. I would cut myself. I wouldn’t sleep for days. After a couple years, I realized he wasn’t mine anymore. He belonged to someone else, and he was going to marry her. I thought: why not deserve what they were saying? I had nothing to lose. And sex got really easy. Until this one guy. He asked too many fucking questions and dug too deep. Somehow he knew what I was going through because of the way I had sex with him. Every time I was about to orgasm, I wouldn’t let myself over the edge. He’d always ask me why I stopped him, why I stopped me and I never had an answer.
Truth is, sex wasn’t mine to enjoy. I was never taught to do it for me. I was never taught to enjoy sex. I was taught that my virginity was what mattered, but not to me – to my husband. But he pushed that. He pushed me emotionally and physically. He didn’t mean anything to me, like everybody else I slept with in those years. But he was the last one who didn’t. What did I want from life? What did I want from sex? And believe it or not, I also had to ask myself: how could I save Christianity from this? And talking about it is my start.