My Sexual Life Story and How Atheism Has Improved My Sanity

Caution: Really not as interesting as it sounds.

This is pretty messy, long and raw. But I know you were all dying to know every bit of this.
So, as everyone who has ever spent five minutes with me is aware, I was raised Mormon. Mormonism isn't the cult some make it out to be, aside from the fundamentalists, but it's still pretty damn crazy.

After my childhood friend told me my facebook photo was wrong and porn, I was trying to figure out how a person can live like that. But I also have to remember that... I did. I was raised that way. Growing up, though I wasn't very happy, and ironically didn't have as many friends as I do now, I thought I had some things right. I thought that abortion was murder, I thought that masturbation was disgustingly wrong, porn was sick, and even in my dark fantasies I often escaped to... and, this will be hard to admit... I slept in a different bed from my imaginary husband. (Although to my credit, I rode a motorcycle.)

I feared rape on what seemed a daily basis, wore modest (and totally un-chic) clothing, and to this day I have some fears regarding men that are less than fair. My social anxieties in general were pretty bad, I would stress, hide from my own family, sometimes fidget or bite myself. I used eating as a coping mechanism. I shirked responsibility. I was depressed. I felt ugly, worthless, and afraid all of the time. I don't want to live like that again. Ever.

When I became an atheist, I hit exponential growth in my development. Or maybe growth in my development lead to atheism. I remember some of my first actions that showed me how religion was slipping away from me quickly. I went to an LDS private school, and I was in 7th grade. We were expected to take turns making "devotionals" in the morning, which included picking a hymn to sing, a short lesson, etc. I remember specifically not having enough of a testimony to be able to give a lesson specific to the church. I BSed it, and it worked out fine.

Around this time, when I was about 13, I got my first boyfriend. Online. (I never claimed to be smart, but actually it was a good experience.) He was an atheist. I was a little intrigued by this, but mostly indifferent. I was also indifferent in saying "I'm Mormon". It was like a skin color. It didn't mean anything, it just "was". He wasn't so indifferent. "I can't believe I fell for a Mormon." Lol. Good memories.

Second boyfriend was immediately after. He was Mormon, my brother's best friend actually. He told me I was going to hell because I didn't go to church, but he wasn't happy with it. Haha, actually. Those are pretty good memories too. We never touched, and it didn't last.

In 8th grade, I started public school, something I was afraid to do-- but it turned out very well. It was much easier and more effective than private school had been. Without forced proximity to the same people all day, though, and my natural shyness, I could easily go all day without saying even 10 words to fellow students. I spent a lot of time in my own head.

I don't remember when I first became aware that my older brothers were atheists. What I do remember is that they didn't go to church much, and made constant references to how they would have to "corrupt" me. Trying to be cool, I claimed to have already been corrupted.

Things kept... not adding up. And, things kept... pissing me the hell off. At some point, Maybe 14, 15? I was officially considering myself Atheist Agnostic.

I was never very active in the church, but now I had identity. Now I felt like I knew what was going on. I gained interest in things such as gay rights (getting over my sisters' pinning me down and calling me a lesbian-- naw it's okay, we're feminathiest bffs now), and naturally the church was not fitting my beliefs. I became a feminist, because I'm interested in my future right now, not so much babies. I remembered that I enjoy learning almost as much as I enjoy creating. The depression started to ease. I still spent all nearly all of my time alone, going to school and still hardly speaking to other human beings the entire day-- but I felt a remarkable sense of contentment that shocked me-- it was, well, new. I was okay to be alone. Things progressed well, and I finally started making progress socially as my depression and anxiety lifted a little. I started to take care of myself more.

Two events knocked me on my ass-- first, driving courses giving me a new phobia, and my brother's suicide at the beginning of my senior year. I started therapy. Therapy, both through traditional methods and finally medication, eased a lot of the issues I'd struggled with as long as I can remember-- the anxiety, the depression. At this point I didn't even always recognize those in myself until they got to dangerous points. My therapist read my blog (a different one than this) and remarked that I sounded much more depressed than I seemed to be in person, almost suicidal. At first I thought maybe she got the wrong vibe-- because at the time I wrote the entry, yes, I felt awful. But it passed, didn't it?

When I did start medication, those sharp down spirals began to stop. At first I had some issues as I finally released feelings that were so difficult to release (I at times have that so-called ""male"" response of refusing to cry or deal with emotions). When I spoke of my sister's marriage I would always choke up and/or cry. When I spoke of my brother's suicide, it took several minutes for the therapist to coax the feelings out. That trauma wasn't surfacing the same way.

Granted, PMS still shits me up. A couple months ago I cried over pasta. Literally. Not one of my proudest moments. I had no idea what the hell was wrong with me, but low and behold... and it always happens in such a fashion, yet I still haven't caught on. I'm dumb like that. I do not like the idea that I'm not in control of my emotions, and my periods are irregular so I don't see them coming. Like bloody, gooey ninja.

I'm now first-year in college and happier than I've ever been. Learning to be more comfortable with my body (masturbated for the first time at 18, just because I was sick of not knowing about myself). Trying to break past the remaining social anxieties, accepting myself, and enjoying others.

Here are the family issues contributing to my insanity:

My mother still tells me pre-marital sex is wrong. She doesn't want boys at my place. She told me that "short-shorts" are a good way to get raped, and that at a certain point a man simply cannot help it. She would tell me stories of friends and stories on the news, about pregnancies and women getting raped in public bathrooms (so naturally I should be careful).

My father is secretly atheist. But he wasn't home a lot growing up, and I was always a little afraid of him. He's actually very intelligent, but apparently only about everything but gender and sex. He's made some rude jokes, and he thinks rape is about sex, which I generally disagree with.

My brothers are lewd pervs. Which is funny now, but to a young girl? It was a little threatening at times. Family dinner is... haha, an adventure. When I was younger, my brother would snap my bra and slap my ass (and my sister's), which... was weird. He would also wander around the house moaning "ssseeeeeexxxx" with his hand in his pants, because apparently that is his mating call and dance?

My sister scarred me when she married. She was young, and I needed her. Because I was... not in a good place. And, I thought we would be roommates, I thought we would live life together. We were both so smart, and young, atheists and feminists and anything we wanted... Now I'm on my own, 200 miles away. And she's having sex with a terrorist. (...Inside joke.)

Men in general, ignore me. But alternately, online they come on too strongly, and they're anything but apologetic. Apparently my not wanting what they do means there is something horribly wrong with me. I don't want to feel like I have to feel guilty because I'm confused, and because I'm not wanting to do something stupid, and particularly something I'm not ready for.

So thus far I have Choice A- Chauvinist Religious Boys, B- Hyper-sexual Atheist Boys, an C- Gay Prom Dates.
Personally, I like D- Leave me the hell alone.
That one never seems to work...

I wasn't really the type who planned my fairy-tale wedding. But I did plan my fairy-tale love (and make up soap-opera romances between my crayons). He was patient, and gentle, and intelligent, and naturally he was completely enamored with me. He had silky hair, he never screamed, he was supportive and smiled for me. ...And then I was the funny one. See how this fits?
I was an emotional child, and my mom didn't typically go upstairs to find me when I threw a fit. So I would cry, and cry... and pretend that I had someone that would always be there when I was that lonely. The truth was, I had to go through all that pain alone, and I wasn't strong enough to rely on myself. I didn't love myself. I fantasized most of the day. At school, at home, before I fell asleep...

And this idea was as fictional to me as porn might have been to a boy of my age. At some point, I had to be disillusioned. Again and again and again. And as I did, experiencing the... em... more "real" world of men, if there is such a thing, the more I became bitter and wished for that kind of experience. The kind of experience where love is not an excuse to have sex-- where love is so powerful that sex is the only way to express it.

My first sex dream was a nightmare. This is what happened- A kid in my class told everyone that we had sex, which I naturally denied. Then he said he taped it. He did. ...Lets never talk about this again.

Now, sex dreams are rare and not very vivid. Since then, I'm not sure I have ever had sex in a dream. I had a dream I hid from rapists in a bathroom stall, nothing happened. I had a dream I considered getting oral sex from old men (this was last night actually), but again nothing happened. I had a dream a shemale tried to have her way with me, but I don't think hugging on a swingset counts.

Sometimes, I have "sweet" dreams. I had a dream that I met someone I cared about from online from a few years back, and he just hugged me, after all that fear of what he would think of me. I had a dream that I went to an assembly at school, and there were no seats left... So I had to sit on the lap of a boy covered with a blanket, and he was kind to me. I know, bizarre!

Occasionally I will wake up with a lackluster orgasm. I'm not dreaming of anything sexual when this typically happens. Honestly, I'll be having a dream about frogs or getting ready for school or something. Weird.

Remember when I said the first time I masturbated was at 18? Well, I wasn't horny. I don't know what changed, but I was sick of being afraid. I became determined to learn (and was embarrassed that I wasn't entirely sure where or what my clitoris was...). Attempt 1- utter failure. Attempt 2- well, after an hour or longer, I got what I believe to be a small orgasm. It was disappointing. At some point in my experience I decided, well... try to get a little more excited, I guess. I think it started with pictures. No men-- women only. It worked okay. I didn't "feel" aroused, really, but I suppose my body knew what to do. So then, videos. Still, women only. With the added bonus of being a little educational. Then I tried to find the tamer videos, and went on in that fashion. It's still not impressive, but I'm practicing.

I don't know what love feels like. I'm pretty sure it's a trap. I am taking every precaution to avoid it. My looks do most of the work for me, and the stench of atheism doesn't hurt either. All else fails, I will tell everyone that I am gay.

Except maybe the lesbians. Maybe.

The End.

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Comment by Jezzy on November 7, 2010 at 12:13pm
Thank you for your comments everyone! I appreciate it, really!

DeafAtheist: To answer your question I really didn't like seeing men in porn, I wasn't used to male genitalia by any measure and found it somewhat ugly, but more importantly I was uncomfortable with (and almost afraid of) the attitudes expressed in porn and to some extent men in general. I do watch porn with men now, though I'm still having satisfaction issues. I do orgasm, that's not usually a problem but it's not impressive.
Comment by DeafAtheist on October 30, 2010 at 1:58am
Wow quite a fascinating read. I know quite well that feeling of loneliness as a child. I was taken from my birth family and eventually adopted by a strict Catholic family. I was agnostic in my early teens and an atheist a few years later. So I had a lot of personal emotional shit I had to deal with on my own that I couldn't share with my adoptive family so I dealt with it alone.

Can I ask why you don't use porn involving males? I get the sense here that you're not gay. But I'm assuming your selective porn use is more about the attitudes about sex you were brought up with than about sexual orientation. I find that sad. Religious folk raise children to basically fear sex to prevent them from having it until they are married and the end result is adults with uncomfortable and unhealthy attitudes about sex. There's line between being a prude and being promiscuous that is a healthy place.

My son's mother is a devout Christian. She had only one brief sexual encounter at 14 where the guy barely got inside her and she stopped it. After that she hadn't had sex until marriage with her husband who is also a devout Christian who I assume hadn't had sex prior to marriage himself. She separated from him and divorced him and pursued a relationship with me and even tho we're not together anymore she does not regret the relationship she told me that being with me taught her to have more healthy attitudes about sex and I helped her actually enjoy it. With her husband even when things were good with him she'd often make excuses not to have sex with him... but with me she literally couldn't get enough. She had come out of her shell with a libido I couldn't keep up with. That's not me bragging about my sexual abilities, that's just me helping her out of her repressed sexuality. I couldn't believe she had never felt comfortable with masturbation... now she does it regularly.

I certainly hope you find someone who will be patient and loving with you and who will be willing to ease you into a healthy sexual attitude and not rush you or judge you either way.

But thanks for sharing your story it was a good read.
Comment by Sam K on September 13, 2010 at 5:47pm
Great post Jezzy.

You writing expresses both insight and vulnerability. It is courageous of you to share your story with us. It sounds like the LDS church, or at least the way in which your family (and your mother) have interpreted their teachings, has been pretty hard on you.

I am glad that you have found some comfort in the pursuit of feminism and atheism. Hopefully, over time, you will continue to become more and more comfortable with yourself, your past, your sexuality... and everything else! Most everyone spends their entire lives walking down that path, trying to figure themselves out and how to live a sustainable/productive lifestyle in harmony with those things (self, past, sexuality, etc.)

Good luck!
Comment by Jo Jerome on September 12, 2010 at 1:25pm
I don't want you to all feel like I had some horrendous childhood, I was spoiled and had a very loving family.

Got it. One's childhood needn't be screwed up OR wonderful. It can certainly be a bit of both. There are some aspects of my family life that will keep me in therapy forever. But there are other aspects I wouldn't trade for the world and am very, very lucky to have been exposed to.
Comment by Bubba Tarandfeathered on September 11, 2010 at 2:35am
It's very normal for women to be disinterested in male and female coupling pornography, because it tends to be filmed or photographed for men. Pornography for women tends to be more sensual and therefore more emotional verses visual. the sciences of human behavior and arousal have shown that women who look at beauty ads in magazines prefer feminine models over masculine or blatantly sexual ads. This has to do with the curvatures of the female form. This has been known by fine art painters and photographers for hundreds if not thousands of years. Homosexuality is often (for the most part) something you know from early on, you generally feel different from others. I am not Gay but you should talk to friends of your who are to find out more about it. Nothing beats knowledge obtained through caparison of feelings. This is true for many sexual alignments. I thought once I was into BDSM but after talking to other practitioners, I found I was only seeking to compensate for a powerlessness I felt in that past relationship. Personally I don't put a lot of trust in the interpretation of my dreams, but you can direct, to some extent, your dream experiences. Research lucid dreaming. Though I am a man I have learned that women who have fulfilling sexual experiences need or desire comfort, security and empathy from their partners. If you don't feel you have those, then explore ways to attain them, then I think things will change for you. Freedom from indoctrination can be a fulfilling and very emotional experience. Any sense of new found freedom from any source of subjugation can unlock emotional responses to simple everyday events, and allow the flood gates of emotion to open up.

Love starts with your self. Learn to respect your self and appreciate what a 4 billions years of evolution gave you. You can tell and should tell your self what you are.(its proven science) Learn to counter the voices of your past with spoken words of positive affirmation. Literally tell your self who and what you want to be and strive to add to humanity's evolution if not by reproduction then by humane acts of compassion and charity. When another see's your beautiful acts of compassion, upon the world around you, he or she will fall for you head over heals and spoil you rotten with love. Love is an eternal gift, an excess of your self love, that you will be impassioned to continuously give away. Self respect can be attained through declaring your freedom from the things that bind you and defining a constitution of principals for your life. (sound familiar?) Write them down and keep them in safe place. Evolution is the purpose of life and of thought and feeling, so you will evolve and you will change so in time you will revolutionize how you feel and think and dream. I'm going to stop before I start sounding like an old fart full of advice.
Comment by Jezzy on September 10, 2010 at 6:20pm
Ha, this feels weird. I wasn't expecting all these people actually reading and supporting. Thank you!! You're all beautiful.

I don't want you to all feel like I had some horrendous childhood, I was spoiled and had a very loving family. My mom is actually very, very sweet, and a complete pushover-- but very Mormon. And I definitely get along with all my siblings now. Except the one who killed himself. He could use a punch in the nards. I just had some influences and stuff in my head that I couldn't quite wrap my brain around.

As for "hugging on a swingset", lol... it was actually pretty literal. See, I was at my aunts house, and this girl was sort-of the villain of the dream, and a mind-reader so I had to play my cards right. And yes there was a real swingset involved. I'm pretty asexual by nature, but apparently my subconscious did not like the idea of enjoying something a girl was doing to me so it randomly decided that really, she was male, but omnipotent, right? So obviously an omnipotent man would be female, because that makes it twice as much fun apparently.

I had a dream I was pregnant last night, and I was upset ...mostly because my mom wouldn't let me go to school. lol.

OH! GEEZ! How could I write a blog post on this and not mention GETTING FELT UP BY DAVID ARCHULETA'S COUSIN!?!?!?!

How embarrassing. :P
Comment by Jo Jerome on September 10, 2010 at 5:33pm
Another Jezzy fan here.

You are a hero to teenage-me, who I could only wish was as articulate as you are. Took me another decade or so to be able to describe to others what was going on in my head.

I will say that from where I'm sitting in the audience, you did have a somewhat screwed-up childhood. Or maybe, a childhood that tried to screw you up? You have every right to feel a little mad/hurt/regretful/whatever you might feel about that. And recognizing that (which it looks like you do) is a big part of the healing and moving on process.

Especially disturbing to me is what sounds like your mom's preoccupation with dangers of rape. Yes, it is a reality and a danger, but not nearly to the extent it sounds like your mom has made it out to be. Especially if you have a bit of common sense about personal safety. Maybe even look into some martial arts or something. Not to compound the problem, but as rape is about power, not sex, the paranoid woman can sometimes be a more tempting target. Whereas the self-confident, self-assured woman is more likely to be passed over. (Not at all hard and fast rules, but general).

Anyway, sounds like you are moving in good directions. Once again, teenager-me envies you. A lot. ;-)
Comment by Guy Fawkes on September 10, 2010 at 12:40pm
Hey, thanks for sharing this... Courageous in an anonymous internet sort of way.

Here's my dumb cliche advice. Dwelling on past experiences is kind of human nature. Its how we learn and pointlessly avoid new experiences. I say avoid love... If you can... I cant I'm one of those emotional dependents...

I have a friend who is completely Asexual... Although he cant actually reproduce, so I don't fully understand this classification. Regardless, he seems very content in life and is one of the most consistently happy persons I know. Some people might consider him a loser or just a weirdo, I see him as pretty damn smart. Hes 30, has a career, a home and all the toys he wants. He basically does whatever he wants without a sex drive or "significant other" ever getting in the way. No emotional baggage all the rest of us carry...

You will eventually find the appropriate person. No one will ever meet your exact specifications but compromise can be a character building life skill we all must learn now that our species has achieved 6+ billion...

Id take it all back in a heartbeat... Ive only exchanged a few moments of bliss for a lifetime of pain. Excuse the language but F-Love... F-compromise... If it wasn't for sex Id have a pretty sweet f-ing life...
Comment by Grace Fitzpatrick on September 10, 2010 at 9:28am
I'm glad you're working things out now you are safe from that situation. *hugs* If you prefer women, that's okay. The Mormons don't rule the world. Have you tried connecting with a girl? If it feels right, then it is. I'm sorry your childhood was so unhappy. I wish I knew what to say.
Comment by Jason Spicer on September 9, 2010 at 11:42pm
Jezzy, you're not nearly as screwed up as you think you are. Or as perhaps you have every reason to be, given your background. Your writing is consistently clear and grounded. You have a lot of things going on in your head, but they don't really seem to freak you out. It's almost as if you think they should, but they don't quite. That's not such a bad place to be. You've clued in a lot earlier than I did that a lot of the "sinful" things in life actually aren't a big deal. It will take time for you to get over your programming to the contrary. Well, it did for me, anyway. But then, we've already established that I'm a slow learner.

"I had a dream a shemale tried to have her way with me, but I don't think hugging on a swingset counts."

I will say that "hugging on a swingset" is about the most creative euphemism I've ever heard for being intimate with a shemale. But perhaps you were being literal. Dreams are so awkward that way.



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