Sex and the Conservative Christian Girl: part 2

Content note: lengthy, frank discussion of at least one human’s sexuality, profanity, lack of euphemisms, unlikely to be erotic or sexy, sorry.

Part One

Fantasizing turned out to be the best way for me to keep my sex life alive for a while. Fantasize until seriously horny, then seek out my husband for sex. That way there’d be some genuine enthusiasm to carry me past the dread of seeing that he was disappointed in the end.

When he found out I was experiencing some kind of climax, he finally relaxed. Once he relaxed, I was able to relax a little as well, and finally got him to listen to me a little on the subject of how I was experiencing sex.

He had a template in his head of how he thought sex was supposed to work. As far as he knew, all women required foreplay in order to become naturally lubricated. That’s not how it was working for me. As soon as I was horny, I was ready to go right away. Sometimes foreplay felt more like an annoying delay.

Of course, he also thought foreplay could be used as a sort of turn-on switch, to move someone from a neutral state to an aroused state.

Foreplay wasn’t arousing for me. Physical touch couldn’t be reliably used to get me going. When he tried to use touch to get me in the mood, it generally had the opposite impact. (Porn also seldom does anything for me if I’m not already horny – I’ll just get bored and stop watching.)

I might be sitting around reading a book that wasn’t even sexual or arousing for me and discover that I was ready to go, though. If I was able to relax, getting horny would happen naturally, sooner or later, even if I hadn’t been thinking about sex or exposed to sexual imagery.

Everything I read about sex and sexuality left me further convinced I wasn’t experiencing things the same way the average person did, particularly the average female-bodied person, but I couldn’t find anything that explained my experience, or people talking about also experiencing sexuality the way I did.

From what I read, the brain and sex organs shared signals during sex that shaped the experience. Synergy was required for best results. It was pretty clear to me that my brain was not particularly cooperative or focused when it came to sex, and I started to wonder if my signals were misfiring or if the signal strength was weak.

I didn’t have one of what I thought of as my ‘intense crushes’ when it came to my husband. I was drawn to his sense of humor and his intellect, found him congenial and aesthetically pleasing, and approved of his morals and religion. What I felt for him was much calmer, more friendly and far less intense than what I’d felt towards other people.

I believed that was a good thing. That meant it must be real love, the lasting, godly sort of love you should have in a marriage. Passion fades, after all. People talked about passion fading all the time and how you had to have other reasons to want to be with someone. I figured that meant I could safely forego the passion altogether.

Sex wasn’t what I thought it would be, but it would have worked well enough if my husband had stopped focusing on his preconceived notions. It never occurred to me -until this year- that having separated romantic feelings from sexual desire might, just might, have something to do with lackluster sex. That a lack of emotional passion might explain a lack of physical passion, at least for me.

Circling back around to the beginning of part one, when I said I was experiencing a second sexual awakening: a few weeks back my brain started booting back up, presenting me with emotions that had been absent for so long, or so weakly present, that I’d kind of forgotten what it was like to experience them.

I promptly fell head-over-heels for a friend I’ve known for a few years. Not only was I getting that feeling of ‘intense crush’ again, this time I was shocked because I started fantasizing about said friend. Sexually. These fantasies would just start, any time, any place.

I’ve never had that happen in my life, and I’m 38. (Side note: that’s a fucking weird, random age for all this to be going down.)

My brain refused to focus on my other fantasy life any longer, leaving it like a discarded garment on the floor of my psyche in favor of fixating on my new crush.

It was fucking embarrassing. And undignified. I felt guilty, and sheepishly brought it up to my therapist. (The guilt wasn’t over being married and falling for someone else. It was specifically guilt over fantasizing about a real person.)

She thought it sounded like a perfectly normal thing for people to experience, something I probably would have experienced sooner if not for my background, and that I should just enjoy it while it lasted since it was feeding my brain happy chemicals and those were something I need more of. What my crush didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them.

When I say conservative Christianity and its teachings fucked me over in just about every conceivable way, it’s not hyperbole. Romance, sexual orientation, sex & sexuality, marriage, parenthood, life goals, ambition, education, mental health, physical health, family relationships, personal finances, employment – I am where I am today thanks to conservative Christianity.

Where I am is fucking screwed up.

-mentally flips table-

I’m 38 years old experiencing something I should have experienced, gotten used to, and learned how to manage between 15 and 25!

What. The. Hell.

Fuck me.

No, fuck you, conservative Christianity.

Would sex and sexuality have been a completely different experience for me if romantic and sexual feelings had been integrated and if my sexual experience had taken place with people for whom I had romantic and sexual feelings? It seems likely. I might even have enjoyed kissing.

I’m irritated I didn’t get the chance to find out at an appropriate age, when I had a conventionally attractive body, energy and zest for life. Oh, and was single, childless, and financially independent. You know, stuff that makes it at least a -little- easier to find a partner you’re attracted to that’s also attracted to you and doesn’t mind being part of your life.

I’m pretty sure if you’re not romantically and sexually attracted to your partner after 18 years it’s just not going to happen.

Well, at least I can use disassociation and compartmentalizing as a survival trait. Pretty well honed for that. I’m just gonna set this big, seething bundle of pain, rage and loss over there and throw a sheet over it for now.

-long, drawn-out sigh-

Why do I dig through my psyche and life this way? Well, I find humans and our actual incredible diversity of being, and the way we try to ignore and forcibly shape that diversity into conformity, to be a fascinating subject.

Maybe if we all talked about our individual weirdness a little more, we’d feel less alone, and be more accepting of individual weirdness that isn’t our own.

*confession: some of my book ideas started as a reasonably simple sexual fantasy, but my brain couldn’t stick to just sex and eventually built a plot, which overtook the original fantasy, until it was something else entirely. In fact, I had one particular fantasy that diverged into three or four separate book ideas, all of them emerging wildly different from each other and almost unrecognizable compared to the source material. Pretty sure I was going to be some kind of a weirdo no matter what my background was.

**Please don’t make your partner’s sexual responses about gratifying your ego and proving you’re good at sex stuff. Many people will be turned off by feeling expectations about how they’re supposed to look or sound, which is a highly individual thing.

4 thoughts on “Sex and the Conservative Christian Girl: part 2

  1. I’m really intrigued you decided to share. I think this is an important topic that needs discussed more.
    A few months ago I read an article about women from conservative religious backgrounds who are experiencing the same thing as you. It talked about how damaging it can be to their self-esteem, growth, and self-worth.
    The article actually inspired me to write about a character in one of my books who is from this type of background, and I’m working on a book about it. Since I’m not from a conservative or religious background, I know I have a ton of research to do, but I’m really nervous asking women about their past since it’s such a personal topic. This post makes me realize I’m on the right track.
    I hope you continue to have growth and make progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Knowing there might be other people out there feeling alone and wondering if anyone else has experienced what they’re experiencing is one of the reasons I decided to just put it all out there.

      Check out the archived blog ‘Homeschoolers Anonymous’ (I think that was the name) – they have a lot of stories people shared that might help your research, too!

      Liked by 1 person

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