My Parents Never Talked To Me About Sex & I Think It Screwed Me Up

I am grateful to my parents for teaching me valuable lessons that have prepared me for adulthood. They were always honest and supportive when I needed guidance. However, I wish they had not been uncomfortable discussing the topic of sex with me when I was in middle school, even after I got married.

1. I Didn't Know The Basic About How My Body Works

During puberty, I had many questions about the changes happening to my body and what they meant for me. It wasn't until high school that I mustered up the courage to ask a friend about basic female anatomy. I also avoided using tampons until I was 16 out of fear of my own body. I can only imagine how much easier things would have been if I had better knowledge of my own body.

2. I Couldn't Come To Them With Questions

I believe many people can relate to feeling uncomfortable discussing personal topics with their mothers at a young age. My own experience of this was made worse by my mother's own awkwardness in responding to my questions, which often made me regret asking in the first place. Even as I grew older and faced important life decisions, such as getting married or considering birth control, I found myself turning to Google for information rather than seeking guidance from my mother. I wish this was not the case.

3. I Was Ashamed Of My Body

Growing up, my family didn't have open discussions about women's bodies or sexuality, which led to me feeling ashamed of my own body as I entered puberty and became a woman. Despite being a naturally modest person, I found myself feeling self-conscious in a variety of situations, such as shopping with friends at Victoria's Secret, wearing a swimsuit, or applying makeup that accentuated my feminine features. Instead of embracing and celebrating the way God made me, I felt compelled to downplay my womanliness in any way I could.

4. I Needed A Role Model

I struggled to find reliable and trustworthy information about puberty, relationships with boys, and sexuality from the internet and my friends. I wished my mother had been more open to discussing these topics with me, as I believe it would have strengthened our relationship and provided me with valuable guidance.

5. I Started To Believe Sex Was A Bad Thing

Growing up, I was exposed to negative perceptions of sex. I was told it would harm my physical and emotional well-being, and that engaging in sexual relationships would have negative consequences on my life. The goal of these messages was to promote the idea of waiting until marriage for sexual experiences, but instead, it instilled in me a sense of shame and guilt surrounding sex in any context. As a result, I internalized the belief that expressing my sexuality was always wrong.

6. I Decided To Stay Celibate Out Of Fear Instead Of Choice

Although my desire was to remain faithful to one partner and delay sexual activity until marriage, my decision to do so was not entirely self-motivated. It was based on fear rather than a personal conviction. I received a purity ring at the age of 12, but my decision to wear it was not rooted in a deep understanding of my own beliefs and values.

7. I Thought There Was Something Wrong With Me

When I began dating my husband, I was intimidated by the intensity of my sexual desires for him. After we got married, I discovered that I am a highly sexual individual who craves physical intimacy with my husband. For a long time, I felt ashamed and abnormal for having these desires because I had no examples or role models around me who openly expressed similar feelings. It took me a while to come to terms with my sensuality and to be comfortable expressing it in my marriage.

8. I Felt Shame Having Sex With My Husband

Growing up with negative associations towards sex, I found it difficult to fully let go of these feelings on my wedding night. Despite being in a committed relationship with my husband, I couldn't shake off the feeling of shame, knowing that our loved ones were aware that we were now engaging in sexual activity. I wish that instead of focusing on the negative aspects of sex, my religious education and loved ones had emphasized the beauty and intimacy of having sex within the context of a committed relationship.

9. I Was Uncomfortable With Affection

As a child, I was not exposed to physical affection between my parents, so when I saw other adults showing affection in public, it made me uncomfortable. I had formed an idea that adults should not touch or express their feelings towards each other in public, as if it was inappropriate. While there are certainly boundaries to what is considered appropriate in public, I think that couples should not feel the need to hide their feelings towards each other. It is healthy to express affection in public.

10. I Want To Be Aa Example For My Kids

In the future, when I have children, I want to ensure that they grow into adults who are well-informed about their bodies and sexual relationships. I hope that my partner and I will have the courage to be open and honest with our children about the beauty of a healthy sexual relationship and the importance of expressing affection in public. I want them to understand that intimacy with a spouse is not something to be ashamed of, and that they can come to us with any questions or concerns. I hope to be able to take the mistakes that my parents made and turn them into positive lessons for my own children.