Amongst the other Christian punk kids, it wasn't a huge deal that we were having sex. A lot of them were too. One was having sex with his girlfriend, but only anal, to preserve her virginity. The thing that most stands out to me about these kids is that they were super sex-obsessed but super sex-negative. Like, one time we all went to a Goldfinger show and afterward a car of girls slap-happily flashed us. They booed and yelled at other cars to not look at these ugly sluts.
As a teenager, I had never heard of sex positivity. This was abstinence-only education. We were only taught that sex was dirty and wrong. At school, the worst insult a girl could hurl at you was that you were a "slut" or a "whore." So in this abstinence-only view of sexuality, no morals existed. Anything that was sexual was bad. So anything went. The Frisky: My Newfound Respect For Chivalry
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In mine and Tim's relationship, sometimes after sex he would say he didn't want to do it anymore, that he was going to be “born again.” I remember crying, feeling frustrated but unable to put into words why. Other times while watching a movie, waiting for the pelvic poke in my tailbone, I was the one who didn't want to. But I'd let him jam inside of me anyway while I waited and silently baring any pain to get it over with. In this view of sexuality, where there was no more than "don't do it," consent and it's many layers wasn't an issue. As a woman in this culture, there was no learning what you like and asking for it. There was no sex beyond this one act.
Eventually, I would move to a liberal arts college in the biggest city I could get to. Tim settled on moving to Kentucky to go to a Baptist school, to be a missionary. We broke up. At college, I had begun to explore my sexuality and what sex was—what good sex was. And I knew being open, being able to say yes as well as no, is what made good sex.
The last time I saw Tim was at a Christmas party. He casually dropped that I was the last person he had slept with. My mouth dropped. "That was … years ago!" He said he wouldn't sleep with anyone except his future wife and maybe me again. Somehow, this was okay in his black and white view?
Now, Tim is married, presumably with kids, as most of the Christian people from that small town are. Raising their kids in the same small town, in the same school with the same abstinence-only education and the "they are making us teach evolution" caution.
As you grow to be an adult, you change, your experience with sex changes. But when I heard that some of those Christian punks had the naked Polaroids that Tim took of me taped under their glass coffee table, I remembered sometimes you don't change. The sexual shame is hard to shake. But at least as they marry and have kids, this new crop of offspring will have more resources, the Internet, some window outside that view with purity rings I can only hope start tarnishing a little faster. The Frisky: Conservative Woman Are "Smarter" And "Hotter"
Written by Rachel Rabbit White for The Frisky