Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Random questions and thoughts

If you are family or work with me (with the exception of zuzu or T) do skip this one, k?

I am awake on time this morning which always makes me glad because I can get my blogging, daily action (from that Creating a life worth living book) done all while sitting in bed drinking coffee before work.

I have counseling tonight for the first time in a long time (two months or more). I'm thinking about what I should process... My parents and their desire for me to see this other therapist whoever she is. My self talk lately has not been all that healthy. This I should talk about. It's kindof like when you have a crying baby and instead of comfort it you hold it out from you and yell at it because it's crying. In case you are wondering this does not work. That baby would be my body.

So what I'm not blogging about but want to, is dating, not dating, sex, virginity, the things I don't get. I have questions some I can figure out and some I can't even put into words yet. I am so blasted inhibited that I struggle to ask things. And it's easier to do it on a blog but really dumb as well to post this kind of crap online. Obviously I only care about that a tiny bit. I have questions like: Is there anyone, who when they are really honest if they did life again would have stayed a virgin all their lives? Last night the woman I was talking with told me about hearing stories about nun's and priests who were gay and weren't so very celibate. Is it even possible? Does virginity do harm? Is anyone at all telling the truth about virginity, or sex for that matter? Why does all the rest of the world seem to think virginity's a stupid thing to do? Arg! Am I being lied to? Does fisting hurt? Don't ask. Why shouldn't I? Why should I? Does God care at all about this? What if I'm a virgin not because I was sheltered but because no one would want me? Is sex a need or a want? Do people who have had sex with more than one person feel messed up because of it like the church says? I do not think so. And 20,000 more I'm sure which are either half birthed or half aborted in my head.


Random Reflections said...

Big questions!

I think for anyone who takes their faith seriously they are fairly natural things to have to ask yourself.

My sister, who has no religious belief at all, always used to say that she thought Christians often got married young so that they could have sex. I think there may be some truth in that!

If you were 'straight' then you might have issues about whether it was right to have sex outside of marriage, but ultimately, if you found a suitable chap, you could 'solve' that problem by getting married. In your situation you don't have that option in the same way (although I realise there are civil partnerships) because large sections of the church would never recognise that and would say that it was not within the will of God. Depending on your understanding of what the Bible teaches, it does therefore mean that you potentially end up in the situation where there is never a 'right' place to live out the sexual side of your life.

I sometimes wonder if some married Christians would hold quite the views that they do, or perhaps would learn some empathy, if they were told that they were not allowed to have a relationship with anyone and should instead just pray or focus on God more.

I think the churches view on divorce has changed a lot, mainly because it has become a reality for them perhaps in their own marriage or in the life of someone close to them, but issues around being gay are easier to condemn or to make no effort to understand because in a lot of churches it is hidden and they will probably not see the reality of it in their own lives. There's no need to chnage because it just isn't an issue to them - the Bible says it and that's that.

Any interesting article by Lewis B Smedes on the attitudes to divorce and homosexuality is here:

You're an adult, you're intelligent, you want a relationship etc etc and I think all the questions you ask are perfectly normal and to be expected in your situation. It doesn't necessarily make the answers easy, but I suspect being true to your conscience and beliefs is of great importance to you and so they have to be asked and you need to know the answers and how your human-ness and faith can co-exist and hopefully be integrated.

I shall end it there before I go on any longer! Apologies for the very long comment...

Liadan said...

I think it's entirely possible to be a deliberate virgin for one's entire life. Whether it's desirable to do so has everything to do with the person, though. Presumably there are people who would be happier and better off sex-free, and people who really do just need to get laid on a semi-regular basis for their own mental health, as well as that of anyone who has to be around them. I personally decided the weight of the evidence put me in the latter category. ^_^

With any kind of sex-- if it doesn't feel good, physically or psychologically, take a break and another look at whatever instruction manual you're using.

Let's Kill Saturday Night said...

You should only have sex if you want to, likewise for being a virgin. If you never have the urge to have sex with someone, then don't. That's absolutely fine. However, if you meet someone special and you feel that you want to have sex with them, why deny yourself what you want ? I know I'm coming at this purely from an atheist angle but it seems natural.

titration said...

Wow. You all have some stuff to say! Thanks for commenting. I think somehow even just asking the questions and hearing comments helped me feel better. I don't think I'm any clearer but thought provoking stuff.

And Liadian you are totally funny. While random reflections and "let's kill Saturday night" I hear you and i am not quite sure it's what I'm stuck on. But of course that's my problem I suppose. Lack of clarity. :) Feel free to bring on whatever view maybe something will work itself out of me in the process.

slashdotmad said...

religious issues aside, on a social level the question of virginity has become an issue of age. If you're a virgin at 18 it's only slightly strange, when you're one at 30 people look at you like you're either a loser or a freak. I wonder why this is a question of age. We are allowed to study till we're 50 or start careers at 16, nobody bats an eyelid. Yet sex still is one of those issues that we're judged on within social circles, be it family, mates, church, friends, whatever. How the hell has this managed to be one of the last bastions of judgment and social rating??
not really answering anything here, but what you blog constantly brings up questions in me (as you can probably tell by now..)

Anonymous said...

I so wish that more people were willing to ask these questions out loud. Back when I had my first mentle struggle with whether or not to have sex I would have loved talking to you about it, but I assumed that you (and others in the same wide circle of church/school friends) wouldn't have understood my even asking. Come to find out you do understand, and have many of the same questions! Go figure!

Here are a bunch of random thoughts:

When I first really thought of having sex (and was terrified by the fact that I would have slept with that particular person on the first date!), I got some advice from my foster mom. She suggested that I stop speaking/thinking in terms of "losing" my virginity and instead start speaking/thinking in terms of "giving" myself the gift of sex. It was like in the one I was becoming less of a person, losing something, letting someone else take something. When I started thinking of sex as something I was giving to myself, as a way of knowing myself more intimately and letting myself feel in new ways, it became a much more pleasant thing to think about. Yes, this could have been an excuse to give myself permission but, no, I didn't have sex wiht that person.

I once wrote a poem (I'll have to see if I can find it on my home computer and post it) based on a quote from a character in a l'engle novel, something akin to "love isn't true unless you love without needing anything in return." I very rarely write poetry, but after reading that line the poem just blurted out of me. I mean, that's a nice sentiment, and it makes a person who can love without needing a response sound very admirable. But what if I've loved that way (without response) my whole life, not because I'm virtuous but simply because no one loved me?

I'm intrigued by what slashdotmad has said about age. At 18 I was still in a very sheltered, Christian peer group where it was pretty cool (on the surface anyway...who knows how many people were lying!) to be a virgin. By the time I got to 25 or 30, though, it no longer felt like I had that safety net of "coolness" to fall back on. I liked to say (sometimes to others, but mostly to myself) that I wasn't having sex because I hadn't met the right person. Another big lie (but more practical) was that I wasn't having sex (with men) because I wasn't willing to risk getting pregnant unless I had someone legally required to help me raise a baby (faulty logic, I know!). But the truth was that no one wanted to date me, let alone have sex with me. It wasn't really up to me whether I had sex or not (at least in a non-sex-worker kind of way), but it felt safer to couch it that way than to tell the embarassing truth. Why was it embarassing to say that no one wanted to date me? On my better days it felt like it was genuinely their loss...I was a strong, talented woman with lots of love to give; all those not-interested folks were just too shallow to see it, right?

And my last is nice but it isn't everything. I'm in a relationship now with someone who has major issues with sex, steming from his being sexually abused by his father. We had sex a lot at first. He was my first partner and it was very, very fun. Then, as our relationship got stronger, the sex died out. There have been several times when I wished that I hadn't had sex with him so early. Having it, then having it taken away, was very hard. Feeling like he had lost interest in me was hard (there is obviously more to it than this, which we're working on in therapy, but this is out it felt emotionally). Learning that he had had sex with me early on because he was just "playing around" was hard, even though the change reflected that he wasn't viewing it as playing around any more. These events all made me think (from time to time) that waiting until marriage would have been better. But then, I come to my HUGE struggle with marriage and the contention that something will change as I become married--like I will suddenly be REALLY committed (whereas I was just testing the waters before) or that I'll have a REAL relationship (whereas I was just pretending before). As we've been working through all this, I realized that what I crave more than sex is feeling desired. That can come in lots of forms. At the times when it does materialize itself as sex, it's a very nice surprise, but I can get that feeling of being desired other times and in other ways.


Random Reflections said...

I have many more angles I could have taken in my previous comment, but I shall continue to ponder!

Following up on what slashdotmad says, I agree about that stigma and that peopel doperhasp see it as a sign of 'inadequacy'. Personally if someone told me they had never had sex I would just shrug my shoulders and think that was their business and not mine. People have all sorts of reasons for having sex or not and I don't see why I should add to people's insecurities (or otherwise) about such things.

titration said...

It seems this is helping me pry apart two different veins of questions. One related to religion and perceptions/judgements of people religious and not about virginity and sex. Then another one to do with self image concept that we all have due to being desired or not.

yes I'd agree slashdotmad, age is totally involved in the whole judgment stigma thing.

random reflections, thanks for saying you wouldn't judge someone for their virginity or not. I hope there are more people in the world than you that think like that.

titration said...

freyasigns - thanks for being so vulnerable to share. Your vulnerability totally helps.

Zuzu said...

For what it's worth, if I had it to do all over again, I would have done it exactly the same way. I'm far from celibate.