Caroline Lozano/ Assistant Opinion Director
Sex has always been a bit of a tricky subject to talk about as one can never really tell what kind of reaction it can elicit from others. For those who identify as Christians, reactions can vary from understanding to utter embarrassment — the latter of which has no place in the minds of the faithful.
As someone who grew up Catholic and continues to practice the faith, I can acknowledge the instances where the faith has led to disadvantages, even if they aren’t directly supported by the Church itself.
Sex, for example, was rarely ever discussed in my household, even though many of the movies and telenovelas we would watch often showed racy scenes.
The earliest memory I have of discussing the topic of sex is one where my ten year old male peers attempted to give me a quick summary of what took place during such an activity, all while trying to hold in their laughter.
My own parents continually remained silent on the matter, with puberty being the only “birds and the bees” talk ever given to me.
Because of the negative reactions to sex and the eventual obsession with preserving my virginity that came during my high school years, I eventually came to associate it as something dirty.
I believed for a long time that if I ever had sex, even sex within marriage as advocated by many Christian churches, I would lose my value not just as a Christian but as a person as well.
It’s the kind of toxic thinking that comes with the long-held stigma on sex and the purity culture that is still prevalent among those of a religious background — something that baffles me.
I cannot speak for all Christian denominations, but I know many do not hold so much shame or guilt over conversations of sex, despite what movies and other media may show us.
The Catholic Church, for instance, encourages parents to provide sex education to their children, and especially encourages married couples to have a healthy sex life, stating in their catechism that there’s nothing evil with spouses “seeking this pleasure and enjoyment [as[ they accept what the Creator has intended for them.”
In many Christian branches, both Catholic and non-Catholic, there also seems to be a sense of embarrassment that arises with female sexuality, whether it’s women who make it known that they’ve engaged in premarital sex or avoiding conversations about their sex lives.
Now, I’m not advocating premarital sex in any way. As a practicing Catholic, I believe sex is a good and beautiful gift from God that unites a married couple and allows them to procreate.
However, I do think a significant problem arises when past sexual history is used to demean another person, particularly with women, something that stems from the obsession with preserving virginity among certain Christian groups.
Women who engage in premarital sex are often alienated by members of their own parish, even if they’ve made a vow to remain chaste until marriage, making it seem like their past sexual experiences are all that they are and that they’re “tainted” because of them.
Sex is not a sinful subject to talk about. It is not sinful to enjoy sex. It never has been and never will be. These are the types of conversations no one should be ashamed of talking about, regardless of denomination or even religion.
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