I’m often confused by consent and I do not feel like I have ever experienced a major violation of my consent. But still- I’m confused by what I want and what is expected of me. I was raised in a very traditional household where we were expected to save sex for marriage. Rape was an unspeakable tragedy. We did not talk about it, aside from constantly worrying about how much our outfits might reveal.
Like most girls in their early teens I was curious about sex. But I knew that it was off limits until I was off an age to marry. I wasn’t very popular so I didn’t run into pressure to explore. I often wonder what it would have been like to have learned about sex slowly. I wish I had the make-out sessions of middle school that didn’t always end with your clothes off (like it does when you’re an adult). I wish I had that chance to learn to about sex normally.
No. Instead I wrote in my diary, afraid that god was watching, about the fantastic sex I would have with my husband someday. It wasn’t enough and I was afraid to ask. It didn’t matter if a boy was cute because he wouldn’t live up to my parents standards- I quickly derived a list of the traits I thought I could get away with (not all the traits that my parents would want): good person from a strong family, no divorce. When I was 17 I allowed myself to have my first crush on such a person. It was magical- but it also left torn up, ready to scream, too anxious to sleep - I had been saving everything I was and am for that person. Everything. That’s a lot of emotion to dump on a person.
Anyways, going to back to my early teens. I was curious about sex and had no one to talk to. I had no outlet. My best friend was also a Christian and so we could not talk about sex. I was often jealous that she was allowed to wear somewhat low-cut tops (the sort that show cleavage only when you bend over).
I was alone and curious. Knowing that sex was off-limits did not make that curiosity go away. It made me ashamed. I thought about ways that I might be able to have sex sooner. I thought about rape.
This is very hard to say and express because I do not want there to be any confusion about what that means to me. I feel as if my circumstances forced me to think about rape in that way- that my curiosity was so great I wanted to be taken- I wanted to learn- I wanted someone, anyone and I didn’t care who to take on that role.
I’m so lucky no one did.
I feel like ‘purity culture’ is something that overlaps with the much discussed ‘rape culture’ and this is the perspective I am coming from. I feel like when we are raised with confusing messages about our sexuality it muddles our ability to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and to know if that is something we want or if it is something we are doing out of fear, obligation, uncertainty or shame. If I wanted to explore sex at a young age I was supposed to not only be passive- but kicking and screaming- and even that might not be good enough because that little question would be in my head “you wanted that- you deserved that”
It’s fucked up that this was the only way I could ‘safely’ think about sex without being ‘immoral’
To say that I fantasized about rape is not to say that rape is good or that I want to be raped or that anyone actually wants to be raped- there is a big difference between a ‘fantasy’ and an action and I hope that is obvious to anyone reading this.