Yes, these were actual words, spoken in an actual classroom, in an actual Sex Education class. This was a class that yes, was at the Christian school that you all have heard so much about. It’s a story that to this day sticks out in my head.
We were learning about female anatomy and sexuality. In the process of that the teacher held up a piece of paper. She told us that this was representative of our virginity. She tore it in half. Then she tore that half in half again, again, and again until there were about 10 scraps of paper. She went on to tell us that each time we have sex it becomes easier and easier to have more sex, and in the end we are left with only a scrap of ourselves.
I sat there trying to pull into my mind any kind of retort to this logic, but my fifth grader mind couldn’t. So what did I do? I accepted it. I accepted that my virginity was sacred and that waiting until marriage was not only a good thing, but something you should brag about because you were still “whole.” This followed me through middle school and into high school: I would tell anyone who brought it up that I was waiting until marriage to have sex.
Then somewhere around when I was 16 I really started to think about that piece of paper. If I were to have sex why would it tear me in half? Was it because spiritually I was broken? Physically would it cause me harm? So I did what I do best: I researched. I researched statistics of virginity loss, of STDs, teen pregnancies and the like. I researched about protection and how to perform different sex acts in a safe manner. It struck me: why was I always told that sex was wrong? And when I wasn’t told it was wrong, I was told that it was between a married man and woman to make children.
It was around this time that I was questioning my sexuality so that threw an even bigger wrench into the works. Eventually I realized that I didn’t belong in Christianity anymore and my mind became clear to what sex really was. For me though I was paranoid; I was paranoid that it would hurt a lot, that I would get pregnant, that I would be scarred forever if I had sex. Then came college: where I was able to explore my sexuality with both men and women and did “everything but” as I used to put it. I remained solid in my decision to avoid actual sexual intercourse.
When I was 22 I lost my virginity; it hurt, sure but I didn’t really feel any different. I didn’t feel dirty like those Sex Ed classes made me think. I didn’t feel broken emotionally or otherwise. In fact I felt dare I say, good? Fast forward to now when I’m married and having the non-sinful kind of sex. Do I feel any different? No. Do I suddenly feel like I’m doing what I was meant to do? No.
Point of all of this is no matter what you go through, there are things that stick out in your mind. By teaching kids from a young age that sex is dirty, bad, and you’re going to go to hell for it, you’re scarring them for life. Even now in my adult, married brain who understands that sex is a pleasurable act that bonds two people together, I still flash back to the piece of paper being ripped up.