“Seth! I have to tell you something. It’s terrible.” I admitted.
“What’s wrong?” He said
“Well,” My face turned beet red. I collapsed into myself and started to examine the insides of my elbows. “This guy wants to have SEX with ME!”
“Okay…” he said. I could feel his eyes fighting not to roll back into his head.
“Well isn’t that just awful? What kind of guy tells a girl that?” I said, utterly appalled.
“Back up. Who is this guy?” Seth asked.
“His name is Thomas. We have gone on like 5 dates. Last night he was acting like he wanted me to spend the night! My friend told me not to tell any boys I’m a virgin because they might go crazy and chase me. But I had to tell him. He was saying stuff like ‘you should come over’ and ‘I would like to spend the night with you’ and ‘I would like to have sex with you.’ I can’t believe it.” I said running out of breath.
“Alright and so what did you do?” He said, rubbing his forehead in distress
“Well I had to tell him that I was a virgin, and that I have never had sex before, and that I don’t know what I’m doing, and I’m scared of his penis.” At this point my face was plastered into the side of Seth’s couch. Seth, who was now dripping with my emotional vomit, looked at me yet again at a loss for words.
“Emma, why are you acting like a child about this?” He asked.
“EXCUSE ME! I am not. He is the one who is talking about doing dirty stuff,” I exclaimed!
“Did he force himself on you?”
“Did whip his dick out and demand you to suck it?”
“Ewww gross.” I started giggling uncontrollably. Seth was unamused.
“Sex is not dirty. If a guy says he wants to sleep with you it does not make him bad guy. If anything he is a really decent guy because he is communicating to you how he feels. It is vulnerable asking a girl to spend the night. You are putting yourself out there. Do you like him? Would you like to sleep with him?”
There was a long pause. I did enjoy Thomas’s company and I found him to be very attractive. “Well… I kind of do want to sleep with him” I admitted “but I don’t want to be his girlfriend.”
“Great! Good for you.” He said, his face at ease.
“But I don’t think I should because he said he is not looking for a commitment.”
His face distorted again, “But didn’t you just say you were not sure you wanted a relationship?”
“Well no…yeah. I just want him to really like me… you know… I just don’t want to like him. I really don’t want to get attached to a guy AND have sex with him too.”
“Well that’s not fair,” said Seth. “You can’t put that kind of backward expectation on someone…Alright…you obviously have a lot on your mind. I need to get ready for class but I want you to ask yourself something. You ready?”
“Okay” I answered nervously.
“You have never had sex before but you want to date men outside the church and you want to actually have sex with them right?”
“Yes.” I said like a good student.
“So ask yourself this: What does sex mean to you?” Then Seth went into his room to get ready for class.
My forehead crumpled. In all my years of sexual misfortune and frustration I never once thought about what sex meant to me. I always just believed what the church told me sex meant. That it is a powerful connection only reserved for those who were married. That it was only enjoyable with God and that sex outside of marriage tears apart your soul. And that your soul can only be healed after a full year of shaming from your bishop. I know that the church has lied a lot about its history…perhaps they were lying about sex. I have been naked in front of men and not felt guilty. So now it was time to re-evaluate what sex meant to me.
Flashback sparked one right after another. Sex was watching my friends leave me and join the married ward. Sex was not being able to relate to them anymore because I was still a virgin. Sex was feeling inadequate and uneducated. Sex was a stream of secondhand secrets only discussed with those who were lucky enough to find love. Sex was watching beautiful Mormon woman settle for gungy fat men who were “nice”. Sex was hearing stories of woman crying in the bathroom on their honeymoon. Sex was a competition to be the first wife in heaven. Sex was avoiding non-mormon men. Sex was breaking up with a man I liked because I feared he watched porn. Sex was almost marrying a judgmental man with greasy skin convincing yourself you’re in love. Sex was forcing yourself to be someone you’re not. Sex was confusing as shit!
“Hey, I got to get to class.” said Seth, snapping me back to reality. I grabbed my coat and slowly walked to the door.
“I know what I want sex to mean to me.” I said with a vengeance.
“Oh yeah?” he said “what’s that?”
“I don’t want it to mean a damn thing.”
To be continued...