I recently received a comment from a new reader, Carolynn. Apparently we both met our significant others via okcupid. After some emailing back and forth, she volunteered to write a guest post for me! Her timing was perfect since I needed some guest writers while I'm on vacation and without wifi this week. Carolynn is owner and designer behind Silver Moon Creations, and blogs at Kitty Adventures about sewing, crochet, knitting, and sometimes marriage. She loves God, biking with her husband, braiding hair, and is hopelessly addicted to instagram.
|Wearing my kitty ears!|
So, I'm not a virgin. I lost my virginity at 18 to a guy named Tim one night at his house. We were dating, and we had been for a year. I loved him.
Well, maybe we should back up even more. I'd been raised all my life to wait until marriage to have sex. My mom married my dad because she was pregnant with me. Now, don't think my mom was indoctrinating me with the “you-must-be-a-virgin-or-shame-will-cover-you” speech. No, she was real. She told me about her mistakes, and opened her heart to me, and really explained that sex creates a bond (and babies), and should not be taken lightly, explaining that it means something. She was a really great mom, who wasn't afraid to share her life with me. I listened and made my own choice, one that yes, I do regret, for the complicated reasons below.
Well, so Tim. We had sex, and I'll be honest, I didn't really like it much. It hurt. A lot. But he seemed to enjoy it, and I could tell he loved me. But then he broke up with me, and we haven't spoken since.
Two years into our relationship, I was raped. I was raped by a really good guy friend of mine. It's a very complicated story, that involves lies (I had told Tim I would never be alone with another guy, and obviously, I was) and pain, and broken trust (I had kissed this guy and made out with him—nothing further, a handful of times—while dating Tim). But one day, as we were kissing in his car, he moved from his seat to sit on top of me. He put his hands under my shirt. I said stop. He didn't. I said please. He didn't stop. I closed my eyes; I went limp. After it was over, I sat there completely numb, scared. But because I had kissed him, because we were alone and good friends, because he told me I wanted it--I blamed myself. And Tim said to me, after I told him the truth, "If you hadn't been alone with him..."
Anyway, the rapist, who doesn't even deserve a pseudonym, thought he loved me. He would e-mail me and text me and AIM me, until I blocked him. I did go to the hospital, but I didn't press charges. Strangely, I felt sorry for him. I didn't even understand my own feelings. This made it harder to talk about my rape, harder to not blame myself. One day I unblocked him, and he messaged me right away. He said he felt bad for hurting me. He was sorry. So I told him via AIM that I was okay. I told him I felt like it was my fault. He took all our AIMs from the previous year up to this point and showed them to Tim, who, of course, couldn't understand why I felt sorry for a man who had hurt me. Some of the messages from when we had first met, honestly, were very flirtatious (I like your smile; you looked cute today—nothing dirty).
Tim called me a whore and never spoke to me again. And I hated myself.
After Tim left me, I didn't care about what went between my legs. I just wanted to forget Tim. If I wasn't good enough for him, I must be only good for one thing. I used sex as a tool for awhile--I didn't feel worthy of a "real" relationship. I let guys use me. During this time, I started drinking, and I slept with my friend’s brother from Peru for awhile, named Stephen, and also a guy from my work as a one-night-stand, and another friend from Band. I was really out of control. Slowly I started to realize that I can't change my past. I can, however, change my future. My senior year of college I decided to stop trying to use sex. (I thought at that point that sex=guys like me, I must be hot).
Around that time I met Alan. He had long hair. I think long hair is super sexy. We met in the parking lot of a community college. It was different with him. We had sex, and it was great. He called me again. He wanted to keep seeing me. We dated for four years, moved in and out of different places together--and I loved him. I still love him. This is where the story gets even more complicated--because I got saved. Yes, two years into my relationship with Alan (done with college at this point) God came knocking. Wow, was there a lot to deal with. And a lot of bitterness. Alan wasn't a Christian; he didn't know what to make of my new-found convictions. I had changed. He hadn't. Things were okay, but then the fourth year of our dating--we started fighting.
You see, I felt like God said I should wait until I'm married to have sex. But, clearly I hadn't. Guilt ate at me. And to make matters worse, I couldn't stop having sex with Alan. It's kinda hard to stop after three years of hot sex and park sex and car sex and hotel sex and even, once, at midnight right outside his parents’ house while they slept inside. Especially when you live together.
I wanted to get married, but Alan did not. At least not right away. We argued and screamed and yelled at each other, and it got to the point where I was so bitter against him that after we would have sex I would cry and blame him (no, he never raped me) and beg him to marry me, to remove the "stain" I felt was on us because we couldn't stop having sex. In short, I left him. I didn't know what else to do.
Leaving him broke both our hearts. I don't know if I made the right decision, and this is one of those things that will haunt me for the rest of my life. The only thing I can say is that I am so glad we are still friends. It's been almost two years since we parted--and we still talk, we still text. I don't know what I would do without his friendship, since he was such a big part of my life, even if I am married to someone else.
I met my husband on OKCupid, a few months after Alan and I broke up. I could say I was bored, I could say I was just seeing what was out there, but to be honest, I was dying. I'd moved out of Alan's apartment, back in with my parents, in my hometown, and I knew no one. I was super lonely, like, eating-ice cream-and-watching-netflix-lonely. I needed to get out.
At this point I thought I'd had so much sex that no virgin or Christian man would ever love me. Well, I thought, people who date online clearly would never be virgins. So I'll meet people online! We can just be friends, hang out, go to parties--maybe I'll meet someone at a party or somewhere that I'll be hanging out with the people I meet online (because people who date online clearly only want sex--so I didn't want to date them). I was wrong, on both counts--I met Brian.
After we had hung out for a few months and started dating, Brian told me he was a virgin. I think I choked on my cheeseburger. And to make it even worse, he wasn't looking for sex, he really liked me. Sure, he wanted to have sex (I could tell because, well, he wasn't shy about poking me though his jeans when we were making out), but he valued me to find out about me first. And he never pressured me. Actually, it was the other way around, I pressured him--and he laughed. I'd never been met with an offer of sex with a laugh. It was refreshing.
But when I had to tell him about my past, I panicked. A virgin and almost 30? Didn't this only happen in movies? Well, I clearly wasn't a virgin. He would hate me. He would break up with me. He would never forgive me.
Well, he didn't do any of that. He asked me to marry me the next week. He didn't care about my past--he knew I had made mistakes, and he knew I was sorry. "I love you, not your past." He said. I think that is the most romantic thing I've ever been told.
So I married him. And now we have sex whenever we want. And you know what? It was worth the wait while we were dating. And it was worth valuing my husband to wait until he was ready.
(Remember above where I told you I tried to pressure him into having sex? I wanted to be on the same level with him--both of us having had sex outside of marriage, even if it was with each other. I thought he would never accept me since I wasn't a virgin. His laughter and response told me, that one, he respected himself and his values enough to not say yes when presented with sex, and two, he respected me. And he knew that no matter how many people I'd slept with, we were on the same level. I didn't need anything else to be perfect for him. I had to learn that he didn't need to make the same mistakes to be perfect for me. I had to learn to love him as a virgin, to feel worthy of such a gift).
So what’s the point of this?
Don't let the past guilt trip you. Don't make decisions based on fear. And know that no matter what, God loves you, and you are Good Enough. You are worthy of love. Sex isn't love. Sex can be part of love, but love is so much, much more.
*Some names have been changed to protect the innocent... and the guilty.
Thank you, Carolynn! It's genuinely a blessing to have you on my blog. Thank you for opening up to me and my readers.