Sex, WAP & The Ex-Mormon

Yes, you read that title correctly. It’s an odd title for me to be writing since I spent the first eighteen years of my life as a member of the Mormon church.

Growing up religious meant a lot of things for me; the most significant being my repressed sexuality. Since Mormons believe that pre-marital sex and masturbation is a sin, these were two recreational activities I never participated in during my teenage years.

This meant that I was never ‘in touch’ with my sexuality, as one might say, but instead feared the consequences I would face from God if I were to stray too close to a boy or accidentally come across as ‘sexy’.

Many of my fears surrounding sexuality rested in the ideology that my body is a temple. A phrase heard throughout the institution of the church, but particularly aimed towards young women. This saying implies that we should take care of our bodies; don’t drink, smoke or cover yourself in tattoos, for example.

It also suggests that we should dress modestly. Don’t show too much skin. Make sure your skirt isn’t too short. Don’t wear low-cut tops. Translation: Don’t be too sexy. Or even sexy at all.

As a teen, I wondered why it mattered so much whether I revealed a bit of leg or showed slight cleavage through the tops I wore. I enjoyed wearing revealing clothing; bralettes are pretty, mini-skirts are cute and who doesn’t love a figure-hugging dress that shows off your curves?

However, I was taught that these types of clothing were wrong and that by wearing them I wasn’t treating my body like the pure, pristine temple it was. If I did find myself in a dress that was a bit too short or a top that showed even a sliver of boob; I felt guilty, embarrassed and uncomfortable. I was taught not to show these ‘sacred’ parts of myself, so I’d end up red-faced when standing in front of my peers in a skin-tight dress.

Even after I left Mormonism I struggled to show off my body without feeling like a disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t need to wear next to nothing in order to feel confident or express love for your body. If you feel amazing in a turtleneck then go for it; but for me, I gained confidence about my body by dressing how I was always told not to.

Modesty is only on the surface of my issues with sexuality. What really created deep-rooted issues in how I used to view my body and sex is masturbation. It is forbidden in Mormonism; I honestly can’t explain why because masturbation is fun and a great way to pass time. However, the old white men who made up the rules say that touching yourself is sinful, so why would you do it?

Well, I’ll tell you.

Masturbation is healthy. It releases hormones like oxytocin and serotonin, otherwise known as the happy hormone, and can reduce stress and anxiety and give you better sleep. Sounds pretty good so far, huh? Masturbation can also make you orgasm; I feel like I don’t need to explain the benefits of that.

Furthermore, touching yourself is a great way to get to know your body. Understanding how each part of yourself works is fundamental to any future relationship you have, both with yourself and a partner.

Masturbating builds a basic fact file of your sexual likes and dislikes which will help you to have enjoyable, consensual sex with only the occasional terrible, ‘oh god, where is my underwear?’ one nightstand.

Since I never masturbated as a teenager, I never understood my body. Although I had sex education in school, they never taught me about the pleasures of sex. I certainly wasn’t going to learn about the perks of having sex from home or church either; so I had to find out for myself.

When I first left Mormonism, I was nervous to kiss a boy, never mind have sex with him. Penises were this weird, alien attachment to a boy’s groin and my own vagina was a dark cave that I’d never been brave enough to explore.

My first sexual experience was an awkward one that probably lasted about three minutes and ended with me thinking, ‘is that really it?’ For a while, sex wasn’t enjoyable or in my control. I was clueless when it came to telling any partner what to do because I had never experimented on myself. This made it really difficult to ever climax during sex.

My friends would talk about the amazing orgasms they would have with their partners, whilst I stared out of the window, longing for my chance to shine. Of course, that’s an exaggeration, but I did start to wonder whether there was something wrong with me. Was my vagina broken?

It wasn’t until a couple of years of going out in only a bralette and having a variety of sexual experiences that I decided to invest in a vibrator. If you take anything away from reading this overtly personal article then it’s this: BUY A VIBRATOR. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. No joke.

I was inspired to finally give in to the vibrator lifestyle when I stumbled across a hilariously titled podcast – How Cum. Hosted by American comedian Remy Kassimir, who at 28-years-old had never experienced an orgasm; interviews a different guest every episode, exploring various topics related to sex and, of course, cumming.

This led me on a journey of research, reading other women’s stories about not being able to orgasm and how they eventually got there. It made me realise that I wasn’t alone and that my vagina was not, in fact, broken.

Through my research, I learnt that masturbation is key in helping you orgasm more regularly. I asked a friend for some advice on what type of vibrator I should purchase and even had a chat with the employee at Ann Summers about which one would be best for a beginner.

If you want to join the vibrator gang but don’t know which one to get…just ask. Don’t be embarrassed about it because let’s face it, we’re all doing it. Once I had found the perfect device, I went home, laid down on my bed and turned it on. It felt weird to have this phallic-shaped vibrating object in my hand, but I closed my eyes and let it do what most people would call magic.

A little to the left. A little to the right. Up a bit. Down a bit. More pressure and BAM! It happened. I had my very first orgasm since I had begun having sexual encounters three years before. I was mad at myself for not having the courage to go buy a vibrator sooner but also overjoyed that I was finally capable of reaching that ultimate pleasure.

I felt powerful. I felt in control of my body and confident with how to use it. This also happened around the same time that Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion released their hit song WAP, so you can guess what was on repeat in my bedroom.

Songs like WAP might seem vulgar or derogatory to some people, but when two confident women like Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion take ownership of their bodies and sexuality, it’s not degrading, it’s empowering.

It tells other women that they don’t need to hide their bodies or shy away from expressing their sexuality. It reminds them that we are sexual beings like men, who enjoy having sex, who love to masturbate and will have a damn good time doing it.

Everyone should be confident about their WAP; whether they’re shouting it from the rooftops or keeping it to themselves in their bedroom. Every single woman deserves to feel comfortable and powerful within her own sexuality; even if that woman is religious and taught to repress hers.

I was once ashamed of my body. Frightened of expressing my sexuality in fear of God’s wrath. It sounds ridiculous now that I was scared of touching myself sexually because God would hate me. But who cares what God thinks?

What I needed throughout my hormonal, rapidly changing teenage years was self-confidence about my body. The only thing that matters during these pivotal years of womanhood is what you ​think. How you interact with and speak about your body is entirely up to you, but I’d recommend that you’re positive about it.

Maybe my body, or my ‘temple’, isn’t as ‘clean’ as it used to be. Maybe it’s got a few finger paintings on the walls. Or a new shag rug and pictures of titties hanging up everywhere; but it looks pretty good to me. Actually, it looks like a masterpiece, and so does yours.

Best of all, it belongs to me and I can do whatever I want with it.

BEFORE YOU GO...Have you read: Women’s charity founder: “Return of Taliban will leave women vulnerable to traffickers"

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