Now boys on the other hand: according to the church, they needed to control themselves.
So imagine my confusion at age 12 when I…well…needed to learn to “control myself.” I felt sort-of like a freak. Why I was afflicted with this “boy issue.” And honestly, why was it such a bad thing?
Years later in college I finally realized the truth about female sexuality. The late night chats about what kind of porn girls liked, TV shows with vibrator jokes and the official angsty college-girl icon, Tori Amos, lifted the veil from an otherwise obscured understanding of my own body and sexual tastes.
But the shame was cemented inside of me.
I was, as many would say, a late bloomer. I was 19 when I gave my first blowjob and 21 when I first had genital intercourse. There was no tangible reason for why I chose to refrain from sexual exploration during my teen years other than to say, “I had better things to do.”
But I think some part of me had tamped down my desire as a pre-teen in order to save myself the secrecy and embarrassment I often felt before, during and after I touched myself.