What are your struggles, if any, with belief systems (moral, societal, religious)? How have you overcome them?

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What are your struggles, if any, with belief systems (moral, societal, religious)? How have you overcome them?

clp clp
I was raised in a somewhat conservative family--don't talk about sex, don't think about it, and you better as hell not ENGAGE in it.

When I was young, I was a hornball (nothing new there) but also unable to cover my tracks--at several points, my parents found my huge stash of printed erotica, or my porn links, or my dirty emails.... and they were very concerned that I was a pervy whore of the worst kind. They would tell me all kinds of things that gave me anxiety and guilt over who I was and wanted to be.

Once I became older and found a larger community that also enjoyed and embraced the things that I do, I was able to start working through those emotions and come to grips that, simply, my parents just don't know everything there is to know about sex--and that's okay. There is no scripted formula for happiness, and my path was just as valid.

I am happy with who I am now but I do remember, very easily, what it is like to simultaneously love what you do but hate yourself for loving it.
07/30/2010
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by kck
I agree with you. And I hope you didn't take offense to what I said. I'm not into the whole judging other people and interpreting their actions. I'm mainly addressing the issues I have about judging myself--or at least feel like the ...
Oh heavens hun if I took offense at everything anyone said about religion I'd spend my entire day butt hurt and miserable. It is horribly hard to let go of your upbringing, I know. Gawd I nearly had a heartattack when my first Priestess told me she prayed to a horned God...now it is a cherished memory because it showed me how many faces God has and how he shows them to us. That's a discussion for another day! LOL
Anyhow you should take to heart what my life partner says about the Church and it's ability or moral right to judge you. Now mind you he is a STAUNCH Catholic, refuses to be anything BUT Catholic and has NO problems with the Church. He says, "Fuck them! The Church is a human construct meant to inspire the heart...it is NOT God and they don't have any right to judge me or my morality. They are there to inspire me to feel closer to God. If they can't or won't then I move on to another Church. End of story!" For a Catholic school boy to blithely move into a relationship with a married woman AND her husband, have a child with them, and still love what HE learned from the church...he's an inspiration!
Enjoy your life and know that whatever created us loves that you are happy, He/She/It can focus attention on someone else who is desperately crying out for help, cause you're doing fine!
07/31/2010
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by toxidlotus
I was raised very very christian. I attended a baptist school, and I attended church every sunday/wednesday.

I am no longer christian. I don't practice any religion, but I do have my own personal beliefs. Sex was never, ever brought up ...
Maybe this will help Toxidlotus. My Aunt is and was a baptist lay minister (I was raised Catholic so I'm unsure of the terminology but basically she teaches and sometimes leads prayer meetings)Anyhow, she took her learning from my Great Grandmother who started what is now a HUGE church in her basement as a bible study group. So credentials set in place. On to the lesson: "You are married. The Bible tells us that anything that brings you joy in the sanctity of your blessed bedroom is God's holy will. Therefore it doesn't matter what you do as long as it brings you joy, and intimacy because ultimately this all leads you back to God. Your sexual joy (orgasm) is a gift your husband gives you, enjoys with you, and is priviledged to share with you, as is his for you. It is a GIFT, and a holy one reserved for you because of your blessed union. There are no limits to joy except the vows you spoke before God. There is no act that is dirty or evil unless it causes you pain or makes you feel anything less than joyful."
This was the message she sent me just after my wedding, and it meant the world to me. I have my own blend of spirituality but this has always seemed to me to be such a loving way of looking at sex with a partner that you are committed to. I hope this helps.
07/31/2010
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by kck
Thanks for sharing your perspective, Chilipepper Girl. I understand the frustration with the societal viewpoints on anything that isn't shaped like a twig. I think this generation may be changing that though.

Things like the "Dove ...
Both guys agree with you kck...these are HAWT sexxy women and as they both put it "fuckable" which to them means someone who can be held, sexed up and snuggled up with. Very beautiful women...more beautiful to me than those drug thin women from a few years back.
07/31/2010
NightNight NightNight
I don't have any religious qualms because I wasn't raised that way, but my immediate family still managed to make me feel ashamed and embarrassed about having a strong interest in (kinky) sex. I still have trouble sometimes because I think "Oh no, what if my family learned about this side of me??"

Actually part of the reason I want to move to another country is so I can feel safe reinventing myself haha I'm even afraid to wear a pretty dress around them for fear they'll comment on it and aggravate my complex.

When I was a teenager my family actually expressed relief (and possibly gladness?) that I didn't have any boyfriends. I didn't because I was shy and depressed and ashamed-- not because I didn't want one I wanted more than anything someone to be honest with emotionally and sexually.

But I finally have that now so I just want to leave them behind and live the life I want to live.
08/01/2010
Sir Sir
I was raised liberally and never struggled, but I was actually raised Jewish and converted to atheism. I found that I did not agree with the Jewish faith, or any other, for that matter, and I now identify as "non-religious, does not believe that there is a higher being." In terms of sex, however, my faith/upbringing has never made me feel conflicted in what I was doing. Sex is something pleasurable, and I never felt that it was related to how I felt about religion or my upbringing at all.
08/01/2010
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Quote:
Originally posted by Sir
I was raised liberally and never struggled, but I was actually raised Jewish and converted to atheism. I found that I did not agree with the Jewish faith, or any other, for that matter, and I now identify as "non-religious, does not believe that ...
I didn't know you could convert to atheism.
08/02/2010
Gunsmoke Gunsmoke
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
I didn't know you could convert to atheism.
Ditto - you can walk away from a faith - but there is no place for an atheist to go!
08/02/2010
DixieDoo DixieDoo
I was raised up with no actual "belief system" in place though my parents have their faith. Therefore, growing up, I was able to make up my own mind about what I thought and believed in instead of being told this is how it is.

That said, my mom is super open with me (she's christian.. I think, I don't follow anything..) Anyways, I have never had an issues or stuggles with anything when it came to sexual stuff.
08/18/2010
Chal Chal
I was raised Catholic and still practice, but I'm quite liberal - I sometimes refer to myself as an "Unorthodox Catholic." Even as a bisexual, I've never had any tension between my faith and my sexuality. The church can be useful for spiritual guidance at times, but I definitely don't take everything they say as law. Sexuality to me is a part of life that's meant to be celebrated and bring us closer to God and each other. In fact, my feelings about spirituality and sexuality have a direct relationship - on days when I'm having doubts or feeling down, thoughts about sex and pleasure tend to make things worse, while when my faith is strong, I feel much more positively about my sexuality.
08/24/2010
Avant-garde Avant-garde
My parents raised me as a christian and sent me to Catholic classes a long time ago, but it never mad sense to me. When I turned into a teen I became an atheist. I believe in being my own master. So being an atheist I don't struggle with religion and sexual conflict, never have. Although I sometimes have certain philosophical conflicts regarding sex. I guess I am still trying to determine my core philosophical beliefs.
08/24/2010
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Avant-garde
My parents raised me as a christian and sent me to Catholic classes a long time ago, but it never mad sense to me. When I turned into a teen I became an atheist. I believe in being my own master. So being an atheist I don't struggle with ...
To be fair I think we are meant to work with and on our core philosophical beliefs our entire lives.
08/25/2010
deadpoet deadpoet
I don't really have a religion when I was growing up. I don't really have one now either, but most of my mom's family are christians. They always say how bad I am because I don't think the way they do.
08/25/2010
Lavender*Moon Lavender*Moon
The early part of my childhood was spend in the Catholic denomination, then in a non denominational christian. However, I always had a problem with how they viewed sex and intimacy not the other way around. Now the religion I have and hold dear encourages sex and sexual exploration. The way I interpret it, sex = continuation of the species.
09/18/2010
Naughty Student Naughty Student
I was pentlecostle when I was younger, my mom made me go and it traumatised me, I never wanted to go back into a church!

That never affected me though. There is one thing, sometimes when I have sex I sometimes get weirded out when I think of dead friends or relatives that are watching me from heaven or whereever they are, lol.
09/18/2010
Madeira Madeira
I'm an atheist, raised by liberal atheists. Admittedly, my parents are somewhat more conservative about sex than I am, they're super cool with gayness (two out of their three kids are gay), and don't support the sexual double standard (they think cheating on a partner indicates douche-baggery in either sex, and that honest promiscuity is impractical, not that they judge people who are honest and promiscuous), but they tend to think of kinkiness as inherently related to pathology or trauma, and they tend to take a second wave feminist view of all pornography (I personally dislike a lot of the practices that exist within the porn industry, but there's definitely absolutely non-sexist, healthy porn out there)

I never really struggled with guilt or shame about my sexuality, except for a little guilt when I was significantly younger over being submissive (I was raised by feminists and I'm a feminist myself) but I eventually realized that feminism is about both sexes having the right to be whoever they feel they are, and that my being a sub wasn't connected to my being a woman. I'm just a submissive person, there are dominant women, and submissive women and dominant men and submissive men.

I always knew that my kinkiness wasn't related to my being "fucked up" in any way, and so never felt bad about that.
09/18/2010
Riccio Riccio
I was raised in a communist family with pretty strict morality. I was taught never to exploit another person, to respect women and to be honest in all of my relationships, both personal and economic.

That sounds perfect, doesn't it? Well, we all have our kinks and I have mine.

It took me a while to work through the cultural aspects of sex - you know, men "have" women. As soon as I understood that women could "have" men just as much as men "have" women, I stopped worrying about sex.

That said, I am a one-woman man. I don't cheat and don't lie. It has made my life much simpler - and I've met some wonderful women!
09/19/2010
eyeneerg1984 eyeneerg1984
Quote:
Originally posted by Passionate Pastor
I was raised in a Christian home and have embraced my faith as the driving force in my life. For me the Bible has never limited my sexuality but rather gave it wings. I believe that sex is one of the most powerful acts God gave us and that marriage ...
Amen!
10/09/2010
ToyGeek ToyGeek
If God thought sex was evil he wouldn't have invented it. People are too hung up on sexual sin while they ignore things that actually do harm, like greed. Which act is the true sin -- having an orgasm, or heading down to Walmart and turning a blind eye to the living conditions of the people who work like slaves in Chinese factories, just to save a couple of bucks?
10/09/2010
Zeracan Zeracan
I never really thought about what my parents would. Mom was more religious, step-dad uncaring, but it was weird. I remember that the moment I turned 17, I started realizing what a dirty old woman my mom is. Many questions left unanswered.
10/20/2010
Onanist Onanist
I was raised by a catholic mother. She had us attend all the rituals early in life, but as soon as I became a teenager, I rebelled and haven't practiced since.
10/20/2010
Sir Sir
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
I didn't know you could convert to atheism.
Why not? You can convert to every other religion, why not atheism? It's a religion, too.
11/02/2010
TechyDad TechyDad
Quote:
Originally posted by kck
I was brought up in a pretty conservative household, and I myself am fairly conservative. I was brought up and still am a Christian (I won't say what denomination because I don't want this to be a discussion about religions themselves), and I ...
Growing up, I was the most conservative member. I was the one who pushed my parents to become more religous. All through high school and college, I told everyone that I would never have sex before marriage. (Of course, that didn't mean I didn't fantasize about it.) One girl I dated literally threw herself at me. (She actually said it had been 10 months since she had sex and wanted to do it with me.) I was tempted but there was a voice in my head that said it was wrong. When I started dating my wife, though, that voice said "this is right" and we didn't wait until we were married.

Of course, all my pushing growing up meant that my parents had gotten more religious and, suddenly, I wasn't as strict as they were. This led to some complications (me hiding things from them that I should have been open about, my mother accidentally finding a condom stash of mine, etc).

Since I've gotten married, any religious conflicts about sex are pretty much gone since I've never considered sex intrinsically "dirty." My religious conflicts since then have been me gradually coming to realize that I was following some practices just because I was told they were the right thing to do and not because I agreed with them. I've since scaled back my religious practices and am much happier as a result.
11/02/2010
darthkitt3n darthkitt3n
My whole family, except my brother and me, is Catholic. My mom had us baptized as some Christian religion, apparently because it was cheaper. I don't really care, since I do not believe at all. We stopped going to church and stuff when I was 7. I prefer it that way, because it gave me an opportunity to look at believing and not believing, and deciding which I wanted. The one thing that really irritates me, though, is how people will treat me like I am scum for not believing. To me, religion is not directly linked to morals. I am a good person, I know right from wrong. The only thing my parents have taught me is really morally wrong and I will be judged harshly for is masturbation, which I never cared about anyway. My parents wouldn't be offended if I came out as a lesbian or if they found out I was in an orgy or something like that.

I remember seeing a poll on a forum I went to, and it was asking Atheists which crimes they had committed. It had stuff like theft, murder, rape, arson, and other crimes listed. There was no option for having never committed a crime. Stereotypes suck.

I have had people treat me differently after finding out that I am an Atheist. Like, they just found out I torture animals or something. Pretty much, you believe what you want, and I will believe what I want, without either of us forcing our thoughts on each other.
11/29/2010
Hallmar82 Hallmar82
Even as a Christian, I've never seen any problem with enjoying any aspect of sex - even masturbation. However, I have never had sex with anyone other than my wife, and I intend to keep it that way. I know there are a lot of users on EdenFantasys that haven't had similar experiences, but I will only speak for myself.
11/29/2010
Hallmar82 Hallmar82
Quote:
Originally posted by darthkitt3n
My whole family, except my brother and me, is Catholic. My mom had us baptized as some Christian religion, apparently because it was cheaper. I don't really care, since I do not believe at all. We stopped going to church and stuff when I was 7. I ...
Sorry to hear about other "Christians" judging you. Ironically, I have known a few atheists who have all been former Catholics. I don't know if that speaks more to the American experience or the Catholic experience growing up. Anyway, all of the atheists I have known have been great people that I enjoyed being with. I hate it when holy-rollers never take Luke 6:42 to heart. I hope you can always enjoy your company - especially here at EF!
11/29/2010
PussyGalore PussyGalore
I wasn't raised in a faith, strictly speaking. I am the one who suggested we go to church when I was a kid. I have struggled with a few things in the past but I am slowly working through them one at a time and have laid a few to rest. Hopefully, permanently.
12/01/2010
RemusHalifax RemusHalifax
It took me a while to get over my stigmas about sex. I used to feel awful for letting my boyfriend pleasuring me and exposing myself to him, but I've realized that it made me happy and I was being safe.

I was brought up in a broken family, so that didn't help things. Trust wasn't much of an issue once I got to know my boyfriend really well, but the fear that what we were doing wasn't as "special" to him was a fear for a while. The fear of my mom finding out was paralyzing and my dad is so disconnected from most of my life, so I was never really worried about it. Now that I've told my mother that I've "done things" (I used those exact words, no details), I feel empowered. It's nice to be clear that I'm in control of my own body and that I'm be responsible for what happens to it.
01/06/2011
Angel deSanguine Angel deSanguine
I was raised in a very strict, conservative Christian household- that means everything, not just sex. My 'talk' equated to don't have sex until you're married, the gays are sinners and going to hell, bisexual men are highly likely to all have AIDS and every time they saw a butch oh God, the things they would say. Not the them but to me- she is a woman, she should dress and act like it. She has her hair cut like a man, that's so ugly. She's gay, I'd better not ever see you hanging around someone like that.... yeeahhh... Add to that after I moved out and wasn't quite as freaked out by liking women- and the evil, evil butches- I was living with two gay men as roommates. I started to open up and dress more butch and one of them pretty much would parrot what my parents said but directed at me- you're a woman, dress like it. God made you to look like a woman, don't dress like a man! Well that slammed the door shut on gender expression for a decade for me. I actually didn't begin to unlock that portion of myself again until I found Edens and the supportive environment here. I followed some of the people here which led me to blogs of those that present outside of society's gender norms.

I left Christianity for a very long time before realizing that they were not behaving as the bible states a Christian should. I have gone back to my faith but I live it according to the bible, not the pseudo-Christian bastardization of the bible. I do so as a kinky, queer, genderfluid, tattooed, pierced butch.

As a postscript, my parents have come a long LONG way but I still struggle sometimes, though less and less frequently, with my masculinity because of the things they said when I was younger and the way they were so transparently reviling and disgusted by anything that wasn't hetero normative.
01/29/2011
sbon sbon
If never really struggled over issues with sexuality. I was loosely raised Catholic. I had to go to CCD (because my mom thought I should be educated in what my family traditionally believed) until I made my confirmation, but my parents never really enforced religion at home. Once I was confirmed I was allowed to believe whatever I wanted and now I'm agnostic/atheist/human ist depending on my mood. I was definitely not raised conservatively, but I wouldn't call it liberal, either.
02/03/2011
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Unique posters: 94