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

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

onehotmomma onehotmomma
I was brought up with the notion that you get married, then have kids. We weren't a religious family at all, and my parents didn't preach it to us regularly. It was just something we all seemed to know. My sister is 10 years older than me. She got pregnant when she was a junior in high school, and had her baby November of her senior year. My parents were fine with it. They never got mad, they offered a congratulations, and that was that. I was pregnant when I was 24, completely on my own, working full time, and when I found out, I was scared to death to tell my parents. I guess I figured they expected more from me for some reason, I don't know. My mom did tell me she was disappointed in me, but it was just because I'm her baby, and the last one to grow up. I do still struggle with this though. When I'm having awful relationship troubles, I feel like my parents will have the attitude "If you did it our way, you wouldn't be in this situation" Which in turn has caused me to keep a lot of parts of my life from them.
Mistress M. Mistress M.
I was raised Christian. When I realized that I was bisexual I had a conflict with faith for a long time. My mother would probably have a heart attack if she knew.

But after awhile, I realized that if God really is the "loving and compassionate" god that I was taught he was, I'm not going to go to Hell for it. People say that god doesn't change his rules. But I believe that he understands that people do. As for the bible, well...Man has changed it, edited it to be the way that they want it to be for hundreds of years...

So, who are "we" as humans to judge what God wants?

So instead of worrying about my religion and my sexuality, I just try to be the best person I can be.
markeagleone markeagleone
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 ...
I have always been conflicted.I believe in God, but I also believe no religion or person knows him. God made everything as sexual creatures. I have only made love to someone I loved. That is my personal morality. I don't believe God would judge for sexual activity because He made us that way. I think too many say what He wants and I think the answer is in ones heart. By the way, the only conflict I have is why people try to tell others what is moral. Laws are to put major things in place, but what is in my heart and how I see morality for myself is between I and the One whom made me.
aBeastlyLittleThing aBeastlyLittleThing
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 ...
my family is all mormon, thus i was raised mormon. not only referring to my sexual tendencies, I.E masturbation/pre-marit al sex...but a TON had/has to do with being gay. i'm technically pansexual i guess, but i have a VERY strong attraction towards women-i prefer them to men...anyway...obvious ly this is a big no-no in the LDS community, and i hated myself for it.

there were times when i was younger when i didn't go 3 hours without thinking about suicide. i was 13. NO 13 year old should even think about it, let alone consider it several times a day. my step-dad called me a "Faggot" once. i tried to kill myself that night. luckily, i have a crazy unreasonable tolerance to drugs...i guess...

i'm not trying to bash mormons. i know a lot who are very nice, and who i am glad to associate myself with. i just in no way, agree with what they teach, especially when it's intolerance...and it causes people...CHILDREN to think about the things i did.

up until about 11 months ago[april 18th will be one year!] i was addicted to heroin. i started doing opiates[and a LOT of them] when i was 13. about the time my family started telling me i wasn't going to "be with them in the celestial kingdom because of my life choices." they made me see the bishop every sunday to talk about it with him...let him know my "progress." they read scriptures to me that were preaching against homosexuality...as if it were going to "change my mind."

my life was a living hell. i am not entirely ashamed of it anymore...but if i think about it...it makes me sad. really sad. like i'm not a good person, i'm not worthy of anyone's love, my family's love....worthless. i'm an atheist...Science is my religion....and i know that science says homosexuality is completely natural. and i do believe that....but a big part of me still feels like a piece of shit because of it...guess that's what happens when it's forced into your brain your whole upbringing.
jfree jfree
I was raised Christian (from my family, in general, along with a handful of devout babysitters) and fairly conservatively from my Republican mother and the general environment of South Texas. It really came to a head when a sitter was in a Pentecostal sect and her church would really give me the creeps (they cried every single prayer session and at least four people would just randomly start crying. I get really freaked out by unwanted loud noises/out-of-nowhere emotions and want to hide from everyone.) Later when I started doing some self-discovery and realising I'm queer, it really, really conflicted with the religious family and some religious friends (who liked to use her faith to shame me, I might add.)

At the time of writing, I'm now a pretty liberal atheistic agnostic apatheist who's queer. I'm pretty damn happy with this, to be honest.
hjtee hjtee
Your religion should make you feel warm & safe, not insecurity.
I am not a member of any organized religion, but if I were to pick one, it certainly would be one that would embrace me for all of who I am.
Kat Shanahan Kat Shanahan
I was raised Catholic and am still a practicing Catholic, so yes, obviously I struggle with religion and its views on sexuality. I mean, let's face it, when it comes to sex, there aren't too many religions that are as uptight as the Catholic Church.

I have struggled over the years with the concept of being a liberal, sexually liberated Catholic woman, and basically, I have come to the following conclusion: I was always taught, in school and at church, that God made me, and that He doesn't make mistakes. So how can what I am be wrong? And I also see it this way: the attitudes of the modern Church regarding homosexuality, birth control and premarital sex are man-made rules. I don't worship the Pope; I worship God. The Pope is not God. And what I do, and what I am, is between no one but myself and God. If what I am and what I do is wrong, then I will gladly answer to God when the time comes, but I make no apologies to any mortal on this earth, no matter how high a religious office he may hold.
purplekidney purplekidney
He: In the beginning, I wondered if it was "OK" or not, but eventually said "fuck it, this feels too good to be wrong." My hippie-artist mom was incredibly conservative about sex, but I was never fully convinced.

She: I was Catholic when we started having sex so I had a ton of guilt. I actually made him wait over a year before we had sex for the first time, then I freaked out and we stopped having sex for a while. Then I stopped being religious (unrelated) and the problem was solved. Interestingly enough, my parents were moderately religious and were both very open and liberal about their approach to sex.
Seharra Seharra
I was raised in a conservative catholic household, and have never struggled with moral/religious/faith issues.
kinksters kinksters
overcoming any stigma is a personal journey.
Ms. Spice Ms. Spice
i used to be christian but after a long journey of soul searching i realized it wasn't for me. sex was pretty much demonized in my household ... that's one of the reasons i ditched it
Ivy Wilde Ivy Wilde
Let me first say that I have nothing against Christians or Christianity in general. It's fanaticism that's the problem, not religion. However...

I was raised by a fanatically Christian mother. She was very smart and very determined that I be a “good girl”. She uses a whole arsenal of emotional manipulation to make sure that I turned out the way that she wanted me to. She thought that sex was disgusting and I would not be surprised to find out that my parents never actually had sex. (My brother and I were both adopted.) From as early as I can remember any time she saw any kind of image that was remotely sexual, she would talk about how disgusting it was. Only bad people engaged in sex and she could not possibly love or feel affection towards anyone who was bad. Being a child and wanting my mother to love me, I tried very, very hard to be the perfect little girl that she wanted me to be.

Of course it wasn't humanly possible to be that perfect. And when I went “bad”, I really went bad. I figured I'd already lost her love, so what was the point of even trying to be good any more. I was wildly promiscuous. I'm rather surprised that I survived all the risky behavior that I engaged in. But somehow I did, and I eventually settled down, fell in love and got married.

Now, I'm in sort of a confused position. When I was having sex out of wedlock, it was okay because I was being bad and since I was being bad, I might as well be really bad and actually enjoy sex. I could be completely wild and free because I was already being bad and it didn't make any difference. Now that I'm married, I find that I'm actually very self-conscious about having sex. I don't want to be wild in the bedroom because good girls don't enjoy sex that way, and since I'm married, it's okay to have sex, but since it's okay that means I'm a good girl and I shouldn't enjoy it. It frustrates the hell out of my husband. And I'm not too thrilled with myself either.

Of course there are several other issues at play as well, since until fairly recently I had a cyst in my abdomen that made sex painful. But aside from the physical problems there are still a lot of psychological problems as well. My mother's been dead for almost 20 years now and I still can't get her fear and negativity out of my head completely. So even though I no longer consider myself a Christian or religious in any normal sense of the word (I do have a sort of vague spiritual belief system), I still have a problem with religion screwing up my sex life.
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
When I was younger I would feel strangely guilty about masturbation. My family didn't look down on it at all, but for some reason I just felt ashamed every time I did it. I tried to stop a couple of times, but it was hard not to go ahead with something that felt so good. I think part of it might be because I didn't really understand what I was doing until I was fourteen or so, and I was a bit more religious in my younger days. This isn't the case anymore - it'd be a bit odd to be doing sex toy reviews if I still felt bad about it.
mmike1900 mmike1900
I am not religious. I still have moral problems, but I think most people have conflicting morals.
Lilith's Girl Friday Lilith's Girl Friday
I was raised Atheist, and let me tell you, for an Atheist, I received quite an accidental schooling in scripture. My parents had what's called a "mixed" marriage: my father's side was -- I think United -- and my mother's side was Anglican. And, to quote the wonderful Dara O Briain: "It was the same words in the same order for both sides of the church. That's not a feckin' mixed marriage.... If you're ever at a marriage and one side of the church has a big dragon that they're running up and down, and on the other side, men with spears are hopping up and down: that's a feckin' mixed marriage ladies and genltmen." My great grandmother on my father's side was very against it: two sects of the exact same religion. What is the world coming to? Anyway, my sex-positive upbringing was brought to a halt at a time corresponding relatively to my first period.

Anyway, at about 15, I began to find Atheism empty. It was hollow. So I developed an agnostic mindset with a bent toward polytheism. I had a Wiccan friend, but we never did any rituals together. When I was 20, I co-founded the Earth Religion Organization of Students at Mt. Allison University. On the east coast of Canada, Wicca has a sort of anti-BDSM politic. This is because Wicca strives for equality among genders, and it is thought that you can't achieve that if you're performing sex magick (under which category all sex falls) in the context of sexual hierarchy. As Above, So Below. For a long time I struggled with being submissive. I found very little comfort in anything anyone said, even when I came out west and started asking around. I found people's answers trite. Still, I worked on it because I *am* submissive.

At one point I realised that "As Above, So Below" doesn't necessarily mean "If you do something on the physical plane, it's the exact same on the Celestial Plane". There are divers manners by which an act on the physical plane can mean an entirely other on the Celestial. For example (trigger warning), if I like having sex with a gun held to my head, then in the presence of the Lord and Lady, it is a celebration of life -- because I survive the act. This is especially true if I've been raped at gunpoint. (Besides, on the Celestial Plane, guns mostly mean penises.)

I just thought I'd share that, in case there are any other Witches out there struggling with a similar problem.
Beck Beck
I was not raised as any religion so that was never an issue for me. As for moral or other struggles none of those either. I just go with the flow and go with the morals of nature, not what someone else thinks is right or wrong.
P'Gell P'Gell
I was raised pretty heavy duty Catholic, extra guilt.

An example of how strict Catholic my parents were (if this is a true story, my mother loves to [strikethrough|lie] embellish things after the fact) I was told that when my mother couldn't get pregnant the doctor wanted a sperm sample from my dad. He "refused to defile his body by self abuse." So the doctor suggesting using a condom and having "intercourse" and bringing that in to test the semen. No, that would be "subverting God's Will. by using sinful birth control." So, supposedly, they poked holes in a condom, to catch some of the semen to test it. WTF? Who does that kind of thing? My parents, evidently.

So, they got a major Kink for a daughter. Served 'em right.
LostBoy988 LostBoy988
People tried to raise me under their own beliefs but it wasn't long before I told them at the ripe age of 8 to go fuck themselves
Starkiller87 Starkiller87
I was raised Catholic, school, church the whole thing. My father was baptist but my parents difference in beliefs never was an issue or if I decided to go to church with my fathers mother instead. So I tried both. I did a lot of soul searching in the mountains of new mexico, staring up at the sky I realized religion isn't for me. I'm not scared of what the future beholds and I don't need the fear of anyone to be a good person. Though it took my mom awhile she accepts this. She was never angry about my choice but now she really understands. It's my choice and I'm glad my parents will accept me no matter what.
jessterinthebed jessterinthebed
I was raise in the 'Bible belt' of the USE i.e. Appalachia and still live there. Everything revolves around religion. I went to church my entire life, went to a Christian school my entire high school career. I'm now 27 years old and just now seeing the entire picture of my life and why people act the way they do.
I found most of the Christian role models in my life clung to religion for acceptance in the community, identity, and external gain not to please God, including my mother and Bible teachers...Religion isn't necessarily Christinatiy.
I am a Christian, I have a PERSONAL relationship with God and I'm here to say that God IS Love and you can't love anybody including Him, if you don't love yourself and accept yourself.
You can't base what you do and feel as right and wrong from what other people deem right and wrong. Don't measure yourself with other people's yard sticks.
If you do feel guilty about anything you have done, not just sexuality things, reflect on it get closure and figure out the whys that apply to you and get accept you own forgiveness.
Nina Hartly said in her blog people can do anything to much including sex and prayer, so find a balance. This was like getting hit by lightning for me. Literally, a light bulb went off in my head.
Anybody feel free to private message me about anything I have said please do. I recently just put to rest much of my personal problems revolving around my sexuality, so things are still very fresh in my mind.
jessterinthebed jessterinthebed
Originally posted by P'Gell
I was raised pretty heavy duty Catholic, extra guilt.

An example of how strict Catholic my parents were (if this is a true story, my mother loves to [strikethrough|lie] embellish things after the fact) I was told that when my mother ...
LOL My best fiend is Catholic, therefore im 'step-Catholic'. She is having real issues with coming to terms with the birth control issue. Her mom told her to take the pill and go to confession every week... I don't think that's how it is supposed to work.
ThoughtsAblaze ThoughtsAblaze
I was raised Christian and in my teen years, when my folks stopped attending church, I sought my own church. I LIVED for church, mission trips, Bible studies, prayer, and was talking about my love of God and praise of Jesus left and right. My faith was my life. I went to a Christian University and over time, I made friends with some of the more liberal believers. As an English major, I started treating the Bible as another text instead of assuming all the truths I'd been told were just that, black-and-what truths.

Eventually, I had questions. A LOT of them. And because of my university's environment, I didn't feel like I could ask them because 1] I was female, and 2] asking questions was a sign of poor faith. I slowly silenced my faith, avoided any religious chatter and let the fear keep me from learning. In the last year, I've had a fantastic "crisis of self," largely thanks to my boyfriend and a new group of friends showing me that it's ok to think about the world to ask questions, and most importantly, not find answers. I'm ok with that.

Now, I proudly embrace the faiths and philosophies I always had, but kept hidden beneath my Christian shell. I'm a Deist, though I can't make up my mind about Jesus (Messiah? Soothing story? The jury's still out.). I'm also a borderline Libertarian, having decided that I'd rather take the biblical scriptures of loving your neighbor to heart than cherry-pick from the Old Testament about who to hate. This newfound freedom from religious conformity has also allowed me to embrace my repressed sexual nature, although it's been very slowly making itself public (some of my old friends flipped just because I was staying along with my boyfriend, and that was long before the sex!).
jessterinthebed jessterinthebed
go to you tube and type in 'Overcoming negative conditioning from religious training' and you should get a 10 minute video of Nina Hartley. I found this really life changing. It might help you.
ijako9 ijako9
I was always raised eighths attitude sex is saved for marriage and I agree. I also believe that you shouldn't be afraid to be able to talk about it and understand it which it seems like in my religion most people have the outlook like you're not even suppose to mention it until your wedding day. Just my personal experience of how it felt.
js250 js250
I was raised in a very unorthodox manner. My religious background was very strong until I was about 7, the we moved to a seriously remote and isolated area. I picked the religious thread again on my own at about 14, (to get out of the house with the youth group) but did not appreciate it at the time. I lost the thread at about 17. I did not acknowledge my religious side again until I was approximately 22. I am not a "go to church, talk to others, or moral judge" type person, but feel my beliefs and prayers are personal and between me and God.

That said, for totally non-religious reasons - My parents did not drink and looked down on those who did. My father smoked a pipe until I was 8 or 9. When he quit, smokers were bad people. My father was very angry and controlling. My mother was very passive aggressive. I was raised in an environment where my parents had separate bedrooms and sex was bad. Women who had sex were harlots, wild women or whores. No woman ever liked sex, they did it only because they had to. This was from both parents. (Yes, they are seriously fucked up individuals!!!)

After my parents divorced when I was 15, I drank, smoked and did everything but intercourse. Because I could!! When I tried to commit suicide at 17, I realized I had to get out of that environment or it would kill me. Counseling was part of my court sentence, (suicide is a misdemeanor where I live). I continued the counseling by babysitting to pay for it after my sentence was up, and it helped me incredibly!

When I realized I was pregnant with my daughter, I suddenly woke up and realized that the way I was raised was fucked up beyond belief and it was up to me to break the cycle. I did that out of love for her, on my own.

My husband has very patiently encouraged me and actually showed me that sex is a gift that you share with a lover, not a shameful act. It took about 8 years for me to realize that what we do together and by ourself is normal. If you watch a porn movie, it does not mean that you want to personally do that, it is just something that turns you on to WATCH. Like a horror or drama movie, you aren't going to rob a bank because you really liked 'Casino', or go on a killing spree because you liked 'Bonnie & Clyde'.

I still feel conflicted, some of what we do together is mentioned in the Bible as a no-no, however I also feel that it is being done within the bounds of our marriage and that times have changed.

Sorry to be so long winded, I guess I had to get this out and didn't realize it. Thanks for reading.
Lornoria Mirid Lornoria Mirid
"At harm none, do as ye will." I have my own set of morals that are about as far from the norm as you can get, all formed though life experience. People always told me that it was wrong for me to want to have fun and that having sex would just "deflower me" and make me worthless. Naturally being the rebel I have always been I wanted to loose that stupid virginity that was hanging around my neck like a price tag and be free from it all. Honestly it was the best choice of my life and the only thing that I had ever done for myself. Since I am now worthless in the eyes of the close minded I no longer have to worry about their opinions any more. You only have one life and frankly it is hard enough as is without trying to meet society's expectations.
Well, I suppose not being Christian I cant really give advice on what to do in your situation. That is between you and whomever you decide to allow to control your fate, but I do believe that the answer is not in what society expects or what your church tells you... This is a matter between you and your deity/s.
(Oh! I forgot to mention that despite my name yes I am female.)
MidnightStorm MidnightStorm
When I was younger I struggled a lot with both my religion and the things in my life, and what I was doing. I was terrified of masturbating when I was younger because it seemed sacrilegious, and when I began to explore other options (wicca) my mother about had a heart attack. Since then, however, I have found what works best for me: simply declaring myself pagan. I'm very open about my sexuality and I'm one of those people that "everyone can talk to" about sexual issues, because there are so few people that are open about it. I'm happy with who and where I am!
leelee leelee
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 ...
my parents were divorced and she was baptist and my dad was catholic I struggled to understand the difference every other weekend switching churches but now I'm ok and I'm nondenomination.
aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
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 ...
i was raised catholic with the same guilt-ridden views on sex before marriage. i lost my virginity at age 17 to a man who said he would marry me. then cheated on me with more girls than i can count on one hand. i was completely crushed, thinking i was soiled, no longer a virgin. i wanted to become a nun. he said nobody would take me because i wans't a virgin. he was a real piece of work, that one. he also said 'god spoke to me and said it's okay for us to have sex because we are married in our hearts.'


living away from my conservative, overbearing parents and the hick town i was raised in, college, some hippy friends and a fair amount of weed later and i've shed all of that.

i now consider myself a pretty liberated, sexually open individual. i am not religious at all. i am somewhat spiritual. that's all.

it was REALLY hard getting over all that. it was very hard. i struggled alot throughout the years with the guilt. it's never completely gone away. but when i'm not wrapped up in my mind and really feeling things as they were meant to, i enjoy my life as-is, guilt-free.
unfulfilled unfulfilled
I never let sexual acts get in the way of my beliefs. I know what I have done is not according to my beliefs, but I don't let it get to me.
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