Ask Emily- “Help. I’m afraid of sex!”

Dear Emily,

So my issue is I am afraid of sex! I was raised to believe that sex before marriage is a TERRIBLE sin, and I’m stuck with associating sex, in general, with feelings of shame and guilt. My parents have made sex out to be a perversion and their reactions to my older siblings having sex before marriage were extremely harsh!I’m an 18 year-old-virgin (by choice) and don’t even want to think about marriage until I’m at least 25, which seems way too old to still be a virgin! I’m not saying that I’m ready to go sex it up tomorrow or anything, but I’m worried that when I actually get serious with a guy I won’t be able to get over these feelings of shame and fear. I don’t want to feel like a pervert! This is my sex SOS, please help!With Mad Respect,

Dear Lucy,

Wanting to have sex before marriage is nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary it’s completely natural! Our body is designed to feel immense amounts of pleasure and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s simple biology and the reason we all exist. Just be safe about exploring your sexuality and lose your virginity with someone you feel comfortable with. You will unlearn what your parents taught you and realize there is nothing perverted about giving and receiving pleasure with someone you trust and love.

The things we’re told growing up shape the way we experience our adult lives. However, you are not stuck with the shame. You recognize that these are your parents ideas about sex, not yours. After all, you’re writing to me and not a priest *wink wink.*The guilt you associate with sex will not go away overnight. You might want to see a therapist to talk openly about your fears and sort through them. Just remember, you’re legally an adult now and are capable of making your own decisions about your body. Venture out into the adult world with an open heart, and try not to let your fears about sex or anything else get in the way of fully experiencing your life.
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