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Aqua-ace

Asexuality and 'Purity Culture' upbringing?

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Aqua-ace

A continuation of the discussion here: http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/51411-what-is-asexual-elitism-and-why-does-aven-discourage-it/page-17

To anyone who had a sexually repressive upbringing, such as the fundamentalist 'Purity Culture':

  • To what extent did that upbringing affect how you view sex? How much of it did you believe?
  • How much have you been able to change your views to what they are now?
  • When you found out about asexuality, did you second-guess yourself, worried that your upbringing and its effects 'caused' your asexuality?
  • If you're sex-repulsed, were/are you worried that upbringing contributed directly to your repulsion?
  • If you second-guessed your asexuality, how long did it take for you to accept it?

Some allosexual people who grew up in a sexually repressive upbringing shut their sexuality down to the extent that they practically became asexual, and it wasn't until they abandoned everything they were taught about sex that they were able to realize, and accept their sexuality after years of repression. With this in mind, how does someone who grew up in this know they were asexual all along? What kind of self-discovery process did you have to go through?

I'll also open up these questions to anyone who may not have had that kind of upbringing, but still internalized the idea of 'sexual purity' because those norms are still pervasive in mainstream culture, despite sex being hyped up at the same time.

EDIT: 1,000th post!

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Geo

I'm sexual and I grew up in such an environment. But I never internalized it. I just became secretive about sexuality and closed off to my parents. It was just another thing on a large pile of stuff that made me reject their religious ideology. FYI, most sexuals grow up this way, all be it to a lesser extent to those from religious homes, because despite the common misconception here on AVEN, society is not "over sexualized" it's actually quite repressive towards sexuality the most part.

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Eilera

While I wouldn't consider myself to have been raised in a "purity culture", my parents had relatively strict rules when it came to relationships compared to that of my friends.

My sister and I weren't allowed to date until we were 16. This never bothered me and I was actually happy to have it there as an excuse should someone ask me out (no one did, thankfully, but the fact that I thought about it this way probably should have been a sign since my sister fought against it whenever she found a boy she liked). My dad's views on masturbation were negative, most likely because of his own highly religious upbringing. I never experienced that moment that many teenagers seem to have had where they accidentally walked in on their parents doing it (or heard noises). My parents never said sex was bad, just that it is something special and shouldn't be handed off easily.

However, even with this my views on sex have always been open-minded. I could really care less what people do in the privacy of their own home provided I don't have to see it, hear it or take part in it.

I never second-guessed myself when I learned about asexuality and realized it fit me. Being sex-repulsed does not bother me and again I don't think my upbringing had anything to do with it (my sister has a healthy sex life, as she has no problem sharing details with me, much to my horror). I think some of my extended family believe that my upbringing has caused me to be "scared" of sex and relationships. I think this is a load of bull. But that is a topic that I can rant about forever, and I think this post is long enough as it is. :)

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littleheartsofjoy

To an extent, like Eilera said, my parents were the same about being strict.

I have never really thought about sex originally, even though my mom would always tell me and my sister not to have it so that we don't get pregnant. My parents never really mentioned the sex after marriage bit that is pushed in Christianity. It wasn't a big deal to me because I never really thought about sex. However, my friends would talk about having sex and it did make me wonder if I was ever going to lose my virginity.

My views have changed to be more open and understanding, since my parents and the church that I went to, viewed girls who had a lot of sex as bad and sluts. Also if rape happened, it is the victim's fault for being dressed the way that she was (that was the belief at the time).

I didn't second guess anything, everything made sense. As for sex-repulsion, that could be possible since my parents said not to look when those kind of scenes even occurred in movies. Also being scarred by seeing porn at a young age (by accident), and never telling my parents about the experience, I don't know if that has a hand or not.

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Jockey

I did not even notice that men were attracted to women or vice versa until it was forcefully pointed out to me by a classmate in 5th grade. I was shocked! After it was pointed out to me, I could not ignore that most other young people were excited by the presence of members of the "opposite" sex of around the same age. And also in conversations I was continually baffled by who was "cute" or "hot" or whatever.

I'm not sure if I grew up in a purity culture or not. I went to mostly Orthodox Jewish dayschools through sixth grade and there was such a culture but it mostly flew over my head and I started public school in 7th grade.

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Rising Sun

To anyone who had a sexually repressive upbringing, such as the fundamentalist 'Purity Culture':


  • To what extent did that upbringing affect how you view sex? How much of it did you believe?

It affected my view of sex a lot, even more as my father thinks that sex is bad even inside marriage (he's one of those Catholics who think that the original sin was sex), and as my mother was mentally and sexually abusive towards me. I was extremely sex-repulsed, sex-negative and antiromantic too, because I thought that romance existed only as a pretext to have sex. I was even horrified that sex existed in this world. I felt quite proud and even superior to hate sex and romance :redface: But it was when I was a teenager, and I thought that I was like that because I wasn't attracted to anybody (I didn't know that asexuality existed though, it was almost totally unknown when I grew up). Sure, being asexual didn't help, but I started to realize that my parents were responsible of my extreme sex-repulsion and sex-negativity when I was about 20 years old, almost 10 years ago now.

  • How much have you been able to change your views to what they are now?

A lot. Realizing that I blindly imitated my parent's behaviour opened my eyes. It allowed my sex-repulsion, my sex-negativity and my antiromanticism to disappear. And I realized how hateful I was, and that what I had was a deep phobia. It was a huge relief. I was much happier and free !

  • When you found out about asexuality, did you second-guess yourself, worried that your upbringing and its effects 'caused' your asexuality?

I did at first, and I tried to be sexual, because everybody was supposed to be sexual. But inside myself, I knew that there was something different about me. How did others find the opposite gender (or sometimes the same gender) cute or hot ? So when I read the word "asexual" for the first time on Internet, 3 years ago, I didn't even need to read the definition to know that it was me or almost.

  • If you're sex-repulsed, were/are you worried that upbringing contributed directly to your repulsion?

Yes, it was clearly and totally responsible for my repulsion. Being aware of it now allowed me to overcome it, even if it took a few years mostly because my first "boyfriend" forced me to have sex. I needed to move on to finally get totally rid of my sex-repulsion.

  • If you second-guessed your asexuality, how long did it take for you to accept it?

Relatively long, because everybody said that "everybody is sexual". I had sex thinking that as people said that having sex made them want more sex, I thought that had to try first. Of course, my experience totally failed. I have to thank AVEN to exist, because otherwise, I would still think that I'm some sort of weird sexual woman with some kind of sex drive disorder (as my sex drive is very low).

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Tommiboy13
  • To what extent did that upbringing affect how you view sex? How much of it did you believe?

I believe that sex is something that should be contained to a marriage with one person. Mind you, I believe that can be with people of the same gender even if that's not for me. I believe that is the only way to go, for myself, because of the whole asexual thing I wouldn't do it in any other relationship. I believe it creates a bond between two people and is strengthened through consistency.

  • How much have you been able to change your views to what they are now?

​I don't think my views have really changed much, except I believe I can find a good christian man to marry who will not be grossly affected by my asexuality. I am open to LGBT and everyone else being whoever they are openly because they were created by God.

  • When you found out about asexuality, did you second-guess yourself, worried that your upbringing and its effects 'caused' your asexuality?

I more worried about the future, since I'm demi-romantic and want to get married someday. I felt like asexuality might impede on a relationship I may have with a christian because after so many years of being sexually-repressed through celibacy that he may not be able to handle my asexuality. I do hope that I become more sexual as time goes on so that I don't have to worry about that, but I'm fine with being asexual.

My christian friend second-guesses me to this day, saying it was celibacy and the lack of relationships I had.

  • If you're sex-repulsed, were/are you worried that upbringing contributed directly to your repulsion?

It could have, and I think about that. But I feel like I still would've had sexual attraction if it did only repulse me. I feel more that I'm afraid of sending the wrong signals and getting into a sexual situation I'm uncomfortable with because it would contradict with my ideals. I may be slightly repulsed but still open to it because I understand it usually comes with marriage.

  • If you second-guessed your asexuality, how long did it take for you to accept it?

It still took me a while because I hoped it was a phase, but I understand now there is nothing wrong with it in regards to my christian ideals and beliefs and that allowed me to accept who I am. I really only contemplated this for a couple months. This is how God made me, and he wants me to be happy and accept that and move on to bigger and better things like changing the world and being a good person.

I think the purity culture is more to save sexuals from lust and desire, and even though it can make people think they are asexual or appear asexual it does not really change their actual orientation.

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