How To Break the Curse of Purity Culture

Many of us who grew up in purity culture struggle with feeling good about our bodies and our desires, and feeling liberated in our sex lives. I think physical intimacy and sex should be fun. Purity culture does its best to prevent that from happening. So, if you’ve grown up in purity culture, you know this, and you want to break free from it, I have some advice.

From the beginning, when I talk about sex, I’m talking about consensual sex.

You need to fill your mind with other ideas about sex other than what purity culture taught you.

For some of us, it’s just not simple to say, “Oh I don’t believe that anymore!” and move on, because many ideas get hammered into our minds so deeply that we form a committed and enmeshed relationship with them. It’s almost like we’ve been brainwashed and we need to decode our brains and start from scratch. That means educating ourselves. There are lots of good books out there on sex. Read them. There are therapists. There are videos. Lots of resources to help us change our minds about sex.

Secondly, you’re going to have to condition your body with all its emotions to get used to a new way of doing things.

Purity culture, I believe, conditions us to feel shame around our bodies and our desires, feel nervous about sex, and, especially for women, to diminish ourselves, our agency, our power, our passions. It takes some time to acclimatize to a new way of being human and being sexual. Yes, being sexual.  You can be intellectual. You can be spiritual. But you can also be sensual. You can be sexual. We’ve shut that part of our being down for far too long.

Finally, experiment!

At first, you may feel like you are transgressing. You may feel guilt and shame, but now you already know that these feelings are not based in reality but in a self-destructive ideology that you no longer subscribe to. It’s going to feel new and weird, but transgressively fun. You don’t need to repent. You had fun doing something completely natural and healthy and consensual. For example, you may bring a toy to bed. You both may feel weird and guilty. Deep down you know it’s fine. You enjoy yourselves. It was fun and pleasurable. After doing this a few times it no longer phases you. At first it felt transgressive. Now it no longer does.

I believe sex is supposed to be fun. The more free we are (from shame, guilt, fear, restraint, etc.), the more fun we can have with each other.

That’s how you break the curse.

In summary:

You realize the curse is just words.
You realize the words are wrong. You do what the curse forbids. The curse loses its power.
You are free.

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