I have been married for five years and yet this feels like our first year of marriage. There are several reasons for this; time, independence and sex. Since I was in school our first four years of marriage I didn’t have much time to spend with him and we both still had ties to our families. Now that we are more independent and have time to spend together it feels like our marriage is just starting. Also the sex has gotten much better; unfortunately it has taken us years to get to this point. So why has it taken us so long to get it right? Honestly it probably has a lot to do with my lack of sex ed, and I use this term broadly. Here’s the thing, we both grew up in the church and went to the same Christian schools. Sexuality is not something that is talked about and almost never in a positive manner. It was also something not taught or talked about at home and you weren’t supposed to research it either because secular teachings weren’t the same as what the church taught. My parents didn’t even try talking to be me about sex, my body, puberty, etc. His mom tried but it’s hard when you’re a single mom with boys, besides she grew up in the same church as us. I remember when I was young I was playing on our home gym and fell and landed on my crotch. It hurt really bad and I was freaking out because I found blood in my underwear. I tried talking to my mom and was really scared I’d need to go to the doctor but she just brushed it off as if it was nothing and told me I’m fine. I kept bothering her about it because I was really concerned but she just kept brushing it off. I didn’t realize until college that I had popped my cherry in that incident as a kid. I was clearly concerned so I don’t understand why should wouldn’t just explain things to me. Classes at school weren’t helpful either. We learned nothing and I don’t even remember having a textbook to take home. It wasn’t until our forth year of marriage that I learned my own anatomy, which is really embarrassing but I didn’t realize that I didn’t know. Masturbation was of course a no no as a christian, as well as porn, toys, etc. All of these things and more led to a very misguided view of sex. To me it seemed like less of a sin to have pre-martial sex than to masturbate. I would say I have a pretty good sex drive which always seemed like a bad thing, like I was a whore even though I wasn’t acting on it. I didn’t understand foreplay and it seemed to be in the same category as masturbation so it also seemed wrong. I felt like my breast shouldn’t be arousing because those are meant to feed children. It seemed like penetration was the only acceptable form of sex and that everything else was perverted. I was uncomfortable and felt like it was wrong to have desires or talk with my husband about what I felt were selfish needs or wants. I was constantly frustrated with our sex life and didn’t understand why it was so hard. It always seemed like you were supposed to get married, have sex and it would be satisfying; end of story. I don’t know how to explain it. Sex was enjoyable but never pleasurable. I feel bad for my husband for all of those years. It wasn’t until I realized I was experiencing abnormal pain that things improved and opened my eyes. I had always had the pain so I never realized it wasn’t normal and initially didn’t know how to fix it. I started talking to him about everything and slowly he has helped me become much more comfortable with my body and sexuality. I feel like the church let me down. If God created sex then why are you making it seem like a bad thing? Something to keep hidden? We are much happier now and I feel like our bond has greatly improved. I’m not saying the church should have encouraged us to explore and become promiscuous but I also think it was wrong for them to make me feel bad about having natural desires. I want to do a much better job of teaching my future children about sexuality. I don’t want them to feel bad for their sexual desires and I want to help them have healthy relationships in the future. As for now, here’s to continuing to learn and grow and to many more years of great sex with my husband.