Underage and Active
As a sexual person, living in an Islamic country isn’t easy. But the fact that I’m a girl makes it even harder. I realized that when I got in high school.
I found out that my hymen was broken after getting on a bicycle seat. It didn’t mean much to me. But, where I’m from, being a ‘girl’ means purity and purity is having an intact hymen. It was placed in my subconscious from early on that the hymen is important and it must be protected until marriage.
I was ready to believe and live according to it. Up until the bicycle accident. After that, I did not want my hymen to be seen as a prize. I did not want to obey the sickening taboos that were portrayed in my society, giving worth to me according to my body count or some idea of ‘purity’.
It was clear that having sex was a reality that was not meant for me in this society.
In high school, sexism around the topic of sex was prominent but some conversations seemed a little too extra compared to others. One of them was an upskirting incident where a group of boys shared girls’ nudes from their boyfriends just to entertain themselves.
Basically, revenge porn.
Boys in my class would laugh about a girl who masturbated once and ‘lost her virginity to herself.”
Throughout high school girls were supposed to feel shame just for being sexual.
But it it was fine(!) for boys in my class to talk about masturbation openly 80 percent of the time. It was fine(!) for those boys to share their photos and call girls sluts. It was normal for those boys to upskirt because the girls were wearing skirts.
I just could not wrap my head around the idea that boys were always getting away with being perverts but the girls were the ones who were slutshamed in front of the entire school for just being sexual.
Because of this stigma, I had to go through the whole journey alone.
I had pregnancy scares (even when I used protection) and when my period was late it brought up new kinds of stress and anxiety. At some point my paranoia got so worse that I took two plan Bs in one month thinking it was the only possible way to solve my problem on my own, by ending a pregnancy that didn’t even exist.
I was putting myself in danger for only missing my period for a week, I was always on wrong side of the Internet searching for an answer just for relief. I was sexually active from the age of 15 but had no one to talk to. My parents are doctors, but even I never had ‘the birds and the bees’ talk.
My parents have strong, democratic stances on politics, human rights, social injustice generally and they are not religious or anything. I would describe the household I live as modern.
Somehow, they my parents are not modern enough to accept that I can desire to have sex or romantic relationships.
They have somewhat different approaches from each other. My mother is in denial but she knows I am sexually active and aware of my relationship. She knows what it means to be a woman and be sexual in this society. And still she gives me false random facts and stories about pregnant girls or STDs.
On the other hand, my father is overly controlling. When he saw me and my boyfriend kissing he ‘banned’ me from getting in a sexual relationship as it would be distracting to me and I was too young for it. That led to me keeping that part of me as a secret from him and him sweeping the topic completely under the rug.
I was in fear of talking to them about sex for fear of judgement. I want to believe that they tried to protect me in some sense, but it was too dumb and unrealistic that their way was the one that put me in danger.
I believe one must be ready, at a certain level of maturity and be aware of the underlying responsibilities to have sex. I had to go through a dangerous trial and error phase and take risks to overcome my shame of being sexual because I had no one beside me to support or anyway to know.
If I had not dug deep into the Internet hole (as a true generation Z), I would not be able to find reliable sources about sex (digging through the false sites who fed my fear). Those blogs, articles are the main reason why I have the healthy relationship I have with myself as a sexual being right now. By reading stories like mine and seeing that other people address the same issues I’ve gone through, I learned not to live by others’ truth about sex but mine...
Sex for me sometimes is just an urge, a physical want and fulfilling my needs and other times it means intimacy, letting my feelings flow. Saying this without thinking twice, it feels nice to know.