I found a copy of The Good Girl's Guide to Bad Girl Sex in the bargain book section and simply had to get it. How can I resist the title? It just might be a $7.00 well spent.
Of course, the book assumes the person reading it is not a virgin, which just makes me feel like an even bigger baby as I read it! It's self-helpy, but so far, I think it will be fun and helpful even if I don't do every single "exercise."
I did begin the first exercise in the book, however. In the exercise, Keesling asks the reader to write down times from her past where her sexual development was stifled by someone else. An example might be looking at pictures of naked men in a magazine and your momma saying, "No, stop that!" It can be a distinct memory, or a feeling, or a mashing of memories.
As I brainstormed all the times I received the message "sex(uality) was bad" in childhood (and boy, there were a lot), I discovered something in particular that was unsettling. My father was very controlling of me growing up (it's fun to be the oldest). I thought I had successfully rid myself of the chains he held on me in childhood during my adult life. Looking at my sexual repression list, though, I saw what a huge impact he had on my sexual development, and that I actually haven't shaken all of his problematic teachings. I'm not as free of him as I thought I was.
A few examples of lessons from dear old dad (some more problematic than others):
When I was 10, I had a peasant shirt that could be worn off-shoulder. Dad said to cover my shoulders. (I only show them in public now at the beach).
I was forbidden from wearing skirts that did not go below the knee (Most of my skirts are knee-length or longer).
No slits in skirts either (I still don't have any skirts with slits...).
No makeup until age 16 (I rarely wear it now).
No dating until age 16 (I didn't really start until I was 25).
If I was dancing and started shaking my hips, Dad said to stop.
Dad always told me that "Men and boys are only looking for one thing!" Wonder why I'm so distrustful of men...
It was basically a whole lot of "Don't show men any remotely sexual part of your body, ever" and "Stay away from males."
Even Mom, though, had a bigger influence than I thought. I thought she was the more lenient parent, but she had a few doozies too. The major one she told me at age six? "Only your husband or doctor should see you naked."
And here I thought the Catholic Church was the main one to blame for me saying, "I'm not having sex until marriage."
Were my parents trying to sexually repress me? Did they only have my best interests at heart? Were they just trying to protect me? No, yes and yes. Should I keep pointing the finger at my parents for my issues in adulthood? No. The beauty of adulthood is now you can turn around the errors of childhood, start anew.
And with The Good Girl's Guide... (and other aids like it), I hope to do just that.