Has Purity Culture Harmed Your Sex Life? How To Overcome Religious Shame

July 15,2021

Did you grow up in Purity Culture?

Purity Culture teaches that it’s important to wait until marriage to have sex, because people who wait are more pure, wholesome, and desirable.

It also has a lot to say about dressing modestly (especially for girls), pleasure being sinful, and masturbation being evil.

In this week’s episode, we’re breaking down the effects that Purity Culture can have on your sex life, and what you can do to counteract it.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

Step 1: Recognize that it’s not your fault

Step 2: Know that you’re not alone

Step 3: Identify the messages you received from Purity Culture

Step 4: Identify which beliefs are serving you and which are blocking you

Step 5: Identify the beliefs you WANT to have about your body and sex

Step 6: Remind yourself of your desired goals and beliefs

Step 7: Change the narrative around sex

Step 8: Share your story

Here’s a glance at this episode:

[1:34] Disclaimer: What this episode is NOT about

[2:43] The part of Purity Culture that we agree with

[4:20] The messages we each received about sex growing up

[9:08] What exactly is Purity Culture?

[13:22] Why Purity Culture focuses more on women than men

[14:15] How Purity Culture can affect your sex life

[27:37] Trigger warning for abuse

[30:42] Why Purity Culture isn’t effective

[38:53] How to counteract the negative impact of Purity Culture

[39:34] Step 1

[40:52] Step 2

[42:03] Step 3

[42:30] Step 4

[44:08] Step 5

[45:24] Step 6

[46:53] Step 7

[47:30] Step 8

[49:32] Listener question: How do I explain Purity Culture to my partner who didn’t grow up with it?

[50:37] Listener question: My husband is the only person I’ve been with. How do get past wondering what else is out there?

[52:50] Listener question: I see Purity Culture as something that harmed me deeply, but my husband thinks it’s a good thing. What should we do?

Links & resources

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Today we are talking all about Purity Culture, which teaches that it’s important to wait until marriage to have sex, because people who wait are more pure, wholesome, and desirable.

In this week’s episode, we’re breaking down the effects of purity culture on your sex life, and what you can do to counteract it.

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HI THERE!

I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, you can work with me via my online courses or personal coaching sessions. I look forward to supporting you in creating the sex life you’ve always wanted!