We’re back with the latest installment in our popular Sex Stories feature, where we speak anonymously to our readers about realities of what’s going on in their bedrooms.
This week we chat to Naomi, 26, who fell in love with one of her best friends. This is her story of how religious shame paused – almost indefinitely – not just her sex life, but her entire relationship.
This is her story…
“I had spent the best part of a week thinking – and overthinking – my feelings towards Lucy*. I wanted to spend ALL OF MY TIME with her. I wanted to be close to her. I wanted to know everything about her. I wanted to kiss her. But I had told myself that she did not feel the same way – she was straight, she spoke about her dream guy and drooled over attractive men. I had never felt this way about any of my female friends before.”
“Then we went on a work trip where we were sharing a hotel room. After a few drinks Lucy* said she had something to tell me but that she was worried I would run a mile. I honestly thought she was going to confess to murder because I couldn’t imagine a scenario where I would want to be away from her. She told me that she had been battling her feelings for a while but that she wanted to kiss me. I confessed that I felt the same and it just blossomed from there. Our honeymoon period was filled with lots of sex, lots of late night deep meaningful chats, and ALL of our spare time spent together.”
“This lasted just over a month before we spent two weeks apart due to work. The next time we saw each other, she told me she couldn’t do this anymore. She said that she had had time to think and the sexual side of our relationship went against all she had been taught growing up as a Christian. The Church was a very important Lucy*. She had grown-up going to church every Sunday, she had been part of a church youth group and attended Christian summer camps every year. She was always taught that sex outside of marriage was wrong, and therefore sexual relationships between two women was wrong. Despite being the happiest she had ever been, she said she couldn’t shift this feeling of religious shame, and suggested we end the relationship there.”
“There was a lot of tears (mainly from me) but ultimately we decided to work through these feelings rather than sacrifice our happiness. I knew this meant that sex would be limited as we worked through this, but I knew that the relationship I was in was worth it. We had lots of late night conversations about whether our relationship could withstand the weight of religious shame. I stated time and time again that I was happy to wait, to be patient whilst Lucy* figured out how to process our relationship. We agreed that she would initiate any sex due to my fear of being rejected if I asked for it. In those moments it was all about living in the moment and enjoying the connection.”
“We’ve been together two years now, are engaged and going through IVF to start a family. My family are very liberal and I waited until I knew things between Lucy* and I were serious before telling them we were in a relationship. They were fine, and asked if this was me “coming out” which I explained it was not. Lucy’s* family were homophobic. I was introduced as a friend. We allowed them to fall in love with me and see our shared happiness before telling them. They had lots of questions when we announced that we were in fact a couple, but ultimately they were happy for us and have actually been very accepting. People can change.”
“Sex now is a little droughty – we haven’t had it in six months. When I know my Lucy* isn’t interested, I’ll masturbate. Otherwise I become frustrated and take it out on her. Despite not being sexually intimate, we have enough intimacy in our relationship to make it a happy one. We kiss, give back tickles, laugh together, cuddle/spoon every night before bed and we share our hopes and dreams with each other. Sex isn’t the be all and end all of a relationship for me. I feel content, but there were times in the past where I have felt undesirable, unattractive, not enough. I know that is not the case, and that’s me projecting my own insecurities on my fiancée’s personal issues with sex.”
“I think it’s so important to have these conversations within the LGBT+ community. When I’ve looked for stories I can relate to, it has always been between heterosexual couples – and as my story shows, that’s not always the case.”