The Abstinence Promise
I grew up in a conservative, religious family in the South. The Southern Baptist Church’s abstinence-only program “True Love Waits” rose to popularity while I was a teenager and I took it VERY seriously at the time I signed my “promise”. Later in my teenage years, I broke that promise and the feelings of guilt weighed so heavily on me. I wasn’t sexually active at all in college because of how guilty I had felt in high school. The abstinence-only teachings and all the body-shaming, gay-hating, and guilt-inducing that came along with it cost me years of being able to accept myself, as well as an understanding of what a healthy, empowered sex life looks like.