Masturbation was wrong, mutual masturbation was wrong, and both oral and anal sex were wrong. As I grew up, I came to understand what sex is really all about, according to Watchtower teachings. Well yes, but I also learned that sex was something that married couples do or “due”, as in “paying your dues”.
I would think: Okay, those things are wrong, but I don’t even know what those wrong things are.
When I finished that, she had me create another list of twenty-five qualities that I wanted in a partner. “If you can’t think of at least twenty-five qualities, you don’t know what you are looking for.” Then we moved to a list of twenty-five things that I’d like to have in a relationship with a guy.
My understanding was that men love sex, and the “love” they feel for a woman or even their kids—I still marvel over fathers who WANT to play with their kids—was more of an ownership kind of love – like they’d love their car, TV, or fishing pole. She went on to say that I needed a good dose of self-respect and presented me with a “homework assignment.” I would take a break from dating and make a list of twenty-five things I liked about myself.
Theirs was a “I love it because it’s mine” love – and not connected to any real emotion or feeling. I had a severe drinking problem by this time, and needed to sober up. I will never forget one conversation I had over coffee with a group of people while we were talking about my view of relationships. ” Since I believed that it wasn’t in a man’s nature to love, I honestly thought I was doing the man a favor by leaving. She said, “If you can’t think of twenty-five things you like about yourself, you really have nothing to offer anyone.” Ouch!
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She said, “If you can’t list at least twenty-five things, you don’t know what you want.” During this time while I was making lists and learning about myself, I was living in a no-date zone. I was learning how to say “no.” I was interacting with men as individuals, not just as potential dates.