It was my sophomore year of high school and one night when my boyfriend and I were making out he put his hand down the front of my pants. It was there for a few seconds but then I pushed it out and told him I had to go home. That was it. I feel it important to note that no penetration happened- but I was innocent and just the fact that I let it stay there for a few seconds before I pushed it out I literally felt physically ill. I thought I was the worst human on the planet.
So as all “good” Mormon kids are taught to do, that Sunday I scheduled an interview with my bishop to “confess my sin”. Again, I was innocent and naïve and didn’t know all the correct terminology- but I put together what I thought I knew and went in and told the bishop that my boyfriend had fingered me (which I later realized he clearly did not). First my bishop asked me where and how I learned such a vile and worldly term- so first made me feel like the fact I even KNEW that an act like that existed or would call it something other than “heavy petting” was despicable.
He then mapped out my repentance, I was not to take the sacrament for two months to start, during that time I had to meet with him weekly to discuss how I was doing and if I was having any trouble with impure thoughts or urges, and of course I was to never see that boy again.
So being the obedient girl I was taught to be, I broke up with my boyfriend and then had two months of dreading going to church- dreading what my parents would say or think if they saw me not take the sacrament and dreading having to stay after church to report in to talk to this adult man about how I was doing with any sexual urges- all for something that I didn’t really even do.
Yes, I probably still shouldn’t have let my boyfriend put his hand in my pants at all, but the guilt and shame that was put on me for something that really wasn’t that big of a deal is absurd.
Later in my high school life when I had friends in other wards who were legitimately sexually active that would go talk to their bishop, I never heard of anyone who got a “punishment” as severe as mine. Most people I knew got a “I just can’t bless the sacrament this week and I have to go talk to him if I have sex again.”
Much later down the road when I got married, this might sound stupid but even though I was okay with the act of sex itself, I still had serious issues being touched in that area. It took me a long time to not instinctively push my husbands hands away because it was ingrained in me that letting someone touch me there made me a bad person.