“We got into the room and I turned up the light slightly so that I could perform the standard health check that is required before I started my timer. Sometimes men get a little bit awkward about you checking out their junk, but I usually laugh it off and make some kind of stupid joke to break the ice. This time was a little different however. He fumbled around and undid his belt, letting his pants fall into a puddle around his ankles. An awful stench filled the room and I tried not to gag. He was covered in a hideous rash from his waist down to his knees, the skin weeping and raw.
At first I was annoyed. I hate wasting my time like this.
Now, I’m usually pretty damn good at keeping up my happy persona, but the look of horror and disgust must have shown on my face because he began to stutter some incoherent nonsense about a sweat rash.
“Don’t you know how to wash yourself? That’s disgusting.” I started to gather my things in a huff. I was 7 hours into my shift, I didn’t need this shit.
“Of course I do, but I’m not allowed to touch down there. Mam says I’ll go to hell.”
I stopped. Something in his voice tugged at me. Was this guy for real?
Apparently he was. He put his pants back on and we sat down on the bed and the floodgates opened. He was Irish Catholic, raised in an extremely conservative household, and apparently like so many others, had been taught that to touch yourself was a Sin, to the point that he had not been taught basic hygiene. I had to spend the next hour demonstrating how to care for a penis and repeatedly assure him that he wouldn’t be struck down by any fictional sky-daddy for it. “
Anyone that knows me will tell you that I’m a fairly tolerant person. I am not religious myself, but I love the idea of the positive effects that religion can have on a community. Teachings of love, charity and community are beautiful things. However, when a belief system imposes itself in such a way that it fucks with children mentally and physically, then how can anyone say that it is healthy or good?
Having sexual desires is healthy.
Masturbation is healthy and good.
Having love for your body and all of the cool things that it can do is healthy.
Fuck your oppressive catholic guilt, I will be proud of my body and my sexuality until the day that I die.
And I don’t care if I go to hell for it either.