I was taught about my body and sex at a very young age. Before meeting my stepfather my mom was completely open and honest about sexuality and sexual health. My stepfather was someone who believed that these matters needed to be hidden from us.

When I first got my period at age 8 I had to keep it secret because I would get in trouble for growing up. My mom has never known that I started that early; she thinks it was a year or 2 later. Acknowledgment of my body developing was just not allowed in my parent’s home. Everything involving my body had to be kept secret, and from this that I felt like there was something wrong with me, with that part of me. I grew up very disconnected from my vulva, only acknowledging her when I needed pleasure and release. Even then I wouldn’t fully connect, there was always something blocking, fabric between was the most common. I was scared of what would happen if I let myself be fully connected.

-Basht butterflies