Mormonism f@#*ed up my sex life!

Urban Koda’s thoughts on “Riding” made me reflect on a lotof my hang-ups that can be traced directly back to teachings of the Church.

Imagine a 13-year-old girl who believes she will be eternally cut off from the presence of God unless she repents by confessing to her middle-aged male bishop that she masturbates. And imagine her agony a couple of years later when this same man is her high school biology teacher and she has to go to class every day with the thought, He knows that I touch myself.

Yep, that was me.

(This same bishop/biology teacher also completely skipped the chapter on evolution because he didn’t believe in it, but that’s a topic for a different post.)

What else? There was one professor my freshman year of college that I had a terrible crush on. I remember one day he wore a white t-shirt that showed off his pectorals, which I stared at all through class under the guise of being an attentive student. And then I chastised myself for being un-Christlike by lusting after an attractive man. How disrespectful of me!

When it’s pounded into you (no pun intended) that sexual sins are second only to murder, it’s easy to feel like you’re less than pure for even having sexual desires. I’ve read old journals where I describe what I now recognize as a completely normal interest in sex as “sex addiction.” Is it even possible to be both a virgin and a sex addict?

And, oh, all the sex that might have been, though actually, when I think about guys I could have slept with and didn’t, really there’s only one that I kind of wish I had. Still, my chastity was born of fear, not self-respect. That can’t be healthy!

I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten past most of those of those hang-ups now, though some of them linger. What about you? How has Mormonism f@#*ed up your sex life?


Writer. Poet. Teacher. Journeyer. Living in North Carolina @leahiellio

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9 Responses

  1. Lisa says:

    I just wish my husband and I weren’t so goddamn scared to DO IT ALREADY while we were engaged.

    Engaged! Or even before, yanno? But seriously. The whole wedding thing would’ve been a lot more lax if we could’ve just had sex already.
    And it wasn’t even because we thought it was wrong (though we wouldn’t have admitted it then)–we were more scared of not being admitted into the temple and having to tell everyone about our having premarital sex.

    Because it is TOTALLY their business.

    Then, after marriage, the whole “is this okay to do?” in bed.

    I mean, come on

    That’s what I regret as a Mormon.

  2. Urban Koda says:

    Thanks for the shout out!

    My biggest regret is pretty much the same as Lisa’s. There were missed opportunities along the way, and plenty of guilt, but the biggest regret was all the waiting, and struggling to stay worthy prior to being married, and then all of a sudden the floodgates were open.

    Instead of a normal relationship where intimacy increased gradually, it went from almost nothing to full blown intimacy in a matter of hours. Combine that with nerves, inexperience and everything else, and it wasn’t a good start for either of us.

  3. I regret a few missed opportunities (some I don’t). Mostly, I regret letting myself being skullfucked by old men until I thought normal sexuality made me less worthy of a human being. So many good years wasted in needless shame!

  4. Leah says:

    Most of my missed opportunities in hindsight I’m glad I missed, but I really could have done without all the guilt over something that was completely normal. So much guilt!

  5. Chino Blanco says:

    I’m pretty sure there are virgin sex addicts, just as there are faithfully married sex addicts. For those in the latter group who find themselves struggling with this affliction, I’d urge you to follow Boyd K. Packer’s advice:

    “I must include a caution to you who are married. A couple may be tempted to introduce things into your relationship which are unworthy. . . . If you do, the tempter will drive a wedge between you. If something unworthy has become part of your relationship, don’t ever do it again! Now, what exactly do I mean by that? You know what I mean by that, and I will not respond to any questions about it. We do not, in our counseling, enter the bedrooms of members of the Church.”

    Ha! (h/t Mithryn)

    Of course, as this post suggests, Boyd has no need to enter the members’ bedrooms because he’

    oh, all the sex that might have been

    Word. That’d be a great title for a post.

    Anyways, I’ve been with a nevermo atheist for 16 years now, so if our sex life is f@#*ed, that’d be pretty much all on me at this point.

    But I do have one story. Or maybe I’ll just relay it as a piece of advice …

    When picking the venue for doing the nasty for the first time with your neurotic, recent exmo, recent BYU grad, virgin girlfriend, do not opt for the nearest Marriott. And when she asks where you put the condoms, do not suggest she check the nightstand.

  6. philomytha says:

    Oh SO SO TRUE! And not just for the guilt and awkwardness with guys I like when I was young. There was the whole “what is or isn’t okay within marriage?” issue that f$%#ed up the first 15 years of my marriage.

    There has to be a better way to get kids to be sexually responsible than scaring the crap out of them and screwing them up for life.

  7. Chandelle says:

    Well, I was a convert, so I was already contaminated by the time I got married in the temple. My fiance was pretty disappointed that I hadn’t waited for him, and that made me feel like – well, like used toilet paper, or a cupcake with all the frosting licked off!

    We also had to put off our wedding for six months because we touched each other in garment areas and then actually CONFESSED!! To both bishops! In excruciating detail! When asked to do so!

    So we put off our wedding, and then a week before, we “slipped” again. Since it wasn’t actually intercourse, it was easy to rationalize the issue; we decided it would be too much trouble to confess and put off the wedding again. (The possibility of getting married civilly didn’t even enter the discussion.)

    So we got married with that stain on our souls, and while it didn’t necessarily fuck up our sex life, it did fuck up our marriage that I worried, for every minute of the entire first year, in excruciating detail, that our marriage didn’t “count” because we were unconfessed sinners when we got married in the temple. This was a constant ongoing conversation. “What if you die? In a fiery car crash? And now I’m PREGNANT! And you’d never see me or our child EVER in the afterlife!”

    I joke about it now, but at the time it tore me apart. And yes, I do think, if only we’d just done it. And not gotten married so fast. Then we wouldn’t have had kids so fast. So much could be different.

  8. i had the good fortune of having outstanding sex ed teachers in the 6th and 7th grade who were able to reach me before our insane bishop was able to give us the “masturbation is tantamount to murder” talk. my good fortune continued when i married a girl who is kinky as hell despite being a believing mormon. thus far everything’s coming up milhouse!

  9. Madame Curie says:

    Yeah, I am with Chandelle in that I was already contaminated when I got married, since I joined the church as a young adult. That said, Catholicism did a pretty good job of making me feel all sorts of guilty without adding needing to add Mormon guilt to the mix. My Catholic upbringing messed me up even more when it came to birth control, since I had been raised to view even barrier methods as a mortal sin (and the Pill was essentially a baby-killing drug in a pretty pink package).

    Mormonism’s whole “oral sex = ‘an unholy and impure practice'” bologna also made me really confused in my early days of marriage.

    Where Mormonism really messed me up was with regards to homosexuality. I’m naturally far more physically and emotionally attracted to women than to men. I seriously regret not experimenting more with women in college (I went to a liberal university where being bisexual or homosexual was fairly accepted). I was in the “questioning” phase of my sexual orientation when I joined the Church, and forced myself to change the way I viewed marriage and sex to fit the Mormon mindset of these things. I wish I had taken more time to figure myself out, before agreeing to allow old men in Utah to make those decisions for me.

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