107: The Epic Sex Series Part 5 – Sacralized Sex

Heather, Alyssa, and Kim discuss the way sex is sacralized within Mormonism and the impact that has on Mormon women.


Watson, Wendy – A Synopsis of God-Ordained Marital Intimacy Versus Worldly Sex
Holland, Jeffrey – Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments
Daily Mail – Sex and Secularism: What Happens When You Leave Religion
Birger, Jon – What Two Religions Tell Us About the Modern Dating Crisis published in Time Magazine
Osborne, Reggie – She Only Said “Yes” Once

Nagoski, Emily – Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life
Video Clip – Key & Peele Teach Sex Ed


  1. saintralph343

    A very interesting episode. Thanks, ladies.

    Heather used the term “creepy” several times and, indeed, that was my general impression of “sacralized sex:” creepy. In Wendy Watson’s list, under God-ordained marital intimacy, it says “sacred language is used” and “often involves prayer, fasting and scripture reading.” Sorry, people, that just conjures up images of Eyes Wide Shut and Rosemary’s Baby. And if a threesome with Jesus isn’t kinky, I don’t know what is.

    I loved the comparison of first time sex with going through the Temple the first time. I’ve heard stories of people going through the first time with family members who thought that their total silence and unwillingness to make eye contact with the relatives afterward meant that they had been spiritually blown away by the beauty of endowment ordinances, when in reality they were stunned by what they considered a grotesque experience and couldn’t believe what they had been led into with no preparation or forewarning or consent. Yeah, that’s how we want to experience sex for the first time, too. No wonder.

    Reply May 20, 2016 @ 03:15:55
    • Heather

      YES! In an email to Alyssa I also listed Eyes Wide Shut and Rosemary’s Baby. Glad someone else sees the parallel.

      Reply May 20, 2016 @ 06:09:41
      • Rob

        Heather,….I posted on a previous version. I hope you can take a moment and comment on that post.

        I just found this site,…wished I had found it a while ago…but there it is.

        Anyway….I do appreciate this site and what is is discussing.

        Reply Aug 07, 2016 @ 16:37:15
  2. Lori Thurnau

    I was excited to see a new episode, and I am just starting to listen. Where can I find parts one through four? Also, I missed the cute intro music. I am glad you’re back. Hope to hear from you more often.

    Reply May 20, 2016 @ 08:06:00
    • St. Ralph

      Yeah, Heather, what happened to Pacman Plays Mormonism’s Greatest Hits?

      Reply May 20, 2016 @ 10:14:22
      • Heather

        Holy crap! I knew I was missing a step when I was posting this last night but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Can you tell I’m out of the swing of things! I’ll have to add it and re-upload tonight.

        Reply May 20, 2016 @ 10:24:01
  3. tolworthy

    “God Ordained Marital Intimacy” = GOMI. Is it a coincidence that GOMI is an Internet site characterized as “cruel” and likely to put you on antidepressants? http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/21/gomi-blog-internet-comments-women

    Reply May 20, 2016 @ 08:52:31
    • tolworthy

      P.S. I can say from personal experience that almost everything in that Godly versus Worldly list is the other way around.

      Reply May 20, 2016 @ 08:53:32
  4. JLH

    Excellent episode. I’m so glad skin hunger was mentioned, and the negative impact expectations of lifelong celibacy have on LDS singles/LGBT members. That’s why I left the Church as a 31-year-old single woman. I kept trying to figure out why Jesus wasn’t enough for me to stop craving intimacy. It wasn’t until I began reading psychological research that I finally understood how fundamentally we are wired for sex/romantic relationships. I jumped ship not long after but I find I am still working through my screwed up perceptions of sex/love two and a half years later.

    Reply May 25, 2016 @ 10:14:09
  5. Jimbo

    Heather, another great Sex series. I have officially finished listening to all your podcasts. Loved all them.
    Since, I don’t know how to contact you via email or phone, I’ll post it here …
    I’m interested in participating in future General Conference reviews. How do I get my name on the list to be considered? Let me know. James

    Reply Jun 06, 2016 @ 07:27:48
  6. Rob

    I loved the pod-casts.

    I have been frustrated for a long time over the LDS general indifference and lack of accountability for teaching things, and then retreating and ignoring the potential fallout over those teachings.

    Years ago I posted heavily on another site that was dedicated to LDS Sexuality and trying to resolve concerns. I got a lot of flack on that site, and to shut the critics up, I wrote a paper on 3 things I felt the LDS church did wrong regarding sex. One of those was making the idea of sex so “sacred” that to do anything–ANYTHING–that would possibly cheapen the experience is to demean and denigrate this sacred nature. Generally, this “sacred nature” wraps the topic up so tight that even talking openly about it becomes taboo,…like talking about the temple.

    Sex becomes the big “unmentionable”. People get all clammed up and nervous when you talk about the temple. They do the same thing when you talk about sex.

    Sex is no longer about fun, or enjoyment; now it is about sacred worship, even like a ritual, proceeded and ended with prayer, perhaps fasting and other things.

    “Souls, Symbols and Scarments” from Jeffry Holland comes to mind.

    The paper made its way to Holland’s desk. I know he read it (and others like it), but I don’t know what impact if any it had.

    At this point it doesn’t matter. I’m no longer LDS and never will be again.

    I have accepted who I am. I’m a sexual person, and I want to be in a committed relationship with someone who likes recreational sex BECAUSE it feels good and is just damn fun. This is VERY NON-LDS.

    I don’t want God or Christ in my room with me…in fact, they can stay out. I don’t want them looking at me as though I’m a porn video (which is an interesting idea brought out by this pod-cast).

    Reply Aug 06, 2016 @ 13:33:13
  7. Julie

    Why no new episodes, is this podcast shut down for good?

    Reply Nov 05, 2016 @ 10:56:07
    • Heather

      No, not for good. Just until I get my act together and replace some broken equipment. It’s been a super busy year for me.

      Reply Nov 05, 2016 @ 11:21:22
      • St. Ralph

        Take care and be well. I’ll keep checking once in a while for a new episode. I always enjoy them.

        Reply Nov 05, 2016 @ 12:57:38

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