19:The Epic Sex Series – Part 2: Mormon Honeymoon Sex

Brandt hosts a wonderfully frank and intimate discussion surrounding issues of sex and sexuality for newly engaged and newly married LDS members with panelists Greg and Letti Rockwell and Megan Von Ackerman.

 

Play

19 Comments

  1. mconder

    You guys should do an episode on LDS and divorced or single over 30. This is a whole world of LDS weirdness you guys need to explore. I could definitely assemble a panel. You have a group of people who have been in long term marriages, who are required to revert back to their BYU sexual selves. You can only imagine the result. At least 80% of the men go inactive, while 80% of the women stay active. I think the women usually stay active due to the fact they have their kids most the time, so they bare the extra guilt that their kids would go wayward. So, both of these 80% groups are dating each other. The men mostly are looking to get some action, and the women want to find a peter-priesthood replacement father for the 4 young kids at home, someone who doesn’t look at porn or wack off in the shower like their old husband that they kicked to the curb. The sad thing is that the are dating all of the guys who were looking at porn, wacking off, or visiting Momonthink.

    I saw a discussion on a Facebook group with over 1,000 members posted by a woman who said it’s strange that the non-LDS guys treat them better than the guys they dated off the LDS dating websites. That particular thread just exploded with over 200 comments with other LDS women agreeing, that they had been treat better going on dates with non-LDS guys from non-LDS dating websites.

    Honestly, there are a lot of women who just shut it all down completely. They become unobtanium to the guys in this social circle, because they realize they are not going to find their peter-priesthood from this group of men. I’ve had many of them tell me they are ok with getting their kids raised and just dying alone, rather than compromise their standards. I am a very young and fit 42, and I have dated some of the most beautiful single LDS women on the Wasatch and it saddens me that their unrealistic expectations might prevent them from a relationship with a person they genuinely love, but will not take them to the temple. I have had a few situations where everything was working, except the Church. I think you guys would really appreciate my story about the 30 year old virgin I was engaged to about a year after my marriage, from one of the most orthodox, picture perfect LDS families you could possibly imagine. After we were engaged, we started having sex and the whole thing went to crazy town from there.

    The men don’t go to Church, because they don’t want to be the creepy single guy in a family ward. The better looking women sometimes feel ostracized by the other women in the ward, because they represent a potential threat to the married men.

    So, this age group is really a wasteland of loneliness for some, or a minefield for others who want to maintain the highest standards with regard to morality. Anyway, there are thousands of these people in the valley. I know this group of people so well, I can give you the stereotypical description of a woman between 28-38. Recently divorced, moved back in with parents with her 3-4 kids, didn’t finish college, has no employable skills, husband doesn’t pay child support, is going back to school to become a nurse or a teacher. These women are often crushed extra weight of Church callings because of their time commitment to children, school, and their menial job they sometimes work. If you do end up going on a date with them, they will likely not be able to find time in their schedule for a second date for 3-4 weeks.

    Trust me when I tell you, this is one of the most fascinating, forgotten groups in the Church.

    Reply Nov 23, 2012 @ 12:09:36
  2. Christopher Allman

    I recently heard an episode of “Backstory’ (an excellent history podcast I would recommend to anyone) about the history of courtship. They spoke about dating values in different generations and mentioned that several decades ago it was the style for people to date as many partners as possible and that the more status one had the greater variety of people one went on dates with. The hosts of the show found this difficult to imagine, but to me it was familiar because it is precisely how things are in Mormonism. They even talked about sayings people had to encourage more dating that were just like sayings within mormonism, like if you only try one flavor of ice cream you might be missing out on your favorite from never having tried it.
    On one hand, I can see how if one is in a culture where marriage is highly valued and sex is forbidden, it might naturally lead to people striving to go on as many dates as possible, since that may be the quickest path towards marriage. However, I also wonder if this is simply an artifact of the brethren having grown up in the era when it was valued to go on as many dates as possible and this is what makes them uncomfortable with today’s ‘hangout’ culture, leading them to try and instill the dating values of their youth onto young people today. As the older generation of leaders dies away and people who grew up in times with different dating standards enter the leadership, perhaps new dating standards will work it’s way into mormonism (a few generations late), or possibly the unique culture of Mormonism will make it so that our value on having a large number of dating partners will remain?

    Reply Nov 23, 2012 @ 15:31:22
  3. Bradley Hintze

    You should have a podcast with singles. I’ll proudly represent the apostate view. Complete with my following away all centered around sex and shame. Its quite repulsive what the church teaches about male sexuality and female’s role to guard against it, as if males are weak. This is quite problematic for both genders. What about the females, do they not have sexual drives? Are men really weak? When you are taught that a strong, morally straight single man is one that never has a sexual thought and certainty is never horny then I suppose that men (and women but we don’t talk about women being horny) are indeed week.

    Great podcast guys. Keep it up.

    Reply Nov 24, 2012 @ 20:51:25
  4. nathankennard

    Interesting discussion. As a youth I often felt bad about masturbation. Any touching of breasts even above the clothes filled me with guilt. When I began having children it was clear that there were times when my wife was not interested in sex. During these times, it seemed that masturbation was better than experiencing frustration or expressing anger. In these situations I still felt guilty. Your discussion of these topics is helpful. Also, Lettie, you do exude a ‘good girl’ vibe and your participation is cool.

    Reply Nov 27, 2012 @ 13:32:01
  5. darthpacker

    I was really hoping that you guys would give a few more ideas as to what should be done to improve/address the issues that the church creates around sex. I would have liked to hear more discussion on that. I thought Greg was the only one who really gave a realistic answer. Just getting women to talk about things is like saying, “Oh your car’s got a problem? Well I think the best course of action is to fix it.” Beyond that, especially when you consider the dynamics of what happens when mormons get together in a group (the most conservative people tend control the dialogue, which would just exacerbate the issue in this case), I’m not sure how this is really a solution. I think a more open and free dialogue about sex would tend to be the result of fixing the issues, not a solution in and of itself.

    That being said, I don’t expect that the church will really take any proactive steps to fix anything, for the simple reason that the hierarchy doesn’t see their unhealthy preoccupation with sex as a problem. Heck, they think it will save the world. So, as Letti astutely pointed out, as it becomes more problematic, they will just do what they have always done: stop talking about it directly and let the culture and past statements poison the minds of another generation. Plausible deniability. The calling card of the brethren.

    Would love to hear your chastity lesson Brandt!

    Great podcast guys! Thanks for everything you do!

    Reply Nov 27, 2012 @ 17:23:30
    • Greg Rockwell

      Darth,

      This is some complicated stuff and part of the complication (IMO) is that “solutions” and progress toward a healthy view of sexuality will very rapidly run up against the doctrines, and as you mentioned (and I really believe this) I don’t know of any subject where the church is more blindly convinced of its correctness than about sex.

      So, as I pondered the paradoxes of sex being presented to me in early marriage I eventually developed the “faithful” view that someday we would find out what God really thinks about sex and that it would be a surprise to us (obviously just a variant of putting it on the shelf).

      Then, I found myself in conversations with the bishop explaining that when I tried to be chaste in my thoughts (in order to avoid the dreaded gazing at breasts) my libido would go down, we would have sex less, and I would start to wonder what was wrong with my marriage because we felt so distant, then something would happen to trigger the raging beast of sex and we would be having sex and then I would be horny and thinking about sex in general (along with the plethora of breasts) and the marriage would feel GREAT but my conscience would feel TERRIBLE, and I spent 10+ years slowly talking to Letti about sex, how it worked for her, how it worked for me, etc. etc. working up to the possibility of broaching the very sensitive topic of… boobs.

      What a cluster

      Once I got past the fear-of-divorce hurdle of letting Letti know that “gazing at breasts” was a reality, had been a reality, and I had no evidence to suggest that it would not be a reality in the future…
      …and I was ashamed
      …and I thought I was an addict (for looking at boobs a couple of times a month)
      …and it all seemed so ridiculous
      …and by then (after more than 10 years) I KNEW that when I just let my libido run its course EVERYTHING in our marriage was better.

      That became a very funny/terrified/loving/accepting/empathetic conversation (to which I am inclined to make the RESULTS NOT TYPICAL disclaimer and point back to the years of careful lead up conversations).

      Anyway, the bishop said he had no explanation for why the dreaded boobs were not (emphatically NOT) destroying my marriage, but that he knew other marriages being destroyed by boobs (boobs are very dangerous, it turns out. They look like cute little blobs of fat, but in fact, they are like the vicious bunny on Monty Python, ready to attack and destroy at any moment).

      ALL OF THIS factored in significantly to my concluding (over a long torturous time) that the Church simply had the narrative on sex WRONG.

      And once you conclude that the Church is flat out wrong about one of the main things it claims to be flat out right about… and which happens to be a major life satisfaction factor… It calls things into question.

      Have I digressed?

      The open and free dialogue will, I think, be both the catalyst and the result of improvement. And in most Mormon environments, that dialogue has to start with a healthy marriage to begin with, where both partners are willing to give each other the benefit of the doubt and demonstrate care for each other.

      All of that needs to be considered with the knowledge that the CULT has trained us with automatic mechanisms to SHUT THIS DOWN because… if you have a healthy sex life, there are not many steps to realizing the Church is dead wrong about sex, and consequently, dead wrong about just about everything…

      So, sadly, it is in the Church’s interest to make sure that people have shitty sex lives and shitty marriages… And that, friends, will be the subject of a blog post I need to finish and then hopefully podcast about.

      In the meantime, if you are interested, you can read my epic boob post at NOM. This was essentially THE MOMENT that I introduced myself to the internet Mormon world. http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=19476

      Reply Nov 29, 2012 @ 13:35:26
  6. K.C. Krisher

    If people don’t want to look down on oral sex, why don’t they just turn off the light?

    Reply Nov 28, 2012 @ 10:14:10
  7. sonya_d

    Agreed.

    Reply Nov 28, 2012 @ 13:42:46
  8. sonya_d

    My comment was supposed to be a reply to those that said a discussion about sex with single/divorced in the church would be interesting.

    Also, Amy’s comment about loosening up the church’s stance on masturbation was genius: “Talk about a victimless crime!”

    Reply Nov 28, 2012 @ 13:46:42
  9. Hermes

    It seems to me that the greatest problems with sexuality are that people honestly do respond differently to stimuli. I think some of us are naturally more ashamed than others. The church didn’t give me sexual shame: I came hardwired for that (by nature and experience); church culture just ground a boot into the wound I already had. I had friends who had no problem talking to girls, making out, going on dates, etc. I had huge problems in this area (and still have issues: if my marriage ended, I don’t think I would return to the dating arena “fixed” by my rejection of the Mormon sexual morality I imbibed as a teen).

    The most I am comfortable saying generally is that people need to think about what their “price of admission” (Dan Savage’s neologism) is. Some people will not be talkers: they will not want to talk about sex; talking about sex will make them very uncomfortable (and may not lead to the katharsis that us talkers get). They may need to advertise this fact (and it may mean that they don’t get any loving: this will either convince them to change or show them that they prefer to deal with sex by avoiding it, which I see as a viable choice: personally, I would prefer to avoid sex rather than feel bad about it). What they do not need is to be told that happiness depends on them finding “the one true way to be sexual” and practicing this way dutifully no matter what it does to them or the other people in their lives.

    Some people don’t want to receive or give oral sex (e.g. my wife): price of admission for them means avoiding this practice, not because it is evil inherently, but because they don’t want it.

    You have to set your own boundaries. We all do that anyway, all the time, but the church attempts to control the process–inserting itself into the life of the individual as a higher authority and attempting to correlate Mormons in bed the same way it attempts to correlate them in Sunday School. It invites and encourages people to mistake their personal inclinations (good and bad) for divine guidance (when they agree with churchy sexuality) and devilish sin (when they don’t agree with churchy sexuality). Some people come away vindicated, when the church confirms their gut (e.g. asexuals and people who value sex chiefly for reproduction), and others come away crushed, when it disconfirms theirs (e.g. homosexuals). Both kinds of people are confused (and may experience serious problems owing to their mistaken confirmation or disconfirmation, especially when they follow church counsel to get married without experimenting at all).

    The impossibility of there being “one sexual morality to rule them all” was one of the biggest reasons for my disaffection from institutional Mormonism. There is not a single blueprint for human sexuality as it should be: every historical blueprint contains plusses and minuses, pros and cons, and there are always, in every culture, exceptions to the rules who turn out fine (maybe even better than average). There cannot be a single, global blueprint for the human family like the one imagined by the Proclamation on the Family (it seems to me). To embrace such a blueprint (even as an abstract possibility) seems to me to involve denying reality (in a way that is potentially very destructive, even though I see where it is useful to have models of order, including sexual order, in society). This was an important revelation to me. I am not done assimilating it. I am open to disagreement, push-back (bring it, Brandt!), and innovation (from people with more or different experience than I have had).

    I think it would be very interesting to extend this series to talk about older singles in the LDS world. My own TBM family contains at least one person threatened with the prospect of becoming a “menace to society” (male over 25 and still unwed). The social dynamic he lives with in Utah is one that I found very uncomfortable (during my sojourn there: I was called a menace and failed to find any release until I had the very good fortune to get married unexpectedly; I married without making out or kissing, and was remarkably fortunate in that my wife ended up being compatible with me, physically speaking). From my perspective, what was “wrong” was the inability to make mistakes. Righteous LDS people could only have sex one way. They only got one shot, ideally, one attempt to create a relationship supposed to last forever. They are encouraged to make that shot as early as feasible (so as to avoid the likelihood of messing up, I guess, by experimenting with forbidden fruit). This leads to a weird social situation. Date a girl twice and you’re almost engaged. Date a girl three times and you’re almost married. But what if you aren’t her dream partner? What if your Prince Charming doesn’t come with all the right bells and whistles? She will cut you loose really quick, probably without talking to you much at all, and you will do the same. Hunting for the One Ideal makes it hard to deal with the Many Real (who are always less than ideal: they are real people, not cartoon characters from a Disney movie or a Family Proclamation). I have met grown-ups old enough to be my parents who still live for impossible ideals (e.g. one of my wife’s relatives, who lost her less than perfect husband owing to a series of tragic accidents and has been searching in vain for Prince Charming ever since, living almost her entire middle life “in limbo” as boyfriends come, fail to measure up to her very LDS standards of perfection, and go). Maybe there are places where ideals help, where it is useful to have an idea larger than a person. Even if this is true, Mormon culture takes takes this to an unhealthy extreme (failing to make itself available to real life, in which men are not all Prince Charming/Ken/Peter Priesthood and women are not all Cinderella/Barbie/Molly Mormon: like it or not, we live in the real world, not in our adolescent fantasies).

    Reply Nov 28, 2012 @ 15:35:34
  10. Greg Rockwell

    Great comments… It is clear that we need to have an episode on post adolescent Mormon single sex. Divorced/widowed/never married dating and fooling around.

    We are also planning an episode (as mentioned several times now) to cover “established” Mormon married sex and the apostate sex-reinvention.

    Reply Nov 29, 2012 @ 13:46:05
    • Bradley Hintze

      As a single man I’m looking forward to these upcoming podcasts. Keep up the great work.

      Reply Nov 30, 2012 @ 13:47:05
  11. amy

    so many great suggestions!!! thanks everyone :) <3

    Reply Dec 01, 2012 @ 05:08:46
  12. jeff

    The church and its culture and so many lds parents have done a horrible job of educating lds women about healthy monogamous sex in marriage. As a soon-to-be member I’ve accepted the realization that way too many lds women are clueless about normal male sexual desires. I would likely never date or marry another lds woman again. Is it any wonder that the church leaders have focused on pornography in recent years. when good lds guys live a celibate life through many of their prime years with the expectation to share a full sexual relationship and discover soon after marriage that their innocent wife places more of a priority on pinterest and takes her husband’s interest in her for granted, the man will find an outlet whether thru porn, an affair or divorce. the contrast between non-lds women’s openness to sexuality and lds women’s non-sexuality is stark. porn in the lds community is a symptom of repressed sexuality because the partner is failing to address the other’s desires. lots of good, married lds guys are being sexually neglected, and that in turn will lead to a poor relationship and poor family environment. lds ladies, get a clue, get over your repressed sexuality, and get some counseling help if necessary. because if you don’t show an interest in your man’s sexuality, there are plenty of other respectable ladies who would welcome a good lds guy with open arms, and you will live to regret what you took for granted.

    Reply Dec 12, 2012 @ 15:11:35
  13. C.

    Sophmore year the bishop did his annual chastity lecture for sacrament and sunday school. He had the brilliant idea to pull “volunteers” from the congregation, gave us placards with different romantic and sexual acts to hold, and the congregation had to order us from most acceptable to least acceptable. So there I stood, in front of my ward, holding a sign that blared “ORAL SEX” to the world, and thinking to myself, “There has GOT to be a better way.” I thought the whole thing was inappropriate but ludicrous and didn’t dwell on it, but none of my male friends would look me in the eye for weeks.

    Reply Feb 08, 2013 @ 13:38:46
  14. AB

    Thanks to all for lots of great discussion and thoughtful comments. One question that popped into my head during the podcast was, “is one-woman, one-man, marriage really the gold standard that is best for everyone”? I’m not proposing or advocating for some alternative but it just seems we hang so much self esteem, self worth, happiness, etc on attaining and maximizing a single wonderful marriage that we are largely doomed to a lifetime of coming up short, settling, being unfulfilled, being let down, conflict stress, etc. I would wager the reality for some majority percentage of marriages is that one or both partners are miserable – or at most, just tolerating the situation. I could be wrong but starting with divorce rates, then adding marriages with unemployment, bankruptcy, sexual issues, family issues, testimony issues, conception difficulties, kid problems, etc. that marriage, though a helpful civic structure, is mostly a facade. We “proclaim” that single, divorced, widowed, non-traditional marriage believers, etc. won’t know “true happiness” without marriage, and we buy into it as a society – especially as mormons. But in reality, most married believers won’t ever know “true happiness” (though many would never admit such a heresy). So we are constantly setting ourselves up to be let down, because marriage is not a panacea, it is a contrived structure that solves some societal needs. In a viable market though, shouldn’t other solutions be equally revered? I think we ignore reality to our own demise.

    Reply Apr 15, 2013 @ 11:13:10
    • Greg Rockwell

      I feel like I hand out great comment awards all over the place, but I want to bronze this comment and polish it every day.

      Yes, I think you are absolutely correct. I think this stems from our idealization of simplicity. We think life ought to (and will) work out in pre-defined, simplistic ways. That cognitive fantasy leads us to make choices (and to recast our satisfaction with them) in ways that have no rational basis. The choice to get married and have children is the easiest of these to spot. From a genetic standpoint, this is highly effective. People keep passing on their genes, and the messiness of life tends to make sure that genes get mixed up much more often than our ideals would imply.

      But we do a mental bait and switch when we think that somehow all of this is going to bring life satisfaction. Our DNA doesn’t care whether we have achieved self-actualization.

      I think it is ironic that when we analyze other animals, we recognize reproductive success on its own without consideration for the life satisfaction of the animals in question, but in our own case, we only consider life satisfaction and never really talk about the way we achieve reproductive success.

      Reply Apr 15, 2013 @ 11:52:21
  15. Randy Bell

    Sex is a wonderful thing but it is also a very special thing that should only be done inside the bonds of marriage with someone (opposite sex) that you love and are committed to in marriage. As an LDS single man (three years celibate) I recognize that it is not only for reproduction of the human race but a very intimate and special thing.

    Moving from Salt Lake City to Kansas City Missouri I see the majority of my new friends and work associates (member of other faiths) simply living with their sexual partner which they refer to as “my woman”, for lack of a better tittle. When first hearing that it sounded almost cave man jargon to me.

    In my work of arraigning financing for loans. I found young and middle aged single women (usually never married) which had an average of four small children not getting one dime of child support and likely in some cases all children not even having the same Father.

    These were low income, destitute sweet Mother’s shouldering all the responsibility of raising their children with great difficulty and with much government help. Money even Obama’s bottomless pit will some day run out with this escalating deli-ma. Even if I got them qualified for a loan it was at 24% interest on some old refreshed car that likely would just put them deeper in their already difficult financial situation even if they made the monthly payments. but knowing the car likely would not last as long as their payments would not to mention the 24% interest because to their already bad credit history I could not continue doing that.

    My point is sex is beautiful, wonderful and glorious but it is still a God given event these bodies enjoy and should be done ONLY when there is a definite family unit in place for not only the sexual act but for what often comes from the act in making babies.

    If you wonder why that is so important to Latter Day Saints then please Google “The Family Proclamation to the World” which applies to everyone not just Mormons. We know for a fact that it came from the Lord through our then Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley.

    Yes we have direct instruction from the Lord just as in Bible times since he of course cares about us as much as he did all his children back then. After all the name explains it. It is the same CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST as was on the earth when Christ walked the earth it is simply restored with the same authority given from God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ in a time we call these LATTER DAYS. And as all followers of Christ have been called SAINTS we also take that tittle.

    Reply Nov 17, 2013 @ 22:23:21
    • Greg Rockwell

      “We know for a fact that it came from the Lord through our then Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley.”

      I don’t know why I’m feeling persnickety this morning, and I will not bother responding to the rest of the Sunday School lesson, but let’s examine this little phrase here.

      We know… for a FACT? Really? Where did you come by that fact? Was it via the “eye of faith”? Facts and faith definitionally don’t occupy the same space. So… if you want to clue us all in to your new-found faith-nullifying source of facts, I think everyone will appreciate it.

      The actual fact is there is no correlating, consistent data to promote the idea that any god represented by any theology is plausible (except for perhaps the uninvolved, deist type).

      Go take a trip to the Philippines right now. Yes, the evidence that god loves his children is just about the same as it always has been, i.e. not at all. These children are still abused, neglected, murdered, killed by “acts of God”, almost as much as they used to be. Thankfully, the love of people has started to overcome the love of God and people now treat each other better than they used to. War as a consequence of religious zealotry is relatively uncommon these days. Happily, the “love of God” has started to be overcome by sanity.

      Reply Nov 18, 2013 @ 09:28:23

Leave a Reply