“Women who have dissociated their sexual identity are both deaf and mute with respect to physical intimacy, and worse, don’t even realize it. Instead, they congratulate themselves on being so ‘spiritual’ while inwardly condemning their husband’s base and carnal nature.” quote from ldssexuality.com. (bold mine) http://ldssexuality.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=341&p=4308#p4308
As youth, we are counseled, wisely, rightly and frequently, that sex is for marriage. Stay away from the edge of the proverbial “cliff”. Don’t take chances. Don’t awaken your sexual feelings. Don’t make out, don’t cop a feel, stay away from the swimsuit zone. “Never get horizontal with a boy,” I say to my young women, who laugh and blush. Pres. Kimball made the soul kiss “famous” by warning us against it. Couples at a Stake dance, slow dancing, had to be a “Triple combination apart”. Mosiah 13:3 Touch me not, for God shall smite you if ye lay your hands upon me. (Taken entirely out of context, but that was a popular joke when I was a youth.) I laugh at some of this now, and I certainly mocked it when I was a teen, but this is all good counsel. Hind sight is 20/20, right?
Then there’s the really bad counsel. I had a religion professor at Ricks (I’m old, I know. How old do you have to be to even know what Ricks is?) . He was a GREAT religion professor. I loved his classes. They were well done, interesting and spiritual. He was a great man and teacher, I liked and respected him a lot. Plus he was a temple worker. Even to me, a regular visitor of the Student Life Department, that was impressive. But sadly, I don’t remember any of his actual lessons. I don’t remember anything he taught about the scriptures. Or the gospel. The thing that is most clearly ingrained in my memory about his class was this. In one of his lessons, he was discussing, for forgotten reasons, a young married woman who was very, very righteous. She did everything right. She was pure and loving and selfless and served God and others. Right now I’m thinking in a VERY sarcastic tone, “Yeah, she was probably two weeks shy of being translated.” I would never belittle people who are diligently striving to live the gospel. We should all strive to be like our Savior, loving, serving others, living the gospel. It’s just the way he was painting her to be perfect that amuses me now. Especially when he got to the next part–what I understood to be THE MOST IMPORTANT part. Here is where the story goes horribly wrong. She was so righteous, in fact, that she only had ” sexual relations” with her husband for the purpose of procreation. It was very clear that sex for any other reason was just not pure, holy or righteous. Oh, if we could all be just like her.
That story rang completely false with me that day. It went against most of what I’d learned about sex in marriage. BUT it planted a little nagging doubt in my head. Here is this great man, great religion professor, telling us we’re not righteous enough and just might even be sinning in some way if we have sex for pleasure. Although logically I knew there was no way that was a correct principle, that lie twisted my thoughts about sex a bit, making me wonder if maybe I was sinning for having good sex, or even bad sex for that matter, since I wasn’t trying to get pregnant.
If that one experience affected me so much, I can imagine that it did the same to many other young women in his class. And likely some young men, too. How many other well meaning individuals have scared us away from our God given sexuality? I wonder.
When trying our best to choose the right and live the gospel, some women are a just a little too good at keeping their sexuality from “awakening” so to speak. We want to do what’s right, and we want to feel worthy of all the blessings of the gospel. Then we just might feel more spiritual because we’ve supposedly conquered the natural man. We might just feel that our husbands are “carnal and devilish”. We just might convince ourselves that we are becoming more pure and holy. We just want to do what’s right, don’t we? Yep.
In light of all this, it is possible for a woman to find her sexual self. In my next post I’ll talk about how I did it and give some possible solutions.