The Law of Chastity and Passionate Sex. An Oxymoron?

We can live the law of chastity AND  have a hot sex life.  Those things are NOT mutually exclusive.

As singles, the law of chastity forbids  most, if not all, sexual expression.  Living the law is very difficult, I imagine.  Sadly, I can’t speak from experience, since I broke that law early and never lived it.  I regret that very, very much.   I’ve told Conan many times, I wish you had been my first.  I wish our first time had been our wedding night.  I wish and wish and wish.  What’s the old saying?  If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.  All the wishing in the world will not give me those experiences.  I chose to break the law of chastity and although I have long since repented, no amount of repentance will change what happened.

When I was repenting  of my sins I was married.  I didn’t know how I was going to repent and forsake  as a married woman.  How could I live the law of chastity NOW?   It seemed too late for me.  I thought about trying to go without sex for a period of time, just to show that I could do it, and that would take care of the forsake part.   My mistake was thinking that I should be living the law as an unmarried person would live it.  The problems with doing that is it wouldn’t be fair to my husband, it wouldn’t be good for our marriage,  it wouldn’t be helpful in the repentance process and it DIDN’T APPLY to me anymore.   I quickly gave that up as a bad idea.   With the support of my bishop I was able to completely repent, and I know that I’m forgiven.  And I thank my Savior every single day for dying for me and suffering for my sins.

Because of my sins and more so because of my wanting to repent, I spent a lot of time thinking and pondering about what the law of chastity now meant to ME, and how I could keep that law.  The law of chastity in marriage is significantly different than when we are single.  Here is what the law does NOT mean to a married woman:

  • It does not mean don’t have sex.
  •  It does not mean don’t enjoy sex.
  • It does not mean don’t think about sex.
  • It does not mean don’t have variety.
  • It does not mean don’t learn your body.
  • It does not mean don’t try anything new.
  • It does not mean don’t use your hands or mouth.
  • It does not mean don’t do certain positions.

So what DOES it mean?  What are the  bounds?  Well, the Lord has set the bounds to be between husband and wife, and no other.  That’s obvious.  There are to be no sexual relations except between a husband and wife.  No third or fourth parties.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that means in thought or deed–fantasies,  porn, or an actual person.   Don’t picture yourself having sex with someone else.  Don’t look at other people having sex.  And above all, don’t have sex with anyone else.

So what else?  Is there anything else?  What about those unholy and impure practices?  Just WHAT ARE THEY???  (As an aside, I’m not convinced that “unholy and impure practices” is referring to sex anyway.)   I found a few things at lds.org that are specifically mentioned.  They are rape, incest, exhibitionism and voyeurism.   These things are called sex perversions.   No where is it stated that we are unholy, impure,  carnal or  devilish if we enjoy and have frequent sex.

It is, in fact,  quite the contrary.  I absolutely love what Pres.  Packer said in his talk at General Conference last October (2010).   “Through the righteous exercise of this power, as in nothing else, we may come close to our Father in Heaven and experience a fulness of joy. This power is not an incidental part of the plan of happiness. It is the key—the very key…

When we obey, we can enjoy these powers in the covenant of marriage. From our fountains of life will spring our children, our family. Love between husband and wife can be constant and bring fulfillment and contentment all the days of our lives…

Pure love presupposes that only after a pledge of eternal fidelity, a legal and a lawful ceremony, and ideally after the sealing ordinance in the temple, are those life-giving powers released for the full expression of love.”

I was in the Conference Center when he gave this talk, and I heard the emotion and conviction in his voice when he was saying these things.   This part really struck me.   I thought, how wonderful that Pres. Packer is telling us that we can be doing this for “all the days of our lives”!!  That it is an “expression of love” and we can “experience a fullness of joy”!

I can’t put words in his mouth, but that doesn’t sound like he said, put up with it, do it when you have to, look forward to when you’re past childbearing age and won’t have to do it anymore and then you’ll be able to be pure and holy.   If I can be blunt, that is pure nonsense.

Perhaps you think that sex has to be some kind of spiritual experience to be keeping  the law of chastity.  Well, maybe, but NOT spiritual like in Sacrament Meeting!  Sex is just not that way!  It’s, hmmm, what’s a good word?  Energetic, noisy, wild, messy maybe.    Having frequent, passionate sex with your eternal companion will bond the two of you in a way that nothing else can.   That’s a pretty spiritual experience in its own way.

When we allow ourselves to enjoy sex in all its wonderful ways, with our husbands  only, we are NOT breaking the Law of Chastity.    We are KEEPING it.

Once I realized that I could keep the Law of Chastity and have passionate, even wild and crazy sex with my husband, I was on my way to feeling good about myself  and forgiving myself for my sins, and accepting my Savior’s sacrifice and forgiveness.  Which is easier said than done.  And I have kept the Law of Chastity now for many years, thank God, all the while fully enjoying sex with Conan the Barbarian.

5 thoughts on “The Law of Chastity and Passionate Sex. An Oxymoron?

  1. Frankly Zookie, I think think that Pres. Packer’s conference comments that you quoted were strictly about having children, not about having great sex. When he says “this power” or “these powers” he is talking about the power to reproduce. And the “joy” he mentions is specifically the joy we get from having and raising righteous children. I suppose you can read other things into what he said, but I think that’s quite a stretch.

    • Norm! Don’t be a killjoy! 😉
      Hmmmmmmm. Well, you might say that, but he didn’t say “children” are our greatest joy. He said “using these powers” is a great joy. And considering that the talk was pretty much about keeping sex for marriage, not about having and raising children, makes me firmly believe he was talking about the act itself, not the product of the act. No stretching here!

  2. Actually, “Outside the Norm”, he wasn’t just referring to reproduction. The “powers” he is referring to is the sexuality between two people, not just for reproduction. This is the talk where he referred to those “powers” as being designed for a “man and a woman”, only – telling the world that homosexual relations were outside of the approved plan.

  3. I’m not sure if Norm’s take on the usage is what Pres. Packer meant. That is how my wife interprets it. In her mind there is no way someone as righteous as an Apostle would possibly think of sex, let alone speak of it. I think this “code-speak” for sex does an actual disservice to LDS marriages.

    Those of us who enjoy sex and see it as an intrinsic element of marital joy (maybe even a marital sacrament) can hear those words and draw the inference that he is speaking of sexual intimacy. Others see sex as merely the unpleasant work by which children are brought into this life. They will read “these powers” as a woman’s ability to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth to a child. The sex is incidental, and usually a semi-shamefull incident at that.

    In a marriage where the spouses each have one of these views, Pres. Packer’s coded message may be causing more of a division than a healing. I know when I would show her these kinds of talks the “code-speak” said something completely different to her than to me.

    On a positive note, at Stake Conf. the General Authority who spoke to us in the adult session used 1 Corinthians 7:4-5. He told the married couples in the congregation that it was their responsibility to “make your children cringe just a little”. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was able to convey a clear message that physical/sexual intimacy should be a celebration of our marriage coventant. I don’t know if it was the sermon or the discussion I had earlier with her about making our marriage officially sexless, but Sunday morning was quite a surprise. I’m still skeptical that anything will change long term but I’ve backed off the parallel marriage for now.

    • Yay! I’m so glad to hear a positive story about our leaders promoting marital intimacy! I can see your point about the vagueness of a talk like that. Sadly, I suppose people will hear what they want to hear.
      I’m glad your wife surprised you! Now, somehow get her to my blog!!

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