Ah, sex. It’s often, unfortunately, very taboo within Mormonism, and that is because we tend to create mental boxes when it comes to keeping the commandments, making it easier to focus on what we’re commanded not to do, than what to actually do.
Don’t believe me? When considering whether or not you keep the Word of Wisdom, do you gauge the keeping of that commandment by how well you abstain from coffee, tea, and alcohol and leave it at that? There’s a fair chance you do. But what of actually eating meat sparingly and having a balanced diet, as well as actively seeking the well-being of your temporal vessel?
Sex in Mormonism is similar. This isn’t to discount the value of the proscriptions contained in the law of chastity. Far from it. Don’t get busy with anyone but your spouse either before or during marriage. Avoid pornography. Avoid inappropriate thoughts.
But what about the anxiety that Mormons experience with sexuality once the gates come down? Apparently many Mormons have difficult sex lives because of Mormonism’s culture of treating sexuality as the forbidden fruit. But sexuality isn’t forbidden; it’s just meant to be contained and utilized in the appropriate context.
HuffingtonPost Live held a video with various thinkers in the realm of Mormon sexuality: Brian Willoughby, a professor at BYU, Jennifer Finlayson-Fife, a psychotherapist, Kristin Hodson, another psychotherapist, and Jimmy Hales, an openly gay Mormon.
Check out the video below and get some perspective on how sexuality, coupled with chastity, is meant to be an affirming, open experience, not something of which we should be ashamed once married.
Be warned: adult topics and terminology that some might find offensive.*