Love (Sex) and Marriage

Go together like a horse and carriage, or so the ditty says.1 What it really means is that love=sex and you can’t have that without marriage. At least among respectable people.

Once-upon-a-time someone did a youth survey in the Mormon Corridor. The upshot was that there was less pre-marital intercourse, but more pre-intercourse, uh, stuff going on. While I was a church leader, I had few confessions of pre-marital non-intercourse type fooling around, but we lived in a small unit. Having done the usual talking with friends, I’m pretty sure that “touching inappropriately” (is that the appropriate way to put it?) by loving unmarried but nearly married couples is well, not that uncommon. But how common is it now, I wonder. I’m mainly thinking of folks on the way to the altar (including a temple altar). A few decades back, one of my friends who was a bishop in another area even earlier, told me of a couple in his ward who were traveling to the temple. They pulled off the road to snooze a bit. The urge took them and they couldn’t resist and went all the way. Then they drove on to the temple and got married. He knew this of course because they came in after the honeymoon and confessed in extreme guilt.

So here you go. You pre-marrieds out there, or post-marrieds, (that’s everybody right?) what do you say? And what’s permissible for the engaged? I know the strength of youth answer. What’s yours?

—————
1. From the eponymous song by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen. Made famous by Frank Sinatra and then as the theme song of 90s series “Married … with Children.” (Wherein the writers always spelled “gross” and “stupid” with capital letters.)

For those married or engaged or close to it let’s say:

Comments

  1. Not exactly sure what “pawing” refers to. Is that another outdated term the young’uns won’t understand? “No necking, petting, or pawing.”

  2. I thought that was full of metaphorical meaning.

  3. Maybe “pawing” is a veiled reference to animals.

    I dated her for over two years; we’ve been married for 25 years next month; I can’t remember ever kissing her with my mouth closed. (maybe the first time or two, but my memory isn’t that good) Any particular reason that parenthetical is in the second option as a limiting description?

  4. Kevin Barney says:

    The four months I was engaged were absolutely brutal. There’s a reason Mormons have short engagements…

  5. When my fiance and I would have to be in separate states when the semester ended we starting to wonder if we couldn’t somehow stay together in Provo. But then my husband said, “Actually, it would be nice to NOT have to always be worried about where my hands are.” I concurred. We made no further attempts to try to spend the last 2.5 months of our engagement together.
    In your poll it would have been nice to see something about pawing with various levels of success at some restraint since it definitely wasn’t a free for all for us, but I couldn’t honestly answer french kissed only.

  6. I was engaged for 9 months. I honeslty don’t know how we didn’t go all the way and honestly we didn’t do anything that would get you an interview but it was extraordinarily difficult not to go all the way. Even after we divorced I felt so bad I went to the bishop and he just said, “don’t worry about it” so I felt relieved, then and now. Though in the future I would do things differently.

  7. Well, what does a bishop do when a couple confesses to

  8. going nearly all the way or all the way…when they come to him after the marriage ceremony?

  9. In this particular case, I believe he told them to keep their mouths shut and get on with life. A judgement tailored to the particular couple no doubt.

  10. I think a Bishop would determine attitude. If they care and feel remorse then I probably wouldn’t do anything but if they wave it off and feel nothing then maybe something would happen is my guess that I never want to know for a certainty!

  11. We waited, and I wish we had just done what felt natural at the time. It sure would have made that first year of marriage much easier – I think almost all that early conflict came largely from going straight from wonderful make-outs straight to really bad, awkward sex that no one enjoyed. It almost felt like a curse for doing what we thought we were supposed to. It all worked out fine, but I can’t imagine the guilt of letting things go farther, sooner being worse than the pain it took to get things to fine.

  12. I have no opinion to express on the subject a hand, but I would like to offer some made-up, obscure old-timey terms for sexual activity short of intercourse:

    Assaulting Little Round Top
    Whittling
    Posting a letter to Grandpop
    Brining
    Cabin chinking

  13. Is “kissing with your mouth closed” even really kissing? Reminds me of “kissing” my grandma. She called them pecks. Definitely not sexy.

    All the interesting categories lie in the gray area between french kissing, and “pawing” and pawing and “going all the way”. Also, for honesty’s sake you should include “went all the way”. I imagine not an insignificant number of couples ended up there.

    We had two choices about when to get married. I wanted to wait for the later one so that I would hit the 6 month home from my mission mark. She wanted the earlier date. Wise, wise girl.

  14. Glad to see my wanton pawing puts me in the plurality…

  15. I put pawing, although more because it wasn’t just french kissing… I’m not sure what pawing constitutes but we did manage to make it through our seemingly endless 2.3 month engagement without fooling around in such a way that we had to see our Bishop. Mostly because we lived 35 minutes away from each other rather than 50 yards like when we were dating.

  16. IngridLola says:

    [edited by admin]

  17. Pawing is a general category which might include grinding at the doorstep or more specific touching of secondary or primary sexual body parts, or stuff Brad did that he told me about or going all the way on the second date I suppose. You can be specific in the comments if you want.

    BTW, necking = kissing the neck. Regarded as extremely sensual behavior 80 years ago. Kissing somewhere below the mouth was just not done in polite society among the unmarried (and maybe even among the marrieds).

  18. Oh my word. My husband and I were engaged for a mere 3 1/2 months. We had both had previous sexual relations and been through the repentance process. But we are highly sexual people. We did everything shy of the actual deed itself, often. And I felt no guilt. None. Still don’t 8 years later. We got married in the temple. No guilt. I felt/feel worthy. We are very active people. I’ve never had the shame associated with sex or it’s pre curates. My husband I had a glorious wedding night. No awkwardness. Beautiful communication about sex and desires. I do not regret the way we did it one bit. It was beautiful, loving, passionate, and it still is. Dealing with bishops does nothing for me. I feel like I answer only to God. I feel bad for those who were so “pure” before their wedding night. How akward and boring! And are they any better people than me, with a better marriage than me? I doubt it.

  19. StillConfused says:

    Haha. This reminds me how I found you guys and earned my name of StillConfused. The whole petting / heavy petting crazy words.

  20. “I feel bad for those who were so “pure” before their wedding night.”

    Don’t – at least, not for all of us.

    “How akward”

    Yes.

    “and boring!”

    No.

    “And are they any better people than me, with a better marriage than me?”

    No – but you aren’t better with a better marriage than some of us, either.

    Sorry, but those sentences just rubbed me the wrong way, to say it in a manner consistent with the topic at hand (or paw).

  21. Yeah, I couldn’t figure out if #18 was intentionally trying to be condescending or just was….Regardless, it was a pretty tactless response, especially if someone actually did struggle with sex because of the consequences of trying to be chaste before marriage.

  22. You’re right Ray. Bad wording. Clearly, keeping it pure can be a lovely and divine thing. I couldn’t say everyone should mess around before marriage. I guess I just feel bad for the ones who end up with strange sexual issues because of the way they thought about sex. (dirty, wrong, lustfu,etc) and who can’t shake those feelings after sex. I know plenty of people who kept it clean beforehand and have great sex lifves. But I also know a lot who still struggle with communication and closeness after years of marriage. I guess I just hate the guilt heaped upon people. And certainly I am no better than anyone else. You are absolutely right. No way. But you better believe that 90% of LDS people would judge me as “less” because of my choices. And that’s not true either.

  23. Yeah, anon, I agree with your last comment – including, unfortunately, the last part.

  24. My oldest sister and her fiance decided to not tempt themselves while engaged. They didn’t kiss. Ever. My mom thought it was brilliant. We sat through one FHE where my parents explained that by only holding hands and waiting to kiss for the first time over the altar in the temple, it would exalt their love to a higher level. Even at 10 years old I knew that sounded fishy. I thought my sister was dumb and her fiance was weird.

    I vowed right then and there, in the middle of FHE that if I ever got a chance to kiss a boy, I would take it and not feel bad. And I did. Repeatedly.

    When I was engaged to marry in the temple, my fiance complimented my excellent kissing. I told him he had the gospel to thank for my skills.

  25. So living in zion, how did it turn out with your sister?

  26. The sad reality is that many LDS couples have sexually dysfunctional marriages.

    My spouse decided to stop all sexual relationships a decade ago. I know others in the same boat.

    Others, I know, have never seen each other naked (do it in garments). Some women think it is something they have to do for their husband, with no consideration for themselves.

  27. Garments, whatever their virtues, are inimical to sexiness. Can’t even imagine a fully-clothed sex life. Eww. Hope that’s not remotely widespread.

  28. #24 – BCoW – especially the last two paragraphs

  29. No option for going all the way before marriage? I guess “paws” can include other appendages?

  30. #25 – after 30 plus years of marriage and a boat load of kids, I would say elevated love worked for them. I would also say I still think my brother-in-law is weird and I am glad to not be stuck with him for eternity. My sister can have him.

  31. I knew a girl in college who decided not to kiss before the wedding (her fiance also agreed, of course). Later, they regretted that they hadn’t kissed at least once because of the awkwardness of a first kiss over the altar with everyone watching.

    One can believe in chastity and still not view sex as something dirty or evil. I have not been in a marriage that where sex was dirty or taboo. That is just a weird attitude for a married couple.

  32. Sharee Hughes says:

    I believe it was David O McKay who said he had never kissed his wife before he married her, but he had kissed his girlfriend lots of times.

  33. #32. Sources, sources.

  34. I’d be very interested to see a breakdown of those who had vaginal intercourse and those who didn’t, and those who had it with their future spouse and those who had it with someone else. Clearly they’re non-zero percentages, and an anonymous poll might be just the place to get an idea of what’s actually going on.

  35. Anonforthisone says:

    Judging by the amount of times BYU/Provo YSA bishops are talking about sex in the wards lately, I’d say its happening a lot. And the more talks that are given, the more callous some (unfortunately) get.

  36. Glass Ceiling says:

    A little advice for Singles…

    Sex is a lot like air: As long as you’re getting it, it’s really no big deal.

  37. Yes, that overnight journey from polite handshakes and the occasional chaste hug or peck on the lips to sexual contortionist is a doozy.

  38. Another bit of advice for everyone: be a lot more worried about how you and your (future) spouse solve problems together than whether or not you’re sexually compatible.

    Because the two things are not as different as you might think.

  39. SilverRain, I would add that being sexually compatible helps in the solving-problems-together bit. A spouse with a fairly active libido who isn’t getting laid will grow rather resentful and many problems that could have been solved easily won’t be.

  40. #36 for CotW

  41. TyInTheSKy says:

    Second #36 for CotW

  42. I say no French kissing and no touching of any places that arouse (even if that’s an ear and even if whatever place is covered by clothing). If a guy doesn’t agree or doesn’t work just as hard as I do to support that, there’s no reason for me to be in a relationship with him.

  43. So, holding hands never quickened your pulse and brought a rosy glow to your cheeks? If any touch that arouses is off limits, I’d think you’d need a full suit of armor–or maybe a deep-sea diver’s suit.

  44. Lots of truth in 36 and 39.

  45. Lots of truth in #39 in a typical relationship, I suppose.

    And that’s not a compliment.

    But I’m speaking from a place where I am prepared to consider my spouse’s needs more than my own.

  46. #42 If you find the guy you’re looking for, I would be seriously concerned about your marriage prospects. Your perfect boyfriend might not turn out to be a perfect husband.

  47. SilverRain, I’ve lurked here long enough to be passingly familiar with your personal story, so please appreciate that the following question is posed by one who at least recognizes the direction you may approach the topic from…

    Are you saying that when one spouse or the other feels sexually rejected / unloved / isn’t remotely having their needs met (I’m talking major disconnects here, not minor differences on the topic between spouses), that that issue doesn’t bleed over into many other issues in the relationship?

  48. MikeInWeHo says:

    re: 42
    I can see why so many Mormon women wind up marrying closeted Mormon gay men.

  49. Mike FTW!

    There are some other worthy comments, but I ‘d like to amend my previous nomination:

    #48 – BCoW

  50. We did everything shy of actual intercourse before were married. I can already tell I’m going to love the responses on this thread, and eagerly await the inevitable trolls and troll-baiting.
    Re: the sex and air thing. It’s true even when you’re married. I wish someone had told me how much children and MMORPGs can have an impact on how much sex is being had.

  51. It might be interesting to read what people can come up with for possible meanings of “MMORPGs” – and I use “interesting” intentionally in a thread like this.

  52. Anon #47—Not exactly. What I’m saying is that isn’t an excuse. Sure, not having one’s own needs met might make it more difficult to be Christlike within a marriage, but it’s not a REASON to be less Christlike in a marriage.

    Too many people think of marriage as a way to get their needs met. Many people even think of that in romantic terms, as if the best possible marriage is defined by both parties getting their needs met perfectly (or close to perfectly.) I find that an extremely distasteful view of marriage. Marriage should be a companionship, a team, a melding of purpose and mind, a place where two people can change and grow together and closer to the Lord. All of that takes hard work and likely discomfort. But I’m willing to spend any amount of work, endure any amount of discomfort, for something as potentially amazing as a real marriage.

    While I don’t necessarily agree with Michelle’s #42 when taken to an extreme, if a man has to be gay in order to respect a woman’s boundaries and body, then I guess I’d rather be married to a gay man.

  53. And that last was slightly sarcastic, in case that isn’t clear.

    I prefer to think more highly of men than to think that they are incapable of self-control and respect of a woman.

  54. …if a man has to be gay in order to respect a woman’s boundaries and body, then I guess I’d rather be married to a gay man.

    I’m sorry, SilverRain.

  55. Seriously, is it any wonder that the bestselling romantic fetishization of marital/sexual submission (written by a Mormon woman and consumed voraciously by Mormon women) describes the loss of virginity as an event so rife with the violence of unrestrained male sexual desire that it leaves the bride covered in bruises (but still feeling special) on her honeymoon?

  56. Brad: I’m having a really hard time with the fact that this is teenage angst and it’s 40somethings going bonkers over it.

  57. Exactly, MJ.

  58. I guess The Story of O is a little above grade level for submissive literature.

  59. Seriously, a couple of novels worth of hyperfetishized abstinence (abstinence which protects the passive girl from the sexual appetite of her paramour), followed by the consummate violence of the honeymoon, followed (immediately) by the all consuming, cosmically significant pregnancy…

    The most radical women’s studies scholar couldn’t have better scripted both the content of the Twilight books or the, um, enthusiastic reaction of millions of Mormon women to them.

  60. But it’s CLEAN!

  61. Clean. And oh-so-dirty…

  62. Anony-miss says:

    To quote the great Tom Lehrer “When correctly viewed, EVERYTHING is lewd”

  63. sigh

  64. I’m just glad that Brad has read the books/seen the movies as proxy for all the rest of us men so we don’t have to waste the time and money on them.

  65. esodhiambo says:

    I had a roommate who described the phenomenon of couples who waited until they could have their first kiss over the alter: 0 to 360. Personally, I think they are crazy.

  66. Sure, not having one’s own needs met might make it more difficult to be Christlike within a marriage, but it’s not a REASON to be less Christlike in a marriage.

    I agree completely.

  67. #54 Moriah, why are you sorry? Are you seriously saying that the only way a man can respect a woman’s body is if he has no sexual interest in her?

  68. SilverRain, I’m sorry because you “sound” sad. If that’s not the case, then I apologize.

    Are you seriously saying that the only way a man can respect a woman’s body is if he has no sexual interest in her?

    No. I have a feeling I may have been misunderstanding your comments, but I’ve reread this:

    …if a man has to be gay in order to respect a woman’s boundaries and body, then I guess I’d rather be married to a gay man.

    several times and I can’t draw any other conclusion than that’s what *you* are saying. We’re not talking about random males. We’re talking about a man who is either engaged or married to a woman he loves enough to commit his life (and eternity) to, with whom he should expect to find sexual satisfaction with, either in the near future or some time in the next day or week or so.

    Respecting boundaries is one thing. Having withholding of affection is an entirely different thing.

    Comment #42:

    I say no French kissing and no touching of any places that arouse (even if that’s an ear and even if whatever place is covered by clothing). If a guy doesn’t agree or doesn’t work just as hard as I do to support that, there’s no reason for me to be in a relationship with him.

    made me think exactly the same thing MikeInWeHo said:

    I can see why so many Mormon women wind up marrying closeted Mormon gay men.</blockquote.

    To my mind, an affianced man who finds the strength to live up to #42's requirements may be superhumanly disciplined or uninterested in the woman in question. And so…what's the point? One rent payment and a shared bank account?

  69. Oops. Messed up that blockquote.

    Further, a woman who can’t differentiate respecting boundaries and disinterest is handicapped from the get-go.

  70. Can’t differentiate or chooses not to differentiate?

  71. Well, now that’s an interesting question, isn’t it?

    For the time being (I could change my mind at any point), I’ll say CAN’T.

  72. …if a man has to be gay in order to respect a woman’s boundaries and body, then I guess I’d rather be married to a gay man.

    I know this is a sarcastic comment, but I don’t think anyone is saying a man has to be gay, or anything close to gay, to respect a woman’s body. But I guess that depends on what you mean by “respecting a woman’s body.” Many men forgo sex before marriage and after marraiage during times of illness, pregnancy and its aftermath, or even when the wife is too tired or doesn’t feel like it. But if my wife never wanted to have sex, or only suffered through it to “meet my needs,” then I would feel rejected and unloved. And no, that wouldn’t give me an excuse to act less Christ-like, but it would be a substantial roadblock to a fulfilling relationship.

  73. Anonymous 13 says:

    Many men forgo sex during pregnancy? Really? And even in the aftermath of pregnancy, when doctors recommend not having “regular” sex, many men forgo all forms of sex? Wow. Not sure I believe that. If it’s true, I feel sorry for those men.

  74. I have often been shocked by stories about what BYU students have done in order to comply with the law of chastity, by exploiting the loopholes. Sex is out, but if you add an adjective, it’s apparently okay! I also was shocked at how little my fellow BYU students from Utah knew about sex. It seems like this is the byproduct of abstinence-only sex ed where someone assumes parents are filling in the gaps in education and where parents assume that it’s not good to fill in those gaps (so to speak).

    A friend of mine who was a bishop 15 years ago in SLC said they did a survey among the youth. A FAR higher percentage of youth thought it was a sin to use profanity than to engage in oral sex at that time. That’s a really unexpected interpretation of Matthew 15:11.

  75. Anonymous 13,
    I don’t know about many men, but some men do, simply because that’s what’s necessary. In my case, during all three of my wife’s pregnancies, we didn’t have sex for fear of causing an abortion. It took us long enough to get pregnant at all, much less keep the pregnancy to term. After birth, there have been additional problems including excessive bleeding, that made sex impossible. Through all that time, however, there has been no lack of love or desire for either of us. It’s just that other things were more important.

    Sure, you can feel sorry for us, but we don’t.

  76. Yes, many men forgo sex during pregnancy. And not necessarily because she wants to. Believe it. And feel sorry for the women too.

  77. Anonymous 13,

    Well, I didn’t conduct a scientific study of the subject, I’m just basing it on the select number of guys I talk about such things with, so maybe I’m wrong.

    TracyM,

    I’m sure you are correct, but I had in mind foregoing sex because of an abnormally difficult pregnancy.

  78. Anonymous 13 says:

    But are you saying many couples forgo sex in normal cases during pregnancy, or just when they’re following doctor’s orders? If during normal cases, why?

    As far as forgoing it when the health of the mother or fetus is in danger–that I understand, and I’m happy for the couple that successfully has a child after that. But if, as I suspect, some men forgo sex during pregnancy because they find their wife unattractive, I stand by my earlier remarks–I feel sorry for them. And I certainly feel sorry for their wives too.

  79. I’m not sure why my previous post wasn’t enough clarification for you, and you are completely ignoring the context of my original comment. As I said, I’m talking about abnormally difficult pregnancies. I was giving examples of situations in which men have sexual desire for their wives but forgo doing it. Whether a doctor orders it or not, I was talking about the husband respecting the wishes of the wife. If the wife doesn’t want to have sex because of pregnancy issues, then yes, most men I know wouldn’t push for it.

  80. “A friend of mine who was a bishop 15 years ago in SLC said they did a survey among the youth. A FAR higher percentage of youth thought it was a sin to use profanity than to engage in oral sex at that time. ”

    Hawk, I’m going to stick my neck out and call B.S. on this. I’ve heard this several times, but it sounds like Mormon folklore.

  81. NoNameToProtectTheGuilty says:

    My husband is on his second marriage… first wife wanted nothing to do with sex. Complained if he had the nerve to ask for it. Now he is with a woman who asks on a daily basis. He is in heaven now.

    I frankly don’t care at all if people have sex before marriage or wait… I do not view them any differently. The only thing that I will admit is scary is the 40 year old virgins out there. If you haven’t married by 30, I think the no sex before marriage rule should be waived.

  82. StillConfused says:

    #26 said “My spouse decided to stop all sexual relationships a decade ago. I know others in the same boat.” I feel so sorry for people married to someone like that. Please go and get a new spouse. You deserve happiness with a healthy person.

  83. “Please go and get a new spouse.”

    The ones that are that easy to get . . .

    I knew an older couple who divorced eventually because, in the words of their children, “He wanted sex with no kids, and she wanted kids with no sex.”

    They weren’t raised Mormon.

  84. 80 Martin – maybe you’re right, but if so, my friend who was a bishop and saw the results of the survey got false information; I don’t believe he personally made it up. Maybe the SP shared false information to make a point or implied the folklore was legit? Anything is possible in this crazy world of ours. I too was incredulous, but then my own observation was that there were a lot of Mormons who were getting talked into a lot of sexual line-crossing under the notion that it was technically OK.

  85. As a college freshman I listened to a taped lecture by Annie Dillard in which she brought up some survey or study indicating that Boston teenagers drank because they expected nuclear armaggedon. I listened to that and thought, “Oh, Annie, you kind-hearted, gullible woman.” The year before in my high school senior year English class, I and some friends were having fun discussing that morning’s invasion of Grenada. Mrs. Jensen told us to be quiet, so my friend Brian told her why we were chatting and pitched his spiel at her with just the right tone to elicit from her a couple minutes of sympathy for our fear that we might be drafted into a war just like the boys sent to Vietnam a dozen years earlier. Now, sometimes I had worried about being drafted, though not much after 1980, just as those Boston youth probably did worry sometimes about nuclear war. That morning, though, we were excited about some cool military action and then struggling to stifle our laughs as Brian played on Mrs. Jensen’s concerns. The tale from hawkgrrl’s bishop friend sounds like some more of youth telling ‘em what they want to hear. “Why did you touch the sacred parts of someone else’s body?” “Gee, bishop, I didn’t know it was wrong; we youth just don’t get clear enough teaching often enough about not doing that.”

  86. John M – now THAT I could see. My friend wouldn’t make something up, but he would take the bait!

  87. Anonymous 13 – In a 20 year marriage I have seen our sex life frequency go up and down. Many factors come into this. Pregnancy is just one of them. Other factors include: chemotherapy, job stress, female medical issues, male medical issues, life being too busy, hormonal changes, age changes, depression, etc. You can feel sorry for people all you want, but it is entirely normal to have sex drives that ebb and flow a little and your sex life to change. These changes are not always for the worse, sometimes desire increases and frequency increases. The advantage of having 20 years in a good marriage is that we can look back and say “that was a tough year” but we feel sorry for both of us….like the one who had cancer, not just the one who was supportive during cancer.

  88. Hawk, even if your bishop friend saw actual survey results rather than heard them, the most likely explanation is that those SLC teenagers didn’t even know what oral sex was. They didn’t have the internet back then.

    The guy I work with advising the deacons quorum told me a story about how he came home from his mission and noticed that his good friend’s younger sister didn’t take the sacrament. Being a presumptuous RM, he took her for a drive and asked how she was doing, and under his relentless prodding she broke down in tears and told him that she’d had oral sex with her boyfriend. She confessed to her bishop, who’d told her to confess to her parents and not to take the sacrament. This guy was stunned — he’d known this girl a long time and she struck him as being as innocent and naive as she’d always been. So, he continued to ask questions and realized she’d just been making out. He started to laugh and explained to her what oral sex really was. He said her face turned dark red and she stuttered “My parents think I…! Ahh!!!” I guess it’s tricky being bishop — not asking too many questions, but making sure you ask enough.

    I remember being warned as a teen that herpes could be translated orally as well. I remember thinking “As well…? Oh yeah, as well as sexually. Wait… Whoa.” So I asked “You mean, you can get it from kissing?!” Answer: a condescending “No”. Oh. Okay. Good. So…why’d you say that? But I wasn’t going to ask any more questions. I didn’t figure it out for years.

  89. I meant “transmitted”, not “translated”. Not sure if that was Freudian or not, but if it was, I can’t figure it out.

  90. Rethinking my story above, it was Rachel Carson, not Annie Dillard. Sorry for any confusion you got reading that, Ann.

  91. I’ve pawed around. I keep it at only because I made specific promises in the temple to not have sex, and because I don’t want my girlfriend’s parents to have probable cause to murder me.

    I don’t know where the proverbial line is. I imagine mine is farther along than many other members, but I’ve never felt guilty about anything. I don’t understand how people are able to handle this 2 year engagements.

  92. Steve Evans says:

    Wow, annon, that’s a tremendous attitude!

  93. My husband and I could hardly keep our hands off each other. It was a rough few months, and we did go far enough a couple times that we felt we needed to see the bishop, but the way the bishop dealt with things was WAY different than how it would have been dealt with had we just been dating (we both know from personal experience, and not with each other).

    Looking back, I think we’ll be raising our sons a LOT different than how my husband was raised, and more openly than even my parents raised me. I think it’s a huge disservice to the youth to be so vague about sex. Sex isn’t bad. It should be saved for the person you’re going to marry, but getting a bit of experience isn’t a bad thing, either.

    I had a wonderful bishop who gave some great advice to our ward. He told us to NOT be afraid to kiss. Including french kissing. You need to know if you’re attracted to each other, after all. Because being married to my best friend is great, but the fact that we find each other irresistably hot is that much better.

  94. San Pete wrangler says:

    Martin, your friend’s experience with the young sister in his ward is very likely dated. In these times virtually all adolescents are very ‘up to speed’ on exactly what oral sex is and how it is to be performed. This has certainly been the case since the ’70′s in Salt Lake City. Before the Church Plaza was created out of Main Street, I remember walking home from work in the early hours of the morning and finding a young high school couple in a car performing fellatio, (no, it’s not an Italian opera), in front of the east gates of Temple Square and thus directly below Moroni. Historically, even the rural folk of Zion knew of this, the cowboys of the late 1800′s through the early 1900′s referred to it as “swa-son nerf”, a corruption from the French for the number 69. I believe that for all except for a very, very naive few their ignorance is feigned. For the others, feigning ignorance covers a multitude of sins. To this day I remain convinced that raging teenage hormones can easily out run the internet when it comes to sex. Ultimately, the Watchman of Israel neither slumbers nor doth He sleep. No one gets away with any inappropriate or unseemly deed. As long as you know that you will be held accountable, follow your conscience.

  95. @San Pete wrangler–it probably ISN’T outdated. I have plenty of friends who are naive about such things. No kidding, I’ve had to educate more than a couple of my friends about a few things, and we don’t even live in Utah.

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