This is the first of a series of guest posts on learning about sex within different religious contexts. Here’s a link to our guest post invitation.
I apologize after sex. Yes, I literally say, “I’m sorry.” Actually I have come a long way in recent years about uttering the actual phrase, but the urge is still pressing every time.
I apologize because the message to young women of virtue above all else, modesty to the extreme, that a licked cupcake is a ruined sacred soul is a message that was heard loud and clear by young men as well.
I apologize because the loving act that was just experienced with my dear wife was not long ago the object of dire warnings and a thing of eternally negative consequences.
I apologize because I momentarily failed to be the ascetic saint, tempering passions and appetites and instead giving into desire to be close to my spouse. I apologize because I let that which makes me human, the most base of our desires, have its way.
I apologize because I ignored the disparate, inconsistent rules governing sexual relations as inconsistently defined by old men and folk doctrine. I apologize for having attempted to find excitement and connection and passion with my wife but because of such confusion on the rules of engagement, playing it safe is the best bet. . . and yet I still gamble.
I apologize because sex was never defined or described as fun, pleasurable, fulfilling or even as important for a healthy relationship, but I decided to have fun with it anyway.
I apologize because sex was taboo until it wasn’t (kiss over the altar – it’s all good!). In fact it was worse than taboo; it was second only to murder in the power-rankings of sin. How can we talk of sex in the same breath as we speak of murder, and then expect that negative connotations won’t follow us into our adult married lives, haunting our bedrooms and poisoning what could be so much sweeter?
I apologize because the good girl doesn’t do what this bad boy would like, and when she does, the good boy shames himself into a state of regret. I apologize because the good girl has been conditionally defined as being a slut should she even want to participate. Women with sexual needs–certainly not!–and so we both apologize for giving in to the wants of the self and the wants of the other. We feel embarrassed for thinking we might just want more.
I apologize and I am not even a believing member anymore! I can’t imagine the apologies cried out silently and otherwise from those still devout and wishing to be obedient yet as confused as I once was. I sympathize for the homosexual Mormon being crushed by guilt at every turn. I know they want to scream. I apologize for singling out LDS culture and doctrine in this post. I know they don’t have a monopoly on retarding intimacy, but from where I sit they certainly seem very ‘efficient’ in the task.
I apologize for speaking for my wife on this issue, but for her to speak out would be a sign of dissent and that just can’t happen, so she internalizes and the self-inflicted penitence continues. I suppose they cannot warn us enough with regards to pornography as it destroys marriages and families, but strictly verboten eroticism is destroying mine.
At least I won’t apologize for trying to teach my children differently.
[This post was originally published here]