Sex & the Single Mormon (Weekend Poll)

by: wheatmeister

August 2, 2014

Being single and celibate is no picnic.  What if that single status stretches on for much longer than hoped?

What would you do related to the law of chastity if you were an older single Mormon?

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Discuss.

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31 Responses to Sex & the Single Mormon (Weekend Poll)

  1. lostamongthecorn on August 2, 2014 at 6:40 AM

    Not so much a “would” but a “did”. Moved to another country, got a girlfriend, totally ignored mormon chastity rules.

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  2. NewlyHousewife on August 2, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    Once you age out of the YSA wards, people assume you already have had sex. Otherwise your frosty cupcake would have been scooped up by a worthy partner already.

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  3. Left Field on August 2, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    Why is this phrrased as a hypothetical? And why can you only choose one? I did three.

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  4. Howard on August 2, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    I’ve dated enough middle aged LDS divorcees and widows to know that there is quite a range to the possibilities from completely obeying the law of chastity (very boring dating) to rationalized workarounds creatively aimed at retaining their temple recommends including manual, oral, d*ck soaking and a*nal, others prefer to just binge and then confess Catholic style. I met one women who had been married 6 times because she likes sex but can’t seem to maintain a relationship but doesn’t want to break the LoC so instead she has an eclectic collection of children from different fathers and a very long paper trail. In truth the LoC is pretty unrealistic for the majority of single adults.

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  5. MOQT on August 2, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    You need another option in the poll. I just don’t have sex – or anything close to it. But I also have no plans to get married, so I assume I will be celibate in this life. But it’s not that big of a deal to me. Doesn’t require prayer or extraordinary willpower for me. I imagine it would be tougher for those who’ve tried it. But I can’t miss something I’ve experienced. If I ever do marry, I can almost guarantee he won’t be LDS (unless he’s a super liberal feminist type of guy).

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  6. MOQT on August 2, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    Oops, something I’ve never experienced.

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  7. Howard on August 2, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    Oh forgot the mention those who do what comes naturally and simply answer the recommend questions in a way that results in renewal. Actually I think this approach is becoming much more popular, I do a lot of charity socializing and I’ve met a number garment waring LDS couples who drink socially and are unapologetic about it.

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  8. Resigned on August 2, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    I think that the current means to meet a worthy LDS potential spouse is is only met sufficiently and adaquately for the Church population attending LDS universities.

    Everyone else is living with some level of compromise. It is shameful. Everyone and no one is to blame. But until we want change bad enough to start communicating with each other in a way that is solution oriented (as in realizing that we need Church leadership’s help and that they need ours in order to find solutions), rather than pride oriented (such as saying things like “The singles don’t need a nanny-state in order to get them married. I can do it myself; why can’t you?” rhetoric)…then we will stay divided. Satan wants things ad they now are and is currently getting great mileage on it.

    Every single single in the Church is desperate. Most have sex-drives, and most blanksterbate when they need to. There are the heroic few who do not, but who’s counting? I believe it can be considered crisis management…which only makes sense, considering the fact that there is a singles crisis within the Church. I believe that it puts the very Church and Gospel itself in crisis. What element of the Church does the deprorable singles situation NOT negatively affect in some way?

    6 million pound gorrilla, emperor’s clothes…call it what you will. I call it a tragedy that threatens the very Restoration itself. But many will continue to deny it. Just remember that there is no devil more powerful than the one that doesn’t exist.

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  9. Resigned on August 2, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    The Devil is in the details. We can either ignore it or explore it. Either way, we all know how the movie will go. We know that ignoring any problem in life only serves to multiply it. And we also know (in the immortal words of The Smiths’ Moz): “A rush and a push and the land is ours. “

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  10. spinster on August 2, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    It’s so beyond not fair. I’m 38, never married. No LDS men in the church for me to marry on the east coast, but nonLDS men won’t date a celibate woman. Darned if I do darned if I don’t. Only logical answer is to leave the church or wait until you get x’d. OR practice a range of the above and endure all the guilt shame frustration misery.

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  11. spinster on August 2, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    P.S. – “Life is very long when you’re lonely” Moz

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  12. Howard on August 2, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    No LDS men in the church for me to marry…but nonLDS men won’t date a celibate woman.

    This is a big problem, apparently beyond the early 20s the choice in eligible LDS men is very disappointing. Also women who were married in the temple but are now divorced or widowed report some men on LDS dating sites see them as damaged goods because they can be sealed again and they want more wives in the celestial kingdom!

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  13. PZ on August 2, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    Nothing shuts down a sex drive faster than the prospect of a 21st century marriage, IMO.

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  14. Resigned on August 2, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Someone please remind me, who was it who said we should be anxiously engaged in a good cause?

    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t there a difference between being anxiously engaged and being merely anxious?

    “The Devil will find work for idle hands to do.” (Moz)

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  15. LH on August 2, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    I left the church as a 31-year-old single. The LoC had begun to feel like a death sentence. But it wasn’t just sex– it was facing a life without the hope of a loving marriage and children. The argument that I could have those things in the next life was insulting and damning — as though this life doesn’t mean anything.

    The decision to leave is painful and fraught with anxiety. But since I left, I feel alive with hope and a desire to live fully and live well. And for me, that includes claiming my sexuality, finding love and (hopefully) having a family.

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  16. Janie on August 2, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    Interesting poll, but it doesn’t take into account the cold hard truth that a decently large percentage of LDS marriages, just like non-LDS marriages, are sexless.

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  17. The Other Clark on August 2, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Considering the official church statistic that 1/3 of all adults (18+) in the church are single, this is a huge issue.

    Why isn’t “lobby to reinstate polygamy” one of the options on the poll? :-)

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  18. alice on August 2, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    # 16

    What makes you think a large number of marriages are sexless?

    Sometimes, as we age, we have diminished needs. Then too, a time comes when we have to learn new ways of using old bodies but that’s not the same thing as being in a sexless marriage.

    I’m also aware that more people are discovering or becoming more open about the fact that they have low or no sex drives. But both these situations are different from young people with healthy libidos who end up with imposed long lonely love lives if they haven’t paired off by their mid-20s. My heart goes out to them.

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  19. Janie on August 2, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    Alice 18 Estimates are between 15 and 20% across ages, even among those with supposedly healthy libidos, obviously increasing with age. Why? Because high libido exhibited during the dating and early marriage phase is not a long term predictor of continued libido. Sex between two people is complicated.

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  20. alice on August 2, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    #19

    Yes, sexual attraction is complicated and it’s also an evolving/devolving and changing thing. What I’m saying is that taking a snapshot at one The sexual life that a couple shares ebbs and flows from day to day and also from decade to decade. And it can rekindle just as much as it can wane.

    But none of this speaks to the predicament of those who have celibacy forced on them by virtue of being dependent on the choices and commitments of others and the failure thereof. The church doesn’t offer much to those it tells us should exercise lifelong celibacy. That’s very different from gradually choosing a period of celibacy or having it imposed by health issues after having enjoyed normal (whatever that is in each couple’s life) sexual activity. Meanwhile, if the record of Catholic priests fully and voluntarily committed to celibacy tells us anything, I think it would be that it’s too much to ask and that far more noxious things happen when reasonable sanctioned alternatives aren’t provided.

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  21. alice on August 2, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    In the first paragraph there’s a sentence that should continue: taking a snapshot at one moment in a marriage is no more indicative of the future than pre-marital dating patterns are.

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  22. MOQT on August 2, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    I think my comment got deleted for some reason. Not sure why. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone, but basically, I think you need another option – for those who are celibate and don’t struggle with it. I’m not praying and waiting for marriage, but I’m also not feel deprived by the whole celibacy thing. A lot of my single female friends feel the same way. It’s just not that big of a deal. Even if that’s not the norm, it’s still a valid viewpoint.

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  23. MOQT on August 2, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    Sigh. Nope it’s there. Apparently it’s the cache on my phone refusing to update. Sorry bout that.

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  24. Left Field on August 2, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    Yeah, all the choices presuppose a great deal more angst than I experienced.

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  25. Stacy on August 2, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    I’m sick of the assumption in the bloggernacle that there are no single people in the audience. There is no “if I were” an older single. I am one. We exist. Stop treating us as if we’re research specimens you need to study so you can fix us.

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  26. Resigned on August 3, 2014 at 1:40 AM

    Rock on, Stacy…. I’m 45, and I might as well be 95.

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  27. SilverRain on August 3, 2014 at 6:58 AM

    Having been both married and divorced, I far prefer the life of celibacy to what my married sex life was.

    Some people in this world have a life beyond sex, interests outside of sex, and problems more compelling than not having sex.

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  28. Stephen M (Ethesis) on August 3, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    I was celibate until married at 29.

    Was emotionally hard more than anything.

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  29. Rivkah on August 3, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    As a 44-year-old single, celibate woman, I echo Stacy’s comment above. Why do you assume that no one here is actually *living* the hypothetical situation you describe? And your simplistic options for answering the question reveal your biases as well as the fact that you simply do not get it.

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  30. Left Field on August 4, 2014 at 7:30 AM

    Given that both the question and the offered choices are directed towards people who have not actually lived as an older single, the poll mostly provides insight into how single life is viewed by those who married young. The choices are mostly of the form, “I’d rather do ____ than be celibate.” But not everybody can find a partner. Not everybody has the physical capacity for sex. Not everybody finds celibacy to be intolerable. Perhaps it’s “no picnic,” but not every meal needs to be a picnic. Those who are single and celibate are not exercising superhuman willpower. They’re not miserable and pitiable. Like everyone else, they’re just playing the hand life gave them.

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  31. Lisa D on August 5, 2014 at 7:44 AM

    To further echo the comments by Stacy, Rivkah, and Left Field, it sucks to be single and celibate at the age of 39. But guess what? I live a full and happy life regardless, rich with experiences and human relationships. The ONLY place where I am treated like a freak and not granted status as a full-fledged adult is at church by married people. It is the only place where the fact that I have no one to legally sleep with makes my thoughts and opinions something that people don’t respect because apparently somehow sharing a bed makes one’s voice valid. I am sick and tired of hearing about people (leaders included) who have never had to live celibate livestalk about single people as a problem to be solved — and one that can be solved by telling them to read the freaking For The Strength of Youth Pamphlet. You married people are more than your sex lives, as are our LGBT sisters and brothers. Filling the measure of our creation is about FAR more than whether or not someone reproduces, but as long as we focus only on that, we are going to be pushing people out who we desperately need among us.

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