LDS View | The Disturbing Trend of Mormon Sex Blogs

Why do Mormon sex blogs ignore the reality of lust?

In the “Mormon Moment,” Latter-day Saints are seizing opportunities to share their views with the world. We are definitely proving that in many ways, we are a peculiar people–not necessarily because we’re unique, but more because we really are just a bit odd when compared to “mainstream” American culture. One of the most popular styles of blogging these days is the “Mormon mommy blog.” Even atheist feminists and other decidedly “non-Mormon” types admit to being enraptured with the creativity and generally upbeat attitudes of these writers. Mormon mommies have almost single-handedly made stay-at-home parenting cool again.

There has been, however, another trend that I find very disturbing on many levels: the proliferation of “Mormon sex blogs.” [For obvious reasons, I’m not including links in this piece.] The Mormon sex blogs tend to share some similar characteristics amongst themselves. One is an apparent desire to show the world that at least some Latter-day Saints can have sex and then talk about that sex on par with even the most vulgar members of today’s internet society. They seem determined to demonstrate that at least some Latter-day Saints are “mainstream” when it comes to sex.

Another unifying characteristic of the Mormon sex blogs is the cloned bios of the contributors. The writers often describe themselves as devout, life-long Latter-day Saints who go to worship services on Sunday and hold service and leadership callings in their respective congregations. They read the Church’s monthly magazine, The Ensign, and hold Family Home Evening each Monday night. And they all enjoy frequent, eye-popping, sizzling, mega-hot sex with their loving and devoted spouse to whom they were sealed in marriage in a beautiful and moving ceremony in one of the Church’s temples–before heading out on a honeymoon that could pretty much be described as non-stop sex of a kind that would make even porn stars blush. Those Mormon sex bloggers who are unmarried are not shy about describing their appreciation for the act of masturbation and how sex with themselves is more satisfying now than sex ever was with that inconvenient former spouse who lacked sex drive and imagination and was altogether too uptight about good ol’ uninhibited S-E-X.

The Mormon sex blogs also seem to share the notion that solo masturbation to porn by married individuals is OK as long as the non-participating spouse “gives permission.” If the spouse inexplicably withholds “permission,” however, masturbation is still OK because it is merely a perfectly natural act by a mentally, spiritually and physically healthy Mormon, with that health being evidenced by the nearly insatiable sex drive that he or she enjoys. Favorite sex positions and frequency of engaging in the sex act are common post and discussion topics. If they are to be believed, the more sex Mormons have, the better–and the more Mormons talk about sex, the better.

There is a notable smugness and self-righteous tone in Mormon sex blogs. These folks seem to view themselves as experts in the field of sexual intimacy because they have had lots and lots of sex with spouse and others (pre-endowment, issue resolved with proper priesthood authority, of course), have watched lots and lots of porn (because that’s where you learn about higher forms of nasty sex–and it’s really not that harmful if your enlightened spouse “gives permission”), and have been masturbating regularly–and without any guilt whatsoever–since happening upon this wonderful act of self-discovery at the perfectly proper age of [fill in the blank].

It appears to me, however, that all of these Mormon sex blogs are devoid of any meaningful discussion of the reality and detrimental effect of lust on the spirit, mind and body of those who feed it. It’s as though lust doesn’t exist in the Mormon sex blogger vernacular. With this vacuum in their dialog, Mormon sex blogs are really little more than lurid exposés on the sexual behavior of a few Mormon writers who basically indulge lust just like most of the rest of world. The message I get from them is that pretty much all sexual behavior is fine as long as it’s between consenting adults, and sex with self is also fine if you’re single–whether your singleness is long-term or just for the evening. In fact, they seem to be saying that a single person can do no wrong sexually as long as he doesn’t actually physically touch another person.

If I had to distill Mormon sex blogs down to one idea it would be that they do confirm that many Latter-day Saints are perfectly able to lust with the very strongest, most experienced and compulsive of the lusters “out in the world.” Based on their blogging, lust permeates their existence and taints their relationships in ways that would bring tears of joy to the eyes of Hollywood producers as they realized how successfully they had peddled their product to readily accepting consumers in both Utah and Southern Idaho.

I suspect that very few Mormon sex bloggers talk about lust because very few understand it. Most people who give it only half a second’s thought probably confuse it with something else: passion. I was at a meeting of Sexaholics Anonymous a while back where a guy showed up for the first time. This newcomer sat and listened wide-eyed as several men talked about the joy and freedom that comes from achieving progressive victory over lust. When asked if he wanted to share his thoughts, he shook his head vigorously and said, “Man, I don’t know if I want what you guys have! I love lust! It’s what I like about my marriage. I don’t want to give it up!” He didn’t understand that lust and passion are two different things. He thought he was going to be asked to give up passion if he stuck around in SA.

Passion is the excitement that is an important part of sexual intimacy. Passion is not lust. Passion within the bounds the Lord has set is healthy and is actually significantly more exciting, enjoyable and satisfying than lust-driven sex. Did you hear that, Mormon sex bloggers? Lust, in contrast, is using sexual thoughts, feelings and behaviors selfishly. It is “uncontrolled or illicit sexual desire or appetite,” also known as lecherousness (Dictionary.com: lust). Lust is not a good thing. Most people–including apparently Mormon sex bloggers–have never experienced lust-free sex, however, and don’t even know it exists.

Coming from a different perspective, sexaholics, or sex addicts, believe that lust is harmful and causes severe and long-lasting damage to the mind, body and spirit of those who indulge in it. We believe that many of our problems in all aspects of life are connected to our addiction to lust. We don’t think lust is funny or carefree. We are not indifferent to it because we recognize that lust is as dangerous for us as any form of alcohol would be for the alcoholic. If we are not vigilant, we get drunk and impaired by lust. We have come to accept that unless we find recovery from our addiction, lust will eventually kill us. We genuinely believe that lust can be fatal and we all know men or women whose lives were cut short by their addiction to lust.

In one Mormon sex blog I ran across (and even made the mistake of commenting on), a female LDS sex blogger dismissed “pornography addiction” as essentially a harmless vice. She indignantly contrasted it with drug addiction and then stated with obvious intellectual myopia that unlike drug addiction, no one had ever died of “pornography addiction.” According to her, no one had ever sold his or her kids to buy pornography. She clearly saw herself as a liberated thinker, but it was evident to me that she had never done any real study of the issue of sex and pornography addiction and she certainly had never been to a single meeting of Sexaholics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, S-Anon or CoSA. If she had, she would have quickly come to know that yes, people most assuredly do die of “pornography addiction” just as alcoholics die from their addiction or cocaine addicts die from theirs. People do sell their kids for various forms of pornography and abandon them and forget to feed them for days at time because of their addiction. Sex addiction (which includes the misnamed “porn addiction”) can and often does lead to promiscuity (including serial affairs, anonymous sex with strangers, and “unprotected sex”) which increases the risk of serious–even fatal–diseases for both the addict and his or her spouse.

I think these Mormon sex blogs run amok when they assume and assert that all sex is good sex and conversely that there’s no such thing as bad sex–especially if you’re married–or single and just masturbating to porn. The problem is that when lust invades the intimacy of the couple or the life of the single person, it does damage to minds, spirits and relationships. Lust-driven sex is like having a spiritual and mental hand grenade go off in the luster’s face. It injures not only the luster but also causes collateral damage to the nearby spouse. It would no doubt surprise Mormon sex bloggers to learn that lust impairs the individual’s ability to connect with and relate to other human beings. We’re not just talking about sex here. We’re talking about how lust messes up people’s heads and makes it so they can’t be socially healthy around others. Really.

The Mormon sex blogs ignore the fact that lust is destroying marriages both within and without the LDS church. When these folks talk with pride about their strong libido that often needs to be sated with porn consumption and masturbation, they discount the lust in their lust-driven behavior. Hey, Mormon sex bloggers! Here’s an issue for all of you to debate: Lust is killing Mormon marriages! Hopefully you’ll apply the same enthusiasm to this vital topic as you did when you discussed your favorite sex toys.

Sex is a drug. Lust is the misuse of this drug. Lust harms Latter-day Saints just as much as it harms the rest of the world. I wish the Mormon sex bloggers would talk more about this problem and then talk about the solutions. They are out there, but I guess you have to see a problem before you become interested in a solution. I desperately want the solution.

Comments

LDS View | The Disturbing Trend of Mormon Sex Blogs — 28 Comments

  1. I found this post interesting but I think you are painting with a broad brush. Enjoying sex, wanting sex, having great sex is not the same as lust, sex addiction or porn addiction. I can’t figure out why you think an LDS person blogging about sex is promoting porn and lust? How about promoting a healthy marriage relationship by improving the single most identifying factor in a marriage–sex? Or maybe I’m just a tad touchy because I am an LDS woman blogging about sex? I’d like to find some more Mormon sex blogs, to tell you the truth, but I’ve only found one other besides mine. I think there should be more, considering the proliferation of crap all over the internet about Mormons and sex. Oh, well!

    • You’re right that enjoying sex, wanting sex and having great sex are not the same as lust. I never asserted in my post that they were the same thing. I did, however, state that a lot of Mormon sex bloggers don’t seem to understand the difference between lust and passion and that much of what they discuss and describe in their sites is lust-driven behavior. Lust by definition is sex devoid of true passion. It is hurtful and harmful to marriages as well as human relations in general.

      While I’m all about promoting a healthy marriage relationship, you and I differ on the “single most identifying factor in a marriage.” You say it’s sex; I say it’s intimacy based upon trust and emotional vulnerability. Huge difference.

      I really do encourage the Mormon sex bloggers to educate themselves on the difference between passion and lust; find and interview some LDS folks whose lives and marriages have been damaged by lust, lust-driven behavior or lust addiction; and then ask their readers to consider the role of lust and lust-driven behavior in their sex lives. Contrary to what many Latter-day Saints (among others) seem to believe, sex is not the highest form of love. The Savior himself made this point emphatically (John 15:13). Mormons don’t need more sex and nastier sex to be happy. They, like all God’s children, need more true intimacy with their spouse, their neighbors (Luke 10:25-37), their Savior and the Father of their souls.

  2. [Moderated] One of my blog readers recently commented on a post about my husband’s recent excommunication due to sex addiction. I was describing the new found sexuality we had shared and the healing closeness felt expressed in sex. She left this comment:

    “Sex is such a strange, strange thing. It can be so healthy and healing, and so unhealthy and destructive. An expression of our deepest longings for each other or a weapon to be wielded in an abusive onslaught of the other person’s very soul.”

    It’s so clarifying for me to see and I have experienced how sex has been used in the world and then on the other end of the spectrum, experiencing an intimacy and closeness in sex that is healing and loving.

    • April: Thanks for reading and commenting. One of the biggest myths about sex out there even (or especially?) among Latter-day Saints is that anything goes as long as it’s with the spouse. Lust is destructive even when it’s between a wife and husband. Lust-free intimacy beats lust-driven sex by a million miles every time! I hope more Mormons will come to recognize the lust that has infiltrated their lives, and then work to eliminate it. Christ-like love cannot coexist with lust. Serve one or serve the other. That’s our choice.

  3. Whilst I think there is validity in some of your points, I think it is a very broad and unreasonable judgment of a wide group of people. Having read and contributed to one of these blogs, I cannot dispute that there are some who appear to be driven by lust, and who promote or condone activities which are clearly against LDS teachings.

    But there are others who come with sincere and genuine questions about appropriate sexuality. As a church, our culture conveys a message that ‘sex is bad, outside of marriage’ rather than ‘sex is good, within marriage’. This subtle, but massive difference often leads to the equally unhealthy ‘good girl syndrome’ where some members of the church cannot enjoy sexual intimacy with their spouse for fear they are committing sin.

    There is no doubt that many move from love to lust far too easily, even within the church. However, I think it is unfortunate that you paint every person who blogs a question about sex as lust driven.

    • I disagree. “Aspirin is a drug.” No negative connotation there. “Excedrin is a drug. Tylenol is a drug. Ibuprofen is a drug.” No negative connotation. “Chemotherapy is a whole bunch of drugs.” Same thing. Sex alters the way we feel. That’s what drugs do. That’s why people engage in sex–because of the way it makes them feel. Drugs are not necessarily bad. The abuse of a drug–including sex–is, however, very harmful to many more individuals than just the drug’s consumer.

  4. I think you are just jealous. Mormon couples are starting to realize that sex can be a good thing. Let them enjoy and share with the world.

    • There you go proving my point. What about lust, my friend? Care to discuss it? Care to acknowledge how it’s destroying Mormon marriages? How’s lust working in your life? Making you happy? Bringing you closer to your wife? Bringing your closer to God? Lust destroys. It’s not entertainment. It’s not harmless.

  5. I can’t believe so many people are disagreeing with this post. It is 100% on point. I remember hearing in the News of a 28 year old New York single Mormon woman who “liberated” herself by not waiting for marriage to have sex. She became quite famous with the glamour magazine group.

    http://www.glamour.com/sex-love-life/2011/04/guess-what-im-not-a-virgin-anymore

    I hope nobody minds me posting the link, because personally I think she is just embarrassing herself and spreading misinformation about Latter-day Saints and sex. And to be honest, I feel sorry for her. Like others who already commented and said “Mormons are starting to learn that sex is ok.” That is just not true, because Mormons have always had the purest views on sex which is found in our doctrine. In my opinion, the doctrine taught by Christ and which has been embraced by God’s Church, and repeated on this website, is the only spiritual and pure way to look at sex.

    Andrew, I am behind you 100% on this issue. While I may not agree with everything on each page, I do recognize that the problem lies in lust. Spiritual, passionate sex will always be more fulfilling than lust sex. To be honest, I feel sorry for those who are settling for pathetic, shallow, lust-based sex.

  6. I find it interesting that you blast mormon bloggers for talking about sex and all that, but then you click on one to see how bad they are. You sure you didn’t look at it for the same reason the blogger began the blog? Also, believe it or not the church exists outside of southern Idaho and Utah. I believe you are a self-righteous, life-long member of the church who has never set foot outside of Utah. I lived in Utah for 10 years and it was the worst thing that ever happened to my testimony. Luckily I escaped Utah in time to save my testimony. There are two LDS churches — Utah and southern Idaho and the rest of the world. I agree with your overall point, but you sure went about it the wrong way.

    • Yes, you are correct to point out that I am self-righteous. Guilty as charged. I’m working on it though.

      And, um, no, I haven’t lived in Utah for the past 20 years or so. And I’ve only been to Idaho a handful of times. Yellowstone was fabulous! The people seemed pretty nice too.

      I now call the West Coast home. When we moved here in the 90s, I was pleased to see that I fit right in with all the self-righteous atheists, agnostics, evangelical Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, sun worshippers, jack Mormons, liberals, conservatives, moderates, surfers and REI shoppers. Turns out Mormons haven’t cornered the market on self-righteousness where I live. We might even be behind the curve.

      I’m sorry you didn’t like the tone of my post. Sometimes I don’t get it quite right. Nevertheless, I have to keep talking regardless because I think I have perspective and experience that don’t often see the light of day in the Mormon blogosphere.

  7. It seems to me the major difference between them and you is that YOU are a recovering addict, and they are not. You compare it to a drop of alcohol for an alcoholic, but for someone who is NOT an alcoholic, a drink or two is fine (now, in the confines of the Church, that is a different thing, but that’s not a true comparison, then). The difference is that their lust isn’t destroying anyone. Yes, because you have a tendency toward addiction, a drop of lust for you could be destructive, but not everyone is painted with your same brush.

    Live and let live. I’m sorry you’re annoyed by their blogs, but to preach gloom and doom their marriages is ridiculous. Every couple is different — every person is different — so it might just work for them, even if it doesn’t work for you. Several of my LDS friends have sex lives like you’ve described and their marriages are much more sound and stable than others; longer, happier, healthier.

    • “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Sound familiar? It should. Jesus said it. That’s the standard. I think it’s just plain weird when Latter-day Saints engage in dialog in the blogosphere and talk about how lust is contributing positively to a marriage. If Jesus said lust is a bad thing, why doesn’t that end the debate? Why aren’t more people asking themselves and others how they can eliminate lust from their lives?

      And what leads you to conclude that some or most or all Mormon sex bloggers aren’t sex addicts? Because sex is a big joke for them? I won’t assume that they are all sex addicts, but I think you should probably not assume that none of them are. They are not the paragon of healthy Mormon sexuality. They are doing a disservice to Latter-day Saints. As they continue to blog, I’ll continue to question why none of them acknowledge even the existence of lust.

      Lust is NOT synonymous with passion. It is comprised of the ugly side of passion. All porn is included in lust by definition. Lust is damaging to relationships, mental health and the spirits of God’s children. Maybe I shouldn’t compare lust to alcohol anymore. Maybe I should compare it to sniffing rubber cement. Not everyone gets addicted to it, but it’s sure not doing anyone any good.

      So you think lust works for some people? It’s helping some marriages? You hold up some of these folks as role models for happy marriages? Either you’re mistaken in your understanding of lust or maybe you don’t know those marriages as well as you think.

      “The difference is that their lust isn’t destroying anyone.” Umm, wrong. Again, lust and passion are not the same thing. Lust and sex are not the same thing. Lust hijacks passion and sex in marriages and ruins them. And the Mormon sex bloggers think it’s all a big joke. With their superior intellects and libidos, they really think they’ve got it all figured out. Sorry to be the fly in the ointment. I don’t want what they have. I have found greater peace and happiness in a lust-free life. My experience is that Jesus was right.

  8. Thanks for this post. I found it while looking for an LDS sex blog that I once read. I believe he’s a doctor of some sort, actually knows what he’s talking about. He did not have the same views as these other home grown “professionals”. The one post I read of his didn’t condone masturbation, but he did condemn the shaming of masturbators by well meaning leaders. He puts it in context. But I don’t recall lust being mentioned and it should have been.

    As for lust, it is not good, to put it most simply, it is when a person uses another person as an object to increase lust, get a lust high, or temporarily satisfy lust. Unfortunately, this can happen to anyone, married or single, one’s spouse can be the object of lust, thus demeaning their spirit, disregarding their feelings, and turning the luster into more of an animal than a caring spouse. That is why The Lord asks us to bridle our passions and garnish our thoughts with virtue. We can be sexually attracted to our wives and desire to be with them, but when that urge consumes our thoughts or cause us to overlook the wife’s needs, concerns, and physical and spiritual well being, then lust is driving us, not merely sex drive.

    Someone who recognizes lust will notice that it can often be present even when physical sex drive is not, My experience is lust is felt in the chest and can cause light headedness, there is obviously something chemical going on, it can then increase sex drive down below, and often a strong sex drive can increase lust, but the worst part is that lust is insatiable, it can return moments after sex, even if the equipment down there is not ready for more yet. It’s what causes men to want to see or even be with other women, even if they are attracted to their beautiful spouse.
    Are all men who feel lust sex addicts? No. Men who don’t recognize lust and allow it to grow and who feed it or who let it run wild in their body and mind are at risk of becoming sex addicts. All men will struggle with it in different ways and degrees.

  9. In reading this I agree that lust is a bad thing. However, I do think it’s good that there are mormons out there who are talking about sex now–even if their views are wrong. The church has a strong aversion to talking about sex outside of the general “don’t have sex, it’s bad” speech to the youth (which is a major step up from the “you should die rather than be raped” speech that used to be given to the girls). As a single woman I have never heard a single positive statement about sex in church in my entire time attending (24 years). Couples are told to avoid sex and then when it is suddenly allowed, they are not given any further guidance. People need to start talking about these things. It makes sense that the extremists will start talking first, they usually do in most topics, but hopefully eventually that will trickle down to allow everyone to talk about sex comfortably.

    • I’m with you. Part of the problem we have is that many of us don’t have a vocabulary to talk about sex other than in a context of sin or lust. Most of the voices we hear either condemn it or talk about how the world would be better if we all just had more sex with more people. One of the goals of this website is to give Latter-day Saints additional vocabulary so they can talk about areas of sexual behavior that don’t get talked about–because few people know the issues and the words.

  10. “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
    …..Hard to commit adultery with a woman you’re already married to

    • Except that Jesus didn’t say “…hath committed adultery with her already in his heart–unless it’s his wife–and then it’s OK,” did He? Jesus didn’t make an exception so why do you think you can? Perhaps we need to get it out of our heads that adultery is two individuals collaborating in sin. Rather, it’s one person sinning against God and another person. And then perhaps the second person is sinning as well, but I don’t think that’s a requirement for God to consider it a sin for the first person. From experience I know that it’s very possible for a husband to objectify (and hurt) his wife because of his lust-driven behavior. That’s part of what Jesus was talking about. He was saying that when a man engages in lustful behavior, he hurts the object of his lust and sins against God.

      Lust is ugly and mean. Too many Mormon men and women get lust mixed up with passion. They’re not the same thing. I want godly passion in my relationship. I don’t want lust. People who understand the difference never want lust in their lives. It brings misery with it.

      Take a look at the spirit of the law regarding adultery. Don’t think that following the technical letter of the law like a Pharisee gives you a pass to bring lust into your marriage. Lust is misery.

  11. I have to say I disagree with some this. I feel I am in a healthy passionate lustful relationship with my wife. As long as our lust is kept within our marriage I see absolutely no harm from it. In fact, i believe our sexual attraction to each other is a healthy part of our marriage. In order to commit adultery with someone in your heart it requires you to not be married to them(see the definition of adultery).

    I think for Mormon men and women to talk about sex is healthy. For example if I were to talk with a friend who is about to get married about sex I would give lots of advice. I would talk about common misconceptions and things that have worked for me. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with that.

    BUT if your only goal in writing about it is re-living a hot encounter you had, you may have a bit of a hard time with controlling your passions, and keeping them in your marriage.

    • Rob: Thanks for the comment. I think you and I differ on how to define lust. My definition of lust is “using myself, other people or things for my own gratification without concern for the consequences to myself or others.” There’s nothing healthy about that behavior at all. In other words, you simply can’t have what you refer to as a “healthy passionate lustful relationship.” You can have a “healthy passionate relationship” or a “passionate lustful relationship,” but you can’t have both. You seem to think that “lust” and “passion” can be used interchangeably. They’re not the same thing. Lust by definition is harmful. Lust is the ugly side of passion. It harms marriages. It harms single people. It harms families and communities. That’s one of the main points in the post.

      Also, lust is not the same thing as sexual attraction. There’s nothing inherently wrong with sexual attraction, but that’s not what I’m talking about in the post. And I really disagree with you regarding what Jesus said about lust. He is defining lust and he sure didn’t exclude married men with regard to their own wives. I know a lot of married lust addicts now in recovery who will confirm that focusing lust on their wife in the past was poisonous to both of them. Not passion, but lust.

      As I’ve said repeatedly, this site isn’t for everyone. It’s for those who have come to believe that an obsession with lust and a compulsion to engage in lustful behavior are destroying them and those around them.

  12. Andrew,

    Thank you for taking the time to clarify and substantiate your view. I noticed that nobody responded with a rebuttal. Lots of people raising their hands and making an argument (utterly fallacious most of the time) but none willing to engage in meaningful discussion regarding your thesis (lust is harmful). I appreciate the time and patience you took in writing careful and respectful replies.

    As a fellow sex addict, who has hurt my wife directly and indirectly with lust, your thesis is true. Empirically proven in my experience, and the collective experience of hundreds of thousands of others. The “exceptions to the rule” are people who are either experiencing passion, not lust, or who are in denial. Period.

  13. Proud of your work and sharing with the world. People really need to get into their heads that lust is ALWAYS bad. Lust has never been given an exception or asterisk condoning it in a marriage and I am grateful that you pointed it out.