Readers, before I plunge into this week’s truly irresistable query, I wanted to put in a brief plug for a fantastic meet-up coming soon to Salt Lake City: on June 11, Carol Lynn Pearson (applause!), Margaret Toscano (applause!), and your very own friendly Mormon feminist advice columnist (that’s me!) will be speaking at the Mormon Stories Conference, a weekend-long event that includes socializing, service projects, and even a group MoTab outing. I would love to meet you there. For more info, click here.
I’m in my mid-twenties, un-endowed, and engaged to be married in the temple soon. Most of the men that I previously dated were men with whom I had no particular chemistry, which meant that I always felt chaste even situations that I consider (in hindsight) to have been somewhat compromising. However, I find my fiance very attractive. Often when we simply kiss, cuddle or touch I get quickly turned on and sometimes I have sexual thoughts and feelings with no warm up or warning at all. Over the past few months even ordinary physical contact has become unexpectedly arousing.
I’m committed to living chastely because I believe it brings personal blessings and pleases my Father in Heaven. There’s not really any likelihood that I’m going to have premarital intercourse or purposefully fool around, but I do feel guilty for the way my body reacts at times to otherwise fairly innocent-looking situations. My fiance and I are pretty frank about everything, including sex generally, but this is one area where I feel self-conscious and abnormal. I’m way too embarrassed to talk about my personal sexuality with my bishop, an older man who alternately talks about the terrible seriousness of sexual sin and expresses his complete faith in me as a “good girl” who gives him no cause to worry. I don’t think he’ll understand, and I’m afraid he’ll deny me a temple recommend, ask lots of awkward questions, or attempt to micro-manage the physical side of our relationship. I worry that my inability to talk to him means I’ll always feel like this is an unresolved issue.
Lately I’ve found myself constantly pushing my fiance away and avoiding any kind of extended kissing, hugging or cuddling, just to be safe. I’m concerned that my stiff behavior is starting to bring unnatural stress and tension into our otherwise wonderful relationship. I don’t want to leave it permanently stilted! However, I also don’t want to feel like I’m trying to slip by on my temple recommend interviews, or that I’m disrespecting my covenants, my fiance, or my Heavenly Father. What should I do?