022 Menace to Society (Part Two): Sex and Dating

And the awkwardness that ensues when you’ve been super Mormon your entire life

If it is impossible for you to go on as you were before, you must go on as you never have.
— Cheryl Strayed

Notes:

On our last episode, Chloe was joined by two guest panelists, Beth and Josh, to talk about the changing personal, family, and social dynamics that come with leaving the Mormon church as a single adult. In part two of this series, they dive into the realities of dating, sex, and figuring out your personal morality and boundaries after Mormonism.

TAXONOMY

  • Dating after Mormonism comes with some unique potential challenges. When the strict rules encapsulated in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet no longer apply, you find yourself in a place where you need to define your own sense of ethics, morals, and boundaries surrounding relationships.

  • Instead of being given a specific set of black and white “rights and wrongs,” you can learn through your own experience what you like and what you don’t, what feels right and what doesn’t in relationships. Being willing and open to new experiences, while staying in touch with how you’re feeling along the way, will provide you the opportunities to decide where your boundaries lie. 

  • Figuring out how sex and intimacy fit into your relationships will also take time and personal exploration. You may find you value sex as a means of connection in a relationship, or that sex can be just for fun, a physical act separate from a relationship, or really anything you want it to be. You have the right to determine for yourself what you want or don’t want when it comes to sexual relationships.

ABSOLUTE ESSENTIALS

  • As you begin exploring dating and sex as a post-Mormon, it can be helpful to seek out articles and books on navigating relationships as a single person. Finding other people who have been through a similar experience can be another very helpful and non-judgmental source of advice. One of our panelists also found that watching “how to” porn videos helped her to feel more comfortable with the idea of and mechanics of sex.

  • Find ways to meet people who share your interests; Meetup.com can be a great source to find groups of folks you may have something in common with. Building friendships with people can open up the possibility of finding someone you really connect with.

  • Know that it’s okay to give yourself permission to change your mind as you’re figuring things out. What works for you today may not work for you tomorrow, and you don’t have to have the answers right away.  Both men and women have the right to say no to something, and recognize that “No,” is a complete sentence; you don’t need to justify it.

  • Just remember that awkwardness is a normal part of this process, and that you’re not alone in what you’re going through. Find people with whom you can share in the weirdness of this post-Mormon experience.


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Oliver ChristensenComment