Sexponent- Calling for Submissions!

In a recent splash of media attention, my sex life has become something that I’ve been talking about more than I care to admit. It started with this post, then I did a phone interview for a magazine (which turned out to be really trashy), and then was contacted by Katie Couric’s talk show to appear in her audience with my husband (which didn’t materialize, fortunately for Mark).

The aftermath is that some of the bloggers suggested that I start a new monthly feature called Sexponent (of course) and we are looking for your submissions. It can be a funny story, a sad story, a question, a complaint, a poem, or anything that lights your fire, so to speak.

We’ll post the Sexponent feature once a month, and if the submissions really get rolling, we may include some in the magazine.

I was going to kick this off right with my amusing Wedding Night story, which involved a wardrobe malfunction, but I’m sensitive to over-disclosure right now, so instead I’ll ask a Wedding Night-themed question.

 

Please send your submissions to ExponentblogATgmailDOTcom

 

Jessawhy

Jessawhy is a wife, mother, community volunteer, activist and student. She is currently working towards a Physician Assistant degree.

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15 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know why, but I find the concept (or the discussion of the concept) of “virginity” very creepy — as if one act (and one act in *particular*) defines so much of who you are as a person. If you’re in the anti-sex-before-marriage camp, all that should matter is that you’re currently keeping the law of chastity. If you’re in the pro-sex-before-marriage camp, all that should matter is that you have good chemistry/good communication with your partner before that particular act ever happens. And yet everyone is obsessed with what you have (and haven’t) done.

  2. anon says:

    Thank you anonymous. Asking this question really throws the Atonement out the window, doesn’t it?

    And by the way, I voted none of your damn business!

  3. anon for this says:

    For all practical purposes, I waited to have sex until my wedding night. I was raped as a child and as a teenager so I really don’t know how to navigate the waters of what being a virgin means. If it is something that can be taken from you without your say, then is it something that actually matters.

  4. jks says:

    “Anon for this” certainly has a point. It is not a fair question for victims of rape and sexual abuse.
    However, as for the atonement wiping the slate clean, I think we all are supposed to understand that repentence doesn’t erase all of the effects of sin during mortality, but we are promised the effects can be healed. The atonement promises healing and restitution at some point (sometimes after death). There are many sins with consequences that you can’t erase right now. If your sin, for instance, causes your child to be permanently physically hurt, you can insist that the atonement wipes out your sin all you want but your child still has the damage caused by the sin. As parent, you end up needing to rely on the Atonement to know that even if you mess up and your child has hardships during mortality due to your errors that the Lord can make up/heal them and none of your errors will hurt them in eternity.

    • Anonymous says:

      Right – but this attitude that the “consequences can’t be erased” (while true) is why the focus on “virginity” as a concept is creepy and weird.

      What is the particular value, may I ask, in not yet having experienced P-in-V intercourse (as I am assuming the distinction of “technical” virgin is getting at)? You get to assign yourself the title of “virgin”? Bully for you. Even though if you’re a man, you’re not physically different at all post-sex, and if you’re a woman, you’re *probably* not physically different (and if you are, it’s to *such a small degree that it’s meaningless*)?

      (Unless, of course, you’re clinging to the antiquated notion that not-a-virgin=ruined woman.)

      In any other area, the spiritual/temporal consequences are more distinct. (If you abuse alcohol or drugs, you damage your health. That may have permanent consequences in this life, even with the Atonement. If you damage a relationship, the trust may be gone. If you lie, your reputation and others’ may be damaged. If you steal, you will have to make restitution or go to prison. etc.) Those are all temporal consequences a penitent will have to deal with, potentially long after the Atonement has healed the spiritual damage.

      And yet, it would seem the only “consequence” of (safe) sex that couldn’t be erased by the Atonement would be the consequence of losing a title that has no practical meaning, but tons of social (and often extremely sexist) value.

      That is why I find the emphasis on “virginity” creepy and “technical virginity” particularly gross, and frankly unrealistic. (So for example, let’s say a person goes 30 years without engaging in pre-marital intercourse, has sex, becomes chaste again, and later marries. That’s a WHOLE LOT OF CHASTITY that should be applauded by the LDS mindset, and yet apparently gets wiped out by some people once the title of “virgin” is irrevocably lost — while anyone who got married at 19, 20, 21, 22 gets to pat him/herself on the back for keeping that all-important V-card for a whopping 2-3 years.)

      Hence I reiterate my point: virginity, as a concept, even for LDS people, totally misses the point and is kind of a gross way of thinking about things. Chastity is not.

  5. BethSmash says:

    So, I read the article that you linked to on Huffpost, how does
    “6. Women in a Mormon feminist book club read it and discussed it. That was actually interesting.” translate as trashy? Did you mean the rest of the article? Because I didn’t find that trashy either, or do you mean the interview itself? The behind the scenes stuff that didn’t get printed in the interview? If it’s not too much sharing, can you elaborate?

    • Jessawhy says:

      Good question. That article was about the magazine and yes #6 was the article they interviewed me for. I was glad that it was one of the only positive comments given by the HuffPo author.
      The magazine itself was pretty trashy, but the article that I interviewed for was pretty reasonable, although they put in every semi-sensational thing I said, (including that some women at the book club bought sex toys online during the gathering).
      I honestly only read my article once and quickly because I was pretty embarassed about it all. I haven’t found a link online to buy the magazine itself and the publisher hasn’t sent me any copies (strange?). I didn’t buy the one at Barnes and Noble because it was $6 or something crazy. 🙂

  6. Diane says:

    So here’s a question, has anyone been laughed at and ridiculed by a doctor for being a virgin?

    • LovelyLauren says:

      I had a series of yeast infections few months after getting married and went into my university health clinic. I put on the chart that I had recently become sexually active and only had 1 partner.

      The NP looked at me sympathetically and asked, “New boyfriend?”

      I responded, “New husband.”

      She was quite surprised and it still amuses me. I had similar experiences when I went into Planned Parenthood. Lots of surprise, but no ridiculing at my choices. One nurse even told me that it was great that I never really had to worry about STD’s.

      • Diane says:

        Lauren

        I went into a city clinic, to get birth control pills(because with a bleeding disorder) periods never stopped. I filled out the questionnaire. Gave my history, I was handed a pack of condoms and when I told them I didn’t need them, I was told,” Keep them, in case you get,lucky”

        I was furious, it was like I was lying, trying to hide something from my parents that I wasn’t hiding, and I filed a complaint with the person in charge of the clinic. I was 42 at the time and didn’t appreciate being ridiculed like some teenager.

    • Margaret says:

      I needed to see a physical therapist and have some surgery before getting married due to an unfortunate gynecological condition I was happy to discover before the wedding. The physical therapist kept suggesting my fiancé “help” me by engaging in various non-penetrative stimulation, which made me pretty uncomfortable due to my feelings about the law of chastity. She also kept insisting on the possibility that we might end up having sex it MIGHT happen you NEVER KNOW etc and talking about it. I got pretty irritated since I was working pretty hard at ensuring that that didn’t happen, and we weren’t teenagers hanging out in the back of the car. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been ridiculed, but certainly met with disbelief and then also total doubt that I would continue to choose not to have sex until after the wedding, despite being engaged.

  7. jenna says:

    @Diane: When i got married as an oh so mature 20 year old I was a virgin. This apparently was so funny at the Seattle clinic I was at that the doctor actually laughed and told two of the nurses who were nearby( they thought I couldn’t hear because the door was closed). I had aproblem with my hymen and the doctor offered to write me a note for my bishop so I could engage in sex before my honeymoon so he could decide on the best form of treatment.

  8. also anon says:

    As for the Atonement: as far as my husband knows, and as far as I know about him, we were both virgins when we married. We both agreed it is none of each other’s business what business occurred prior to putting the atonement into action, meeting each other, and marrying in the temple. I don’t think about it, he doesn’t think about it, and we have a great time together. Being a virgin before marriage, as far as I am concerned, pertains only to the period of time between repentance of previous misdeeds or caving to temptation, and the time you actually get married. So, no, we didn’t have sex before marriage, we were virgins before we were married, with clean and clear consciences, and we are 100% devoted to each other. Past lives have no bearing on that, as long as a disease isn’t brought into, and shared with the new spouse (or a child from a previous relationship….that would certainly affect things.)

  9. Jessawhy says:

    Thanks for all of these very thoughtful comments.
    I’m sorry if my poll seemed rather silly or flippant, treating virginity as something narrow or shallow, which I can see it really is.

    I should have asked something more interesting about your first consensual sexual experience and if it was good, bad, or somewhere in between.

    These are questions that a lot of women who are coming of age really want to know. For the sexually inexperienced, there’s a lot of mystery around sexuality that can be avoided with honest stories by real women.

    Thanks for making this conversation happen and I hope to see many of you submit for Sexponent features in the future.

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