Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ummm....Did I Just Sin?

When you're raised in a culture where dating is prohibited until you're 16, then only allows double dates until after you graduate from high school, then expects you to not kiss passionately, touch inappropriately, think inappropriately, or do anything that could potentially arouse sexual feelings until AFTER you're married...THEN expects you to go forth and replenish the earth by the time your 25..."healthy sexual attitude" is nothing more than a really confusing oxymoron.  (And my therapist wonders how I learned to think in rigid black and white terms...).

One cannot go from point A to point Z without passing through bcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxy, yet that is exactly what we're expected to do as Mormon women...with a smile on our face and a prayer in our hearts.  Now, before I get backlash from the uber righteous conservative types, I am not advocating masturbation or a reformation of standards...I'm just saying that A to Z when you say "I do" isn't going to happen without some sort of navigation through the rest of the alphabet.  And honestly, once you step out of the safety zone of A chances are you're going to be bitch slapped with guilt and shame like you've never been bitch slapped before.

That's why I started down that slippery slope ages ago and have come to a rather peaceful place somewhere between saint and slut.  Before anyone gets too excited, I'm not going to delve into a long list of transgressions...and I'm not even implying that the list is even long...I'd just like to take you on a short narrated trip from A to "did I just sin?".
See, in addition to feeling like a dirty little whore the first time a mildly nasty thought flickers through your head (like the day I actually envisioned Alex P. Keaton without a shirt on...), the fact that anything even remotely sexual is taboo...ALL TABOO...really nurtures a heightened guilt-o-meter and blatant ignorance.

Exhibit B

I might be making this up, but I swear my mom once told me that she thought she was pregnant at 15...because she'd sat on the floor and held hands with a guy.

Me:  "Held hands?"

Mom:  "Yep, held hands."

Me:  "Like actual hand-to-hand or "hand-to-hand" if ya know what I mean?"

Mom:  "Oh my word Carrie...HELD HANDS."

Me:  "I didn't know pregnancy was possible via hand-to-hand contact."

Mom:  "I obviously didn't know either.  But it was the 60's and we didn't talk know..."

Me:  "The nasty?  Doing-it?  SEX?"

Mom:  "Carrie Lyn Hanson we do not talk about...."

It was about this point when the red rash of death started creeping up her neck, signaling that our jovial chit-chat about the birds and the bees had entered uncomfortable territory and it was time to change the subject.

Just so you know, going from A to B can not lead to pregnancy, but it can lead to a pregnancy panic...which leads to loads and loads of guilt and a petition to the menstrual gods to send in the Crimson Tide.

Exhibit C

I like to refer to this as "the day I left my innocence in a swanky hotel room."

I was on the award winning editorial staff of the Rigby High Trojaneer in high school.  I wrote columns about random crap (imagine that) and won awards and thought I was cool and stuff.  But the greatest perk, other than a press pass that got me out of seminary*, was the vay-cay to the Sun Valley Resort for a state newspaper competition.  My best friend, Andrea Merrill (the girl I corrupted when I went through my super evil phase at age 12...see previous post) was there as well as a bunch of older, cooler, obviously not as righteous as I was upper classmen.  We were assigned individual rooms, but all ended up cramming into one room.  There I was, with four other girls and the male newspaper cartoonist trying to share a bed. 

Now, all good Mormons know that you should NEVER, EVER recline past a 45 degree angle when next to the opposite sex.  It's one of Newton's basic laws of physics:  "the velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force"...a.k.a. touching of the lady parts or man giblets.

Looking back, I don't think lady parts or man giblets were even on the minds of the Trojaneer staff, but it didn't matter, I felt nasty.  And not in a good way, but in a "what would Jesus say if he you saw you" way.  I sat in my guilt for a whopping 5 minutes before I threw myself prostrate on the floor and begged God to forgive my immoral slip.

Sleeping in bed with boy = more guilt than my 16-year-old self could handle.

Side note:  I returned and worked at Sun Valley for a couple of years where I ended up making out on the golf course, the ice rink, in the pool, on top of the ski hill, in Hemminway's summer cabin, and a million other places I wouldn't have seen as a uptight Trojaneer.

Now, let's fast forward to a more recent date and time...

Exhibit D

Considering my bra size, the fact that this is Exhibit D is super fitting...had to point it out.

So, every girl has, or should have, one special bra that lifts and separates and makes you look like Pamela Anderson's cousin.  I have that bra.  I call it my "porn star bra" because it takes the girls to unnatural heights and fullness.  Not that someone my size needs padding, but hell, if they offer it, you might as well try it.  Anyway, I bought the porn star bra several years ago when I dragged my boyfriend into Victoria's Secret one day to see what his tolerance was for such joints.  I tried it on and when I saw the look on his face, well, that little number had to go home with me.  Since then it's mostly just sat in the back of my drawer.  There is rarely an occasion when I need or even want boobs that big.  But a while back, when I was neglecting the growing laundry pile, I discovered it was the only clean bra I had.  So I wore it.

That also happened to be the night my guy friend was coming over to hang out.  Hanging out was our thing.  Flirting was our thing.  Doing anything about it was not our thing.  Oh sure, we were cuddlers and if I was cold, I expected him to warm me up...but that's about as far into the alphabet as we'd ever gotten.  But then we broke two great Mormon moral commandments.  We were WAY PAST the 45 degree rule AND hanging out after the Holy Ghost had gone to bed (which is approximately 11:59pm).  In fact, we were spooning it up in a blanket love nest watching Pumpkin Chunkin (you can check that out here) see where this is headed.

I was dozing in and out of consciousness when I thought I felt a hand over my boob.  Now I say "over my boob" because my boob was buried under an unearthly amount of thick Victoria's Secret bra padding.  That's when I had this conversation with myself,

"Is he?...Is he touching my boobs?  Jeepers...this bra is FAMAZING!  I can hardly tell...oh gosh, I hope he doesn't think my real boobs are that firm...that would be impossible...but totally awesome if they were.  Hmmmmm...yep, yep, he's feelin' me up...oh man...does this count as a sin if I can't actually feel anything?  I mean, really?  What's the harm in this?  He's probably loving this and I can't feel a thing.  This bra is like boob armor.  Who knew the porn bra could double as a chastity tool?  Wait...he's feeling me up?!?!  Seriously?  I should stop this, that's what a self respecting girl would do...but wouldn't it be weird to put an end to it now, I mean, it's been 5 minutes of me laying here trying to figure out what's going stop or not to stop...that is the question..."

Now, 20 years ago I'm sure this episode would have put my guilt-o-meter into the nuclear red zone...but as a mid 30-something I'm just confused as to what is and what is not technically a moral sin.  In my eyes, moral sins should be pleasurable...the fact that little to no pleasure was derived from the porn bra boob touch really lumps it into the "no shame no blame" category.  

Yes, I obviously left point A many, many moons ago...and truth be known, I'm probably wandering in somewhere between F and U...but the fact remains, I'll never know what's normal...because I'm a Mormon...and Mormons are not normal


Lori said...

First, you are hilarious. Second, holy cow we need to have more conversations. Third, stop being so hard on yourself. Seriously! You can be a good mormon girl (for the most part :-) And still relax and have some fun.

Jess said...

Oh this made me giggle!! As a side note, my husband and I were friends that cuddled. And he felt me up during a tv watching session. I had a 5 min conversation in my brain about what the hell was going on!!! So funny!!

Angenette said...

Wait, over-the-bra action is on this list? I would have given it an A.5 or B at the very worst.

This is great, btw. Especially the thought of Caleb as being the evil boy that slept in your bed. Bwahahahahaaaaa!

The Book Goddess said...

Ummmmmm, Carrie my dear. Not to add to your level of guilt over the whole Sun Valley episode, but there were actually TWO male compatriots that evening in the hotel bed. And it is slightly possible that "someone" in the bed (not naming any names, ahem) was maybe sorta kinda contemplating the fact that man giblets were in such close proximity. Just sayin'......

Anonymous said...

I am not shocked that a good Mormon girl would have such sexual thoughts, but that you are expressing such sacred feelings in a public forum.

I can't describe how I am feeling, how the impure thoughts your story evoked in me a total lack of reverence. Sadly, today is the Sabbath and I try very hard to engender the company of the Holy Spirit on this special day with which the Lord has blessed us.

Remember, sex is a very sacred and is a special thing reserved only within the sacred bonds of marriage.

As Elder Boyd K. Packer elucidated in his loving advice to the Church's youth, men's little factories should not be trifled with, and I am sure you realize that you put your eternal salvation in jeopardy -- for him and you!

So please let me encourage you to resist with all the power you can summon. Please, Sister Carrie be very, very careful.

I can't over emphasize how treading on such dangerous ground of sexual excitement will only lead to more sexual excitement.

I declare in the name of the Lord if you continue down this path that you will be helpless to resist the high sexual arousal you foment in engaging in this risky behavior.

Foreplay at its finest!

Carrie said...

Anonymous...hmmm, I may have trifled with a "little factory" or two..or three...or...well..who counts at my age? I must have missed that talk...if I didn't hear it do I still have to abide by it?

Andrew said...

I'm baffled by Anonymous. Either this is well crafted satire, or the writer is some sort of walking stereotype of the "Church Lady". I honestly can't put my finger on which, but I'm leaning toward satire.

KarKar said...

This is hilarious and the greatest. Wholesome Bitch indeed!!

Sun Valley... I will now refer to it as Sin Valley...haha

Hey Anonymous, Get a hobby.

It may be Boyd K. Packer who CAN preach like the Jesus wants it preached. But I'm pretty sure you just judged and criticized in your "loving mormon way", all the honesty Carrie put out there. Not cool.

Carrie is implying Mormons do have personality and are not perfect, definitely mostly NOT PERFECT. But are normal people going through with the same struggle of sin as ANYONE. Totally sucking the fun out of the post.

I 'll give ya quote, Anonymous, but most def, not preach to you...

"Do NOT JUDGE me, because I sin differently THAN YOU." President Uchtdorf!!

Have and awesome day!!!

Jess said...

Anonymous sounds like a shitload of fun!

Kate Boyle said...

Hey anonymous, are you single? I'd like to set you up with Carrie. Please send me a private message so I can work out the deets.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I am single and would LOVE to be set up with Carrie. I find such a creative mind extremely sexy. However, there is one problem; I fear Carrie would pass on being set up with me.

And yes, it was satire. Bless your hearts, all of you who neglected to assimilate the clue left in the last line.

Carrie's piece has created quite a buzz, and she is an excellent writer. I am quite the fan.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and for Carrie's and resident voyeurs edification, here is the talk by BKP. But all of the female gender should be warned: it is for young men only!

Carrie said...

Anonymous...I'm not reading that...I'd be held accountable for the knowledge and I have no desire to be held any more accountable than I already am. But thanks for the link, I'm sure the rest of my readers will feast upon the word with ravenous spirits and hungry hearts.

Now, because you assume I'd pass on being set up with you...and I've tracked your IP address to either AZ or OR...I'm going to assume you're female...I only know females in AZ and OR...well there are a couple guys but one only dates playboy bunnies and the other one also likes guys.

Really, don't be a stranger...leave your name.

Brenda Taylor said...

Hi There,

Just read your fabulous LDS dictionary and noticed that "Spirit Babies" is missing :-)

Armelle said...

I love those comments as much as you post, hilarious.
Moral sins are really complicated, we catholics have them as well and it takes more than a law degree to figure out the implications!

Anonymous said...

Dont get to serious people. I read anonymous' comment and was laughing my ass off because I knew no one in their right mind (mormon or non-mormon) could actually write something so serious about "Sister Hanson". Good to have you back Carrie.


Anonymous said...

lol! Okay, I'll 'fess up. I am from Arizona. (But I am traveling today; I'm writing this from a motel in California.)

I thought that my comments were deleted because when I came back later, they weren't there. Not sure why. I didn't "look right", maybe?

Anyway, I am leaning towards "coming out" if you really are interested. Just need a bit of encouragement.

Carrie said...

Dear Anonymous...your comments are still there, I don't delete comments. Come out, anonymous posts are creepy.

Anonymous said...

Another Anonymous creeper checking in. I stumbled across your blog while searching the net for "mormon boobs". Yeah...not my best moment.

Years ago (11), I used to date a Mormon girl in 9th grade. She took me to her church once, took me to a stake party, took me to some bible class before school started. She gave me a Mormon bible. I liked that a lot. But she moved away to Europe. I was SO heartbroken. You know how young love can be.

What I still remember is her telling me about the special underwear you had to wear to get sealed in the temple. I thought it was cute. Oh, and she was a VERY frisky little Mormon! ;)