“At night I marry the bed”  published on the Meanjin Blog

“At night I marry the bed” published on the Meanjin Blog

Just don’t do it: the cornerstone of the Mormon religion.

When I was thirteen, I was visiting my friend from church. She had an eleven-year-old brother. While I was visiting, his parents caught him rubbing his crotch up and down the pantry door. He had obviously just discovered how amazing it felt.

My friend and I watched as her brother was taken into the living room and sat down for a talk. We listened through the closed door. It was all so funny to us. What was he doing that for?

He could have simply been told that it was something to do in the privacy of your bedroom. He was instead told that it was not right. He was told that, ‘You just don’t do it.’

 

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I left my very first and only Silver Bullet vibrator in a bedroom in a large share house in Kensal Green, North London. It was 2009 and I had been happily flipping my own bean for about four years. I did not realize my diminutive implement of happy endings was missing until I was in Manchester. I had expected to find it while

unpacking my suitcase in the bedroom of the house in which I would be living and working as a nanny.  I owed rent to the place in London and did not have the money. I could hardly call up Patrick the creepy live-in landlord and ask if he had come across my vibrator while cleaning out my side of the bedroom. It was not all that large or expensive and I think the one double A battery that made it work had run out. I had become a little addicted to its magic as it had helped curb my initial intense homesickness and sexual frustration.

I grew up in a Mormon household. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There’s a musical about us. The church had guidelines for every aspect of your life.  One of the things that is considered wrong and unholy in the eyes of the Lord was masturbation.

Yes, that delightful, harmless and disease-free past time was considered gross. This is so funny and inexplicable to me now that I stand before you, a proud and defiant apostate of the church. Apostate is just a fancy way of saying that I decided, through a process both of transgressions and thinking for myself, that perhaps the church was not as great or good for me as my parents and relatives had tried to make me believe.

There is a little pamphlet that you get as soon as you turn twelve. It is called ‘For the Strength of Youth’. Inside the pages is some very lovingly written information that invites you to dress modestly and save yourself, your sexy parts and feelings for your husband or wife. It says you are not to arouse sexual feeling in your own body. In the pamphlet you are told that Homosexuality and Lesbianism is a serious sin. You are told same-sex attraction saddens the Lord.

Everything fun makes God sad. The person upstairs created all this stuff and then said, ‘Don’t touch any of it.’

 

 

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