The following question is one I recently received on my blog that I have not answered yet. Who wants to help me out? What advice would you give?
I’m a pretty naive Mormon girl, raised in a super conservative environment. I have a boyfriend and I’m just discovering kissing, but since I know next to nothing about sex and physicality, I don’t really know if I’ve done anything wrong. For instance, I just found out what dry humping is and I’m worried I’ve done it, but I still don’t know what it is and what it means. Can you help me?
Challenges I see:
1. I’m not sure what her age is (although I’m assuming she is at least 16, more than likely college aged).
2. Wanting to balance the following: encouraging normal sexual development, not engendering unnecessary shame, offering correct sexual education and teaching the benefits of chastity.
I’ve heard LDS opinions that range from not kissing until across the alter to people should have sex before marriage to check compatibility.
What is appropriate sexual exploration before marriage? How do you define our infamous “petting” word? Would you want your child to marry someone they had never kissed or felt passion for? Felt lust for? How do you draw these lines? Assuming you are married, what did you learn from your own courting experiences? Did you feel like you went too far or not far enough? If this was your daughter writing me, what would you want me to tell her or not to tell her?
Natasha Helfer Parker is a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist and a member of the Church with 13 years of experience working with LDS members. Here she shares with us representative cases from her practice and insights she has gained from her work as a therapist. She blogs at mormontherapist.blogspot.com.