Friday, January 16, 2009

Sex in the Closet

Warning: This post does contain some sexual material... sort of...

There is another issue that could keep me from serving a mission. A health issue. A health issue that isn't an issue if I take care of it. And it's actually the taking care of it part that's an issue.

I'll start with the non-issue part: my sinuses. If they don't drain properly, I get infections. Nasty infections that have been known to make my doctors gasp. I'm learning, however, that if I notice a lack of drainage in time to take care of it, I can avoid infection.

Now onto the related issue: about three years ago, I was diagnosed with Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome -- also known as Chronic Prostatitis. Although not much is known about specifics, the theory I was told is that it's the same idea behind my sinus infections. If my prostate doesn't drain properly, infection amasses in the stagnant semen, and pain ensues.

Nasty pain. Pain intense enough to trigger vomiting.

The urologist said I could either live with the infections, taking strong antibiotics when the infections didn't resolve themselves -- like crazy strong antibiotics 'cause it's difficult for antibiotics to penetrate into the prostate -- or simply keep my prostate drained.

I ended up telling my parents what the urologist had told me, and my pa said there was no way I could keep my prostate drained and remain a Mormon in good standing. So, I tried the former option -- I was doing the latter to keep it under control before.

The infection was horrible. This was during the time I was absolutely ashamed of being gay -- so much so that I would wake up at the beginning of a dream that would have led to emptying.

My prostate wasn't draining at all.

I wouldn't be surprised if the accompanying pain was similar to the pain of getting shot.

Not exaggerating -- at all.

This was when I started to think, "You know what, I doubt God is such an asshole that He would rather have me throwing up in pain and screwing up my body with caustic amounts of antibiotics than take a few minutes to clean the plumbing every once in a while... I'm going to take care of myself."

Anyway, during my recent interview, my Bishop asked if I masturbated -- apparently one must be masturbation-free for six months before one can serve a mission now. I told him, "For medical reasons, yes."

Of course, with anything sexual, the conservative Mormon holds a zero-tolerance stance.

There are times when taking dangerous drugs can be appropriate.

There are times when killing someone can be appropriate.

There is never a time when non-missionary position, married, heterosexual sexual conduct can be appropriate.

Never.

Granted, he didn't say a specific, "Nope, sorry." He is uncertain on this as well. Although, I'm not sure he even believes me.

Me, I had actually forgotten this would be an issue. Frankly, I don't think it should be, not if they allow those who take any long term prescriptions to serve.

Maybe I should get a doctor to write down, "Masturbate" on a prescription sheet for my records.

... or maybe I should get smart and realize that I'm not wanted within the LDS Church...


In other news:

I'm choreographing my first team Paso Doble and Samba.

The Paso Doble is being choreographed to the song, "La FĂȘte des Foux" from the French musical, Notre Dame de Paris.

The Samba is being choreographed to the song, "Wherever We Go" by Newsboys.

I think I would enjoy doing this for a living.

We'll see if I'm any good.

14 comments:

  1. I hope this doesn't end up being an issue for your mission. I mean really, if it's for your health, it should be okay! I mean, they have tests, for instance, in doctor's offices that require men to masterbate, so why should this be any different. Sorry to hear about the trouble. :(

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  2. This is an amazing post. I laughed, I cried, I shared it with my Non-LDS straight roommate and he thinks it's ridiculous/hilarious as well.

    It's really sad that you have a willingness to serve and yet your medically prescribed masterbation is not excused--though frankly, if the Mormon church allowed masterbation with a doctors note, everyone would have one--since almost every doctor I've ever known, including mormons, will tell you its unhealthy to never masturbate it can lead to prostate problems.

    I'm sorry that we're not wanted in the LDS church too.

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  3. I don't know that you're "not wanted". Part of me thinks as long as you're masturbating for the medical needs (ie. only once every two weeks, or whatever) it's okay. Now, in my case, where I don't have prostatitis, that would not be okay. It's when you start doing it every day, several times a day because you want to, and not because it's a medical necessity that it's a problem.

    I know a woman who was essentially raised on coffee--her mother died in child birth. She couldn't stop drinking the coffee--but she drank as little as she could.

    I knew a brother on my mission with some crazy auto-immune disease that coffee was the only thing that gave him respite from the pain. I agree that God wouldn't be so harsh as to expect him to live with 9-10 pain.

    I think it comes down to your relationship with God.

    And maybe you just shouldn't mention it? I mean, unless you have to spend hours fantasizing to take care of things, I don't see that it's a problem if you're doing it once a week, or whatever. Does any of this make sense? I feel like I'm rambling.

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  4. I remember once on my mission a sister told me that she was under doctor's orders to drink a cup of coffee each morning. I don't remember the details - something about coffee, aspirin, and migraine headaches. Anyway, she always was sure to add how she had to choke it down each morning because it was so nasty tasting.

    So, you could tell him that you're under doctor's orders to masturbate - but you try not to enjoy it :)

    On a more serious note - I'm glad you're being open, honest, and up front about everything - and that you're being realistic about the possible outcome as a result.

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  5. Wow.

    Honestly, I hate this part about our church. I hate the part where it's written about in The Miracle of Forgiveness.

    It's a load of shit, if you ask me. Especially if there's a medical reason for it. Screw 'em, Ched.

    Your willingness to serve and to restrain when possible from things should speak volumes to your bishop. That's ridiculous.

    As for the non-missionary sexual position...for real? I haven't read/heard that. Just heard that if it's "not natural" it's not ok.

    That said, my bishop/stake pres don't need to know which positions or whatever other sexual activity my husband and I engage in. That's simply none of their business.

    But that's just me.

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  6. Lisa: my wife and I (and most of our friends) feel that if both parties in a marriage willingly agree to a position/type of sexual interaction with each other, then there is no problem.

    There are things that Miki and I don't do, that others do, and vice-versa, and that's okay.

    You'll note that Miracle of Forgiveness is NOT part of the scriptures, after all, just part of the cultural "canon".

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  7. Kengo: I believe it's become authorized Church material, no?

    I believe that would place it on a higher plane than just a place in the "cultural canon."

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  8. I don't know about "authorized church material". I believe it gets bandied about waaaaaaay too much. I think President Kimball, poor soul, had a guilt complex. I think that's a lot of what MoF pushes, unfortunately.

    And I still take it as a book that a man wrote. If there is good to be found in it, great. But it's not scripture, not to me.

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  9. I think what Lisa's referring to is the fact that it's published by the Church and sold by the Distribution Center (as opposed to through Deseret Book, like most of the writings of Church leaders). This tends to make it seem more "official" in the eyes of many members of the Church, who see it (along with Jesus the Christ, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, etc.) as pretty darn close to scripture.

    Personally, I think that the guilt and shame that the general membership's attitude toward masturbation tend to give birth to is far more insidious and damaging than the act itself. It's my belief that a person who masturbates occasionally without shame and with no intention of quitting is probably going to be able to be closer to the Spirit (all else being equal) than someone who lives with a massive burden of crippling shame for his indiscretion, even if he is trying desperately to break the habit.

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  10. I was once told by an older member of the church when he got married his bishop pulled him into his office and told him once your married you can do anything together, consenting of course. lol

    I really respect how open and honest you are being as well. I really can't get my head around how medially needed masturbation would be an issue. I'm sure when i was 15 i wish i had medically needed Masturbation :-D

    Good Luck and if it turns out they "don't want you" i think you will be better off without it. Its really impressive that you aren't willing to change who you are to appease others.

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  11. One of the problems with church bureaucracies is that they become so consumed with "rules" and "regulations" that they forget that we have one purpose: To walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself as an offering and sacrifice for our sins. Additionally, we are called to walk in love with one another (Matthew 22:37). Thanks and praise be to God.

    I think, to address everyone else that has commented here, it's great that you all are so supportive of Andrew P. :) He and I have e mailed back and forth now for the last month or so and while we share different denominations, we have a lot in common. I am an Episcopalian, btw.

    But to the topic at hand...even if it's once a day, it's still not a problem, really. It is like any other practice of life..if it becomes the focus of one's attention to the exclusion of everything else, then it is an issue. Not to mention that other problems arise as well if the vas deferens is over-exercised which can happen if masturbation is excessive.

    As Christians, whether Mormon, Episcopalian, Baptist, etc. we are called to proclaim Christ's Gospel on Earth as an example to others. This is carried out by the smallest actions we take (holding a door open for someone) to apparent actions, such as reading the Scriptures, discussing the Gospel with believers and non-believers, etc. An action that has, in my view, no spiritual consequences such as masturbation is irrelevant. Pardon me if this is TMI but I have done it now for eleven years non-frequently and it has not damaged my spirituality at all. Rather, my spirituality has grown through growing awareness of the world around me, God's continual revelations, and the knowledge within that I am a beloved child of God as are all of you.

    Wow, this is the longest comment I've written to date I think lol. Peace be with you all. :)

    Andrew

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  12. I hope this doesn't end up being an issue for your mission. I mean really, if it's for your health, it should be okay! ... It's really sad that you have a willingness to serve and yet your medically prescribed masterbation is not excused ... I knew a brother on my mission with some crazy auto-immune disease that coffee was the only thing that gave him respite from the pain ... I remember once on my mission a sister told me that she was under doctor's orders to drink a cup of coffee each morning ... I really can't get my head around how medially needed masturbation would be an issue ... etc.

    This is going to sound cynical -- it isn't -- but if I had doctor's orders to drink coffee (which I would truly see as medication... blech), I would be told that I couldn't.

    I'm the kind of person who will be the one to get pulled over if I am simply following speeding traffic in hundreds of cars.

    I'm not exaggerating; I have always been unconsciously held to a higher (sometimes ludicrously impossible-high) standard, I guess one could say, than everyone else by everyone else.

    Again, I'm not being cynical, just matter-of-fact. I think I first recognized this in third grade, if not earlier.

    I think it comes down to your relationship with God.

    I completely agree with you. And I have 0 guilt, what-so-ever, in taking care of my health.

    I agree with what Scott & ABrooks said.

    However, my priesthood leaders will not agree. To them, my relationship with God is held suspect -- because I'm gay and will not claim the Mormon politically correct stance of struggle, conflict, and burden (nor will I submit myself completely to the Brethren's words).

    So, you could tell him that you're under doctor's orders to masturbate - but you try not to enjoy it :)

    Truth be told: sometimes I dread it. If I forget to masturbate for too long -- yes, sometimes I forget -- it hurts like hell for several minutes after ejaculation.

    On a more serious note - I'm glad you're being open, honest, and up front about everything - and that you're being realistic about the possible outcome as a result ... I really respect how open and honest you are being as well.

    Thanks. I figure there's no reason for me to lie. If they don't want me... well, they can frankly [explicit refrained].

    Screw 'em

    Oh, there's the explicit ... in softer terms, anyway.

    i think you will be better off without it

    Sitting back within the walls of the Church once again, I'm sort of wondering the same thing.

    The question is, though, if I just say, "Suck it!" and leave -- if everyone in this position does such -- how is the Church ever going to stop feeling justified in antagonizing and being prejudice against homosexuals?

    As for the non-missionary sexual position...for real?

    Well, specific positions may be an exaggeration -- but for some of Bishops I've had, not too much.

    [Miracle of Forgiveness discussion]

    I know my parents and my local leaders hold this as doctrine.

    After all, when one of the Brethren speaks, it's the Lord speaking (official or not).


    Again, Scott & ABrooks: Amen.

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  13. Around the time I turned 12 years old and "discovered" myself, I knew what I was doing was considered wrong by the church. I was always asking myself, "Why is pain so much preferred to pleasure in the church? If God is as loving as the church proclaims, wouldn't he rather someone masturbates than get physically injured?"

    I'm not a theology major, but it obviously stems back to the crucifixion of Jesus and that era in general. Religion was constructed to provide hope and optimism in light of dark, confusing times; among other reasons.

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  14. you go buddy! masturbate away... i've been prescribed coffee instead of ADD meds so there

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