This article was written by Danielle Beckstrom for LDS Living. Below is an excerpt.
You see, growing up I wasn’t one of those girls who was highly conscious of the opposite sex growing up. I was one of those run-around-and-kick-a-ball kind of girls, not one of those run-around–and-try-to-kiss-a-boy kind of girls. I was just a bit of a tomboy and a dreamer who usually had sports or lines of poetry running around in my mind, not boys. But that didn’t stop me from developing my sexuality in my own way—as everyone should.
I never really even thought about sex much.
That is, until I began traveling and making friends who weren’t LDS. Without fail whenever I brought up the “Mormon” card with new friends who didn’t grow up with the Church, they would ask—sometimes bluntly, sometimes embarrassed and beating around the bush—“don’t you guys believe in not having sex until after your married?”
The first time I was asked this, I unashamedly and quickly gave the answer: yes!
But then the follow-up question hit me like a slap in the face: “Isn’t that hard?” Other variations I often hear are “why?” or “doesn’t it seem limiting, to only have sex with one person?” or “how do you even know you’re a good match physically?”
The first few times I got these questions, I didn’t know quite what to say. My entire life my parents, my Church leaders, and my personal experiences had taught me how essential sexual purity was to my health and happiness. It was ingrained into my identity—a truth I took for granted. How could I explain something so basic to who I was—something I felt but had never consciously acknowledged?