We've got a gun. In fact, we've got two. That's OK, man, 'cause we love God.



Dualistic Issues


E-mail this post



Remember me (?)



All personal information that you provide here will be governed by the Privacy Policy of Blogger.com. More...



On a recent T&S post, a question is asked (as a framing device) concerning how well LDS artists can create their own "Iago" or other sinister, evil, characters.

I don't find this question as interesting as another, related question: how well can an LDS artist create a not-good, not-evil character, one that occupies a middle ground of morality, one that is moral, immoral and amoral? And, to remove the artistic aspects of the question, how well can an average Mormon understand those that are moral, immoral and amoral?

Clearly, we are dealing with generalities here; the answer, I suspect, lies with the individual artist/Saint and the character/other person. However, I offer up two reasons why I am skeptical of the LDS skillz:

First: Details. Consider the movie Sideways. I loved this movie, but know of many people who don't. In any case, I found it to be one of the best representations of being drunk that I have seen in film. One scene in particular--the one where Miles calls his ex from the restaurant--so perfectly captured that drunk-but-not-yet-fall-down-drunk stage. Anyone could shoot a scene where the camera flails widely and the actor is stumbling all over the place and the sounds are muffled and slowed--but could someone who had never experienced a drunk (or a drink) get the details right? This problem is further exacerbated when it's applied to the details of an ethos and not just a setting.

Second: Many Mormons (and the Church itself) sees things in very black and white terms. This is not necessarily a bad or good thing from an eternal/salvational perspective, but it does pose some problems. I cannot believe that anybody would reasonably believe that "One drink will make you become an alcoholic" though I see that sentiment expressed in different terms, like "if it wasn't for the church, I'd be an alcoholic," said by one who has never taken a drink. It seems that one is either sober or an alcoholic and nothing shall exist in between.

Another example, the inspiration for this post, one that I have a particularly hard time stomaching: all non-mormon guys want is sex. Of course, I've talked about this topic on this site before. But on this post we get comments that again say this:

"Also, when it comes to guys who aren't members of the church, once they find out about the no sex thing they're pretty much not interested any more." (1)

"So yeah, non-mormon guys will ask you out and be interested in you, but surely you know they are only trying to sleep with you." (2)

I've said it before, but again: as a non-Mormon guy, I find this highly offensive because (1) it doesn't apply to me and (2) it doesn't apply to any of my non-Mormon male friends. In fact, I can think of no one (male or female) I know that I can definitively say that sex is their number one priority. Yes, sex is a factor in the equation, just like hair color and whether or not you think Poison is the best band ever. It's not a deal breaker. And anyone who thinks it is (or uses it as such) needs to get out more.

So, I'm a bit skeptical when it comes the ability to create a character beyond the black and the white. But more importantly, I worry how attitudes like this affect my relationships with the Mormons. I, a single, non-LDS, male in his twenties, have quite a few friends that are LDS single women. Do they think that I'm only after them because of some hope that they will sex me up? And when I meet a single LDS woman, should I even try to be friends with them since I am, apparently, only after sex?

So yeah, Mormon girls will ask you out and be interested in you, but surely you know they are only trying to convert you.


23 Responses to “Dualistic Issues”

  1. Anonymous Geoff J 

    Yes, sex is a factor in the equation, just like hair color and whether or not you think Poison is the best band ever.

    Ha! Classic line, Pris.

  2. Blogger lchan 

    You're fighting a losing battle. People make these kind of generalizations all the time, and they'll keep making them. Because there's some truth there.

    Non-mormon guys I dated liked me for me, it wasn't just about the physical, but they were definitely more aggressive when we were alone. I'd say they actually liked me more because it didn't get them anywhere. I don't know, though. I dated, what, seven or eight non-members. Not exactly a huge sample.

    Sure, it's not the only thing you care about, but if you were dating a girl seriously for a long time, it would be an issue. It's an issue for anyone, Mormon or not.

    Guys in general are horn dogs (not just non-mormons). The big secret is that girls want to have sex, too. It's hard enough when both of you have waited and you both want to wait. The whole biological push is to have sex.

    It's easier when the person you are dating is on the same page about wanting to wait or not.

  3. Anonymous Steve (FSF) 

    Great post Pris. Want a middle of the road relaxed Mormon point of view? Check out http://mormonopenforum.blogsome.com

    And the teen to 20 something heterosexual single Mormon guy who denies he's thinking about sex 6 times a second or when he meets a beautiful woman he doesn't think about doing her? He's either undersexed or he's a liar. Now does a with-the-program LDS guy act on those impulses? No, of course not, just like you and your non-LDS friends don't. But to deny the impulses exist, like so many LDS do, is intellectually dishonest.

  4. Blogger Arwyn 

    I think you're right, Pris, that we tend to generalize into good and evil without much in between at all. The "alcohol is evil" attitude is a good example of that. Most Mormons I know (most -- note I don't say all) will condemn it out of hand, and will by extension feel that it's "evil" to hang out with people who are partaking, refusing to recognize the fun times one can have being friends with a social drinker.

    Now, as I say this, I realize it sounds harsh. There's truth in it -- but it's not always intentional, either. It's programming.

    Same thing with the "non-Mormon guys want sex" issue. We Mormon gals are taught from the time we turn 12 that all non-Mormon guys want to do is get in our pants and that if we make ourselves look too sexy, that's all Mormon guys will want to do, too, and we'll be guilty for it.

    If you're having that lesson reinforced every month for six years, it's going to take some real experience and relationships with non-Mormon guys to break that programming -- and that's not something most LDS girls with that belief are going to seek out.

  5. Blogger lchan 

    Although I was encouraged to marry in the temple, I wasn't told that about non-members. Maybe that was because my parents were converts and neither had any experience dating Mormons themselves. A lot of the members in my ward growing up were converts - I think you have a different view of non-members when you've been one.

    The issues that Mormon girls have with dating non-Mormons goes deeper than just sex, it's a whole system of beliefs.

    Also, I think it's easier for a Mormon girl who gets blown off by a guy to blame it on sex rather than admitting maybe he just wasn't that into her.

  6. Blogger lchan 

    As far as the other issue in your post:

    I question "LDS skillz" because of fear and contentment. There's a fear of putting out the wrong message for the church - that's no good for creativity. And, when you are content with what you have and feel like you already have the truth, you're not going to seek for it.

    An artist who is simply trying to convert and isn't asking any questions himself just isn't going to be great. "Every member a missionary" doesn't generally make for great art.

    That said, Napoleon Dynamite rocks! They got the details right. (Oh, and so did Sideways.)

  7. Blogger annegb 

    I promised God I wouldn't ever watch an R-rated movie again if He would get the movie "Seven" out of my mind. He did and I kept my promise, except for showing...that show...The Full Monty...to my friend who was dying of cancer. I thought God would understand that.

    But I really am thinking of re-thinking my sacred vow and asking God is I can watch funny shows, like Sideways. Because I really want to see that show.

    You wouldn't believe the people who cannot believe somebody like me hasn't seen an R-rated movie in years. Why I can keep that promise and not all the others I do not know. Well, the blessing was immediate and obvious.

  8. Blogger lchan 

    Anne,
    You could watch it through Clean Flicks. They edit PG-13 and R movies. We rent from them quite a bit.

    We watched the unedited version of Sideways, but it was R just because of two quick scenes (and I'm sure they were put in solely to give the movie an R rating - the movie wouldn't have suffered one bit by taking the scenes out - or having one guy put on a towel or something).

  9. Blogger Kelly 

    I think my comment on my blog was misunderstood as an absolutist comment. That wasn't the way I meant it at all. I wasn't trying to say that THE ONLY THING non-LDS guys want is sex. I don't think that's true at all. The majority of the guys I have dated and been interested in have not been LDS.

    But the fact of the matter is, dating patterns of LDS (and other people who are celibate until marriage) and non-LDS couples are extremely different. I don't know one non-LDS couple who doesn't have sex on a regular basis. This is normal now. They came together because of similar interests. They stay together because of love. But most of them would not even consider getting married until they have known each other for at least a few years, and probably lived together in the meantime.

    So when you're dating a non-LDS guy and he finds out about the no sex thing, I think there's a good chance he may rethink where the relationship is actually going. In a way, I almost don't think it's fair for me to date a non-LDS guy because to date me means restructuring the pattern of dating and commitment that he most likely has in his mind. It's not a bad thing that he wants to have sex, it's just different from my personal moral code. It's perfectly fair for him to expect that he be with someone for a few years before he make that marriage commitment.

    One of the reasons LDS people get married so quickly is because we're human and have raging hormones and once you realize you love someone it is EXTREMELY hard to control those hormones and that desire to be intimate with the other person.

    I think sometimes the typical LDS relationship pattern is flawed because of the raging hormone factor. How many LDS people get married without really getting to know the person beyond superficial things because they do want to be intimate? I'd wager more than a few.

    Also, for us it's more than no sex. It's no touching, period. Most of the non-LDS guys I've dated go right for the breasts when we start making out. Not only is it a mood killer to say no, but most of the time I don't really want to say no. This can be a problem with LDS guys as well, however, at least the LDS guy has a similar moral code and will understand implicitly why you need to stop.

    I don't believe guys who aren't LDS are sex fiends. I also don't believe that all LDS guys are Peter Priesthoods with nary an impure thought in their little heads (in fact, I'd be really disappointed if that were the case).

    All of that said, I appreciate this post a lot. Absolutist statements drive me crazy, and I'm sorry that something I said was construed as such. I do find that there is a fair amount of absolutist "doctrine" said in Sunday School or Relief Society, and sometimes it's easy to get caught up in agreeing. It's important to step back and realize what it is that is actually being said.

  10. Blogger lchan 

    Kelly,
    Great comment. I think you brought up a really interesting point - the whole morality question isn't just about sex itself, but all the stuff that leads up to it.

    On one of the most surreal dates of my life (with one of the last non-members I dated) the guy asked me about what I would and would not do. He was actually a virgin, but thought it was strange that it wasn't okay to even mess around. Later in the evening, we were watching a movie in the dark under a blanket and his mom came down and said something and he replied, "Oh you don't have to worry about anything. She's a mormon. Nothing's going to happen." And, yeah, he still tried some inappropriate stuff.

  11. Blogger annegb 

    To tell the truth, in my vast experience, I had more Mormon guys try, and sometimes in a devious way, to get me into bed than non-Mormons, or to try to touch me inappropriately while dancing than any non-Mormon. I found non-Mormon guys more direct, and also more accepting, of my no, then we could go on to be friends.

  12. Blogger Kelly 

    Anne, that's interesting. Since I've mostly dated non-members I only have a handful of member stories - and frankly, one of those members was no Peter Priesthood.

    lchan, one of my roommates went on a blind date with a guy who was FASCinated by the fact that she was Mormon and would not get off the sex talk. He asked her if she was a virgin and then made crass comments throughout the rest of dinner about how he wouldn't be getting lucky that night. (I don't consider him typical of the non-LDS male. LDS or non-LDS, he was just a creep)

  13. Blogger alena 

    Nice Blog!!! It looks like you've spent a fair amount of time setting it up and keeping the content fresh. I'll be sure to come back.

    I have a online dating blog. It pretty much covers uk dating agency related stuff.

    Thanks again and keep up the good work.

  14. Blogger jiri 

    This is a excellent blog. Keep it going.

    This may be of interest to you I have a free online dating service. It pretty much covers dating stuff.

    I'll be sure to come back.

  15. Blogger jobs123 

    Hey I just love your blog. I also have a adult sex dating
    blog/site. I mostly deals with adult sex dating
    Please come and check it out if you get the time!

  16. Blogger Drunk Glory Hole 

    click for dating servic

  17. Blogger milfcritic 
  18. Blogger Adult Personals 

    hehehehe good topic, like the site.

  19. Anonymous Anonymous 

    Great Blog! Ilike it.I have Site where you can Find sex partnerTake a look if you have a minute. Thanks and have a good one!

  20. Anonymous Anonymous 

    Came here searching for adult dating services

    Not a bad site you got here mate!

    Check out mine
    All about
    adult dating services

  21. Blogger Michelle 


    online dating <<< Meet Thousands Of Singles In Your Area >>>

    Hundreds Of Happy People Across The Globe Have Been Successful In Finding Suitable Partners With Online dating. Thousand Of People Are Looking For A Date Today. They Are Looking For Someone. Are You One Of Them?

    Lonely? Single? Married?
    Are you looking for someone to FLIRT?
    Looking for someone to DATE?
    Find your special someone.
    Date man or women you desire!

    Multilingual : English - Chinese Simplified - Chinese Traditional - Dutch - French - German - Greek - Italian - Japanese - Korean - Portuguese - Russian - Spanish

    Free Trial! Chat Real Time with Audio & Video Capabilities. online dating

  22. Blogger Michelle 


    single dating <<< Meet Thousands Of Singles In Your Area >>>

    Hundreds Of Happy People Across The Globe Have Been Successful In Finding Suitable Partners With Online dating. Thousand Of People Are Looking For A Date Today. They Are Looking For Someone. Are You One Of Them?

    Lonely? Single? Married?
    Are you looking for someone to FLIRT?
    Looking for someone to DATE?
    Find your special someone.
    Date man or women you desire!

    Multilingual : English - Chinese Simplified - Chinese Traditional - Dutch - French - German - Greek - Italian - Japanese - Korean - Portuguese - Russian - Spanish

    Free Trial! Chat Real Time with Audio & Video Capabilities. single dating

  23. Anonymous onlinedating 

    onlinedating onlinedating

Leave a Reply

      Convert to boldConvert to italicConvert to link

 


Links



Previous posts


Archives


ATOM 0.3