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I recently became aware of the concept of soaking, as an "alternative" to sexual intercourse, which is allegedly practiced by certain Mormons, as a moral way to express one's premarital desire for sexual activity without "really" having sex.

My questions are:

  1. Is this really practiced by Mormons?
  2. Why is "motionless sex" somehow seen as more moral than the full thing?
  3. Is this sanctioned by the Mormon church, or anyone else in a presumed position of authority?
  4. And if so, on what grounds is this permissible while "real" sex is not?
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Soaking, by the definition given in that blog post, is still totally sex. Good question. –  LCIII Aug 11 at 17:53
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I'm ashamed that this is actually a question... –  ShemSeger Aug 11 at 18:55
    
@ShemSeger: Of course it came up as a way of mocking Mormons. It strikes me as so off-the-wall that I wanted to give some Mormons a chance to defend themselves. It will also be nice to have a good answer I can point my mocking friends to. –  Flimzy Aug 11 at 18:59
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The problem in Utah is that "Mormonism" is more than just religion, it's also a very immersive culture. This "letter-of-the law" kind of mentality is the the kind of thing that seems to evolve out of strict cultures. The sad thing is that I'm not at all surprised that "soaking" is a thing, and wouldn't for a second doubt that there are college kids practicing and promoting it as a moral alternative. I've visited Utah a few times, and I find myself rolling my eyes at the culture down there, so many of them remind me of the Pharisees and Sadducees. –  ShemSeger Aug 11 at 19:08
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@ShemSeger: The question is about "Mormons." If the answer is "it's a BYU thing" that's fine... and doesn't probably need much more elaboration. :) –  Flimzy Aug 11 at 19:42

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

College Students Looking for Loopholes...

I would not be surprised if this was a thing at BYU. But if it is happening, then it is a cultural practice amongst the students, not a church practice. BYU has a very strict code of conduct, which essentially states, "If you fornicate, you will get kicked out of School."

From the BYU Undergraduate Catalogue:

Honor Code Statement

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men. . . . If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things (Thirteenth Article of Faith).

As a matter of personal commitment, faculty, administration, staff, and students of Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University—Hawaii, Brigham Young University—Idaho, and LDS Business College seek to demonstrate in daily living on and off campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will

Be honest
Live a chaste and virtuous life
Obey the law and all campus policies
Use clean language
Respect others Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse
Participate regularly in church services Observe the Dress and Grooming Standards
Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code

Conduct

All students are required to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the Honor Code. In addition, students may not influence or seek to influence others to engage in behavior inconsistent with the Honor Code.

Students must abstain from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal substances and from the intentional misuse or abuse of any substance. Sexual misconduct; obscene or indecent conduct or expressions; disorderly or disruptive conduct; participation in gambling activities; involvement with pornographic, erotic, indecent, or offensive material; and any other conduct or action inconsistent with the principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Honor Code is not permitted. Violations of the Honor Code may result in actions up to and including separation from the university.

In an attempt to avoid expulsion, and church discipline, some students have tried to find a loophole in the honor code.

This idea of "soaking" is not the first unusual thing I've heard come out of BYU. A few years back there were supposedly a series of excommunications because some BYU kids were allegedly eloping to Vegas, getting legally married in one of those drive-thru chapels, having a quick honeymoon weekend, then getting the marriage annulled before going back to class on Monday. Their theory was, they were married when they were having sex, so it wasn't adultery. They tried to pull a fast one on the church with a technicality.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does not sanction ANY form of sexual intercourse outside of the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman.

COMPLETE fidelity in thoughts, words and actions is the policy of the church, anything else is the vain attempt of a sinner trying to avoid accountability.

These students ignorantly assume that they can beat the system by adhering to the letter of the law, assuming that the courts in heaven emulate courts of men. God's justice invokes the spirit of the law, there are no loopholes.

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It looks like all 4 questions have been clearly answered here. –  Matt Aug 12 at 0:17
    
Looking for loopholes indeed wink –  LCIII Aug 27 at 19:24

1) Perhaps, sometimes. But not commonly or openly, because:

2) This would be still be a form of sexual intercourse, and as such would be prohibited for unmarried couples as are other forms of non-marital sexual intercourse and activity. (For the Strength of Youth, p. 36)

3) It isn't permissible. For most people, it would be rather like trying to brake a snowsled that's already started downhill. It would be more difficult and frustrating to exercise sufficient control at that stage than to let things proceed naturally. It's far easier and better to never start in the first place.

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Is this an official LDS view? –  Flimzy Aug 11 at 18:34
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The "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet is an official church document from the First Presidency that is issued to every youth in the church. –  ShemSeger Aug 11 at 20:31

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