Preamble: I'm a 28 year old Virgin

"And then one morning I woke up and looked at my girlfriend next to me in bed. I realized that if she turned into a man, I loved her so much I would give her a ****(oral sexual act)." My friend finished his story to the shock and horror of my two other guy friends, all non-LDS. (The dynamics of our group is fodder for many more tales of the city.) We spent the late hours in a cozy old bar after seeing a movie. The boys were well on their way to inebriation. I nursed my diet coke.

My friend's confession caused quite the stir. The others said they could never in a million years do that no matter who the person and how much they loved the he/she. I laughed at their homo-phobia and prepared for the inevitable move in conversation--towards the only female at the table, me. When they remembered I was there, one turned to me and asked, "Do you?" The others stared in silence, waiting. I laughed out loud and drummed the table hoping they couldn't see me blush. I finally said, "Wouldn't you like to know?," with a sly seductive smile.

I really didn't want to say, "I'm a 28 year old virgin, so the correct question is not 'do I?', but, 'will you?' I have kept my secret from these guys for the past two years. Would they believe me even if I did tell them? Not likely. This night, in this bar, while they got drunk was not the time nor place to share.

How often have I nodded my head and smiled dumbly as the people around me discussed sex? My girlfriends back home knew about it and made it the butt of many jokes, but they have a lot of respect for me too. Remaining chaste while in pursuit of an eternal companion or a Friday night date is not easy. I spent my early 20s dating mostly non-members, due to the shortage of selection at church. Of course, dating a non-member requires having the 'talk' in which I inform them I do not put out and they will not get any. Surprisingly, most of the men acted OK with it. These guys each belonged to one of two categories, those who took it as a challenge to make me 'change my mind', which put me in compromising positions and attempted date-rape. The other category is men with weird sexual issues relieved not to deal with them. I wish I could say some were just nice guys who liked me enough to go without, but, I don't think so.

Alright, so I haven't been standing in holy places and my single-state is my fault. Aren't we supposed to be a light unto the world and an example? What good is it to be an example in small-town Utah, when all you do is go to church with other mormons who criticize you for not wearing dumpy dresses? Although, by not sharing my celibacy with friends I'm not setting an example either. Nice, I'm a hypocrite. But I live the law of chastity in a place where I could make one phone call or walk up one flight of stairs and fornicate my brains out! Doesn't that count for something? The barrage of temptation is never-ending, like a tidal wave that gets worse every year.
Practicing the gospel as a single person, alone, is so difficult. We are a 'peculiar people', but living single in the city makes me a 'peculiar person'. The difference between the plural and singular changes everything. I can get support on Sunday for a few hours each week, other than that, I'm on my own. So it's me, the scriptures, prayer, faith and my testimony against the world. For now, that has sufficed. But it leaves me weary of fighting. I have a dream of one day coming home to loving arms that wrap around me and comfort me. Finding love at home at the end of my long wretched days seems increasingly more unfathomable, and yet, it slowly becomes one of my greatest desires.

Check back here for TRUE stories of the strange, sad and pathetically hilarious exploits of not having sex in the city.