I remember when I was in my last year of high school that I took a sociology course. It also happened to be the same year in which I investigated and joined the LDS church. Anyway, as I noted above, I was pretty opinionated and not afraid to state my views, and a number of times I got in some trouble with the teacher of this sociology class because I argued with her position.
One of those times, as I recall, for some reason I made the assertion that Mormons believed that sex was sacred and should be reserved for marriage. I certainly believed that about heterosexual sex, though I certainly had not thought it through with respect to homosexual sex (which I tended to lump into the big pot of "sexual sin"). I also didn't really want to consider how that view jived with the times I had indulged in that "m" word activity. I guess I lumped it into the sexual sin pot, and just felt guilty all the time about it, tried hard after joining the church to avoid it, but "fell" every so often.
The "sex is sacred" idea was not, of course, unique to Mormon thought; in fact, I probably picked it up long before I was baptized, maybe from the Bible, maybe from listening to a Presbyterian church sermon (the denomination of my birth), or maybe from one of the churches I investigated in my teens. But, in any case, Mormonism certainly bought into the concept of "sex is sacred" so the idea was reinforced in my mind by repetition in class, in Ensign articles, in sacrament meeting talks, firesides, and General conference sessions.
The "sex is sacred" idea was easy for me to accept because it was so easy for me to "control" my sexual feelings towards women. Since there weren't any, it was not too hard, and I felt pretty good about that, but bad of course about those dark, unmentionable feelings that made me ashamed, deeply ashamed. The unfortunate thing is that this combination gave me I think a pretty skewed view of sexuality that I fear Mormon church leaders did not do much to rectify. Understandably, from their point of view, the emphasis had to be on preaching against illicit sex since the activity and desire for the activity of sex is pretty much inborn into all (or nearly all) of us such that we really don't need to be taught much about how good it is, just how to control it "within the bounds the Lord has set". You know, the image of passion being like lava that has to be contained lest it run amok. However, when you don't have those feelings naturally, in fact towards the opposite sex you feel the purest unsexual love you could, all that preaching against illicit sex tends to give one a false impression that by not having those sexual passions you are really quite righteous and superior. Since the gay feelings are just not possible in the LDS worldview as anything other than an aberration that can somehow or other be corrected (whether now or in the next life doesn't really make a difference), being totally chaste in the sense of being totally abstinent from sex and anything remotely connected to it becomes this ideal state for the single guy.
But that is not, I have come to realize, how most people experience sexuality, I mean most heterosexual people. They actually have passions, and passions that they have to "bridle". They are tempted; they resist or not. Chastity means, for them, not getting rid of the passions, but just keeping them in check until they can be fully expressed.
Anyway, fast forward to now. Now, I'm a semi-out gay man, no longer an active Latter-day Saint. I still have not had a sexual experience (other than the heretofore mentioned solitary type of which there has been no drought for some time ;) I know that many gay guys go through a sexual adolescence at whatever age they come out, meaning lots of experimentation, lots of different partners. Somehow, though, this is not happening to me, or rather, I haven't taken any steps to have it happen. Why?
Part of it is probably inertia, and my general shyness and insecurities. But part of it is also that, heck, I still kind of buy into the "sex is sacred" stuff. While I confess that in my fantasies threesomes and group sex seem to have a place, it doesn't mean I would actually ever do anything like that. The truth is, if I had my way, the guy who ends up being my life partner is the one and only guy I want to have sex with, ever. I don't feel a huge need to try out lots of guys, to have conquests, or whatever. I really just want to have real intimacy with one person, which includes sex as an expression of emotional, intellectual and physical attraction and affection. It's all very idealistic and high-minded sounding, but I don't know if I am being very realistic. That said, like L, I tend to resist being told that I can or cannot do something or should or should not do something because "everyone else does/does not do it". If that is the best argument one can come up with, I am generally pretty unimpresssed.
Anyway, it just seems to me that sex tends, like it or not, to carry with it a lot of heavy duty emotions, not to mention potential consequnces (even for gay men), that I think it is probably better confined to committed, long-term relationships. But I am open-minded enough to listen to alternate viewpoints on this, particularly given that I am a total innocent in this area, given my vast non-experience.