My life in sex: ‘I want to give a woman the orgasm of her life, but I don’t want to disobey the gospel’

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Sex has always been a forbidden fruit for me. I’m a third-generation member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We believe sex is reserved for married couples, and anything else is breaking the law of chastity. That includes masturbation, which is easier said than done; my two most intimate relationships are with my mattress and my hands. The first few times I did it as a teenager, I was devastated and filled with guilt. At 31, sometimes I ejaculate in my sleep.

Until last December, I was a priest in the Aaronic order for about 12 years. In order to advance to the Melchizedek priesthood, my branch president told me I’d have to go a month without masturbating, which I managed, but with a lot of difficulty. Around now, I was meant to be receiving my endowment, but all the temples in my area are closed because of Covid-19. It’s given me time to slip into old habits.

My brain is almost always in the gutter, and I want nothing more than to give a woman the orgasm of her life, but I don’t want to disobey the gospel. Other churches say that if you invite Jesus into your heart, you’re saved, and don’t need to worry much about anything else. Ours holds members to a much higher standard. We are preparing ourselves now to return to our Heavenly Father, which means celibacy until marriage.

Who knows, I may never get married. But if I’m righteous, follow the commandments and endure to the end, the right woman will come along in the afterlife.

• Each week, a reader tells us about their sex life. Want to share yours? Email sex@theguardian.com. All submissions are published anonymously, and subject to our terms and conditions.

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