What is soaking ? The Mormon teen sex act going viral

New York Post/September 27, 2021

By Doree Lewak

Who said Mormons are living strictly by the book?

A new viral video reveals what Mormon teens are doing to get around the “no sex” rule: It’s penetration without “thrusting,” an act known as “soaking” and its hashtag has some 25.5 million tags on TikTok to date.

What’s more, in order for the couple to further benefit from soaking, a friend helps them out by bouncing on the bed next to them to get things moving, or “jump-humping.”

“When I returned from my Mormon mission and moved to Provo, Utah, I heard rumors about ‘soaking,’ which is when a male places his penis in a woman’s vagina and that is it. No moving. No thrusting. No orgasms,” 36-year-old Gary Knauer, who lives in Oregon, told The Post. “I talked to a few friends who had ‘soaked.’ I hear that Mormons still do this.”

“While on my mission, I had several discussions with my fellow missionaries concerning sex in general. Some talked about soaking. Some would discuss that anal sex is also away to ‘keep one’s virginity,'” recalled Knauer, who removed his name from church records in April 2020.

“I never practiced soaking. I was the sinner who actually finished the job.”

Other former members of the church, which comprises two percent of the US population, confirm that it’s trending, even if it’s forbidden.

“It is definitely a real thing in the community, among teens and single Mormon college students,” Briana O’Neal, a 26-year-old former Mormon from Provo, Utah told The Post. “It’s kind of like a hush-hush thing. Everyone knows it goes on, but you wouldn’t come out and say, ‘Oh, yeah I soaked with my girlfriend’ or whatever.”

Still, some former members of the church aren’t convinced the infamous sex act is as prevalent as social media makes it seem.

“‘Soaking’ makes its rounds every now and then and people are shocked and fall over in laughter. The thing is, I’ve never heard of a single person actually admit to doing it. It’s always a friend of a friend or a rumor,” said Carah Burrell, 32, who left the the church two years ago and posts about Mormonism on social media.

“Mormons have very strict rules about touching over the clothes or under the clothes and no petting, so it’s all very much against the law of chastity and would still require the man and woman to confess to their bishops to be able to become good standing members in the church. So it really just makes no sense. My take is that it’s probably 99% rumor and joke and a handful of idiots try it,” Burrell told The Post.

Sci-fi author V.G. Anderson, a former Mormon who left the church when she was 22, told The Post that the prevalence of these sex acts has elders riled up.

“Due to those posts going viral, awareness of the terms ‘soaking’ and ‘jump-humping’ is spreading like wildfire through the Mormon community right now,” said Anderson, 43, who grew up in Salt Lake City but now lives in Seattle. “All the parents of teens and young adults I know are chalking it up to a dangerous form of misinformation being used to manipulate naive girls in college dorms.”

“The primary concerns are that participating in it could make a person — especially girls — unworthy of participating in temple rituals and that ‘soaking’ and/or ‘jump-humping’ could still transmit STIs and result in unwanted pregnancy. Everyone I’ve spoken to is expecting the church to directly address it at some point in the near future.” (The Post has reached out to the church for comment).

While her family and friends are still very active in the Mormon community, Anderson condemns the culture she says stacks the odds against women.

“Looking back on my own days as a Mormon teenager, I don’t find it shocking at all. Boys and young men were often trying to find ‘workarounds’ like this,” she said. “It’s a common and negative side effect of sexually oppressing large groups of people, many of which are raised in homes with parents who believe they shouldn’t even discuss sex with their children because it will inevitably lead to the child becoming sexually active.”

And Anderson believes that no matter how pervasive soaking becomes in the community, women will always still be the ones suffering if they engage.

“Even more troubling is that ‘forgiveness’ for having participated in ‘soaking’ or ‘jump-humping’ will likely come easier to the young men than the young women who will still be viewed as ‘unclean,’ making them less worthy of marriage.” 

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