May 18, 2008

Pictures of Pornography: finding NCMO

This week I thought we could talk about one of the hypothesized reasons why LDS men and women struggle with sexual addictions like pornography. When we are single, we can't have any official sex until we marry. That is, if we want to remain in good standing with the church. It is good to save yourself until marriage. But dang it! It is difficult, isn't it? A man's sex drive peaks at around age 18 (according to rumored highly scientific studies).

So what does a single, celibate LDS man, for instance, do with all that energy? (The subtext: why pornography might distract, for a moment, even the worthiest, most returned missionary of returned missionaries).

As an introduction to this particular facet of the discussion, I have uploaded a short film that was made by actual BYU coeds. It addresses the phenomenon of NCMO at BYU. For those of you who have never encountered the acronym before, NCMO stands for "non-commital make out." This occurs not infrequently among single, LDS people. A few years ago, BYU students were actually advertising NCMO opportunities in local papers.

NCMO is much like pornography. It's a conscious, unproductive vent of sexual frustration. And unfortunately it has gotten some good people in trouble church-wise.

So watch, enjoy. Or you could watch, groan, and fall asleep depending on your sense of humor. And stay tuned for the post on Thursday: a guest article full of insights by someone who has had a lot of experience with this particular issue.

Credit for this video (script, most of the acting, editing) goes to Chris, Anthony and Kyle of White House North.


Putz said...

1'm 66 and that seemed kind of corny lame, but it did make a point and that i appreciated, as i talking to young people around here that is kind of the way they all feel, but back east in new york, south side would they feel the same as we do here?????

NoSurfGirl said...


quite possibly not. But. I only have my own perspective/experiences to draw from with all of this... hopefully one of those LDS east siders would be able to find some kind of parallel in their own lives, maybe. :)

Anonymous said...

I've done NCMO out of desperation. It had been more than a decade since the last time I'd been kissed. When that much time goes by, you start to feel ugly and repulsive since no one wants a relationship with you. So I hooked up with a guy just to prove that someone wanted to kiss me. Afterwards, I felt sexy and energized, and hooked up with somebody else. The weird thing was I didn't even enjoy the kissing (too slobbery), but I really liked the feeling that someone thought I was desirable.

A few years later, I feel kind of yucky that I did that. I wasn't "desirable" I was just a willing piece of meat. But it took some time before I could see that.

Anon girl (who found this discussion through FMH)

NoSurfGirl said...

Anon Girl: a guilty secret (that now everyone will know)

I've sort of done NCMO too. ... Dry spells are the worst, aren't they?

Mine sort of had the guise of a relationship... but in the end I knew NCMO was just what it was.

happyone said...

I always found NCMOs so distasteful. To me, kissing(and other stuff) is the physical representation of a commitment of love and dedication to the other person.

Once, I went to meet a girl knowing full-well that was what it would be about. I still regret that to this day. I knew what I was about to do was wrong but I went anyway, a very bad precedent. It had terrible repercussions as well. She became very hard to get rid of... let's just say that I was glad one day when the police came because someone called after hearing our yelling in a parking lot.

Desta said...

Is it so terrible that me and my hubby kinda sorta started out as NCMO? And to make it even worse it really was after watching Finding Nemo. I am so serious. Is that too cliche Provo? I think it might be.

NoSurfGirl said...


not terrible at all. :) I think all of this is really up to the person and how they are using/feeling about all of it...

LOL! How coincidental.

Sarbear said...

That video was slightly painful to watch.I don't think NCMO is horrible if it just happens while on a date or something, but to actively seek it out with a random person doesn't seem right.

Fern said...

Maybe it's because I'm not from the Utah scene, but I had never heard of NCMO before.
Your so brave to be bringing up so many secret guilts that plague us. I've been guilty of going along in life pretending that these kinds of things don't happen in the LDS church. I think your doing a great service and I'm sure there are many people out there that you are helping!
It's also helped me to realize how important it is to be open with your children about their bodies and how they function. And teach them what's right and what's wrong, and why.
Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

This church seems to bend some people into pretty wierd shapes-whilst I accept that commandments are'nt being broken here they pretty soon will be.I'm quite sure the Lord's intention in the law of chastity was to avoid the objectification of any of His children.This is somehow so self serving and can only be taking individual's further from their goals of achieving intimacy.It feels like exploitation of trust.Hoe does it feel to you?

NoSurfGirl said...

yup... I agree with you. I think we have all made mistakes in this way... we all learn. This particular video inpsires me (despite the silliness) to avoid that kind of objectification... I think NCMO is an example of how living the letter of the law can sometimes be done without living the spirit of it.

Anonymous said...

My husband was a NCMO that I met online. We worked out, but how many heartbreaks were there for others?

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