Years ago, at a stake center in paradise, at a multi-zone conference, my mission president answered a sincere question about an apparent dilemma.
In our mission, cars and bicycles were not options available to missionaries. They were impractical given the missions size and safety hazards given the crime rate. As a result, use of public transportation was a daily occurrence.
As missionaries, we were instructed to only listen spiritual, uplifting music. The rule of thumb in our mission was that music should be mostly produced by the church or close relations to it (e.g. Tabernacle Choir, Especially for Youth albums, classical music etc.). Generally, this precluded popular music, the likes of which might be heard even over the radio. While strict, I assumed abiding by this rule would help ensure special spiritual attunement that would make us more effective in our mission to invite others to come unto Christ.
The old, yellow American school buses that served as the primary vehicles for this country’s transit system were typically dangerously crowded, hot, and smelly. One of few approaches to improving the tolerability of them was to blare music, most of which was not in keeping with our strict mission standards. As with a great many aspects of life for missionaries, this situation caused some to feel conflicted and guilty.
While some Elders might ask the question with Pharisaical intentions, hoping to broadcast their superiority to as many in attendance, this particular missionary seemed unmistakably sincere (even if his worry was, in retrospect, needlessly and unhealthily intense).
In his thick, Utah accent, making no attempt to soften and smooth out his pronunciations, he inquired, “Presidente, que necesitamos hacer si estamos en un bus donde hay musica del mundo?”
(Translation: President, what do we need to do if we are on a bus playing worldly music?”
Our mission president, after pausing very briefly to consider his answer, responded, “Escushela. Disfrutela. Si tiene que estar alla y no hay manera razonable de evitarlo, que mas puede hacer?”
(Translation: Listen to it. Enjoy it. If you have to be there and there isn’t a reasonable way to avoid it, what else can you do?)
This was one of those moments when the obviousness of a perspective only requires that it be said out loud. Of course it made little sense to feel guilty or worried when inadvertently exposed to a catchy Enrique Iglesias song on a bus we had no choice but to take. Most of the songs weren’t inherently terribly objectionable anyway and there really wasn’t any reasonable way to avoid them. To have permission to enjoy it was liberating and exciting though.
My wife and I were lying in bed one night, early in our marriage, having just turned off the TV and closed our eyes. Living in an apartment, we had frequently heard the noises one would expect living in such close proximity to others- footsteps, toilets flushing and water rushing through pipes, the occasional loud TV or touchdown celebration- those kinds of things. But this night was the first time either of us heard this particular set of sounds coming through the ceiling and walls.
It started with the familiarity of mattress springs being pressed in, as if someone were simply climbing in to bed for the night.
Next came a giggle and some additional rustling of springs.
I’m not stupid nor naive and knew almost instantly what I was likely overhearing. That said, it caught me more off guard than a reasonable person might expect it to. The realization had an instantaneous and overwhelming impact on my mind, focusing all of my awareness on the sounds I was hearing and anticipated would soon follow.
I had seen porn and had myself had sex at this point, but somehow this was different. My breath caught in my throat and my heart began to pound. I lied perfectly still as if the timpani drum roll in my chest were actually being caused by a face to face confrontation with some apex predator standing before me. It almost felt like pure terror but of an exquisitely exciting sort.
The sexual arousal lagged behind my mental paralysis and felt more like my earliest experiences of it (arousal) rather than anything I had felt for years. Butterflies in my stomach, a lightness in my arms, and a tingling in my genitals with no erection.
As the springs continued to shift, conveying a suggestive amount of movement, my breathing resumed but it was obviously labored and ragged- I had to both remind myself how to breath without brazenly panting and simultaneously felt as if I were moving energy from every other sense I possessed to reinforce and enhance my ability to hear what was taking place 10 feet above me.
The compression of the mattress springs became unmistakably deliberate, the intervals between the wiry creaks becoming somewhat consistent. I panicked as I realized I’d been failing to breathe for some time and would need to take a conspicuously loud breath that I was certain would alert my wife to the intensity of my experience.
(In hindsight, I was ashamed to be so overpoweringly turned on by what I was hearing.)
It was at that moment that I heard the first moan escape the second floor bedroom. My sudden intake of air was so loud I thought midway through that I might be able to pass it off as a yawn. Never in my life had I felt so connected with my heart, literally being able to hear my pulse in my ears, through my chest. I continued to panic. My efforts to avoid hyperventilating in perfect silence were failing miserably.
As our upstairs neighbors’ gasps, moans, and exclamations increased in frequency and in volume, my erection came, my legs tingled, and my breathing came fast and short through my nose. Trying to remain silent was clearly revealing itself to be counterproductive. I kept my eyes closed and tried not to move.
Just then, I felt a shift in the bed next to me, followed by a gentle hand on my chest.
“Are you alright?” she implored, without a hint of annoyance or judgment.
“Uh huh,” I managed to muster, finding myself simultaneously embarrassed and soothed.
“The neighbors getting you a little excited?” was her playful response to my obvious discomfort.
“Maybe, a little,” the inflection in my voice probing for disapproval.
“Seems more than a little,” she teased, trailing her hand down to the bulge between my thighs.
“Sorry,” I sighed, “I can’t exactly help it.”
“You don’t need to be sorry,” she reassured, “It’s not a big deal. It’d be weirder if it didn’t turn you on, don’t you think?”
The sounds above us grew even louder and more exaggerated. I opened my eyes and rolled my head to face my adorable wife.
“She’s definitely not trying to NOT be heard either,” she joked, darting her eyes toward the source of my erection.
“Does it turn you on too?” I asked, genuinely very curious.
Removing her hand from my crotch, she placed it under our down comforter and found my own. Pulling it toward her, she placed my palm between her legs. If I had not known better I might have assumed she’d had peed all over herself. The thick cotton of her garment bottoms was soaked through.
“Just a little,” she teased, before closing her eyes and sighing lustily.
After a few more moments of both of us carefully listening to the deluge of sounds emanating from above, I felt her reach down and remove her garment bottoms.
After a barely discernible pause during which she must have been second guessing her next move, she rolled a leg over my torso and quickly straddled me.
To date, I’m not sure I have ever experienced a more electric rush of pleasure throughout my entire body. I felt physically overwhelmed in the most exquisite way, grasping her smooth, cool waist as she reached in the dark between my legs to guide me inside of her.
The heat of her sopping, velvety hole was as astonishing as its tightness, the throbbing more intense than I had ever felt up to that point, even during her orgasms.
She immediately allowed the full weight of her lower body to settle on top of me, totally consuming my shaft. She leaned over, placing her hands and forearms on the bed on either side of me before planting a breathy kiss on my lips before placing her cheek next to mine.
I could feel her intention as her clit pressed firmly against my pubic mound and she began to grind slowly back and forth.
The mere sound of her breathing in my ear was pure bliss which, coupled with the gentle friction, was taking me with what felt like tragic rapidity toward orgasm. I wish I could have stayed in that moment for hours.
My own orgasm overtook me within what was likely a minute, powerful contractions emptying waves of warm semen deep inside my wife. As the contractions waned in length and intensity, a rare tingling sensation replaced the throbbing and my erection remained surprisingly solid for several moments longer.
It was hard to know which one put my wife over the edge since our female neighbor’s orgasm followed shortly after my own. Her rocking increased in speed and power until she too came with uncommon force, squeezing my now softening cock out of her.
Wrapping my arms around her, I pulled her body in to mine, enjoying the orgasmic rhythms of her lungs against my chest.
After several moments, she rolled back off of me, lying on her back next to me as both of our breathing began to normalize.
We continued to listen as the bedsprings above us began to squeak even faster, suggesting our neighbor’s husband was nearing his own release. His long, drawn out groan was preceded immediately by a pause in the squeaking and a series of sweet feminine sighs.
Despite the exhausted calm of my orgasm, I was subtly shaking as we lied in stunned silence.
She must have felt it because she reached for my hand and gave it a squeeze.
“Why are you shaking?” she inquired softly.
“Feels weird to have been so turned on by someone else with you here,” I said, continuing to feel conflicted by my response.
“I guess. A little bit,” I said, with the tonal embodiment of a shrug.
“Well…” she paused for a moment, “I don’t think it’s a big deal. To hear someone else have sex is an arousing thing. And it’s not like we could have avoided hearing it, right? Might as well enjoy it?”
Though it was technically a question, it felt more like an offer. An offer to not judge each other for our reactions to the moment. An offer to know this aspect of ourselves and let it be okay. An offer that deepened my already profound love for this woman. One of many such moments to come.
“Sounds good to me,” I responded, squeezing her hand.