BEHIND THE MORMON CURTAIN
Fall | 2021
Behind the Mormon Curtain: Selling Sex in America's Holy City introduces readers to the non-trafficked, non-pimped male and female prostitutes, Asian massage parlor workers, and johns who stimulate Salt Lake City’s surprisingly robust sex trade. It opens with the story of Eva, a Mormon Sunday school teacher who, while moonlighting as a call girl, unwittingly schedules a rendezvous with her Church leader. From there readers travel back in time through a sordid history the Church does its best to bury, and then forward again to a comprehensive understanding of the sex trade in Salt Lake City through the eyes of its participants (male and female sex workers, johns) and its watchdogs (church and police). The final chapters make a strong case for legally permissible indoor prostitution and lay out steps the Mormon Church can take to relieve the psychological distress of their followers.
Behind the Mormon Curtain reveals a dark underside to the Church’s carefully cultivated image of wholesomeness and family values. Sexual sin ranks as the third most heinous sin Mormons can commit. It’s grounds for disfellowshipment, in which church privileges are temporarily suspended, or excommunication, in which membership is revoked. That’s remarkable for a Church whose founder left behind
some 30-50 widows, not all of age, not all single, and not all willingly wed. Lust Behind the Mormon Curtain contextualizes the psychosexual pickle followers often find themselves in by showing how it is strongly rooted in Mormonism’s historical and doctrinal obsession with sex.