Married Mormon Couple: He's Gay, but It's 'Great Sex!'

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Saturday November 13, 2021
Originally published on November 12, 2021

Matthew Neilson and Brynn Embley
Matthew Neilson and Brynn Embley  (Source:@gayprofessordad/Instagram)

A married mixed-gender Mormon couple enjoys great sex even though the husband is gay, the couple told the press.

The New York Post said that Brynn Embley, 35, was unconcerned when her husband, Matthew Neilson, 33, told her that he identifies as "gay or pansexual" when they were still dating.

"Pansexual is probably the most accurate — but it doesn't feel all the way right because I am still mostly attracted to men," Neilson detailed, according to UK newspaper the Daily Mail.

Even though Neilson says he's "more attracted to men than women," marriage to a male life partner was out of the question for him since he belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which, in his view, left him with the option of either spending his life alone and celibate or trying to make it work with a woman.

According to Embley, it's a plus that their relationship is based less on sexual attraction than on other factors. Even so, the two "still have great sex," the Post article said.

The couple, who have two children, chalk up their happy intimate life to "weekly sex feedback sessions," the Daily Mail related.

The feedback sessions are "calendared in for every Thursday, where they offer each other feedback and tips," the Mail said.

More essential is their compatibility in other ways. "A lot of my previous relationships revolved around that chemical attraction, not having that be the driving force was refreshing," Embley told the press.

"And it turns out that the sex thing works great, so it all worked out!"

"I had a strong motivation to try really hard to make it work with a woman so that I didn't have to be lonely and celibate for the rest of my life," Neilson said, adding, "It is still not the strongest part of our relationship, it is easy for me to wonder about what I might be missing if I were in a relationship with a man."

"But that being said, we do enjoy having sex and being together in that way, which is a relief!" Neilson said.

The two did split up for a while before eventually marrying because Neilson had feelings for another man, press reports detailed, but the personal connection was too strong to ignore, even if the sexual spark wasn't there.

"There was this mutual feeling of complete and utter happiness — like he was my person," Embley explained.

Tales of Mormon marriages between gay men and straight women come up periodically in the press. Earlier this year, childhood friends Nicholas Applegate and his wife Jordan detailed in a Facebook post how they married in order to follow the teachings of their faith.

"A lot of people at the church were quite surprised when they found out that I'm gay," Nicholas posted, "but they were mainly impressed at the sacrifice I'm making" in order to remain a member of the Mormon faith.

Nicholas went on to add: "I don't endorse mixed-orientation marriages for everyone who deals with same-sex attraction, but for me it has given me more joy and peace than I thought possible."

In the case of Josh and Lolly Weed, the eventual outcome was divorce, but worse was the way the Weeds found the story of their marriage weaponized by people hostile to sexual minorities.

The Weeds apologized in a blog post for the way relatives of LGBTQ+ people had seized on their example "to pressure them to get married to a person of the opposite gender — sometimes even disowning them, saying things like, 'if these two can do it, so can you.'

"Our hearts broke as we learned of the ways our story was used as a battering ram by fearful, uninformed parents and loved ones, desperate to get their children to act in the ways they thought were best," the Weeds added.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.