Roy Gilbert

Among Mormon Women, Frank Talk About Sacred Underclothes

Sasha Piton, 33, has called on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to manufacture more breathable and comfortable temple garments for its members.Credit…Kim Raff for The New York Times Sasha Piton was on a hike near her home in Idaho Falls, Idaho, when she realized something was wrong. The trek was just a few miles, and not strenuous, but a rash was spreading along the crease above her thigh.

Ms. Piton quickly identified the cause. Like many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she wears a white two-piece set of sacred temple garments, which are functionally underwear, almost all of the time.

After another painful hike, Ms. Piton reluctantly stopped wearing the garments when exercising and occasionally removed them overnight. Both changes felt significant, since church members have historically been encouraged to wear the garments “night and day.” But they were simply too uncomfortable.

And she did not stop there. Last month, Ms. Piton posted several cheerfully direct pleas to Instagram, where she discusses church culture as @themormonhippie. “We really want buttery soft fabric,” she said, addressing her comments to the church’s 96-year-old president, Russell M. Nelson. “My vagina has to breathe.”

And Ms. Piton encouraged her 17,100 followers to email the church about their own experiences.

Ms. Piton, 33, had tapped into a familiar problem that few women in the church felt bold enough to discuss publicly. Her posts drew thousands of comments and private messages, in which women vented their frustrations with the holy apparel: itchy […]

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