No sex and the city

In a post-Carrie Bradshaw world, there’s no shortage of stories about single girls looking for love in Manhattan. Elna Baker’s memoir, just out in paperback, stands out among the stiletto-heeled crowd because this city girl is also a sober, devout Mormon virgin. In a culture where sex on the third date is the norm, Baker kisses men in bars and runs away before they can feel her up. Unfulfilled, she haunts her local Mormon Singles Ward and chastely flirts with 30-year-old virgin men in hopes of marrying in a Mormon temple. Baker’s humorous anecdotes are underscored by the real pain of a woman culturally isolated by her chaste upbringing. Early in the book, she admits she hates revealing her religion to strangers because the conversation invariably turns to questions about polygamy and “magic underwear.” Non-Mormon readers probably have the same questions. Baker answers them, reluctantly, with plenty of laughs in between.