280: How to Have Better Sex in Your Mormon Marriage

September 3, 2011
By

In today’s episode Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife joins Natasha Helfer Parker (the Mormon therapist) and John Dehlin to discuss…..sex: specifically, how to have a better sex life in your Mormon Marriage.

Reference was also made to the following:

We hope you….enjoy.  :)

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56 Responses to 280: How to Have Better Sex in Your Mormon Marriage

  1. Sophia
    September 3, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    “Sexuality is a language” YES. I love that. So true. I love the topic of human sexuality and love the topic as it relates to being LDS.  John, I love you….so glad you took part in this. You make me laugh and I adore you! My husband and I are constantly aspiring to achieve passion, eroticism,  and spontaneous sex beyond the functional roles we maintain. We do pretty well! There is a definite eban flow! I agree with the duty mentality. Our first 8 years of marriage as TBM’s  I can honestly say I personally went out of my way to put out frequently always sure that if I didn’t, he would surely get addicted to porn! Dr Oz said, “healthy sex is 4+ times a week” and that quota was stuck in my head. My husbands vasectomy 4.5 years in helped me enjoy it more! I’ve let all that go and am more inclined to take my proper place as his personal playmate! Once I, as a woman, realized I need sex as much as my husband does things became a lot more fun!! Working out false beliefs and cultural expectations helped a lot too!! With or without a therapist!! :o) Meaningful sex is by and large better than a quota! 

  2. September 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    My personal view on a healthy sexual relationship is this: Play by NO ONE’S rules but you and your spouses alone. I feel VERY adimently that religion, family, friends, media and anyone else who has 2 cents on your sexual and intmate relationships need to be compltely removed! Start from scratch if you have to but create your own rules. Start back at the begining stages of intmacy and re-write your very own personalized rules. Start with the new first kiss, and the snuggles and the cup of feel while watching a movie, make youre relationship fun and adventurous (this does not mean having to be an exhibitionist), try it in new places, be spontanious. Be and do whatever you both want to build together. If one partner suggests trying something that makes you uncomfortable don’t just write it of, Educate yourself about it and ponder it for a while. In doing so you maybe stumble upon some of the best sex of your life as well really begin each other to explore their interests and desires and even fantasies. The only rules my hubsand and I have are these: be open minded, honest, respect each others thoughts and most of all HAVE FUN! Isn’t that what’s it is suppose to be about anyways?

  3. Bob
    September 3, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Shouldn’t the picture show them with their garments on? ;)

    • Bitherwack
      September 4, 2011 at 7:36 am

      Umm…   Come on, Bob…Who has sex with their garments on??

      • jmb275
        September 4, 2011 at 8:31 pm

        What doesn’t everyone? Oh crap, I’ve been doing that all these years needlessly ;-)

        • Goosie
          September 6, 2011 at 1:06 am

          Not unless they’ve introduced the crotchless kind for the womenfolk.

          • Jen
            September 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm

            It would totally work with the one piece garments.

          • Luckeyeth
            September 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm

            My dad told me once that in an interview an older man told him that all his children were conceived within the garments.  I don’t want to be a bishop.

          • Betina
            September 13, 2011 at 4:21 am

            barf.

  4. brightblue
    September 4, 2011 at 1:43 am

    Great stuff.  Very informative and helpful (especially your honest discussion of masturbation is helpful and relevant to my marriage – it is relieving and helpful to hear my questions so openly discussed).  I guess the one thing I still feel shaky about is fantasy.  In my marriage, I assume that my spouse might have fantasies enter his mind randomly, like everyone does, and I don’t see that as a big deal.  I figure my spouse and I both have a sense of the attractiveness of other people, random thoughts about sexually related things, pictures in our minds about things or situations we have learned to associate with sexual feelings, and I think that is completely normal.  It is just part of life.   I don’t necessarily feel a need to tell each other about every fantasy on a day to day basis, because I just assume most come and go without our bidding and I don’t see them as being particularly significant.  But I do have a deep sense of importance about the conscious fantasies we might be using or intentionally pursuing, particularly when we are in a sexual encounter.  It makes me very uncomfortable if I feel like he is imagining someone else, especially during sex.  If the thought just pops into his mind and he lets it pass away without holding onto it, that isn’t the problem – what I dislike is feeling like he wants to or needs to pursue thoughts of other people rather than focusing on his experience with me.  How do we set boundaries in this aspect of our relationship, without causing him shame? 

    • brightblue
      September 4, 2011 at 8:59 am

      Thinking about it, I am now wondering if that last sentence was presumptuous on my part – I guess I assumed I have a right to expect him to honor my comfort level with the fantasies he chooses to expend energy on.  Maybe I don’t, I guess that is part of my confusion.  The fact that he could find any crazy or creepy assortment of things to be possibly erotic doesn’t worry me at all – intrigue or novelty are obviously exciting and that seems to be a normal response for all of us.  But I feel like fantasy becomes an issue for me if I am sensing a distance between us because he is putting his energy and focus into imagining the excitement of having sexual encounters with other women, and I feel like that is what is arousing him instead of me.  In those moments, I feel like the normally awesome connection that sex brings is lost in his desire for someone else, and I feel sometimes used or rejected.  The end of that experience feels empty, even painful to me.  And I don’t know if I am being unfair. 

    • Natasha Parker
      September 6, 2011 at 8:40 pm

      I think these are great questions to explore within the safe communication of a marriage.  I also think different couples will come up with different answers.  My point about fantasy is not so much to incorporate it into your married life – but can we at least begin talking about it and opening it up for discussion.  It sounds like you’ve already done a lot of this within your own mental construct – have you shared these thoughts with your husband?

      • Natasha Parker
        September 6, 2011 at 8:41 pm

        What does fantasy have to mean (or not mean) for us?

        • Natasha Parker
          September 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm

          Sorry – I meant “sex life” not “married life” up above.  :)

  5. RKCufade
    September 4, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I think the church is very effective in asexualizing the youth.  As a result, we tend to become completely detached from our sexuality.  When two people get married, it is as two compatible personalities who are asexual.  With the marriage, and the awakening of the sexual self identity, there are going to be surprised discoveries.  “I didn’t know I was gay.”  (How would s/he know?)  “My spouse should have told me s/he was asexual.” (How would s/he know?)  I’m glad Natasha mentioned that couple at the end of her comments, because that kind of problem is impossible to address in the paradigm of the church.  (One could argue that the Church is complicit in creating such impossible marriages.)  The idea of an open marriage makes sense, both for the spouses who from every other angle are compatible, and for the children who should not suffer unnecessarily.  
    My wife and I were in such a situation, and found opening the marriage the only alternative…   Though it took me a while to realize I was gay, I was still enjoying having sex with her.  She had hinted of the possibility of having been abused.  It wasn’t until after we had our third child that she said, “If I never have sex again for the rest of my life, it will be too soon.”  That hurt!  Things became very rocky for our marriage.  I felt I had done everything I could to satisfy her, and was now stuck in a sexless marriage.  That was something I was not willing to do.  She introduced me to a gay friend of hers, and put us in compromising positions, and one thing led to another.  (She probably understood more about me than I did!)  That was the end of feeling duped into a sexless marriage, and she no longer feels the pressure to have sex.  Does any of this make it into our temple recommend interviews?  No.  How could an extremely prejudiced complete stranger, and hardly a professional marriage counselor understand our situation, let alone counsel with us on it?  We love each other, and are very compatible.  We have three wonderful children.  I believe ours to be a celestial marriage.  As far as our bishop is concerned, it is none of his business.  We are making it work.  It was nice to hear of another such case from Natasha.  Thank you for sharing that.  It made a big difference to me.

    • unonymous
      September 6, 2011 at 1:54 am

      Very sad comment indeed.  The Lord knows and it is his business

      • Buffalo
        September 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm

        The good Lord is into voyeurism, it would seem. Hey, everyone has their kinks. 

  6. JM
    September 5, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    The podcast link has not updated to reflect this episode on iTunes. 

    • Anonymous
      September 5, 2011 at 6:11 pm

      Fixed now. Sorry ’bout that.

  7. Bill
    September 6, 2011 at 1:08 am

    When my wife lost her faith in Mormonism and Christianity and decided to throw in the towel on both, we had been married 15 years.  It was devastating for me but I had not counted on the fact that during that first month we had the GREATEST and most frequent sex of our lives before or since!   Definitely an upside to an otherwise traumatic experience!  I can’t help but think that our experience was not unusual….BTW, we are still happily married 5 years later!

  8. James
    September 6, 2011 at 7:00 am

    THE PROPHET APOSTLES  GENERAL AUTHORITIES  STAKE PRESIDENTS  BISHOPS  MARRIED COUPLES   PRE MARRIED COUPLES  JEWS  AND  GENTILES .. SHOULD BE COMMANDED TO LISTEN TO THIS…….BRILLIANT

    • Jennifer Finlayson-Fife
      September 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks, James! :-)

  9. DefyGravity
    September 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I loved your description of sacrifice in marriage; that it’s about elevating everyone rather then someone losing something vital so the other can have what they want. I also appreciated the comments on not necessarily needed your spouse to validate your constantly, but as a way to find a strong sense of self so that you can help another person without losing who are you are. My marriage is awesome, but I have noticed that I take on my husband’s anxieties (like school or work problems) to the point that I get more stressed out then he is, and it isn’t useful for me or him. I sometimes feel like it’s my job to worry for him, but I’ve started to realize that I can probably help him more and keep myself in a better emotional place if I can disconnect from his anxieties and see them as his rather then mine. This podcast has helped me to clarify that. Thank you!

  10. don't know mo
    September 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I really enjoyed this podcast and found it so helpful.  I was hoping the panel would discuss how to reconcile what our church leaders are teaching us vs. what the panel has found helpful to clients in their clinical practices.  It seems to me that in some instances these two views are in direct opposition to each other, especially regarding masturbation and exploring our sexual selves in general.  Since I teach the youth, I feel an obligation to teach “the party line” on the one hand, but on the other hand, many of the lesson concepts appear to me to set kids up for unnecessary pain, guilt and unrealistic expectations.  As an example, the following is from the For The Strength of Youth pamphlet, the go-to resource for youth lesson material: “Before marriage, do not do anything to arouse the powerful emotions
    that must be expressed only in marriage. Do not participate in
    passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private,
    sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not
    allow anyone to do that with you. Do not arouse those emotions in your
    own body.” I find myself ignoring big chunks of the lesson material rather than addressing these areas of obvious conflict with what we hear over the pulpit.

  11. Amie Houser
    September 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I am happily married–13 years.  We were together for 7 before that, both born and raised in the church.  I’m grateful we did date in our teen years and that we did experience those emotions of love, which may even be called “passion.”  I knew what it felt like.  So when I went on to date other people,etc before I eventually married my first love, there were no suprises.  I knew what love and passion were.  Moreover, I wasn’t waiting for him to be my happily ever after.   I think a key to a good foundation of healthy sex in a marriage is time before the marriage to work these things out.  The sometimes typical, “Hey, let’s date for 3 months and get engaged” scenario complicates sexuality.  Sure, you can work through those things after you are ,arroed, but I think they are much better worked through BEFORE marriage. 
    Anyway, we enjoy a healthy, passionate and fun marriage and intimate life and I attribute that to kind of not listening to every. single. thing. that came from SLC, (such as the items listed above).  A little dating, fairy-tale falling in love, arousing passion, and kissing was healthy and wonderful.  That being said, we maintined the standards that seemed weightier to us–no sex of any kind, clothes on or off, no touching “sacred” parts, etc.  That we could see the logic behind.  But, no kissing?  No single, steady dating, no arousing emotions?  No way. 

  12. mmmmmam
    September 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Suppress………Compress……………….Depress.  This cycle is so prevalent in many marriages.  
    One can not address what one can not even discuss.  Issues with sexuality are fraught with so much anxiety and uncertainty that many  live lives of quiet suppressed……compressed………….depression.  Man and Woman are that they might have joy.   Happiness is the end of our creation.  Thank you all for openly discussing a subject that needs more light and knowledge shown upon it.  It is good to think and consider another’s viewpoint and to smile and even laugh about a subject that is seems so serious it defies discussion.  I really enjoyed this podcast.  Thank you!

    • demetri
      October 7, 2011 at 7:50 pm

      “express yourself”. watch mtv together and practice the ‘twerk’. It’s good exercise. I think our pioneer ancestors had better sex lives than many saints today.

  13. ToPersonalToShare
    September 8, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    My TBM wife didn’t have an orgasm for the first 10 years of our marriage.  Since then, our relationship has been much better.  We feel connected.Allow me to explain.  Children, cover your ears!I always fantasized that my wedding night would be filled with hot, passionate sex.  I saved myself for 22 years and was ready to explode.  After the reception, we made it to the honeymoon suite. Wanting to take it slow, we took our first bath together.  My heart was thumping.  Finally, we made it to the bed.  I kissed her tenderly and rubbed her clitoris and hoped she’d do the same to me.  She didn’t.  After a few minutes of foreplay I went inside.  I was expecting her to get aroused and hopefully orgasm before me.  Neither one happened and finally, “bang” it was over.  I felt bad that she wasn’t able to feel what I felt, but knew that it would take a few tries to get it right.  At least thats what my old roomate said a few weeks after his own marriage.  Poor girl didn’t get much sleep that night.Fast forward six months.  “Dear?” I ask awkwardly.  “Its been a few days.  Wanna have sex?”  A few moments pass and she lets out a tired sigh then says, “OK, if that’s what you want.”  I come to her side of the bed, kiss her for a while, hoping that she’ll touch me first this time.  I’ve explained how important this is to me, to be desired.  Maybe this time she’ll remember.  Minutes pass.  Nothing, so I move my free hand down to her breasts then help take off her shirt, pants, and garments.  It feels mechanical.  Softly, I touch my middle finger to her clitoris.  It’s dry so I wet my finger with my mouth and touch her again softly.  She doesn’t move.  “Am I hurting you,” I want to ask, but instead I soften my touch.  Finally, she rotates her pelvis slightly towards the source of what I hope is pleasure.  I want this to last.  Perhaps this time the flame will grow and quench my childhood fantasies.  “Just go inside,” she moans impatiently.  The flame went out.  I put off intercourse for a little bit longer, hoping to revive the flame.  Nothing.  I go inside and press up against her.  In out, in out.  In, side to side, then out.  My mind screams, “Dance with me.  Wrap your legs around me.  Want me!”.  Her legs stay close together and my penis goes limp.  So I lift my body and bang it out for a few minutes, missionary position of course.  “Just go” she finally says.  I close my eyes and the girl with big boobs in the ward is now beneth me.  She wants me and together we release.  My body relaxes.  I soften my grip and ask shamefully, “Are you all right?”  She says something inaudible so I get up and put on my garments then climb under the covers.  She heads to the bathroom, wipes herself off, puts on her garments then returns to her side of the bed. But instead of laying down she says her prayers.  I try to ignore this, but then do the same.  Emptiness fills my mind so I lay down when she does.  I spoon her with my body and cup her small breast in my hand.  “I love you,” she says and I say the same.Six months later.  With a baby on the way, sex becomes less frequent.  But sometimes we connected as she moved her body with mine.  Is this what a female orgasm is like?  I recalled the erotic sounds I heard coming from the couple in the upstairs apartment last night.  Squeking turned into banging as our friends reached orgasm.  The memory of her involuntary groan lifted me out bed and in front of the computer.  My heart raced as the modem buzzed to life.  The pornographic pictures made the back of my neck burn.  These pictures never said “no” as I shamefully moved towards orgasm.Five years later I found myself sitting across from the bishop.  I told my wife that I was there to ask him about a calling that I had, and there was some truth to that.  However, I had decided to come clean and tell the bishop about the pornography addiction that was burying me alive.  The young bishop asked, “Does your wife know?”  “No,” I admitted.  “I respect you for coming forward,” he said.  “Most men come into my office because they get caught.”  That made me feel a teeny bit of respect for myself.  Perhaps im not entirely bad.  “I want to meet with you again, but not until you tell your wife.”  I anticipated this, but these words felt like cold water.  At this point I managed everything myself. Sharing this with her was full of risk.  Would she leave me, just like my dad when when I was young?   My heart feared for my kids. “OK.  I’ll work with you on this,” she said.  I can’t believe my ears.  I know she’s hurt, angry and confused, but she’s staying.  She loves me!  She cried most of the night next to me.  “I’m so sorry,” I say.  She wakes up raw.  I quietly get ready for work and touch her arm on my way out the door not knowing what to expect.  Over the next few weeks, we had good days and bad days. Kind of like coming out of major surgery.  After a few weeks she holds onto the atonement and becomes healed.  Finally, she allows me to make advances again.  We move forward carefully, fearing that too much contact will reopen her wounds.  Over time, sex returned to normal and this time I didn’t feel like she owed me anything.  I left any expectations at the alter.Four years later, the scars are mostly faded and it seems like she is opening up more.  After a fun, romantic date we have sex. This time, it feels like she is with me.  I feel free to change things up a little and put my fingers over her clitoris during intercourse and stroke her.  Maybe this time it won’t kill the mood.  She comes alive for the first time in our marriage.  We connect.  Over the next week, we try experimenting with this new technique.  Her clitoral area becomes more familiar to the touch.  I know when she’s aroused because she swells up and her orgasms become more like mine.By understanding the technique of love making, we can now focus on our relationship.  Before she viewed doggie sex as unnatural and demeaning.  It was off limits.  But she opened up to the idea shortly after her first orgasm.  I think she realized that sex can’t be held inside a box.  When we had doggie sex, it felt like she was truly giving herself to me for the first time.  It felt F!@#$%* AWESOME!!!  Sometimes, one of us will have a hard time going, and that’s totally fine. We refer to the Quickie as “Old Fashioned Sex.”  I love giving her oral sex.  She thinks its gross and says she doesn’t like it, but it totally turns her on.  It works when everything else fails.  I have mixed feelings about this though.  On one hand, I don’t want to do things that make her feel uncomfortable.  But on the other hand, I believe our relationship was stunted because we held back.  Along this theme, there’s a lot of things that I would love to try, but are taboo to her.  Vibrators, masturbation during intercourse, and more oral sex top the list.  A lot of this is for me (natural man), but I think it would help bring her more happiness also.How can I help her open up more?  Should I try?  Am I the evil man who wants my wife to do what I’ve seen in my days as a porn user?  I don’t think so.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d die a happy man if we kept sex where it is.  But I also think there is so much more to offer.  I’d love to listen to this podcast with her, but I’m scared that she’d be shocked to hear some of things (e.g. skype sex) and reject the whole message, me and my view of the church.  Is there a book that we could read together?  Any other advice?

    • ToPersonalToShare
      September 8, 2011 at 7:56 pm

      Sorry about the formatting.  The paragraphs got lost while posting.

    • Natasha Parker
      September 8, 2011 at 8:24 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing this personal experience.  I don’t find many aspects of it uncommon within Mormon culture and I’m sorry you and your wife had to suffer in many ways, in my opinion, unnecessarily.  I think a good place to start would be with the book Dr. Fife mentions: “And They Were Not Ashamed.”  It is presented in a soft, educational and Mormon positive viewpoint. 

    • to: TPTS
      September 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      powerful personal experience – i can relate on many levels. my advice to you is to let go of some of the expectation and hope of “what could be” or “there is so much more to offer.” work on accepting what is in your relationship right now and you and your wife will both feel free to be more fully present in intimacy (emotional, spiritual, sensual, sexual, otherwise).

      My experience is that the more I accept myself where I am and my wife where she is there is an ability to move forward together in excited, passionate, and intimate ways.

      • Lonely and Waiting
        September 26, 2011 at 6:07 am

        I can relate to the first two thirds of this post but the “mighty change” has not been my experience. My wife is still very closed off with most everything and does not even state that she is willing to try…all she says is that she knows she is that way and there is nothing she can do about it. Not great for me, but I am trying to live with it. The problem is that my resentment continues to grow and even when that is expressed I know nothing will change. Ugh…my life. 

  14. September 9, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Anyone ever heard the phrase, “If it ain’t horny, it ain’t holy.”

    I’ve always felt that such a phrase was very, perhaps uniquely… Mormon.

    • Lonely and Waiting
      September 26, 2011 at 6:09 am

      NOPE…but I am sure i have heard the complete opposite for the whole of my life!!!

    • estarte
      October 7, 2011 at 7:55 pm

      exactly

  15. September 9, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Anyone ever heard the phrase, “If it ain’t horny, it ain’t holy.”I’ve always felt that such a phrase was very, perhaps uniquely… Mormon.

    Thoughts?

  16. September 9, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Are we the only religion that, flat out, has sex in heaven?

    • September 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm

      I don’t think so.  Remember the virgins waiting for jihadis?

  17. CG
    September 9, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I would be interested to hear a podcast or at least some discussion on open/polyamorous relationships.

    • Anonymous
      September 9, 2011 at 10:48 pm

      CG,

      Me too.

  18. Sam Sneed
    September 11, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    I found this podcast hugely entertaining, especially all the intentional and un-intentional double entendres. :)

    My personal shame: During the early years of my marriage there was a HUGE disparity between my sex drive and my wife’s. There was anger and fights, tears and bitterness. Then I discovered that if I gave myself release then I could relieve some of that pressure on my wife and things became better. I’ve never told anyone not even her because everyone knows that you’re not supposed to play with your “little factory”. I knew I was guilty of the sin on Onanism.

    Fast forward to the present: I completely agree with all comments made in this podcast but I never could have done that in my TBM mindset. And I have a hard time envisioning anything but the most conservative sexual practice being preached from the pulpit.

    Maybe this is too blunt: When I was locked in my rigid mindset I always judged my own actions along the “What would Jesus do” standard. But so that I’m not being profane, I’ll use the “What would the Prophet do?” line. I can totally believe that Joseph Smith went downtown on his  women. He’s always portrayed as a man full of passion and on the edge of social norms. Brigham Young? Sure – that man was a burly chested viking who added chapters to the Kama Sutra. But fast forward to the present – can you imagine Pres. Monson using a skype session to relieve his needs? Pres. Packard comes off as so straight laced that I can hardly imagine him having sex more than the requirement to create children. I definitely cannot imagine that he’d condone the use of any mechanical “help”.  

    It’s quite the quandary. Which actions do I teach my children are healthy sexual norms, your intellectual sexual liberal ideas or the staid preachings of the Strength of Youth pamphlet.

    • New2podcasts
      September 25, 2011 at 4:59 am

      Has anyone ever gone to the old testament and read the short comments about Onan? The christian world as well as the mormon world falsely claim that Onan masterbaited and that was the sin. If you read the verses in the King James version it plainly describes that Onan decided to have sexual intercourse as commanded (by whom – who knows) but to not offer sireship to offspring. He “spilt it on the ground”. In other words he had sexual intercourse for the fun of it and exitted in time to prevent pregnancy. It isn’t about a handy relief of pressure, it is about a free ride.

    • estarte
      October 7, 2011 at 8:16 pm

      Packer had secrets, and that’s ok. Easu and Monson’s women smile.

  19. Stefanie
    September 12, 2011 at 12:29 am

    I too enjoyed the podcast but am finding a disparity between what is taught over the pulpit and the wonderful things I heard on the podcast.  We have always enjoyed oral sex in our marriage but had a bucket of cold water thrown at us when, in preparing to go to the temple for the first time, our stake president asked us specifically “are you having oral sex?”.  We stymied a second and said “uhhhh, yeah.”.   “Well don’t do it anymore,” he said “it’s bad”.  We continued using oral sex but felt shame and questions, (especially myself, since that particular stake president was excommunicated a short time later for sexual sin).  So then my question became, was this particular man curious himself and trying to glean the congregation of information (especially the younger people that he knew might be practicing these “taboo” subjects). 

    Another thing, my spouse and I have been in a “sexless marriage” for about ten years ( I actually cried a little when I heard your description of what that was, and realized that it related to me) and masturbation has been a source of release for me.  I know that it is typcially the husband who has to resort to this practice but I have had to use it and have felt intensly quilty in doing so.  I have even “confessed” and gone through a repentance process for it but return to it when it has been months without any intercourse (11 months is our longest stretch).  I am still trying to reconcile the teachings of the church with these things. 

    Once I let go of the shame associated with oral sex it became a joy again for my husband and I.  We both like giving and recieving it.  I guess I will have to work on letting go of my shame for masturbation.  As I recall, the defintion of chastity is “that you will only have relations with those husbands and wives to whom you are legally and lawfully married”  No mention of what is “allowed” to go on during those “relations”

    Am I way off base?

    • outstandingperformer
      August 2, 2012 at 10:11 am

      yes you are offbase its with your husband or your wife ,doesnt say anything about with yourself. and if it is with your husband or wife, they need to know about it, hence the word “relations” implying both parties. it sounds like you just don’t have any self control.

  20. Indiana
    September 12, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I loved this podcast. It definitely made me grateful for the type of LDS upbringing I got. My parents divorced when my sister and I were young – shortly after they’d joined the church. My mother stayed LDS, my father moved on, but it was my mother who raised us…and raised us in the church. Yet, I never felt that sex was stigmatised in our home. I knew my mom’s feelings about us having sex while we lived in her house (it wasn’t going to happen because we “knew better” and because she didn’t want to condone the rampant pregnancy rate amongst our cousins), but I never got the impression from her that sex was icky or wrong or evil or just “meh”. In fact, the night before my wedding, the whole of her “Big Talk” was to say to me, “Whatever you do, as long as you’re both comfortable, that’s what matters.”

    It was nice to know that she didn’t feel the need to micromanage my sexuality, or to have *me* micromanage it myself; there was no insistence that I needed to be worrying about what’s okay or what’s not okay and creating some morbid list of behaviours that somehow qualify as “righteous” or “unrighteous” in my sex life with my husband. And I think it was her attitude towards sex growing up that even allowed me to sit down with my husband before we got married and talk about sex without feeling ashamed. It was awkward at times, and there were hurdles to jump in our intimacy in the sense of knowing what opinions and subjects we could trust each other with, but I had never been made to feel that this was something we couldn’t or shouldn’t do. There was a sense that there was a correct way to go about those conversations so that we didn’t do anything that jeopardized our goal to marry in the temple, but just the act of discussing sex and our own opinions and expectations surrounding it was definitely *not* a bad thing.

    So speaking as someone who managed to avoid being overtly shamed about my sexual nature throughout my childhood and young-adulthood in the Church, I really feel like this podcast is brilliant. It’s something as Latter-Day Saints that we need to discuss more, because whatever good we’re trying to do by learning to “bridle our passions”, it’s not – to my mind – worth the harm of creating the mental/emotional problems that come when our sexuality is demonized and we’re constantly told to ignore that facet of ourselves. There is a healthy middle ground, and we need to find it.

  21. chanel
    September 22, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Listening to the section on fantasy, I felt painfully uncomfortable because I have
    had experiences where a partner was justifying himself in using fantasy
    in hurtful and damaging ways in our relationship.  Listening to this
    podcast it started to sound like you were emphasizing a message that “fantasies are benign,
    you shouldn’t judge your significant other for any kind of fantasy they
    have.”  But in my experience, fantasy could be used and shared in a way
    to hurt, demean, and belittle.  Trying to have a relationship with
    someone who expects you to live up to their fantasies is really awful. 
    For me, fantasy meant “what he really wishes he had instead of me.”  Or,
    “what he expects me to be for him to be satisfied.”  Or, “the way he
    has to use imagination to make up for me being unsatisfactory.” 
    Fantasies could really hurt.  But I’ve been listening to your other podcast on mormon
    stories about guilt and shame, and I think that is helping me make
    sense of what you were trying to say about fantasies better. 

    • Jennifer Finlayson-Fife
      October 18, 2011 at 3:31 am

      Hi Chanel, People can be oppressive in their sexual relationships and certainly can use fantasy as a way to use and/or coerce their spouse.  The fact that this use of fantasy creates suffering and resentment is no surprise.  I also see negative value in letting oneself be coerced or used in this way.  On the other hand, I do think there is value in understanding your spouse, knowing thier thoughts and feelings in the sexual realm, including understanding fantasy can be a window into ourselves and our spouse.  But as I’m sure I said in the podcast, what makes sex intimate (and beautiful) is a willingness to know and be known, and to cherish another person through sexuality.  Fantasy can be used to know your spouse deeply and to share yourself deeply.  It can also be used as an expression of anger, power over another person, and abuse.  The litmus test is whether or not the use of it draws you closer to one another.  

  22. Jr
    September 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Great Podcast on an important topic.  John, I agree with what you said about “hiding” things, and not “having the conversation” and what that leads to.  You said “talking about it is risky, but not talking about it is riskier.”  I totally agree, but for me, and in the context of these podcasts, enter “the church”.  In my relationship anyway, the “talking about it is risky” is infact because of the church, and the preconceived notions the church has put out there about sex, masturbation, pornography, etc.  This is the pattern in so many relationships, be it sex, word of wisdom, etc.  If the “talking about it is risky…..(sinful, disgusting, wrong, bad, etc)”  was not there in the first place, it would be so much easier and healthier to address and discuss!  Does this make sense?  

    • Anonymous
      September 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      Jr – Totally.

  23. estarte
    October 7, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Desire, for the purpose of sharing, is ‘good’.  Sometimes I think a role model would help. “A lady on the street and a freak in the bed”. I decided not to be a martyr like my mother, who seems to grow comfortable in the role of a blaming victim. Assuming the moral high ground, letting sex become a chore and a weapon. I guess it’s not fair to expect men to read our minds. I soon realized this would take a lot of self-honesty, to get real about what I ‘want’, own up to it, find a language for it, and exercise the courage to ‘ask’ my husband for it. Say, “quickies for cuddles”. Or “help with the chores, and non-sexual touch through the day, prepares me for sexual touch”. Silence is more risky than communication. To my dismay the qwest continues. Why do I have to ‘ask’ more than once! LOL. Because I am worth it. Right? Could be there is no ‘time’ No time for tantric breath, or S&M. No time to ‘prepare’ my body for the rough stuff. “Cuz honey, when it’s love, if it aint rough it isn’t fun.” Or, maybe women could learn to just ‘take’ what we want! Give and take. A lamb in the kitchen, and a lion..elsewhere. It seems men can actually lose interest in intimacy after a climax, while a multi-orgasmic women can keep going and going, like the energizer bunny. This can lead to physical/emotional frustration over the years. So my faithful mormon husband encourages me to finish what we started if he is not up to the task. Or to get a few in, before his member rises to the occasion in his sleep, and we can attempt a grand finally together. ‘Brookstone’ is a good brand name for safe, sturdy satisfaction ;)Want a lover with a slow hand? Here is one way to get in touch with our sensuality, and be a more pro-active, responsible participant. Take a small brown paper bag. Place within small objects of varying textures, a feather, a pebble, leather, leaf, grape.. Sit by yourself, ground to the earth, spine erect. Close your eyes and reach inside the bag. Feel each item and select one, fumbling it between your fingers. Inhale deeply through your nose, deeper. Exhale slowly through your lips, with a ‘pshhh’ sound, slowly. Breath aware, run the piece slowly across your skin, from finger tip, to wrist, to elbow, shoulder, neck, slower, and slower until you feel at one with the item. ‘Feel’ the power of appreciation for the earth, waters, mountains, trees. Engage ears, nose, tongue, gliding the object down your chin, behind an ear, across shoulder blades and slowly down the other side of your body. This exercise allowed me to touch my husband for my own pleasure, as well as his. The erogenous zones were meant to be teased anyway. Make ‘em beg for more. Human intimacy is a sacrament. Tantric time and attention.Our thoughts can become unruly and surprising in the heat of passion. But thoughts are not behavior. We can learn to keep secrets and not confess everything that ever occurred to us. We do not have to give all our fantasies that kind of attention. But many men do need a good perineum massage and are afraid to ask their wives. This does not, necessarily, make them gay. And a woman can feel like she could absorb all the worlds aggression, and a football team, through her yoni and transform it into something else. We speak different languages. Love is learning a new language. Sex toys can be a safe way to know, observe and ‘listen’ to our bodies. Not jump to conclusions. Soon we’ll be playing each other like a fine stradivarius. 

    • estarte
      October 8, 2011 at 7:38 pm

      “If it ain’t horny, it ain’t holy.”

      • estarte
        October 14, 2011 at 4:51 pm

        Study tantra. Women need tantric whoopi. Seems men appreciate kama sutra. Study Tantra!

  24. John Karri
    November 5, 2011 at 3:23 am

    done it all from the slums to the jungle to classy, married lds but the best was the jungle but because
    we had child out of wedlock the church would not marry us and termianted us attending almost a decade ago.. We had to look elsewhere and another church another jesus, or the real jesus for love and mercy and forgiveness. The most suitable balanced physical and spiriutal relationship ever was rejected in the lds church by several bishops at the time, who was just proberbly jellous that they themselfs never had a jungle experience and bored silly in their self-rightous positions, only to misjudge out of envy.
    Moved on friends.  Why throw away a good relationship or marrige beause the lds church shuns and rejects it………..johnkarri23@yahoo.com.au

  25. Johnkarri
    November 5, 2011 at 5:45 am

    johnkarri23@yahoo.com (correction from above)

  26. Wyobuff
    January 31, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I just listened to this. For a long time I’ve thought about how sex was taboo until a marriage ceremony or sealing was complete, and then it was ok.  For my wife, it was not a pleasant experience and for years she has had problems with orgasm because it was so forbidden during her childhood and young adult years.  I’ve been in leadership positions over the years, and wanted to somehow bring lds sexuality up. But  because  its still a taboo subject, even among temple married adults, I didn’t think I could do that.   I’m glad I got to listen to this.  I wish more women and men could listen together. 

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