‘The sex-starved marriage” TED talk by Michele Weiner Davis
Excellent reasons why one should not reject their spouse.
Here is a good discussion on teaching children about sex:
There are several video segments and I encourage you to watch them all.
An excellent, thought provoking article:
“5 ways you are unknowingly destroying your husband and killing your marriage” by Katelyn Carmen
“KILLING your marriage – DESTROYING your husband”
Harsh words and a little dramatic – don’t you think? – Or are they!
I admit I was a bit surprised with #2. I thought she was going to go down the criticizing husbands road. I had not considered this aspect of how being negative about ourselves and other things around our husbands can be harmful to the relationship, but it is so true. Negativity (any kind of negativity) is energy draining to those who express it and those who listen to it! No-one (that I know) really enjoys being around a negative person. This one made me think – how much complaining do I really do around my husband. I need to start paying attention to this aspect of my behavior.
“Women” (and men because she says this article also applies to men), “we need to be careful about how we are caring for our husbands” (wives) “and marriages. Don’t let the small stuff ruin the things that will bring you the greatest happiness in life.”
To move on to your second question – “How do you handle yourself and deal with how you feel so that you can make better decisions for your life?” Again, I repeat my first bit of advice to you – it is imperative that you figure out that your sexuality really is a wonderful gift from God. Then you move on to figure out how God wants you to use this gift he has given you – what are the boundaries that He wants you to place around it to help you enjoy this gift to it’s fullest.
Masturbation is a tricky subject in the LDS church. I personally see it as a grey area – something that one should be careful with, but is not always wrong. Many LDS members see it as a black and white area – that it is always wrong. You have to figure out what YOUR own beliefs are concerning this subject.
I personally do not believe that what you did as a child was sinful. I believe it was simple curiosity and a natural occurrence for you as a part of your growing up process – the process of learning about and exploring your own body. I think it happens to many children. Those who are taught and accept it as the natural occurrence it is, those who are not made to feel bad or evil for doing it – seem to be more sexually well adjusted adults. Those who are made to feel guilty and dirty for doing it, often have problems with sex as adults. That says a lot to me. What does that tell you?
I also personally do not believe that your current masturbation to relieve your “stress” now and then is evil and sinful either. I believe it CAN be a problem IF it becomes an obsession and a habit that you can not control and channel and IF it keeps you from living a happy productive life and/or keeps you from doing other things you want to do. For someone who is not married, masturbation can possibly be a problem if it keeps their sexual feelings and desires fueled so much so that it is hard to control themselves when they are tempted to be with others sexually. You say “Sometimes I stress relieve and I don’t feel bad. I don’t feel the spirit any less around me.” So if these issues are not the case for you with masturbation, then I personally would say move on to working on something that IS causing a REAL problem in your life. However, this is MY opinion and is based on MY beliefs of what God’s boundaries are. You need to figure out for yourself what YOU believe is God’s boundaries for YOU.
The best place to seek guidance about the amazing gift of sexuality is from our Creator, Himself – the one who gave us this gift in the first place – through sincere prayer. We can and should also seek to learn from the wise counsel and experiences of others we trust and know have our best interest at heart, so that we can avoid some of life’s painful lessons ourselves. But even with those we trust – we need to be careful to weed out any faulty thinking patterns concerning sex that they may passing on to us!
My advice to you is to study and pray to figure out for yourself what God’s boundaries are concerning sex – or in other words what he has commanded us concerning sexual activity. Read what the prophets have taught – (be sure to keep what they say in context – asking yourself who they are speaking to and why). Read what the current prophet teaches. Can what they teach also be found in the scriptures? Read what the scriptures teach. Identify what God has specifically commanded in regard to sex and sexual activity and then focus on following those commandments. In my opinion, there are many additional limitations on sexual behavior that have been/are taught in the church which suggest stricter and more narrow boundaries for our sexual behavior than the commandments. Some of these teachings have even been addressed with church policy in the past – in what I believe is a lofty effort to help us better live God’s commandments from God. The bottom line for me though – is that we are accountable to God on how we follow and live His commandments – so it His commandments that we should most carefully follow. If other, stricter teachings and limitations are a help in one’s lives – great, use them. But if not – then go back to concentrating on the actual commandments instead.
During your research – Ask yourself questions like – What is the boundary that is being suggested? Does that boundary make sense to me? Does it serve a real purpose to help me in some way? Does the boundary contribute to keeping the actual commandments from God concerning sex? Will I be happier if I implement that boundary? What does my heart tell me is right and wrong (be careful to weed out the false messages you have accumulated before answering this particular question). Then take your conclusions to God and ask Him if your conclusions are right and in line with His will for your life. If you get a feeling they are not – start the process over again.
Once you have a strong conviction on what you truly believe is right and wrong and you believe God has confirmed your beliefs, then live your life with moral integrity by choosing to stay within those boundaries. Not out of fear or guilt – but instead choose to implement those boundaries in your life because YOU know in YOUR heart it is the right thing for you to do or not do and is what will help you to be a happier and more productive person, while still embracing the gift God has given you. If/when you slip up – repent – and move forward. Don’t beat yourself up – it serves no purpose. We Mormons have perfected the practice of holding on to guilt and beating ourselves up over and over. This practice needs to be eradicated in my opinion.
I believe it is also important for you to read about God’s gift of sex and seek knowledge about your body. There are many good books and other media available to you. The above book mentioned – “Women’s Anatomy of Arousal” by Sheri Winston – is a good one to learn about the amazing creation of God that your body truly is – but be careful with some “anything goes” thinking that sometimes crops up in it. Take a look at my resource section. I especially recommend that you get Dr. Laura Brotherson’s book – “And they were not ashamed” if you don’t already have it. Dr.Jennifer Finlayson-Fife has written some excellent articles and podcasts addressing Mormon issues with sex . There are also many excellent Christian books about sex on the market. I believe that the more you understand your body and how everything works – the more you know about your sexuality – the easier it is to figure out how to control and channel your sexual feelings and desires – and to keep them within the appropriate bounds.
Along with studying and learning about your sexuality and your body – continue to also work on your spiritual side. Study and learn about God – and Jesus Christ. At this time, I think it is extremely important for you to work hard on seeing yourself as They see you – love yourself as They love you. Forgive yourself because They forgive you. Make changes in your life when necessary. Accept the beautiful daughter of God that you are! Remember, God wants you to be happy and to have joy! Stop beating yourself up and try to embrace the happiness you are meant to have.
Life is a process of learning. Learning is a life long process full of making mistakes. Mistakes can be good experiences, if we learn from them and make appropriate changes so we don’t make the same mistakes again. Understanding ourselves, understanding and learning about our sexuality is all a part of the life long process. WE can choose to make it a joyful process. I know – simple in theory, hard in application – but, I promise you – it is doable. Just keep trying! I am here if you ever want or need to talk more.
This post is my response to baroquelylyrical85’s comment made here
20 years is a long time without answers? Try almost 50! lol
Let’s address “I just want to know where to look to find answers about who I am”. I think you already have the answer to this question – you just have not accepted the truth of this answer fully yet! You are a beautiful daughter of God – created by God – in his image – with an amazing body that was created by Him. Please don’t ever see yourself as anything less. And remember – God created all of your body – all of it – even your sexual parts, including your clitoris. To quote some wise words – “God don’t make junk”! But man does – often through the misuse of God’s creations.
Really accepting that you are a daughter of God and that God created your amazing body can and should help you with your sexuality issues. Think about this – among many many other things – your body was created to be sexual. You have a clitoris that has no other purpose but to give you pleasurable feelings. Your body was created to have sexual feelings and desires, and was created in a miraculous way to allow you to experience amazing sensations and wonderful pleasure when having sex. You have been blessed with sexual feelings and desires (a high drive as you call it) – and those were given to you by God! It sounds like you may see that as a heavy burden – something that you need to get rid of – instead of seeing it as the special gift it is – and seeing that it is something to treasure and to embrace – while also learning to take care of and use in the proper way. Why do you beat yourself up for having what He gave you – for having what He wanted you to have?
As a child – I discovered a wonderful substance that tasted so good. Sugar! It is an amazing creation. When added to other ingredients it makes delicious treats. The more you eat it, the more you want it. Yet for good reasons, that I could not understand as a child, my parents would limit this wonderful food and not let me eat it all the time, only occasionally. Who created sugar – who made it taste so good? God did and I believe that He planned for us to enjoy sugar and to receive pleasure from eating sweet things throughout our life. He also knew that because it tasted so good, it would be misused and cause problems for many people. He knew we would have to learn to have boundaries when eating sugar in order to avoid the consequences of the misuse of it.
I learned as I grew up why my parents limited my intake of sugary treats. Sugar tastes really good, but it has a lot of calories without any nutritional value. In excess, sugar can be harmful. As I matured I figured out that sugar is not bad in and of itself, and has an appropriate place in my life, but overuse and abuse of it IS bad and not healthy for me. There were many that told me sugar is bad in and of itself and something I should avoid all together. I didn’t buy into that ideal at all! Instead through experience, I learned for myself that sugar is good or bad based simply on how I use it, how much of it I eat, and when I eat it. If I partake of sugar with restraint and moderation – it can be a wonderful addition to my life. But if I eat too much of it or eat it at the wrong times, like right before going to sleep without brushing my teeth – it can wreck all sorts of havoc with my body and my health. A lot of that learning came from experiencing the consequences of not restraining or moderating my intake of sugar – and some of those consequences were quite painful – like tooth aches from tooth decay, etc. I had wise parents that tried to teach me and warn me. If I had listened and trusted them – I may have avoided some of the painful consequences from eating too much sugar.
I think we can use this analogy of sugar to look at sexuality. You say that when you were just a child – you figured out that certain parts of your body felt good when you touched them. Ask yourself why did those parts feel good? Isn’t it simply because God made them to feel good? He planned those parts of your body – just as he planned everything else. He planned for you to receive pleasure and to give pleasure with your body. He planned for all of his children to have joy from their sexuality – IF they used their gift wisely. And he knew, that unfortunately not everyone would be wise. Some don’t understand what a wonderful gift sex is. We see evidence all around us of the misuse and abuse of this special gift and we can see the pain and sorrow that comes from that misuse. However, this misuse and abuse of it does not make it a bad thing in and of itself. Although there are many who would like us to think it is. There are messages all around us (some even come from our religions) that tell us sex IS bad, ugly, evil and something we should avoid. Thus the creation of the “Good girls don’t” syndrome – and the plunge of many people’s self esteem because they have strong desires for this “evil” thing!
There are also messages on the opposite spectrum that lead us to believe that anything goes as far as our sexuality is concerned – that we can do anything that feels good as long as we don’t hurt anyone else. These are a few of the many false teachings that come from man. Sex is a good thing, it is a gift to us from God – but one that should be clearly understood, cherished, and used appropriately within the boundaries that the Creator of it has designated.
When we buy into any of these kinds of false messages – then sex becomes a “problem”, a source of pain, or a burden for us to deal with – not a source of joy. God created us as sexual beings! It is part of who we are – part of who he intended us to be. He has asked us to take care of our bodies and to use our God given gifts wisely. To think that sex is bad – is to equate that we are bad, that God made us bad. We are fighting against God with this faulty thought process – and basically throwing his gift in the trash and calling it junk.
Looking at the other end of the spectrum – to think that anything goes as long as it feels good – ignores the counsel from God to take care of our bodies and to use our God given gifts wisely and appropriately as he designates. We only have to look around us to see why we need to follow God’s counsel concerning sex. The fact that the negative consequences of this “anything goes” behavior wrecks havoc with people’s lives and with society has clearly been shown and proven throughout the world’s history. To think we can avoid those consequences ignores this evidence.
We have to work hard NOT to buy into the negative messages about sex (the whole spectrum of them) – especially the ones we pick up from our religions. We have to work hard to remember that sex is an amazing gift from God – and our sexuality is a wonderful part of who we are. We can learn to use this gift wisely and experience great joy and pleasure because of it. We can learn to control ourselves, moderate our behavior appropriately, and channel our sexual desires – while still embracing our sexuality. It’s a process though – a life long process of learning. Learning most often takes place from our own experiences (both good and bad ones).
So while these learning experiences may sometimes be very painful – they too are a good thing – something God planned for His children to have here on earth.
Coming up – Part 2 addressing “how to handle myself so I can deal with how I feel and make the best decisions for me and my relationship with my Heavenly Father.”
I know, I know – it’s been a while! You could say I am in a sort of sex slump! Time to pull myself up and get out of it!
Here is an article on some ideals on how to do that! I’ll let you know if any of them work! lol
At least I have a holiday weekend to do some mojo work!!
I recently started reading the book “Women’s Anatomy of Arousal” by Sheri Winston. While I have not finished it yet, I have read enough to conclude this is a must read for all women and men. Here is part of the Amazon description of this book:
“WINNER, 2010 BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD! THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SEX EDUCATORS, COUNSELORS & THERAPISTS (AASECT). Find out why Dr. Christiane Northrup has called Women’s Anatomy of Arousal “the most comprehensive, user-friendly, practical and uplifting book on women’s sexuality I’ve ever read. It’s the gold standard!” Women have a largely unknown network of structures responsible for arousal and orgasm that their owners and even most medical professionals don’t know about. We’re not just talking about Ye Olde G-Spot here. Women have an entire erectile network that, if properly stimulated, can elevate their erotic experience from “Oh!” to “Oh! Oh! Oh!” Join celebrated sexuality teacher Sheri Winston as she integrates ancient wisdom, lost knowledge and modern sexuality information in a sexy, fun, empowering guidebook that illuminates every woman’s secret paths to fabulous, orgasmically abundant sex. Whether you’re a woman or a man who loves women, this book is for you! There’s great information here, but that’s not why Winston wrote the book. She wrote it to transform people’s lives and support them to reclaim their erotic birthright. And what she shares works! When people apply the information and techniques she provides, the result is often a whole new level of sexual pleasure.”
Sexual anatomy of women is seldom taught in our society, and when it is, it’s often taught incorrectly. As I read through this book, I was surprised that I often felt like I was reading about parts of my body for the very first time, although I know I have read other books that contained some of the same info.
Also while reading the book I was reminded that not only did God create the perfect body parts for the pro-creation process, but He also created the perfect body parts that all work together to allow women to feel amazing sexual pleasure, as much, if not more than men feel. In reflecting on this process necessary for these body parts to work their magic, I could more clearly see how the sexual process, when allowed to all work together properly, has the potential to contribute to building a strong and binding connection between spouses, if they learn to use their sexuality and bodies together wisely and often.
Here is a small sample of just how wondrous and amazing women’s sexual organs are and how they work. Always remember the fact that this very intriguing and intricate system, including the pleasure aspect, was created by God.
Women have erectile tissues just like men. Men’s erectile tissues in the penis work as a single unit and the action of these valves are coordinated – which allows the penis to become erect, stay erect. and then release in the refractory period. Women’s erectile valves don’t require coordinated effort and it’s not one functional unit. Instead they have different compartments that can work together or independently. Which is why women don’t have refractory periods and can have prolonged and multiple orgasms. The book describes all the areas that erectile tissue is located, but let’s only touch on two of the areas for now.
The Vestibular Bulbs are two big tear drop shaped wads of erectile tissue that are located beneath the labial lips, on both sides of the vaginal orifice and are connected to the shaft of the clitoris. (The book describes them as surrounding the vagina entrance as “a pair of plump parentheses”) When they become erect, they help intercourse to feel more pleasurable to women. Sheri Winston suggests that if women are having vaginal penetrations without puffy (erect) bulbs – they are doing it before their body is ready and is why it may not feel that good. Just like a man’s erection is needed for his enjoyment of intercourse – a woman’s erection of the bulbs is needed in order for the women to get the most enjoyment out of sexual penetration. She writes “I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s so important it bears repeating. Never let anything enter your pussy before you’re ready. Don’t accept penetration of any sort unless it’s feeling fabulous. It’s your job to take care of yourself by being very attuned to your own readiness and response. Just because he’s hard and ready doesn’t mean it’s time to let him in. Always pay attention to your own arousal and readiness and base what your do on that, not on your assessment of what he wants.” During most of my marriage, intercourse always occurred and often still occurs when I am not fully aroused. This is not my husband’s fault, as I have most of the control of when he enters me. I often encourage him to enter me when I am not aroused. I did not understand what arousal did to my vaginal area, to these bulbs. Is it any wonder that sexual intercourse has been the least enjoyable part of sex for me? I now know better!
The “G spot” is another area of erectile tissue found in the vaginal area that can also contribute to a women’s pleasurable feelings during intercourse. It is often described on many sites as a “dime-sized spot” on the top side of the vagina wall. Sheri says that description isn’t really correct, instead It’s a cylinder – a tube of erectile tissue that surrounds the urethral canal. The “spot” that is always referred to as the “G spot” is actually the underside of the cylinder that can be felt through the front part of the top wall of the vagina. Because it is made up of erectile tissue and usually only feels good when engorged, if a women is not aroused, there is not much there for her to feel. So again, we see the importance of arousal before intercourse.
An interesting tidbit on the “G spot” is that not only can this area feel pleasurable when erect – it also serves an important purpose during the sexual act. It cushions the sensitive urethra from the mechanics of intercourse and when erect the spongy cylinder narrows the urethral opening, decreasing the chances of bacteria entering that causes painful UT infections to develop. While there is no scientific proof, Sheri believes the fluid often expressed when squirting, may contain an antibacterial component too.
In a society where a great deal of our education about sex comes from books, movies, TV, porn, etc. which mostly focuses on the act of sexual intercourse as the main and most important event, it’s easy to see from the above how not knowing and understanding women’s anatomy and how to arouse them, especially before intercourse, can keep many women from realizing sexual enjoyment and reaching their true sexual potential. This is even more true in the LDS culture where almost all sexual education seems to be shied away from. In marriages where sexual encounters consist of very little foreplay (especially the right kind of foreplay), and usually consists of only intercourse, and some stimulation to the clitoris (if the women is lucky), is it a wonder that women are not all that interested in sex much of the time. This is not the fault of most men, women also are as equally uneducated about their own bodies. The sad reality is many women and men just don’t know better. But with this book and all the good info and tips in it – we now have no excuse for not knowing better! Now all we need to do is get this book into the hands of others. This post serves as my effort to do just that!
If you have read this book already or if you get it to read, please come back and share what you learned from it and some of your thoughts.
My friend V. L. Holt (her bio is at the bottom), who also wrote this guest post, “Sex as Rocket Science“, recently went through a short dry spell in her intimate life with her husband. I asked her if she had any advice for women going through dry spells because of their husbands periods of lack of desire. She consented to let me share her wisdom:
“Top Ten Things to Do to Survive a Dry Spell in Marriage from the Wife’s Perspective”
Before you freak out, have a little faith. There really are wives out there who enjoy fulfilling sexual relationships with their husbands. And when we hit a dry spell in our intimate life, we feel the pinch.
10) Find a new hobby. Very little can compete with the massive endorphin flood you get from an orgasm, so choose carefully. Bungie jumping off a bridge or sky diving are great options.
9) Visit amusement parks. Again, we’re trying to duplicate the hormone rush of good sex, so the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland isn’t going to cut it. We’re talking the Kingda Ka of Six Flags or Top Thrill Dragster of Cedar Point. With speeds upward of 120 mph, a girl can get mighty happy mighty quick. It’ll do.
8) Night out with the girls. Since hubby isn’t putting out, then it must be time to go out. Nothing gets so gut-bustingly funny as a bunch of real Mormon housewives drunk on being kidless for an evening. Plus being around extra estrogen can help tone down your sex drive so you’re not so peckish.
7) Speaking of hungry, the right food is the right stuff. Since you’re missing sex, you’re going to want to find something that will be a decent replacement without creating an even more keen desire. Avoid aphrodisiac foods like oysters, certain mushrooms or Indian food. (Think Kama Sutra.) Instead go for the things that you usually avoid because of the risk of bad breath. Garlic-stuffed cheese bites, sardines in mustard sauce, spicy BBQ pork rinds. Gnosh away!
6) Cuddle time with the kids. Studies have shown that women are capable of surviving with less sex than men comfortably because of the hormones that are involved in cuddling kids. Oxytocin and relaxin are just a couple that get released when you’re hugging or smooching on your toddler. Or adrenaline, if your toddler doesn’t want to cuddle and you end up chasing him all over the house brandishing a stuffed duck and a picture book.
5) Take flying lessons. All by yourself. If you get my drift.
4) Sex isn’t just about orgasm. Some other benefits are bonding (see #6) and unifying a couple. So if the reason you’re not making whoopee isn’t health-related, try an activity with your husband that unites you. Ganging up against your rebellious teenager whose grades mysteriously dropped two levels in one quarter can really unite you. Support your husband as he takes away the car, the phone, the internet, the bedroom door and one of the three meals. Your united front will bring you even closer.
3) There are some things you should probably avoid, you know, if you don’t want to be reminded of your low period. Things like sexy movies, sexy books, or cucumbers.
2) Surf blogs about married sex. Sometimes it’s nice to know that you’re not the only woman out there who is pining for the sweaty desperate yoga move called the beast with two backs.
1) Find a new hubby. Oh, oops! Typo! That’s not what I meant! I already put find a new *hobby* up at the top! What I meant to say, was try a little thrill-seeking stunt, like donning a raincoat and nothing else, and streaking through the park. Or if you don’t mind swallowing your pride, you could try begging for sex, but I don’t recommend it. If hubby really doesn’t feel like it, then you’re both going to feel lousy after he refuses.
I hope you enjoyed these nifty suggestions for surviving your sexual dry spell in marriage. If you end up trying anything illegal, you didn’t get the suggestion from me. And if you end up trying anything death defying and getting injured…well then hubby gets to take care of you. Maybe you’ll get lucky and he’ll give you a sponge bath.
V. L. Holt is a SAHM of six kids ranging from missionary age to nursing age. After the third one came along, she asked a good friend how did anyone manage to make any more? Her friend suggested pushing a dresser in front of the bedroom door.
Holt also spends time writing. Her most recent accomplishment was 97: Rise of the Battle Bred, a young adult paranormal with ironically, no sex in it.
If you get a chance, check out her book. It’s a great read, and proof that good stories don’t have to have graphic sex in them to make them sexy.
Thanks V for the great advice!
Here is a good article “Five Secrets that Make Marriage Joyful” by Gary and Joy Lundberg in the online LDS magazine, “Meridian”
Is your marriage joyful? It can be! I love that one of their tips is for both spouses to enjoy sexual intimacy – not just have sexual intimacy, but ENJOY it – both of them!
Gary and Joy Lundberg explains:
“Sexual intimacy is a vital part of the marriage relationship because it keeps you connected in a way that nothing else can. When enjoyed by both partners, it becomes a physical renewal of your love for each other—a re-commitment of your devotion and your determination to honor your marriage vows. It is a release of stress for both when both find pleasure in it. It bonds a couple, reviving your ability to face the world and all its pressures, together.”
Gary and Joy, married 58 years, really get it!!!
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