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My story continued – Marriage and turning off my sexual feelings

Continued from My story – early years:

The early years of marriage and turning off my sexual feelings:

When I decided I needed to stop the cycles of masturbation and guilt,  I got up the courage to confess to the Bishop in order to try to stop this behavior.  After telling him what I did, he looked at me in shock and said, “I didn’t know girls did that!”  I was horrified and ashamed.   This embarrassing experience, along with many other experiences contributed to my development of what is often referred to as the “Good Girl Syndrome”, or in other words a faulty thinking pattern that good girls aren’t sexual.  To the dismay of my husband – as the years progressed,  I slowly began an unconscious descent into thinking  that being sexual, feeling sexual, seeking pleasure during sex was wrong – and I began to turn my sexuality off.  During those years, I felt I could not be both spiritual and sexual – so I turned my efforts towards trying to be more spiritual and sex just did not seem to fit well in the equation – or so I thought!

More and more I began to turn my husband away, and as I denied my sexuality, I began to feel his desires to be sexual were not only unimportant, but actually quite annoying.  I felt he was being lustful and needed to learn self-control.   I had no comprehension about the benefits of sex in a marriage – I didn’t think there were any.   Our intimate relationship deteriorated and eventually my husband found himself living in a sexual desert.  When we did have sex, it was cold and clinical.  Rarely, I allowed him to pleasure me with his hands, but the faulty mind reel that played in my head made the pleasure of orgasms fade quickly.  Sex felt wrong!  It did not make me feel closer to my husband.

I desired emotional intimacy with him and to be held and cherished.  But I soon found that any physical contact caused him to want more and he would try to push any physical contact into sex.  So I pushed him away more and more.  He would get angry, he sulked, he groped, he tried to do things to make me happy, hoping to get rewarded.  Nothing worked.  When I felt he was pulling away completely, I would get scared and I would allow him to have sex to appease him – pity sex as I call it now.  Then we would begin the cycle again.  I would deny,  etc.  it was a vicious cycle.  I don’t know why my husband stayed with me – but he did, mostly because of the children and because of his religious beliefs that one should not seek divorce.  He was not happy in the marriage, but he tried to make the best of it anyways – and this destructive sexual cycle lasted over 25 years.

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2 thoughts on “My story continued – Marriage and turning off my sexual feelings

  1. 25 years? How sad. Where was the church in all of this? I mean, if your husband spoke to a Bishop or some elder, what did they counsel? If it were not for the internet, I suspect we would still be in the sexual dark ages with the church still turning a blind eye. All of these people would be thinking, “It must be just me. There’s something wrong with me.” The equally interesting thing in all this is your use of masturbation as a tool for relief from stress, the release of sexual tension, and as a source of pleasure. Nowhere do you say it replaced the intimacy you were not getting from you husband. It replace the sex your weren’t getting, but not the intimacy. This is the one thing that is always used to discourage masturbation, especially within marriage. Even if the masturbation is mutual: either done to one another or in the presence of each other. If you masturbate, you will on longer desire your mate or will end up depriving your mate.

    What you did, and so many others have done and continue to do, disproves the absoluteness of that argument. You masturbated for purely physical reasons. You were not looking for an intimate relationship with your fingers, hand, a vibrator or anything else you may have touched your vulva with, and when married, you were not looking to replace your husband and his intimacy, but substituting his physical stimulation with another form that didn’t make you feel like you were lusting for you husband sexually.

    It also speaks to how masturbation should not be condemned. To me, it’s like condemning massage or hydrotherapy. Oh, that action of a person or water jets touching your body relieved stress, pain, tension or just plain felt good? Well, we’ll just have to condemn that. The problem is not in the touching, but in what we touch. If we touch anything “sexual” or “erogenous” and we derive relief or pleasure in the process, somehow that is a bad thing. My back doesn’t really hurt, but that back rub sure feels good. The church and society will let you keep doing that. BUT My breasts aren’t sore and it really feels good when you massage them and my butt too, but that’s frowned upon so don’t do it. AND though it may feel relieving, relaxing, comforting, pleasurable and somehow reassuring, I cannot touch my penis/vulva/or breasts to seek those sensations because they are “sexual” body parts. Where is the logic in that? Use all five senses in the pursuit of pleasure and happiness, but when touching, don’t touch yourself. Hogwash! 25 years of guilt over seeking physical relief or pleasure. There’s a crime in there somewhere.

  2. I agree – there was a crime – and I committed it! There are many contributing factors to why I turned myself off sexually all those years – some of it was how I interpreted being religious and spiritual – being pure and clean- as meaning non-sexual. Some if it came form cultural and family influences. Over time I developed what is now termed “Good Girls Don’t Syndrome”. It was all based on faulty thinking patterns I developed and have had to work hard to overcome. Even occasionally now – faulty thoughts will sneak up on me.

    Some members debate the topic of masturbation being a sin. I would guess most still consider solo masturbation a sin both inside and outside of marriage. Some consider it an indiscretion – and think solo masturbation, at least outside of marriage should be discouraged. But I think more and more members are questioning if it is really wrong to do solo or mutual masturbation inside of marriage if, like you said, it does not take from the intimacy and sexual relations as a couple.

    Personally, I have come to the conclusion that mutual masturbation is just part of foreplay and regular marital sexual relations. His hand, my hand, all good. Hubby and I have come to our own conclusions for our marriage, and follow our own consciences about it and are on the same page about both solo and mutual masturbation – which is how it should be.

    As far as your question about where the church was during the 25 years. As always, it was encouraging us to make our marriage strong and healthy and encouraging us to stay spiritually grounded, to live good lives, follow Christ and to teach our children the same. The LDS church has a fairly positive attitude about sex within marriage. Our doctrine teaches us that sexual relations within marriage (between a husband and wife) are divinely approved not only for the purpose of procreation, but also as a means of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife. But I wasn’t hearing any of it – I was too deep rooted in my faulty Good Girl Syndrome thinking patterns. I could not reconcile being sexual and being spiritual. You had to choose between the two in my mind. If I wanted to be spiritual, and I did, I could not also be sexual. Sick thinking pattern, isn’t it!!!!

    Hubby is a private person – I am fairly certain he did not ever discuss our lack of sex with our Bishops. But you have to understand, our clergy are lay clergy – they are not paid. Our Bishops are not full time trained pastors. They are regular men who are called to serve for a limited time period – and they have their regular careers to tend to in addition to their religious responsibilities. For the most part – other than giving spiritual advice and being guided by the spirit – most are not trained to give professional counseling advice – which is what my kind of problem really needed. Hubby did not push for counseling (he should have though) – and I didn’t think I had a problem. So – yeah – a crime!!! And a shame on me!!!

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