‘The sex-starved marriage” TED talk by Michele Weiner Davis
Excellent reasons why one should not reject their spouse.
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.
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.
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!!!
My Hitachi wand died! I feel like I lost a friend – a very close friend! In a way, I did. I bought this wand several years ago after I lost the ability to have orgasms because of peri-menopausal hormone changes. Before this time, I never used vibrators before – I never needed one. Following the advice of our Sex Therapist, I decided to give them a try. I bought a couple but while they felt good, they did not take me over the edge. I heard about this one and decided to give it a try. If it didn’t work out we could still use it as a regular body massager. My wand arrived but it took awhile to get use to it. It was very strong – almost too strong. I had to figure it’s quirks and how it could work. With some trial and error, it eventually helped me regain my orgasms. It became a very good friend – dependable and reliable -always on call, waiting silently for when I needed it to push me over the edge. I have had it for many years – it had just the right touch – and knew how to send me to the moon when nothing else could. I acquired other vibrators but the wand stayed my favorite – my go to if I needed it. I took it on all my trips and even had to explain it to a smart alec security agent at the airport – who knew exactly what it was! Last month it began to wear out. I could tell by the sounds it was beginning to make – and was dreading the moment I would have to say goodbye! Sadly, that time came all too quickly. I miss my friend greatly!
After an appropriate mourning period (15 minutes), I went on line to find a new wand. I wanted to find one just like my old one if possible, and found out they aren’t making those models anymore. Instead they have a new and improved model. Can someone please tell me – if you are already peoples favorite choice – why do you have to be improved?? Why can’t they leave things alone?? Everything has to be changed and improved these days. It’s so frustrating sometimes!
While they aren’t making the same model anymore – they still have some in stock they are selling. However, when those are gone they are gone. I went on line and plugged in the old model number. Several sites listed them for sale, but when I read the reviews – some people reported that they received the newer model instead. Even worse, others reported receiving counterfeit wands. Did you know that there are counterfeit Hitachi wands out there in cyber space? I didn’t! You can read about how to tell the difference here. I guess I should not be surprised since it is a very popular hot item.
I decided to order an old model wand from the Original Hitachi site. You can only buy one – I know because I tried to buy two – one for when the 2nd one died. The new wand arrived safe and sound – and was indeed the right model and not a counterfeit! It is new, energetic and seems eager to please. Like all new friends we will have to become accustomed to each other. It will take some time to learn its quirks and get use to it’s slightly different new feel. I am sure we will grow to become very close friends soon, and one day my old friend will be forgotten, as my new friend takes its place as my new friend.
For now though – I still miss my old friend!!
Lately, there have been a few times when I really did not feel like or want to have sex when Hubby initiated. In the olden days, my not wanting to have sex would have been a show stopper. Fortunately, I have learned to try to keep an open mind, to just go with it, and to allow whatever happens to happen. Occasionally – my body still does not respond and I don’t get into it physically, however, I enjoy the closeness, giving him pleasure, and laying with him entwined after – and these things make me feel satisfied and content with the encounter. This is not pity sex, or “Fine – just get it over” sex. Instead, I participate with enthusiasm and mental excitement even if I am not feeling physical excitement. I enjoy the sex emotionally and while my body may not respond physically, I still participate because I enjoy my husband and I want him to enjoy me!
Most times, as I relax and go with it, keeping an open mind in allowing my body to feel what it wants to feel, I get really turned on and we end up both having really good sex! The last couple of times when I really really did not feel like having sex, but did anyways, my orgasms turned out to be quite intense – which totally surprised me because of feeling so physically non-sexual and non-interested before.
I talked about desire in women and the need to understand that it does not come first in this post. But even knowing this fact – I am still pleasantly surprised at times how it works.
So, my advice to women continues to be: RELAX – JUST GO WITH IT – AND KEEP YOUR MIND OPEN TO THE POSSIBILITIES! Even if you really really don’t feel like it!!!
Given that it’s Valentines Day today – the holiday for lovers – I think it is appropriate to write a post about being lovers. This special holiday is a good time for us all to take a look at our husband/wife relationships and ask ourselves – are we our spouses lover? I like this simple definition of what a lover is: “a person who is in love with another; a person who has a sexual or romantic relationship with another”.
Being a lover seems to come naturally in the beginning of a relationship and in the early years of marriage. But somewhere along the line – especially after children come along and careers are being built – many spouses stop being lovers, they get lazy, and maybe a bit too complacent and comfortable with their relationship.
A friend posted this on Facebook. “The woman who puts her children before her husband will soon have neither… ” This friend is married to a woman who I know for a fact lives her life for her children, they come first and I think this post was a direct message to her from her husband. He is not blameless and has done many things to push her away and hurt their marriage and he has also put many things first before her. The way they act and treat each other is definitely not my definition of being lovers. Rather their relationship resembles a parental partnership and nothing more. I am not sure the marriage will survive when the children are raised and gone because once they no longer have to parent together – there will be nothing left in their relationship to keep them together!
I wrote this tongue in cheek post on the negative effect that children have on parents’ libidos. The truth is that children don’t kill libidos – spouses kill their own libidos by not giving their role as lovers the priority it needs to have. They often allow their other roles in life, including being a mother or father, to trump their roles of being a wife or husband and lover. They get out of the habit of thinking like lovers. acting like lovers, and making their spouses feel important and cherished. They don’t stop loving them, but sometimes you can’t tell that fact by watching their behavior.
I hear over and over, women discussing how hard it is to switch from Mommy mode after a long hard day and suddenly trying to be all hot and horny with their spouse. Most of them will tell you this switch does not work well because at the end of the day they are too tired to think about being a lover – let alone acting lovingly. Many husbands virtually ignore their wives all day long, except when they want sex – and then are surprised she is not a willing or enthusiastic participant.
Perhaps what needs to happen is a re-prioritization of the roles of being lovers. Perhaps they need to work on getting back into the habit of being lovers all day long, every single day like they did in the beginning of their relationship, instead of trying to switch to that role now and then, only when necessary or on special occasions.
Think back to how you were in the beginning of your relationship. How did you feel about your spouse? How often did you think about them? How did you treat them when you were with them? How did you talk or communicate with them? How often did you talk and communicate with them? How did you kiss and touch? How often did you kiss and touch? What would have happened to your relationship if you both treated each other the way you do now? Seriously consider that last question for a moment – would you have married each other if you acted then towards each other like you act now?
Now ask yourself – How do you feel about your spouse this minute? How often do you think about them during a typical day. In what way do you think about them? How do you treat them when you are with them? How do you communicate with them? What do you wear when you are around them? How often do you kiss and touch each other? Do they feel like they are loved and are in a sexual and romantic relationship with you? Are you their lover?
Let’s get even more specific with the questions. What happens when you wake up first thing in the morning? Do you jump right out of bed and rush to take care of the screaming baby or get yourself ready for work? Or do you take a minute first to cuddle up to your spouse, kiss them on the neck and say “Good morning lover!” before reluctantly leaving them to start the day? When you are apart do you miss them terribly and look forward to being with them again? When you are driving, does your mind wander to your spouse and do you start thinking about how sexy they were the night before and how incredibly good it felt when you made love with each other? Throughout the day, do things remind you of your spouse, do you ever take a minute to think how that sweet little baby has your spouse’s adorable dimple in his chin, or how your spouse would love the flowers in your boss’s office. Do thoughts of your spouse cause you to feel a little flutter of love in your tummy? Do you regularly text or email your spouse and tell them just how sexy you think they are and that you are thinking about them and missing them? Do you stop what you are doing and greet your spouse with a long lingering kiss and hug when you part or when you see each other again? Daily, do you think of special things you can do for them to let them know just how much you love and cherish them? What kind of voice and tone do you use when you talk to them throughout the day? Would someone listening to your conversation think you were their lover, or a business partner, or even worse, their parent? Do you regularly flirt with your spouse? Do you enjoy pleasing them and being pleased by them – even when you can’t have a full-blown sexual encounter? Do you think like a lover, do you act like a lover…are you your spouse’s lover?
Think like a lover – act like one – be a lover – all day long, every day! It really is that simple (at least in theory!!)
Contrast this list from LDS Living online magazine in an article “50 ways to show your husband you love him”:
with this list in an MSN article: 10 steps to being a better wife:
Are these lists that different? (Other than Mormons tend to be a bit more prolific and think more is better sometimes – 50 vs 10 – whew, talk about being overwhelmed (and we can’t count – there are actually 51) lol). I did notice that sex is not mentioned at all in the LDS article, while it is in the MSN article (in the explanation part under #3 Keep the romance alive, it says initiate sexual play).
Are LDS marriages so different from non-LDS marriages? Are LDS men that different than non-LDS men? I don’t think so.
I would like to hear from all men, LDS and non-LDS men – here’s your chance – tell us your list. What are the top 10 things your wife can do to show you she loves you? List them in the order of priority of importance to you!
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