I'd like to share a question posed to me this morning with everyone in the hopes that anyone else who might have the same question can benefit from an answer. I also would appreciate any advice you may have to offer a fellow reader. Please, only positive advice. Thank you! (Warning: Detailed talk about intimacy below)
So I'd like to do a little bit of a review on my reading from the blog LDS Marriage Bed. The author of the blog calls himself CoachSam. He seems to be a good member of the Church and he keeps his blog wholesome. One thing I particularly like about him is that he listens to his readers and immediately goes to work when they ask him questions to provide an adequate answer. CoachSam does an incredible job at finding doctrinal answers to everyone's questions, or if there is no doctrine on the subject, he still does his very best to answer.
Now, I'm afraid there is one thing I'm not fond of about him too though. Even though he is great at finding doctrine, much like the essay by Mackelprang, he likes to add his own opinions in every now and again. For example, he wrote in one of his posts that some women are not sexually fulfilled until they have experienced an orgasm while giving birth. Though there Are accounts of this happening, in my opinion the whole thing is absolute nonsense.
So, as to the blog LDS Marriage Bed, I'd say take the doctrine he presents and dismiss the opinions you don't agree with. CoachSam's blog really is a great source of information, without of which I would not have as much information as I do now.
As you may have noticed on the right, I have links to buy two great books. Let me tell you a little about them and why I chose them for this blog.
The book "And They Were Not Ashamed" by Laura M. Brotherson was a book I stumbled upon on the blog "LDS Marriage Bed." It is highly recommended by the author of the blog and by many of his readers. I have not yet finished reading it, but from what I have read I am very excited about it. As far as I have gotten and from reading reviews, this book does a great deal to help its readers to heal from the negative feelings they have about sex from their childhood. Through this book you can also learn a great deal about how to teach your own children about this important topic. And just to add to this book's value, it discusses topics that you usually have to go outside the church to find information on: Warming up, Foreplay, Desire, Orgasm, and After Sex. The book goes on to help you better understand your spouse and how they think, teaches you the importance of learning about sex, helps you to understand the importance of bringing the Lord into your marriage, teaches the importance of sex, helps you to forgive yourself and your spouse, shows the importance of prayer and scripture study, and overall helps you to come closer to your spouse and so much more. It is a great book to help heal and grow marriages.
The book "Between Husband and Wife" by Douglas E. Brinley was added to this blog mostly because Laura M. Brotherson frequently refers to it. I have not finished reading this one yet either but I think they go hand in hand quite nicely. This book discusses "the art" of intimacy and the importance of sexual education.The goal of this book is likewise to enhance our marriages by bringing spouses closer together.
As I read deeper into both of these books I will give a more in depth review of each. Though I have not yet finished reading them, these books come highly recommended and I too think they are well worth the read.
I have been looking for the past Year to find something, Anything that explained with even a slight bit of detail what the Church's standards were on chastity after marriage. A few nights ago the urge to look hit me yet again and I was up until 3am the next morning as I searched. The first thing I found made me absolutely sick to my stomach. It was a blog written by women who claimed to be LDS and claimed that their blog was a place for LDS members to come and discuss intimacy after marriage. Wow was that an inaccurate description! These women were ex-LDS members. I was deeply disturbed by their conversation, not to be helped by their degradation of anyone truly LDS's more wholesome comments. I continued my search and at last I found something. I stumbled upon a blog called "LDS Marriage Bed." This blog is written by a good and wholesome LDS member whose goal is to help LDS couples to understand how sexual intimacy lines up with the Gospel. The particular article I stumbled upon was about oral sex. As I read his article I continued down to read the comments section. In the comments section the author discusses the article with one of his readers. He explains that he has done even more research on the topic of his article and provides a link to what he has found. I followed this link, and what I found was incredible. This was it, the thing I have always been looking for, the answer to all of my questions. It was an essay written by Romel W Mackelprang in March of 1992 about all things intimate after marriage. If you have not yet already done so, please click on the link "And They Shall Be One Flesh." Read it. Everyone should read it. Read it before you finish reading this post.
I couldn't believe how perfect this essay was. It emulated my frustration of how vague the Church was on this topic. Best of all though, it answered every question I could ever have. It describes how sex is for pleasure as well as for procreation. That wasn't a huge question in my mind, but I think after years and years of thinking of sex as a bad thing, the idea that I should get pleasure out of it just flat out seemed wrong. It talks about how the use of contraceptives is okay and is a personal choice to be decided between husband, wife and the Lord. This is one I had already made a decision on but I know for a fact that it is something that weighs heavily on the minds of people I know. To answer my biggest question, it better states what is okay and what isn't okay sexually in marriage. I already knew the answer. I knew that it is a personal decision and whatever you are comfortable and happy with is okay, but it never really sunk in. Part of me was determined that the Lord Must disapprove of some things. I felt a huge weight lift off of my shoulders as this essay at last was able solidify in my mind that I was okay and that I have done nothing wrong. Finally, and I think this is actually the most important of all the many things this essay discusses, is the topic of teaching our children about their bodies and about sex in a positive light. If I could make my children's lives easier, happier, by helping them to enter their marriages with only positive feelings towards sex, I will feel I have done such a great thing. Sex is supposed to be wonderful, incredible, and a sweet blessing from our Heavenly Father. It is sad then, that most LDS couples enter their marriages with a whole lot of negative feelings towards it due to the constant negative bombardment of their childhoods.
This essay isn't perfect. It isn't a General Authority and it isn't doctrine. But it rings true to me. I believe Mackelprang truly wishes to help LDS couples to understand that sex is okay, to help them to understand that they are doing nothing wrong, and to help them remove any unnecessary guilt that they may be feeling. He calls to the Church to provide more information and to be more positive about sex because he truly cares about all of the people who are confused and broken. I hope that in sharing it I may be able to help people too. I know it most definitely helped me.
Alright, here we go, the big taboo subject: Sex. Growing up in the LDS church I was bombarded talk after talk and lesson after lesson with the constant reminder that all things even remotely relating to sex before marriage are evil, horrendous, dirty, and sinful. Okay, we've got that pretty much down, but now I'm married. I try every single day of my life to do the right thing. I don't want the Lord to be disappointed in me or upset by my actions. So, naturally, I want to know what is okay and what isn't in the Lord's eyes when it comes to sex After marriage. What happens after the ceremony and you reach your wedding night? They were good of course. After every single talk and lesson about how horrible sex is before marriage, they were always sure to tack on that sex once married is good and wonderful and above all, sacred. Has anyone noticed though how painfully unspecific everything on this topic is? After you get married sex is no longer talked about. It's embarrassing and taboo for just about everybody.
I guess the biggest question that has plagued my mind is what sexual activities are okay in the sight of the Lord. To put it frankly, mutual masturbation, oral, or even anal? How about sex toys and literature geared towards teaching you how to improving yours and your spouses sexual pleasure? Are all of these things to be considered worldly and unholy and unclean? Or are they just a personal choice? Anyway, I'm on a quest to find an answer to help put my mind at ease. I know for a fact that this is hard for a lot of LDS couples. Many struggle with the most basic question out there: is sex solely for procreation or can you enjoy it in and of itself too? This is why I had to add this section to my blog. This is huge and if I can help even one other couple to find peace of mind, it will have been so worth it.
A note to readers: I've created this blog in the hopes that I might be able to help even just one person. To help me better help you, please leave comments and questions. Feel free to utilize the Anonymous option if you'd rather not be known. Thank you so much!
Sexual Intimacy in an LDS Marriage
"A behavioral health service organization that assists Church leaders and members in a manner congruent with revealed doctrine and welfare principles."
A clean and insightful LDS blog about sex in LDS marriages
Written by CoachSam
His topics include:
- A Commandment
- Birth Control
- Female Porn 1, 2, & 3
- Oral Sex 1, & 2
- Sexless Marriage