marriage bed symbol

marriage bed symbol

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sex Toys In The LDS Marriage - Part 4 of 11

WARNING: This post contains a topic of a sacred sexual nature and is intended for married couples only. Reader discretion is advised.

 This blog is a continuation of a reader question found in Part One. Part Two and Part Three are available here. Today we're discussing another concern that may arise when considering the use of sex toys in a marriage:

My spouse may think I’m watching profane erotica, or addicted to profane erotica, if I suggest sex toys.

Using sex toys does not mean you are addicted to pornography (what I more accurately call profane erotica). I’ve not found anything of substance to support the idea that sex toys lead to the use of profane erotica. When used appropriately, they can in fact be a very useful aid to intimacy and procreation, which I will discuss later.

If you fear bringing up the idea to your spouse, that’s a separate communication skill issue that can be addressed. Couples should feel safe and be friends enough to suggest something they’d like to try sexually, and discuss the possibility together without feeling fear of being judged or demeaned.

Dismissing an idea your spouse introduces can’t be done casually. Accusing a spouse of profane erotica use because they’re interested in trying out a sex toy or other sexual aid is an unfounded accusation. If one spouse has concerns, agree together that such concerns should be openly addressed and considered.

“No” may not always mean no. Sometimes a spouse just needs time to think about and warm up to the idea. Cultural ideas need to be examined in the light of day in order to be reconsidered, so give it time.

Brethren, if the idea is yours to share, may I suggest not dumping the idea on her as a “we’re going to do this.” Tell her, “There is something I’d like to try” and what it is. Give her a day or two to think about it. Allow her to think about and discuss the pros and cons. Remember, it may be her body you are introducing the sex toy into or on to. She wants to know it’s safe and moral to use.

Given an ultimatum in a decision with no time to think about it, anyone would say “no”.  Always give her a way out, with respect, and mean it. For example “If you don’t like it, or it’s uncomfortable at all, we’ll stop and I’ll get rid of it. I won’t be upset about the money. It’s supposed to be fun, and if it’s not fun, we won’t do it. Thank you for letting us try.” Sisters can introduce this idea to husbands in the same way.

Both men and women are sexual creatures, with strong sexual desires. This sexual drive in and of itself is not perverted or wrong in any way – God placed those desires within us so we would be motivated to marry, have children, and wish to be close to each other for all eternity. These are good and righteous desires.[i] Within marriage, we have the right to explore sexual possibilities and learn all we can about what’s available to us.

Sexuality does not belong to singles, or to those who make or participate in profane erotica, just because the world thinks it does. As a married couple, sex is your sacred birthright and a righteous rite within a marriage covenant. Just remember that your spouse’s body is still a temple and should be respected and protected. If the pleasure can’t be obtained without harming one or both of you in body or mind, it’s not worth it.

[i] “The desire to mate in humankind is constant and very strong. Our happiness in mortal life, our joy and exaltation are dependent upon how we respond to these persistent, compelling physical desires.” – Boyd K. Packer, “The Plan of Happiness’, Ensign, May 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sex Toys In The LDS Marriage - Part 3 of 11

WARNING: This post contains a topic of a sacred sexual nature and is intended for married couples only. Reader discretion is advised.

Continuing from part 2, below are more potential objections an LDS couple may encounter in regards to sex toys.

They’re a waste of money on nothing but frivolous pleasure.

Did you know that the human female clitoris (a very large forking nerve that travels around the vulva and extends to the anus) has no other purpose than to provide sexual pleasure to the woman?[i]

If God designed and implanted such an organ within the body, then clearly sexual pleasure has a purpose. Even if the Lord commands us to refrain from sexual activity before marriage – within marriage, pleasure has its proper and rightful place.[ii]

Sexual pleasure tends to facilitate personal connection between spouses, and toys can help enhance this connection and create variety for married couples who are interested in including them in intimate activities.

They’re shaped from other people’s sex organs, so it feels like we’re bringing other people into our sex life.

There are some molded toys that are shaped to look and feel very anatomically correct, but not all are made that way.

If you or your spouse are uncomfortable using realistic-looking sex toys, you still have a wide selection to choose from. Many of the Christian shops available online do not stock or sell such toys.

[i] Brotherson, Laura M. L.M.F.T, And They Were Not Ashamed (2004,43)
[ii] “Our natural affections are planted in us by the Spirit of God, for a wise purpose; and they are the very main-springs of life and happiness – they are the cement of all virtuous and heavenly society – they are the essence of charity, or love;…There is not a more pure and holy principle in existence than the affection which glows in the bosom of a virtuous man for his companion;…The fact is, God made man, male and female; he planted in their bosoms those affections which are calculated to promote their happiness and union.” Pratt, Parley P., “The Writings of Parley P. Pratt”, 52-53, as quoted in the Eternal Marriage Student Handbook, pg. 139-140

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sex Toys In The LDS Marriage - part 2 of 11

- Continued from part 1

WARNING: This post contains a topic of a sacred sexual nature and is intended for married couples only. Reader discretion is advised.

The Lord doesn’t approve of sex toys. 

Within marriage, the Lord approves of sex and sexuality. Anytime a couple makes the effort to get closer and bond with each other, I believe the Lord’s influence is there, and He is helping them.[i]

As a youth, my seminary teacher taught us that when we come together as husband and wife to have sex (especially when trying to get pregnant) we can say a prayer together to invoke the Lord’s help. This made sense to me. After all, through our marriage covenant he is the third member of our marriage, and the covenant is a charge to “multiply and replenish the earth”[ii], He’s not going to be shocked that you’re having sex, and it’s in his best interest that you are successful in creating bodies for his spirit children.

If sex toys help a couple sexually achieve the full measure of their creation, help them develop a more fully realized sexual identity, and grow closer to each other as a married couple, how could the Lord not approve!?

Some may say that this argument could be used to justify viewing ‘pornography’ in marriage (if it makes us feel closer to each other and more sexual). But this only happens when a couple doesn’t understand what kinds of erotica are sacred, and what kinds are profane[iii]

All sacred sexuality is an inheritance of those who have entered into the marriage covenant, and who strive to keep those covenants. Those who are unmarried may have sexual activity, but they can never have the fullness of joy the Lord promises to those who utilize their sexuality as He would have them do.[iv]

[Be sure to look for part 3 next week] 

[i] “The lawful association of the sexes is ordained of God, not only as the sole means of race perpetuation, but for the development of the higher faculties and nobler traits of human nature, which the love-inspired companionship of man and woman alone can insure.” – President Joseph F. Smith, “Unchastity the Dominant Evil of the Age’, Improvement Era, June 1917, pg 739, as quoted in the Eternal Marriage Student Manual, pg. 139 (emphasis added)
[ii] Genesis 1:28
[iv] “Think of the promises that are made to you in the beautiful and glorious ceremony that is used in the marriage covenant of the temple. When two Latter-Day Saints are united together in marriage, promises are made to them concerning their offspring, that reach from eternity to eternity. They are promised that they shall have the power and the right to govern and control and administer salvation and exaltation and glory to their offspring worlds without end. And what offspring they do not have here, undoubtedly there will be opportunities to have them thereafter. What else could man wish? A man and a woman in the other life, having celestial bodies, free from sickness and disease, glorified and beautified beyond description, standing in the midst of their posterity, governing and controlling them, administering life, exaltation, and glory, worlds without end.” – Lorenzo Snow, Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, pg. 138, as quoted in the Eternal Marriage Student Manual, pg. 140.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Reader Question: Sex Toys In The LDS Marriage - part 1 of 11

WARNING: This post contains a topic of a sacred sexual nature and is intended for married couples only. Reader discretion is advised.

Dear Coach Sam,
Would it be wrong to buy toys that could aid in sexual gratification? Or giving gratification by hand? Do you know the Church’s stance on sex toys?

- Sister Anonymous

Dear Sister Anon,

Thank you for your question.

So much of what we believe depends upon the perspectives and cultural systems we surround ourselves with. If we spend more time putting on the world’s perspectives, and less time with the Lord’s, our mind has no choice but to be dominated by the worldly perspective.

When we think of ‘sex’, ‘sex toys’, ‘sexual aids’, or anything sexual do we think of marriage?

I think most often, for people in LDS Church, the first thought is the youth, or singles and how even thinking about sex is going to affect them and their worthiness to reach the temple. Not a bad thing, but can be taken to Pharisaical levels.  For married couples, there’s the additional thought of ‘what is keeping within the guidelines of the law of chastity?’

From our youth, the topic of sexuality is so taboo, the thought of married people having sex is typically repressed. This is many times followed by the assumption that married couples don’t have sex – or if they do, it’s not good, or exciting, or much of anything at all. This line of thinking can play as "true" in the mind usually true because the media does not portray happy married couples having good sex.

The media morality plays generally portray the excitement, adventure and thrill of sex only occurring in adultery or fornication, or sex having no sacredness at all and being tossed around with the equivalent value of allowing a member of the opposite sex to hold your hand while walking in the park.

Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.

In terms of your question about sex toys, because we repress the idea of married sex or look at it as too sacred to talk about (which it is in a certain context), Lucifer, the world and media take advantage of this and portray the profane side of sex. Through cultural conditioning, we’re led to believe that sex toys are only used by and allowed to be enjoyed by those who rebelliously profane and defile sex. Sex toys are most often associated with solo masturbation or fornication (which is sexual activity exercised by unmarried people) in the average person’s mind.

The truth is, there is nothing I’ve ever found in Church doctrine, or in the law of chastity, that prohibits or even specifically mentions the use of sex toys in an LDS marriage.

In fact, I’m perfectly comfortable suggesting that sex toys belong within a loving and considerate marriage, and nowhere else. Sex toys can help strengthen the sexual relationship. They can even aid in the procreative process, and are an effective tool for foreplay.

Even with this understanding, reservations remain for many members. I’ve encountered many cultural beliefs that members carry with them that conflict with the teachings of the gospel. What I share below are some of the most common beliefs I’ve heard, or even beliefs I’ve carried myself.

[Look for part two next week]

Thursday, October 29, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Flowering Together

Who doesn't like flowers!

This idea won't even require any special arrangements for the children, but is still a fun and bonding activity for when the budget is tight and the children are still small.

Put a flower arrangement together!

You can usually find the materials fairly inexpensively at a dollar store. A vase, some arrangement foam, some inexpensive flowers, and maybe some ribbon.

You could also grow the flowers in 5 gallon buckets or in your yard. There also may be a member of your ward with a rose garden who may be willing to donate some.

It's kind of like putting a puzzle together, but do it together. Make it as simple, or elaborate as you wish. Make three of them. Take your creation to a neighbor, someone who's ill, a random stranger at the hospital, your home or visiting teaching families, your mum-in-law.

While you're arranging, ask each other this question "Do you feel I give you enough affection in physical touch? What kind of touch do you wish I gave you more of?:"

Here's an arrangement idea from YouTube:
Happy dating!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Your Creamy Little Pumpkin

Hey all you married lovers out there. Ready for another fun continue-the-courtship night idea?
Well...hopefully this is one!

Icecream is great anytime, but it being October and all, how about home made pumpkin cheesecake icecream?

Break in that icecream maker you got as a wedding present and try the recipe below. I also included a video incase  your are more of a visual learner like me.

While it's churning out, go get your box of old love letters you wrote each other before you were married and read them to each other again.

Happy Dating!

7 oz cream cheese
3 oz canned, unsweetened pumpkin
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
 2/3 cup sugar (I like doing half Stevia and Half Sugar)
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
1/2 tspn ground ginger
1 tspn freshly grated nutmeg (powdered is fine too)
1/4 tspn allspice
1/4 tspn ground cloves
(or 1 1/2T of pumpkin spice mix - instead of all the spices above)

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Adjust the taste of the spices if necessary.
2. Chill mixture thoroughly in the fridge, then freeze it in your ice cream maker of choice.
3. Serve with whole or crushed gingersnaps or graham crackers or shortbread cookies, or all three - knock yourself out.

Most important, make it together. Bumping into each other is part of the fun.

 This video, you can also use half and half instead of heavy whipping cream if you want to churn it out in the ice cream maker.

Friday, October 16, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Pound Em HARD

Happy Continue-The-Courtship night!

Here's a new twist to an old favorite:

When was the last time you had a good old fashioned pillow fight!?

After you put the kids to bed or distract them with their favorite activity - retire to the bedroom and lock the door.

Put on some music.

Get naked.

You can even dress up in some sexy lingerie or a fun costume. The rules are, ladies first, but make sure the pillows are soft and don't have anything in them that could harm the other. Then, have at it.

Another twist would be to have a Nerf gun fight.

Be sure to follow up with extra hugs and kisses after you've worn each other out.

Happy Dating!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Wii? Oui!

Are you ready for another fun Continue-the-Courtship night?

This one was submitted by one of my readers, and one I thought was a great idea for young married couples on a tight budget, with small children, or stuck at home.

Too often these are passed up because it's imagined as an immoral activity engaged in by singles. TIME TO TAKE IT BACK as a fun and wholesome activity reserved for married couples.

If you've got a Wii or can borrow one, play strip bowling, strip boxing, strip tennis. Any of the two-player games will do.

Play a round. The winner gets to take an article of clothing off of the loser. Run out of clothes? The winner gets a kiss or... you choose the prize at that point.

Keep it sacred (no one else is invited - and don't post about it on social media). Be sure the kids are asleep or you play it in a room where the door can be locked.

Keep a towel handy as things can get pretty sweaty.

Happy dating!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Scare Your Clothes Off!

October has arrived and it's time to get geared up for some fun fall activities - including Halloween.

Time to break out your favorite Halloween films.

For tonight's date night idea, lock yourselves away in your room, turn the lights off, and watch your favorite holiday movie together...sans clothing.

Snacks are optional, but (if you've put the kids to bed early or put on their favorite Halloween movie) keep a robe handy in case you need to check on them.

If you're both mentally prepared for something to go wrong, it makes it easier to relax and enjoy your two hours together - alone.

Happy Dating!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

MASTURBATION: What Is The Correct Definition?

One of my favorite apostles, Elder Richard G. Scott, passed away today. In my youth, his words guided me through many challenges with morality. As a missionary in Washington D.C., I had the opportunity to thank him for that. I’d like to dedicate this article to him.

While studying for my next test in my marriage and family textbook, I received some new insights on masturbation. I felt it might be helpful to share what I found.

Definitions mean a lot to me as an adult, because as a youth in the church, we were fed a lot of terminology. Words such as ‘wholesome’, ‘worthy’, ‘morality’, ‘impure’, ‘unholy’, ‘unnatural’, ‘masturbation’, etc… were thrown around as though we (the youth) would just know what they meant.

From an LDS cultural perspective, it was pretty unclear to me what exactly constituted masturbation and why we needed to avoid it outside of marriage. It was treated as such a taboo topic  that discussing it aloud was inappropriate. In my household, the topic was something to be breathed in hushed tones and behind closed doors.

It was stressed on us to avoid it, but never discussed if it was ever appropriate in marriage. Even though in marriage, it can play an acceptable role in a husband and wife’s sacred intimate relationship.

What also mystified me were those people, both in and out of the Church, that felt a need to justify masturbation as a ‘natural’ and harmless practice. This grew more puzzling after I had a chance to read and learn from marriage counselors and therapists about the harmful long-term mental, emotional, spiritual, and relationship effects created by solo masturbation and autoeroticism exercised by the unmarried. See my article "Solo Masturbation, A Sexual Relationship?"

In this discussion, to hopefully shed some light on where some of these cultural perspectives come from, I’d like to share with you some of the definitions I found and allow you to decide which definition will best help you in your marriage and your parental tasks of teaching your children about the law of chastity.

In 1987, Dr. Israel Meizner made the claim in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology that he observed fetus’ masturbating with ultrasound. After closer examination, I learned that he observed a fetus gripping its penis or randomly touching the vulva.

I thought about that and questioned “How can you justify that as “masturbation” and then also use this to justify children, teens and singles masturbating?”  

Relying on science as the source of “truth”, many others – including members of the Church – have found themselves frustrated by this, especially when it came time to address it with their children.

While I was studying this week, I came across a passage in my textbook that helped me realize the answer may lie in our definitions.

I have a strong testimony that God the Father and His son Jesus Christ are the only source of truth. A truth with a solid and eternal foundation that I know I can rely on. Whatever I study in college, I purposefully run through the filter and scrutinizing lens of the gospel.

What I discovered was what was currently taught as scientific truth only remains truth until another degree seeker disproves it or alters the definition. For this reason, if it conflicts with the teachings of the gospel, it’s sifted as chaff and the remaining kernels of knowledge that build and edify eternal families remain.

One justification for masturbation not being a sin is that the word ‘masturbation’ is not found in the Bible. That is true. Masturbation is not found in the Bible or any of our standard works.

The closest we come is the suggestion of it in the word “lasciviousness” and ‘licentiousness’. Both pertain to the pre-occupation with sex and immoral sexual behavior. Our understanding of masturbation comes from modern-day revelation and teachings, which other churches do not have.

So a common justification for masturbation being a “sin” is the story of Onan . With closer examination of the account, it’s discovered that the sin of Onan had nothing to do with masturbation (as we define it) but rather with breaking his marital covenants and obligations by denying children to his wife and deceased brother.

So when it came to masturbation, this is what I did find.

The term masturbation originated in the nineteenth century. It’s believed to have come from the Latin word masturbari, as a conjugation of the word manus, meaning hand, and the word stuprare, meaning to defile. The word ‘masturbate’ therefore means to “defile the hand” as its first definition. [i]

While I was studying my textbook, I came across this definition:

“Sexual self-pleasuring that involves some form of direct physical stimulation. It may or may not result in orgasm. Masturbation typically includes rubbing, stroking, fondling, squeezing, or otherwise stimulating the genitals. It can also be self-stimulation of other body parts, such as the breasts, the inner thighs, or the anus.”[ii]

I finally understood where Dr. Meizner (mentioned above) obtained his broadened justification for calling his fetus observations ‘masturbation’, because of this definition.

I found this ironic since both the Merriam Webster and Oxford dictionaries do not give this definition.

They define masturbation as:

 Erotic stimulation especially of one's own genital organs commonly resulting in orgasm and achieved by manual or other bodily contact exclusive of sexual intercourse, by instrumental manipulation, occasionally by sexual fantasies, or by various combinations of these agencies”[iii]


Stimulate one’s own genitals for sexual pleasure.” From the Oxford dictionary.[iv]

This led me to wonder what definition I could find at the Church website. This is the definition I found:

“…When the fluid and sperm fill the tubules and testes, they are automatically released or ejaculated. This usually happens during sleep and is called nocturnal emissions or “wet dreams.” Sexual dreams are not always present, but they can trigger a nocturnal emission or ejaculation. In either case this is not masturbation…

…masturbation is considered by many in the world to be the harmless expression of an instinctive sex drive…the prophets have condemned it as a sin throughout the ages and that they can choose not to do it.

Throughout childhood, boys and girls have touched their own genitals frequently to wash and to dress. This is a behavior that usually has the same meaning as keeping one’s feet warm in the winter, enjoying a swim on a hot day, or scratching an itch.

We ought to be friendly to our bodies and appreciate the body’s marvelous range of senses. This innocent touching is not the kind of behavior warned against by prophets through the ages.

The sin of masturbation occurs when a person stimulates his or her own sex organs for the purpose of sexual arousal. It is a perversion of the body’s passions. When we pervert these passions and intentionally use them for selfish, immoral purposes, we become carnal.”[v]

This definition is much narrower than Dr. Meizner’s or the definition found in my textbook.  This makes a spirit of the law allowance for washing, stroking, touching, gripping, or scratching our genitals (whether single or married) as not masturbation.

I also understand that when the Church leaders refer to self-stimulation for the purpose of arousing sexual feelings, they are speaking in the context of those who are unmarried. They have not referred to masturbation as being a sin when engaged in as part of the sacred sexual relationship between a husband and wife.

President Kimball, in his book The Miracle of Forgiveness, said this about masturbation:

“Most youth come into contact early with masturbation. Many would-be authorities declare that it is natural and acceptable, and frequently young men I interview cite these advocates to justify their practice of it.

To this we must respond that he world’s norms in many area – drinking, smoking, and sex experience generally to mention only a few – depart increasingly from God’s law. The Church has a different, higher norm.

Thus prophets anciently and today condemn masturbation. It induces feelings of guilt and shame. It is detrimental to spirituality. It indicates slavery to the flesh, not that mastery of it and the growth toward godhood which is the object of our mortal life.

Our modern prophet has indicated that no young man should be called on a mission who is not free from this practice…”[vi]

Boyd K. Packer, in his last talk in 2015, stated, “The only legitimate, authorized expression of the powers of procreation is between husband and wife, a man and a woman, who have been legally and lawfully married. Anything other than this violates the commandments of God. Do not yield to the awful temptations of the adversary, for every debt of transgression must be paid “till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing” (Matthew 5:26).” [vii]

I hope you will find the opportunity to discuss this issue as husband and wife. Hopefully it will help to put each other’s minds at ease about our bodies, and how to discuss this issue with our children when the opportunity arises.

[ii] Benokraitis, Nijoke V., Marriages and Families, Pearson Education Inc., 2005, 182
[iii] Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, 2015, 1,

[iv] Oxford Online Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2015,1,

[v] LDS.ORG., A Parent’s Guide, 1985, 34-43 (emphasis added)
[vi] Kimball, Spencer W., The Miracle of Forgiveness, Bookcraft,1969, 77
 [vii]  Packer, Boyd K. The Plan of Happiness. Ensign. May 2015.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

When Sex Hurts

What can a married couple do when they have sex for the first time (or for many years) and find that it hurts?

This seems more of an issue with women than it is with men. With that in mind, I’d like to focus mostly on what the causes (and solutions) of painful sex are for women, to help the wives understand themselves better and the husbands to know better how to help their wives.

Painful sex can feel devastating to a new bride and groom. This is especially true if it leads to a sexless marriage. Fortunately, the issue is addressed by many professionals today, and painful sex is a challenge that can be remedied. Painful sex doesn’t have to damn an eternal marriage to failure.

In my research, three aspects of painful sex - the physical, the spiritual, and the psychological – were apparent. They interconnect with each other in different ways depending on the couple’s individual circumstances.

Physical and Psychological   

Anytime a marital conflict arises that concerns a couple’s inability to have sexual intimacy, the first thing I look for is an underlying medical issue.

Dr. Christiane Northrup says, “…there can be physiological reasons for sexual desire waning, one of which is pain during sex. If sex is painful, it may simply be because of vaginal dryness – which is easily addressed with lubricants. But it can also be due to repressed anger or trauma manifesting as scarring or vaginal adhesions. These can form after inflammation, infection, and surgery.

In the late 1980s, it finally dawned on gynecologists that women with chronic pelvic pain very often had experienced rape or other sexual abuse. Given that every year one in three women on this planet is raped or abused, it’s not surprising that so many women experience pelvic pain and painful sex.”

She recommends for women who are experiencing symptoms such as “pelvic pain, urinary problems, and sexual pain” that they look into manual therapy, in case there are fascial lesions or any kind of internal scarring.   

“You can learn more at or [Others include] women’s health physical therapist Tami Lynn Kent ( and Belinda Wurn ( and Jennifer Mercier, M.D. (” (2015, 176-77)[i] 

These are physical therapists trained in how to do manual therapy and massage for pelvic scarring.

It’s important to note here that lubrication is very important for husbands as well. Vaginal dryness occurs for multiple reasons. Such reasons include hormonal changes, not allowing enough time for the wife to warm up sexually, stress, or even having too much sex. 

Using lubrication can be very important at these times. I usually recommend Astroglide, but there are lots of different kinds to try. Not having enough lubrication can cause painful lesions on a husband’s penis from friction.

While it is true that most men can orgasm within two to seven minutes, sometimes it can take longer. This can be especially true as a husband gets older and is satiated more often over time or distracted by stress. It wouldn’t be unusual for a husband to take 20 minutes to ejaculate. This can wear on both the husband and wife’s genitals if there is not sufficient lubrication.

Long bouts of sex can cause friction lesions, so this is where keeping a bottle of lube nearby can come in handy. For your sexual health, if you feel things are getting too dry, apply some lube.

Lack of natural lubrication doesn’t necessarily mean that the wife is not sufficiently turned on. Each woman is different in the amount of natural lubrication she secretes when excited. Some women secrete a lot of fluids, and others not so much. If you find you need more, use more.

Another physical cause of painful sex is vaginismus.

WebMD gives this description for this disorder:

"When a woman has vaginismus, her vagina's muscles squeeze or spasm when something is entering her, like a tampon or a penis. It can be mildly uncomfortable, or it can be painful.
Painful sex is often a woman's first sign that she has vaginismus. The pain happens only with penetration. It usually goes away after withdrawal, but not always.
Women have described the pain as a tearing sensation or a feeling like the man is "hitting a wall."
Many women who have vaginismus also feel discomfort when inserting a tampon or during a doctor's internal pelvic exam.”
The story of one newlywed couple was relayed to me of the wife having vaginismus. She experienced no discomfort before, but after she was married, her husband was not able to sexually penetrate her.

In a closer examination, her vaginal muscles had squeezed so tight that a pinky finger couldn’t even be inserted. It was a tremendous frustration for both the husband and wife.

After visiting a specialist, a series of rods (differing in width) were prescribed. Through loving patience, the couple used the rods and were able to help the wife’s vagina expand and relax.

WebMD also explained what some of the causes and solutions could be:

“Doctors don't know exactly why vaginismus happens. It's usually linked to anxiety and fear of having sex. But it's unclear which came first, the vaginismus or the anxiety.
Some women have vaginismus in all situations and with any object. Others have it only in certain circumstances, like with one partner but not others, or only with sexual intercourse but not with tampons or during medical exams.
Other medical problems like infections can also cause painful intercourse. So it's important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause of pain during sex.
Women with vaginismus can do exercises, in the privacy of their own home, to learn to control and relax the muscles around the vagina.
The approach is called progressive desensitization, and the idea is to get comfortable with insertion.
First, do Kegel exercises by squeezing the same muscles you use to stop the flow of urine when urinating:
  • Squeeze the muscles.
  • Hold for 2 seconds.
  • Relax the muscles.
Do about 20 Kegels at a time. You can do them as many times a day as you want to.
After a few days, insert one finger, up to about the first knuckle joint, inside the vagina while doing the exercises. It's a good idea to clip your fingernails first and use a lubricating jelly. Or do the exercises in a bathtub, where water is a natural lubricant.
Start with one finger and work your way up to three. You'll feel the vagina's muscles contracting around your finger, and you can always take your finger out if you're not comfortable.
For women whose vaginismus is related to fear or anxiety, therapy helps” (2014,1)[ii]
Spiritual and Psychological

From a spiritual perspective, many Latter-Day Saints have a tremendous sexual adjustment period entering into marriage.

It’s a big jump with little to no transition preparation of going from the abstinence-only single state of the law of chastity, to the actively sexual state of the law of chastity (avoiding all sexual relations except with your husband or wife, in a male-female relationship, married legally and lawfully).

For many of us, as we sort out what is okay and what is not okay to do sexually in marriage, this can be a cause of great spiritual anxiety that can lead to the physical manifestations of sexual pain addressed above.

Laura M. Brotherson, in her book And They Were Not Ashamed addresses some of spiritual and societal causes of this sexual pain. One point that stood out to me was how we’re culturally taught in our youth and young adulthood that first-time sex is a painful experience.

This is a myth, not based in any kind of fact. Despite what others’ experiences may tell us, there are many, many others that are able to have sex without any discomfort at all. Pain and discomfort is not a normal result of sex.

Laura shared a similar concern. 
“Another pervasive message about sex is that sex is a painful experience. While there can be some initial discomfort for some brides, the suggestion of pain itself can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The ability to relax during sexual relations is critical. Sexual consummation and climax require that a woman be at ease mentally and relaxed physically. If a woman is fearful and concerned about possible pain, her vaginal muscles may constrict making penetration difficult. It’s pretty hard for a young bride to relax when her internal programming tells her she is doing something sinful. The concept of sexual pain simply intensifies the fear, shame and guilt already being experienced.

Stories of sexual pain, without medical, physiological and psychological information do little to instill confidence and eager anticipation of the sex act, especially in young people who are uneducated about sexual functioning…”[iii]

I wanted to share these with you in the hopes that, if any LDS couples are finding their marital intimacy to be a painful experience, they can find some hope and some possibilities to explore. Please use and share these tips to help you and others remove the roadblocks that are preventing them from having a happy, lasting and eternal intimate relationship.

[i] Northrup, Christiane, M.D., Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well Being: Hay House, Inc., 2015
[ii] WebMD, Reviewed by Dr. Nivin Todd M.D. Aug. 28,2014,

[iii] Brotherson, Laura M, LMFT. And They Were Not Ashamed: Strengthening Marriage Through Sexual Fulfillment, Inspire Book: Boise, ID. 2004. pg 11-12.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Discreet Moonlit Dip

Summer is starting to wind down, but there's still time to do some outdoor activities for your date night.

For this one you'll need:

* An inexpensive blow up kiddie pool - big enough to fit the both of you
* Towels
*Apple Cider and ice or fresh made lemonade
* Citron Candle(s)
* A starry night
* Your spouse
*Baby monitor

Fill up the pool and both of you soak together under a starry sky while enjoying a cool drink. The baby monitor will help you keep an ear on the kids so you can enjoy a couple of hours together. And you can do it all in your back yard or patio.

The candles will help keep any bugs away. Depending on how much privacy your yard gives you - swimsuits are optional.

Try not to talk about work or family problems or chores. As a conversation starter, ask each other "If you were your parents and had total control over the outcome of your childhood, what would you have done differently? What would you have kept the same?"

Happy dating!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Totally Spiritual Experience

It's continue-the-courtship night, and if you're here, it's because you have small children, are on a tight budget, can't get a sitter, and/or stuck at home for whatever reason.

I commend you both for doing what it takes to work together and build a marriage that will enjoy being together for all eternity. Regular date nights are not only no exception, but vital to maintaining the health of your marriage. You're also developing habits that will help you be creative and will carry you though the tough times in your lives.

It is a time for you both to be alone together for a minimum of 2 hours. Just about the amount of time it will take for your kids to finish up their movie. To help, set them up with snacks. You can also put them to bed early, or (while they are still asleep) arise early and have your date time then.

Tonight's idea:  Scripture study.

Scripture study is absolutely an acceptable date idea. It's a time to review the gospel, discuss your beliefs, and can help cement your bond on a very deep emotional level.

So, break out the Gospel Principles manual, your Gospel Doctrine study guide, or Priesthood or Relief Society manual and study the next weeks lesson together. Just breaking out the scriptures is fine too.

If you're just reading the scriptures, go to the topical guide and read all the verses on marriage, or husband, or get the idea.

Feel free to include lots of touching and cuddling as well.

Happy Dating

Thursday, August 20, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Facing Each Other

The key to a great marriage is having excellent communication skills. As you learn about me, you'll find that the number one sex tool I offer to marriage couples is "communication."

For tonight's continue-the-courtship idea, I recommend going to Amazon and buying the book "Amazing Face Reading" by Mac Fulfer.

This incredible book will teach you how to know what a person is thinking and feeling, what their life experiences have been, and what their personality is like just by looking at their face and head. No such system is perfect of course, but his system is both entertaining and often quite accurate.

Read it together. Start by identifying each other's facial features to help you better understand each other.

For future dates, take it to church, the mall, the park, family reunions, whatever and do some people watching together. 

Happy dating!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Heroic Evening

Welcome to another great Continue-the-Courtship night.

Tonight's idea? Read some comics together.

If you're as big a comic book nerd as I am, you'll want to brush up before your next favorite comic book movie comes out.

If you collect comic books, break some of them out and share them with your sweetheart. You can also look up the full stories online at Wikipedia, or YouTube.

Sometimes your local public library has them in stock. There are lots of free options out there.

Then when the movie comes out, you'll both be in the know on who the characters are and can have a romantic evening of geeking out together.

Happy Dating!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Nine Tips For Wives To Improve Your Marriage Intimately

This article was rewritten from a piece of writing I found online from a student of sex therapy. While I found her advice to be sound overall, her method of delivery (very worldly and profane-erotica-based) all but guaranteed the members of the Church would never find and get to use her good advice.

Since I believe that all truth and knowledge belongs to the Lord, I’ve taken the worldliness out of her article, so now we as Saints also have the benefit of her wisdom.

Please remember that this information is meant for married women only. If you are single and reading this, you have your agency, but learning about sex techniques is not something you can do by simply reading about it. 

To fully understand and know, you have to also physically practice, and in order to do that, (per LDS doctrine) you need to be married. Also, focusing on sexual technique before marriage can create a subconscious level of arousal that may challenge your ability to keep the law of chastity. Before marriage, the best thing you can do to prepare for a good sex life is to live the gospel of Jesus Christ the very best you can.
“When we obey the law of chastity and keep ourselves morally clean, we will experience the blessings of increased love and peace, greater trust and respect for our marital partners, deeper commitment to each other, and, therefore, a deep and significant sense of joy and happiness.”  
~ Pres. Ezra Taft Benson ( 1987,51-54)[i]

That being said, here are nine tips for improved physical intimacy with your spouse:

Recognize that something needs to change if things feel routine
If you’re going to live together as husband and wife for a long time (we’re thinking and hoping for forever, of course), then sex may feel routine after a while. We mortals are creatures of habit, and we like things to be familiar, comfortable, and predictable, but familiar needs a change-up every now and then. 

The world may tell you that the romance is gone, and we will come to accept that married sex is just plain boring, but that is not a foregone conclusion. Change the sex you’re having instead. It’s not always comfortable, but it keeps things fun and interesting. You may make some discoveries along the way that add excitement to old familiar practices.

Practice talking openly about s-e-x with your spouse.
If you’re going to have good sex, it has to start with where you are, which means talking to each other about how you’re feeling, what you like, and what you don’t like. Speak clearly, with words like vagina, vulva, frenulum, stroke, grip, clitoris, anus, orgasm and vibrator, and so on. 

Just because you don’t use these terms in everyday conversation doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them with your spouse either. Learn and know the terms for all your sexual body parts.  Admit to each other what you know, and what you don’t know and would like to learn together.

“If you think your partner demands a bravura performance every time, have a chat about it before you get to the bedroom. Research suggests there's often a disconnect between perceived and actual expectations.” ~ Huston, (2014,1)[ii]

Get comfortable with and appreciate your body.
Your body is an amazing gift from God in so many ways. If you’re not familiar with the workings of your more intimate body parts, now is the time to learn. You couldn’t go out and get a book about sex as a single person without moving towards breaking the law of chastity, but now…relax, and take the time to learn all about your body’s capabilities.

Another good thing to do is to find a hand mirror, and take a look at your whole vulva, your labia, your clitoris, and maybe try finding your G-Spot. Ever seen or felt them before? How do they look to you? How do you feel about them? Have you ever touched them, or explored them yourself? A little self-learning will help you find out how you like to be touched down there, and then you can tell your husband. 

Chances are he’ll be a very enthusiastic learner. Husbands get a tremendous boost to their ego and feel more bonded to you when you help them feel successful as a lover.

Explore your senses
Remember what I said before about the body being this amazing gift from God? Another gift that came along with your body is the senses, and how they make you feel when they’re stimulated.

Those of you who may be questioning this because of certain scriptures that combine the word ‘sensual’ with the word ‘devilish’ don’t need to worry. That is a completely different context than the context of using your senses to appreciate physical love within marriage. God has given us these gifts to be enjoyed, just as He gave us fire to cook our food with and to relax by the fireplace, but not to burn our house down.

What kinds of visual stimulation do you like?
Do you like to watch yourself have sex, or look at your husband in the nude?
What kinds of things do you like to hear?
Do you like the noises of sex, or do they bother you? Explore that.
Do you like the idea of tasting things, maybe playing with different kinds of foods, or tasting each other’s skin?
What kinds of touch do you like? Do you like it when he touches you? How do you want to be touched? How does he?
What kinds of textures make you feel excited and wanting to feel close to your spouse? Fur, feathers, lotions? 

The possibilities are pretty broad.
Don’t ignore all the senses – including sound. If being talked to in a certain way is important to your arousal, be sure to let your spouse know. As you explore each other’s bodies, be sure to let your spouse know what you liked so that he can do it again later.

Take your time to make these explorations. By all means, enjoy yourself. Make notes if you wish. The things you’re learning are special, sacred and just between the two of you. There’s no hurry whatsoever. You have all eternity to perfect your lovemaking, so take your time.

Remember the other parts of your body that aren’t necessarily sexual.
Don’t you hate it when your husband jumps for his favorite parts of your body without remembering that you’re connected to them? Women, you can do the same thing, if you’re not careful. 

Don’t be in so much of a hurry to get sex ‘over with’ that you miss out on the opportunity to do some exploring of your own, and maybe get some pampering during the process.
Massage is a good way to reconnect to all of your body. 

Ever had one? Given one? How does it feel when your shoulders or feet are rubbed or kissed? Maybe the back of your neck? The back of your arms? Your hands? A woman’s entire body is a sexual antenna of sensation. Use that to your advantage.

Relaxing doesn’t always come naturally – practice, practice, and…you guessed it!
Getting ready to have sex can be hard for women, especially if your head is full of kids, appointments, looming projects, deadlines, and shopping lists. If you struggle with anxieties about your body or your communication or anything else, that makes it even harder.

What’s the best way for you to quickly get into the mood? Some women find it helps to take a few minutes to shift gears, set aside the time, and do something for you that lifts your mood. A warm shower, a (little bit) of chocolate, or a few minutes to talk out your issues helps some women. Figure out a strategy that works for the both of you.

Plan a time for sex that works for both of you. Not just one of you.  Or, let your spouse know how much notice you need to prepare yourself mentally for sex. 

The basic formula, according to Christian marriage expert Mark Gungor, is this – one turned-on husband + one turned-on wife = great sex. If only one of you is happy, you’re not having great sex.

If you just don’t feel like having sex sometimes, does that mean you shouldn’t have it? Nope. Schedule it and make it a regular practice, regardless of how you feel. It’s common for one spouse to have a higher sex drive than the other, and both spouse’s needs should be met, not just the lower-drive spouse’s. Have a quickie when you need to.

Let him know when something feels good to you…or not.
Husbands are wonderful, but they don’t read minds. Never have. You need to let them know when what they’re doing with you is working. Telling them what you want is great. 

Communicating through moaning or wiggling works too. The more he knows he’s on the right track, the more of the right stuff he’ll do.

Conversely, if something he’s doing really isn’t working for you, or if he’s rubbing one thing and you’d rather he was caressing something else, let him know, but do it kindly. Instead of ‘Ow!’ or ‘that’s not working at all’, try ‘honey, it would feel so good if you would do _______ right now’. 

Keep it positive. No one likes to be told they’re not doing well, especially in such a sacred place as the marriage bed.

You have more options than you think…
The world of sexual options is not closed to you just because you’re a member of the Church. In fact, there’s more out there for you to try than you’ll ever have time to get to.

If you have concerns about specific sexual acts or positions, or just want more information on them, you’re always welcome to follow my blog, where I’ll give you information without the worldly perspective or the profane ads that often follow Googled information. 

Some articles you may want to start with include:
You can also contact me directly with any questions you may have.

Oral sex, in particular, seems to hang up a lot of members, for either moral uncertainty, personal revulsion, or because they may not feel skilled or confident enough to do it.

 Again, you may only need a little education here. What feels good to you may not feel good to your husband. If you’d like to try oral sex (either on you or on him), talk to your husband about it to see how he feels. Then learn how to do it correctly and hygienically.

Make some time to practice on a regular basis, even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time. Sooner or later, you’ll get better, and getting better means more personal confidence.

Never be afraid of trying new things. As members of the Church, you have the Holy Ghost to guide you to all truth, including sexual truth. The Lord wants you to learn about how to have good sex in marriage – as married members, it’s a fundamental for eternal life and salvation.

Recognize when you need outside help, and where to go get it.
If you’re trying to implement these suggestions, and coming across specific challenges that you don’t feel you can get through, that’s the time to go find someone you trust to get some new ideas to try.

Whether it’s a physical problem like vaginismus (an involuntary tightening of the vagina that makes sex difficult or even impossible), or low desire or anxiety, there are LDS professionals who will keep your confidences sacred, and help you troubleshoot an appropriate solution. 

Don’t be afraid to reach out to an appropriate specialist…one who can help you with whatever challenge you’re up against, be it physical, sexual,  mental or spiritual.

Ignoring the problem, hoping it will go away…or praying without listening for promptings and taking inspired action, thinking that the Lord will do all the heavy lifting for you…will likely not work. Faith doesn’t work that way.[iii]

And there you go – If the zing in your marriage bed is temporarily fizzled out, you can take action and make your own plan to give it life again.

[i] Benson, Ezra Taft, 1987 BYU Devotional and Fireside Speeches, 51-54
[ii] Huston, Matt, Psychology Today, Sex: Egos Undressed, 2014, 1,
[iii] Scott, Richard G., Oct. 2010, The Transforming Power of Faith and Character,