marriage bed symbol

marriage bed symbol

Thursday, July 2, 2015

How Does The Supreme Court Ruling Affect The LDS Marriage Bed?

In light of the Supreme Court ruling, we would like to reassure all our readers that the LDS Marriage Bed is still committed to serving the married members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Our mission is to help you build and strengthen your eternal marriages mentally, emotionally, spiritually and sexually.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death..." - Romans 8:1-2

1st Presidency Letter To The Saints June,30,2015

This letter will be read in church this Sunday or next. We encourage you to review it first so you will be prepared with any questions you might have for your Priesthood and Auxilliary leaders

Sincerely,
Sam Zaragoza
LDS Marital Intimacy Coach

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Feminization of Love

 This is a summarized version of an article I wanted to share with you. Feel free to leave comments below.

"Are men less loving because they equate love with sex?...the fault lies not in men, but in women's definitions of "loving", which ignore masculine styles of showing affection.

Francesca Cancian (1990: 171) calls excluding men's ways of showing affection the "feminization of love." Because...men rarely get credit for the kinds of loving actions that are more typical of them. - Carol Tavris (1992:255)

...a man who is a good provider, who changes the oil in his wife's car, or who fixes his child's bike is showing just as much love as the wife who tells her husband she loves him and shares her innermost thoughts and feelings with him.

There are several negative consequences of the feminization of love:

1. It assumes that women need love more than men and are more dependent on men for emotional satisfaction.

2. Emphasizing only the expressive side of love ignores or diminishes the importance of women's instrumental activities - such as working to help provide financially for the family.

3. The feminization of love intensifies the conflicts over intimacy between men and women. As the wife demands more verbal contact, the husband feels increased pressure and withdraws.

The wife then intensifies her efforts to get closer. This leads to a vicious cycle where neither spouse gets what she or he wants.


As the definition of love becomes more feminized, men and women move father apart rather than closer together. - Tucker (1992)

One way to break this cycle is to give both men and women credit for the things they do to show their love for each other and for their families.

~ From "Do I love you? I changed your oil, didn't I", taken from Marriages and Families, Benokraitis (2005, 155)

Friday, June 19, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Rainy Days and Date Nights



 We've been getting a lot of rain this year, but that doesn't have to ruin your date night as a married couple.

When was the last time you put on your rain hat and rubber boots to splash in the puddles like kids?

The next continue-the-courtship night it rains, you can take the opportunity to do just that as a couple.

Distract the children, and then go out back or front and splash around. Look for worms. Make some mud pies.  Tell each other stories of how you used to spend your rainy days as a child. Get as wet or muddy as you want.

You could also grab a large umbrella and be alone in the rain together.

When your finished, dry each other off, or take a hot bath or shower together.

Happy Dating!

Friday, June 12, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Want Syrup on That?



Ready for another fun continue-the-courtship night? Well, who say's it has to be at night?

Rather than putting the kids to bed early, try getting up before they do. Sure, date night can be in the morning too! Make breakfast in bed and have breakfast together. It can be as complicated or as simple as you want.

Eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, danishes, orange juice, health shakes, juicing, bagels and smoked salmon, oatmeal, fruit salad, cold pizza, crepes, or just a bowl of cold cereal. The possibilities are endless.

Eat together in your jammies, sexy lingerie, or naked - whatever you want! You're married!

While you eat, you could play the romantic rendezvous game, or ask each other questions from the 365 questions for couples book, or read scriptures, or go through your gospel doctrine study guide together.

Happy Dating!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Church Handbook of Instruction 2: Pornography

The Church's Handbook of Instruction was updated recently. I wanted to take the opportunity to demonstrate a substitution I believe gives greater clarity. You be the judge:

"Pornography

The Church opposes pornography in any form. Indulgence in pornography damages individual lives, families, and society. Such indulgence drives away the Spirit of the Lord. Church members should avoid all forms of pornographic material and oppose its production, dissemination, and use.
The booklet Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts provides counsel on how to avoid and overcome problems with pornography." 

~ Handbook of instruction 2 (21.4.9)

Profane Erotica

The Church opposes profane erotic material in any form. Indulgence in profane erotica damages individual lives, families, and society. Such indulgence drives away the Spirit of the Lord. Church members should avoid all forms of profane erotic material and oppose its production, dissemination, and use.
The booklet Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts provides counsel on how to avoid and overcome problems with profane erotica.

For more information on why I prefer to use the term "profane erotica", go to this link: Mormons take pleasure in sacred erotica

Friday, May 29, 2015

CTC Night! (At Home) -- With Your Fingers




Continue - The - Courtship Night doesn't have to be just on Friday. You are allowed to have it any day and time of the week you both plan to spend 2 - 4 hours alone together.

This weeks idea:

When was the last time you did finger painting. If you have elementary school age kids, you may already have the supplies. Otherwise, they are very cheap to obtain.

You just need some finger paint and paper. If you want to spice things up and incorporate it into your sacred sexual time, body paints are available too.

If you'd like to make your own, here is a how to video. If you want to use it for sacred sexy time, you can substitute salt for sugar and use extracts (Bannana, Cherry, Peppermint, Coconut, etc...) to flavor them up.

Sorry for the kiddie music. You can just turn the volume off.

Happy Dating!

Friday, May 22, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- FLOAT



HAPPY CONTINUE-THE-COURTSHIP NIGHT to all you married lovers out there!
Okay, this ones not free, but it's not too expensive, and it's fun.

Make home made root beer floats together.

Here's the recipe:
Ingredients
3/4 cup and 3 tablespoons white sugar (You can substitute Stevia if you want to go sugar free)
8-1/3 cups cold water
1/8 (2 ounce) bottle root beer extract
4 pounds dry ice

Directions:

This recipe's Ingredients were scaled to yield a new amount. The directions below still refer to the original recipe yield of 4 gallons.

This recipe serves 10 and makes about a quart.

In a large cooler, mix together the sugar and water, stirring to dissolve sugar completely. Stir in the root beer extract. Carefully place the dry ice into the cooler, and cover loosely with the lid. Do not secure the lid, as pressure may build up.

Let the mixture brew for about an hour before serving. Leftover root beer can be stored in one gallon milk jugs.
Serve with your favorite ice cream.

Here is a question to help get the conversation going. "What do you imagine to be the perfect date and why?"

Happy Dating!

Friday, May 15, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) - Low Tech



LDS sex therapist Laura M. Brotherson frequently stresses that on date night we should shut off and leave all electronics behind.

I have also learned that 90% of being a good lover is having good communication skills. 10% is technique.

And, 80% of good communication is listening.

For tonight's continue-the-courtship-night idea (if you find yourselves unable to leave home), try this fun exercise.

Make a can and string phone. You can be as engineering (metal can, high tensile fishing line, button), or low tech (yarn and foam cup) as you want.

Put the electronics (phones, cell phones, tablets, PC, etc... - electronic sex toys are okay) off and away.

Go to opposite sides of the room and practice listening. Take turns. Say whatever you want. Whisper sweet nothings. Say sacred erotic things to each other. By your new phone, give each other permission to handle your body a certain way. Use your imagination.

Happy Dating!

Friday, May 8, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- ROLE R3V3RSAL



HAPPY CONTINUE - THE - COURTSHIP NIGHT! What an exciting time to be married.

This date idea is definitely one of my favorites for intimacy, marital team building, and practicing good communication skills in the bedroom. I do not recommend this date idea if you are having significant communication challenges in your marriage. Those need to be resolved before attempting this date idea.

ROLE REVERSAL

Tonight (after you put the kids to bed early) the spouse with the lower sex drive will take on the role of the initiator.

Try something different and imitate your higher-sex-drive spouse (not in a mean way, but in a fun loving way). Show your spouse how they behave to you when they initiate sex and then show them how you would like to be approached and warmed up for sex.

To the higher-sex-drive spouse, take on the role of your lower-sex drive eternal companion. Show them how they behave when you try to approach them and then show them how you would like to be approached.

Thoughtfully take the time to discuss what you are experiencing and stop to carefully listen and try to understand the other. Restate back what was said to be sure your interpretation is what they actually meant. Agree not to make fun of the other spouse. Respect their viewpoint and try to understand.

Practice hugging each other until you can both relax into each other's arms. This helps build personal self-esteem, develops trust and self-confidence. When you can obtain this, it can lead to the best sex of your life.

Happy Dating!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Can Your Marriage Pass The Friendship Test?



For the full expression of love and intimacy to exist and for the deepest sexual experiences to be achieved in a marriage, there must be friendship between a husband and wife.

According to Keith Davis (1985), friendship has eight qualities. Ask each other if the other feels any of these are missing and what you can do to proactively make that correction.


"Enjoyment.
Friends enjoy being with each other most of the time. They feel at ease with each other despite occasional disagreements.

Acceptance.
Friends accept each other as they are. They tolerate faults and shortcomings instead of trying to change each other.

Trust.
Friends trust and look out for each other. They lean on each other during difficult times.

Respect.
Friends respect each other's judgement. They may not agree with the choices that a person makes, but they honor their decisions.

Mutual Support.
Friends help and support each other. They help each other out without expecting something in return.

Confiding.
Friends share experiences and feelings.  They don't gossip about each other or back stab.

Understanding.
Friends are sympathetic about each other's feeling and thoughts. They can often read each other without saying very much.

Honesty.
Friends are open and honest. They feel free to be "themselves" and say what they think.”
Benokraitis, Nijole V., Marriages and Families (2005. p.142-143)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Sacred Erotic Story




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

Try these ideas when you're looking for a couple of hours away from the children for some sacred time:

* Take the kids to Grandma and Grandpa - they remember those days, and are usually eager to have some quality time with the grandkids.

* Make friends with other couples in your ward who have small children. Arrange to swap babysitting.

* Put the kids to bed early - baby monitors work great when you need some time alone.

* Put out some snacks and games, or the kids' favorite movie. Again, a baby monitor works great here. If they get too quiet, peek in on them from time to time.


For your couple time:

Each of you make up an 'erotic' story to try and turn on your spouse, and tell it to each other. No more than three paragraphs long. You can write it out and read it to each other, or just make it up and tell it to each other if you prefer.

Then you take turns writing a 'romantic' story for your spouse, based on what they like.

You are each the romantic leads. Choose an exotic time and place. Describe the emotions when you meet, and how your relationship builds.

Yes, husbands- don't get bent out of shape if you're bored by her ideas of 'romance'. Include lots of parts about what the couple in your fantasy talk about (family, home, travel, dreams), and include how the couple build a relationship together and the things he does to win her trust. Avoid gratuitous sexuality, and work or chore-related topics. Do include lots of kissing and caressing in the story. Women need help channeling their thoughts to the sexual part of their brain.

Wives - Men are not often turned on by relationship stories. You might as well try to turn him on my reading the dictionary to him. Men have a direct line to their sexual brain. The story you write for him should have at least one very overt sexual encounter, described in great detail with body parts and heaving breaths - this activity is not immoral if it's something created and kept sacred between the two of you, and not shared with others. Keep the story in the context of the two of you. Don't involve strangers, real or imagined. This also keeps it in the sacred realm.


Wives, your guy may not have a talent for storytelling, but affirm him for any effort he gives. If he makes it too sexual for your comfort, listen to what he is adding. This may give you a clue into what he would like in your love- making with him. What he is describing may be 'romantic' to him. Give him validation for what he does right, and gently let him know what kinds of things you would prefer to hear in your fantasy.

Creating and telling him a story can give him an idea of your preferences as well. Not a bad thing.

Most importantly, don't take it too seriously. Relax, play with it, and have fun!

Happy Dating!

Friday, April 17, 2015

C-T-C Night (At Home) -- Nude Model



I find that many of the sexual things the world labels as "dirty" are so because they are executed outside of marriage.

Sadly, the world teaches us that "unless it's dirty" it has no value, because it loses its excitement and fun. A further insult to these sacred activities (reserved for marriage) is when people label them "dirty" even in marriage.

Many sexual activities are not only acceptable in marriage, but are wholesome tools for bonding a man and a woman mentally and spiritually for eternity.

Tonight's date idea is one of those:


Get artsy! You may not be Van Gogh or Rembrandt, but chances are there's some sort of artistic talent lurking inside of you. Spend a night indoors together sketching each other and learning something new all at once.

Use construction paper and crayons if that's all you have - doesn't have to be complicated or professional-level.If you're lucky, your sweetie may even consider posing nude for you!

If your spouse is uncomfortable with the idea, address those concerns. This is a great opportunity to address body issues, self-esteem, and  beliefs, as well as how to keep activities such as this sacred.

Be sure to ask first. Coercion takes the fun out of any activity. Remember, it's supposed to bond - not separate.

Happy Dating!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- New-Sexual Touch



Here's a meaningful and wholesome courtship night idea!

Dr. David Schnarch in his book Passionate Marriage said, "Married couples who don't play with each other's genitals often play with each other's minds instead."


Sexual touch is so very vital for a healthy marriage. Most husbands will admit the most direct way to communicate love to them is to acknowledge and play with their genitals. Since they come from this paradigm, men will focus on their wives' genitals, fully hoping their wives will want to mirror their love language.


However, most wives will complain that their husbands focus on their genitals, and ignore the rest of their body.


For tonight's at-home date, find an appropriate distraction for your children, or put them to bed and lock yourselves in your room.


Without clothing, spend the next two hours touching and exploring anywhere except each other's genitals. If it leads to heavier things, that's okay, but try to spend this time just focusing on all the other "non-sexual" parts of the other's body. Make it a game to see how long you can resist.


While you engage in this exercise, try this topic of discussion:

"What do you imagine the eternities will look like? If you had your say in exactly how it would be designed, what would you want the eternal world you'll live in to look like?"


Happy Dating!

Friday, April 3, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Feed her well




Happy Continue-The-Courtship Night!

I learned that in Japan, young women can hire some of their favorite movie stars to go on a date with them.

In an interview with the actor they asked him "What do you do on a date with these girls?"

He answered "Oh, regular stuff. We eat, we talk. Nothing sexual."

He went on to tell that the young women will come with slips of paper, containing a request of one thing they would really like to do with him. The actor said that his number one request was that they feed each other.

Some of you may not find that romantic, but some of you might.

So, for tonight's at-home date idea, the husband is to make (or provide) dinner for his wife. Once you are able to distract the kids for a couple of hours, feed each other dinner.

To help conversation on this date, ask each other " If you had no limit of money or time, where would you travel to, and why?"

Happy Dating!

Friday, March 27, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Try Not To Laugh



This really fun date night idea comes courtesy of http://www.focusonthefamily.ca/marriage/great-date-ideas/

COMEDY NIGHT

You will need:
*Take out dinner
*Put the kids to bed early
*pencil and paper
*joke books
*Digital camera (optional)
*a good memory


When was the last time you and your spouse shared a good laugh? If it's your turn to plan the date, plan a comedy-themed date with the goal to laugh all evening. Before your date, ask your spouse to collect silly jokes and think of funny childhood memories to share at dinner. Let them know that you will be doing the same. 


For more laughs during your meal, play the straight-faced game – see who can hold their serious expression without laughing first. Try it multiple times: Winner gets a big bite off the other’s plate! If you are able to get a sitter and dine out and  you don’t care about the other diners watching your silliness, sit side-by-side so you can take photos of yourselves making the goofiest faces.

If you try this date, send me your selfies at samzaragoza@sbcglobal.net and I'll post them here to help get other married couples excited about making their marriages an eternally great one. 

Happy Dating!

Check them out for other great date night ideas too. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Lovers Bee



Happy Continue The Courtship Night all you married lovers out there!

When planning for date night, it's good you both understand some ground rules to ensure your time together is as productive toward building your eternal marriage as well as keeping it fun.
The National Healthy Marriage Institute (http://healthymarriage.org/homedates.htm, 2006,1) offers these rules:

1. NO FIGHTING

It is critical that you commit to making your dates,  a conflict free time zone. The reason why you are going on the date is to strengthen your relationship and fighting will only damage it. As soon as you feel a conflict coming on take a time out, commit to discussing the issue at a specific time in the future and immediately start a trip down memory lane by sharing some of your favorite memories you have had together.

2. NO TALKING ABOUT PROBLEMS

There is plenty of time in the week to discuss problems. While you are on a date should never be one of those times. Dating is a time for having fun and strengthening your relationship.

3. HAVE FUN

Get out of your comfort zone so you can create memories that will last a life time.

That being said: if you are stuck at home because you have small children and/or on a tight budget, you could try this idea:

Make a blanket or quilt together. Find some old clothes, baby clothes, extra baby blankets, worn out sweats, jeans or shirts. Cut them into 6" squares and sew them together to make a patchwork quilt. It's fun and is great for starting a conversation.

Doesn't sound appealing to you guys? here's a tip: the #1 aphrodisiac for women is conversation - especially if you can make her laugh. Here's your chance.

Happy Dating!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

C-T-C Night (At Home) -- Cooking Up Some Love




Happy Continue-The-Courtship Night! My favorite day of the week. A weekly holiday to celebrate eternal marriage.

Trouble finding/affording a sitter? Stuck at home? Try this date night idea:

Birthdays and special occasions are coming. Now is a good time to get out the aprons and fire up the skillet for a night of cooking — for both of you.

Learn how to cook each other's favorite meal, and then do it together. Whether you end up with a delicious steak and tuna casserole for two or speed-dialing for Chinese takeout; you're guaranteed to enjoy the process. 

When I was in college, one of my professors taught me that I should read and make the recipes in a new cookbook each month. There are some amazing cookbooks out there at discount bookstores or even at the thrift store. You'd be surprised at the recipe treasures people toss away. 

YouTube is  another place to learn exotic recipes for free!

The video is of one of my favorites. TIP: Asian Indian recipes (especially those made with tumeric) are very good for sexual health

Happy Dating!



Friday, March 6, 2015

C-T-C Night (At Home) -- Plan A Vacation


HAPPY COURTSHIP NIGHT ALL YOU MARRIED MORMON LOVERS OUT THERE!!!
For tonight's totally free stuck-at-home date night idea:

Plan a vacation | FREE
If you think about it, we only get to keep those babies for such a short time. Each day we lose them as they go through each stage of the growing process. Every moment with them is precious.

SO, in the process of our busy lives - finishing our degrees, taking care of our employers - it's important to take time and plan some quality outings together. You could almost argue that the anticipation up to a vacation provides as much enjoyment as the vacation itself. So why not start planning one?

Even if it will be two years away, it is still something to look forward to and will get here sooner than you know it. There are a million vacation related sites to get your brain churning and help you get ideas. Once you figure out where and when, start budgeting for it!

Happy Dating!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Continue-The-Courtship Night (At Home) -- Naked Volleyball






Continue - The - Courtship Night has finally arrived!

Can't afford or find a sitter? For your totally free stuck - at - home date I have 3 words
" Naked. Balloon. Volleyball." 

Ready? Set? GO! If you have body issues, now is your opportunity to help each other overcome them. 

Happy Dating!

 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- A Walkening



Hello all you married lovers out there.

This stuck at home –because-of-small-children- date idea is courtesy of Redbook.

GO FOR A WALK

Pick out your favorite park, High School track or just walk your neighborhood. Put the babies in a stroller and walk. For a little extra privacy (so you can freely talk) put some headphones on the kids with their favorite music.

It’s good exercise, gets you some fresh air and allows time for some open talking and touching.

BUT, before you go...


According to a straw poll, 70% of couples end a date with a romp in the sack. Some couples recommend that having sex before the date begins helps the couple to “ease into date mode.”

You don’t have to do it every time, but making love beforehand takes the pressure off and allows you to focus on the pleasure of being together. For a guy especially, it takes the stress off of whether he’ll get sex or not.

Making love beforehand releases endorphins and oxytocin that allows the husband to relax, improves his mood and may help him be more focused on making his wife feel good. It also makes him more open to talking and sharing his feelings.

According to Redbook “when you’ve made the sex connection, you’re more physically receptive to each other during your date. Take advantage of this heightened awareness with little touches – caressing each other’s fingers, stealing unexpected kisses, and rubbing shoulders or linking arms as you walk together – to keep you bonded”

Happy Dating!

 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Can Your Marriage Pass The Courtship Test?

I had to share this experience relayed by Greg Olson. May it warm your heart and inspire your marriage.

Thank You Greg!

"Let me share some sage advice I got from a patient several years ago. She and her husband were at the clinic on their 75th anniversary (he was 95 and she was 94 years old). He walked her down the hall, holding onto her like she was the most important person in his world and helped her up onto the exam table. 

He told her that he would be right next door and to “holler” if she needed anything. He was the consummate gentleman and his love was conveyed through every touch, word, and tone. She was a lady of grace who was accustomed to being treated well by the man who loved her. When I entered the room she said, “Wish me a Happy 75th doctor! I’m here for my one year checkup.” I knew that she knew something, and I wanted to know what it was.

I asked her the secret for happiness and longevity and she gave me a classic reply, “Alzheimer’s” she said with a chuckle. “You need to know what to remember and what to forget. Don’t hold on to ammunition from an old argument to fire at your husband during the next one.” So, I interpreted that to mean that I should not be keeping score. 


 Her next point was that two people should go into marriage with both eyes wide open, and then after the vows they should close one eye tight, squint with the other and quit focusing on faults. I took that to mean that I could choose to look for the strengths or the weaknesses and that my choice should be to see the good and help my wife be stronger---she was making waaaay too much sense. 

Finally she said, “Do you court your wife doctor?” to which I replied, “Yah, sorta, we go to dinner sometimes.” She said, “That is not courtin’!” She asked me what kind of things I had done to demonstrate to my wife how I truly felt about her and why I wanted to build a life with her. 


I could see that her point was that a healthy marriage needed just as much energy, effort, and attention to maintain it as it did to create it in the first place. “My husband has asked me out on a date for every Friday night for 75 years, except for 1943, 1944, and 1945. 

Do you know why he didn’t ask me out then?” she asked. I told her that he must have been in the military during WWII. “That’s right, he was overseas. He wrote me a letter every day that he was gone---every day.” “If you don’t keep courtin’ your wife she will take you to court.” From her practiced tone it was evident that she had given this advice before. 

I share this not because I do each of these things perfectly, but because I am still applying what she told me twenty years ago. Every so often I stop and reevaluate how I am doing on my end of the marriage. I always come up with things that I want to do better. 


That is a great secret that needs to be shared. It is not what I am getting from my marriage, it is what I am putting into it that makes me happy, or sad, or dissatisfied. I can only work on my 100%. There are always challenges, problems, irritants, and issues to be resolved, but my gift to the woman I love is to improve myself for her. She has always done the same. 

We are happy in our marriage because love requires work and lots of effort to thrive and we are willing to do it. We have also found it helpful to forgive each other more quickly and move forward more steadily. When I am 95 I want my wife to look at me the way my patient looked at her husband. I better hurry up and ask her on a date this week!"

~ Greg Olson, 2015,1 


Friday, February 6, 2015

CONTINUE - THE - COURTSHIP NIGHT (At Home) -- Games Lovers Play

 HAPPY "CONTINUE THE COURTSHIP" NIGHT!

If you're here, it's probably because you have small children, are on a tight budget,  stuck at home for some reason, or just plain ran out of ideas. 

You are the ones I write these date ideas for, because you really care about your marriage and are willing to do what it takes to make it one that will withstand the test of eternity

Here are four sexy, fun game ideas (that I would only recommend to married couples) - courtesy of www.thenest.com

1. Truth or Dare
Write out five dares -- anything from trying on a sexy outfit to a silly stunt -- on separate pieces of paper. Place them in a bowl. Now take turns asking each other naughty questions, such as, "What's the most unusual place you've ever wanted to have sex?" If you don't answer, dip into the pot and select a dare.

2. Forfeit
Bring treats into the bedroom that have small, easy-to-write-with nozzles, like frosting, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. Write a sexy word on your partner's body. If they guess the word correctly, they get a small taste of the treat. If they guess wrong, they pay a forfeit by swapping places with you. 


3. Wish List
You both think of three intimate things you've always wanted to try and then write them down on separate pieces of paper. Fold them (marked with your initials) and mix 'em up. Take turns drawing out one of the other's wishes, agreeing in advance to at least give it a try.

4. What Is It?
Your partner lies down blindfolded. You lubricate different parts of your body -- fingers, chin, tip of the nose, chest, and so on. You then touch your partner in various places. They have to guess which body part it is. If they guess correctly, you perform an act with that body part that only pleases them.


Happy Dating!



Friday, January 30, 2015

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- It starts with a kiss

HAPPY CONTINUE - THE - COURTSHIP NIGHT all you married lovers out there! 

Here is your totally free stuck - at - home date night idea:

PRACTICE KISSING!


There are SO many different ways to kiss and you (now that you're married) have a permanent girlfriend/boyfriend to practice on whenever you like and without all the anxiety that comes with dating as a single person.

Take tonight to look up on the Internet all the different ways to kiss and then try it. May I suggest starting with the link shown above. To add to the fun, check your oral hygiene, make a plate of sliced apples, chocolate, and your favorite sugar-free soft drink. Happy dating!


 The Different Types of Kissing


Friday, January 23, 2015

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Afterglow

 For me, this is one of those activities that go in the category of "things you can only do when you're married". It's awesome being part of an exclusive club of married folks who keep sex sacred and honor their marriage covenants.

Here's a quick all the fun and none of the guilt idea for a date night, or for any time you have married sex and want to do something silly and fun.

Glow in the dark lipstick!

Yes! it does exist. It's usually sold around Halloween time, but you may still be able to find it at your local supermarket or party store. It goes on clear and doesn't show until you turn the lights off.

Put it on your lips, draw in your eyes and nose. If it's safe to put on your lips, it's safe to put on any other part of your body. It really does work and is cheap! If you want to spend a little more, there are other glow in the dark makeup products too.

Use your imagination. Most importantly, do it together.

Happy Dating!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Just Do It

HAPPY CONTINUE - THE - COURTSHIP NIGHT EVERYONE!



Is your marriage a prison sentence, or an eternity of blissful and joyful opportunities? It's all in how you look at it, isn't it? 


Tonight, do your favorite thing to do together. It doesn't matter what it is...just do it.

"Incompatibility is never the real reason for a divorce. It's a reason for breakup of a dating relationship...The real reason is likely to be that neither attended to the relationship. Perhaps one or both threw themselves into parenting, or a job. They stopped doing the things that they did when dating and that couples need to do to thrive as parents - take time for conversation, talk about how their day went or what's on their mind. Or perhaps the real love was undermined by the inability to handle conflict.

If you get to the point where you're delivering an ultimatum, you haven't been maintaining your relationship properly. It's like your car stopping on the side of the road and you say, 'It just isn't working anymore' - but you haven't changed the oil in 10 years.

What makes people the right mates for each other - is the willingness of both partners to be open and vulnerable; to listen and care about each other."

~ Doherty, Bradbury, Webber, "Are You With The Right Mate", Psychology Today, Feb 2012 pg 63



Friday, January 9, 2015

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Melting Together

Happy Continue-The-Courtship Night!

Tonight it's his turn and, as a guy, I like to think I'm pretty practical. I prefer practical things. 


As Mark Gungor teaches, we men have our 'nothing' box in our mind and we like to visit there as often as possible. (Gungor, 2012) Which can mean we enjoy things that allow us to focus and not have to think about anything.

The less we have to think, the more we like it, especially if the day was stressful. It allows us time to clear our minds, release the stress, and re-energize. Add some comfort and/or physical touch into the mix and you have a great date for a guy.

So, try this great stuck-at-home date idea:

Make Candles

They don't have to be huge. Wax, molds, and instructions can be purchased at a hobby store. It makes for great conversation, is something you do together, and lots of opportunity to touch each other.

Here is the practical part. You can use the finished product to give to home teaching families, friends and/or neighbors as gifts, or you can use them to set a romantic ambiance - maybe for when it's her turn again.  





For some easy step-by-step instructions, check out this video. There are also some other great easy-to-follow candle-making videos at YouTube. One thing I do recommend though is NOT to use your own dishes. You can pick up some old pots from a garage sale or thrift store for this purpose.  
 
Happy Dating!



Saturday, January 3, 2015

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Sexual Resolution

Happy New Year all you married lovers out there. Doing your New Year's resolutions together is a GREAT date idea. 

It's free, you can do it at home, it doesn't require a sitter, and it gets you talking, touching and working together. As you write down your New Year's resolutions, as spouses, ask each other this:

"What are your resolutions this year? Could any of them be used to strengthen our eternal relationship? If either of us feel our sexual intimacy is lacking, in what ways can we improve and make it more fun?


In what other ways could we modify our list to ensure we are doing things to strengthen our relationship this year - things such as temple attendance, regular dates, pillow talk time, prayer and scripture study together, touching, being more mindful to be nice to each other...etc?

Perfection may not be attained in mortality, but as Steven Covey said "A goal not written down, is just a wish." 

Perfecting a marriage takes time, practice, patience, trying, and forgiveness - all our eternal lives, but OH, the rewards. 

Happy dating!  


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Anthroplogy vs God's Definition of Marriage



I recently completed a course in anthropology, and through this class, became aware of some different perspectives that other cultures hold about marriage and similar unions that make up family units.

Anthropology is a most interesting study. What anthropology asks is that we practice cultural relativism – that is: suspend judgment of other people’s practices until we understand them in our own cultural terms.

However, it is up to each individual to apply their own religious convictions, internalized controls, conscience, and ethics in determining what is right and what is wrong. Anthropology cannot do this for us.

Its purpose is to help us respect everyone’s right to act according to the dictates of their own conscious, find beauty in the creativity of mankind, and preserve the cultures and languages created by all ethnic groups.

The most glaring lesson I have taken from the whole experience is that the world cannot depend on anthropology to establish an all-inclusive moral or ethic character for the world. Because of its empirical (equalizing, puts everyone on the same level) and holistic (reserves judgment until after learning all the facts) perspective, restrictions and ethics, all anthropology can do is identify and define what is, not what is right or what is wrong. 

Cultural relativism is only a temporary tool that has built into it the ability to make judgments. It does not automatically establish that every culture’s practices are morally or ethically right and correct for them, or for everyone in the world.

If anthropologists had political power to create and enforce law and were allowed to create for us the standard of morality and ethics that applies for everyone, slavery, apartheid, Nazism, and the Indian caste system might still exist as acceptable cultural institutions, because it seeks to preserve and respect all cultural forms. They would only require that everyone understand, not correct, or try to change, disrupt or eliminate a uniquely developed culture.

They would establish a prime directive if you will. Do not disrupt, interfere, or alter the development of any culture no matter how small or insignificant.

Anthropology is a science. It is a science of observation. It is not a ruling government body or giver of religious, moral or ethical standards for society to follow.

Yet many anthropologist and society attempt to use the finding of anthropologists to justify homosexual marriage, cohabitation, and extramarital affairs as moral, ethical, and socially acceptable practices.

They will claim this by using some obscure cultures in the world that practice these, while completely ignoring the fact that those cultures that entertain these practices are nature and sexuality worshiping religions.

Those that are of Christian, Jewish, or Muslim generally do not share these beliefs, and even recognize those practices as morally incorrect and counter productive to the sustaining of a healthy society.

To exhibit how we cannot depend on anthropology to define our global moral ethics, they cannot even agree on a definition for marriage.

One group of anthropologists tried to be inclusive of all marriage practices by creating their own universal definition as:


“A culturally sanctioned union between two or more people that establishes certain rights and obligations between the people, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws. Such marriage rights and obligations most often include, but are not limited to, sex, labor, property, childrearing, exchange, and status. Thus defined, marriage is universal.” (Haviland, Pins, McBride, Walrath, 2014)


Even my professor attempted to justify this line of thinking through his powerpoint presentation by listing his “three arguments against same sex marriage.”

The one that particularly stood out to me as a glaring contradiction was:

All Marriages are between Men and Women
        Same-sex marriages have been documented not only in a number of societies in Africa, but in other parts of the world as well. Anthropologists define marriage as unions between “people”, not man and women, because not all marriages are male and female based.” (Todd, 2014, p.30)

I found this to be contradiction because at the same time another group of anthropologists say “It is true that virtually every society in the world has an institution that is very tempting to label as “marriage,” but these institutions simply do not share common characteristics.” (Podolefsky, Brown, Lacy, 2013)

Many cultures have customs that help legitimize birthrights and family lines, but even they do not call it marriage. We have put that label on their socioeconomic cultural practice. An example of this would be the Hindu practicing Nayar of Kerala India.

This culture’s practices are used to justify gay marriage and adultery by anthropologists. Among the Nayar, they don’t have a practice they call marriage or a word for marriage. The word they do use translates to “tying rite.”

This “tying rite” allows for multiple men, begins when a man brings the family linen. The couple have no obligation to each other, and the marriage ends when the woman says it does. (Haviland, William A; Prins, Harald E.L.; McBride, Bunny; Walrath, Dana, 2014,p.202-203)

My findings are that the Lord’s definition of marriage is not in danger of anthropology or any sciences defaming its validity or moral, ethical and spiritual foundations.


“…trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.” (Mosiah 23:14)


Though the world and science may deride, I choose to stay with the Lord’s definition:


The Family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.

Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.

 By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”
(Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102)



References:

Haviland, William A; Prins, Harald E.L.; McBride, Bunny; Walrath, Dana, (2014) Cultural Anthropology The Human Experience. (14th ed.). Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Sadasivan, S.N. (2000), A Social History of India., S.B. Nangia, A.P.H. Publishing Corporation. Retrieved November 8, 2014 from http://books.google.com/books

Todd, Jesse, 2014, Brookhaven College, 2014 Cultural Anthropology Chapter 9 Powerpoint presentation

Podolefsky, Aaron; Brown, Peter J.; Lacy, Scott M., (2013) Applying Cultural Anthropology. (9th ed.). McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages

Friday, December 26, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Become Masters of Kama Sutra

HAPPY CONTINUE - THE - COURTSHIP NIGHT!

Marriage experts agree that regularly dating your spouse (even if you don't feel like it) is less costly than divorce. ;0)

Have you tried this one? It's cheap and great for LDS married couples with young children at home!

Get the Cosmo Kama Sutra book of positions. (about $9 at Amazon) - No...I don't get a kick back, but thank you for thinking of me. I'm recommending this book because it doesn't have photos of live people demonstrating the positions. It does have good visually instructional drawings, and clear easy to follow instruction.


Kama Sutra is an ancient Sanskrit word that loosely translates to mean " desire procedures ".  It was (and still is) taught to Hindu boys and girls in India to help prepare them for marriage. From an American perspective, it was like your grade school sexual education classes, except it also taught techniques to help love making in marriage more enjoyable, and positions that could help with conception. It also trained young men and women sexuality ethics.(Devi, 2013, http://www.hinduhumanrights.info/the-kama-sutra-beyond-the-sex/)

Try to do all of them. Make up a few of your own. Become kung fu masters of Kama Sutra in the bedroom together. Remember to be patient, practice good communication skills, stretch first, make sure the kids are safe and occupied first, lock the bedroom door, and (most important) don't take it seriously. There is no pass/fail and the only contest is how unified you can be as a couple. have fun.

Happy Dating!



Saturday, December 20, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) --- Winter Wonderland

A Very Merry  Continue The Courtship Night to all you married lovers out there.

If you were wishing for a white Christmas, I think some of you may have got more than you bargained for. But, we can take a lemon and turn it into a  lemon chiffon cake with a warm creamy Christmas spice sauce.

Today's totally free stuck at home (because you are blessed with small children or just because you're snowed in) date idea is to build a snow family together. Or, you can build an igloo and cuddle up inside with a candle and some snacks just for the two of you.

Happy Dating!



Here's a bonus: found this fun recipe for snow ice cream.



Friday, December 12, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Wrapped In Love

"Keep your courtship alive. Make time to do things together – just the two of you. 

As important as it is to be with the children as a family, you need regular weekly time alone together as a couple. Scheduling it will let your children know that you feel that your marriage is so important that you need to nurture it. That takes commitment, planning, and scheduling.

It doesn’t need to be costly. The time together is the most important element."
~Elder Joe J. Christensen, 1995


This can something as simple as closing yourselves off in a room and wrapping presents together. Play some Christmas music. Wrap presents naked. Wrap each other in leftover Christmas wrap. Include some treats. When you're done, wrap yourselves around each other. 

Here's a tip - how about having sex first? Sex alleviates tension, floods the system with endorphins (a natural feel-good drug), and oxytocin (bonding drug) that both improve mood and assist in making conversation more pleasant. 

In her sexless marriage talks and writings, Michele Weiner-Davis said that many married couples report having their best conversations after sex. (Weiner-Davis 2012)

Happy dating!


 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) --- Christmas Quickies and Cookies

A Very Merry Continue-The-Courtship Night everyone! (It's fun being a member of an exclusive club of married folks)

"Couples should work toward complete mutual fulfillment in every lovemaking experience, but sometimes that may not be possible due to energy and/or time constraints. You may both decide to enjoy a "quickie" together when only a few moments are available or when one of you isn't in the mood for 'gourmet' sex.


A quickie most likely will not provide sufficient time and/or stimulation for the wife to reach orgasm, but if your attitude is right and circumstances are such, a quickie can be like a little gift. Quickies can be okay, as long as they are mutually agreed upon and do not become the regular fare." (Laura M. Brotherson,2004)

Tonight's activity: Have a quickie, and bake some Christmas cookies together.
Here's a fun video of how to make these easy quick Italian Christmas cookies made with anise.


Happy dating!


!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) --- REALLY Thankful

Hello all you married lovers out there. Here's a fun stuck at home BYHSC date idea:

Write 25 things that you are thankful for about your spouse, and then share it with each other.

Also, the holidays are a great time for dates when you have small children. It gives you a chance to get out and go somewhere and get back into boyfriend/girlfriend mode. Having lots of family around means "FREE BABYSITTING". Take advantage of it!

Happy Dating 




Friday, November 14, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Feeding The Flame

This one is one of my favorites for helping me reignite the original flame. When your marriage settles into a  comfort zone and the passion starts to flicker try this:

Re-live the past:


One of the techniques therapists use to bring a couple back together is help them remember why they got married in the first place. Why wait for a therapist? You can remind yourself regularly and watch it bring that spark back into your relationship


Make a nice meal, or get some take out
Break out the wedding photos and look through them together
When was the last time you looked through your school yearbooks together? Take advantage of the fun of sharing the good times and bad times of those periods in your lives and remembering what brought you two together in the first place.


Happy Dating! 


Friday, November 7, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Wholesome Sex Toys

YEA! It's Continue-The-Courtship Night!

Tonight it's his turn:

It's not totally free, but doesn't have to be terribly expensive either. Shop for and try out a new sex toy together.  

 
I've not found anything in gospel doctrine or the scriptures that prohibit the use of  any apparatus or device in marital sexually intimate activities. In fact, just the opposite. I believe all creations and inventions are inspired by our Father in Heaven and are for the intent to do good. 

It is the Adversary who inspires their use for evil. Sex toys are an excellent example. There are many couples who (due to physical disabilities or limitations) struggle to have sexually intimate relations with their spouse, or are incapable of reaching the full sexually bonding experience without the aid of a sex toy. 

We keep the use of these tools sacred by using them in the bonds of marriage to bring a couple closer together and strengthen their eternal relationship.
 
It would be a good idea to discuss first how you both feel about using it and any concerns. Practice being open-minded and respectful of each other's feelings. The gadget can be for you or him or both.

Discuss how you would go about getting what you want. I recommend going online as opposed to going to a store. If you do go online, look for a vendor that is tastefully done, (ie. no nudity, profane language, etc...), tastefully displayed, and won't send you flyers in the mail.

I recommend Simply Sweet Marriage.Com as a good guide for the type of vendors that are respectful of you and the sacredness of sexuality. They also give good descriptions and definitions of the items you're considering.



No, I don't get a kick back (though I probably should  :-)  ), but I'm always willing to promote anyone who put the sacred above worldliness.

If this brings up concerns you can't resolve together, drop me a line @ samzaragoza@sbcglobal.net

Happy Dating!



Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Continue - The - Courtship Night --- All Saints Day Eve

It's hard to pick just one idea for a Halloween Date - because there are SO many.

It's a night for the kids, but that doesn't mean there can't be some Mama and Papa time in there too.

All Saints Day Eve is a perfect time for some fantasy and role play in the bedroom - because there are some fun costume ideas all around you and many are very cheap, and many of them are probably only appropriate for a married couple's bedroom anyway. 

Wearing them to a costume party would be provocative and profane YES! But, a husband and wife wearing them (in the bedroom) to arouse each other is sacred erotica and a sacred wholesome activity!  Reclaim that birthright from the world.

Masks
Boas
fishnet stockings
Buttless chaps
Cowboy/Cowgirl costumes
Shepherd boy/girl costumes
Nurse
French maid
Superhero
Etc...

Write your own fantasy and playing out together, or make it up as you go along. Be hammy and make it fun.

Here are 50 more wholesome Halloween date ideas from the dating divas: Happy Dating!

http://www.thedatingdivas.com/just-the-two-of-us/50-fun-fall-date-ideas/





Friday, October 24, 2014

Continue - The -Courtship Night (At Home) --- FALL In Love

Happy Contiue - The - Courtship Night everyone! 

I love the fall. The weather is cooler. Allergens are down, the bugs are starting to go away, and Mother Nature is changing into her most festive gowns. What a great time to get outside and be a part of it together.

Fall also usually means that the leaves are falling in your yard, but oh, what an opportunity!

For this totally free stuck-at-home date night idea, MAKE PILES OF LEAVES AND JUMP IN THEM!

A great fall activity for anyone. If you don’t have a yard of your own borrow the park's leaves and go make piles there.


In addition, working in the yard together is great exercise and facilitates pleasant conversations. Working up a sweat together also releases endorphins and testosterone into the bloodstream for both sexes.  These chemicals are what kick up the mood to engage in more intimate activities.

Happy Dating!


Monday, October 20, 2014

LDS Doctrine or Cultural Myth: Mormons Don’t Make Love Naked



You may have heard the stories. I’ve heard several.

 For example, the brother who claims that there is never a reason to take off the temple garment and all of his children were conceived while wearing them. The sister who was so unsure about when it was appropriate to take off the garment that she never took them off and even bathed in them. I also heard one story of a temple matron who was teaching that the garment must be touching the skin at all times and nothing should be worn underneath the

The Lord Jesus Christ taught us that we should be living by the spirit of the law and not do as the Pharisees do with the doctrine by looking for a letter of the law in every little detail, but ignoring the purpose of the doctrine. (Matthew 23:23-24 )

I believe this also applies to the wearing of our sacred garments. When it comes to making love to our spouse, I have found nothing that supports the belief that we should never take them off. What I have found is instruction that there are times when it is inappropriate not to wear them.
Endowed members should wear the temple garment both day and night. They should not remove it, either entirely or partially, to work in the yard or for other activities that can reasonably be done with the garment worn properly beneath the clothing. Nor should they remove it to lounge around the home in swimwear or immodest clothing. When they must remove the garment, such as for swimming, they should put it back on as soon as possible.
Members should not adjust the garment or wear it contrary to instructions in order to accommodate different styles of clothing. Nor should they alter the garment from its authorized design. When two-piece garments are used, both pieces should always be worn. The garment is sacred and should be treated with respect at all times…”
(Handbook 2:Administering the Church, 2014,  21.1.42)
 I was unable to see anything in this that suggests it is inappropriate to take the garment off while having sex with our spouse. 

For this purpose, I have to put “myth” on the belief that we as married Saints are not allowed to take the garment off while having sex with our spouse. I only see that the garment should be "put back on as soon as possible". Because circumstances vary, a spirit - of - the - law provision is built in. We have some flexibility to decide when to put it back on.

To help quell any concerns about the appropriateness of discussing this sacred topic regarding the garment, I hope those with concerns will note that the directions for how the temple garment should be worn is posted by the church online for all to read: (https://www.lds.org/handbook/handbook-2-administering-the-church/selected-church-policies?lang=eng#21.1.42 )

The Church has also posted this video that openly discusses and shows the sacred temple garment in an effort to also help dispel any myths or concerns outsiders have about our faith. It is also done in the hopes of dispelling prejudice toward our faith through education. The video can be seen below or on YouTube.

I will accept any honest questions, but ask that all be respectful with addressing this sacred topic. Disrespectful comments will be deleted.



Saturday, October 18, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home!) --- PIG SKIN

HAPPY CONTINUE-THE-COURTSHIP NIGHT! 

Okay all you married lovers out there, it's his turn tonight. Here is your (well it might cost a little to get the meat and supplies) stuck at home BYHSC date idea.

Fall is in the air and what does fall mean? PIG SKIN!
Two great loves of many men is football and really good barbeque. Well, this time - it's barbeque.

Every guy knows that good barbeque takes a long time - if it's done right, and standing by the smoker can get pretty lonely. So wives, for this date, help him get the pork together, he can start up the smoker, break out some chairs and spend some quality time together while he makes you the best barbecue you've had all year.

This would be a good time to break out the "365 Questions For Couples", the guitar, or just cuddle in the cool smokey October air and watch Mother Nature change her gown from green to gold.

Happy Dating!



Friday, October 10, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Get Into Position

Good flexibility can greatly enhance the comfort and pleasure of your marital love making.

Here's your stuck at home, can't get a sitter or because it's too cold outside date idea:

Get a yoga video and do some yoga together. If you already have one, break it out and take an hour to do it together. If you have never done it before, be sure to pick up yoga instruction for beginners. I recommend Rodney Yee's Yoga For Beginners.

Have a very flexible date night!