I had a question from a reader recently, which follows:
What are your views/thoughts concerning instructional/educational sex videos/books?
I have read your comments regarding pornography and agree that it is destructive and harmful, but as my wife and I struggle to help her open up sexually, we feel that these tools may help.
I'm referring to the Better Sex video series in general. How do you feel about them and their use?
My answer to this reader, and to anyone else who might be interested in this same question, was this:
The Better Sex video series is one of the reasons why I started this blog, and why I am training to be an LDS sex therapist.
First, to answer your question, the Better Sex videos are done by the Sinclair institute and (sadly, as I’m extremely disappointed in them) are nothing more than gateway porn.
They tell you that they are interviewing real couples, but they are all porn actors and it becomes obvious after the first few minutes. It will be a turn-on to you (which it is designed to do) but will be offensive to your sweet wife.
The instruction isn’t based in reality either. It’s very graphic, and encourages adultery and sexual perversion as an acceptable “enhancement” to your married sex life. After you purchase your first video, they will start sending you ads in the mail for their list of porn videos, all produced by “The Sinclair Institute.”
Truthfully, there is not a lot of “good” material out there for LDS couples to learn how to have sex with each other. It is a reason why I am writing my blog, and hope to eventually produce my own books and videos to give members a safe place to go to learn about sexual techniques.
As I have nothing available now, I can suggest some better places you can go. Sister Laura M Brotherson’s book, “And They Were Not Ashamed” is a good place to start. A fulfilling sex life starts with knowing how to communicate with the opposite gender. Sis. Brotherson helps both of you understand what the wife’s needs are, and how men can better fulfill them, and vice versa. The exercises for couples she includes in the book are especially valuable.
I would then recommend investing in Mark Gungor’s “Laugh Your Way To a Better Marriage.” Mark Gungor is not LDS, but his insights into the way men and women relate to each other, how they think differently, and especially his insights on the dangers of pornography in marriage are golden.
If you’re looking for sex positions to learn about, I can recommend this site: http://www.sexinfo101.com/sp_index.shtml.
This website uses computer-generated models to demonstrate how to do different sex positions. My wife, who's very sensitive to anything pornographic, gives her nod of approval to this site because it doesn’t use real people.
For the sake of keeping sex sacred, please be sure you don’t watch these without your wife, and that your children will not see or have access to it in any way. Make sure to delete the files from your computer’s history to avoid having them stumble across something they shouldn’t see. I especially recommend this site for husbands who are wanting to learn how to have sex, because men are more visual in how they learn. It helps if the wife understands this, as many wives can be okay with print only.
This is probably a good starting place, and things I wish my parents or Church leaders could have told me when my wife and I were first married. If you're curious about Church resources, a good one is the textbook, "Achieving A Celestial Marriage", which is available through the Church Distribution Center. It also has some good guidelines for sexual practices in marriage from a gospel perspective.