marriage bed symbol

marriage bed symbol

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sexual Dysfunction?

If your spouse has a lower sex drive than you, that doesn't necessarily mean that there is something wrong with them. You may just have a higher sex drive than they do and this is not uncommon or abnormal according to Dr. David Schnarch (author of Passionate Marriage)

If you are the one with the lower sex drive and it troubles you, you may want to take the following into consideration.

This slideshow from MedicineNet.com shows some possible causes of low libido or lack of interest in sex. Most female or male sexual dysfunction can be easily remedied as this slideshow will demonstrate.

Sex Drive Killers - By MedicineNet.Com

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Isn’t It Romantic…?


 WARNING: This post contains a topic of a sacred sexual nature and is intended for married couples only. The information contained is sexually graphic in nature. Reader discretion is advised.
“For the time shall come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables…” – 2 Timothy 4:3-4
 I took my wife to a movie this weekend. It wasn’t a movie I would have chosen, but she wanted to see it, and I enjoy making her happy, so I took her.

It was a “chick flick” – not meant for men, but primarily for the enjoyment of women. Men may look at such films and roll their eyes and groan, and imagine explosions and death and mayhem where there is none, just to make it more tolerable to be there.

It was more than tolerable for me, in the sense that I love to study human behavior and wonder, “Why do they do that?” or “Why did the writer write that character that way?”

What I noticed about this particular film (as well as the many others I’ve had to watch in the name of bringing happiness to my wife) was that the heroine of the film was nurtured every second. She was cocooned in the love and concern of those around her. The hero was attentive to her every need. He protected her from every perceived slight and possible danger, even as she insisted that she didn't really need such protection.

Films that men enjoy are very different than women’s films. In a “guy” film, there are jobs to be done, a journey to take, challenges to overcome, lives to be saved and a woman’s heart to win. There are women who adore the hero, and express that adoration with their bodies as well as their words.

At the extreme end of the spectrum is pornography, which is often designed specifically to stroke this primal need in men, with women who enthusiastically throw themselves into sex with a man with the same desire as a man, often acting in ways that real women would never do…just as the romantic heroes in the chick flicks behave, think and act in ways a man in real life wouldn’t.

Why do the men in such films not act like men in reality? Or the women in men’s films? Where is the fulfillment that both sexes find in these stories?

I suggest that it stems, in large part, from each gender’s definition of intimacy.

His n’ Her Intimacy

Intimacy, in a woman’s mind, is not necessarily synonymous with sex. A woman who has been awakened to sex may admit that it feels good, that they like it, but it is not usually the central heart of what they crave.

Women crave intimacy, which to them means they want to be known for who they really are as a person. They want acknowledgement for the sacrifices that they make, large and small. They want to feel safe with the person they love.

They want to feel protected. They want to feel like they have a unique worth or value. This is usually what they mean when they say “I want to feel special.”

Ever wonder why women cling so closely to church, more so than men? They crave that relationship with their Heavenly Father. For them he is the ultimate protector…who sees into their very souls and loves them unconditionally, despite what they perceive as their faults. He sees something special in them as his daughter…and He watches out for their every need.

For them, when it feels like the rest of the world wants to destroy them, they look to him to protect and comfort them. I hear this over and over again when women talk about why their relationship with God is important to them. I see this being a very basic and primal need for women; to feel that level of “protected” and "adored".  A fictional example of this would be the story of Pride and Prejudice, when Mr. Darcy (a greater power who gives selflessly of himself to protect) swoops in to protect his sister’s honor and Elizabeth’s family’s honor because he loves them.

We as men usually don’t understand this, because we don’t feel that same need. In fact, it’s somewhat the opposite. We feel a primal need to be the provider, the protector and defender. We feel a primal need for women to desire us as we desire them and be turned on when we fix things for them or display our male prowess. Stories such as the James Bond films are classic examples of this desire to be clever and strong, and to protect and defend the innocent.We find it romantic when the girl swoons and falls in the hero's arms because of his masculinity, strength, skill and cleverness and wants sex with him based on these attributes alone.

Men’s relationship with God is reflected in this: We seek favor with God so he will help us better provide, defend and protect our wife and family. Even our priesthood is there to teach us how to best portray this role of provider and protector in the way God would do it.

Neither the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord

Neither paradigm of romance or values is wrong or a perversion of the other. They are just different and reflect the roles (biologically, spiritually and otherwise) each are designed to portray.

If we want to attract or arouse our spouse, each sex needs to understand and respect this subcultural difference.

We as men will find ourselves frustrated if we attempt to turn on our wife by behaving or displaying things to women that arouse us as men. Likewise, a wife will find it difficult to influence a man to be a protector and appreciator by behaving and displaying things that she finds attractive and romantic.

Expecting him to “just know” what she wants can lead to frustration as well. She needs to tell him, and probably two or three times. This is not selfishness. It is not selfish to let someone know what you want or need. It is selfish to keep this to yourself and allow your frustrations to build. He wants to romance and protect you and show you appreciation. He just may not know how or that you even want it because what you need to feel intimate is not a basic primal need or instinct in him.

A man who takes on this role in a woman’s life has the potential of becoming the extension of Heavenly Father in the life of his wife. While we don’t consider our relationship with God to be in any way sexual, that sense of feeling safe and protected in every sense allows her to relax and open herself up sexually. It is a great responsibility and stewardship for every husband to be that extension of who she sees as the Great Protector.When I say "protector" I don't just mean physically, but emotionally, mentally, sexually and spiritually as well.

A man who will find small and large ways to protect his wife, who will encourage her to express herself and give her the wings to fly without criticism, and who expresses his gratitude for her sacrifices (especially in the bedroom, where those sacrifices can often be difficult for her) will arouse a sense of gratitude and romance in his wife.

This is not necessarily the viewpoint of a man. A man wants to do things himself. He doesn’t want to be protected. He wants his manhood. Above all, he wants sex. A man of God will desire to be in favor with God, but he will also want sex.

Women who consider men ‘sick’ or ‘twisted’ or ‘perverted’ because they like sex are misunderstanding what is ‘romantic’ to men. Men are not women with a penis. It would be gender-centric to believe so.

Sex IS romance and love to a man. It is intimacy. It is air and life.  A man who isn’t getting it even once in a while is probably having a hard time fully connecting to that feeling of love for his wife, no matter what other charitable acts she may do for him. He does all that he does for her to gain the deep, intimate sex he craves. If he puts all that effort into the relationship, and does not get sex out of it, resentment is very likely to set in.

“Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” – The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Women may never fully comprehend just how important the sexual aspect of life is to a man, because it often just isn’t as central a drive for the woman. Her sex drive and her sexual cycle are not the same. Not wrong…just different. Women are likewise not men with breasts and vaginas, no matter how much a man may desire that, or however much it may be portrayed that way in TV or movies. It would be gender-centric to believe so.

While the wife can’t and shouldn’t take the blame for the moral choices of her husband, the wife should also know and appreciate what a powerful tool she holds in her care – the sexual relationship – and how much good it can do in the lives of her family unit. Because she is often the spouse with lower sex drive, she is the one who holds control of the sexual relationship, and vise versa should the husband have the lower drive.The way the lower drive spouse wields this control will greatly influence the strength and vitality of the marriage.

A wife who will allow herself to rely on her husband for help (even when she may not need it), or who will appreciate the sacrifices he makes for her (a man who will help lift a woman’s physical burdens and listen without criticism is making a sacrifice), and who will take the time to learn about and develop her sexuality with him - will bring about a sense of deep love and appreciation from her husband.

We are different, but we can learn to understand and respect each other’s differences and values. Sacrifice for each other does bring forth the blessings of heaven. Taking the time to understand the man or woman you are married to, and giving them love the way they feel love, can bring down heaven’s choicest blessings and eternal unity.