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]