marriage bed symbol

marriage bed symbol

Monday, February 29, 2016

Profanity Or Swearing In the LDS Marriage Bed?



I wanted to point this article out because I felt (in many ways) it pertains to our intimate relationship as LDS married couples.

Often I receive questions about what is or is not appropriate sexually in marriage, as well as what kind of language is appropriate to use in our sacred sexually-intimate interactions with our spouses.

Something that stood out to me in what Elder Brewerton said was “Profane words never edify.”

The same could be said for profane erotic material and profane activities with our spouses.

To more fully understand, it helps to look at the word “edify”.  To edify means to build. It means to strengthen someone’s moral, religious and intellectual character. [i]

Words (whatever they may be) can have different meanings in different cultures, ethnicities, nationalities, and even within our immediate families. With the exception of the irreverent use of the name of Deity, to say “this word is bad in every circumstance and for everyone” is not possible to do.

What we’ve found ourselves asking as a married couple is...

“Is the use of this word, or is this activity, edifying our marriage or profaning it?” 

This question can be an effective filter for those things that may harm our eternal relationship. (see also my article: “Don’t Erotic Words Offend The Spirit?” [ii])

As you contemplate this as a couple, I hope you will also consider what Elder Ted E Brewerton says in this talk "Profanity and Swearing"


 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sexual Friendship

Dr. John Gottman said "the simple truth is that happy marriages are based on deep friendship. By this I mean a mutual respect for each other's company, plus an intimate knowledge of each other's quirks, likes and dislikes."

His finding is that disagreements and heated debates are not a sign of a bad marriage (unless, of course, it becomes physical abuse). Because while all couples argue, it is the spouses who are friends first who have the advantage." (Chatterjee, 1999, 1) [1]

This week, ask each other "Do you feel like I'm your friend? What is it that I do that makes you feel like I'm your friend? What do you believe a good or best friend does/behaves like?"

Recently in my studies I've been learning about bondage and sadomasochism. My goal was to try and understand why people are drawn to this practice. I'm not talking about gentle foreplay games such as blind-folding your spouse and/or tying them to the bed while teasing them. I'm referring to those practices involving paraphilia (sexual practices outside the socially acceptable norms or moral guidelines) that would torture and inflict pain.

What I learned is that these two practices are a counterfeit created by the Adversary for those who cannot hope - in their secular state - to obtain the type of intimacy I describe above; the sweet peaceful spirit and bonding that only comes from entering into sexuality the Lord's way. 

 Instead of obtaining the full physical, emotional, and spiritual sexual experience, those who try to ‘enter the gate’ some other way find they only have the physical to work with. S&M is a way of experiencing the sexual by dangerously heightening the pleasure and pain combination. 

A forced high is obtained by torturing the body and tricking the body into releasing chemicals inherent in its own desire for self-preservation. In some cases, the practitioner even brings the body dangerously close to death.

There is a wholesome alternative that can bring its own intensity, and that way is through truly living the gospel and being a friend to your spouse. The deeper the friendship, the deeper the trust. The deeper the trust, the more a spouse feels safe to allow themselves to be vulnerable and abandon themselves fully to what they could be experiencing in the sacred sexual relationship. This can only be realized through entering into the full mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual commitment only found in marriage. 

Those who cohabitate or try to obtain this level of sexual intimacy through promiscuity or extremes in sexual practices cannot hope to obtain it.  This is because it requires the presence of the Holy Ghost and the peace that comes with him. [2]

Without living the gospel, spiritual gifts are just not available. [3] Because of this, all that is left to those who choose otherwise are the physical aspects of sexuality.  

Those in marriage that reach the deepest levels of sexual fulfillment and obtain the most satisfying, even explosive long-term sexual experiences are friends. Not just friendly, but deeply committed, “I can trust you with anything” best friends.

It's designed purposefully that way by God. Just as revelation and peace can’t be stolen by lying our way into the temple, the deep sexual experiences from being in a committed married relationship (coupled with friendship and trust) can't be replicated outside of these conditions.

If you would like additional information, feel free to contact me at samzaragoza@sbcglobal.net.

References: 
1.Lesson 12, Effective Family Leadership, Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood: Basic Manual for Priesthood Holders, Part B, (2000), 105–11

2.Chatterjee, Camille, The Science of a Good Marriage, Psychology Today, 1999, https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199909/the-science-good-marriage 

3. Oakes, Dallin H., Spirtual Gifts, 1986,1, https://www.lds.org/ensign/1986/09/spiritual-gifts?lang=eng

Thursday, February 18, 2016

CTC Night (Not always at home) - Go To Hotel?

Happy continue-the-courtship night!

When my wife and I were young newlyweds - with small children, we looked for every date idea under the sun to help not only keep our commitment to continue dating, but also to find new and interesting ideas to keep it fun and fresh.

While in our search, the best dating advice we received as a married couple was to make sure we set aside a fund in our budget to regularly go alone as a couple to a hotel.

Every couple needs this and it is attainable for any couple. A few dollars each month adds up, and as soon as you have $100 saved up, go. It doesn't have to be an expensive hotel. In fact, I will pass on to you some free experience. Out of all the hotels we've stayed at (including the Hilton), the Comfort Inn was the best. It's reasonably affordable, they're in every town, they're clean, safe, free breakfast, have Wifi, and we couldn't hear our neighbors. If any of you have stayed at nice places, go ahead and mention that here to help out other couples.

This is an opportunity for you as a couple to get away, not have to clean, worry about messes, or children walking in on you, or wearing clothes, and no noise. You can take a bath or shower or both together and take your time. It's like a mini-vacation where you both are free to relax into each others arms and talk or watch a movie.

I also recommend planning to do it regularly, so you both don't feel rushed. Avoid the trauma of feeling like you have to do everything  in one night because you don't know when the next time will be that you'll be able to do it again. Don't do that to yourselves

I also recommend not making each other wait until your anniversary.  Once a year is just not enough.

Mentally pick what you want to do, and relax knowing that you'll get to try the next time what you didn't have time to do this time. This will make for a much less stressful evening for the both of you.

Your eternal marriage is worth it. Happy Dating!


Thursday, February 11, 2016

CTC Night - At Home: Marshmallow War

Hey all you married lovers out there. If you're here, it's probably because you have small kids, can't find a sitter, are on a tight budget, ran out of ideas, or all of the above. But, that's okay!

The important thing is, you're here! Which means you care enough about your marriage to continue the courtship and keep it interesting.

This week's date idea:

Build a marshmallow catapult and fire marshmallows at each other. The one to catch the most in their mouth, wins.

Don't know how to build a catapult? No problem. It can be made from some of the things you probably already have lying around your house. Plus, I found this really cool video that will show you how to make a super-easy catapult.

Happy dating!


Thursday, February 4, 2016

CTC Night - At Home: A Lovely Secret Treasure

Happy continue the courtship night.

This weeks idea: surprise your spouse with a treasure hunt. 

Make a set clues and try rhyming the clues for fun. Each clue should leadto the next one and, finally, to the treasure.

Seal the clues in envelopes or in treats or prized that each clue leads them to. These can be a small toy, an IOU for a movie or romantic bath or date of their choice, a small box of chocolate, maybe a cache of coins (regular or chocolate); whatever you do make sure the clues lead to the bedroom.

Once they reach their final clue in the bedroom, let that be whatever your spouse has been longing for - a foot rub, letting them try out something intimate they've been dying to try with you, cuddle time, reading them a fun story, or watching a romantic drama.

You can also make it a full blown out candles, rose petals on the bed, music - the works!

Happy Dating!