marriage bed symbol

marriage bed symbol

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

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