Ask Dr. Finlayson-Fife

Apr 11, 14 Ask Dr. Finlayson-Fife



We are going to be interviewing the amazing and brilliant Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife on our next podcast.  Jennifer is an expert on…erm, well Mormon virtue, but like when it’s OK to not be a virtue anymore. Wait no; she is an expert on morality. The kind of morality that exists between a husband and wife. Does that make sense? Err…OK, what if I said she’s an expert on intimacy. The kind of intimacy that one body has with another body.  But not like with a trainer and an athlete, or a doctor and a patient, or a parasite and a host.  I mean the kind of intimacy that…is virtuous and moral. Glad we cleared that up.


If you’re reading this thinking “Just write it!  Just write…that thing that is…what we do….it’s….aww flurffles!”, you’re not alone (except on the flurffles thing, weirdo)  Many Mormons want to talk about these things, but we come from a cultural background that doesn’t have a very clear vocabulary on the matter.  The matter of course being sex.  If that sentence made you clasp your pearls and reach for your smelling salts, you may wish to skip this podcast, because Jennifer actually uses the real names of things, and you might die.  However, on the plus-side, this means that when she answers a question, you will actually understand the answer!  Oh, and she will be answering questions on this podcast.  Questions that come from you!  So please ask a question, and stay tuned for our podcast, where we have the kind of frank discussion that would set a regular Sunday School on fire with embarrassment.


Here is how you can ask her a question:
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Laurel Sandberg-Armstrong

Laurel is an actress and voice-over artist who lives with her husband and toddler in a soon-to-be-lovely little duplex (we're working on it) just outside Minneapolis. Like many Mormons her age, she enjoys stuff and doing things, and hopes that she can get even better at stuff so she can be a professional doer of things. She also thinks she maybe should not have written her bio when she was so tired.

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  1. You forgot the “sacred powers of procreation”! I’m looking forward to the podcast.

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  2. The private email address you gave is bouncing back — even when I delete the spaces! Help?

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  3. EOR-Unsigned /

    It is so funny to me when I read or hear people saying that Mormons don’t talk about sex. Mormons are obsessed with sex! It’s actually pretty gross and off-putting how much it is the topic of conversation.

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  4. No one /

    Bishopric feedback to what is acceptable in the bedroom has been… As long as you are both comfortable and you aren’t bringing in another person, all is well. Any thoughts? Can that be true? It seems to me that two people may be comfortable doing some things that may not be acceptable.

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  5. dallske /

    EOR-Unsigned: Many Mormons like to bring it up in conversation because they are religiously/sexually repressed. Not only Mormons, but conservative Americans in general. So when you hear Mormons “talking” about sex, it is almost equivalent to one testing the waters, seeing if they can bring it up so some progress toward resolution can be made, or at least finding others who struggle with similar bedroom issues.

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  6. Carson /

    Eor-unsigned, sex and sugar are the only vices we have as Mormons. We can’t help but over indulge!

    I pay for some awesome couple therapy from Dr Fife which I recommend everyone do no matter how good your marriage is, but I have a general question as a sociology/anthropology hobbyist…

    I often hear how American but especially Mormon sexuality is based in Victorian thought. This is usually stated as if the rest of the world and times throughout history were not so conservative. What are other times and countries like? From what I’ve personally seen around the world in Asia and Argentina everybody else is very similar to us.

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  7. Carson /

    I should add similar to us as a country since we’ve stayed as a church where America was in about the fifties

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  8. halp /

    Growing up, I wanted to be a YW of virtue. This meant being a guardian of YM virtue. Despite being attractive and feeling like I wanted to develop my burgeoning sexual identity, I controlled and suppressed it. I find the sex-rhetoric in church to be male-centric – a female who has decided not to have pre-marital sex will require maintenance of a pilot light of sexuality through pre-marriage years. For males, this pilot light stays stoked through overt biology and sociocultural factors, for women, the process is more complex, i.e. a woman who suppresses her sexuality successfully in her youth, cannot suddenly construe herself as having a sexual identity, which is, ironically, necessary to fulfill the role of wife and mother, as encouraged by Mormonism. A male (anecdotally speaking) might be more able to suppress sexual behaviours prior to marriage, but is less likely to be inhibited or disinterested in sex once given the greenlight. In other words, Mormonism doesn’t just create low-drive women partners, but sometimes no-drive partners. For me, I didn’t naturally feel like a low-drive partner, but was so successful in being the idea YW, that I have turned into this. I’m unhappy with it and willing to do the ugly work of uprooting my identity to fix this – I will be with my husband forever and am disinterested in taking on a martyr complex (‘I’m a low drive partner because I’m less carnal, more holy!’) to protect myself. The question here is, where do I start? How can you cultivate desire? If I weren’t married, I know precisely how I’d do this, but I’m unable to do those things now I’m married – I think desire helps you cultivate sexuality, but how can I cultivate sexuality via desire if I ‘have’ what I desire?

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