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Interviews with LDS Relationship and Sexuality Counselor Dr. Finlayson-Fife
Here in the 20th installment of the “Ask a Mormon Sex Therapist” series Jennifer, Laurel and Brian are joined by Rational Faiths permablogger Blaire Ostler to discuss pornography. In a previous RF post Blaire, a philosopher, parsed out a nuanced definition of pornography. We were glad to have Blaire join us and add her perspective to the topic, one which is featured in many questions submitted to this series—this episode does use one specific question to frame the discussion.
Pornography itself is a complex and broad topic to tackle, and we do not attempt to cover it exhaustively. In the recorded conversation we approach the topic in the context of a mixed faith marriage (one with a believing spouse and a doubting or non-believing spouse) and how such a couple might reconcile differing moral views of the topic. Some of the points that we do not discuss include the problems inherent in the industry itself and the morality of contributing to the industry via clicks, views, or subscription purchases. Our focus is the immediate impact of pornography on a marital relationship.
Also check out some of Jennifer’s upcoming workshops. HERE.
If you have a question for the good doctor you can comment below OR send an email to email@example.com
Music: Sugar Blues (Pubic Domain), and Flight of the Ginker by Doug Martin.
What does Ask a Mormon Sex Therapist have in common with the Priesthood Session of General Conference? Non-stop porn talk. Can we get a moritorium on the endless discussions of pornography? Please talk about literally anything else.
I am curious why All Porned Out does not want to consider conversations that include porn?
I have heard various Mormon sex therapists in various venues nuancing the viewing of sexually explicit material, i.e., it may not always be “bad.” While I understand that the Church and others may have over-simplified the problem and nature of viewing such material and don’t explicitly account for dealing with those with sexual dysfunction, I have never once heard any of these currently Church active and formerly active therapists or hosts venture into discussing and explaining the direct statements of the Savior that for one who “looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matt 5:28. See also D&C 42;23, 63:16. Am I missing something?
Hi Kari S, I think we can agree that imagining a sexual behavior in one’s heart is different from enacting the same behavior. At least legally we think so. That said, I think what Christ is saying here is not that sexual desire for a woman is inherently evil, but that reducing a woman to her sexuality exclusively is evil. Dehumanizing another person, seeing them as existing for your gratification is evil. Men who do this to women are sinning, in my opinion. This is problematic behavior in relationships both for the person being reduced to only her sexuality and for the one who does this to others.
Jennifer, Thanks for taking the time to respond. I am not clear on exactly what your principle-based response means in application relative to one’s thoughts. Are you saying that “lust” according to this scripture exists only if the person has sexual dehumanizing thoughts about another person? –and I’m not sure what that exactly means.
Excuse me for chiming in, but perhaps this article about another perspective on equating lust with adultery may be helpful.
I found this podcast frustratingly “neutral”. Sex is “neither good nor bad”? Really? Porn is similar, good or bad given the context? Honest? To me sex is profoundly good, the engine of the Father’s plan, the M in multiply and replenish, the J in marital joy, and the E in eternal lives. Our theology is not only body positive, it is sex positive. If we can agree that sexually explicit material shared between spouses is not porn, then maybe we can agree that sex outside the bonds of love in marriage is not the real thing, but a fake, just as porn is utterly counterfeit. Real sex, undistorted by it’s many counterfeits, is deeply good.
And let’s call a spade a spade. Porn is bad news, heartbreakingly destructive in the overwhelming majority of cases. At the very least, it’s risky. Blaire and her husband’s porn use case is a tiny, unrepresentative fraction of the porn stories out there. Further, in their consumption of exogenous porn they are playing with fire. It may all be sexy fun and just fine for now, but there is a progression in porn. Who knows where it will lead, what kinks they’ll discover and nurture along the way, what fantasies it will foster, what longings it will stir and how it will ultimately affect their marriage and family. This is not to mention the fact that the sexually explicit material they are exchanging on their phones and computers can be easily hacked and shared on the web at any moment.
SB, I think you are missing the point of the podcast, and maybe I’m not being clear enough. I’m not saying sex and porn are “neutral”. I would say that sexual expression is powerful and therefore has the ability to be powerful in it’s positive impact as well as powerful in it’s negative impact, depending upon the meaning of any given behavior. Sex isn’t inherently good because of course you and I also believe that sex can be very, very destructive if engaged in the wrong way. That is my point. The meaning of any sexual behavior, or what is being created or destroyed through the behavior is the issue to be considered. We often want letter of the law, simple frames to determine if something is good or bad, but we know from our own religious beliefs that context matters, the spirit of any behavior, in determining the righteousness of it. That is the point of this podcast.
Thanks for responding Jennifer. I agree that sexual behavior cannot be divorced from the state of our hearts when we engage in it and the meaning and impact it has in the world, on ourselves, and on others. Each element contributes to whether a given sex act is good or bad. I think we also agree that loving connected sex in a happy marriage is as good as it gets, a fullness of joy. This is what I’m calling real sex (not the many counterfeits).
I’m not so convinced that porn is neutral. I’m speaking generally here of the traditional definition, not corner cases. The warning voice with regard to porn is raised over and over again in General Conference and last year, the marriage researchers John and Julie Gottman posted “An Open Letter on Porn”, concluding this:
“In summary, we are led to unconditionally conclude that for many reasons, pornography poses a serious threat to couple intimacy and relationship harmony. This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our readers around the world to understand what is at stake.”
I’m certain that your views align with the above statement. My quibble with this podcast episode is that this stance did not come through clearly enough in the discussion. Thank you for your important work with LDS couples and families.
Thanks Scott. I do want to clarify one thing: In the podcast Blaire asked if I think of pornography as “amoral”. I answered yes at the time, but this is not really how I think about it. In interpersonal relationships nothing is amoral because all behavior carries and creates meaning and the meanings matter—a lot. Around sexuality though, because it is higher exposure and therefore higher anxiety behavior, we quickly slap labels and judgments to manage anxiety that are unhelpful (e.g. sex is “good” or sex is “bad”. Or any depiction of sexuality is always “good” or “bad”). I guess my point is it’s too simple and too unhelpful in unpacking what it means within a person or a couple, and what it creates, particularly given the complexity of sexuality and eroticism. I’m sure some might use my complicating of the issue to excuse their indulgent behavior. I have NO interest in encouraging indulgence at others expense. I am interested in helping people be more accepting of their sexual nature and within that self acceptance function with greater wisdom and integrity so they are capable of trustworthy relationships.
Jennifer, I appreciate the subtlety you are trying to bring to this conversation and agree that it is complicated. The risk of misinterpretation is high given our conservative culture. Within that culture, the conversation is tricky because of the task, which is to help marriages impoverished by lack of sex to grow and develop. The world is alive with sex, positively vibrating with lust, desire, attraction, and beauty, and yet there are so many LDS marriages that fail to fully embrace the spark and joy of desire. I love Adam Miller’s excellent metaphor of sexual desire being like an ocean and that all of us, in order to become adults, need to learn to swim. We’ve got lots of couples out there where one spouse is standing on the shore, afraid of the water, refusing to swim, judgmental of swimmers, while the other spouse is out to sea, drowning in porn driven lust.
I may think that Blaire and her husband are far from shore and swimming in deep waters, but they are together, and likely better off than the couple with one partner on the shore and the other drowning. Porn just makes me feel bad (and so I abstain), but I can allow that others in different circumstances and with different forms of sexual imagery may have different meanings than I do. Who am I to judge what their private behavior means to them, the world at large, and to God? Back to Adam Miller, we all need to be kind to ourselves and each other as we stumble through.
The scriptures you are quoting are often misinterpreted. Most readers make a common parsing error when they read this scripture by assuming that the phrase “to lust after her” is one prepositional phrase when in fact it is two. The first one “to lust” modifies the second “after her” and describes what the man is doing which is to actively pursue a woman with the goal of having a sexual relationship. The sin is in what he is doing and not in the thoughts and feelings that precipitated the behavior.
Further evidence for this position can be found in a talk given by Elder Holland in the October 2007 Ensign where he said,
“The First Presidency has stated, “There is a distinction between immoral thought and feelings and participating in either immoral heterosexual or any homosexual behavior.” If you do not act on temptations, you have not transgressed.”
The statement he quotes is in a letter dated November 14, 1991 from the First Presidency where they make the same distinction between thoughts and feelings, and behavior.
Sin is in what you do with another person which in this case is adultery. The thoughts and feelings that precipitated the act are not sin.
Bob your references from Elder Holland and First Presidency were given as advice for same sex issues and I do not take the same conclusion you do. Christ warns us of double mindedness, hypocrisy. and most of all that what is in our heart matters most and truly trumps our outwardly behavior. (James 1, Matthew 23, Corinthians 13). To suggest that as a man thinketh doesn’t matter seems an unfortunate teaching and a tricky one to follow. Feels like a looking good vs being good dilemma. (Proverbs 23:7).
Private, you missed the quote from the First Presidency. They clearly were talking about both heterosexual and homosexual behavior. Elder Holland was using this reference in his interview about same sex attraction but the principle is the same regardless of the sexual orientation of the individual.
I may disagree a bit with your conclusion that the principle is the same regardless of sexual orientation. My view (hope) is the Church is wrestling with same sex attraction and navigating toward more understanding and acceptance. The idea that attraction to the same sex is not a sin is the conversation I feel these talks are addressing. To suggest lust outside our marriages is not a sin seems dangerous. Now possibly your meaning for lust is different then mine? Maybe you are using the word lust when I might use the word attraction and or arousal. To find another man attractive and be aware that I am slightly aroused is not a sin but for me to feed my interest so that I lust would be. My heart matters to the Lord and for me lust is desire. Desire is a verb, implies action used in scripture. Lust fuels action like way too many thoughts and images. Lusting outside of my marriage would influence my heart and I believe we can sin with our hearts. Finding other men attractive and at times feeling interested or aroused, not a sin, just human.
When you say that “I may disagree a bit with your conclusion that the principle is the same regardless of sexual orientation” please note that this isn’t my conclusion; it is what the letter from the First Presidency is saying. Let me quote it again.
“The First Presidency has stated, “There is a distinction between immoral thoughts and feelings and participating in either immoral heterosexual or any homosexual behavior.” If you do not act on temptations, you have not transgressed.”
Bob Cooper, Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I’ve thought about it and tried to be open, but found that I don’t agree with the logic at face value, though I may be misunderstanding you to a degree. First, I don’t believe one can reliably make interpretations of scripture, especially ancient, at the preposition level. Who really knows if that was even the actual wording or how many times the verses have been reinterpreted and rewritten? Regardless, I get that the phrase could have been referring to two separate actions—thinking and acting. I also understand the concept of temptation not being sin, but acting on it is. I think ‘acting’ can be physical behavior or mental behavior.
To me the temptation to look at sexually explicit material or to appreciate an attractive woman in person is one thing. But, to then “act” on that feeling with excessive thoughts about how it might be with her or to then search for and view additional explicit material or to “undress the woman with one’s eyes,” even when there is no intent of actually pursuing a physical relationship with her, has gone beyond temptation or simple immoral thought into actual behavior, albeit only mental.
I recognize that when you said, “The thoughts and feelings that precipitated the act are not sin,” you probably were only meaning the “initial” thoughts and feelings. A few caveats: I feel there may be some exceptions when helping those with sexual dysfunction, but I’m not an expert there and cannot speak to that. I think things get messy when comparing single people and their issues vs. married people who are to ‘cleave to their spouse and none else’. I don’t know enough to even discuss the differences between those groups.
How do you explain the quote from the First Presidency then?
Bob Cooper, As the Private indicated and as is shown in other scripture and leader statements given here: http://scottwoodward.org/thoughts_judgedby.html, and according to the way my mind sees it, the 1st Presidency is not giving a pass to *any* thoughts we may have, just initial ones that enter our minds without our invitation. The 1st Pres statement if taken alone and considered absolute would give the interpretation you have apparently taken, but unfortunately, I think this is one of many leader and scriptural statements made a little carelessly and given without applicable caveats and nuances–that is, the statements are “true” in context but can’t necessarily be applied universally. So, to make sense of things I try and gather what other leaders and scripture has said on the subject as well as what my own mind, heart and inspiration tells me and seek for a holistic meaning of the statement. So, in this case because of the other authority based statements and personal logic that tell me we are judged by our thoughts, I can’t just take this one statement by the brethren that appears to say we aren’t judged by our thoughts and run with it. I have concluded that we will not be judged by “bad” initial thoughts we don’t choose, but we will be judged by those bad thoughts we harbor and nurture.
Karl, you don’t have to convince me that your position has a lot of evidence on your side. I’m just offering an alternative point of view that explains how some could have a more nuanced view of pornography, like that presented in this pod-cast, and reconcile the Scriptures you mentioned. If my explanation goes against your understanding of the Gospel then that is fine with me.
I should also mention that just because I agree with what the First Presidency letter says that does not mean that I’m advocating for a free for all philosophy when it come to our thoughts anymore than I think the First Presidency is when they published their letter. My personal belief is that God gave us our agency to think and feel without recrimination but that He expects us to learn to control our thinking and our feelings to the degree that we can.
And lastly even if I didn’t have the quote I mentioned I would still hold to my position because of my psychological training. I find the position that we are accountable to God for our thoughts and feelings to be unjust when I consider those who are pre-disposed to self-doubts and self-recrimination. Take those who are suffering from clinical depression for example. When you take someone who is already depressed and then add the guilt caused by the belief that their thoughts will condemn them then their burden becomes almost impossible to bear. I don’t believe God would hold them, or us, to a standard that no one could achieve. An excellent book on this subject is “Weakness Is Not Sin” by Wendy Ulrich. Or if you would like something from a Church leader then check out this talk by Elder Oaks
Bob, Thanks again for your reply. I appreciate the dialogue. I agree with your observations about mental and emotional predisposition and related challenges caused by the actions of others. It is those nuanced situations that I am talking about being the reason blanket statements can be misleading. Thanks for the references.
I am a big fan of Jennifer’s and have gained so much from this “Ask A Mormon Sex Therapist” series of podcasts. Part 20 hasn’t set well with me. I am grateful for conversations. I just posted this on Blaire’s post, Defining Pornography, and wanted to also share my thoughts here.
I find this conversation void of important truths. Have you ever watched hollywood violence and felt offended by the inhumanity portrayed on the screen? My experience is the more I watched the less sensitive I was. Less sensitive to other human beings. Do I want to live in a fantasy that undermines my true nature to care about people? Watching violence caused my heart to change. In a way I became past feeling. Harder. Desensitized. Is that who I want to be? This conversation about porn feels naive to me. (Sorry Jennifer). I am a woman who feels sexually awake. I get David Schnarch’s call toward the goodness of “doing” someone or being “done”. I have also witnessed good men turn cold to the kind of sexuality I think Schnarch preaches. To encourage a tolerance for viewing others engaged in sexual acts baffles me. Why would I want to become desensitized to the erotic sacredness of my sexuality? Many report the more they view explicit adult material, the less aroused or engaged they feel when participating in sexual acts with their spouse. I appreciate Jennifer’s curiosity. I hear her question in a kind of chicken or the egg perspective. Her assumption that one who tolerates sexual humiliation seeks porn because (obviously) they are a self serving, low-decency guy. My experience says different. I would like to suggest that those who are exposed to porn become self serving. They find themselves tolerating over time a greater disconnect. Disconnect from their innate goodness, their humanity, their relationship toward women and the sacredness of their own sexuality. They are at risk of becoming consumers instead of lovers. I have zero tolerance for viewing others engaged in sexual acts and I want to continue cherishing the sacredness of sexuality, especially mine.
I agree. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Amidst a busy day, I had to listen to snippets of the podcast over a longer period. It was exactly that. It didn’t sit well with me. I know how hard it is to try to be neutral and not shaming, but pornography is an idea that to me has no good place in an intimate relationship. Religion aside, in a busy world full of distraction and reasons to be self-serving or not committed, I think it’s important to take inventory, as Jennifer sometimes suggests. Sexually explicit material in this context seems to only offer steps back, or the tainting of a beautiful, meaningful relationship.
Also, I think if I were Jennifer, I would invite Blaire to a session, because I can hear in her tones that she may have some conflicts about her choices regarding the material is well. I would feel a little torn as a partner to feel, also, that someone needed or had a desire to look at someone else in order to become aroused enough to participate. I know it is a complex issue, and one we all need to reevaluate often so that we can bring our best selves to the relationship, but I feel confident that I wouldn’t bring in such material, and I feel so grateful for a partner who is sensitive to the spirit and also personal values to immediately shut it down. I’m real and I’m right here! 🙂
Thank you for your thoughts (private and Erin). I should perhaps be clearer in the podcast that I am not “promoting a tolerance for viewing others engaging in sexual behavior.” I am personally conservative in my own choices with sexual content and violent movies, not so much because I fear infection or numbing but because most of it is distasteful to me or offensive. And perhaps it is true that if I forced myself to watch what I find distasteful or offensive, I would become numb to it and more likely to imitate it. I tend to think those who watch it are expressing what they eroticize and/or are fascinated by (violence or aggression), but perhaps it also goes the other way more than I can see. All this said, I think the dominant paradigm through which most of us think about and respond to porn hasn’t been very effective in helping us address the challenge of porn, and develop greater maturity as sexual beings. I am trying to re-frame the way we’ve constructed the problem of pornography and eroticism so that we can address with less anxiety and more clarity what our choices express and create (inside of ourselves and in our relationships). Our choices matter.
Many people have been hurt in their sexual relationships and often times it has involved a partner’s dishonesty that includes the use of porn. I don’t minimize people’s experience of betrayal and fear. That said, I have seen clients get healthier and more trustworthy when they begin discerning the meaning of their choices and of their partner’s choices in their relationships–what their or their spouse’s eroticism expresses and how they want to change or shape those choices to be more in line with what they value. (i.e. what they want to create through their sexuality). In my experience, this makes people much less likely to be compulsive in their relationship to porn or engage in sexual behaviors out of line with what they believe is right. Because it’s the only way people find peace and trustworthiness, that is what I want to help people be more able to do.
Thank you Jennifer. Your comments make sense and resonate with my understanding.
I also was very unsettled about this podcast. For days I have stewed about it, and feel I must say something. I take issue on many levels, but I will only address a few.
I am happily married but through previous padcasts, Dr. Finlayson-Fife’s perspective and gift for explaining in a clear and knowledgeable way has helped me gain understanding that has made a beautiful thing even better. I have recommended this series to several friends because it answers so many difficult questions while staying in line with my values and beliefs. I sadly can no longer recommend this series due to this episode. Blair’s comments are completely out of line with my beliefs. Dr. Finleyson-Fife uses food analogies quite often, so what if we were to substitute pornography with alcohol for perspective’s sake. I am paraphrasing here, but this is the general idea:
There is a broad range of alcoholic beverages. You have light drinks all the way to hard liquor. Of course I wouldn’t drink the hard stuff, but I think beer is just fine for my marriage because it loosens me up and we both enjoy the effects. We both agree on it, and it feels so good, how could it possibly be a bad thing? And I am uncomfortable with the word alcohol, so we prefer to use the term “mood setting beverage” because we don’t see it as a bad thing. But really this is just to help me justify my consumption of it.
Ok, the last sentence was not paraphrased, that was my interpretation. How can one justify consuming porn simply because they enjoy the effects? Where do you draw the line? How is it ok to view any material that objectifies women? Is child porn ok? Are you somehow verifying the age of the participants, or just going with your gut that they are “probably” over the age of 18 and not just 15 year olds that look mature for their age. Somehow a little is ok if you both agree on it? Dr. Finlayson-Fife has explained that this is not the case, because if both partners agree to view child porn, it is still wrong. The Lord draws the line at none, and this is where I stand. The word of wisdom was given for the weakest of saints. In effect, this protects the weak and innocent. It is the same for pornography. The effects are far reaching.
Having said this, I do agree with Dr. Finlayson-Fife that we should remove the shame to better deal with the issue of pornography and I appreciate her views. Blair tries repeatedly in this podcast to get Dr. Finlayson-Fife to validate her actions, but she won’t. Neither will she directly disagree because she is very pro- agency. But if you were to listen to this podcast before any others in the series, you might think she agrees with and supports Blair’s position. I believe this will inhibit many from listening to the other podcasts in this series that are immensely helpful.
Becky, it sounds that you have the same concern I do about Blair’s comment on using erotic images in the privacy of their own marriage. I can understand maybe sharing images etc. of each other as one may say this is no different from in-person interaction and appropriate if privately shared, but I find it troubling that one might think looking at another person other than your spouse in the process of arousal seems to violate the guidance of the scripture that ‘if a man (or woman) looketh after another to lust after [them]’ this is sin. Blair, can you please clarify if I am misinterpreting this?
This seems to be a slippery slope at best. I understand that there is some ambiguity in what one does with one’s spouse behind the bedroom doors but it is very clear that it only involves their spouse and no one else. I would dare say even an image/s of another individual/s violates this relationship even if it is agreed upon by both parties. Blair please correct me if I am wrong or again misinterpreting your behavior, but like you Becky I feel compelled to say something as this seems to be more than vague doctrine to be interpreted in more detail by us personally, some doctrines are quite clear…
I totally agree, Becky!
My question isn’t about porn, or that line of questions. It’s about asexuality.
My wife of 14 years has pretty much been asexual. For ten years or more I never really paid attention to that fact. I was sadly not observante of that in her.
About 4 years ago I became disabled and unable to work. I have in the other hand taken the time to observe my wife more closely and noticed that our physical relationship up to that point was a one way street. I was the one that started sex but I was also the one that would do little comforting physical touching such as slapping her butt as I walked by or cuddling.
I undestand that I was overshadowing her sexuality for years and I feel like a jerk. Though, now our physical relationship has swung more to her sexuality. Sex has become an act that is very mechanical, no emotion. It’s very hard to to feel wanted physically.
I feel loved, and I feel that’s she not only wants me emotionally but needs me too. I say without the physical wanting from her it’s hard to feel the othervkind of love. It’s just that the physical part I need is not there. I like, need almost, to feel physically wanted.
I accept her as she is and I love her very much. I’ve read many blogs about people coming out as asexual and that everyone should accept them as they are. I just can’t help feeling that again it’s a one way street. I need to curb my desire and needs but she doesn’t have to comprise almost at all.
What I mean is sure we have sex often and that is great, but there is NO emotion attached to the act. Though my need to be physically needed has nothing to do with her. I just have to deal.
Sex has become an item on the check list. “It’s Saturday night, sex with husband done.”
I want to take my wife as she is the thing is lately, most likely do to the lack of interest from her, “things” don’t work right when I’m “with” her and I get embarrassed. Though, come morning “it” works fine. Though, mornings are not the romantic movie mornings (We have kids and a nosey dog). We have things to do and place to go.
What can we do it’s breaking us apart? I’ve tried bring it up several times but she won’t entertain the thought she’s asexual. Sometimes she makes me feel inadvertently it’s my fault she doesn’t like being physical.
Other times though when she brings it up she’ll say she’s always not been into being physical.
I was her first kiss, boyfriend, everything. She wasn’t my first girlfriend. We were both raised in the church and we married in the Temple.
While we dated we could barely keep Temple worthy though after it felt different. I noticed it but didn’t pay it heed before I was disabled.
I’m clutching at straws. I grew up with an emotionally abusive father. I never felt like I was good enough. I know we need to be good enough for ourselves but hearing it from my better half is important to me. I know I’m trying hard and striving but does she notice.
We hardly go out together or as a family. It’s to much to take the family out and our daughter is severely disabled so it’s impossible to find a babysitter besides family and we can’t take away their time alone every week.
Here is my question/concern for Dr. Findlayson-Fife:
I have been married now for 12 years and we have a couple kids. My husband and I, for most of our marriage, have experienced a pretty enjoyable sex life. During our first year of newly-wed bliss, we had sex every single day, occasionally multiple times in a day. After that it declined to a few times a week and I became okay with that. More recently, however, in maybe the last two years, my husband has increasingly been unable to “finish” when he is with me. After some Googling, I learned that this is called Delayed Orgasm. I reach orgasm quite easily through intercourse and he seems to think that I shouldn’t care that he doesn’t or be upset or bothered by it. We have pretty much been a very sex-positive couple. We have also been okay with masturbation because we understand that sometimes one person will have needs while the other is not around or for whatever reason, is unavailable to “help out”. Because my libido is higher than my husbands, I will turn to masturbation to satisfy my needs. We don’t keep it a secret from each other and have each other’s permission to do what needs to be done.
However, I think that this may be the source of my husband’s issue with delayed orgasm. I feel that he has conditioned himself to prefer his hand over my body. In the last month, we have had sex three times and all three times he was unable to finish. He will either roll over and go to sleep or he will excuse himself to the bathroom and finish by himself. He doesn’t use porn or anything like that. When I have voiced my concerns before, he dismisses them and says it’s not a problem and that I shouldn’t worry or care.
But I do care. I am left with a heavy sense of rejection when this happens. I know he isn’t doing it intentionally and that he isn’t trying to reject me, but I am left feeling inadequate. I feel that my body is not enough to satisfy him, that the feel of me is not sufficient. It is like climbing a cliff with your spouse with the full expectation that you will be cliff diving together, but you jump first and you look up, waiting for your partner to join you but instead they turn around and climb back down the other way. It is lonely. I want to experience love-making with him, to feel connected to him, but instead it is very isolating.
I have considered asking him to stop masturbating so that he can recondition himself to being able to be satisfied with me and my body. But I don’t know how fair that would be for me to ask that of him when I’m still allowing myself to masturbate.
Any advice? I could really use it. Thanks for your time.
Dr Dr. Findlayson-Fife may not reply to your question but until she does may I offer you my opinion. Have you considered that your husbands “problem” in having an orgasm during intercourse might be more physical than psychological. Most women tend to loose muscle tone as they age which means your body might not provide the same sensation as it did when you were younger. There are two things you can do. Both of you can exercise your keagle muscles. The other thing you can do, and I won’t get too graphic here so you will need to use your imagination, is to use your hands during intercourse. My wife does this and it not only helps me have an orgasm it also helps her.
Hope this helps,
Sorry, I am never going to agree that some porn is good or does good for people. It has ruined my life. I saw it for the first time when I was 5 years old and it has followed me my entire life leading to addiction, self destructive behavior and hurting others that I care about. One of the things that has completely turned me off to this series of podcasts is the justification that porn can be ok, or some porn can be ok. I will never buy it. It is a poison you can’t get out of your system. I am not saying that because a general authority said so in conference. I am saying it because I have lived it and continue to live it every day. The pain of living with it is excruciating. I am not a Dr. or a licensed professional, just an unfortunate soul who knows porn for what it really is.
Yes there are many lds folks and plenty more outside the church who have messed up ideas about sexuality in general, but porn (even a little) is not the answer. Watching or seeing someone else in the most intimate way possible is not the answer.
Thank you for that. Wishing you the best!