I really enjoyed this podcast about sexuality in the LDS world. It is 3 very long segments, but I think that it is so enlightening. It is a topic that so many Mormon people are uncomfortable with, and this has many suggestions that can shed some light in multiple areas. These LDS psychotherapists focus on how to enjoy it, how to use it to strengthen your marriage, and how to properly prepare your children for it (not only for those early years of abstinence as young men and women, but also to adequately prepare them for the 40 or 50 years of sexuality in marriage.)
I especially like how they focus on LDS women and the misconceptions they deal with in a “benevolent patriarchal” society. I unfortunately had a couple of lessons as a youth similar to the ones they describe. For example, I think someone once compared the young women to a piece of beautiful, polished wood. Sexual sin is like a nail driven into it–forgiveness can remove the nail, but the hole will remain and it will forever be marred. I get where the teacher was going, and of course we consider it a very very serious sin. But hello… repentance and forgiveness do not really equate with that metaphor, at least in my mind. We can never reach exaltation and eventual perfection if we are all full of metaphorical holes from mistakes. They talk about how young men don’t receive such lessons about being forever tarnished–it is so one-sided and I am glad to raise the discussion regarding the higher expectations for young women vs the maybe-not-as-high or just-altogether-different expectations of young men…. I just think the focus should be more on the value of an individual and not on becoming something just so you’re good enough for your future man…. You’ll have to listen to the podcast to understand all the dynamics of this example and so much more–I am sure I am not saying it as well as they do. I just feel there are some major inequalities (and they exist both in and outside of our church) and things that should be done differently to prepare youth not only for their unmarried years, but also for their eventual relationship with their spouse. I think the thing I really took away from this was how I want to prepare and teach my own children.
*Disclaimer: The third portion might make some people uncomfortable. Obviously this is not doctrine. It is just advice from counselors who work with people every day that struggle with sex/desire within marriage. I just thought it was all very interesting.
**What does it say about me that I am a little afraid to click “Publish Post”??
***Raimo has been right with me (even since before we were married) that we would make sure our children were taught about this subject little by little from a young age so that it is not such an uncomfortable thing for them and so they will be well-prepared in a very sexualized, confusing society. He especially wants to teach our daughters of their worth and point out how media devalues womens’ bodies and confuses their sense of who they are and what they have to look like/who they have to please. I believe it affects pretty much every woman, no matter how strong and independent she is.