Are oral and/or anal sex wrong?

Is anal sex wrong? I asked my husband to do it once because I was curious and he was more than willing to oblige. We’ve done it a couple of times and I have enjoyed it about half the time, depending on my mood. We haven’t done it in a long time, but I was wondering if it was wrong to experiment to such an extent. Same with oral sex: I’ve heard two camps with one saying it’s absolutely wrong and not spiritually uplifting and therefore shouldn’t be done, while others say once you’re married anything is game. That would certainly include oral sex. So which is it?

This is such an excellent question and I appreciate your courage to ask it. There are many LDS couples who grapple with similar questions. I, myself, have gone twice to ask my bishop at the time what is appropriate sexually within the bounds of marriage. Both times I got a very similar answer: as long as you both consent to the behavior in question, as long as no one feels pressured to do something they are uncomfortable with, and as long as it is something not harmful to your bodies, then sexual lifestyle should be decided on by husband and wife. So here are some thoughts:

  1. It is a positive sign that you and your husband are comfortable exploring your sexuality together and trying new things. This allows for creativity, excitement and fun. However, just because you have tried something in the past, doesn’t mean it has to happen again, especially if someone has become uncomfortable with the process. You say for instance that you only enjoyed anal sex half of the time. It is important to discuss these feelings openly. And even if you become uncomfortable during the act it is OK to say “honey, I’d rather stop this now and try something else.”
  2. I am obviously very encouraging of couples exploring their sexual palates together. My concerns with anal sex are primarily related to the physical implications that come with it. This sexual act seems to cross into the bounds of behavior that can be harmful to your body. First of all there is no natural lubrication that is provided by the rectum which increases possibility of pain and of rectal damage. Infections due to the high number of infectious microorganisms not found elsewhere on the body can be more likely to occur. Some cases of anal cancer have been linked to the practice of anal sex. Physical damage to the anus and the rectum due to their vulnerability is likely as well as issues such as hemorrhoids, anal fissures, rectal prolapse and loss of control over the bowels (Wikipedia). The physical implications are more common the more often anal sex is practiced. It is because of these issues relating to our belief in “care of body as a temple” that I would offer caution around the practice of anal sex.  I will also add that within the “sex therapy” community there are many professionals that both agree and disagree with the risks of anal sex that I mention above.
  3. I don’t want you or your husband to feel weird or inadequate because you found this act pleasurable. The anus is tighter than the vagina and therefore can yield more tactile pleasure for the penis. The prostate gland for males and the Skene’s glands for females can both be stimulated when there is anal penetration. This stimulation often feels good and can even mimic orgasm for both males and females. Understanding our anatomy can do a lot to relieve us from unecessary guilt or shame.
  4. Oral sex does not fall under the category of “harm to body.” The only problems correlated with oral sex are directly related to STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) which is true of most sexual behavior. My personal opinion is that this can be a special, personal and intimate way for both partners to enjoy each other if they are comfortable doing so.
  5. Individuals and couples can differ dramatically on what they consider to be correct or comfortable sexual behavior. Much of this has to do with the ways that we were raised, whether or not there is a history of sexual trauma, our self-esteem related to our body image, our own sexual histories and the histories of our partners. If partners find themselves in a situation where one is comfortable with certain behaviors but the other is not, it can be a difficult situation for both to maneuver. Pressuring or degrading a spouse should never be an option. I encourage couples to seek counseling from a marriage or sex therapist that is experienced in discussing sexual issues and that respects your values.
  6. I think that any sexual experience that is shared between husband and wife, where both are comfortable and enjoying each other, is in of itself spiritually uplifting. This is a large part of what Heavenly Father intends for our sexual relationship to offer us within marriage. The entire sexual act physically bonds us together. What a symbolic ritual to aid our emotional and spiritual bonds as well!
  7. Once again, I need to clarify that I do not in any way speak officially for the Church.
Note: On June 16, 2011 I changed the word “discourage” to “offer caution” at the end of section 2.  Ultimately, the decision whether or not to engage in anal sex should be up to the consenting and educated decision of married partners. 

  • Anonymous

    I think all of this information really helps alot of people put things into perspective. I think so many people want a clear black and white answer on this (and many other issues) where our leaders and Lord give us great freedom (leeway so to speak) to live our religion.Alot of people seem to be on a quest to “decide” what I our Heavenly Father must feel and what his stance must be on certain things like this, and plastic surgery, and even consuming caffeine, for example….So many people are adamant that they KNOW whats right and whats wrong, and all other opinions are false. Someone may assume that because I am not speaking out here against these things that I must do them myself. My personal stance is that I dont feel comfortable, so I choose to not have anal sex. Whats important to me is that I dont join the ranks of people assuming that my answer is the right answer – and then casting my judgements.I think there are so many people within our religion that struggle with intimacy – how it goes from the worst thing you could do, to the best thing ever in just a matter of a few words. Then to decide what bounds and things afterwards… Agency can be such a tricky thing, can’t it?

  • Anonymous

    Several years ago, my husband confirmed my worst nightmare. He sat down and sad that he is homosexual and receiving counseling. He has suffered from addiction to pornography and has battled it all of his life. Now, years later, I am unable to confide in him or be intimate with him. He doesn’t try either and so we lead a celibate life. I do not talk with him about the problem and I don’t ask what he does on the computer. Often, I turn away from the slightest show of affection. At this point, I wonder how we will make it the rest of our lives. I don’t know where to go or what to do. We hardly talk and just go through the motions of daily life. What should I do?

    • Tiffany

      Talk to him!!! Would you shun him for coming to you, his wife, whom he trusts and loves, and admitting his faults? He was clearly asking for help and support from you. Give it to him. Sure, intimacy may take longer to restore, but when you married him, you swore before God to love him. Love should be unconditional…would you suddenly be disgusted by your child if they had an addiction? No. Then why do that to your husband?

  • Anonymous

    The Church has published a guide entitled A Parent’s Guide that might help shed some light on some of the questions discussed relative to sexual intimacy within marriage. The purpose of the guide is to “help you teach your children about these physical intimacies and to prepare them to follow the Lord’s plan in expressing their own intimacy.” The guide covers the life span of infancy thru courtship and marriage. In chapter six, page 45 we are counseled that “The world may countenance premarital sex experiences, but the Lord and his church condemn in no uncertain terms any and every sex relationship outside of marriage, and even indecent and uncontrolled ones within marriage.” On page 47 there is this interesting counsel: “In sexual matters, as in all other aspects of marriage, there are virtues to be observed: “If it is unnatural, you just don’t do it. That is all, and all the family life should be kept clean and worthy and on a very high plane. There are some people who have said that behind the bedroom doors anything goes. That is not true and the Lord would not condone it.” We do possess moral agency that gives us the freedom to choose in life, including choosing how we will engage in sexual intimacy within marriage. However, I think that we need to remember that our choices always trigger consequences. Assuming that we desire the consequences of exaltation and eternal life, we need to be careful that our choices, especially our choices relative to fulfilling The New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage, are choices in harmony with the spirit of that covenant. I would encourage all to obtain a copy of A Parent’s Guide; I would think that the meetinghouse libraries would have them available—If not, they can be ordered from the Distribution Center.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for a great post and great comments. My DW and I had a great conversation the other evening about this very idea, that so many LDS (and other) folks want to know what the "rules" are, where the lines are. If there is a rule, we're determined to try to follow it, but we need to know what the rule is. (We must seem almost frantic to Natasha and other professionals when we clamor to know whether what we're doing or are thinking about doing are "okay.")On the issues of intimacy in marriage, the quote from the Parent's Guide is often quoted. Unfortunately, the word "unnatural" isn't defined (there I go, seeking the "rule" again). However, it is followed by the following paragraph:"Both husbands and wives have physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs associated with this sacred act. They will be able to complement each other in the marriage relationship if they give tender, considerate attention to these needs of their partner. Each should seek to fulfill the other’s needs rather than to use this highly significant relationship merely to satisfy his or her own passion."Many of the things on the topic of intimacy in marriage I have seen point to the idea of fulfilling the needs of the other partner, rather than for selfish satisfactions. To that end, it seems to me, as I interpreted Natasha's post to say, that if both parties in the couple are open and willing to try something and neither feels pressured to do something, certain acts (including those discussed in the post) would be "okay" within marriage.I agree with the comment that there are a lot of people who are determined to set the "rules" and announce them to others. But absent a declaration from the Church, I don't think that such folks have a stewardship over my marriage and relationship. I do, and my wife does, so I think it's up to us.

  • Anonymous

    My wife and I go to BYU and before we got married my wife attended a premarital class given by the university. One of the girls in the class asked if oral sex was okay, and the teacher said it was perfectly acceptable to do!

  • Anonymous

    Oral sex has greatly enhance the enjoyment of sex, for both of us. My wife loves to receive, and is not disgusted by the idea during sex, but she is very disgusted by it when not involved. So, basically, she loves it, but is disgusted by it. On the other hand, I love giving it without any reservations. We rarely can enjoy this because she is disgusted by it. Any ideas?

  • Anonymous

    There is an article that supposedly had been given to Church leaders in '82 concerning anal and oral sex within marriage. Is this a true document? Does anyone have any info on this?

  • Anonymous

    It was a letter to Bishops, not the general membership, and it mentioned oral sex only. It was later retracted and told leaders to stay out of the bedrooms of its members.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04225078606146003964 Eloy Aguirre

    I sincerely believe that if both husband and wife enjoy anal sex and oral sex should not be any problem, as both find joy in what they do. Very different is that seeing pornography for success or use a toy for more pleasure

  • Anonymous

    I feel that any type of intimacy between husband and wife are okay. Whether that intimacy is oral, anal, or regular sex should be decided between the husband and wife. I know my spouse and I have had different 'tastes' for different types of intimacy both oral and anal, and not once have we ever felt guilty about it and/or feeling that we needed to get 'permission' from our church leaders. We have even added various forms of 'stimulation' to make the experience more pleasurable for both of us. As long as both partners are open and honest about their desires and feelings this can be kept away from the church leaders, even if it means viewing pornography before, during, and/or after intercourse. I know my spouse and I have done the afore mentioned idea as well as video tapping it for our entertainment pleasures later.

  • Anonymous

    Anon 8:31,Except that the Church has come out and said that it is never appropriate to bring pornography into a relationship… (I don't consider making videos of yourselves pornography).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04450897654318345683 Joe

    To clarify. Around 1978 a letter went to bishops advising that oral sex was wrong. In 1982, a question was added to temple recommend interviews about oral sex; if you engaged in it, you could not get a temple recommend. This was canceled within a year.

  • Anonymous

    The letter came out in 1982, not 1978. And, there was never a temple recommend question that asked about oral sex. If you were ever asked this question, it was done by a Bishop who took it upon himself to ask the question. The Church came out after this whole mess and instructed leaders to not deviate from the temple recommend questions.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16992353432660486540 CoachSam

    I've made two posts on the "oral sex" letter and the issues surrounding it at my blog, http:\ldsmarriagebed@blogspot.com if anyone would like to read more about it.It's my own opinion, based on what we're taught from the scriptures and modern-day apostles, that there are really very few sexual practices that could be considered generally "wrong" for everyone. Married couples should experiment and find out what works for them…not everything will…and we certainly can't walk around telling other couples what they can or can't do in the bedroom. If the prophet and apostles do not, what right have we?

  • Anonymous

    I have personally investigated this same question, and have researched the aspects of it. I have always been fascinated with the female orgasm; there are so many aspects that have the potential to make it so diverse and so powerful. Anal sex is not unhealthy if done properly, but it can be very painful and damaging if people just rush into it without knowing something about it first, and so therefore it has gotten a lot of bad attention. However, oral and anal sex/play can enhance orgasms, and be an important component in bringing a husband and a wife closer together. The nerve cord that runs around the anal area itself also runs through the vaginal area, and utilizing this as a hot spot can add to the sexual experience, and can be a powerful enhancer for vaginal orgasms. However, it should go without saying that it must be used with very careful consideration, especially for the wife. But orgasmic exploration and diversification is a powerful enhancement to the marital relationship.It is common for a lot of people in the LDS faith today to in the mode of sexual repression, probably because we tend to get married much later in life than when we first go through puberty, so therefore we train our minds to automatically think of sexual desire and pleasure as a bad thing to act upon. Therefore, many still downplay the importance of having a healthy sex life, but why is it so important, and why should we be concerned about it? Well, the answer is two-fold; God put all humans the ability to not only use sex for procreation, but also for pleasure, in such a way that it would serve as a kind of glue to keep together a husband and a wife; two creatures who are completely on opposite ends of the spectrum, usually. One tends to be emotional, and the other more logically based. So therefore a strong adhesive is needed so that they may use the marriage to seal their existence to one another. The second, and perhaps more controversial explanation, is that when we were mere intelligences, one of the things that attracted us to God the Father and God the Mother was our ability to experience their human side by proxy, and all of the things that made them human. It stands to reason that if the sexual experience is not a powerful one, many intelligences would not have had it in them to gravitate to the Gods in the first place, and subject themselves to God's rule. So powerful orgasmic experience is not only healthy for bonding and solidifying our marriage in preparation for the world to come, it may actually be the very essence of godly creation. So to the lady who is dealing with a husband who is homosexual and addicted to porn, I have to say that I admire you, and my heart goes out to you for honoring your marriage and sticking it out with him for so long. I cannot tell you what to do in your situation, but in order for things to get better, both of you are gonna need counselling to cope with your situation. Affection should not have to be fought for, or be so elusive.

  • Anonymous

    For those who consider mutually orgasmic experience to be right, and central to their relationship, oral and anal sex can enhance orgasms, and can add to the relationship. However, many people do not perform them very well; men especially, so even though she is able to achieve orgasm, it can still be a very unpleasant experience for the woman. Anal sex in particular has gotten a bad image, because it is very painful and damaging when not done correctly. It is not something you just rush into. However, the nerves around the anal area and vaginal area run in the same bundle, so if done correctly, it can be a very powerful enhancer for orgasmic experience. If both of you find it mutually curious, I recommend you do some research on the internet together. There are sites that can help with that without you having to sacrifice your principles of chastity.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting fact: Oral and anal sex are illegal in Utah. So if you live there and practice it you aren't obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. I think the law is ridiculous, but it is a law.Reference: Utah code 76-5-403: "A person commits sodomy when the actor engages in any sexual act with a person who is 14 years of age or older involving the genitals of one person and mouth or anus of another person, regardless of the sex of either participant…Sodomy is a class B misdemeanor."

  • Anonymous

    Anon 12:31, sorry to burst your bubble, but these are not illegal activities when engaged in between consenting adults, and certainly not when egaged in between a married couple. Read the Code again. They are referring to forcible attempts, against someone who is not a willing participant, or against a minor.

  • Anonymous

    And were it not referring to forcible attempts, it would be the Utah legislature that was violating the law of the land. The law of the land on voluntary sodomy is Lawrence v. Texas, and it overrides any statement by any state legislature.

  • Anonymous

    The OP is correct. The church teaches nothing against things such as anal sex or others. The only things in regards to this the church teaches against is bringing in someone else as well as pornography.

  • More than a little worried

    Hey. I really love this blog, it's helped me through a great struggle, especially with this particular subject. When I stumbled upon a site called "rethinking Mormonism", they began to run down the list of quotes from the presidency in the 80s how they interpreted oral sex as immoral, and the anxiety started from there. I'm ashamed to sayi even got angry at the leaders of that time. I'm the kind of person who doubts everything, and I hate it. I honestly believe that sex between husband and wife is sacred between them and what they do is up to them, but I draw the line at pornography, cause to me, it's like bringing a stranger into the bedroom. But I began to question myself and my faith because I disagree with some of the things the prophets said back then. I'vealways bee. Taught that you must obey the prophets to lead a happy life, follow the prophets, so I began to worry that I wasn't being ahold latter day saint. But I have the feeling that the lord sent me here because I needed to see this subject from a view other than conservative. I'm meeting with my bishop to bury this subject once and for all. He's a wonderful man who I trust completely. He's helped me through some trying times. But i'd be lying If I said I wasn't a little scared. But I want to end my doubt of six months. I know that he's just as human as I am and has opinions that may differ from mine, but I have a feeling that I should do this. I guess that what I'm saying is that, I know that the church has pretty much retracted their stand on oral sex and now it's up to the couple, but I hear some stories about bishops who still find it evil and inquire about it, although they are not supposed to, so I'm a little scared. But, if my opinions, not all of them but some, differ from what was said at thhat time, does that mean I don't follow the prophet? Thank you for your time

  • Anonymous

    9:33It helps to read various statements from GA's where they admit that they are only human, and thus subject to varying opinions. I look at that 1982 letter as being the opinion of President Kimball. Note that the letter did not say "The Lord considers…", but said it was their opinion. What is more telling, is that the Church has been silent on the subject since then (29 years!). Church doctrine is consistently taught via the scriptures and our leaders, manuals, etc… (see the Church's press release that stated what constituted Church Doctrine – Church website, media/newsroom). I can provide the link if you need it. FYI, there is no mention of OS in the General Handbook, nor is masturbation mentioned!You will find varying opinions from SP's and Bishops. The key is to ask them, if they consider it a sin, where they are getting their reference. Because, I doubt they will be able to show you any Church directive that is currently being taught, or will be found in any handbooks, manuals, etc… that are being used. Having served as a Bishop, my SP let me know that it is up to the couple to decide and that it should be mutual between them. So, this is how I would counsel my members.

  • Anonymous

    As a bishop and a husband of 20 years, I appreciate the comments posted above. When my wife and I married, we had no marital advice and the topic of sex was not discussed. We went into our marriage more than blindly. We went in with too many false assumptions that took a toll on our sex life. I am now in the role where I provide premarital and marital counseling and the topic of sex comes up on a semi-regular basis. I have appreicated this and other forums for their frank and open discussions. The main thing that I tell the couples that I counsel with is that if they can jointly (and I stress jointly) feel good about what they are doing, that the exploration of sexuality is not only good but necessary for a quality sexual bond. It is godly and divine in its nature. However, the use of pornography destroys lives and limits the Spirit in that most sacred of sexual unions. It cheapens this relationship and sets unrealistic and unholy expectations. It is addictive and can destroy lives.I urge anyone that has questions about sexuality in marriage to seek the advice of qualified counselors who understand the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual nature of our sexual selves.

  • Anonymous

    I've got an odd question. My wife and I are going to be apart for a number of months (work). Is it appropriate for Mormon couples to have phone sex, where each partner manually stimulates themselves as they talk through intimate subjects? Thanks for your responses!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15793383801827541559 Melissa Jones, Ph.D.

    I would reiterate many of the positive comments above and offer the same references, so suffice it to say that as an active, faithful LDS sexologist, I agree with those who see no doctrinal prohibition against oral sex or anal sex, and those clients who ask me about it, I tell them the same.

  • Anonymous

    “If it is unnatural, you just don’t do it" counsel does not fly with me, since my wife was at first timid, and lately disinterested in anything sexual. This was made worse by her parents saying almost nothing about the subject in her teen years. If "normal" is so "natural", why is she hesitant?Then, drawing across the board limits for sexual conduct when married is a problem. Is kissing breasts OK, or is it too lustful? "Handjobs" between the married? Will the LDS Church take a stand on what positions is sex are "normal"? IMHO, telephone sex is too far out there. But, that's my summation.

  • Anonymous

    Long story short, my wife and I love anal sex! I will lay on my back (after foreplay…) and She will lower herself onto me she is in complete control of the whole situation all the way to the point of orgasm.She describes her orgasms as "mind blowing and out of this world!" I am not really the type to post but we both agree that we enjoyed vaginal sex but the introduction of anal sex has given us a new lease on our sex life. This all began in 2004 and we have never been more pleased with our sex life. To any of you that are considering this, I hope that this post helps.final thoughts, we use olive oil as a lubericant, and enjoy the research, we found that part fun too! and yes we are both active LDS, in our thirties with a bunch of very loud and energetic children.

  • Anonymous

    How can I get my wife to want to try anal sex???

  • Anonymous

    Hi I posted on june 12. Tell your wife that you are wanting to try this type of sex and see how that goes… during foreplay I began to give my wife an anal massage she ended up orgasming with anal and vaginal stimulation and loved it! Thats how it started for us. We then did our research and moved on to anal massage and the insertion of a finger again with vaginal stimulation to climax. From there we tried me "rubbing off" between the cheeks of her bottom which also produces anal stimulation for her and I loved it! I still do! This was a very exciting time for us because we both knew that we were building up to me entering her with my penis. We also both noticed that we were arranging sex more often and that was exciting to realize. My wife had to attend a funeral in Japan and would be gone for ten days, before she left she told me that upon her return we would go all the way. Those were the longest ten days of my life… I picked her up at the airport arrived home and put the kids down for a nap. We then met in the bedroom and went all the way! It was an incredible sexual experience for us both and to this day we have anal sex more often than vaginal and with vaginal sex there is always anal stimulation my wife will have it no other way. My wife told me that sexual issues are a leading cause of divorce in the LDS church. I believe that our rich sex life is good for our marriage. I also realize that wy wife and I are a great sexual match, not everyone will be so blessed! sex and religion are two different things. When I am home teaching or reading the BOM with my wife I am not thinking about sex and when I am having sex I am not thinking about home teaching or reading the BOM with my wife… You want to have anal sex, you cannot make her want to have anal sex, but you might be able to interest her in some form of anal stimulation and go from there. Adding anal sex to our sex lives made something already wonderful much more wonderful!!!

  • Anonymous

    Out of curiosity, why was it stated that oral sex was sinful. Does anyone know the reason?

  • Anonymous

    Ldssextherapy.com also has some very good info on this topic

  • Mormons are a Capitalist Cult

    For the record, I don't believe in any God. All of it is myth to explain the things science can't. But since you "chosen ones" are an off shoot of Christianity, this is yet again another instance of how you have taken that story and bastardized it again. Sodomy is a sin in the Bible, yet it's totally ok with you guys?

  • Anonymous

    To aboveIn the bible, sodomy is a reference to homosexuality, as in Sodom and gamorra, hence sodomy.

  • Anonymous

    Regarding comments on Utah's code, go to the source:http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE76/htm/76_05_040300.htmIt is clear that sodomy is a class B misdemeanor regardless of marital status and your relationship to the other person. Forcible sodomy (rape) is a felony. This is a peculiar instance of the church being more liberal than the law!

  • Anonymous

    It was legal in Missouri to kill Mormons until 1976. What about that? Some laws are just ridiculous.. Sex, murder and sodomy!

  • Anonymous

    As happy as your bishop's answer might have made you, the prophets and leaders of the church have spoken on this, at first all that was said was "if it unnatural do not do it" but appearantly people didnt get the message, they later came out to say, no oral no anal….. and im guessing that includes no fingering or handjobs…… and no use of sex toys… which really leaves a couple with a boring a bland sexlife i think…

  • Anonymous

    Anon, 2:30…Let's not be irresponsible in making statements that are not doctrinal. First, define unnatural. In the bible, the only reference to unnatural is where they refer to homosexual practices. It is unnatural in God's eyes for two people of the same sex to have sex, for it was not designed to fulfill His plan that way. Same thing with sex with animals.It is natural, and devinely designed, for a husband and wife to share themselves sexually. It is not just for procreation but also a binding tie between them. The General Handbook of Instructions even says so. There are NO proclamations, or even policies, which state: no oral, anal, fingering, handjobs, sex toys/aids… By making such statements you bring further confusion and troubles to some married couples who are trying to do the right thing, but get conflicted over such irresponsible statements.Like so many areas of our lives the Lord leaves it up to us to decide what is right and appropriate within our marriage realtionship, as long as it is in keeping with the Law of Chastity – "to have no sexual relations except with our spouse". If an action is mutually agreed to, if it is not forced or coerced, and it helps bring a couple closer, then this should be the guiding principles.

  • Anonymous

    This Helped. But what is your take of masturbation? How does the church feel about it vs. law of chastity? Especially when my husband has no idea it's happening. Is it considered breaking the law of chastity? I just don't know, i feel like I'm breaking trust here, but I'm not sure with who?

  • Anonymous

    Ano 9:16, this is Anon 12:33. I don't know if your question was directed to me, or to Natasha, or someone else, but I will give you my best bit of advice.I have done a lot of research on the topic of masturbation. I have seen the Church back away from the frequent, strong language of SWK's regarding masturbation. Even SWK eventually softened a bit and referred to it as "a rather common indiscretion". I look at it this way. Why would a loving Heavenly Father give approximately 95% of his sons and approximately 60% of his daughters such powerful hormonal sexual urges and desires, such that they will experiment with and even frequently masturbate, then call that which he knew they would be drawn to do a sin? Then instructed His leaders to punish His children with restrictions and withholding previlidges from them? He designed us this way! He implanted those sexual desires and yearnings. From early on, most children are drawn to their sexual organs. They touch, they hump, they play with, all because it feels good, it is soothing to them. I am not trying to promote masturbation, but I feel it is important that we put it into perspective and not label it as a sin next to murder, or something that will keep you out of the temple. There are, unfortunately, some leaders who will make a big deal out of masturbation. Where did they get their instruction to do so? It might be that a Bishop is just handling it the way his Bishop did when he was a young man. Or, his Stake President may be over the top on the issue and he has trained his Bishops to come down hard on those who confess. But, there is NO mention in the General Handbook of Instructions of masturbation. No mention of how to address the issue, whether a Bishop should be asking about it in interviews, etc… There are NO instructions from Salt Lake that asks Bishops/SP's to ask about masturbation in missionary interviews. I am talking about TODAY's leaders; CURRENT instruction regarding what will disqualify or delay a missionary from missionary service.The Law of Chastity states, as you well know, that we are to have no sexual RELATIONS with anyone except with our spouse. It takes two people to have sexual relations. Now, if masturbation is such a problem that it affects the functioning of everyday life, affects your sex life, affects your work, relationships, etc… then I would suggest you get some professional counseling. Any addiction needs professional attention. In regards to your husband not knowing that you masturbate. I would suggest that you take the opportunity to bring up a discussion. Ask him something like, "did you ever masturbate? I read somewhere that about 90-95% of all men masturbated and was wondering if it is really that common." This might open it up for you to say something like, "I don't care if you ever did, or whether you still do masturbate. I was just curious." He might ask you the same question. Often, just getting it out there for discussion will help bring these uncomfortable topics out in the open and can be very therapudic and even good for the relationship.

  • Anonymous

    I wanted anal sex. My wife said "no, it's unnatural.". We did not do it. End of story. In the bedroom, she calls all the shots.

  • Anonymous

    For the record, masturbation is not condoned by the Lord as taught by President Kimball –  "Masturbation … is not approved of the Lord nor of his church, regardless of what may be said by others whose 'norms' are lower" (President Kimball Speaks Out [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], p. 10).

  • Anonymous

    Pornography is explicit portrayals of sexual acts for the purpose of sexual arousal. If a couple needs to watch an instructional DVD depicting two consenting adults, in a mature environment, going through different sexual acts and positions for the purpose of instruction, not arousal, it this okay? Does anyone have a Kama Sutra book or video? I'm confused that my wife and I can enjoy our bodies, but not learn how to increase that joy through other means but books (text). I understand arousal and becoming addicted to it for the purpose of foreplay. That's one thing that just makes couples lazy, but on the other hand, what about instruction?

  • Anonymous

    It is crystal clear that many GA including Church Prophets, (Spencer W. Kimball), have unequivically stated that oral sex is wrong, sinful and not temple worthy. However, the comments posted here suggest that, since "current" church leaders don't mention the propriety of oral or anal sex, previous modern day prophets can correctly be ignored on this subjecta and, accordingly, that these previously banned practices are now acceptable within the confines of a marriage.My question to the learned opinion posters on this board is what is the cut-off date for when the teachings of modern day Profits of the Church can be disregared? Indeed, it appears than many of those who are dispensing advice on this subject believe that an absence of expressed, public statements on the matter by currrent Church authorties should be viewed as if the Church now rejects the express and very clear teachings of previous modern day profits who taught that the Lord stongly disapproved of and expressly prohibited such conduct.To those taking this view (as a good many of those posting comments on this site seem to do) are you sure you're not rationalizing a way to get guilt free blow jobs, or do you honestly believe that teachings of all non "current" prophets can be disregarded so long a current leaders don't specfically comment on those prior teachings? If you think I'm not stating your rationale (or the logical extension of you reasoning) fairly, then please correct me where I am wrong. I would very much like to be wrong in that I really enjoy giving and receiving oral sex, especially since my wife swallows thus making the experience incredibly enjoyable and the act extremely intimate.After becoming members of the church(she was baptised five years ago, and I was baptised a little of three years ago and sealed a year later) we looked up this subject and it didn't take long to find that the only statements from Church authorties on the matter clearly prohibited the oral sex in very unambiguous terms. Since I haven't been a member for very long I am wondering if there is some unwritten rule about previous Church Prophets. My friend, who introduced me to the Church, has expressed great affection and admiration for Spencer W. Kimball – yet what I'm reading on these posts suggest he is to be ignored. What gives? Did the Lord suddently start approving of married couples having anal sex, or did our "non-current" prophets not know what they were talking about?

  • Anonymous

    From the LDS Newsroom,“Approaching Mormon Doctrine,” May 04, 2007. In it, the Church says:Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four “standard works” of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith. Isolated statements are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted. Some doctrines are more important than others and might be considered core doctrines. For example, the precise location of the Garden of Eden is far less important than doctrine about Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. The mistake that public commentators often make is taking an obscure teaching that is peripheral to the Church’s purpose and placing it at the very center. This is especially common among reporters or researchers who rely on how other Christians interpret Latter-day Saint doctrine.What we're saying is that a one time, one line statement from the First Presidency does not constitute official doctrine of the church; that if church leaders want to define what sexual relations are and how they should be approached, then they will do so. In the absence of consistent, published position, what goes on between a husband and wife is between the husband and wife and Heavenly Father. No, we don't disregard what a prophets of old have said. However, the longer you are a member of the church, the more you will realize that every prophet and apostle has a personality, and each has his own view on many things. However, it's only those things that are agreed upon by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve that constitute doctrine. Trust me as someone who's been a member 32 years, when church leaders want you to follow a specific commandment, they are clear on the matter. There is no equivocation. Sexual relations between a husband and wife is an area church leaders have not been clear except to say that they are sacred and between the couple and Lord. I hope that helps clear things up.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the response. I realize that this is not and important issue to some (most?) couples. At any rate it's not important enough to the church for the First Presidency to provide a clear answer; likewise, there certainly is not any doctrianl directive regarding oral sex from the Prophet and Quorum of the Twelve.The reason it is an issue to me is because my wife and I enjoy a full and satisfying sex life that has always included these activities as well as many other forms of intimate contact, including massages, body kissing and other activities designed to increase our sense of connection and intimacy – which it definitely does! The fly in the ointment happened recently when I read an article suggesting that couples who engage in oral sex (didn't mention anal) were not worthy of a temple recommend. In my admittedly limited experience as a church memeber (only about 3 years) our bishop's interviews to determine worthiness have never asked whether my wife and I engage in oral sex; in fact, really no questions at all regarding our sexual activities. The fact that my bishop (been in the same ward with the same bishop since I was baptized) does not ask about oral sex, I suppose, could make it any easy issue to rationalize and/or ignore (if Church doesn't care enough to inquire, how important can it be?) However, I was under the impression that if we engaged in this activity and were honest with our bishop by disclosing it voluntarily (isn't that what you're supposed to do? Even if my bishop does not spefically ask me about a particular sin or transgression, but I nontheless know that I have sinned/transgressed, isn't it incumbant on me to disclose the conduct [confess], and refrain from such further transgresions after confessing same to the proper authority?). At the time of my decision to join the church I knew it was really important to fully comply with both the letter and spirit of the Church's teachings, and it took me quite a while longer than my wife because I had to make my peace with what seemed to me an historical ugliness in some doctrinal areas and practice, but once I committed I did so fully and unreservedly. To that end, it is important to me to be in harmony with both the letter or express terms of doctrinal law, but also the spirit of it as well.I suppose one could have Pascal's Wager type mindset, with the approach being that since we don't know the correct answer for sure (or in any event can't prove it one way or the other) the safe approach with the best "upside" and minimal "downside" is to simply refrain from the potentially sinful conduct regardless of whether it is actually sinful or not.However, unlike the original application of Pascal's Wager, this gambit is not without a significant cost to some married couples (including my marriage) due to the fact that the poetntially prohibited conduct is part of an overall physical connection that significantly enhances our marital intimacy and imparts intense feelings of a connected closeness that sets apart our relationship with each other from any other relationship. Moreover, oral sex doesn't intuitively seem like "wrong" behavior to me or my wife, so I'm trying to find the correct path to follow. It seems that sex and related subjects are taboo in the church, other than encouraging procreation, and flatly prohibiting any sexual contact outside of marriage. I had hoped to find a clear answer within the teachings of the church that would confirm my intuitive feelings, or tell me that I was wrong. I really don't want to ask my bishop. Asking him would would not only be embarressing, but just seems like a betrayal to the intimacy and privacy that should be between my wife and I … and nobody else.Thanks again for your help.

  • Anonymous

    Anon,I admire your desire to live the Gospel principals. Notice that the only place that you will find that one letter that mentioned oral sex, is on the anti-mormon sites. The way the Church has worked with such letters, which are usually instructional, or they will be reminders of current policies – occassionally will establish new policies – is that if a new policy is so important, the contents of the letter will become annexed to the next edition of the General Handbook of Instructions. This mentioned letter did not get added to the General Handbook. Nor has a General Authority (that I am aware of)mentioned oral sex as being prohibited for married couples since that letter. The real direction that we are given is the Law of Chastity, which is that we are to have no sexual relations except with our spouse… period. That is the standard that we are to live by. The Church has instructed Bishops and Stake Presidents to not pry into a couples sex lives. This is between you and your spouse.Let the Spirit guide you as to what you feel is enhancing to your marriage, keeping in mind the Law of Chasity.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03397861817336193206 Strong Man

    To the Anon convert who thinks they've read several statements from church leaders about oral/anal being bad among married couples:What are your sources?I have researched this topic pretty thoroughly, through all official church teachings, handbook of instructions, current websites, past magazines, etc. There are many references to oral sex–but only as directions to single, unmarried people. Nothing to nonmembers.The only source of the 1982 letter is anti-mormon sites. If it was ever official, the Church has very intentionally excluded it from any possible avenue for finding official church doctrine.Any bishop listening to a "confession" about this from a married person should give an answer that says, basically, "your married bedroom is none of my business." Mormon Therapist is correct. Thank you!

  • Anonymous in Idaho

    It’s all about a husband and wife feeling comfortable and respectful toward one another. I spent seven years married to someone who refused to have intercourse in any way other than on her back. She felt that anything more was ‘animalistic’ and ‘inappropriate’, and she would lecture me if I ever asked for anything more. It was an incredibly unhealthy relationship, in almost every way, and we divorced several years ago. I remarried almost three years ago,to my best friend, and the relationship is completely different. We are both comfortable sexually, and we believe that regular oral sex is one of the healthy ways to show intimacy toward each other. Some may disagree with me, but it is a way to serve your spouse. Anal sex, which is far more intense for my wife, is something we do once or twice a month. She is never pressured to do it, and we usually avoid it when life is really stressful. Through our studies, and general conversations with various church leaders, we have felt that none of our actions have been in opposition to the current direction of the church. We don’t share the details of our specific activities with others, since that would be inappropriate.

    • BillJ

      I like your approach. What I infer from Church leaders is a wisely tolerant approach, and one which accords respect and deference for the responsible choices of the married couple.


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