Thank you Natasha! I look forward to your weekly Sex Tips.
You mentioned getting a good sex ed book… Problematic when the wife is very conservative and considers anything pornograpic that would show any resemblence to a sex act (even stick figures), or discusses it in detail.
You bring up a very good point about differing opinions within a marriage regarding what consists of pornographic material. I have written some previous posts on how I am comfortable defining pornography versus erotica:
I think it is important for every married couple to have a discussion regarding their views and definitions of terms such as pornography, addiction, sexual education and erotica. Use these posts as discussion material on how the two of you view these topics. Do you agree with me or not? Do you agree with each other? Why or why not? Be cognizant of controlling your own level of defensiveness as you discuss these topics. Remember the importance of creating a safe place between you so that dialogue is fostered rather than shut down. Just because you currently disagree or have uncomfortable feelings does not mean that you cannot resolve these issues over time.
As far as sexual education, there are a wide variety of books available that range dramatically in what LDS couples might deem “appropriate.” Personally, I do not have a problem recommending books that have drawn illustrations. First of all, it is important for all of us to be aware and familiar with genital and reproductive anatomy. Secondly, it can be beneficial for couples to understand different positions of sexual intercourse that can help with issues such as boredom, female anorgasmia, erectile dysfunction, physical limitations, etc.
Some books that I have found useful include:
Sex for Dummies by Dr. Ruth K Westheimer
The Act of Marriage: the Beauty of Sexual Love by Tim & Beverly LaHaye
And They Were Not Ashamed by Laura M Brotherson
Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch, PhD
The Everything Great Sex Book by Suzie Heumann & Susan Campbell, PhD
The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine, MD
Becoming Orgasmic: A Sexual and Personal Growth Program for Women by Julie R Heiman, PhD & Joseph LoPiccolo, PhD
The Sex-Starved Marriage by Michele Weiner Davis
There are three main topics that come up in some sexual education books that go against what most members of the church believe:
- Masturbation is OK.
- The use of pornography is OK.
- Having sex outside of marriage is OK.
I have spoken to the first two issues in varying posts before. I find that self-stimulation in an atmosphere of spousal participation -or at least knowledge- can be beneficial for couples (especially when the woman in the relationship is having issues reaching orgasm, when there is performance anxiety/erectile dysfunction for the male, when a couple is separated by distance, when there are health issues involved or when a couple is looking for sensual play). I do not agree that the use of pornography is ever beneficial for a couple but I do believe that there is a place for appropriate erotica in any marriage.
If a book you are finding useful espouses ideas such as the ones listed above (or others you find contrary to your beliefs), just ignore those parts and move on. You do not need to agree with every aspect of a book in order to find it of value. Most of the information in a book regarding sexual education will be useful – especially if written by a reliable source.
I hope this is helpful and that you and your wife can begin a discussion regarding one of the most sacred aspects of your relationship.