Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Segullah Guest Post

If you are trying to reach Science Teacher Mommy, I'll be out for the day. You can reach me here.

13 comments:

Maridith said...

Loved your post Nan. This has been a topic of much thought from me.

Being a woman who 1)was not raised with the benefit (handicap?) of yearly Standard Nights full of "No, No's" 2) Being educated with biology, physiology and psychology on a University level and 3) being single until my 30's I became a safe-haven for many, many, many, a married friend struggling with sexuality. Being unencumbered with my own experience I was able to approach research on the topic in a more clinical manner without embarrassment.

I have often joked I need to start holding yearly "standards night" for the married woman on topics such as:
"What DOES the Lord tell us about sex?"
"How does intimacy impact sex?"
"Basic Biology and how it works"
"Tip and Tricks to Orgasm"
"Yes, multiple orgasm and ejaculation ARE possible (and highly enjoyable) for women."
"How do I talk to my husband about sex?"
"How do I talk dirty to my husband?"
"How far is too far AFTER marriage?"

Instead, I've addressed the above topics and others by collecting information as well as resources that are appropriate and informed without the lascivious bent the world places on intimacy.

I keep threatening to put all of these resources together as a handbook and leave it on Relief Society chairs everywhere. (They certainly wouldn't sell it in Deseret Book.)

The Lord wants us to have joy and I can think of no greater joy than a frequent and fulfilling sex life with your eternal spouse.

Debbie (Nerd Goddess) said...

Thanks for the post! I am so glad my husband and I were able to work out a healthy sexual relationship early on, though the first few weeks were somewhat of a struggle as we didn't fully understand our body's limitations and we were both obviously new to it, but we worked through it.

Honestly, though, it's a miracle we were able to get to this point, because I was raised by a Mother who never talked to me about sex. Never. If it wasn't my blessedly wonderful older sisters who gave me and my husband an excellent sex book and who talked to me before my wedding I don't know where I'd be right now. But I do know that I won't be making the same mistake as my mother, and that my husband and I will be open to our children about this subject, but also keep the sacredness and joy of the act intact.

emandtrev said...

Most excellent! I'm off to read it now.

Janssen said...

What a TERRIFIC post. Very nicely done and beautifully written.

Slyck and Slim said...

I am sure glad that you are so brave and open to discuss something that I'm sure is an issue for so, so many of us. I think you and I had a conversation about this when we were teaching YW in Champions ward. It was wonderfully put. So what are your answers?

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Maridith--You're great. I want to be at THAT RS lesson! :)

Debbie--Don't be surprised when you have to figure it all out again after babies, but it sounds like you are off to a good start.

And Slyck, if I had any answers I probably wouldn't be asking the questions. But I'm brave: I'm going to instigate a talk tonight. All of these wonderful, open women have given me courage.

Debbie (Nerd Goddess) said...

Oy, thanks for the heads up STM. I don't even want to think about that yet...

mstanger said...

Hey, congrats on hitting the big time. Topics discussed by the women of the church are apparently very different than those normally discussed by us guys. At least in my experience, transmission of this type of information is kept within the family, if it happens at all, and almost only involves the same-gendered parent for the nitty gritty details. Indeed, part of me felt very sheepish reading the Segullah post and comments ("Should I even be here?"). Even the comments here presume no cross-gender dialogue. Maridith wants to hold standards nights for the adult women only, but as the post makes clear, a huge, real, poignant issue here is our ability or lack thereof to engage in communication across the gender lines, and specifically with our spouses.

I find it interesting that other denominations have begun to more proactively provide training/seminars, etc. for married couples on this issue. Perhaps we need to do more of that ourselves. Books are nice, but what about when the book doesn't answer all the questions? Wouldn't it be nice to have a chance to ask follow-up questions of the author? Wouldn't it also be nice to have your companion there, not to have to take home what you learned, only to be met with incredulity?

Lastly, an anecdote from a friend that I believe illustrates my point a bit. Sister X, who for all I know was the most wonderful, spiritual person in the world, was asked to speak at a Standards Night which my then-14-yr-old male friend attended. In the midst of an impassioned plea for purity, she told the young men in the audience that it was a sin to even be sexually aroused, and each event of arousal would require sincere repentance on their part. Telling a 14-year-old male not to get aroused is just not physiologically realistic. Period. Sister X apparently did not understand male physiology, or she never would have made such a statement. Poor friend of mine is overwhelmed with grief and guilt, thinking he must be the vilest of sinners. Fortunately, friend's mom is in the medical field, and friend trusts mom enough to ask her about this, and quickly is enlightened. What about all the other poor guys in attendance that night?

Brooke said...

Nan! I am so proud of you and your Segullah post. Way to go. It was so well written, and I think a very important one-- clearly so, from all the comments you received! Congrats!

tamathy said...

Such a great post and great comments as well.
I think I had great examples from my parents, grandparents and some of the couples at church that made the whole transition into marriage/sex easier.
My parents didn't talk about the subject as much as they maybe should have, but they were always openly affectionate. I remember standing around waiting for them to stop kissing so they could sign my field trip permission slip. Of course we kids thought they were gross, but I can see now that I really internalized the idea that married people were intimate and enjoyed it and that was normal.
It was the same with some of the couples I knew at church, especially one of my YW leaders. She wasn't inappropriate but it was clear through the way she talked about her husband that she adored him and they were always holding hands and giving hugs and little kisses at any activity we saw them at.
We kids (again) thought- Yuck! We thought they were ancient. He was bald. They were both very over-weight. But again I see now how great their example was. I learned that people of every size, shape and age find each other attractive and enjoy love, romance and intimacy.
Lastly I had a teacher at Ricks that made it her personal mission to dispel any misconceptions we had about sex. She read us talks by general authorities on the subject and talked very openly. Several students were horrified, some even complained to the school that she was inappropriate. She was older and a little kooky and shared with us that her husband loved it when she wore colored stockings.
I loved her class and thought of her often when I was first married.
Thanks Nan, for bringing up such a great topic.-t.

simple easy and quick said...

Wow, you are so open with all aspects of your life. I can't imagine writing something like that for all the world to see.

Very curious, what was plantboys reaction to your Segullah post?

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Plantboy was my first editor, of course. The original version was even more blunt!

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